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Heralds, Braize, and Odium's long term plans


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We don't know the gritty details of the torture that heralds go through on Braize, do we?

I was randomly wondering about that and thought that perhaps years of torture would have a two-fold benefit for odium. Not only does it make heralds break to start another desolation, but can we also think of it as advanced "training" for Roshar's most powerful super soldiers?

We know Odium is preparing for a greater war. Perhaps he hopes to use the heralds to fight somehow.

I could be way off base here but I'm coming from a POV of trying to understand Odium's great plan. I don't think he is necessarily evil, or if he is, evil for the sake of being evil - I believe he is simply trying to prepare for a conflict so great that he considers much of roshar and its people to be disposable in order to fulfill a greater plan. 

This could be why Taravangian thought that surrendering to odium was his best hope. Perhaps he saw that Roshar was potentially doomed, argued to save just his own city, and realized that everybody else would be screwed because of an impending war. 

I think this could add depth to Odium's character/intent. Perhaps there is a good reason an extreme utilitarian took up the shard: maybe odium truly thinks that, in contrast to "journey before destination," the best outcome requires immense sacrifice to have an army capable of handling what is yet to come.

Of course, we know his other goal is to be the only shard remaining, so I'm not sure how to reconcile that. Maybe he fears an assault from other shards on roshar / his forces that, if successful, could take him down. Perhaps Rayse simply intended to protect himself at all costs, and Taravangian simply saved what he could.

Perhaps this is another reason why Hoid wants Odium bound to Roshar. What if an invasion force came to try and destroy him or the planet to avoid his further conquering? I could see that uniting the people's of Roshar, humans, singers, heralds, and fused alike.

Thoughts? Ik I'm all over the place but I always like to read what people think, especially if they can easily debunk me, or spawn their own theories instead :)

Edited by Icy
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Hey there!

This sounds like a very brandoninan thing way to evolve the plot:lol:

and I agree that in general in Brandon's work "evil" characters are not purely evil but tend to have motivations.

Buuuut I don't think  we'll have such a 180 as you're impling on Odium, even Harmony states that he is worried (as much as a shard can be) about Odium's actions, and I feel like Harmony is as a reliable and knowledgable a narrator as we can get in the Cosmere. Here's the letter I'm referring to. 
I really think Odium just wants to have unlimited power so that he can freely engoulf the Cosmere with his 'Passion', which may not be evil per se, but I think it will generally be considered evil for our POV characters.

Specifically about your theory, Odium was trying to recruit Dalinar for that, it wouldn't make much sense to me for the recruitment of Dalinar and the torture of the heralds both being preparations on an army for the greater war.


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Odium literally means hatred. He’s splintered multiple Shards and is trying to become all powerful. How would splintering shards help in a big war? I mean, they’re pretty much the most powerful beings in the universe and would be pretty useful. And Hoid wants Odium bound to Roshar so he can’t kill any more Shards. Right?

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