Debarra

Theory on Ambition

33 posts in this topic

Did Mercy kill Ambition instead of Odium?

We know from past wobs that Odium primarily attacked Shards the broke the agreement between the Shards. As well as that he only would attack if he felt he could win and worried Ambition would try and rival him. In Arcanum Khriss also does not list Ambition in the list of shards that Odium "doubtlessly killed."

It seems likely to me that Ambition initially attacked Mercy thinking them an easy target. With this opportunity Odium arrived to help attack Ambition as well and Mercy managed to also fight back. Ultimately Mercy was the one who killed Ambition which would explain why they aren't included in the list of those Odium killed beyond a doubt and why Harmony was worried about Mercy upon talking to them.

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That would be an interesting twist.

So do you think that, ironically, Mercy now acquired a taste for killing?

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Mercy didn't kill Ambition, at least not alone. From the Threnody essay, right the second sentence:

"Long ago, soon after the Shattering, Odium clashed with (and mortally wounded) the Shard Ambition here."

Edited by Elegy
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Just now, Elegy said:

Mercy didn't kill him, at least not alone. From the Threnody essay, right the second sentence:

"Long ago, soon after the Shattering, Odium clashed with (and mortally wounded) the Shard Ambition here."

Uli Da is female.

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Just now, Frustration said:

Uli Da is female.

Already fixed it. Man, you were fast.

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Just now, Elegy said:

Already fixed it. Man, you were fast.

I was just going through the threads and found it.

I may spend way too much time here don't judge me.

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2 minutes ago, Elegy said:

Mercy didn't kill him, at least not alone. From the Threnody essay, right the second sentence:

"Long ago, soon after the Shattering, Odium clashed with (and mortally wounded) the Shard Ambition here."

I don't think Debarra was implying that Mercy killed Ambition alone, but rather that Mercy got the final kill shot. Odium could have mortally wounded Ambition such that she would eventually die, and Mercy could have then immediately put her out of her misery.

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I had the same thought!

 

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40 minutes ago, Clovermite said:

I don't think Debarra was implying that Mercy killed Ambition alone, but rather that Mercy got the final kill shot. Odium could have mortally wounded Ambition such that she would eventually die, and Mercy could have then immediately put her out of her misery.

I never thought about the phrasing that way ... I always assumed that for a wound to be mortal, it must have lead directly to the death of the person wounded. But English is not my first language, so I don't understand the nuances there.

So when someone is mortally wounded but dies shortly after on something else, that wound was still "mortal" despite not being the cause of death?

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1 minute ago, Elegy said:

I never thought about the phrasing that way ... I always assumed that for a wound to be mortal, it must have lead directly to the death of the person wounded. But English is not my first language, so I don't understand the nuances there.

So when someone is mortally wounded but dies shortly after on something else, that wound was still "mortal" despite not being the cause of death?

Yes. for example someone could be mortally wounded by a shark attack but the cause of death might actually be drowning because they died from drowning before bleeding out and dying from blood loss.

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7 minutes ago, Elegy said:

I never thought about the phrasing that way ... I always assumed that for a wound to be mortal, it must have lead directly to the death of the person wounded. But English is not my first language, so I don't understand the nuances there.

So when someone is mortally wounded but dies shortly after on something else, that wound was still "mortal" despite not being the cause of death?

Yes.

For example, if I fell onto a rod that impaled my gut, the wound could be mortal in that I would eventually die from it and no known method of medicine could prevent it from eventually killing me. From what I've heard, gut wounds are incredibly slow and painful ways to die, so someone might decide to shoot me in the back of the head so that I would die quickly without having to experience the long and drawn out pain of the other wound that would eventually kill me.

The gut wound was still "mortal" in the sense that I would certainly have died from it if something else hadn't killed me first.

Edited by Clovermite
grammar, adding more clarification
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8 minutes ago, LordTheodore said:

Yes. for example someone could be mortally wounded by a shark attack but the cause of death might actually be drowning because they died from drowning before bleeding out and dying from blood loss.

 

7 minutes ago, Clovermite said:

Yes.

For example, if I fell onto a rod that impaled my gut, the wound could be mortal in that I would eventually die from it and no known method of medicine could prevent it from eventually killing me. From what I've heard, gut wounds are incredibly slow and painful ways to die, so someone might decide to shoot me in the back of the head so that I would die quickly without having to experience the long and drawn out pain of the other wound that would eventually kill me.

The gut wound was still "mortal" in the sense that I would certainly have died from it if something else hadn't killed me first.

Okay, that's good to know. Then what I said is of course meaningless, and the essay is far more vague than I thought. Thanks to you both for the clarification and the vivid imagery :D

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On 20/12/2020 at 7:39 PM, Clovermite said:

I don't think Debarra was implying that Mercy killed Ambition alone, but rather that Mercy got the final kill shot. Odium could have mortally wounded Ambition such that she would eventually die, and Mercy could have then immediately put her out of her misery.

Hmmm. This is a very interesting interpretation. Could it be that Mercy is Odium's unwilling accomplice? In that Odium simply wounds Shards somehow (again he did not kill Tanavast one shot like Preservation and Ruin we have seen being killed) and Mercy is forced by their Intent to go and expend chunks of their own Investiture to finish the dying Shard.

 

If that line of reasoning is correct could it be that Mercy came to Roshar during the Recreance to end Tanavast and then left? Or did they not came for some yet unspecified reason.

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21 hours ago, adouloumis said:

Could it be that Mercy is Odium's unwilling accomplice? In that Odium simply wounds Shards somehow (again he did not kill Tanavast one shot like Preservation and Ruin we have seen being killed) and Mercy is forced by their Intent to go and expend chunks of their own Investiture to finish the dying Shard.

Ooh, I like this. Strictly speaking, one of them struck first, one of them struck second, Mercy and Odium were almost certainly fighting together, (since if Ambition had help I assume she'd have won) and everyone survived with Ambition getting wounded and dying off somewhere else.

If we assume Odium struck first, that together with:

On 12/20/2020 at 8:01 AM, Debarra said:

We know from past wobs that Odium primarily attacked Shards the broke the agreement between the Shards. As well as that he only would attack if he felt he could win and worried Ambition would try and rival him.

We can then conclude that he probably wouldn't have attacked Ambition alone. So from that, since Ambition probably didn't fight with Mercy, that kinda implies that Odium actually didn't start this fight at all. (Assuming of course my cruddy assumption is what we're assuming.)

If we assume Ambition struck first... then she didn't necessarily attack Mercy. Maybe she attacked Odium, then Mercy, following her Intent, went in to help the one who'd been attacked. Maybe making an opening for Odium to get in that mortal wound, and then Ambition ran off?

And if the first attack was Ambition attacking Mercy after all, then Odium probably just went in seeing an opportunity.

Also worth noting: we think of Mercy as being all kind and loving, but you can't really have Mercy on someone who you could never hurt in the first place. Like. You wouldn't talk about Tien having mercy in his last battle, and he was about as kind and loving as it gets. Mercy implies that you could kill the person and choose not to. Mercy is probably being underestimated a whole lot, whether they killed Ambition or not. (Which I'm becoming increasingly certain of, because I really like this mercy kill idea. It's delightfully evil.)

Edited by PeterElricPines
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5 hours ago, PeterElricPines said:

Ooh, I like this. Strictly speaking, one of them struck first, one of them struck second, Mercy and Odium were almost certainly fighting together, (since if Ambition had help I assume he'd have won) and everyone survived with Ambition getting wounded and dying off somewhere else.

If we assume Odium struck first, that together with:

We can then conclude that he probably wouldn't have attacked Ambition alone. So from that, since Ambition probably didn't fight with Mercy, that kinda implies that Odium actually didn't start this fight at all. (Assuming of course my cruddy assumption is what we're assuming.)

If we assume Ambition struck first... then he didn't necessarily attack Mercy. Maybe he attacked Odium, then Mercy, following her Intent, went in to help the one who'd been attacked. Maybe making an opening for Odium to get in that mortal wound, and then Ambition ran off?

And if the first attack was Ambition attacking Mercy after all, then Odium probably just went in seeing an opportunity.

Also worth noting: we think of Mercy as being all kind and loving, but you can't really have Mercy on someone who you could never hurt in the first place. Like. You wouldn't talk about Tien having mercy in his last battle, and he was about as kind and loving as it gets. Mercy implies that you could kill the person and choose not to. Mercy is probably being underestimated a whole lot, whether they killed Ambition or not. (Which I'm becoming increasingly certain of, because I really like this mercy kill idea. It's delightfully evil.)

Uli-Da was female, btw.

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We know that Rayse specifically went after Ambition.

Argent

Some of the few Shards Rayse Splintered included Ambition, I believe, Dominion, and Devotion.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Argent

And those were all way back, in the history. So, we know that the Shards' personalities overrides the Vessel's personality over time?

Brandon Sanderson

Strongly influence, and depending on the individual, override.

Argent

Okay. So did Rayse choose those Shards because--

Brandon Sanderson

He went after Ambition first, but didn't find Ambition until after going after Devotion and Dominion. But Ambition was number one on his hit list.

Argent

Was it because of the Shard or because of the Vessel? Like did he hate the person?

Brandon Sanderson

In this case it was the Shard, primarily, that drove him--

Argent

Oh, he was maybe afraid the Shard would grow too powerful and take over--

Brandon Sanderson

He was afraid that this Shard that would rival him. And so he's like "This one is number one on the hit list. We're taking down Ambition." But then he got trapped in the Rosharan system.

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing (Dec. 6, 2016)
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13 hours ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

Uli-Da was female, btw.

Dangit, I even read it earlier in this thread and made a mental note of it and I still forgot.

7 hours ago, LordTheodore said:

We know that Rayse specifically went after Ambition.

Argent

Some of the few Shards Rayse Splintered included Ambition, I believe, Dominion, and Devotion.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Argent

And those were all way back, in the history. So, we know that the Shards' personalities overrides the Vessel's personality over time?

Brandon Sanderson

Strongly influence, and depending on the individual, override.

Argent

Okay. So did Rayse choose those Shards because--

Brandon Sanderson

He went after Ambition first, but didn't find Ambition until after going after Devotion and Dominion. But Ambition was number one on his hit list.

Argent

Was it because of the Shard or because of the Vessel? Like did he hate the person?

Brandon Sanderson

In this case it was the Shard, primarily, that drove him--

Argent

Oh, he was maybe afraid the Shard would grow too powerful and take over--

Brandon Sanderson

He was afraid that this Shard that would rival him. And so he's like "This one is number one on the hit list. We're taking down Ambition." But then he got trapped in the Rosharan system.

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing (Dec. 6, 2016)

Oooh, ok. This phrasing at the end seems a bit weird. Is it just me or does that make it look an awful lot like Odium was trapped on Roshar before Ambition was Shattered? If so, then it really is looking like Odium hit Ambition, then Mercy finished her off. The thing then is, why was Mercy even there? Again, I assume if they'd been fighting with Ambition, they'd have won. So why would Mercy be fighting alongside Odium? This can't have been a site of a Mercy kill, because obviously Ambition survived. Maybe they tried but she wasn't weak enough yet? Or maybe their Intent isn't just about sparing people. The comment I made before is blooming in my brain, what if their Intent has to do with specifically having power over others and not using it? That would imply that she also had a reason to want Ambition to be weak. Or, I guess more likely, maybe Odium attacked and started losing and Mercy swooped in to save the day. In any case, the original question was did Mercy kill Ambition, and that phrasing there in the wob really makes it look like it.

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Important to note: the essay mentions the final shattering happened "elsewhere".  I can see a scenario where Odium attacks and mortally wounds Ambition, who then flees to Mercy seeking help.  Mercy decides to Shatter Ambition instead, either as a mercy due to her wound or as a mercy to the rest of the cosmere.

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On 23.12.2020 at 8:50 AM, adouloumis said:

Hmmm. This is a very interesting interpretation. Could it be that Mercy is Odium's unwilling accomplice?

It seems to me that people are going to great lengths to avoid the most straightforward interpretation that explains why Mercy worries Harmony:
Mercy and Odium are allies.

On 24.12.2020 at 6:31 AM, PeterElricPines said:

The thing then is, why was Mercy even there?

Because Mercy wanted Ambition gone. As Intents Mercy and Ambition (and Mercy and Honor) clash quite badly.

On 24.12.2020 at 6:31 AM, PeterElricPines said:

Again, I assume if they'd been fighting with Ambition, they'd have won.

They have won, just not immediately

On 24.12.2020 at 6:31 AM, PeterElricPines said:

So why would Mercy be fighting alongside Odium? This can't have been a site of a Mercy kill, because obviously Ambition survived. Maybe they tried but she wasn't weak enough yet? Or maybe their Intent isn't just about sparing people. The comment I made before is blooming in my brain, what if their Intent has to do with specifically having power over others and not using it? That would imply that she also had a reason to want Ambition to be weak. Or, I guess more likely, maybe Odium attacked and started losing and Mercy swooped in to save the day. In any case, the original question was did Mercy kill Ambition, and that phrasing there in the wob really makes it look like it.

Ambition taken to an extreme means to be ready to wade through the blood of obstacles towards your goal. Exactly what Mercy would oppose.

The same is true for Honor. A Shard sponsoring the Skybreakers is an obvious problem to Mercy.

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Mercy and Odium seem about as opposite as any other two I can think of. I can see them both wanting Ambition gone, and it's possible Mercy has a more utilitarian view of things, where you have mercy on the innocent by killing the evil. But that Mercy and Odium are consistently working together, and on the same side? That doesn't seem right. Plus, I would think if they were allies, it would be less "And this one worries me" and more "And of course this blockhead isn't helping any." Like, he's talking to Hoid. If that were true, Hoid would know already, and if he didn't, Harmony would've made it super clear. The way he talks about them, especially given the context of the rest of the letter, sounds less like "and we also have this enemy to worry about" and more like "and this one might also be a problem."

Along these lines, though, it's very possible Mercy has some view of things that allows them to work with Odium. A lot of this makes sense, I can see Mercy maybe intentionally helping Odium in specific cases, but I can't think of any way to tweak "Shatter every Shard except Odium and including myself" to fit the Intent of Mercy.

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We know almost nothing of the grand scheme of the cosmere, different Shards alliances etc.

If we go by Shardic Intent I agree with @PeterElricPines , none seems more opposite to Mercy than Odium and I completely fail to see how Honor and Mercy are so opposite, to spare a fallen opponent seems very honorable, connecting your life with his. But I doubt this is how its going. Preservation and Ruin worked together at first and they are quite opposite. I think the Vessels play bigger role in the politics than the power itself especially in the earlier days were Vassals were not fully aligned with the power. Perhaps Rayse and Mercy's Vessel were on good terms, perhaps not (though Hoid considers Bavadin and Rayse as a team, not mentioning other names)

I think Mercy worries Harmony because it rabbled about how Harmony as the more powerful entity should have mercy on Odium

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4 hours ago, PeterElricPines said:

Mercy and Odium seem about as opposite as any other two I can think of.

To which I must say that to be opposites you must be on the same axis.

And it seems to me that we cannot really escape the issue of classifying Shards and I implicitely did so giving these answers. My apologies.

Very well, lets assume that police has caught a suspected arsonist allegedly responsible for a fire that killed a family. Should he burned alive on a stake on market square?

Honor: Is he guilty? If so, yes.

Preservation: Did we burn somebody there last month? If so, yes.
Ruin: Just cut his throat and let's get over with this. It has to end quickly.
Cultivation: Is he better as fertilizer than as breeding stock? If so, yes.

Odium: Yes !!!! Everybody should burn. Burn! Burn! Burn!
Mercy: NOOOOOO !!! Nobody should ever be burned alive. Even Grand Moff Tarkin deserves mercy. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

Whimsy: Can we have him licked to death by stoned flamingoes?
Valor: Trial by combat! Trial by combat! Trial by combat!

I hope that even though I am possessed by Whimsy today the example served to illustrate that polar opposites can have a lot in common, for the same reason we see Ruin and Preservation as closely related, even though they are about as close as polar opposites as you can imagine. And they cooperated just fine. If Ruin and Preservation can cooperate, so can Mercy and Odium.
Their Intent may share a basically emotional outlook, albeit different emotions. While Honor for example would explicitely reject emotion in that sense as a reason to act.
 

4 hours ago, PeterElricPines said:

I can see them both wanting Ambition gone, and it's possible Mercy has a more utilitarian view of things, where you have mercy on the innocent by killing the evil. But that Mercy and Odium are consistently working together, and on the same side?

What does consistently mean for entities that can wait for millenia if they have to? And they are allies not best of friends.

4 hours ago, PeterElricPines said:

That doesn't seem right. Plus, I would think if they were allies, it would be less "And this one worries me" and more "And of course this blockhead isn't helping any." Like, he's talking to Hoid. If that were true, Hoid would know already, and if he didn't, Harmony would've made it super clear. The way he talks about them, especially given the context of the rest of the letter, sounds less like "and we also have this enemy to worry about" and more like "and this one might also be a problem."

Along these lines, though, it's very possible Mercy has some view of things that allows them to work with Odium. A lot of this makes sense, I can see Mercy maybe intentionally helping Odium in specific cases, but I can't think of any way to tweak "Shatter every Shard except Odium and including myself" to fit the Intent of Mercy.

Harmony and Hoid have a specific plan. It boils down to letting Roshar sacrifice itself to delay Odium. This is not what Mercy can approve.

1 hour ago, adouloumis said:

I completely fail to see how Honor and Mercy are so opposite, to spare a fallen opponent seems very honorable,

If they broke the rules and the rules say that they must die, they must die. Mercy would be dishonorable.
Remember Rathalas.

 

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I mean, I get your point about Mercy and Odium being on the same axis, and it is a good point that their Vessels could have motives outside their Intents, but none of that actually answers the question of why Mercy would ally themself with someone who is actively working towards their death. And I don't buy Honor wanting to kill all the sinful, either. It sounds like you're conflating Honor with justice. A Skybreaker would say that, sure, but it would be very honorable to be willing to spare them depending on the circumstances.

11 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

Harmony and Hoid have a specific plan. It boils down to letting Roshar sacrifice itself to delay Odium. This is not what Mercy can approve.

What? Can you source this? I was under the impression that Harmony and Hoid were still scrambling to figure things out. And if they're planning to abandon Roshar, what is Hoid even still doing there?

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7 minutes ago, PeterElricPines said:

I mean, I get your point about Mercy and Odium being on the same axis, and it is a good point that their Vessels could have motives outside their Intents, but none of that actually answers the question of why Mercy would ally themself with someone who is actively working towards their death.

Simple Macchiavellian reasoning. If Odium is set free, the others have to fight. And at the ratio of forces, they will win. There is no need to let Roshar suffer. It does not solve the issue in the long run. And if it worked to rid the Cosmere of the horrible Shards of Ambition and Honor, even better. They are allies, not friends.

7 minutes ago, PeterElricPines said:

And I don't buy Honor wanting to kill all the sinful, either. It sounds like you're conflating Honor with justice. A Skybreaker would say that, sure, but it would be very honorable to be willing to spare them depending on the circumstances.

Only depending on circumstances. Not good enough for Mercy. Take a possible oath of a judge: "I will judge everybody equal. I will impose the punishment fitting the crime."

How can you deal with a murderer if you have to uphold that oath always and in full? Or suppose you are a soldier and your oath is to do as much damage to the enemy as you can. You can accept a surrender, but you have to shoot a retreating enemy into the back.

7 minutes ago, PeterElricPines said:

What? Can you source this? I was under the impression that Harmony and Hoid were still scrambling to figure things out. And if they're planning to abandon Roshar, what is Hoid even still doing there?

Read the epigraphs:

Quote
"But this does not get to the core of your letter. I have encouraged those who would speak to me to heed your warnings, but all seem content to ignore Odium for the time being. In their opinion, he is no threat as long as he remains confined in the Rosharan system."
  "I do not share their attitude. If you can, as you suppose, maintain Odium’s prison for now, it would give us necessary time to plan. This is a threat beyond the capacity of one Shard to face."

Words of Radiance:

Quote

Wit smiled. "I am but a man, Dalinar, so much as I wish it were not true at times. I am no Radiant. And while I am your friend, please understand that our goals do not completely align. You must not trust yourself with me. If I have to watch this world crumble and burn to get what I need, I will do so. With tears, yes, but I would let it happen."

They are not abandoning Roshar. They are ready to use them up.

Like they said in the 1980ies. The US is ready to fight the Soviets to the last Afghan.

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Nice twist. Also ur profile pic. From overly sarcastic productions. Love that channel. Esp red. Blue is ok I guess. I have mostly only watched red's videos on classic literature and mythology. Man she's funny. 

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