Jump to content

Dawnshards: Analysis of Intent & Command

Child of Hodor

Recommended Posts

I have some specific things I want to discuss that are bugging me about the Intent - Command definitions, but first a dumb joke! At the most basic level the Dawnshards were tools made by Adonlasium to help him get the most out of his power when it came to creating and shaping the Cosmere. They amplify his Intent(s). A visualization:


That's how I choose to understand Dawnshards, they are amps for Investiture usage. Anything more detailed gets confusing. 

Intent vs Command (the will of a god)

In Dawnshard ch. 19, Nikkli differentiates the Dawnshards from Intent by saying "The Dawnshards are Commands, Rysn. The will of a god. ... All their greatest applications require Intent and a Command."

The words Intent and Command summon up a clear relationship to me. Intent is what I am thinking or wanting to happen, Command is what I say to make it happen. One is internal the other is external. However, the text really blurs this clear delineation by stating these Commands are the will of a god. Doing things willingly is synonymous with doing them intentionally. My Will is a document that lays out what I intend to have happen to my stuff when I die. How is this different from Intent? 

The text further muddies (to me) what Dawnshards are "To make such Commands, one must have the reasoning -- the breadth of understanding -- of a deity. And so, the Dawnshards. The four primal Commands that made all things." 

Adonalsium made tools to help him understand? It seems to me the Intents give greater understanding. I say that because whenever we get the POV of someone becoming a vessel for one of the 16 Shards the individual gains a much greater understanding of the Intent and it's many examples. Ruin is erosion, decay, entropy etc. Even when Dalinar glimpses Odium in the spiritual realm in OB Ch. 57 he gains a greater understanding of what Odium represents in the world. Scream of warriors, ecstacy, sorrow, joy, bliss, hatred. 

Adonalsium made tools out of himself to better understand himself? Nothing else existed in the Cosmere until he used the Dawnshards to "make all things" so he had to make them out of himself. 

Rysn doesn't seem to gain any greater understanding of anything when she becomes the Dawnshard. She doesn't have access to any invested arts means she can't use the Dawnshard, but if the Dawnshard is the understanding of a god it's not giving any to her. She gets an impression of what Adonalsium felt as he was dying including "Understanding"  but she only gains the knowledge that an entity was resigned and understood something as he was being torn to pieces. Not a greater understanding in general. 

Right before she "becomes" the Dawnshard something is talking into her head mentioning the Guardian of Ancient Sins bringing her here. The Dawnshard may be intelligent and that intelligence has the understanding and will of a god which is why Rysn doesn't gain this great boost in her "Understanding Things" stat.  The Undesrtanding is in her, but still separate in a way or only activates when invested arts are wielded. 

Long way of reiterating I don't get Dawnshards beyond that they amplify Investiture usage. See photo above. 

Edited by Child of Hodor
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...