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2012-04-30: I had the great pleasure of speaking with Harriet McDougal Rigney about her life. She's an amazing talent and person and it will take you less than an hour to agree.
2012-04-24: Some thoughts I had during JordanCon4 and the upcoming conclusion of "The Wheel of Time."
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People have been thrown by you saying that Odium is not native to Roshar.
Odium is not native, that's the thing. Are any of them native? So if you dig the deeper question, are any of them native, ehhh, none of them are native to the planets you've seen so far. What I probably should've said to be more precise is that Honor and Cultivation were there long before Odium showed up.
Um. [nervous laugh] Um...
Because I think you mentioned more than once that focuses are actually determined by planet.
I'm going to RAFO that. But that's one of those excellent questions. I'm amused that people have figured out enough to be asking questions like that.
How long before the events of Elantris did Odium kill Aona/Devotion and Skai/Dominion?
Same time as the origins of the Seons.
This was the second-closest I came to getting RAFO'd. He was sort of jovially apologetic about this answer; I tried to get a solid number of years but to no avail.
Given that we now know that Odium can 'make it possible' for people to use magic that draws on him on other planets, has he done this anywhere besides Roshar?
Odium has been active on all other planets, including several we haven't seen yet.
This one I nearly did get RAFO'd, and the answer is basically a non-answer.
If Odium were lured to Scadrial, would his physical body turn into a burnable metal? If so, could Harmony create an Odium-metal legion of Mistings to consume and burn it? Would that weaken him sufficiently enough to be killed or destroyed?
The difficulty here is, again, one of Identity. People born on Scadrial have an Identity tied to it and its magic. Odium would have to do certain things to make them able to use a magic he fuels. He has done these things on Roshar, so it's not impossible for him to manage it on Scadrial.
Thanks so much for all your writing, Way of Kings is the best book I've read in the last decade.
If Sazed were to die, would he drop the shards Ruin and Preservation, or would he drop the shard Harmony?
Excellent question. The shards are now intermingled, and would take effort to split apart. He would drop Harmony. (This is what Odium feared would happen, by the way.)
Discussion of the week: Shadesmar & Truthspren
It says that it's dangerous to travel to Shadesmar on Sel. Why?
It has to do with the Dor and the lack of an entity controlling much of the power Odium left in his wake on Sel.
Woah, that's interesting. I had no idea Odium left little bits of his power on Sel... I guess it kinda makes sense for evil monks to be powered by pure hate, though.
Odium did not leave his power behind, one should note. He left several other powers which are now, to a large extent, mindless...
This is an awesome answer!
If you wouldn't mind answering, does Roshar have a similar problem, with Honor being Splintered?
No, Roshar does not have the same problem. There are some differences going on. (One reason being that the spren are far more extensive on Roshar, and provide something of a "release valve." The Seons and the Skaze on Sel are not numerous enough to fulfill a similar function. Though, of course, that's only one part of the puzzle. Raw power is dangerous.
It's one reason everyone should be thankful Kelsier was around on Scadrial.
If I can ask a question, I just read the Mistborn trilogy and, were Preservation and Ruin two different shards or a single one with their power split somehow? If they were two shards, does that mean a single person can hold more than one, since Harmony apparently holds both now?
They were two shards.
Yes, one entity can hold more than one. Remember that holding a shard changes you, over time. Rayse knows this, and prefers to leave behind destroyed rivals as opposed to taking their power and potentially being overwhelmed by it.
I have a question, if you are willing. Would Ruin be more compatible with Rayse, would he pick up that shard had he visited Scadrial and shattered him? All the shards we have seen that he has shattered seem rather different in intent than himóHonor, Cultivation, Love, Dominion. But Ruin seems more in line with Odium. Rayse has ruined the days of quite a few people.
Technically, Ruin would be most compatible with Cultivation. Ruin's 'theme' so to speak is that all things must age and pass. An embodiment of entropy. That power, separated from the whole and being held by a person who did not have the willpower to resist its transformation of him, led to something very dangerous. But it was not evil. None of the sixteen technically are, though you may have read that Hoid has specific beef with Rayse. Whether you think of Odium as evil depends upon how much you agree with Hoid's particular view.
That said, Ruin would have been one of the 'safer' of the sixteen for Rayse to take, if he'd been about that. Odium is by its nature selfish, however, and the combination of it and Rayse makes for an entity that fears an additional power would destroy it and make it into something else.
Odium wants to be the only Shard. Odium could pick up other Shards if he wants to, but, he doesn't want to. His Shard is a good match for his personality and he doesn't want to be influenced by another Shard.
Good question. Um, their abandonment of the Oathpact is related... but mostly tangentially. If I was pinned down on that, I would say no.
Is there any of the Oathpact still functioning because of Taln's continued participation?
[misunderstands question as a question about kandra/koloss/parshendi] Well, you see, the kandra and the koloss have a "hole" in them that allows Ruin to come in and take over. The Parshendi naturally are protected from this, but when they expose themselves to the storms, and the spren come in, many of these spren have that kind of "hole" in them, and thatís what allows Odium to take control of them.
No, I'm talking about how Ruin was able to push people, place things in their minds, stuff like that. Can Odium do the same thing?
Well, Odium wasn't around when those people were created [Here it sounded like the mankind that's on that planet, not the specific generation], so it's a little different for him than Ruin. So if he influences people in that way, it's through the Unmade.
He couldn't say for sure without getting out the timeline, but a LONG time.
Has he been on Scadrial or Nalthis?
No, but he is aware of their existence.
So the Shard wouldnít be able to healÖ?
Well, the Shard...Like, hereís the thing we have to get at with this, what weíre getting at, which is the question of, for instance, is Kaladinís depression a flaw in him that needs to be healed? And that is a question for philosophers. There are certainly people in the Cosmere and outside the Cosmere that say yes, this needs to be healed, but what about somebody whoís...say, someone who is autistic, and their mind just works in a different way, and this way allows a certain bond to happen that couldnít otherwise happen? Is that a flaw, or - is it a bug or a feature, to speak in coding terms? Is whatís up with Kaladin a bug or a feature? I know that my wife would probably get rid of her depression if she could, but itís also fundamental in how she sees the world and who she is, would that change her into a different person? And things like this. So, I want you when you discuss this, to be very careful about treating mental illness as a flaw as opposed to an aspect of a human personality that allows certain different things to happen. Does that make sense? [Applause]
The way I was sort of thinking, was, could Odium say, ďOh, Iím just going to fix thisĒ and then [...]?
Right, right, yeah. If he - if there was - that is possible, but it would be hard to do without the consent of the person, but that is possible. You can fix somebody in a way that they didnít want to be fixed, and it would ruin things.
So say you go to Roshar and you give somebody a Hemalurgic spike for some Allomantic power, don't care what, and you use it to become a savant. Does that qualify them as 'broken' enough to become a Radiant? As long as they are also following the Ideals to attract a spren.
So becoming a Radiant is a spectrum of terminologies. It... probably, but you would have to find a Radiant who would, or a spren who would be willing to touch that, okay? It's going to drive them back.
So would it also affect your probability of becoming an Elantrian?
Yeah it would affect your ability to become anything else, yes.
Okay, so would it be a positive effect, negative effect...? Because I was like, it gives you cracks in your Spiritweb.
It does give you cracks in your Spiritweb.
So it's easier for Investiture to get in. Does it make it easier for other Investitures to get in?
It would make it... yes. It's going to drive spren away. So what it's really going to make easier for, there, is spren and Investiture that doesn't care.
Okay, so Investiture doesn't care but spren do.
Investiture might care depending on if it's part of a Shard-- if it has intent and things like this.
So it might let Stormlight in easier than a Breath, type thing.
I'm saying it might let Odium in easier than Syl. Because Syl would care, and Odium would not care.
Alright, so it could be a really bad thing, is what I'm trying to say to you.
Yeah that's cool. I just want to know more about gold too. Gold Allomancy too. Because Miles was doing some funky stuff.
Miles was doing some funky stuff.