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Llarimar

Was the killing of Ad. evil?

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This has probably been discussed before, but I have so many questions surrounding the killing of Adonalsium, and one of the biggest is whether it was an evil act.  Although a number of the gods we've seen have been clearly evil, a lot of them have seemed like "good guys", (though that may just be because of nature of their Shard), and for a while I've been worried that they were essentially villains.  From what we've learned it seems like the murder was very dark and disturbing, like something that should never have happened, and that has afflicted the cosmere with a terrible wound ever since.  There are multiple circumstances I think could have surrounding the killing of Adonalsium, among which are:

1. It was an evil, unnecessary act carried out by violent criminals who outsmarted Adonalsium, a benevolent god, for the sake of their own greed
2. It was a violent, but ultimately necessary and chivalrous act which was carried out either (A) as a last resort in response to some terrible mistake or impending threat, with Adonalsium possibly consenting, or (B) in response to the madness and deterioration of Adonalsium
3. It was a natural killing without dark undertones, to which Adonalsium consented to for some reason (perhaps his age and fatigue)

Obviously there are other possibilities but I feel like Scenario 1 is the most likely from what we have seen, and that kind of... disturbs me.  The fact that the 16 gods were all criminals and murderers - it makes the cosmere seem strangely nihilistic and broken (and suddenly a belief in the God Beyond makes a lot of sense).  

And to anyone who points out that Hoid was there... that doesn't provide me with any assurance that the killing of Adonalsium was any more justified.  Hoid is kind of a gray character, and I can definitely see him participating in an evil murder-heist to kill a god if he had the proper motivation.  

Edited by Llarimar
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You're assuming that it has to be one of those options or another. Khriss says quite plainly in Secret History that the motives of the people present at the Shattering were varied. Some were motivated primarily if not entirely by a desire for power, others saw it as a necessary act.

Quote

“A diverse group,” she said. “With equally diverse motives. Some wished for the power; others saw killing Adonalsium as the only good option left to them. Together they murdered a deity, and became divine themselves.”

According to Brandon, Hoid was 'kind of' in the camp of seeing the Shattering as a necessity.

So there isn't a simple Yes/No answer to this question and we have no idea what the reasoning of the 'only good option' camp was because we know so little about the Shattering and the events leading up to it in the first place.

Edited by Weltall
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@Weltall, the quotes you've provided are helpful - the fact that Hoid saw the Shattering as a necessity makes me think there were indeed extenuating circumstances which motivated the killing, rather than just greedy motives.  But I also can't shake the feeling that there was a wrongness to it, like it was something that should have been or could have been avoided.  I also wonder if there were some degree of manipulation involved - if some of the darker-intented Vessels convinced the others it needed to happen, when in fact it didn't. 

What it reminds me of, really, is the splitting of the crystal in the Dark Crystal, for anyone who is familiar.  In that movie there's an ancient, sacred crystal which is broken, which splits apart the deities and blights the earth, with the eventual resolution of the story being the restoration of the crystal.  But during the interim while the crystal is broken, it is a time of wrongness and disunity, and there is a sense that it never should have happened. This is how I feel about the Shattering - that the killing of Adonalsium and the seizing of the Shards was somehow deeply wrong, or at the very least not ideal.  

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19 minutes ago, Llarimar said:

@Weltall, the quotes you've provided are helpful - the fact that Hoid saw the Shattering as a necessity makes me think there were indeed extenuating circumstances which motivated the killing, rather than just greedy motives.  But I also can't shake the feeling that there was a wrongness to it, like it was something that should have been or could have been avoided.  I also wonder if there were some degree of manipulation involved - if some of the darker-intented Vessels convinced the others it needed to happen, when in fact it didn't. 

What it reminds me of, really, is the splitting of the crystal in the Dark Crystal, for anyone who is familiar.  In that movie there's an ancient, sacred crystal which is broken, which splits apart the deities and blights the earth, with the eventual resolution of the story being the restoration of the crystal.  But during the interim while the crystal is broken, it is a time of wrongness and disunity, and there is a sense that it never should have happened. This is how I feel about the Shattering - that the killing of Adonalsium and the seizing of the Shards was somehow deeply wrong, or at the very least not ideal.  

I get the sense that it probably wasnt 100% Evil or even "Deeply Wrong" (few things in the Cosmere seem that cut & dry) so much as it was something that those involved thought was At the Time, but perhaps were being either short-sighted in their estimation of he Consequences, or perhaps were a bit overly-hopeful that Shardic rule would be an improvement over Adonalsium.  So not 100% Good, Bad or even pure Neutral, just people doing the "best" they can from their own flawed perspectives.  

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Another relevant WoB:

Quote

Questioner

I’m interested in Adonalsium. Out of the people that were leftover from just before its Breaking [Shattering], did they think it was a good idea or a bad idea?

Brandon Sanderson

Uhhh… Opinions are mixed.

Questioner

Is it mixed between the Vessels and the non-Vessels?

Brandon Sanderson

Most of the Vessels support the decision that they made. I would say of those remaining, who are not Vessels, the majority think it was a bad idea. I would say it’s split between them (?), it’s not 100%

Questioner

What’s the number of [people on Yolen?] remaining that are not the Vessels

Brandon Sanderson

Not many.  It is a number that you could count to reasonably.

Calamity Chicago signing (Feb. 22, 2016)
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