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coolsnow7

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  1. My guess: - Sazed syphons off the “excess Ruin” into an avatar - namely Marsh - Marsh is chosen for a lot of reasons, but an important one being that he has exceptional ability to resist Ruin’s control - humanity is locked in a treadmill where Marsh seeks to destroy them, and they have to devise technological solutions to protect themselves - after which, Marsh recedes for some time but then comes back stronger - Kelsier’s mission in Ghostbloods is to find a way to reach stability and break the cycle, particularly by obviating the need for an outlet for excess Ruin at all Why do I think this? The key is Sazed and Kelsier’s observations about the speed of technological progress. To go any faster while doing things the “right” way like Sazed wants, it would have to be in response to some challenge, rather than just Sazed handing over knowledge. We know Discord will happen, and we know Kelsier is worried about needing to protect Scadrial from Sazed. And of course Sazed responds “that depends entirely on you” - in other words, it’s up to Kelsier to devise a solution to Discord’s destructive tendencies. Finally we know that by TSM, Scadrial is ahead technologically, whereas they’re starting off quite far behind - Marsh is how they start accelerating at a faster pace than anyone else.
  2. I feel like there are many, many options in between “dead” and “Worldhopper” that we can’t possibly entertain until we know more.
  3. Yes it is true that if you assume your conclusion - namely, that the intent of the Change Dawnshard is actually Cultivate, and that the intent of the Connect Dawnshard is actually Honor - then it will be hard to fit other Shards into a 4x4 format with Dawnshards. An exercise for the reader as to whether this says more about the 4x4 format, or the evidence adduced for this theory.
  4. I absolutely love your post as a whole. Problem I have with El as champion is all this buildup to “who would you choose as your champion if you were me?” Maybe we’ll understand more about El and why Rayse wasn’t willing to bring him back whereas Taravangian did, but right now the setup is all but explicitly that Todium’s choice of champion is the loophole, is not what Rayse would have done, and is very counterintuitive.
  5. As we all know, the intent of a shard is subject to the interpretation of the bearer. So while the intent we got for Honor + Odium was War, some adjacent concepts might work as well. Let’s review some facts about Szeth: - he really is devoted to Dalinar and would feel quite lost without him - he is at the edge of sanity - Taravangian continues to manipulate him and he’s not a fan - in fact successfully exploiting him to ascend to divinity - Brandon seems to be foreshadowing (heavily) that Taravangian’s manipulation of Szeth is coming to a head. Especially now that Taravangian is Odium, I expect this to be a major issue in book 5. Why do I bring Szeth up? Because I think a natural alternative to War is Vengeance. I’m not sure exactly how it would work, but I could see Book 5 ending with some kind of Shardic Intent shuffling, whereby Taravangian kills Dalinar, gets (the heretofore unspecified) combination of Cultivation and Odium, someone else (Navani?) gets Honor + Cultivation, and Szeth ascends to become Vengeance - setting him up to hunt Taravangian down across the Cosmere in Revenge for what he did to Dalinar. (Another alternative is that this is the spin Szeth puts on the Honor shard. I’m not in a position to ask Brandon questions for WoBs, but if someone out there is, I strongly recommend asking whether Vengeance would be an intent more suited to Honor+Odium or Honor alone - if he RAFOs then we know we’re on to something.)
  6. The question we’ve all been more or less obsessed with since 2020 has been: what sort of loophole can TOdium cook up to weasel his way out of the contest? I want to say off the bat that “force a tie” is a ludicrous suggestion and if Brandon goes this route I will be ludicrously disappointed. Hoid literally highlights this trick as he’s trying to write up the agreement - how exactly would he manage to overlook it? This clearly is not the loophole; we need to be more creative. Dalinar’s legitimacy It’s important to note that a key clause in the agreement is that Dalinar undertakes it as a representative of humanity: Dalinar’s position as representative of humanity rests on his leadership of the coalition, which in turn rests on his role as de facto king of Alethkar. But Dalinar actually has no legitimacy to rule Alethkar; (speculating only slightly) if Jasnah withdrew Alethkar from the coalition and ordered Dalinar to resign from it as well, at a minimum Dalinar could no longer claim to represent humanity in his negotiations with Odium. But let’s recall, Jasnah doesn’t have much legitimacy either. She’s a woman and is not meant to be in line to the throne - she only has it because Gavinor is too young. Well, what if Gavinor sides with Odium? Even if Gavinor doesn’t serve as Odium’s champion, Gavinor can claim that he was unfairly held from assuming the role of king, order Jasnah and Dalinar to withdraw from the coalition, and likely undermine Dalinar’s ability to negotiate with Odium at all. If he does serve as champion, then Dalinar winning would almost certainly destroy the coalition: everyone - Alethi population, Emuli and Thaylen leaders, everyone - would see Dalinar as ruthlessly trying to seize the throne from Gavinor by killing him under the pretext of this “contest of champions”, and consequently collapse Dalinar’s ability to represent humanity at all. Heads Odium wins the contest, tails the contest is void. There’s obviously a fair bit of speculation here, but at a minimum I think it represents the sort of direction we should take our theorizing for the next 8 months. (The other perhaps clearer option is that Dalinar holds “the remnants of Honor’s power” - unclear if he can negotiate if he no longer does. Odium may try to find a champion that threatens either the Stormfather or the bond…)
  7. These are good points, but some of them are off the mark IMO. - Thematically I agree Pailaiah working at the hospital fits. But what is the payoff of Taravangian being wrong? “Haha! Actually Dova isn’t one Herald you’ve never met and have no flashbacks of, it’s a totally different one!” At this point we can safely presume that Taravangian has her identity right. - If anything, Aesudan working with Gavilar is further support - as you note Kalak is working with him too! So you can say “well his motivations were different” but we don’t know her’s in the first place, except for taking what she says at face value. - that said it is true that she comes off as a petty villain more than a significant force. We still don’t know anything about her, and given the emphasis put on her in the plot, I expect we will. In fact, she reminds me a lot of Gavilar himself. Could be that seeking her out was just Elhokar’s way of trying to live up to his father’s expectations, could be that Gavilar chose her for him like he’s trying with Jasnah, who knows. I think that if/when Gavilar himself plays more of a role in either Book 5 or back half, we’ll learn a lot more about Aesudan as well. - I’m not sure how much weight to put on Odium saying she’s dead. I lean towards “he probably wouldn’t lie” along with you. But it’s not a crazy possibility to suggest that he doesn’t want them to know she survived (or that she’s a Herald). Bottom line, I say: when we find out more about Gavilar we will learn more about her as his counterpart in some ways. But the one thing we can be sure of is that Brandon set her up as both the opposite of the Ardentia and as their corruptor.
  8. Let’s be real: none of this is dispositive. None of this is even close to strong evidence. And a point against is that it’s a bit weird for Heralds to integrate themselves into Alethi elite circles that heavily - at some point someone has to be like “so… who are your parents?” Not impossible to work around, but it’s a point against. All that said, I like this theory a lot. Right now we simply have no clue what Aesudan’s deal was in any way. Hell for all we know she survived her interaction with Yelig-Nar. It’s clear that whatever it is she’s doing, it’s the exact pathological opposite of what the Ardents are all about, and the Ardents seem to be in the mold of Pailaiah. Indeed, the chapter in WoR suggests that she thoroughly corrupted the Ardents; maybe they were in decline over time, but at a minimum she clearly sealed the deal in a significant way. Ironically the fact that there’s no dispositive evidence makes me like the theory more. Brandon tries to keep some secrets close to the chest, and given the giant void around Aesudan, this seems like that’s what’s happening.
  9. KoWT prologue is literally called “To Live” lol.
  10. I’ve been playing with this idea. I think there’s something to it. Gavilar would need to be alive, which is not impossible but not obvious from the prologue. (At the same time, Brandon has hinted pretty heavily towards that in the prologues…) Anyway he’d need to have been heavily invested at his death. Not impossible but not obvious how. Secondly it’s not clear how having Gavilar as the champion helps Odium achieve his goals. It’s clear to approximately everyone that Dalinar is the better fighter. Again not impossible - we don’t know anything (and all the theories around it are junk) about how Odium plans to win - but not obvious yet. Bottom line I’m starting to think this is correct just because the foreshadowing is so goddamn heavy. But what it means in terms of the rest of the story, I got nothing. It’s kind of a meaningless piece of the puzzle right now. Have we read the same prologues?
  11. I would think that the words “‘work’ thematically” would be easily understood, but I guess not.
  12. IIRC Thaidakar is explicitly interested in democratizing Invested abilities among Scadrians so that they can keep up in the arms race. So perhaps what he’s looking into is to be a Scadrian Unmade.
  13. Now THIS idea I like. But for it to “work” thematically, Harmony will need to transform into a villain of some sort. Not impossible for obvious reasons, but feels like a stretch right now.
  14. It’s possible but extremely uninteresting. We didn’t need a Deathrattle for that. If book 5 is just “Odium get Dalinar to lose via a perfectly conventional fight, and then gets him to break the agreement by having him kill a child”, aside from not fitting other pieces (the Deathrattle itself refers to “give us further breath to draw” - who’s “us” if Dalinar is already protected in the agreement?) would just make for an extremely boring book. It’s also not consistent with Hoid needing an expert on intershardal law, which we know from a pre-read. And it’s this reason that I think any theorizing about the precise mechanics of how Odium wiggles his way out of this is a waste of time (since we certainly are not experts on intershardal law).
  15. I cannot emphasize enough how much I agree with this. Is it still possible that this theory winds up being true? Yeah maybe, though I’m not convinced. Would I be disappointed if it is? Massive understatement. It would just be such weak writing on Brandon’s part (which is one of the main reasons, though certainly not the only one, I’m not convinced by the theory.) Anyway there were a lot of very popular theories before RoW that turned out to be total gibberish in the book, and I’m looking forward to a lot of nonsense getting deflated in 11 months.
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