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Iapetus the Titan

Hoid=Good? Bad?

Question

I'm kinda confused on Hoid. I know he's traveling the cosmere, collecting types of investiture, but do we know his final goal? I've heard that he's trying to keep all the shards separate, and I've heard that he's trying to gather them together. help?

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The answer is that we don't know. His goals are his own, and we have almost no idea what they are.

I'd say his goals are going to end up far more complex than "good" or "bad".

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We know he's a good person, and we can assume that his endgame is just, but as he says to Dalinar: "If I have to see this world crumble and burn to get what I need, I will do so. With tears, yes, but I would let it happen." He is a good person with presumably good intentions who will do anything, even potentially unsavory things, for his goal. 

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Yeah, Hoid can't really be categorized on a simple good/bad dynamic (and let's not go down the rabbit hole of defining those terms... :D) and while most of the indications we've gotten are that he's a nice person who wants to help people when he's able to, he's also perfectly free in admitting to anyone who asks that his goals are not their goals and he's prepared to sacrifice the latter for the former, even if he'd feel bad about it afterwards. Oh, and he'll tell people that they really shouldn't trust him specifically or (as Shallan can attest) trust anyone who claims to have any futuresight, which explicitly includes him.

The last two major works in the Cosmere are going to be his works to an extent, as he's going to have his origin story as part of the Dragonsteel series and he's going to be a major viewpoint character in the final Mistborn books as well. That should give you a pretty good idea how long we can expect to wait before we get answers about Hoid's motivations and goals.

Edited by Weltall
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On 2/15/2020 at 0:35 AM, aneonfoxtribute said:

We know he's a good person, and we can assume that his endgame is just, but as he says to Dalinar: "If I have to see this world crumble and burn to get what I need, I will do so. With tears, yes, but I would let it happen." He is a good person with presumably good intentions who will do anything, even potentially unsavory things, for his goal. 

Hoid is a good person?! He has a Skaze, betrayed Shai to capture and a death sentence, and beat up Ghost Kelsier to steal half the world's supply of lerasium from Rashek! And who knows what he did to "Spanky" to get him as a means of transport to the Well of Ascension!

Like you said, he tells Dalinar that Roshar can burn for all he cares. Then he visits Kaladin in the chasms while Bridge Four was stuck running every single bridge run in a slow death sentence, and... gives him a flute. Then visits him while he's imprisoned and under a potential execution order from the king, and... tells him a story.

Sure he Awakened a dolly for an orphaned girl in Kholinar, but then he just foisted her onto another woman who'd lost her child, as if families can just be mixed and matched. And they were still all going to get brutalized and starved by the singers! That's "helping"? Pfah!

He's a JERK!! :D:D

More accurately, helping the mortals of the Cosmere live safer, happier lives is not what he is about. He's not about "protecting" or "uniting" or "preserving" people. He doesn't even really go much out of his way to advance such concerns, though he indulges in the occasional gesture - whatever his goals are supercede such things. Whether or not that is "good" remains to be seen and judged. The only thing we know is that he's got some kind of a geas on him where he cannot intentionally physically harm another person.

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Do we even know what a Skaze is? Im not sure it has anything to do with a person being good or bad. As for the stuff with Shai and Kelsier, its nothing personal, it's all for the pursuit of his goal. His goal supercedes all, but that doesn't mean he isn't a good person. In the examples.in the second paragraph I imagine there was nothing else he COULD have done. He can't just break people out of slavery and imprisonment. As for the girl, it's obviously better than she be given to someone else rather than just be left on the streets, and what better person than someone who already knows what they're doing? He can't do anything about the Singers. 

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If he was asked about whether he called himself a good man personality-wise, Hoid would reply with a "No".[68]

I think OB chapter 68 answers this question fairly well.

Quote

Some men as they age grow kinder.  I am not one of these for I have seen how the cosmere can mistreat the innocent and that leaves me disinclined toured kindness. Some men as they age grow wiser.  I am not one of these for Wisdom and I have always been at cross purposes and I have yet to learn the tongue in which she speaks.  Some men as they age grow more cynical.  I fortunately, am not one of these.  If I were the very air would warp around we sucking in all emotion and leaving only scorn.  Some men as they age merely grow stranger.  I fear I am one of these.

 

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On 2/27/2020 at 10:49 AM, aneonfoxtribute said:

Do we even know what a Skaze is? Im not sure it has anything to do with a person being good or bad. As for the stuff with Shai and Kelsier, its nothing personal, it's all for the pursuit of his goal. His goal supercedes all, but that doesn't mean he isn't a good person. In the examples.in the second paragraph I imagine there was nothing else he COULD have done. He can't just break people out of slavery and imprisonment. As for the girl, it's obviously better than she be given to someone else rather than just be left on the streets, and what better person than someone who already knows what they're doing? He can't do anything about the Singers. 

I was obviously (I hope) humorously exaggerating to make a point, but as Karger quoted, Hoid himself would not call himself a "good" person because in the pursuit of his as yet unknown goal, he is willing to let bad things happen to good people. Which is definitely not "good", per at least some people's in-world definition.

Remember Teft's interpretation/explanation of "journey before destination" - "Protecting ten innocents is not worth killing one. In the end, all men die. How you lived will be far more important to the Almighty than what you accomplished". And there's no way someone like Kaladin would ever say, "If I have to watch this world crumble and burn to get what I need, I will do so."

Of course not all Radiants would share this interpretation, and Hoid is in fact now a Radiant himself, if he's bonded the Cryptic at the end of Oathbringer as is heavily implied. But Hoid is self-aware enough to know that he's not what he himself would call a "good person", even if his goals are not for himself but for some kind of greater good (if indeed they are).

I mean... In Mistborn, was Rashek a "good person"? As Sazed noted, in the end, he "ultimately had good intentions", and as Vin noted, was largely responsible for humanity being able to survive long enough to reach and live through the Catacendre. That doesn't exactly make him a "good person".

Now Hoid's no Lord Ruler (is this the Cosmere equivalent of Godwin's Law? LOL), of course, but the point is essentially the same.

Edited by robardin
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It all really depends on his goal. Hoid may not call himself a good person, but judging on his motive, he could well be even if he does have to do things not traditionally considered good. He may see himself as a bad person because he doesn't like doing what he does, but I don't ultimately think that him calling himself a bad person means he is. 

Kaladin and Teft are both Windrunnrrs though. Their whole oaths are based on protecting people who can't protect themselves. Someone not following that does not necessarily make them a bad person.

When it comes to Rashek, there is a difference between him and Hoid. He had a just goal and wanted the best for the world, but he also let his own dislike of humans get in the way. He didn't have to enslave the skaa. That is unnecessary to his goal. That's the difference. With Hoid, so far, nothing is personal. The treatment of the skaa was absolutely personal to Rashek. I think a more accurate point of comparison would be Amaram. 

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In DND terms, I’d call Hoid true neutral. Morality-wise, he’s certainly ruthless. We have his quote about watching Roshar burn to the ground as well as him betraying Shai. However, he’s also been willing to help Kaladin and Shai from time to time as well as trying to raise spirits in Kholinar during the siege. The caveat to his good deeds is that there’s only so far he’s willing to go. He’s only willing to be altruistic as long as he doesn’t risk himself or his plans.

When it comes to Hoid as chaotic vs lawful, I think it’s obvious he has little respect for laws and order. He’s a trickster, a liar, a thief. Yet, IMO he’s also too directed to be considered chaotic. He has very specific motives with a definitive goal in mind, and doesn’t seem to act in a random manner. So that’s my reasoning for placing Hoid smack dab in the center of the moral compass.

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Hoid is an unknown variable, I think he is legally Insane and probably only has one brain cell, so I think we can say we don't know how he is morally aligned until we can actually see what he really is doing. 

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Posted (edited)

Summary:

he’s a piece  of work.

 

Edited by FictionSpren
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