Bigmikey357

Deus Ex Machina

21 posts in this topic

So I'm just beginning my reread of SA. I'm not all that far into it but what I have read reminded me of a conversation held between Kaladin and Syl. He seemed to think he was cursed by surviving when everyone he tries to protect dies. Syl responds by saying maybe he survives because he's being saved for a purpose.  It made me think about all the times our main cast has been in danger or faced impossible odds only to come out the other side no worse for wear at best, battered but functional at worse. 

Deus ex machina literally translates to God in the machine and as we know is often used to describe hand-wavy solutions to narrative problems.  Our MC's survival doesn't feel like that. It's more like deities taking a part in the proceedings more directly,  kinda like how Harmony guides Wax in Mistborn Era 2. Putting this in the perspective of SA is problematic however.  Honor is dead, and although he left behind some influences the power is largely undirected.  Cultivation is thought to have withdrawn from men and their problems and though events with Dalinar, King T and Lift make that claim look suspect I don't think she's meddling as much as she has a right to. Mostly I think she's keeping some cards in case Odium makes a push but is mostly hands off. And I truly don't think Odium is saving people up that will oppose him later (Dalinar was a miscalculation he's not likely to repeat). So my question is at its root, pretty simple.  Who is running the fate and destiny machine on Roshar?

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39 minutes ago, Bigmikey357 said:

Who is running the fate and destiny machine on Roshar?

The characters themselves.

(But technically Brandon)

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2 hours ago, Bigmikey357 said:

Who is running the fate and destiny machine on Roshar?

I guess in a way the gods themselves are characters. So which powerful character is running it all? I don't think there would be one controlling it all, but possible different party influencing the main characters. For example, we've seen Wit have some influence with his stories/songs with the characters.Then they use surgebinding to perform some epic stuff.

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Perhaps the source of the mysterious warmth in Dalinar's vision?

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A tide of fortune that pulled everyone together at Dalinar's third ideal moment. 

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Just to mention, it's not a deus ex machina if it's properly foreshadowed ahead of time :)

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I mean, Cultivation is the obvious answer here. She's definitely been manipulating events from the behind the scenes in order to disadvantage Odium. The only question is how extensive her meddling has been.

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12 hours ago, RShara said:

Just to mention, it's not a deus ex machina if it's properly foreshadowed ahead of time :)

I'm not trying to use the term in its traditional sense, I'm thinking more literally.  

12 hours ago, Gilphon said:

I mean, Cultivation is the obvious answer here. She's definitely been manipulating events from the behind the scenes in order to disadvantage Odium. The only question is how extensive her meddling has been.

I'm sure Cultivation has more of her hand in events than we've been shown. I also believe she can't take too much of a hand when she's got Odium to think about.  Still, Syl and Kaladin's relationship doesn't have the feel of Cultivation and her touch.  The way the Radiants are being gathered and drawn together seem influenced by Cultivation but also not entirely of her own doing. Could Honor, vessel-less, have it's hand on the rudder blind?

13 hours ago, Honorless said:

Perhaps the source of the mysterious warmth in Dalinar's vision?

I really really really wanna know what that's all about. 

17 hours ago, Szeth the Truthless said:

I guess in a way the gods themselves are characters. So which powerful character is running it all? I don't think there would be one controlling it all, but possible different party influencing the main characters. For example, we've seen Wit have some influence with his stories/songs with the characters.Then they use surgebinding to perform some epic stuff.

There could be something to that. In a meta way we know Brandon is writing the script,  I'm just lost as to his narrative stand in. On other Cosmere plants it's quite clear. Harmony on Scadrial, formerly Ruin and Preservation fighting for control in the longest cold war imaginable,  Edgli on Nalthis as the only shard present,  Badvadin on Taldain the same, broken Shards on Threnody and Sel that make magic and fortune flow oddly. Roshar's situation is unique as all get out though.  Is it so confused there that the God Beyond has to take a hand?

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I'm very confident that we're not seeing the God Beyond taking a personal hand in events. Because the point of the God Beyond is that we'll never find out for certain whether or not they exist. So they definitely wouldn't be making moves so obvious that it's clear to the characters that something odd is going on.

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1 hour ago, Bigmikey357 said:

Roshar's situation is unique as all get out though.  Is it so confused there that the God Beyond has to take a hand?

The God-Beyond wouldn't be directly intertwined with such affairs in my opinion. I guess I can see Cultivation working in the background to her own ends that happens to help the characters, like Dalinar's boon. But I think the main characters' connection to stormlight itself could be part of it as well. We've even seen Kal have interactions with the Stormfather in a way that he would want to help them.

Edited by Szeth the Truthless
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34 minutes ago, Szeth the Truthless said:

The God-Beyond wouldn't be directly intertwined with such affairs in my opinion. I guess I can see Cultivation working in the background to her own ends that happens to help the characters, like Dalinar's boon. But I think the main characters' connection to stormlight itself could be part of it as well. We've even seen Kal have interactions with the Stormfather in a way that he would want to help them.

We've also seen the Stormfather do some hurtful stuff to the heroes as well. See Battle of Narak. But that does raise an interesting question.  Does Tanavast's Cognitive Shadow have enough volition to take a hand on the destiny machine? Maybe guided by Cultivation, to whom he had a double Connection (Shard to Shard as well as Husband and Wife)?

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4 minutes ago, Bigmikey357 said:

Does Tanavast's Cognitive Shadow have enough volition to take a hand on the destiny machine? Maybe guided by Cultivation, to whom he had a double Connection (Shard to Shard as well as Husband and Wife)?

That is interesting. I can't imagine his Cognitive Shadow being able/wanting to do that on his own, would Cultivation manipulate him to help because she needs his reach from the storms? I'm curious to the effect that their relationship has/can have. 

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I can’t believe no one has considered Honor . Even though he is dead he laid the groundwork long ago . Stormfather has to show visions . Stormfather is a spren only capable of Bonding a person willing to unite instead of divide . Honor created 10 Radiant spren . Most have strict ideals insuring that certain people with certain beliefs will have Powers . Honor Bound Odium to Braize. Ensuring he will have to defeat honor’s agents on Roshar before he could unstick himself . The Spren go out and find the type of people Honor wanted and chooses them . When spren numbers are low , the can reproduce asexually or Stornfather can make some .

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41 minutes ago, SzethIsBadAsHell said:

I can’t believe no one has considered Honor . Even though he is dead he laid the groundwork long ago . Stormfather has to show visions . Stormfather is a spren only capable of Bonding a person willing to unite instead of divide . Honor created 10 Radiant spren . Most have strict ideals insuring that certain people with certain beliefs will have Powers . Honor Bound Odium to Braize. Ensuring he will have to defeat honor’s agents on Roshar before he could unstick himself . The Spren go out and find the type of people Honor wanted and chooses them . When spren numbers are low , the can reproduce asexually or Stornfather can make some .

Honor had his hand in a lot, but as of now is he still considered an influence/Deus ex machina? It seems that stuff he did establish has an effect, but he isn't consciously interfering with the characters. But I'm now thinking about what Honor has instructed the Stormfather to do more specifically... could those instructions be his last way of changing the fate of Roshar? I'm basing this off Dalinar finding about the Stormfather's reason to bond a Bondsmith that wasn't revealed until Dalinar asked. Could the stormfather be keeping more information back?

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Oh SF is certainly keeping information back. It seems their nature is to wait for people to discover things on their own before divulging information to confirm.  Syl does this specifically with Kaladin although to a lesser degree,  and it seems they all do something of it, save Skybreakers. The spren that lean more toward Cultivation seem to feel that restriction less so than the Spren on the Honor side of the Double Eye, yet they all engage in the practice somewhat.

Another possibility is that Tanavast is guiding Roshar though Spiritual Realm manipulation.  He could have set things up long ago in a place where all time is one. The only issue with that theory is that Honor sucks at Fortune.  If he was any good at it he would have never accepted the proposal of the Oathpact from the Heralds. Both the other Shards in system are better than he is, so any manipulation would seem to go poorly if he's running the show.

Edited by Bigmikey357
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Here's a thought, Adonalsium. Preservation was able to manipulate things so well he set up a perfect situation thousands of years on advance and there isn't really reason to think Adonalsium couldn't be just as good or better

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it's autonomy, and slash or the survival shard.

Edited by Booknerd
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On 12/22/2019 at 6:04 PM, Bigmikey357 said:

Deus ex machina literally translates to God in the machine and as we know is often used to describe hand-wavy solutions to narrative problems. 

Actually, and this is only a slight difference, but it translates to God out of (or from) the machine. "Ex" =  from in Latin. "In" = ...... in

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Odium . 

Ok hear me out. 

When odium first meets Dalinar in the vision , he likes pulls his tail saying , are you releasing me ? Then he's like don't worry. Intent is necessary. 

So I think what this means is that he needs some radiants to defeat. Maybe one from each order or so. So maybe he was influencing the ppl to spare kaladin . He does have some pull on emotion . So I could see him manipulating emotions to allow kaladin to live but murder everyone else cause well that's an odious act and his name is Odium. 

Or maybe like he wants to break kaladins honor and strength. Just killing isn't enough. He needs kaladins intent to be destroyed and the only way to do that is to make him fail repeatedly.

I don't know how this would work with other charecters. You think about that 

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37 minutes ago, PrinceGenocide said:

Odium . 

Ok hear me out. 

When odium first meets Dalinar in the vision , he likes pulls his tail saying , are you releasing me ? Then he's like don't worry. Intent is necessary. 

So I think what this means is that he needs some radiants to defeat. Maybe one from each order or so. So maybe he was influencing the ppl to spare kaladin . He does have some pull on emotion . So I could see him manipulating emotions to allow kaladin to live but murder everyone else cause well that's an odious act and his name is Odium. 

Or maybe like he wants to break kaladins honor and strength. Just killing isn't enough. He needs kaladins intent to be destroyed and the only way to do that is to make him fail repeatedly.

I don't know how this would work with other charecters. You think about that 

No need to hear you out your right , he meddled with Dalinar , Amaram , and others . He’ll he has meddled with all the Fused minds . All the Alethi troops under Amarams command . Thru his agents the Unmade he has meddled with Elhokar wife , all her palace guards . Thru his agent Ulim the spren he manipulated all the Listeners into taken storm form and commiting Jim Jones level mass suicide . Through torture he has probably twisted all the Heralds minds and even has one Herald to join him so yeah he is a big time in the machine . I’m tripping by not seeing this before . We were so looking for the hidden threat , we kinda missed the obvious one ...

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6 hours ago, PrinceGenocide said:

Odium . 

Ok hear me out. 

When odium first meets Dalinar in the vision , he likes pulls his tail saying , are you releasing me ? Then he's like don't worry. Intent is necessary. 

So I think what this means is that he needs some radiants to defeat. Maybe one from each order or so. So maybe he was influencing the ppl to spare kaladin . He does have some pull on emotion . So I could see him manipulating emotions to allow kaladin to live but murder everyone else cause well that's an odious act and his name is Odium. 

Or maybe like he wants to break kaladins honor and strength. Just killing isn't enough. He needs kaladins intent to be destroyed and the only way to do that is to make him fail repeatedly.

I don't know how this would work with other charecters. You think about that 

It's certainly a possibility as well. A possible argument against this is that according to Teft's spren as well as all our evidence,  all human bandmates are broken people.  The mechanism for the bond requires that people be cracked so that spren can fill them. If Odium is a part of what makes a KR, all well and good. But if he isn't then why would he perpetuate the establishment of a force that opposes him, a force he took great pains to eliminate (Recreance)? Still,  we as readers only have about a quarter of the picture so far; we can't dismiss Odium out of hand without more information. 

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