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Phoenix Comicon 2013 ()
#3 Copy

Questioner

When one of the shards, like Odium, move from world to world in the cosmere, does their presence, like the metals they leave behind and their magic, leave with them?

Brandon Sanderson

Odium never really settled on a planet.  He is now settled on Roshar and his magic has permeated things.  Leaving would be very difficult for him. It would either involve leaving behind some of his power or ripping that out, which would be a difficult process.  So yes it is very tough to leave.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#5 Copy

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

1) The Nightwatcher and Stormfather are parallel entities such that Nighwatcher:Cultivation :: Stormfather:Honor.

2) There is sort of a parallel for Odium, but the parallel is the various Unmade instead of a single entity.

3) They are parallel in that they are all Splinters.

4) The Unmade are voluntary Splinters, because Odium ("like almost all of the other Shards") voluntarily Splintered part of it's power.

5) The Stormfather is different from the others because it's a Sliver.

Firefight Miami signing ()
#6 Copy

Questioner

When is the official timeline gonna get released for the whole cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

So, I only gave it to Peter, who is my continuity editor, like, in September. And that's the first time he'd seen it. I think it's gonna take a little while, he says he wants to go through in minutia and make it work. Plus there's major spoilers for things that Odium has done, and stuff like that.

Rithmatist Denver signing ()
#7 Copy

Kogiopsis (paraphrased)

How long before the events of Elantris did Odium kill Aona/Devotion and Skai/Dominion?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Same time as the origins of the seons.

Leipzig Book Fair ()
#8 Copy

Questioner

Odium has, as I understand it, something like the meaning of God's divine wrath. How is wrath on its own able to cause such terrible destruction? I  mean, he primarily attacked di-Shardic worlds like Sel and Roshar, so could he just have sowed discord between Shards there to an extent of them actually fighting against each other and then just *inaudible*.

Brandon Sanderson

That is a good theory, that he got them to fight against each other. I won't tell you whether it happened or not, but it is a very valid theory. It's fully within his capacity; that's the sort of thing that he does.

Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
#9 Copy

Questioner

Do the Shards know each others' weaknesses? Like the metal blindness or anything?

Brandon Sanderson

They are not aware of every specific, but they know generalities.

Questioner

So they know that they do have weaknesses.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

Questioner

So would Odium have taken advantage of Honor's weakness to Splinter him?

Brandon Sanderson

You could say that, yeah.

General Reddit 2020 ()
#12 Copy

VioletSoda

When Taravangian picks up Odium's Shard, how smart is he? Is he more intelligent or compassionate? And now that he has the Shard, is he still subject to his intelligence/compassion fluxuating every day, or is he locked into whatever he was at when he picked up the Shard? Does the intelligence/compassion trade off still affect the plot, is that the loophole or system cheat that will allow Cultivation, Dalinar, etc. to overcome Odium in the end?

Brandon Sanderson

This is indeed a huge RAFO--but you should expect me to be trying to answer these questions in the next book.

Calamity Seattle signing ()
#15 Copy

Questioner

Have we ever seen the Physical embodiment of either Odium or Cultivation?  Similar to what we saw with Ruin chasing...Vin?

Brandon Sanderson

So... Physical embodiment is kind of hard thing to define with Shards because you could argue that everything is a physical embodiment of them, does that make sense?

Questioner

Yes.  I mean more a physical form that the uses share--

Brandon Sanderson

Oh okay, okay.  So have you ever seen Odium’s?  I don’t believe you’ve seen Odium’s.

Questioner

What about Cultivation’s?

Brandon Sanderson

Cultivation is a RAFO.

Words of Radiance Washington, DC signing ()
#18 Copy

Questioner

The line about "three of sixteen [ruled] and now the Broken One reigns" - did Odium follow three other Shards to Roshar or is he the third Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

Odium is the third Shard on Roshar.

Footnote: The questioner is referring to the epigraph of Chapter 11 of The Way of Kings: "Three of sixteen ruled, but now the Broken One reigns."
The Dusty Wheel Show ()
#22 Copy

Ryan

Do we know why Nightblood didn't take up a Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

Nightblood didn't take up a Shard, Nightblood was not there... Oh, [they're] probably just asking why Nightblood did not absorb the entire Shard of Odium.

Nightblood cannot hold that much Investiture. At least not at that rate, right? Like, if you drop Nightblood without his sheath... I have to do it this way, because otherwise you drop him on the planet and he would absorb the entire planet, right. This is not a power I want Nightblood to have. I do not want Nightblood... Nightblood is a very dangerous tool without also being the death star.

I did not want... I actually was happy that I had the chance to put that scene in so I kind of put the kabosh on Nightblood being able to absorb the entire Investiture of an entire Shard. Not where I wanted... I didn't want that to be a promise people thought was coming. Now, he can absorb a lot and it's also rate of absorption is a pretty important deal.

...

People are gonna quote me on this in ten years and things like that and say "but, but, but". Just, you know, understand that there are specific ways that I'm trying to phrase some of these things.

Orem signing 2014 ()
#24 Copy

zas678 (paraphrased)

Can Odium influence people the same way that Ruin can?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

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 that's what allows Odium to take control of them.

zas678 (paraphrased)

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?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Well, Odium wasn't around when those people were created, so it's a little different for him than Ruin. So if he influences people in that way, it's through the Unmade.

Shadows of Self release party ()
#26 Copy

Questioner

How does Odium kill Shards?

Brandon Sanderson

OOOh that's a big ol’ RAFO. It's a RAFO I've promised to answer in the books eventually.

Questioner

We've got a theory… He kills a Shard by destroying the idea of the Shard into a population with hate. So on Sel he replaced the idea of Dominion with hatred of other people…

Brandon Sanderson

That’s a very good theory... I will say-- Yeah.

Skyward Denver signing ()
#31 Copy

Questioner

Saying that, "Odium did not leave his power behind on Sel. He left several other powers which are now, to a large extent, mindless." So, is another power- did he have some kind of *inaudible* under control or--

Brandon Sanderson

So I dodged that one very easily. I was talking about Dominion and Devotion, which he could have taken up and left behind. It technically answered the question. That was the answer. I even said on a tape later on "I wiggled out of that one real well," but they didn't know how I wiggled out of it. When they said "Did he leave behind any powers?" Those are the powers he left behind.

Questioner

But they weren't his powers?

Brandon Sanderson

No, but they were-- As soon as he killed them, he could have had them, right? So it definitely gave me wiggle room.

General Reddit 2016 ()
#32 Copy

faragorn

When I asked you during a signing about how Rayse took down the other shards, you RAFOd it. Was that because it will be explicitly covered at some point in the series, or more because the subject will affect things later (possibly vaguely answering my question) and you dont want the info to get out too early?

And can you give anything on when it might be touched on? Front five, back five, book five?

Brandon Sanderson

There are a ton of reasons, and you've touched on several. It will be touched on increasingly going forward, but I'm not going to say when (firmly) it will be discussed in depth.

Oathbringer San Francisco signing ()
#33 Copy

Questioner

In the past, you have said... that we've seen a metal that is from a Shard that we know, on Scadrial. You said Wax has seen the influence of a Shard other than Preservation, Ruin, or Harmony, and that the spike that Bleeder was using was a metal from a Shard we know. It seems like there's another Shard influencing Scadrial. Is Trell an extension of that?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

And is that Odium?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a RAFO.

General Reddit 2013 ()
#35 Copy

Autarchk

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?

Brandon Sanderson

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.

Nepene

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 him- Honor, Cultivation, Love, Dominion. But Ruin seems more in line with Odium. Rayse has ruined the days of quite a few people.

Brandon Sanderson

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.

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
#36 Copy

Argent

Some of the few Shards Rayse Splintered included Ambition, I believe, Dominion, and Devotion.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Argent

And those were all way back, in the history. So, we know that the Shards' personalities overrides the Vessel's personality over time?

Brandon Sanderson

Strongly influence, and depending on the individual, override.

Argent

Okay. So did Rayse choose those Shards because--

Brandon Sanderson

He went after Ambition first, but didn't find Ambition until after going after Devotion and Dominion. But Ambition was number one on his hit list.

Argent

Was it because of the Shard or because of the Vessel? Like did he hate the person?

Brandon Sanderson

In this case it was the Shard, primarily, that drove him--

Argent

Oh, he was maybe afraid the Shard would grow too powerful and take over--

Brandon Sanderson

He was afraid that this Shard that would rival him. And so he's like "This one is number one on the hit list. We're taking down Ambition." But then he got trapped in the Rosharan system.

Skyward Seattle signing ()
#37 Copy

Khyrindor

Odium seems to have a bad track record when it comes to killing Shards. He was wounded versus Ambition, and he's trapped on Roshar. Yet, he's credited in killing Devotion and Dominion. My question is: was Autonomy significantly involved and would Odium have been able to do it on his own and still be okay to--

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO. It is dangerous to attack a Shard with one Shard. Let's say that. And a wise Shard would try to avoid that confrontation unless there are specific reasons they think they would have an advantage.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#38 Copy

mooglefrooglian

Shallan explains the theory that all spren can be divided into two categories (emotions and forces). Jasnah then links these to Cultivation and Honor, and also notes that voidspren are of Odium.

Is this theory maybe a little incomplete? Is there a third category of spren for "sensationspren" like painspren (which don't seem to involve emotions or forces)?

Brandon Sanderson

In Vorin thought, those would be emotions, but that doesn't mean that the scholars who think about these things are right.

OdysseyCon 2016 ()
#40 Copy

Blightsong (paraphrased)

Is it normal for people to become Connected to an area after being there for a bit, like with Kel and wherever he was when he found the Ire, or is something special going on?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

It is normal for a Cognitive Shadow to get stuck to places, because they exist through investiture it is normal for them to get tied to an area. Kelsier was still in Scadrial when he found the Ire. This happened with Odium and the two shards on Roshar, Preservation to Ruin, and the Heralds.

General Reddit 2016 ()
#41 Copy

xolsiion

I'm a big fan of Harmony.

zatanamag

Probably will never happen but I'd love to see him put the smackdown on Odium.

chx_

Paging [Brandon]... what do you think of this theory :) ? Is this your plan? Or are we asking about something which is decade(s) away?

Brandon Sanderson

I find theories like this very interesting, but yes, you're right. This is talking about things very far away. I've said, however, that Odium is wary of Harmony.

zotsandscrambles

It seems like Odium has been attacking shards that share a world for some reason (dom and dev hon and cult). Maybe his exploit against dual sharded worlds would work less well against a dual-wielding shardholder?

Brandon Sanderson

I won't say yes or no to that, but you can imagine that what happened on Scadrial is something he would have preferred never occur.

zotsandscrambles

I'm surprised it didn't occur to anyone to grab two shards to begin with? Pairing Odium with Devotion seems like a good idea.

Did this not occur for a specific reason, or just an oversight on the part of the folks involved?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO

JordanCon 2018 ()
#45 Copy

Argent

I thought, like, at one of the signings you told me that when Odium was on Sel and Splintered the Shards there, the reason he did the Cognitive Realm hack was because he was not yet experienced in Splintering stuff.

Brandon Sanderson

Right. He did not want what happened to happen, but he didn't know that he didn't want what happened to happen.

Argent

What I was getting at is, I could never find a recording of you saying "He was not experienced. He didn't want the power to be taken by anyone, and that's the only solution he could figure out." Does that sound like something you would say?

Brandon Sanderson

That is something I would say, yes... There are better ways to do what he wanted to do, which he later did a better job with. But there's not a lot of experimenting he could do.

Argent

Limited number of subjects, right?

Brandon Sanderson

Mmhmm.

Oathbringer Glasgow signing ()
#47 Copy

Hoidonalsium

What was the order of the Shards coming to Roshar and changing allegiances? Did humans come with Odium?

Brandon Sanderson

So... you're talking about on Roshar specifically? So, Odium had visited Roshar. The humans gave him more of an ear... The Dawnsingers would have considered him the god of the people who had come, but-- I mean, it wasn't like they necessarily brought him. He was capable of getting around before that. I mean, he did kinda come along with them, he was instrumental in what happened there.

Hoidonalsium

Okay, but he was separate, and after Honor and Cultivation had really settled there?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, he was after Honor and Cultivation had settled.