Ashspren

Hoid and Jasnah

Hoid and Jasnah: Ship or Sink?   47 members have voted

  1. 1. Hoid and Jasnah... how do you feel?

    • Ship it!
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    • Sink it!
      20
    • No strong opinions
      16

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Hi all, a quick question for everyone. 

As we know, Hoid and Jasnah are now romantically involved. I'm not going to lie––I was definitely a bit surprised here. My personal theories had been that Hoid was carrying a torch for someone from his past and that Jasnah didn't want a romantic interest, but here we are. I would usually never complain about a well-balanced intellectual relationship between some of the most beloved characters in the series, but I'm a bit concerned for these two. 

First of all, Hoid and Jasnah are both incredibly ambitious individuals. They both have their own agendas and, while they may line up at the moment, I'm not sure how much longer that will last. We know Hoid has to have some sort of end goal, but is it even something that we would consider "good" and not "evil"? We can't tell. He's been working to achieve something for thousands of years, so I think it's unlikely that he would stop for a single romantic interest, unless his relationship with Jasnah develops pretty seriously over the course of the series. Also, Jasnah has a very strong set of convictions and morals. She probably wouldn't change her entire mindset around just to accommodate any sort of emotional intimacy with Hoid, even if she enjoys it. In my opinion, while they both like being in a romantic relationship, they're both using each other for something. Hoid requires a social standing and access to resources (and an incentive not to kill him, even when he's being... himself), which Jasnah can provide him. Jasnah, on the other hand, is a scholar at heart. She wants knowledge about the Cosmere and its workings, and who better to aid her than the worldhopping, quick-witted menace himself?

Another point of concern for me stems from the language that they use. Hoid tells Jasnah that he loves her for her paranoia, out of all of her qualities. I thought this was a little bit suspicious. It definitely doesn't seem romantic; if anything, it seems like he's seeking protection from something. Jasnah's paranoia could be keeping them both alive, sure, but a constant state of stress is not something that someone wishes on a partner. This seems especially unbalanced when we take into account the fact that his presence seems to put Jasnah at ease. At the very least, they seem to have some... minor communication issues. 

A third thing could be Jasnah's asexuality. Hoid doesn't seem to be completely considerate of that, hoping that his kisses and touch can spark something in her, when that's just not how it works. Jasnah does participate in physical intimacy for his pleasure, but I still think he should be more understanding about her preferences. 

To be honest, I'm kind of rooting for them. Hoid and Jasnah would make an unstoppable power couple, and I genuinely believe that they like one another and that they could actually fall in love. They just need to have a serious talk about what they want from each other, how far their relationship will go (unofficial lovers? marriage? plenty of possibilities), and their personal plans for both the near and far future. And if they decide that they can't speak about those things, well... that kind of speaks for itself. 

For future Stormlight books, I would love to see one's reaction when the other is in serious danger (it might be a bit difficult to find a circumstance that could kill Hoid, but Nightblood's on Roshar, so anything is possible). With any strong relationship––especially romantic ones––a reaction in that situation says a lot about the personalities of and dynamic between the two characters. And, I know between now and the next Stormlight book, I'm definitely going to be looking through everything Cosmere with a fine-toothed comb for mentions of Hoid and his end goals. 

Hoid and Jasnah are both already so interesting as individuals, so there's obviously a lot to analyze when considering them together. Thoughts? Opinions? 

P.S. I almost considered doing an astrology-esque analysis of Radiant order compatibility. Are a Lightweaver and an Elsecaller as meant to be as an Aries and a Libra? Or are they completely doomed, like a Taurus and a Leo? (I'm sorry if these relate to your life in any way––just picked the first ones off of Google. :P) If anyone has actually done a zodiac-style analysis of the Radiants, I would love to see it. If not... well then. I guess I have a new project on my hands?

Edited by Ashspren
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My money is on sink it, just because I want the reveal of Jasnah using him for cosmere information to see how he'd react. 

Also it just generally feels a little weird.

Edited by Invocation
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I really did think that what Navani heard were baseless rumours. I don't really ship them together and yeah it's a bit weird to think of Jasnah and Hoid. Together. But it could work. They're not head over heels with one another, no love at first sight, struck by lightning, I would die for you nonsense over here. They're just two people working on having a relationship and I do like that idea. I'll be happy to see this ship sail on into the sunset. I'll also probably enjoy reading the drama if it goes up in flames, tbh. But this could be a chance to see something rare in fiction, a relationship that people are building from the ground up instead of the usual romance chulldung.

Edited by Honorless
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I don’t like it.

I can sort of see why Jasnah would go for Hoid, since in so many ways almost no one is her equal; for most men, she would either have to pretend to be less intimidating than she is or turn him into an appendage. Hoid is perhaps the only exception on Roshar other than Heralds and Unmade (who are insane), Dalinar, and Taravangian. And Hoid is surely fascinating to her. 
 

But I don’t see why Hoid would go for Jasnah. He is ancient. Jasnah is a formidable woman, but that does nothing to change the fact that her perspective is wildly different from Hoid’s. And Hoid doesn’t take himself (or most things) seriously. Jasnah does. Granting that Hoid is secure enough not to let that make him feel like a mere clown, it doesn’t exactly make them simpatico. 

Unless Jasnah becomes immortal, the relationship is just one moment in Hoid’s worldhopping life, and his near-eternal goals either have nothing to do with her or include her only as a small part. For Hoid, a relationship with Jasnah is a bit like a relationship with a child, or a relationship with a cashier that can only last while she’s checking out your purchases. Hoid is very good about not treating people as expendable even though their lives are so brief. Children and cashiers are not expendable to Hoid. That doesn’t mean he should date them. 
 

Perhaps Hoid simply got so lonely over the centuries that he gave in and took up with the first woman he met who could sort of hold her own with him. But I don’t think this relationship has a bright future. Maybe it will last for the brief moment that is Jasnah’s lifespan. But it still wouldn’t be fair to her, or to Hoid, really, who would be psychologically better off as an eternal celibate than with a long string of women to whom he was all while they, to him, were… something.

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I find myself largely in agreement with @Vin(Diesel)'s well-reasoned post above.  A romantic relationship between a mortal and an immortal would be loaded with both emotional and ethical issues; exploration of this theme is at least as old as Greek mythology (where, if I recall, it NEVER ended well for the mortal) and has been covered in modern speculative fiction many times.  I'm reminded of Heinlein's Time Enough for Love - his best work, IMO - in which Lazarus Long and his near-immortal kin refer to the rest of us as "mayflies" with whom serious relationships are strongly discouraged.  An immortal can be "friends" with a mayfly in the same way we are friends with dogs or cats... but romance is unwise and ultimately unfair to both parties.

My guess is that, while Hoid and Jasnah may indeed both be sincere in their appreciation and affection for each other, their different agendas and worldviews (and possibly the knowledge of their differing lifetimes) will ultimately result in this fling being a short one.  Brandon may just be laying the groundwork for a deliciously acrimonious and adversarial relationship between two powerful people who used to love one another, e.g. Obi-Wan and Anakin.

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1 hour ago, AquaRegia said:

this theme is at least as old as Greek mythology (where, if I recall, it NEVER ended well for the mortal) and has been covered in modern speculative fiction many times.

I was thinking of Greek mythology while writing my initial post. There’s a really weird dynamic there—a power differential where Jasnah relies on Hoid more than the reverse, or some variation in how much the relationship means to each person. Hoid gives me the vibes of a trickster god of some sort—like Norse mythology’s Loki. I think the Norse pantheon is actually a pretty good comparison for Hoid in general—powerful and immortal in terms of age, but they can still die (like Baldr). Either way, I’m going off-topic. Moral of the story: differences in mortality or lack thereof aren’t great for a relationship.

1 hour ago, AquaRegia said:

Brandon may just be laying the groundwork for a deliciously acrimonious and adversarial relationship between two powerful people who used to love one another, e.g. Obi-Wan and Anakin.

Oh, I really like this idea. Have we ever seen either of them genuinely upset and angry? I think that could bring some sort of passion out of both characters. Regardless, I would be very excited to see this as a scene in an upcoming book.

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Ok I might be wrong here, but I remember seeing somewhere that Jasnah was Ace/Aro. So I don't have an opinion really, but I'm just double checking the facts here.

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1 hour ago, Theldragor said:

Ok I might be wrong here, but I remember seeing somewhere that Jasnah was Ace/Aro. So I don't have an opinion really, but I'm just double checking the facts here.

She's confirmed asexual, but not aromantic. From a WoB: 

Quote

Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Seventeen

[...]

I tried a few different things to see what worked and was most genuine for the character. In the end, I settled on what I felt was best and most in-line with how I view Jasnah. For those who want to know, and I’ll put this next part behind extra spoilers. Jasnah is asexual, and currently heteroromantic. Her feelings on physical intimacy are very neutral, not something she's interested in for its own sake, but also not something she's opposed to doing for someone she cares about. I tried several different things with the character, and this is what really clicked with me--after getting some advice, suggestions, and help from some asexual readers.

[...]

Rhythm of War Annotations (Nov. 2, 2020)

 

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I'm not entirely sure what my feelings on this are, though it kind of gives me a vague discomfort. I remember when the rumors were brought up in the beginning of RoW, my immediate assumption was that Brandon was poking fun at the idea that if a man and a woman are spending a lot of time together there must be romance involved... only to find out in chapter 99 that he was just playing that completely straight.

That's not to say I don't understand why they might be interested in each other, there's certainly a lot they can bond over. I've seen a lot of people talk about how he's the only appropriate match for her and I get where that comes from but I don't think it's an entirely healthy mindset to have. In Jasnah's monologue she makes a huge deal about how she's finally found an intellectual equal but for however brilliant she is, she's still just a human. The idea that a 10000 year old explorer is her equal feels weirdly arrogant for her and would probably be really isolating. It's like when Gavilar asked Jasnah "Is it terribly difficult for you? Living with the rest of us, suffering our average wits and simple thoughts?" It's meant as kind of a sarcastic remark, where he's mocking her for this kind of thinking and it's weird to see she apparently agrees with that sentiment.

Also, I'm just not sure this is a relationship that could really last, it almost feels like a casual fling. Even ignoring the fact that Hoid is immortal, he's got a mission that sends him around the world, and I don't see him setting down roots any time soon. At the same time, I don't think Jasnah is the type of person to pack up and run off when she has so much important work to do on Roshar.

I don't know, maybe I'm reading this completely wrong. I just really don't know where Brandon intends to go with this, apparently he only considered having their relationship be romantic after he'd finished Oathbringer, so I feel like it could be anywhere from a major part of both characters' arcs or just something he thought would be fun.

On 11/15/2021 at 9:03 PM, Ashspren said:

A third thing could be Jasnah's asexuality. Hoid doesn't seem to be completely considerate of that, hoping that his kisses and touch can spark something in her, when that's just not how it works. Jasnah does participate in physical intimacy for his pleasure, but I still think he should be more understanding about her preferences. 

I got the sense that they just hadn't talked about it. It seems Jasnah's just going along with his desires because she feels like that's what she's supposed to do for the sake of the relationship which is... well, all I'll say is that if Brandon continues the relationship, I hope they have a conversation about her being asexual. Not because she shouldn't be having sex with Wit at all, but because it's important for each person's needs to be communicated, even if it doesn't change much in the long run.

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Personally, I liked the fact that Jasnah admitted someone might have an intellect superior to hers, considering my thoughts on Jasnah in particular.  

As for Hoid, I don't get the "Immortals must look at all mortals as babies."  I don't think that's how people would work.  He's still a man.  She's still a woman.  Assuming he has a normal hormonal system in place, then things like this are bound to happen to him.  Yeah, when I go to a college campus now, having graduated 12 years ago, all the college students look like they're supposed to be in high school, but that's because they're barely adults. It's also because we have college age people playing high schoolers on TV, and people in their thirties playing college age people on TV, so naturally our view of what a college age person looks like is skewed.  

But once people get in to their thirties, that shouldn't be an issue.   

When you're the only one living that long, you will have to learn how to deal with people you love dying.  You learn how to deal with the grief, making it a part of you, and moving on.  Time heals all wounds, as they say, and he has nothing but time.  He could spend a thousand years getting over the death of a woman he loved, but eventually, he'd get over her, and move on. 

This is going to sound horrible, and may undermine my argument, but it's almost like owning dogs.  Dogs only live ten to twenty years, on the lower end if they're larger.  I got a puppy last year.  He'll likely only live to be 12.  I know in about ten more years, give or take, I'm going to have to say goodbye to him.  And that tears at me.  It tears at my soul when I think about it.  At least with my family, I can live under the illusion that we'll all live long lives and they could very well outlive me.  But there will come a day when I'll have to say goodbye to my buddy.  And I hate that.  Hate it.  Hate hate hate.  But I wouldn't trade the moments I have with him. My life is better for the time I have to spend with him.  My entire life, going forward, is better for the time we have together.  Everyone dies.  The Journey is more important.

Now, as Joe Black says, take that, multiply it by infinity and cast it into the depths of forever, and you might see how someone like Hoid feels when he falls in love.  He knows they aren't going to live long.  He knows that ten thousand years from now, he may not even have the space in his head to hold the memories of that person.  But that doesn't mean the time they have together means nothing.  It doesn't mean he isn't changed, for the better, for being with them.  As a young immortal, I can see how one would want to stay away from intimate relationships.  But as an older one, and Hoid would qualify, I'd imagine they'd let themselves give in more often.  Because love is powerful.  It changes us.  Makes us think of what's best for someone else.  It keeps us knowing why we keep living.

As for the mortal, their life is, basically, no different than if they fell for a Mortal who outlives them.  So their partner doesn't age.  Doesn't mean he hasn't lived with them for seventy years.  Just that you don't have to deal with his becoming a decrepit old man.  Sure, they could get all weird in the head and decide that the fact that their partner doesn't age is strange and let that ruin the relationship, but that's just in their head.  

 

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10 minutes ago, Tglassy said:

He's still a man.

Arguable. 

Quote

Questioner (paraphrased)

 Is Hoid human?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Hoid was human a long time ago. Now... it's complicated. We would call him human, and so will pretty much everyone else, but he is not exactly that.

Words of Radiance Chicago signing (March 22, 2014)

 

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On 11/16/2021 at 7:49 PM, Ashspren said:

She's confirmed asexual, but not aromantic. From a WoB: 

 

Ahhh ok. Yeah, i thought she was both, so was confused with her and Hoid's interactions.

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I think we all jump to conclusions a bit much. Jasnah isn’t in love with Hoid. She’s fond of him and intrigued by him but doesn’t fully trust him. Hoid is attracted to her and impressed by her but nothing in chapter 99 reads as love. They are practical people attracted to one another in some way or another. Not every “romance” need lead to marriage or be based in true love. She trusts him enough to let her guard down some. He respects her enough to tell her some of his truth. They have bonded in the middle of a war and apocalypse. I mean…I’m kind of relieved brandon didn’t frame this as “Jasnah lost her heart to a trickster god” bc that would have been out of character for both—but I don’t mind the “people connect with each other in unexpected ways” frame.

 

i think the relationship will end, but perhaps they’ll connect off and on for her lifetime. Or maybe she’ll be immortal at some point too. But love? Too distracting for both of them.

Edited by Bliev
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4 hours ago, Bliev said:

nothing in chapter 99 reads as love. 

See, I agree with this completely - but I am *very* concerned that Brandon's trying to write love here. His romances are often lacking some subtleties, and I think he might actually believe he's writing a romance here, where in reality their relationship is something more complicated. It definitely doesn't read to me like a hetero ace interest - it reads like an allo person's idea of an ace person in a romantic relationship. (I would love for Brandon to prove me wrong here, though.) 

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@Ookla the Well-Intentioned I certainly hope that I’m right and you’re wrong. ;-) I def agree that Brandon‘s romances can be clumsy, but I feel he’s improved on that score a lot. Then again, his unintentional queer-baiting can sometimes surprise me.  So…I’m going to keep reading it as I have: she’s intrigued and a bit excited but doesn’t fully trust or love him (yet?). But I’m a glass half full (of sparkles) kinda gal, so it’s what I do. Lol 

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11 hours ago, Bliev said:

I think we all jump to conclusions a bit much. Jasnah isn’t in love with Hoid. She’s fond of him and intrigued by him but doesn’t fully trust him. Hoid is attracted to her and impressed by her but nothing in chapter 99 reads as love. They are practical people attracted to one another in some way or another. Not every “romance” need lead to marriage or be based in true love. She trusts him enough to let her guard down some. He respects her enough to tell her some of his truth. They have bonded in the middle of a war and apocalypse. I mean…I’m kind of relieved brandon didn’t frame this as “Jasnah lost her heart to a trickster god” bc that would have been out of character for both—but I don’t mind the “people connect with each other in unexpected ways” frame.

 

i think the relationship will end, but perhaps they’ll connect off and on for her lifetime. Or maybe she’ll be immortal at some point too. But love? Too distracting for both of them.

I guess my only thought is if this isn't meant to be some kind of romance, I don't see why Brandon would have put so much emphasis on the fact that they're having sex. Maybe I've just underestimated how common casual sex is in Alethi culture, but even still, it shows that Jasnah is willing to let herself not only let her guard down but be vulnerable with Wit, which she hasn't really done with many others.

That said, it's an interesting relationship for a lot of reasons, and we really only have one chapter going into it in detail without much information on how it developed. So t is possible that people might be misunderstanding some of the details. It's hard to see where it's going without more information.

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11 hours ago, LuckyJim said:

I guess my only thought is if this isn't meant to be some kind of romance, I don't see why Brandon would have put so much emphasis on the fact that they're having sex. Maybe I've just underestimated how common casual sex is in Alethi culture, but even still, it shows that Jasnah is willing to let herself not only let her guard down but be vulnerable with Wit, which she hasn't really done with many others.

I think it’s a romance/relationship of sorts. I just don’t think it’s “love” necessarily or even that commitment or the future is a thing they’re at all thinking about. I don’t think Jasnah cares a wit (hehe) about Alethi social norms and will do what she wants, and I’m guessing that her surprise at trusting someone outside of her family circle may be an impetus for her intrigue and care for Hoid. I suppose my quibble here is that we don’t fall into the trope of assuming any sexual relationship a woman in fantasy engages in is a sign of her undying affection or that it will lead to marriage or even that we should care that it does. Although I was in the “Jasnah is surely a Lesbian” camp until RoW, I didn’t feel that this chapter was otherwise out of character in that—she was still her intellectual, suspicious, cautious self—and Hoid was his mysterious, but forthright and respectful—self. To me, his respect for her came through as did her interest in him. But I didn’t see, say, Navani/Dalinar’s deep abiding loyalty and affection and attraction, or Shallan/Adolin’s growing true love, or even Kaladin’s attraction to Laral with hopes and dreams for their future. It read like a convenient companionship that fulfilled their needs—for now. But it could be as Ookla said above: poorly written love from someone who is ace. But I’m hopeful it’s not.

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19 hours ago, Ookla the Well-Intentioned said:

See, I agree with this completely - but I am *very* concerned that Brandon's trying to write love here.

The notion that marriages or relationships have to involve love is a modern, western attitude. Neither Jasnah or Hoid share it.

12 hours ago, LuckyJim said:

I guess my only thought is if this isn't meant to be some kind of romance, I don't see why Brandon would have put so much emphasis on the fact that they're having sex.

Reproduction. How much Jasnah knows about Hoid's magic is unclear, but she is clever. She may very well know how one becomes, what Hoid is among other things.

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7 hours ago, Bliev said:

I think it’s a romance/relationship of sorts. I just don’t think it’s “love” necessarily or even that commitment or the future is a thing they’re at all thinking about. I don’t think Jasnah cares a wit (hehe) about Alethi social norms and will do what she wants, and I’m guessing that her surprise at trusting someone outside of her family circle may be an impetus for her intrigue and care for Hoid. I suppose my quibble here is that we don’t fall into the trope of assuming any sexual relationship a woman in fantasy engages in is a sign of her undying affection or that it will lead to marriage or even that we should care that it does. Although I was in the “Jasnah is surely a Lesbian” camp until RoW, I didn’t feel that this chapter was otherwise out of character in that—she was still her intellectual, suspicious, cautious self—and Hoid was his mysterious, but forthright and respectful—self. To me, his respect for her came through as did her interest in him. But I didn’t see, say, Navani/Dalinar’s deep abiding loyalty and affection and attraction, or Shallan/Adolin’s growing true love, or even Kaladin’s attraction to Laral with hopes and dreams for their future. It read like a convenient companionship that fulfilled their needs—for now. But it could be as Ookla said above: poorly written love from someone who is ace. But I’m hopeful it’s not.

I think I misunderstood your earlier comment then, because it seems like we basically agree. Yeah, there seems to be some romantic affection going on here, but I don't think it's a relationship that can last for a lot of reasons which Wit and Jasnah are both probably very much aware of.

6 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

Reproduction. How much Jasnah knows about Hoid's magic is unclear, but she is clever. She may very well know how one becomes, what Hoid is among other things.

really don't think that's what's going on here. For one, I just don't think it's something in line with Jasnah's characterization as it involves a lot of personal sacrifice on her part for an objective that she has no way of knowing would pay off the way she wants it to. More importantly though, we saw how she views the relationship and it seems like she's having sex with him due to affection rather than any ulterior motives.

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On 28.11.2021 at 0:40 AM, LuckyJim said:

I think I misunderstood your earlier comment then, because it seems like we basically agree. Yeah, there seems to be some romantic affection going on here, but I don't think it's a relationship that can last for a lot of reasons which Wit and Jasnah are both probably very much aware of.

Hoid is thousands of years old. There is nothing lasting for him in any case. And they both know it.

Yet most of mankind for a long time practiced marriage - or pair bonding if you will - for reasons other than romanticism. And that generally worked. Neither of the two members involved is strictly speaking fully human, not even Jasnah. She has a telepathic connection to a fully sapient alien. And neither of them was a 21st century Westerner before that.

On 28.11.2021 at 0:40 AM, LuckyJim said:

really don't think that's what's going on here. For one, I just don't think it's something in line with Jasnah's characterization as it involves a lot of personal sacrifice on her part for an objective that she has no way of knowing would pay off the way she wants it to. More importantly though, we saw how she views the relationship and it seems like she's having sex with him due to affection rather than any ulterior motives.

What sacrifice? And with Jasnah thinking that she is unaware of the whole advantages and disadvantages of an action and does something for one particular reason only is a bit, well, naive.

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