KandraAllomancer

theory
Odium is dead, long live Odium!

10 posts in this topic

We know from this WoB that crucial information about the plot of future books is hidden somewhere (probably in plain sight) in the first two books. Hoid's stories (Wandersail, The Girl Who Looked Up, his Adonalsium talk with Dalinar) are likely part of it, but what about the rest? I think that, unlike in Mistborn, in this case the clues are not only in in-universe events or documents, but in references to real life mythology (this WoB), namely Canaanite one (which provides most of the names for the Unmade). But which Canaanite mythology? Each Phoenician city-state had a slightly different version, with different chief god. The oldest and best understood though, is the mythology of Ugarit (some potential connection to Urithiru maybe?). The Wikipedia articles on Ugaritic versions of Baal Hadad and Anat turned out to be a goldmine of clues. Here is what I found:

  • Baal Hadad, the god of storms and the chief god, also called the Rider on the Clouds, seems to be a clear basis for the Stormfather and Tanavast. His main enemy is Mot, the god of death who wants to feed upon other gods and break Hadad to pieces (Odium). He wins their confrontation, but Hadad finally comes back to life (it's not sure what happens here, due to gaps in the text)
  • Baal Hadad is associated with west wind. In the Bible, when the Israelites escape Egypt and cross over the Red Sea, it's accompanied by strong east wind. They're freed from their slavery by the wind blowing in the other direction to reclaim the their land. Yeah, the Exodus foreshadows the Everstorm and the Eila Stele revelation!
  • Baal Hadad and Anat also win a battle with Yam (sea god) and Lotan (sea dragon). The two may be one and the same, and many people (due to linguistic errors and Lovecraft's influence) falsely believe Dagon to be the sea god (he was a god of fertility and agriculture). The whole confusion about Dai-gonarthis in Hessi's Mythica seems to be Brandon's nod to this situation
  • Mot is finally splintered by Anat, who avenges Baal Hadad's apparent death (she “splits him with a sword, winnows him with a sieve, burns him with fire, grinds him with millstones and scatters the remnants to the birds”). He comes back to life seven years later

I believe the last point provides a clue about Odium's fate. Rayse will be killed and Odium splintered with Sja-anat's help at the end of Arc 1. This will probably put an end to the Everstorm and the Fused, even though some runaway Unmade and Voidspren will remain on Roshar. This will not be the end of Odium though – the Shard will somehow reform itself and search for a new Vessel (my bet is on Moash), probably with the help of one of the Unmade or some new splinter created exactly for this purpose. It'll take time, which explains the time gap between Arc 1 and Arc 2. This provides a new twist on what can happen to a Shard (besides splintering or merging, which we have already seen) – and if anyone can achieve this, it's Odium. He's relatively good at seeing the future, has a deep knowledge of how splintering works and his splinters can act very independently, even pulling off an entire False Desolation.

The following part is even more speculative, but I would be glad to see it happen :)
Part of Odium's return will be the birth of children with some connection to Odium, possibly certain Voidbinding abilities (some spiritweb modification? Similar to what the Nightwatcher or Sja-anat can do). This works well because:
A. It's a great easter egg – it borrows from Baldur's Gate plot and the name of the god there was Bhaal :)
B. It sets up an interesting conflict for Arc 2

I think these children may be referenced in this Death Rattle:

Quote

I hold the suckling child in my hands, a knife at his throat, and know that all who live wish me to let the blade slip. Spill its blood upon the ground, over my hands, and with it gain us further breath to draw.

The conflict is possibly foreshadowed in Arc 1. Dalinar, even at his lowest, can't kill an innocent child even it can cause problems later. Jasnah, despite her logic and pragmatism, is unable to kill Renarin, clearly affected by Odium. Other Radiants (like Malata), however, won't have any problem with this. This could be the source of a schism between the KR and lead to a new Recreance (breaking part of the most basic Oath – journey before destination). To avoid this, the protagonists will have to find a better way to contain Odium and stop it from regaining it's strength. That's way figuring out the Oathpact will be the major topic in Arc 2 (this WoB).

Edited by KandraAllomancer
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“In order to repopulate her fallen people, she climbed the peaks of Dara—the myth changes, listing different modern mountain ranges as the true peaks of Dara—to find stones touched by the Heralds themselves. She brought them to Nadris on his deathbed and harvested his seed to bring life to the stones. They hatched forth ten children, which she used to found a new nation. Marnah, I believe it was called."

I think this fits in there somewhere. Just not sure if its end of Act 1 or Act 2.

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I like the idea very much, @KandraAllomancer! Well researched!

I'd always thought that Rayse would be dealt with within the first five books, while the racial, socio-political situations would become the focus of back 5. Putting Jasnah, the queen of Alethkar and the Heralds, who participated in the long conflicts between the two main races and specifically held back their "gods", the Fused via the Oathpact definitely indicates more of a narrative shift, imo.

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Very interesting idea @KandraAllomancer

It would be very cool to see how the back 5 play out in this scenario.

If Odium can be splintered and reformed perhaps the same can be said about Honor. If that’s true... perhaps the focus of the back five (alongside the oathpact) will be on “reforging” honor fast enough to form a new pact or something.

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If Odium returns it will probably be similar to what Honor did with the Stormfather.

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@KandraAllomancer This theory is quite good and feels like something Brandon would do. It also fits with Brandon's desire to distinguish himself artistically from Robert Jordan-- bbeg is dead halfway through and there's no Tarmon Gai'don that we work up to at the end, the back 5 are more about sociopolitical stuff and "fixing/uniting" Roshar to prep for Outer Space Time seen in Mistborn Era 4. (I like that, btw. Brandon doesn't want to rehash WoT and that leads to great creativity.) One thing I'd add is that there will likely be some kind of Christian-God analog in Stormlight. See: Sazed as Father, Vin as Son, Kelsier as Holy Spirit. That also feels like something Brandon would sneak in there. Perhaps this is where Adonalsium comes in: the people of Roshar turn away from their two warring gods once things are dealt with, and instead seek out Adonalsium, mirroring the Israelites' story of abandoning Baal and other Pagan deities as lead by Moses (Dalinar?). This, I'm not too sold on. It certainly seems like something Brandon would do-- borrow themes from another Christian era, sure, but still a tale with a lot of Christian baggage. Good stuff all around.

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On 26.11.2019 at 0:57 AM, Hakusho Slick said:

It certainly seems like something Brandon would do-- borrow themes from another Christian era, sure, but still a tale with a lot of Christian baggage.

I think Islam might provide even better analogy here - a more detailed description here

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The biggest hurdle against this speculation is that Lift and Renarin's books are in the back 5 and both are set up as instrumental with one being influenced by Cultivation and the other by the Unmade Sja-Anat.

Plus there is the rival theory Odium will be freed, go to Scadrial to move against Harmony, then come back in time for the back 5.

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1 hour ago, Honorless said:

The biggest hurdle against this speculation is that Lift and Renarin's books are in the back 5 and both are set up as instrumental with one being influenced by Cultivation and the other by the Unmade Sja-Anat.

I don't think it's really a hurdle. It's pretty much confirmed that Rayse's death wouldn't stop Odium from being a threat:

Quote

2dark_22

RAFOed I'm sure, but you said you are planing 2 arcs of 5 books each in Stormlight Archive. Having read all of your published works (and some unpublished:)) I know your storytelling pace is astronomicaly quick. I'm positive you will end current desolation story in the first 5 books, since as I understod, other 5 books will be set in near future in SA universe. So I guess my question is; can you drop any hint will Odium survive to see 6th SA book:)?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, Odium will survive. Now, whether the one HOLDING that power will survive...that's a different question. :) (Not quite a RAFO.)

/r/books AMA 2015 (April 8, 2015)

 

1 hour ago, Honorless said:

Plus there is the rival theory Odium will be freed, go to Scadrial to move against Harmony, then come back in time for the back 5.

While I could believe that Trell is Odium's avatar (though Autonomy seems much more probable to me), I don't think Odium itself will leave the Rosharan system. Arc 2 is supposed to be about figuring out the Oathpact, so I think Odium's Investiture will still be largely confined to Braize (or at least the planetary system)

Edited by KandraAllomancer
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19 hours ago, KandraAllomancer said:

I don't think it's really a hurdle. It's pretty much confirmed that Rayse's death wouldn't stop Odium from being a threat:

Quote

2dark_22

RAFOed I'm sure, but you said you are planing 2 arcs of 5 books each in Stormlight Archive. Having read all of your published works (and some unpublished:)) I know your storytelling pace is astronomicaly quick. I'm positive you will end current desolation story in the first 5 books, since as I understod, other 5 books will be set in near future in SA universe. So I guess my question is; can you drop any hint will Odium survive to see 6th SA book:)?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, Odium will survive. Now, whether the one HOLDING that power will survive...that's a different question. :) (Not quite a RAFO.)

 

point

19 hours ago, KandraAllomancer said:

While I could believe that Trell is Odium's avatar (though Autonomy seems much more probable to me), I don't think Odium itself will leave the Rosharan system. Arc 2 is supposed to be about figuring out the Oathpact, so I think Odium's Investiture will still be largely confined to Braize (or at least the planetary system)

I'm for the Trell is Autonomy side, that was just an idle theory that I thought was interesting and not improbable

Edited by Honorless
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