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Is Odium Repulsive?


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“Once more unto the breach, dear friends...”

“Odious” means “extremely unpleasant; repulsive.” I raise this (again) because my magic theory tries to match “primal forces” with Shards. Shards are “primal forces attached to certain aspects of personality.” Odium’s primal force, IMO, is a cosmere repulsive force that breaks Connections. “Repulsive” captures Odium as metaphor (Hoid calls Rayse “loathsome”) and the physics concept of repulsion: “the force that acts between bodies of like electric charge or magnetic polarity, tending to separate them.”

I think Odium breaks Connections of every kind, not just electromagnetic ones. Two of Dalinar’s visions show this: Kholinar disappearing into dust (WoK, Chapter 75) and the second Nohadon vision breaking into bits (OB, Chapter 109). FWIW, the humans in the Nohadon vision wither into husks just like the Shade-touched on Threnody, another Odium-influenced planet. Only Dalinar exercising Honor’s bonding power holds the broken Connections together where he stands.

IMO, a more precise name for Voidbinding is Surge-Breaking (and it is not a Surgebinding hack):

On 9/18/2019 at 9:55 PM, Confused said:

My theory defines magic systems by how magic users access their Investiture. Odium “takes your pain” by breaking your Connection to who or what causes the pain. (“I’m not to blame...It wasn’t my fault.”) Odium’s assault on Dalinar at Thaylen Field left Dalinar “Alone. So alone.” The Broken One’s Investiture fills the broken Connections. The loss of these Connections leaves you numb, adrift in an emotional void.

I believe the Fused also perform their magic by breaking a Connection – one of the Surges. They break their gravity Connection to fly, their abrasion Connection to glide, and their progression Connection to speed carapace growth. The Fused dis-Connect and re-Connect each Surge with the same skill and precision as Kaladin adjusts his lashings.

Fantasy writer Robin Hobb also notes that giving up pain deadens one’s human connections:


I’ve seen folk who numbed their pain with strong drink or Smoke or other herbs and always the loss of their pain made them less connected. Less human.

[R. Hobb, Assassin's Fate, Chapter 48, Kindle Book III of the “Fitz and the Fool” trilogy, Loc. 15375 (bold added).]

Mine may be a unique view. I keep raising it (as I do the “primal forces” approach to understanding Shards) because of my confidence in ultimate vindication and my hope someone may (at long last) agree with me. Thanks for reading. C.

“Will you join in [my] crusade? Who will be strong and stand with me?”

Edited by Confused
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Brandon has mentioned that Odium is intended to reflect both the feeling of strong hatred and the provocation of hatred, and that he originally called that Shard 'Hatred' but he changed it because Odium sounded cooler. My guess is that there's no intentional connection between its possible meaning of repulsiveness (in the sense of arousing disgust or hatred) and the physics meaning of repulsive.

That said, it's not a bad idea in terms of how Odium operates (it seems to fit with how Moash feels deadened at the end of Oathbringer) and how he or his splinters corrupt things and possibly mess with their Connection to Honor/Cultivation. I'm just not sure the semantics are anything intentional.

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