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Why Odium is Passion (and why Odium is not Passion)


Ixthos

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This seems to be a bone of contention, the question of whether Odium is or isn't passion, or is just hatred, or could be passion but something is preventing that. I will briefly state what I think is the case, and would like to see other's opinions as well (especially yours @RShara, seeing as how passiona- ... I mean, how much you care about this).

 

Without doing lengthy posts and quotes, I will cite a few things:

 

  • Odium showed Dalinar his mandate, and it was intense. Just as Ruin and Preservation were shown to Kelsier and Sazed to embody change - destructively - and stability, respectively when they saw the spirit of the shards, Odium showed Dalinar not just hatred, but also joy and sadness and other emotions;
  • Odium focused on others passion - everything he focuses on was described as passion, such as the actions of those who first took the fallen blades;
  • Odium wanted to take responsibility for others actions;
  • Odium is lying to himself about being Passion, but not entirely.

 

So here is my take on it. Odium is passion, and focuses on passion, recognising and claiming to be part of the emotions and emotional actions of others. So, Odium is passion.

 

BUT! Passion is more than emotion and the intensity of emotion and the feeling of being lost in emotion. Passion requires Devotion - how can you be passionate without something to direct your passion towards? How can you be zealous without an object to direct your zeal? How can you be enthusiastic without something to be enthusiastic about? People feel passion towards things, and Odium recognises that because the intensity of the emotion - that which is called passion - is present in that. But Odium lacks the directionality for passion. He recognises it when others are passionate and claims it is him, but what he claims isn't the direction, only the magnitude. Passion requires Autonomy, Mercy, Vengeance, all the little things missing, for passion is a way of thinking, but it still requires thoughts. Passion is a vector, Odium is a scaler. This is why Honour and Odium are so compatible, for Honour is all about direction, Odium all about magnitude, and together they can make something Passionate about fulfilling their vows. Odium and Devotion together can be Passionate about serving another. Odium and Ambition together can be a drive to achieve something so intense, the Passion to achieve goals. Odium is a drive, the others are a direction, and Passion needs both.

 

Ironically, if Odium picked up the other shards, then he actually would become passion. 

 

What are your thoughts?

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I think Odium does relate strongly to other emotions... Because hatred feeds on them and grows as a result. Hatred consumes. 

His followers are left as empty shells. Hollow and devoid of passion and any feelings of responsibility. Stripped bare of the things that made them care. Which is an accurate statement in my mind if what actual hatred does to people. Consumes and redirects their desires. Makes them feel that the targets of their hatred are responsible for their actions.

The new rhythms of the regals are all tinged by violence and anger. The least blatant of these I can think of at the moment is "Craving" but that is still a violent need. The others I remember? Destruction, spite, ridicule... 

And thematically I think Odium is appropriate. We have a story with very prominent themes of prejudice and oppression. A shard of Hatred that lies, even to itself, to present itself as something more appealing is both accurate... And timely. 

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In brief:

1. He and his followers are the only one that consider him Passion.

2. Frost, Hoid, the Stormfather, and Syl all call him Hatred.

3. All of the manifestations of him that we've seen involve hatred, violence, lack of inhibitions, rather than passion.

4. All of the new Rhythms from him are tinged with hatred. Not a single one has a "positive" emotion.

5. The humans we've seen who've given themselves over to him or to his agents (Dalinar and Moash) end up feeling empty, not passionate.

6. This WoB that he's incapable of being honest with himself about being Hatred.

 

Quote

 

Questioner

In universe, all the intents and charts and names, who names them? Do they name themselves?

Brandon Sanderson

I have kind of imagined this is one of those things that they certainly have influence over. But obviously Odium thinks that he's named something other than what he is, and I feel like these are intrinsic things that the sixteen all knew. Like, "I am missing this part of me, it is this." And it was less "we went around and named them" more like "this is just what it is". And various Shards are resisting that, but the others are all like "No, this is what you represent". 

Billy Todd, Moderator

Follow-up question there. Would the entity that we call Odium refer to itself as Odium when it's honest with itself?

Brandon Sanderson

Ehhh, I don't think Odium is capable of being honest with himself. *laughter* There are times where Odium has called himself Odium. That is more out of convenience and the fact that everyone calls you by a name. But Odium is determined to change that perception. 

Billy Todd, Moderator

So, does he genuinely believe in characterizing himself as Passion?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Part of him does.

Billy Todd, Moderator

Has he always ever been Odium since the Shattering?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

 

 

JordanCon 2018 (April 21, 2018)
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I agree with Ixthos on this. To me, Odium, in short, is the Id, while Honour is the Super-Ego. That is not quite the same as "Passion", but it definitely is a very strong part of that and similiar enough that Odium himself and many others could argue that he is Passion.

15 hours ago, RShara said:

1. He and his followers are the only one that consider him Passion.

2. Frost, Hoid, the Stormfather, and Syl all call him Hatred.

Yes, but I am not sure if Syl, Hoid and the Stormfather really are the most objective sources on Odium's intent. They hate Odium. Their opinions of him are so low, that for them it is probably just as difficult to be objective about this as it is for Odium himself. Let's just pretend for a second that Ruin, for example, actually is the Shard of Change. I know he isn't, but if he had been, and still had done what he did, I think Vin and the others still would have thought of him just as "Ruin", or "Destruction". When your enemy, the being who caused all your pain tells you that he is the embodiment of destruction, you'd probably believe him. When he claims to be "all emotion", you probably wouldn't believe him. 

15 hours ago, RShara said:

3. All of the manifestations of him that we've seen involve hatred, violence, lack of inhibitions, rather than passion.

Except, not really. Sure, there's been a lot of hatred, because Odium's intent very much includes hatred, but as Ixthos pointed out, Dalinar got to see Odium's "true self" - which included things like joy, sadness and lust. Usually, the shards we know can accurately be judged by their associated investiture. Odium's investiture involves nine Slivers, only one of which, Nergaoul, is based on hatred. There also is one based on hedonism and lust, emotions that Dalinar experienced when he saw Odium's "true form". And the way the elites in Kholinar were running around when Shallan was there also seemed very unemotional and "void-like" to me, like sleepwalkers. 

So, no, I definitely wouldn't say that "all of Odium's manifestations so far involved hatred".

15 hours ago, RShara said:

5. The humans we've seen who've given themselves over to him or to his agents (Dalinar and Moash) end up feeling empty, not passionate.

Well, they don't feel hateful either. But the real point is, Odium's magic system requires someone to be passionate. Maybe it doesn't create passion, but Radiant-ism doesn't create honour either. After all, Kaladin didn't become honourable as a result of his magic, but the magic was a result of his being honourable. The same is true with Odium. Passion and/or hatred is the requirement and the magic is the result. Not the other way around. 

15 hours ago, RShara said:

6. This WoB 

The WoB says that Odium is not really Passion, I agree. But that doesn't mean that he's Hatred either. BS says that the intents are "intrinsic things that the sixteen all knew". So, Odium was given his name because "Odium" apparently is just the word that best sums up what he, at his core, is. The problem with that is, that we also know that, out-of-universe, the shards' names were picked, among other things, according to how good they sound. Honor for example, sounds better, than "Self-Discipline" or "Responsibility". And I think that lessens our ability to really make conclusions about the intents based on names.

Just look at "Honor". As I said, a name that sounds good. But it's also a little misleading, because the word "honour" has no real meaning when you take it outside of context. Depending on culture, society and time, the word "honour" could mean pretty much everything. Let's take the Shin - for whom, I think, protecting others via fighting, would be a dishonourable thing to do, seeing how they abhor violence. And yet that is what the Windrunners, who even bond Honorspren, do all the time. So, really, what does Honor even mean in the Cosmere? 

According to Wikipedia, Honour is "the idea of a bond between an individual and a society as a quality of a person that is both of social teaching and of personal ethos, that manifests itself as a code of conduct (...) an abstract concept entailing a perceived quality of worthiness and respectability that affects both the social standing and the self-evaluation of an individual or institution such as a family, school, regiment or nation. Accordingly, individuals (or institutions) are assigned worth and stature based on the harmony of their actions with a specific code of honour, and the moral code of the society at large."

So, honour, as I said, is defined in large parts based on what society you are in. But judging by the magic system on Roshar, the Windrunners are the most honourable order of Radiants and they are defined by their willingness to break the law to protect people. This value of "protecting even those that I hate" is apparently the same for all Windrunners, even in societies like the Alethi, where it is seen as morally acceptable to sacrifice dozens of Bridgemen's lives trying to get some gemhearts. So, apparently, the shard Honor believes in something like "basic values" that are universally correct. Protecting the weak is, apparently, always the right thing to do, even when the "moral code of the society at large", disagrees. Which means that Honor isn't really just about "being honourable", at least not the way I (and Wikipedia) would define that word.

The shard Honor is, definitely, about morality. His magic system encourages people to follow a specific Ideal or ideology that they personally relate to. These ideals range from protectiveness and obedience to things like truth, rationality or unity. But as the Skybreakers and Windrunners demonstrate, there can be such things as mutually exclusive orders. Windrunners and Skybreakers have vastly different ideas about what is right and what isn't. And yet Honor encourages both of them to follow their own personal moral code, instead of a specific culture's moral code, or even a singular, universal code. My conclusion would be that Honor's intent is to encourage humanity to pledge itself to a code of persoanl principles and ideals and to try to get as close to these ideals as possible. You might call that Honor, but there are much more clear and concise words for what he embodies, like Idealism, Responsibility, Dedication and others. And yet, the name Honor was chosen instead. The WoB says that the names are intrinsic to them and represent what the shards are. But I think that doesn't mean that they are the best or the only words. Another example for that would be Preservation. When all of the shards agree that "Preservation" is just what that shard IS, then why don't they call it just "Stagnation"? Isn't that equally correct? I think there's even a WoB or an annotation somewhere that says that both Preservation and Ruin are "charged" terms for things changing or not changing. I assume that the shards' names are just approximations - if you really could give them "perfect" names, they'd sound a lot more like "Things-not-changing". Honor would be called "People-trying-to-be-the-way-they-think-they-should-be". 

Odium I think, is similiar. The name Odium is just as abstract, as is Passion. I mean, really, what is Passion? Isn't Passion just the same as emotion? Also, what exactly is the difference between passion and devotion? If Odium was passion, then why would there be two shards with pretty much the same intent? The only possible conclusion is that Odium is not passion, but something way different than "devotion" - not necessarily hatred though. We do know that Odium's intent includes joy and sadness, because that's what Dalinar saw. So what is the difference between the emotions that Devotion contains and the emotions that Odium contains. My guess is that, unlike what Ixthos said, it really is about the direction that you take your emotions and/or passion.

Let's first look at devotion. Devotion is a strong emotion connected to something else. For example, you can be devoted to a religion or to a goal. Devotion then is something like dedication. However, IIRC, WoB has also said that Devotion could be called "Love" or "Compassion" as well, which is a little different. Anyway, Devotion includes passion, which is why Odium cannot be just passion. Devotion's intent, from what we know, is all about emotions that are connected to something else and that are centered around another being/object. Someone who is devoted to bringing justice would feel hateful towards criminals, but it would be different from Odium's kind of hatred.

Odium's agents have also felt strong emotions in their appearances. Moash hated the Alethi culture for what they had done to him. Dalinar was ecstatic about killing people. Amaram was feeling guilty and disappointed about his role in the world. Moash, Dalinar and Amaram are all driven by various very different passions and feelings, not all of which are simply "Hatred". Dalinar didn't really hate most of the soldiers he killed when he was under the effects of the thrill. He was ecstatic.

So what is the common denominator of all these passions and emotions compared to those associated with Devotion? Well, Devotion is emotion regarding other things or beings. Odium, I guess, is "selfish" emotion. Dalinar doesn't care about anything in the world when he is on the battlefield, there is no compassion at all. It's his personal pleasure. In WoR Kaladin hates Amaram for what he has done, and hatred of injustice is something very windrunner-ish. But it is not honourable because Kaladin's grudge is purely selfish, there would be no moral justification for killing Amaram or Elhokar; he only cares about his own revenge. Moash has the same, he declares that all of Alethi culture is at fault for his own life's problems despite the fact that he himself is mostly responsible with his bad decisions. Even his hatred is always hatred based on what has been done to him.

Odium and Honor are basically the opposites that the humans on Roshar have to choose between. Odium is always about the individual person, their feelings, their personal opinions and desires, unconnected to morality, duty or oaths. Honor is about unity, ideals and personal sacrifice and responsibility, he's about deciding to follow your beliefs when you could instead forsake them in favour of fullfilling your personal desires. Odium is the id and Honor the Super-Ego. At least that's my opinion.

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I would also add that Ambition could also claim a certain level of passion. Many times in Elantris it is shown that ambition is rewarded in the religion, and those that are most rewarded are those that pursue it with the most fire. There could be other arguments made for other shards but I think passion or even motivation is too strong of a title to be attributed to odium or any other shard.

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9 minutes ago, bxcnch said:

Yes, but I am not sure if Syl, Hoid and the Stormfather really are the most objective sources on Odium's intent. They hate Odium. Their opinions of him are so low, that for them it is probably just as difficult to be objective about this as it is for Odium himself. Let's just pretend for a second that Ruin, for example, actually is the Shard of Change. I know he isn't, but if he had been, and still had done what he did, I think Vin and the others still would have thought of him just as "Ruin", or "Destruction". When your enemy, the being who caused all your pain tells you that he is the embodiment of destruction, you'd probably believe him. When he claims to be "all emotion", you probably wouldn't believe him. 

You missed Frost on that list, who is dedicated to neutrality. He'd have no reason to lie.

9 minutes ago, bxcnch said:

Except, not really. Sure, there's been a lot of hatred, because Odium's intent very much includes hatred, but as Ixthos pointed out, Dalinar got to see Odium's "true self" - which included things like joy, sadness and lust.

Why are we assuming Odium showed his true self to Dalinar in that scene? Odium lies, even to himself.

9 minutes ago, bxcnch said:

There also is one based on hedonism and lust, emotions that Dalinar experienced when he saw Odium's "true form".

Lack of inhibitions != Passion.

9 minutes ago, bxcnch said:

Well, they don't feel hateful either. But the real point is, Odium's magic system requires someone to be passionate. Maybe it doesn't create passion, but Radiant-ism doesn't create honour either. After all, Kaladin didn't become honourable as a result of his magic, but the magic was a result of his being honourable.

But if he doesn't stay honorable, he breaks the bond.

9 minutes ago, bxcnch said:

The shard Honor is, definitely, about morality. His magic system encourages people to follow a specific Ideal or ideology that they personally relate to. These ideals range from protectiveness and obedience to things like truth, rationality or unity.

Actually

Quote

Questioner

Shards. We started with fairly obvious ones, magic wise. Trying to keep this spoiler free, so: Ruin, Preservation, this kind of thing. Then we get the weird ones. Why do we have Shards that can only exist in the mind of a sentient creature? ...Like the concept of Honor can only be done when it's carried out, essentially, by a sentient creature.

Brandon Sanderson

So when I split Adonalsium I said, "I'm going to take aspects of Adonalsium's nature." And this involves personality to me. So the Shattering of Adonalsium was primal forces attached to certain aspects of personality. And so I view every one of them this way. And when I wrote Mistborn we had Ruin and Preservation. They are the primal forces of entropy and whatever you call the opposite, staying-the-same-ism-y. Like, you've got these two contrasts, between things changing and things not changing. And then humans do have a part, there's a personality. Ruin is a charged term for something that actually is the way that life exists. And Preservation is a charged term for stasis, for staying the same. And those are the personality aspects, and the way they are viewed by people and by the entity that was Adonalsium.

So I view this for all of them. Like, Honor is the sense of being bound by rules, even when those rules, you wouldn't have to be bound by. And there's this sense that that is noble, that's the honor aspect to it, but there's also something not honorable about Honor if taken from the other direction. So a lot of them do kind of have this both-- cultural component, I would say, that is trying to represent something that is also natural. And not all of them are gonna have a 100% balance between those two things, I would say, because there's only so many fundamental laws of the universe that I can ascribe personalities to in that way. 

So I find Honor very interesting, but I find Autonomy a very interesting one for the exact same reason. What does autonomy mean? We attach a lot to it, but what is the actual, if you get rid of the charged terms, what does it mean? And this is where you end up with things like Odium claiming "I am all emotion." Rather than-- But then there's a charged term for it that is associated with this Shard. I'm not going to tell you whether he's right or not, but he has an argument. 

Emerald City Comic Con 2018 (March 1, 2018)

Honor in this context doesn't mean morality. It's simply the concept of being bound by rules when you don't have to be. Lawful evil is lawful but still evil.

You can have your opinion, and that's perfectly fine. But I think that the WoBs plus the other reasons proves pretty definitively that Odium is lying about being Passion. YMMV.

Just now, Yolenlightweaver said:

I would also add that Ambition could also claim a certain level of passion. Many times in Elantris it is shown that ambition is rewarded in the religion, and those that are most rewarded are those that pursue it with the most fire. There could be other arguments made for other shards but I think passion or even motivation is too strong of a title to be attributed to odium or any other shard.

 

Edit: Very much agree with this. Ambition could arguably be passion for advancement or achievement. Autonomy could arguably be passion for individuality and self-determination. And we know Devotion is the equivalent of love/compassion. So if Odium were Passion, he'd be Passion without Love, without desire for achievement, without desire for self-determination. Plus whatever other Shards are out there. So how much Passion could he really have at this point?

Edited by RShara
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I will never understand why an Odium provided vision is accepted as true... Or why in that vision a flame consuming all emotion means that those emotions are a part of the flame and not the fuel. 

Quote

"You’ve seen me, have you? Curious.”
Odium smiled again.
Then everything went white. Dalinar found himself standing on a speck of nothingness that was the entire world, looking up at an eternal, all-embracing flame. It stretched in every direction, starting as red, moving to orange, then changing to blazing white.
Then somehow, the flames seemed to burn into a deep blackness, violet and angry.
This was something so terrible that it consumed light itself. It was hot. A radiance indescribable, intense heat and black fire, colored violet at the outside.
Burning.
Overwhelming.
Power.
It was the scream of a thousand warriors on the battlefield.
It was the moment of most sensual touch and ecstasy.
It was the sorrow of loss, the joy of victory.
And it was hatred. Deep, pulsing hatred with a pressure to turn all things molten. It was the heat of a thousand suns, it was the bliss of every kiss, it was the lives of all men wrapped up in one, defined by everything they felt.

An Odium crafted vision isn't something I trust. Even if he believes it. 

Hatred consumes. I think all of that stuff is there, but it's what fuels the fire, not a part of it. 

As usual with this argument, the thing that seals the deal for me is the new rhythms. Here's a quick search of the "new" rhythms. 

Craving, Command, Fury, Derision, Agony, Destruction, Withdrawal (noted as "one of the only new rhythms with a calm tone"). 

I'm not seeing a lot of joy, or happiness, or positivity there. If Odium is "Passion" he's passion in the historic "suffering" sense of the word like "the passion of the christ." and even then I think it's a stretch. 

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I have an idea on this subject that stems from Ati, he's interpretation of Ruin as change made Ruin be more like entropy than pure destruction. The shard person has some degree of control over its Intent.

As such I perceive Odium the shard as Hate but Rayse Interpretation as Passion which makes Odium not be Passion but still more than just hate. The Unmade at least are very reminiscent of the Seven Sins.

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2 minutes ago, Myuken said:

I have an idea on this subject that stems from Ati, he's interpretation of Ruin as change made Ruin be more like entropy than pure destruction. The shard person has some degree of control over its Intent.

As such I perceive Odium the shard as Hate but Rayse Interpretation as Passion which makes Odium not be Passion but still more than just hate. The Unmade at least are very reminiscent of the Seven Sins.

A Vessel can change a Shard's intent to a synonym but not to something completely different.

Quote

Questioner

We know Ati chose how Ruin was interpreted, in that he was a card-cackling maniac. Could someone so differently interpret a Shard as to change its name to be something different? Could someone pick up the Shard of Ruin and think I'm the Shard of Change? Or could someone pick up the Shard of Honor and think--

Brandon Sanderson

*hesitantly* Yes. To an extent. The interpretation, what you call a thing-- I think it would be arguable either way in-world, regardless of what they call themselves. There are those who would say the core intent is still there and you can't shift it that far, and others would argue you can shift it far enough to change the definition to a synonym. You see evidence of someone claiming this in the books. I'm not gonna confirm or deny for you whether that is actually a thing or not.

Oathbringer London signing (Nov. 28, 2017)

 

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@Calderis I think our views are not necessarily incompatible. I apologise for the crudeness of this next graph, but if the top graph represents passion, which Oidum thinks he is but isn't, which of the bottom three do you think is the best representation of what Odium is: only a slight hint of all the other emotions, almost all emotions, but missing pieces of them, or a mixture of being more some emotions than others?

Untitled.thumb.png.f2dfe93929fc0b9016db9b59da4c3066.png

Based on that, would you say that one or more shards are out there with the remaining pieces of emotion? One other shard - possible Devotion, or one of the others that haven't been named but which I think might include Dreams, Mercy? Or divided among all the remainder?

 

@RShara to be clear, are you saying you think that what Dalinar saw was a lie, as in Odium fabricated the emotions he made Dalinar see - that, simply put, what Dalinar saw was, intentionally or not, an illusion? If we for a moment assume that it wasn't a lie though, do you think there is another way Odium isn't passion? If it was a lie, do you think it is one Odium truly believes, or one that he just wanted Dalinar to see? The gold seems to represent emotions in general, the dark violet hatred.

 

@bxcnch I think we are mostly in agreement :-) though I think Honour and Odium are not fully incompatible, as Honour is I think a missing piece of the other shards as well, and together with, for example, Preservation, is the concept of Protection, which Windrunners represent (and have similarities to things on Scadrial as well).

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22 hours ago, Yolenlightweaver said:

I would also add that Ambition could also claim a certain level of passion. Many times in Elantris it is shown that ambition is rewarded in the religion, and those that are most rewarded are those that pursue it with the most fire. There could be other arguments made for other shards but I think passion or even motivation is too strong of a title to be attributed to odium or any other shard.

I absolutely agree, ambition is also a form of passion. I think you are kind of confusing her with Dominion and/or Devotion though. Ambition never was on Sel or had any real role in Elantris, unless I missed something really big.

21 hours ago, Calderis said:

I will never understand why an Odium provided vision is accepted as true... Or why in that vision a flame consuming all emotion means that those emotions are a part of the flame and not the fuel.  (...)

Hatred consumes. I think all of that stuff is there, but it's what fuels the fire, not a part of it. 

With all respect, I don't think it says that the flame consumes emotion. It says "Something so terrible that it consumed lightself. It was hot. ... Burning. Overwhelming. Power. It was the scream of soldiers on the battlefield...et cetera, et cetera." There's nothing about a flame consuming emotion. To me it seems like the flame IS the emotion. 

Hatred consumes, maybe. But can't other emotions consume too? The people at Kholinar were "consumed" by hedonism or ecstacy. Or look at young Dalinar. He was definitely experiencing some sort of very passionate feeling on the battlefield. I don't think it's just hatred though, I think it was ecstacy or euphoria. And when the war was over he was feeling empty and consumed, spending his time in taverns etc. I think many emotions can consume, like despair or even hope. 

21 hours ago, Calderis said:

Craving, Command, Fury, Derision, Agony, Destruction, Withdrawal (noted as "one of the only new rhythms with a calm tone"). 

Calm and Passion don't fit together that nicely anyway. As for Craving, Withdrawal and Agony, I don't really understand how they are more compatible with Hatred than with Passion. If I am feeling agony, I am suffering, sad and in despair - but I don't necessarily hate.

 

21 hours ago, Calderis said:

An Odium crafted vision isn't something I trust. Even if he believes it. 

 

22 hours ago, RShara said:

Why are we assuming Odium showed his true self to Dalinar in that scene? Odium lies, even to himself

 

The thing is, we don't know whether he was lying or not. Generally, he seemed to be very honest and friendly to Dalinar. Sure, he was trying to pull him over to his own side, but still. I don't remember him lying at any point in the book. He seemed to believe that he is showing Dalinar his true self. You are right, maybe he is lying. I personally think what Dalinar saw was Odium's true self and  Rayse is just making the wrong conclusions via wishful thinking. 

I think - and this is just my theory or personal belief - that Odium embodies something that includes hatred, but also some other strong emotions and passions like ecstacy, hedonism, despair or sadness. Devotion and Ambition are both, I think, goal-oriented passion. When you are devoted to a person you are feeling strong emotions that are connected to another being or thing. Odium is, I think, self-centered passion that makes you break away from your ideals. Take Dalinar for example. Dalinar in OB has a choice: To do what he thinks is right by taking responsibility even though it hurts - or to forsake his ideals and responsibility because its easier to live that way. Or take Kaladin in WoR. He has the choice between following his ideals and his feeling of what is good and right or to instead refuse and allow Moash to kill Elhokar, because of his own bitterness towards him. Last but not least, Moash, who decided that his misdeeds aren't his own fault, but that society is to blame for everything he has done. In all of these cases the characters either do what they think is right even if it's not what they personally want, or they cross their self-imposed moral limits and cast away all responsibilities and duties because of their own personal desires. That is a recurring motif in the series, and since the first of these two options is obviously the choice that Honor would approve of, I think it would be fitting if Odium would embody the other option.

 As I said, it's just my own personal opinion that that is what Odium is. The fact that emotions like hedonism, craving, ecstatsy and agony are also associated with Odium, either through the Unmade, or through the rhythms are why I think so, apart from the fact that I would find it disappointing if Odium was as simple as being "merely" Hatred. That's just my opinion and I think there's some arguments that may support this, but of course I don't have any real proof and I never claimed to. However, I also don't think there's any real proof that Odium really just is hatred. 

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And what about Odium is hatred and his focus is "strong emotions or/and fellings"? (I'm not sure pain is a feeling a Odium seems to have some power over it)

It would explain why hatred is not obvious in the rhythms, in the same way preservation is for from obvious in allomancy.

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42 minutes ago, bxcnch said:

The thing is, we don't know whether he was lying or not. I don't remember him lying at any point in the book. He seemed to believe that he is showing Dalinar his true self. You are right, maybe he is lying. I personally think what Dalinar saw was Odium's true self and  Rayse is just making the wrong conclusions via wishful thinking. 

Because we know he's even lying to himself. If he's capable of lying to himself to that extent, he's certainly capable of lying to others.

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Generally, he seemed to be very honest and friendly to Dalinar. Sure, he was trying to pull him over to his own side, but still.

Because you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. The best liars are the ones that mix mostly truth with a little lie, and weave them together into something that seems plausible but is entirely misleading.

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Questioner

Shards. We started with fairly obvious ones, magic wise. Trying to keep this spoiler free, so: Ruin, Preservation, this kind of thing. Then we get the weird ones. Why do we have Shards that can only exist in the mind of a sentient creature? ...Like the concept of Honor can only be done when it's carried out, essentially, by a sentient creature.

Brandon Sanderson

So when I split Adonalsium I said, "I'm going to take aspects of Adonalsium's nature." And this involves personality to me. So the Shattering of Adonalsium was primal forces attached to certain aspects of personality. And so I view every one of them this way. And when I wrote Mistborn we had Ruin and Preservation. They are the primal forces of entropy and whatever you call the opposite, staying-the-same-ism-y. Like, you've got these two contrasts, between things changing and things not changing. And then humans do have a part, there's a personality. Ruin is a charged term for something that actually is the way that life exists. And Preservation is a charged term for stasis, for staying the same. And those are the personality aspects, and the way they are viewed by people and by the entity that was Adonalsium.

So I view this for all of them. Like, Honor is the sense of being bound by rules, even when those rules, you wouldn't have to be bound by. And there's this sense that that is noble, that's the honor aspect to it, but there's also something not honorable about Honor if taken from the other direction. So a lot of them do kind of have this both-- cultural component, I would say, that is trying to represent something that is also natural. And not all of them are gonna have a 100% balance between those two things, I would say, because there's only so many fundamental laws of the universe that I can ascribe personalities to in that way. 

So I find Honor very interesting, but I find Autonomy a very interesting one for the exact same reason. What does autonomy mean? We attach a lot to it, but what is the actual, if you get rid of the charged terms, what does it mean? And this is where you end up with things like Odium claiming "I am all emotion." Rather than-- But then there's a charged term for it that is associated with this Shard. I'm not going to tell you whether he's right or not, but he has an argument. 

Emerald City Comic Con 2018 (March 1, 2018)

If you look at this WoB it's directly stating that the names of the shards are often not accurate or objective.  They are often charged with unflattering (or overly flattering) connotations based on how people perceive them.  Ruin would be more objectively called Entropy, Preservation more objectively Stasis.  Odium's shard name is again likely to have been given a charged connotation based on how people feel about it.  He may not truly be "Passion" but he is also almost certainly not "Odium" (from the word odious - extremely unpleasant or distasteful) either.  The description of Odium as "God's own divine hatred" is from a character who we know almost nothing about in canon and what little we do know is that he merely believes that he and Hoid should not intervene in the wars between the shards, not that he doesn't have any opinions or biases about Odium.  He could still hate Odium even he doesn't believe he should actively be fighting against him.

Odium is much more interesting if he isn't just hate, so I personally hope that's the case.  It's also kind of a Sanderson trope that the people we thought were the good guys and the villains aren't exactly who we thought they were at the start.  It's possible that Odium is hate, but it's also possible he isn't and it's honestly annoying to say there is absolutely no chance of him being anything other than hate.  Every WoB that has been quoted in this thread ends with Sanderson intentionally leaving Odium's true nature up to interpretation.

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6 hours ago, agrabes said:

Every WoB that has been quoted in this thread ends with Sanderson intentionally leaving Odium's true nature up to interpretation.

Because he's flat out said he doesn't want to kill conversations like this one.

Notably though, the "he's incapable of being honest with himself" doesn't end that way. It ends with "has Odium been Odium since the shattering? Yes" 

That said, Odium parading himself around as Passion isn't any more or less interesting than Odium to me. My main reasoning is still between the new rhythms and the themes if the story. 

A Shard that is all about hatred presenting itself in a more favorable light that even it kind of believes is exceptionally fitting for a story that is thematically about prejudice and oppression. In those situations hate always justifies itself as something else. It always tries to make itself seen as some kind of traditionalist or protection, or or or... It persists through justification of its existence as legitimate.

For that reason and that reason alone, Odium being Odium (definition being, even per WoB, both hate, and that which inspires hatred in others) fits the themes of the story perfectly. 

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