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TLDR; Trell is the avatar of Ruin.

 

So, I was chatting with @I think I am here., as you do, and we were talking about the recent books that have been released. I heard somewhere that Trell will be in the new book, so I mentioned that to him, and we talked about who he could be.

I believe that Trell is an avatar of Ruin. Think about it, we haven't really seen that many avatars in the cosmere yet, so it could be high time for another one to appear.

Plus, it supports the fact that Harmony is "distracted", according to the Kandra.

He could be preoccupied with dealing with Ruin's avatar. Ruin could be dead, but his avatar could remain, as it's not a direct part of Ruin. however, it could hold part of it's power, and have some form of Atium, hence the title "The Lost Metal".

Also, another point on this is the metal in BoM, or "trellium", could just be a metal that's been corrupted, as it's speckled red, like rust. Red is the colour of corrupted Investiture, and the avatar could be doing some shonky things to Harmony's magic system.

 

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Considering that the metal itself was unknown to Harmony I doubt that its a corrupted version of his metals.

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My favorite Tinfoil theory on this is a half-step to the left of this one:  That Trell is Discord, and Sazed doesnt realize he's gone full hollywood Multiple Personalities.  

Counter-argument is that the Investiture probably wouldnt glow Red if it were native to Scadrial.  

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6 hours ago, Quantus said:

My favorite Tinfoil theory on this is a half-step to the left of this one:  That Trell is Discord, and Sazed doesnt realize he's gone full hollywood Multiple Personalities.  

A Shard being in conflict with their own avatar would definitely be interesting, but I don’t think that’s what’s happening here.

Firstly, it would be difficult to explain why Trell’s name has been around for so long (there were Trell worshippers before the Final Empire). Secondly, it would be weird that Trell could produce a metal that Sazed doesn’t recognise if they were secretly the same Shard.

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44 minutes ago, RedBlue said:

A Shard being in conflict with their own avatar would definitely be interesting, but I don’t think that’s what’s happening here.

I dont think the Shard(s) are in Conflict with the Vessel (and I dont yet grasp the distinction between Avatar and Vessel, so I wont complicate things with that emerging bit).  The theory is that the ongoing pressure of the two opposed Shards is fracturing Sazed's Cognitive aspect into two distinct personalities that are (equally?) Connected to the blended Shard. 

44 minutes ago, RedBlue said:

Firstly, it would be difficult to explain why Trell’s name has been around for so long (there were Trell worshippers before the Final Empire).

I dont think that's an issue given Sazed's prior hobby as a Religion Archivist (who had stored Religious Knowledge as Investure when he ascended). The far more difficult connection is

Spoiler

the actual mortal named Trell from Taldain...

44 minutes ago, RedBlue said:

Secondly, it would be weird that Trell could produce a metal that Sazed doesn’t recognise if they were secretly the same Shard.

The Fight Club character with the same condition didnt know he was punching himself in the face, sooo....    I could see him just having a powerful mental Block on it (reinforced by the internal Conflict of the two shards) that made it a blind spot to his perception, especially if the Discord persona is more aware.  However that shouldnt stop the fundamental workings of the Cosmere from not turning Red if it was native Investiture, regardless of the Vessel's bind spots or personal perceptions.  On the other hand he has reality warping god-powers which makes the line between perception and reality a lot more blurry.  

 

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18 hours ago, Frustration said:

Considering that the metal itself was unknown to Harmony I doubt that its a corrupted version of his metals.

That is a good counterpoint, though I was maybe thinking that Trell made an alloy of a god metal, or a new metal, making it "unknown" to Harmony

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My feeling was that Wax's near-death scene with Harmony made it pretty clear that the threat of Trell is coming from offworld, in other words, not native to Scadrial.  I think the most popular candidate is Autonomy.

 

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2 hours ago, AquaRegia said:

My feeling was that Wax's near-death scene with Harmony made it pretty clear that the threat of Trell is coming from offworld, in other words, not native to Scadrial.  I think the most popular candidate is Autonomy.

 

Autonomy and Odium are really the only candidates.

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1 hour ago, Frustration said:

Autonomy and Odium are really the only candidates.

My money is on Autonomy.  Actually, my money is on it being Kelsier and him being an avatar of Autonomy.  

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On 27/07/2021 at 0:58 AM, Njvodin said:

Also, another point on this is the metal in BoM, or "trellium", could just be a metal that's been corrupted, as it's speckled red, like rust. Red is the colour of corrupted Investiture, and the avatar could be doing some shonky things to Harmony's magic system.

 

I don't think it makes sense for an Avatar to corrupt the magical system that he himself is a part of.
Furthermore, reusing Ruin as a villain when you have so many villains to choose from seems not only repetitive but also disregards every sacrifice Vin, Elend and Leras made to defeat Ruin.

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3 hours ago, Raphaborn said:

I don't think it makes sense for an Avatar to corrupt the magical system that he himself is a part of.
Furthermore, reusing Ruin as a villain when you have so many villains to choose from seems not only repetitive but also disregards every sacrifice Vin, Elend and Leras made to defeat Ruin.

Lucasfilm could use you on their team

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17 hours ago, Frustration said:

Autonomy and Odium are really the only candidates.

watch it be a certain whimsical character lmao

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Posted (edited)

Do we know its a shard with a vessel, necessarily? Dominion and Ambition seem to have vaguely evil motives, may have splinters and god metals, etc

Additionally from secret history

Spoiler

We also know that both Elantrians and Shades have been known to wander the cognitive realm of Scadrial. Its possible one of the two had a local splinters or some remnant of Odium running amok.

And I would have a tough time believing that Harmony can identify every single shard except Autonomy.

Imo there's a lot of evidence pointing to shards formerly shattered by odium and Harmony may have more difficulty identifying a powerful splinter that has been amassing stolen investiture.

Alternately with two shards maybe one person or personality cant fully contain them entirely without some issue and Harmony containing an equal balance of 50% each released part of both preservation and Ruin as "Discord". As Discord, it would be a new god with perhaps its own god metal but would either be part of the same vessel or an avatar of Discord.

edit: Oathbringer/RoW extension

Spoiler

I wonder if actually its possible that what happened to Shallan's personality's happened to Sazed in a more extreme form: In order to fully tap all of the investiture of both shards Sazed split his personality into two parts, separating himself into Harmony and Discord and neither is aware of the other but they operate some form of time share in his head. When Harmony is "busy" its actually Discord being active.

 

Edited by Waffles
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I always was in the camp that the old god Trell being described as watching with their Thousand Eyes sounds too much like what we know of Autonomy and their avatars to be a coincidence. 

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4 hours ago, Andy92 said:

I always was in the camp that the old god Trell being described as watching with their Thousand Eyes sounds too much like what we know of Autonomy and their avatars to be a coincidence. 

Idk I really personally dislike the idea of autonomy being everywhere and invading other people, because that kind of goes against the Shard's ideal. I wouldn't say Intent because I think that's slightly different(could be wrong). But anyway, Autonomy is all about being independent and such. I do accept that there's a lot of evidence pointing to Autonomy, but I just don't think it would keep the cosmere as cohesive as it can be. It goes against the limitations of the power of the Shard, like how Preservation cannot hurt anyone.

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13 minutes ago, Njvodin said:

Idk I really personally dislike the idea of autonomy being everywhere and invading other people, because that kind of goes against the Shard's ideal. I wouldn't say Intent because I think that's slightly different(could be wrong). But anyway, Autonomy is all about being independent and such. I do accept that there's a lot of evidence pointing to Autonomy, but I just don't think it would keep the cosmere as cohesive as it can be. It goes against the limitations of the power of the Shard, like how Preservation cannot hurt anyone.

The other part of the theory goes with Trell from the Scadrian religion having a sibling that loves the sunlight and Trell prefers the night sky where all the stars can shine, which also lines up with Taldain. 

I understand what you’re saying about the Shard’s intent, but it’s already been confirmed that Autonomy uses avatars in general. I always interpreted it as each avatar having their own autonomy to do as they wish to a certain extent, but in that process you end up with “thousands of seeing eyes” around the Cosmere in general. 

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16 minutes ago, Njvodin said:

Idk I really personally dislike the idea of autonomy being everywhere and invading other people, because that kind of goes against the Shard's ideal. I wouldn't say Intent because I think that's slightly different(could be wrong). But anyway, Autonomy is all about being independent and such. I do accept that there's a lot of evidence pointing to Autonomy, but I just don't think it would keep the cosmere as cohesive as it can be. It goes against the limitations of the power of the Shard, like how Preservation cannot hurt anyone.

Khriss remarks about how Autonomy interferes on other planets all the time, while not allowing other planets to interfere with her's.

now I don't think Trell is Autonomy, but I don't think it's impossible

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4 hours ago, Andy92 said:

The other part of the theory goes with Trell from the Scadrian religion having a sibling that loves the sunlight and Trell prefers the night sky where all the stars can shine, which also lines up with Taldain. 

I understand what you’re saying about the Shard’s intent, but it’s already been confirmed that Autonomy uses avatars in general. I always interpreted it as each avatar having their own autonomy to do as they wish to a certain extent, but in that process you end up with “thousands of seeing eyes” around the Cosmere in general. 

I think the character Trell, on Taldain, is related to the Scadrian religion, so I mean, it might be the same person, but who knows at this point. If they're different people, then it kinda invalidates it. 

 

4 hours ago, Frustration said:

Khriss remarks about how Autonomy interferes on other planets all the time, while not allowing other planets to interfere with her's.

That is a good point, but I don't think I remember where Khriss said that. Maybe it was somewhere in the White Sand books. I haven't read them. 
I guess it's kind of up to the Vessel to interpret how the power is held, so what you're saying is pretty true. As Ruin said, Preservation would kill everything so that everything else can be Preserved. That's obviously an exaggeration, as it was Leras he was talking about, but if someone else viewed it that way, Preservation could quickly turn into a destructive force. Similarly, Autonomy could be invasive through the interpretation of the Vessel. 

 

I kinda just don't really want it to be a previously seen Shard, only because I want to see what certain Shards are up to, you know? I don't have anything against it, because it would be cool to see interactions of Harmony and Autonomy.

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25 minutes ago, Njvodin said:

That is a good point, but I don't think I remember where Khriss said that. Maybe it was somewhere in the White Sand books.

Arcanum Unbounded

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Posted (edited)

We know that Autonomy meddles with other planets since we know of several worlds in the cosmere apart from Taldain (and supposedly Scadrial) that she influences.

But this is the exact quote from Arcanum Unbouned that states it outright (at the end of the Taldain essay):

"Autonomy's policy of isolationism in recent times (in direct contrast to her interference with other planets, I might add) has prevented travel to and from Taldain for many, many years."

Autonomy might be okay with meddling with other worlds as long as she thinks of it as ensuring autonomy. One thing how she might think that autonomy is in danger seems to be technological progress (perhaps because a technologically advanced cosmere would lead to galaxy-wide colonialism to happen, and Sixth of the Dusk hints at that being a legitimate concern). The main reason why I think this is this WOB that implies that Taldain would have developed far further technologically, were it not for the interference of Autonomy, the aforementioned isolation. She seems to have deliberately halted the progress on her own world.

And that's consistent with what the "faceless immortal" in Bands of Mourning's epilogue says:

" '[...] Recent advances have made civilization here too dangerous. Allowing it to continue risks further advances we cannot control, and so we have decided to remove life on this sphere instead.' "

Trell seems to be concerned with Scadrial's technological progress first and foremost. The "recent advances" could mean the flying ships, which push Scadrial closer to space travel and aforementioned interplanteray colonialism - which would cost a lot of planets their autonomy.

This only adds on top of a pile of stuff that hints at her. Looking at the arguments for each candidate, it's overwhelmingly in Autonomy's favor (e.g. one of her avatars), like, a 95% chance of it being her or something closely related to her. But I would not be surprised if Brandon pulls a fast one on us, which he has done before. So don't quote me on this when it's something else entirely, I am fully aware that he likes to do things like that :D

Edited by Elegy
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I know it's probably Autonomy but my pet theory is that it's a sliver/lord ruler type. There was a WOB recently where someone asked Brandon if there had been ascensions prior to the lord ruler's and naturally he RAFO'd it. However, he did say it was a good question,which I feel implies there were at least some ascensions before the lord ruler. It might be possible that this previous sliver passed onto legend as Trell, which would explain how people knew of them so many years before they supposedly show up to scadrial in era 2. Naturally, this makes some of the other stuff like the unidentified metal and the other "faceless immortals" kind of confusing. I like to think maybe they just went off world once they ascended, and were able to find a foreign (possibly god) metal off planet and create their own hemalurgical constructs using knowledge they learned by ascending. Maybe they were able to hang onto some of the power by going off world? I haven't really thought out the specifics of it very well, but I think it would be a fun way to connect classical scadrial with modern scadrial. I do still feel like Autonomy is a more likely candidate thanks to some of the more on the nose hints Sanderson has dropped.

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1 hour ago, VVack said:

I know it's probably Autonomy but my pet theory is that it's a sliver/lord ruler type. There was a WOB recently where someone asked Brandon if there had been ascensions prior to the lord ruler's and naturally he RAFO'd it. However, he did say it was a good question,which I feel implies there were at least some ascensions before the lord ruler. It might be possible that this previous sliver passed onto legend as Trell, which would explain how people knew of them so many years before they supposedly show up to scadrial in era 2. Naturally, this makes some of the other stuff like the unidentified metal and the other "faceless immortals" kind of confusing. I like to think maybe they just went off world once they ascended, and were able to find a foreign (possibly god) metal off planet and create their own hemalurgical constructs using knowledge they learned by ascending. Maybe they were able to hang onto some of the power by going off world? I haven't really thought out the specifics of it very well, but I think it would be a fun way to connect classical scadrial with modern scadrial. I do still feel like Autonomy is a more likely candidate thanks to some of the more on the nose hints Sanderson has dropped.

This is great, probably my favorite non-Autonomy theory I've seen.

That said - although this is only a detail, not really a fundamental of the theory -, as per WOB, the god metal is not foreign, it's Trell's:

Quote

Questioner

Is the metal that Bleeder was associated with and had, is the Shard associated with that metal the same entity that's calling itself Trell?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Oathbringer Portland signing (Nov. 16, 2017)

Which makes it so hard to argue for the Ruin/Preservation road. But still, I like this and it feels very Brandon to me!

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7 hours ago, Elegy said:

This is great, probably my favorite non-Autonomy theory I've seen.

That said - although this is only a detail, not really a fundamental of the theory -, as per WOB, the god metal is not foreign, it's Trell's:

Which makes it so hard to argue for the Ruin/Preservation road. But still, I like this and it feels very Brandon to me!

Yeah that's why I was wondering if they had some way of taking some of the power with them when they left, that seems like the most probable way they could have a metal associated with themselves. I guess that means that somehow the power that was preservation's somehow got changed to trell's, but we have seen that creating unkeyed investiture is possible. This is the point where you have to make some assumptions about how investiture and shards work, so naturally the case for this is a lot weaker. However, if they were holding the power of preservation they may have been able to splinter themselves.

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12 hours ago, VVack said:

Naturally, this makes some of the other stuff like the unidentified metal and the other "faceless immortals" kind of confusing. 

I always figured that Trell or his agents/The Set recruited Paalm and they figured out how to make Kandra spikes together. If any Kandra had the knowledge of how to make them or the ability to figure it out, it would be her. Once they learned how, they just go find some mistwraiths, bring them into a cave system with a high concentration of metal so Harmony can't see them, make the spikes with the unknown Godmetal and they'd have Kandra that Harmony would have no knowledge of and no ability to track. 

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On 8/1/2021 at 4:34 PM, Njvodin said:

Idk I really personally dislike the idea of autonomy being everywhere and invading other people, because that kind of goes against the Shard's ideal. I wouldn't say Intent because I think that's slightly different(could be wrong). But anyway, Autonomy is all about being independent and such. I do accept that there's a lot of evidence pointing to Autonomy, but I just don't think it would keep the cosmere as cohesive as it can be. It goes against the limitations of the power of the Shard, like how Preservation cannot hurt anyone.

Do remember we have already had canon confirmation that autonomy likes to stick her fingers in others' business by Khriss. They are bound by their intent, but how they perceive it is also importent.

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