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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. KoWT prologue is literally called “To Live” lol.
  4. 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?
  5. I would think that the words “‘work’ thematically” would be easily understood, but I guess not.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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).
  9. 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.
  10. Given the Jasnah excerpt, the place to look for the loophole is the mechanics of this Contest of Champions in Shard terms. Moreover, the foreshadowing has made it pretty explicit that “even if Odium loses, he wins” - in other words, we should be thinking about an Odium loss that frees him from the system via Shard/oath mechanics. One option is for him to lose, then be able to break the deal in such a way that he’s not vulnerable to Cultivation - either because Cultivation is no longer against him, or because of other mechanics yet to be revealed.
  11. Forget all the good reasons alder24 raises for why this theory is bad - the starting premise is just terrible. Honor is supposed to intervene in the Oathpact and if he doesn’t he’s evil? What? Why would anyone just naturally assume that he can intervene, much less that the shard of Honor would want to intervene to modify the outcome of an oath?
  12. A shard of War that starts Cosmere War always made sense to me, but I don’t see enough other pieces lined up to have a concrete theory about it.
  13. TLDR of this entire thread is that there are obviously a whole bunch of Shard mechanics we don’t know and a whole bunch more we don’t understand and it’s reasonable that as of the 4th book of a 10 book series in a universe with god knows how many books by the end that we won’t understand every unusual interaction.
  14. I think this is the correct way to theorize rather than “why would Gavinor want to kill his uncle” - there’s a whole 5th book still to be revealed! Details like that can be addressed in the course of the book. As long as we see the foundations laid - eg, Gavinor’s clearly messed up mental health - then we can assume Brandon will work out how Gavinor develops from nice but disturbed child to adoptive-grandfather-killer. Personally I agree that I’d find this outcome dissatisfying. That said, I think this theory is dead for two reasons: * we see from Gavilar’s prologue that the Deathrattles are extremely literal, but Gavinor is not “suckling” age at all. Note that this was the main motivation for the theory, at least for me - forcing Dalinar to fight an opponent he refuses to kill doesn’t require Gavinor at all. * In Jasnah’s excerpt, Hoid says he needs to consult with a Shard for their expertise. That implies that whatever TOdium has cooked up is based on mechanics we don’t know yet. This theory certainly does not - quite the opposite. (Though thankfully that also implies that the idiotic “a tie means any and all prior agreements are rendered void” theory can storm off as well.)
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