Shardcast: Odium v Passion


Some things are just inherent rivalries. Batman v Superman. Captain America v Iron Man. And now, we're picking up right from last week, and we are talking about super Oathbringer spoilers. It's Shardcast: Civil War, Odium v Passion. We're discussing what this force is, and we're coming to blows! One that won't simply be solved by saying that both their moms are named Martha.

See below in the YouTube comments and upvote which team you are on, of course, after you listen to our wonderful analysis. Especially Eric's. That guy will totally be proven correct...

This week we have Eric (Chaos), Ian (WeiryWriter), Evgeni (Argent), and Grace (thegatorgirl). And they all really like making fun of me.

Here's the previous episode: http://www.17thshard.com/news/shardcast/shardcast-odium-r403/?do=getLastComment

Send your Who's That Cosmere Characters to [email protected] You can also subscribe to Shardcast on iTunes, Google Play, and you can always subscribe with this feed: http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:102123174/sounds.rss

 

Edited by Chaos




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Jess

Posted (edited)

Team Odium all the way. I keep coming back to the Eila Stele's description of him as "...the void. The empty pit that sucks in emotion", the way he encourages Dalinar to dull his own emotions ("Give me your pain"), and this exchange in Ch. 121, right before the Fused pass on Odium's command to kill Jezrien:

Quote

[Leshwi] hummed to a rhythm [Moash] associated with being pleased. “Your passion does you credit.”

“I have no passion. Just numbness.”

“You have given him your pain. He will return it, human, when you need it.”

Odium may speak of passion very... passionately... but his actions are those of someone who views it as merely a tool.

I hadn't seen the "I don't think Odium is capable of being honest with himself" WoB until I listened to this episode, but since I've never bought into his claim to be Passion, I felt somewhat vindicated upon hearing it. :P Really though, I do think it casts serious doubt on Odium's self-concept (or Rayse's concept of the shard he holds, perhaps). So while I'm on the topic of Odium being a liar: in the same speech where Odium claims to be Passion, he makes some other claims which, to me, are obvious falsehoods:

1. "I am emotion incarnate." - As noted in the podcast, while Dalinar's desription of Odium covers more than hatred, it still does not cover the full gamut of human emotion.

2. “Honor cared only for bonds. Not the meaning of bonds and oaths, merely that they were kept." - The Stormfather explicitly refutes this in Ch. 111:

Quote

“Did he . . . care about what we felt?” Dalinar asked. “Honor, the Almighty? Did he truly care about men’s pain?”

He did. Then, I didn’t understand why, but now I do. Odium lies when he claims to have sole ownership of passion. The Stormfather paused. I remember . . . at the end . . . Honor was more obsessed with oaths. There were times when the oath itself was more important than the meaning behind it. But he was not a passionless monster. He loved humankind. He died defending you.

3. "Cultivation only wants to see transformation. Growth. It can be good or bad, for all she cares. The pain of men is nothing to her." - Admittedly there is more wiggle room on this one since Cultivation is mysterious, but her scene in Ch. 114 certainly did not leave me with the impression that Dalinar's pain meant nothing to her.

4. "Separate the emotion from men, and you have creatures like Nale and his Skybreakers. That is what Honor would have given you.” - I would argue that the order most representative of Honor is the Windrunners. Also, I don't think Nale's current state is representative of what Skybreakers are "supposed" to be like; Odium's reference to him and the modern Skybreakers as if they are "normal" Skybreakers strikes me as deliberately deceptive.

Something else that, to me, casts doubts on Odium's purported relationship with emotion/Passion, is that Honor has been associated with human emotion at least once:

Quote

"Really, you can divide spren into two general groups. Those that respond to emotions and those that respond to forces like fire or wind pressure.”

“So you believe Namar’s theory on spren categorization?”

“Yes.”

“Good,” Jasnah said. “As do I. I suspect, personally, that these groupings of spren—emotion spren versus nature spren—are where the ideas of mankind’s primeval ‘gods’ came from. Honor, who became Vorinism’s Almighty, was created by men who wanted a representation of ideal human emotions as they saw in emotion spren. Cultivation, the god worshipped in the West, is a female deity that is an embodiment of nature and nature spren. The various Voidspren, with their unseen lord—whose name changes depending on which culture we’re speaking of—evoke an enemy or antagonist."

Emphasis mine. Granted, "ideal human emotion" is not quite the same thing as passion-as-framed-by-Odium, but this three-way juxtaposition of nature vs ideal emotion vs void is, I think, a more accurate picture of Cultivation, Honor, and Odium than something like nature vs bonds vs passion would be. Without getting into a giant rabbithole about the complexity of Honor's nature, we do at least have to account for the fact that Roshar's various non-sapient emotion spren are tied to Honor.

Oh, and one last thing: I don't think we can rule out the idea that Dalinar's description/vision of Odium was manipulated by Odium himself. I don't really think this is the case, but the possibility still seems worth mentioning.

Edited by Jess

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Some thoughts. 
Every time Taln gets mentioned, my heart flutters a bit :wub:
I think of the Shards more as part of Adonalsiums mind, as part of the aspects of what God is, in Cosmere terms. 
I also think of how people are molded to the intent more like the shard is a massive spirit-web with a very specific shape. You get on the shard, and while originally you don't fit perfectly, over time the shard will turn you into that shape. There is no way your spirit web could change such a massive one, and there is no resisting being forced into the shape demanded by the Shard's web. 

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ccstat

Posted

Excellent points, @Jess. I agree with all of your arguments here. 

I also strongly agree with Ian's point at the beginning about how distilling a shard's being into a single word is a pointless exercise that often gives misleading ideas about the nature of the shard. Supposing that the entirety of the power can be encapsulated in a single word sets you up for all the mistakes that come from oversimplification.

To take a round-about approach to things, I have several points that lead into each other.

I think it is significant that all of the shard names we know have a connotation of action. For example, Kelsier's experience of Leras' shard (things unchanging, one note held for eternity, all moments compressed into one) could easily be described as "Stasis," but instead the shard is called "Preservation." The connotation is that things aren't just staying the same--rather, some agency is actively preventing change. The same can be said for Cultivation, Honor, Devotion, Dominion, Endowment, Ruin. These are words that have verb forms and a strong feeling of volition.

This makes a lot of sense when we remember that the shards need a mind to direct them. A dropped shard will seek out a vessel, and if that investiture is left untended then it will develop intelligence on its own. A lot of the discussion in this cast was about how much of an influence the vessel's mind has on the interpretation of a shard. To paraphrase several stances (at the risk of putting words in others' mouths):

  • Some say the shard itself is Passion, but when held by Rayse the more appropriate name for the combined entity is Odium based on how the shard expresses itself.
  • Others say the opposite, that the shard alone is more closely aligned to Odium (since that is what everyone else calls it instinctively) but since Rayse's mind filters it as Passion, that is a more accurate name for the entity he became.
  • Still others argue that the vessel's influence is transient and doesn't impact the identity of the shard, so whatever name it would have alone is necessarily the same regardless of the vessel's interpretation.

I don't know the best way to say this next part, but I'm starting to wonder if the essential volition of a shard, the need for a directing mind, means that the names we apply to shards are only meaningful or applicable to the combined entity. So, when Leras drops Preservation that pile of investiture retains its realmatic "flavor" of keeping stuff the same and out of convenience we continue to call it "Preservation," but it isn't truly Preservation again until the next vessel picks it up. Perhaps the unheld power Leras dropped would be better named as Stasis until it acquires a mind to direct it. I'm not entirely convinced of this idea, but I think it has some merit.

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Naurock

Posted

Went to YouTube and upvoted the correct answer.

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Also, yeah, Odium, not Passion. Passion only makes me think of passionfruit, which is disgusting.

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Amazing, how so many of you can be so wrong. It is obvious that Odium alone is too limiting of a description, even among other limiting descriptions. If you are #TeamOdium you might as well be #TeamGrowth where Ruin is concerned, because that's about as limited of a description of it. 

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Guys excellent podcast that raised more questions than answers. I think you guys summed it up nicely, it is almost impossible to use one word to describe a shard and just as it is impossible for our brains to truly comprehend such awesome splinters of divine power. That being said I think that Odium is passion fueled hate? (If that makes sense!) I think when Dalinar truly "saw" Odium and "all" that he is - i.e. lust, joy, exultation, etc. are in fact those feelings (I believe them to be divine too) as Rayse perceives them, but through a lens of hatred and not just any kind but divine hatred. I think Odium's Intent has been warped because it was splintered off from its host, Adonalsium, so all what it has left are these emotions and nothing else to temper them. So hatred is winning and I think that Rayse's perception of the shard's Intent is also worth noting. At the very least we know that Rayse is not a nice person and add this shard, now he is a really dangerous, not nice force. I think that Rayse and Odium's goals were always aligned, therefore I wouldn't be surprised if more of Rayse's mind is intact say compared to Leras and Ati as we saw especially in Secret History. I also think perception is key here too; it affects how you act and think and this is very important when it comes to Vessels and Shardic Intent. This doesn't mean I don't think Rayse isn't an excellent liar, most especially to himself. I think what he showed to Dalinar was what Rayse/Odium's thought of themselves, not what they truly were or at least not all of what he/they is. Also interesting to note the word Odium is a term for general/widespread hatred or disgust directed towards someone as a result of their actions. Makes you think, if other shards/Vessels gave him that name from the start he must have been a rusting, storming terrible excuse for a human being and the shard just exemplified his storming pile of chull dung. Also worth noting, when you read Khriss's annotations of the different systems in the Cosmere, only Odium is mentioned as a warning to all visitors passing through the Rosharan system and as a threat to the Cosmere at large (at least that's my impression). ( The only other thing she mentions as a large force affecting the whole of the Cosmere is hemalurgy and maybe Nightblood? I know definitely hemalurgy is mentioned by her at least) Notice when you read her Scadrial annotations, she doesn't mention Ruin for instance and she was there while Ruin was destroying Scadrial for at least some of the time. Why doesn't she mention the danger of anyone  holding the shard Ruin? Idon't know about you but Entropy scares me more than hatred any day! Anyways I'm sure most of these thoughts are junk, but as always great podcast! Can't wait for the next one. I think if we can take away anything from this is that beware of divine hatred and passion as without anything to temper them, they can easily destroy! Thanks again guys! :D

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2 hours ago, whattheHoid said:

That being said I think that Odium is passion fueled hate? (If that makes sense!) I think when Dalinar truly "saw" Odium and "all" that he is - i.e. lust, joy, exultation, etc. are in fact those feelings (I believe them to be divine too) as Rayse perceives them, but through a lens of hatred and not just any kind but divine hatred. I think Odium's Intent has been warped because it was splintered off from its host, Adonalsium, so all what it has left are these emotions and nothing else to temper them.

You may be onto something here. I've spent about an hour writing and editing the following post, and I am not entirely happy with it, but hopefully I've managed to organize it into something that's at least somewhat coherent. 

Thinking back to Frost's "he bears the weight of God's own divine hatred," and contextualizing this with the Shattering, what if events unfolded like so:

Adonalsium's emotions and attributes, by virtue of Adonalsium's divinity, can all be described as divine - divine devotion, divine honor, divine hatred, and so on. Within Adonalsium, as a single entity, all of these emotions and attributes play off one another: Adonalsium's sense of honor was balanced, or at least influenced by the things Adonalsium wanted to preserve, or was devoted to, or hated. Adonalsium's hatred was not a blind hatred for all things, it was shaped by things changing, and a sense of independence and autonomy. "Separated from the virtues that gave it context," however, Odium - and all Shards, I think - are... incomplete. So I don't think Odium is a single emotion, a single passion, he is not blind and mindless hatred, I still think that's too small for a Shard to be; but without other divine attributes to give him reason for his hatred, to balance this hatred, we are essentially looking at Rayse's mortal emotions trying - and failing - to give context to Odium's divine hatred. And it's an uneven battle.

Another way to look at this is that emotions, for the most part, belong to all of the Shards in a small way, and so Odium's claim that he is Passion is not entirely baseless, but it is Passion devoid of devotion, and sense of preservation, and change, and cultivation, and honor (because other Vessels hold these Shards), and possibly enhanced by hatred. And when you do the math, when you take away all of these virtues, but leave the hatred in, I can see how Rayse might be best described as Odium even though there are other passions that are still a part of the Shard. It's less that he is Odium and Odium is all that he is, and more that when you take all passions, all the strong, driving, primal emotions, and take away the "good" ones, what you are left with is a package that is particularly susceptible to hatred. He is joy, but it's joy that cannot come from honor, preservation, or endowment, or any of the other Shards. He is sorrow, but it's sorrow that doesn't have the tempering touch of one's knowledge that all things must end. And when you take away all of this context, what you are left with is a bundle of emotions that can easily either fuel or be fueled by hatred (especially to a crafty and loathsome individual, I imagine).

I think this is where I'll make my stand. Both Odium and Passion are accurate, but both omit important bits. Rayse's Shard is not just Odium, because there are other emotions, other passions in there that are of similar magnitude. But it is not Passion either because it is not all passions, and the passions that are in there can all be tied to hatred pretty easily. So if anything, Odium is a convenient label in a common denominator kind of way. 

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Yes! Another podcast to fuel me with enough stormlight to get me through the week! I felt very strongly about you ending the podcast so abruptly last episode @Chaos The shock nearly caused me to lose my divine breath, and it wasn't easy to get in the first place, not originally being from Nalthis and with Endowment and I barely on writing terms. Still I hope to find myself suitably invested as I absorb all that you and your friends at the 17th shard have to offer.

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Child of Hodor

Posted (edited)

I think the influence Rayse has as the Vessel of Odium is the desire to be the most powerful being in the universe. This doesn't seem to be an inherent trait of Odium or Hatred. The way Odium has sought out powerful beings to destroy because he thought it was a threat is more coming from Rayse than the Shard intent. 

If another Vessel had held Odium, they may have just set up shop on a planet and been content to encourage constant war and strife while absorbing people's emotions. This version of Odium may not have been obsessed with killing all it's former colleagues. 

Edited by Child of Hodor
Clarification

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17 hours ago, Argent said:

Amazing, how so many of you can be so wrong. It is obvious that Odium alone is too limiting of a description, even among other limiting descriptions. If you are #TeamOdium you might as well be #TeamGrowth where Ruin is concerned, because that's about as limited of a description of it. 

The salt is strong! @Argent

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5 hours ago, Child of Hodor said:

I think the influence Rayse has as the Vessel of Odium is the desire to be the most powerful being in the universe. This doesn't seem to be an inherent trait of Odium or Hatred. The way Odium has sought out powerful beings to destroy because he thought it was a threat is more coming from Rayse than the Shard intent. 

If another Vessel had held Odium, they may have just set up shop on a planet and been content to encourage constant war and strife while absorbing people's emotions. This version of Odium may not have been obsessed with killing all it's former colleagues. 

@Child of Hodor do you believe that this personal goal of Rayse's can continue on then supposing he is not thwarted by external forces? I think that although it is a personal interpretation it is still fueled by the shardic intent, be that passion to see goal fulfilled or a transference of his ambition to kill the other shards into a hatred for those shards that allows him to continue in his fight. 

OR is it possible that Rayse's passion/hatred for the peoples and fellow shards on Roshar has something to do with him beinf stuck there (although he does seem to want to leave).

Interesting point on the seeming autonomy of Rayse from the pure shardic intent of Odium. 

Despite all this I have to agree with @Chaos and go #teamOdium simply because the WoB supports that the shard that Rayse is a vessel for has always been Odium since the beginning... seems pretty definite.

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thejopen27

Posted

On the subjectivity/emotion of shards vs. objectivity, forces:

Entropy is a natural thing. Things fall apart, the center does not hold, etc. Ruin or to ruin is human. Ruin contains the force of entropy, but it has a will and an intelligence. Ruin was not content with things simply breaking down over time, Ruin wanted to push the world into destruction. 

Preservation is not a natural force, it's the desire to save things and to keep things the same. In nature things aren't preserved, they break down. Preservation is only a force in living things.

Honor is not just the force that binds things together, he is the will that things should be bound. 

I think all Shards are human desires, human intents, human motivations that are connected to a force in the universe (including human forces, love, honor, hatred, independence, human motivations that can shape the world). 

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Mason Wheeler

Posted (edited)

@Jess I'm glad to see someone remembered the Stormfather straight-up saying that Odium was lying about being Passion, because the podcasters sure didn't! I kept waiting for one of them, any of them, to bring it up, but... nope.

Also conspicuously not mentioned, during the discussions of Ruin as a Shard of entropy, was Harmony in the Words of Founding explaining that Ruin was explicitly not just a force of entropy, but an intelligent, maliciously rational presence that was fully capable of building up one thing to use it to destroy several other things.

I usually like these discussions, but this one left me disappointed by how many times the podcasters ignored relevant in-world sources in favor of vague, esoteric WOBs. :(

Edited by Mason Wheeler

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Jess

Posted

12 minutes ago, Mason Wheeler said:

@Jess I'm glad to see someone remembered the Stormfather straight-up saying that Odium was lying about being Passion, because the podcasters sure didn't! I kept waiting for one of them, any of them, to bring it up, but... nope.

To be fair, I don't think the Stormfather's word that Odium "lies when he claims to have sole ownership of passion" (lowercase) completely disproves the idea "Rayse's shard might be better described as Passion (uppercase) than Odium".

But I do think that Odium's attempts to distort Honor's nature are much more important than they first seem.

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2 hours ago, Mason Wheeler said:

@Jess I'm glad to see someone remembered the Stormfather straight-up saying that Odium was lying about being Passion, because the podcasters sure didn't! I kept waiting for one of them, any of them, to bring it up, but... nope.

Also conspicuously not mentioned, during the discussions of Ruin as a Shard of entropy, was Harmony in the Words of Founding explaining that Ruin was explicitly not just a force of entropy, but an intelligent, maliciously rational presence that was fully capable of building up one thing to use it to destroy several other things.

I usually like these discussions, but this one left me disappointed by how many times the podcasters ignored relevant in-world sources in favor of vague, esoteric WOBs. :(

Yeah, I guess we dropped the ball a little bit here. It's easy to focus on the big flashy moments (e.g. Dalinar's meeting with Odium) and the easy content (WoBs we can search for and filter), so offhanded remarks sometimes get overlooked. I am not sure if either one of the lines you bring up would've swayed me in either direction - the Stormfather probably lacks the subtlety to see through Odium's lies (though you could argue that his Connection to Honor might make give him an instinctive understanding of his enemy), and I believe Harmony was talking about Ati's Ruin in the Words of Founding; and  not only Ati's Ruin, but his Ruin towards the end. 

Regardless, it would've been nice to mention these things, I don't disagree. I am not sure what we do to prepare better, since it's just us going off our memories, and rereads are not really feasible, but I'll bring it up and we'll see if we can come up with something.

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@Argent Yeah, and to be completely fair, the only reason I remembered the thing from Harmony on Ruin's nature is because I just recently re-read Hero of Ages so it was fresh in my mind.

Not thinking of the Stormfather's quote, though... that's just unforgivable. :P

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Chaos

Posted

@Mason WheelerI dunno, I haven't done a reread of Oathbringer in a long time (I think most of us haven't). We can't get everything and there will always be something missed. Sorry about that. The Stormfather says a lot of things, though, and is unreliable at times.

I think you're a bit overstating discussing WoBs when we researched a lot of quotes, and missed one thing. :) Considering a lot of the podcast was literally reading direct sources, I think that critique is quite overstated. Regarding WoBs, a lot of people don't know that information and it's important to me that as a podcast we disseminate such info.

Regarding Ruin, I can see how you are twigging onto that with Argent not liking Ruin "being entropy," but I'm not sure the Words of Founding quote is relevant here. All Shards are intelligent in how they go about things. I assumed that was common knowledge that's easy forget to mention. Not directly relevant to the discussion as that discussion was a tangent anyway.

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Chaos

Posted

Hmmm, looking at this Stormfather quote:

“Did he . . . care about what we felt?” Dalinar asked. “Honor, the Almighty? Did he truly care about men’s pain?” He did. Then, I didn’t understand why, but now I do. Odium lies when he claims to have sole ownership of passion. The Stormfather paused. I remember . . . at the end . . . Honor was more obsessed with oaths. There were times when the oath itself was more important than the meaning behind it. But he was not a passionless monster. He loved humankind. He died defending you.

I mean, it is explicit, and it is relevant, yes, but we also strongly agreed with this assessment the Stormfather had. There's overlap between Shards, and Odium isn't all emotions. This does not change conclusions of the podcast :) 

I don't disagree that it is relevant but it doesn't particularly change the discussion.

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Uh-oh, it looks like you double-posted, @Chaos! I am afraid we discourage this kind of behavior in these forums and I am going to have to go ahead and merge your repl-- Oh. I can't...

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Chaos

Posted

18 hours ago, Argent said:

Uh-oh, it looks like you double-posted, @Chaos! I am afraid we discourage this kind of behavior in these forums and I am going to have to go ahead and merge your repl-- Oh. I can't...

All right, have an upvote :P 

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teknopathetic

Posted (edited)

On 2018-06-07 at 6:46 PM, Argent said:

Amazing, how so many of you can be so wrong. It is obvious that Odium alone is too limiting of a description, even among other limiting descriptions. If you are #TeamOdium you might as well be #TeamGrowth where Ruin is concerned, because that's about as limited of a description of it. 

It is more that I don't believe Passion is truly something that Odium 'could' be. I admit he could have other names, but I disagree that Passion makes sense for him.

Maybe a list of names could be: Odium, Hatred, Antipathy, fanaticism, selfishness, excuses, etc

Passion is just too removed from those, and Odium seems to remove passion in order to facilitate hate and violence. 

Edited by teknopathetic

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TheEdgedancer

Posted (edited)

Hmm, I have said this before in a different post, but this seems to be better suited, so here goes.

I should also mention that the definition of odium is general or widespread hatred or disgust directed toward someone as a result of their actions. Odium is hatred ,or to cause hatred.

 

Odium is Odium. He is not Passion. He is Hatred. Passion is not the void, as Odium is often likened too. Passion is the fire the drives life. Odium is not fire, he is the cold, the void. Hatred is the void. After you have stopped hating something, or have acted upon it, you feel empty. Odium is Odium, or Hatred. He sucks up emotion and leaves nothing behind, like hatred does. That's why he is so often referred to as the void and things related to him have void in them. Voidlight, Voidbringers, Voidbinding. When he revealed his true self to Dalinar, the text literally said, "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. " The joy of victory and sorrow of loss that it speaks of?  Lust and Loss and triumphant joy? These are Odium as well. For odium is not only hatred, but the causing of hatred. Loss, lust, sorrow, these things can be instrumental in provoking hatred. But joy you say? Surely joy cannot cause hatred. There you would be wrong, for it is not joy, but the joy of victory, the challenge, the glorious moment when you finally prove yourself better...than the others. That is not happiness, and can cause hatred just as easily as loss, lust, or sorrow. 

All of that, is the Shard of Odium. 

 

Some say that Odium may be lying here. When a Shard shows its true nature, it cannot lie. Ruin did not lie to Vin at the Well of Ascension. It did not show it's true nature.

Edited by TheEdgedancer

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teknopathetic

Posted

1 hour ago, TheEdgedancer said:

Hmm, I have said this before in a different post, but this seems to be better suited, so here goes.

I should also mention that the definition of odium is general or widespread hatred or disgust directed toward someone as a result of their actions. Odium is hatred ,or to cause hatred.

 

Odium is Odium. He is not Passion. He is Hatred. Passion is not the void, as Odium is often likened too. Passion is the fire the drives life. Odium is not fire, he is the cold, the void. Hatred is the void. After you have stopped hating something, or have acted upon it, you feel empty. Odium is Odium, or Hatred. He sucks up emotion and leaves nothing behind, like hatred does. That's why he is so often referred to as the void and things related to him have void in them. Voidlight, Voidbringers, Voidbinding. When he revealed his true self to Dalinar, the text literally said, "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. " The joy of victory and sorrow of loss that it speaks of?  Lust and Loss and triumphant joy? These are Odium as well. For odium is not only hatred, but the causing of hatred. Loss, lust, sorrow, these things can be instrumental in provoking hatred. But joy you say? Surely joy cannot cause hatred. There you would be wrong, for it is not joy, but the joy of victory, the challenge, the glorious moment when you finally prove yourself better...than the others. That is not happiness, and can cause hatred just as easily as loss, lust, or sorrow. 

All of that, is the Shard of Odium. 

 

Some say that Odium may be lying here. When a Shard shows its true nature, it cannot lie. Ruin did not lie to Vin at the Well of Ascension. It did not show it's true nature.

i agree entirely. Passion is a gateway towards hatred, or can cause someone to hate, but Passion is not Hatred itself. 

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