Parallax

Odium's Plan Doesn't Make Sense

22 posts in this topic

Odium's original plan sounds simple enough: go around and take out the other shards one by one. Except this doesn't make sense. To see that suppose Odium has just finished splintering a shard and that increased his count to nine splintered shards in total. At that point does Odium really expect the remaining six shards to wait patiently until he gets to them one by one because of the non-interference pact? What is much more likely is that the remaining six band together and form a coalition to splinter Odium (and nine is a high number I expect the coalition to form much earlier). 

Edited by Parallax
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would agree with you if everyone were playing by the rules. 

So far he has 4 shards down, and another engaged. (Devotion, Dominion, Ambition, and Honor down, and Cultivation actively threatened.) 

Two more have merged and effectively neutralized each other, and those two are being actively engaged by another bad actor. (Harmony for 2 and Autonomy for Trell) 

The only other shard we know for sure, is happily sitting at home with her fingers in her ears saying "this is fine." 

We also know that there's another Shard that is just now going, "maybe something needs to happen" 

So of the 10 shards we know, 4 are dead and splintered, 5 are actively fighting each other, and one other is is convinced that there's not a problem. 

And we only have hints of a single Shard that's even looked at the Cosmere and thought "somethings not right." 

With all the talk of odium's love of Fortune, I think he'd have tried something subtler if he believed everyone else was going to sit back and follow the rules. 

5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When have you ever heard of a pantheon of gods not fighting each and acting idiotic about it. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Odium has a hit list, and he knows the other Shards, presumably rather well. He took down Ambition first, because he found her the most dangerous, presumably because of the Intent. After that, he has been going for pairings. I think he wants to take down the ones who are good at or at least willing to cooperate early. Aona and Skai, Honor and Cultivation. I suspect that Scadrial would have been his next goal after Roshar. He will leave the ones bent on isolation until it is too late for them to realize their error. 
 

Also consider that Shards are not thinking like humans would. They are strongly influenced by their intents. Ati/Ruin is probably the best example of this, since he was a kind man twisted by his Shard. Some other the other Shards might be incredibly into isolation, due to how they interpret their intent.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Odium's plan doesn't make sense, that's true. But I think there's at least a few things to keep in mind:

Hoid's letter gave the impression that Odium may be the least restricted of the Shards

Most other Shards are interested in Investing themselves on Shardworlds, only Odium/Rayse seems to be seeking power for the sake of power

Odium knew the other original Vessels personally, and has access to Fortune, I think he can see enough of the broad strokes to know how to go about it. He is allied to and is aware of the relationships between, other Shards.

Edited by Honorless
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also most of the shards we have seen tend to think themselves invincible. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if he gains some sort of power each time he splinters a shard.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, TrдVψLшR 0115 said:

I wonder if he gains some sort of power each time he splinters a shard.

It seems pretty unlikely. The only way we know that Odium could get stronger is by merging with the shards he splinters, and he isn't doing that because he doesn't want to dilute the intent of his shard. And if there were another method of him gaining power each time he splinters a shard, you'd think his track record taking down shards would be getting better, which doesn't seem to be the case considering he became trapped in the Rosharan system in the first place and took millienia to splinter Honor.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I'm going to throw my theory out there here.

I've long wondered if Odium is going around hunting shards and to answer this question: 

1 hour ago, TrдVψLшR 0115 said:

I wonder if he gains some sort of power each time he splinters a shard.

I actually wonder if he just thinks that if he splinters every other shard, his 1/16th of the total power will be enough to "take over." I don't think he'll gain power, but the less residual power there is in others, the more significant his small portion becomes.

It also seems to me that most shards are invested, but Odium was not. I've long believed that Honor bound Odium to Roshar in an attempt to keep the other shards from being splintered as he knew they would be if Odium escaped. That would also make sense as it's the "honorable" thing to do for a shard. I've wondered if it was a very selfless act performed by Honor to make sure Odium stayed put long enough for someone to figure out how to remove his influence.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, Xardan Ta'Caran said:

I actually wonder if he just thinks that if he splinters every other shard, his 1/16th of the total power will be enough to "take over." I don't think he'll gain power, but the less residual power there is in others, the more significant his small portion becomes.

Brandon has confirmed that Odium just wants to be the strongest thing out there and once he's splintered the other fifteen Shards, that would make him the strongest by default. He doesn't need to become stronger than he is (which would necessarily change who he is) he just needs to make sure there's nobody else who could possibly compete on his level.

Quote

Brandon Sanderson

Odium just wants to be top dog. And your two ways to be top dog are to climb higher, or to lower everyone else. And he's like, we're gonna lower everyone else. Because I know, if I combine, it stops being me, is what his opinion is. I would no longer be the person I am. I would change into someone else. And then that person gets to rule, and I don't want that person to rule. I want to.

JordanCon 2018 (April 20, 2018)

 

Edited by Weltall
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It definitely seems like a completely mad undertaking. But then again, we know he previously took on two Shards at a time in one way or another. Truth is, he wouldn't do unless he felt he had an advantage:

Quote

Khyrindor

Odium seems to have a bad track record when it comes to killing Shards. He was wounded versus Ambition, and he's trapped on Roshar. Yet, he's credited in killing Devotion and Dominion. My question is: was Autonomy significantly involved and would Odium have been able to do it on his own and still be okay to--

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO. It is dangerous to attack a Shard with one Shard. Let's say that. And a wise Shard would try to avoid that confrontation unless there are specific reasons they think they would have an advantage.

Skyward Seattle signing (Nov. 10, 2018)

And we just don't know what advantage that would be. Although we have a vague hint:

Quote

ericth

What is Odium's edge. Vin and Ati killed each other but Rayse has downed 3 shards and survived. Was it skill, ability, numbers or possibly un-dispersed power?

Brandon Sanderson

Some combination of the above.

Words of Radiance Los Angeles signing (March 5, 2014)

So it's a bit too early to say that it's completely senseless, but it definitely seems ... audacious, to say the least.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Xardan Ta'Caran I like that part about Honor acting selflessly. I was thinking more along the lines of Odium using some sort of after effect of splintering as something he could shape/manipulate into a weapon. Sort of like the unmade. He might not have complete control over the unmade considering that

Spoiler

Dalinar was able to coax it into the gemstone, but he was still using it as a weapon before that

.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Calderis said:

I would agree with you if everyone were playing by the rules. 

I am puzzled by this. The only rule we know of is the non-interference pact. Currently Odium is not playing by the rules but everyone else is. However if Odium splinters more shards the rest of them will stop playing by the rules, they will get together and splinter him. 

21 hours ago, Calderis said:

So far he has 4 shards down, and another engaged. (Devotion, Dominion, Ambition, and Honor down, and Cultivation actively threatened.) 

Two more have merged and effectively neutralized each other, and those two are being actively engaged by another bad actor. (Harmony for 2 and Autonomy for Trell) 

The only other shard we know for sure, is happily sitting at home with her fingers in her ears saying "this is fine." 

Even more puzzled by this:

1. The death of Honor has resulted in Odium's imprisonment so he has paid a price. 

2. Harmony is not powerless as you imply, in fact we have a WoB to the effect that Odium is scared of Harmony.

3. Endowment is not in denial, she believes Odium's prison is working, she adds at the end of her letter that if Odium escapes he will be dealt with. Since one on one shard battles are very risky I take that as an indication that she is already part of an anti-Odium coalition that will spring into action if Odium manages to escape his current prison.

Edited by Parallax
1

Share this post


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

2. Harmony is not powerless as you imply, in fact we have a WoB to the effect that Odium is scared of Harmony.

We also have a WoB that Odium would beat Harmony in a fight

Quote

Questioner

Does Odium actually present a real threat to Harmony, because he-- *interrupted*

Brandon Sanderson

So Harmony is vastly more powerful than Odium.

Questioner

Yeah. 

Brandon Sanderson

Elend was vastly more powerful than Vin. Who would win in a fight?

Questioner

Vin.

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, there's your answer.

White Sand vol.1 release party (June 28, 2016)

 

7 minutes ago, Parallax said:

1. The death of Honor has resulted in Odium's imprisonment so he has paid a price. 

Odium was trapped much, much earlier than this. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Inky Here is the WoB I had in mind:

Quote

Q. Is Harmony stronger than Odium?

Brandon. Harmony has two shards. So by raw power he is stronger than Odium. Odium is much more warrior-minded and killing-minded, so I don't know if Harmony could actually beat him. But Odium is scared of Harmony.

Waygate Foundation Write-a-thon (Jan. 17, 2014)

 

1 hour ago, Inky said:

Odium was trapped much, much earlier than this. 

Do you have a WoB for that? Because otherwise why would Honor fight him? 

Edited by Parallax
0

Share this post


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

Do you have a WoB for that? Because otherwise why would Honor fight him? 

He fought Odium because he was trying to kill him? What sort of a question is that?

 Both Honor and Cultivation's powers seal Odium, so it wasn't the last dying act of Honor, at the very least. I'm fairly sure that Odium would've been sealed around the time of the Oathpact, likely before. As has been stated in wobs, Odium doesn't like to Invest, so obviously he had to have been desperate enough to create the Fused in the first place. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Inky said:

He fought Odium because he was trying to kill him? What sort of a question is that?

Both Honor and Cultivation's powers seal Odium, so it wasn't the last dying act of Honor, at the very least. I'm fairly sure that Odium would've been sealed around the time of the Oathpact, likely before. As has been stated in wobs, Odium doesn't like to Invest, so obviously he had to have been desperate enough to create the Fused in the first place. 

This doesn't really impact the point I am making regarding the irrationality of Odium's behavior. But here is the WoB we found via Coppemind and discussed on discord:

Quote

Q. So, I was actually wondering whether Tanavast constructed the confrontation with Rayse in such a way that *inaudible*

Brandon. That nailed his foot to the floor?

Q. He's stuck on Braize - at least for now.

Brandon. Ah, yes. That was, in effect, that was an intentional -

Q. It was deliberate? Okay.

Brandon. It was deliberate. Yup.

Q. *Inaudible, possibly 'Rayse'* started to win?

Brandon. Um, well...

Q. I'll keep it secret until it shows up on Facebook.

Brandon. Yeah, it... so, Odium came at him, and he gave - not as good as he got - but he made it cost.

Q. Did he sacrifice himself, or is Odium better at that sort of thing?

Brandon. I wouldn't say that he sacrificed himself, I'd say he went out swinging.

Q. Is Odium just better at that sort of thing?

Brandon. I would say, yes.

Oathbringer San Diego signing (Nov. 14, 2017)

 

Edited by Parallax
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, Parallax said:

I am puzzled by this. The only rule we know of is the non-interference pact. Currently Odium is not playing by the rules but everyone else is. However if Odium splinters more shards the rest of them will stop playing by the rules, they will get together and splinter him. 

The pact that the Shards have was not a binding oath. 

Quote

Questioner

All the Shards basically agreed not to settle on the same planet. Six of them - that we know of - immediately, basically broke that.

Brandon Sanderson

So... they did not make an oath to it. There was a suggestion made... and perhaps the people who made the suggestion did not understand that, if you want the Shards to do something, you need an actual Oath. And they did not get one.

Tel Aviv Signing (Oct. 18, 2019)

Odium has specifically used the fact that others broke their pact as a justification for killing them. 

Quote

Paladin Brewer

Out of all the Shards, why does Odium go for Devotion and Dominion?

Brandon Sanderson

He targets people with two kinds of ideas. Number one, he can argue they're breaking the rules they set out. And two, people he thinks are a good match for him, or a challenge, or a danger.

Oathbringer Houston signing (Nov. 18, 2017)

So no, the only shards we know of at all the followed the rules are Edgli and Ambition for sure. Possibly Autonomy, but that goes out the window if she's behind Trell or if she helped Odium on Sel. 

58 minutes ago, Parallax said:

1. The death of Honor has resulted in Odium's imprisonment so he has paid a price.

Why would he have invested anywhere at all if he weren't already trapped? His MO elsewhere has been to avoid Investment to have an edge in power. 

All of the information we have points to him him being trapped there for millenia, and that th Desolations and everything that we've seen are because of that leading up to Honor's death and the current situation. 

The Oathpact "binds the Fused as Honor and Cultivation's power binds Odium" according to the Stormfather... Why would that all focus on Braize if he weren't already bound there when the Oathpact was formed? 

1 hour ago, Parallax said:

Harmony is not powerless as you imply, in fact we have a WoB to the effect that Odium is scared of Harmony.

Per his own words, yes, he is. 

Quote

I am the least equipped, of all, to aid you in this endeavor. I am finding that the powers I hold are in such conflict that the most simple of actions can be difficult.

Double the power does Harmony no good if he can't use it. Add inexperience to that and his level of investment in Scadrial and its people... And Inky's posted WoB seals the deal. 

1 hour ago, Parallax said:

Endowment is not in denial, she believes Odium's prison is working, she adds at the end of her letter that if Odium escapes he will be dealt with. Since one on one shard battles are very risky I take that as an indication that she is already part of an anti-Odium coalition that will spring into action if Odium manages to escape his current prison.

Seeall my points about the pact, and any "coalition" is in as much denial as she is. 

49 minutes ago, Parallax said:

Do you have a WoB for that? Because otherwise why would Honor fight him? 

For the exact same reason that the Radiants are fighting right now. Odium is still trapped or Dalinar couldn't release him as the chosen representative of Honor's power. 

Being trapped doesn't keep him from fighting. And that makes Honor and Cultivation trapping him mean that they would then be forced to fight. The alternative is to not fight back, and die. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Calderis the weaker the initial non-interference pact, the stronger the argument that Odium's plan makes no sense. After all it means the coalition against him will form sooner rather than later. 

Also you miss my point, to illustrate it take an extreme case: suppose Odium is wildly successful he manages to escape his prison on Braize, splinters Cultivation, Harmony, Endowment and Autonomy. There are still six shards out there, they are not going to sit as he gets to them one by one. They would get together and attack him and if Odium is afraid of Harmony, he should be terrified senseless from a combined six shard attack. 

Edited by Parallax
2

Share this post


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

@Calderis the weaker the initial non-interference pact, the stronger the argument that Odium's plan makes no sense. After all it means the coalition against him will form sooner rather than later. 

Also you miss my point, to illustrate it take an extreme case: suppose Odium is wildly successful he manages to escape his prison on Braize, splinters Cultivation, Harmony, Endowment and Autonomy. There are still six shards out there, they are not going to sit as he gets to them one by one. They would get together and attack him and if Odium is afraid of Harmony, he should be terrified senseless from a combined six shard attack. 

As I said before, we don't know how Odium's technique of Splintering Shards works. He seems to have an advantage one on one. He also might be able to isolate the Shards and attack them one by one. Keep in mind that he didn't seem to be afraid of the team of Devotion and Dominion. Harmony, on the other hand - he can't just pull him apart, he has to deal with double the Investiture. That might be a lot harder than taking on several Shards that he can still trick and take on individually.

Furthermore, there aren't necessarily six Shards remaining ... Presumably, some of those we don't know have been Splintered as well, as implied here.

But my main point is, we don't know how Odium does things, and we can't really judge his approach since we don't know what he works with.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Parallax said:

@Calderis the weaker the initial non-interference pact, the stronger the argument that Odium's plan makes no sense. After all it means the coalition against him will form sooner rather than later. 

Also you miss my point, to illustrate it take an extreme case: suppose Odium is wildly successful he manages to escape his prison on Braize, splinters Cultivation, Harmony, Endowment and Autonomy. There are still six shards out there, they are not going to sit as he gets to them one by one. They would get together and attack him and if Odium is afraid of Harmony, he should be terrified senseless from a combined six shard attack. 

And you've missed my initial point. 

Of what we've seen, the Shards in general are in such turmoil. And conflict that very few are paying attention. 

If the Cosmere were going to be quiet enough that an effective resistance was going to band together and stand up to him, I think he'd have planned differently. 

We've been repeatedly told and show how he uses future sight. I don't think it's unreasonable to say that if he thought his actions were going to be heavily scrutinized he'd have been more subtle. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, Parallax said:

@Calderis the weaker the initial non-interference pact, the stronger the argument that Odium's plan makes no sense. After all it means the coalition against him will form sooner rather than later. 

Also you miss my point, to illustrate it take an extreme case: suppose Odium is wildly successful he manages to escape his prison on Braize, splinters Cultivation, Harmony, Endowment and Autonomy. There are still six shards out there, they are not going to sit as he gets to them one by one. They would get together and attack him and if Odium is afraid of Harmony, he should be terrified senseless from a combined six shard attack. 

I don't think he NEEDS to splinter Autonomy - as far as I can tell, Autonomy seems to have essentially splintered itself into many, many sub-personalities, to the point where it even outright says that if Hoid had contacted another one of its aspects with the letter, the response might have been different. At this point, I question whether there is even a coherent shard to be attacked, instead of pieces of power held by many splinters, often working at cross-purposes

 

There are several possibilities that might explain Odium's odd plan:

1) He may not have a choice. I can't imagine, for example, that Ambition wouldn't have wanted to take all the Shard's for itself, even if that were a suicidally stupid goal. Odium's intent is wrath --  he probably can't help but want to kill them all, even if he probably won't win.

2) Odium may have help. There are some hints he is allied with Autonomy. We KNOW he is allied with at least one other force in the Cosmere. 

 

Quote

 

Haradion Drogon

The Letter implies Odium is allied or at least cross purposes with Bavadin. Is Odium actively allied to any *other* cosmere Power(s)?

Brandon Sanderson

YES.

General Signed Books 2015 (Dec. 12, 2015)

 

 

 

3) The intents of the other shards might not be very helpful in combat. We know Odium has a priority list of Shards to attack, with Ambition at the top. He probably has already destroyed those shards he considered most powerful and able to stop him. If the remaining six all have intents that make them absolutely worthless in combat, he may still have a chance. 

4) He may have access to weapons or information that would make it easier to shatter shards. Six against one only works if they are equalsif one man is holding a gun, it doesn't matter that he is facing six unarmed men.

5) He may reasonably anticipate that other Shards would be unwilling to work with each other. Perhaps some are natural enemies, or are even already at war with each other. I would find it odd if Preservation and Ruin were the only shards other than Odium to attack another Shard. 

6) We really have no proof, as Elegy mentions, that all six are unshattered. We know of four shattered shards and I think the "halfish" comment implies there may be about 6-10 shattered. For all we know, many of the hidden six could already be dead.

7) A shard does not need to be dead to be incapacitated. Some may be insane, impotent, no longer really in control of their power, or trapped like Odium. 

8) Some shards may not be aware any other shards have been shattered at all; maybe they chose to isolate themselves from outside contact and ignore the wider Cosmere. They don't seem to automatically know what everyone else is doing just because they are Shards; Harmony seems to be downright unaware of what's going on until Hoid contacts him. 

9) He may have plans to turn other shards against each other. He understands hatred very well, after all. 

10) Alternatively, having the other shards join together to stop him may be all part of the plan...

In summary: We don't know enough to conclude his plan is flawed. We don't know enough about the politics involved and we don't know enough about Odium's power or allies to draw any trustworthy conclusion. Further, it is entirely possible it IS flawed (or deranged), but he might still be willing to attempt it. 

As a side note: I would argue you are likely correct in pointing out that something weird is going on, but I think its a plot point, not a plot hole. Odium's plan likely has layers we don't know about yet...

Edited by Fractalfire
0

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

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.