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Adonalsium - from Sanderon's Cosmere

 
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Mighara Sovmadhi
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2015 2:17 am    Post subject: Adonalsium - from Sanderon's Cosmere Reply with quote

In The Hero of Ages, we are told that there was once this who-or-what, Adonalsium, that fractured into the sixteen sources of divine power that have since spread across the cosmos and resulted in the various magic systems on the different worlds in Sanderson's different stories.

Given the similarity between the words "Adonalsium" and "Adonai," the prevailing idea is that the fragmented entity is something like God. However, in one of the Cosmere books, the word "Adonalsium" is (IIRC) mentioned near a discussion of how some seemingly gibberish words are mistranscriptions of real words, or some such thing. Consider, then

    Adam-ondi-Ahman


which is an important place in traditionally Mormon theology, where an important temple was supposed to be built (but the project never got off the ground or something).

In another Cosmere book, we are told that of the three metal-based magics in the relevant world, it is Hemalurgy that is most relevant to the entire Cosmere (or something along that line), which I thought was weird because Hemalurgy is the magic used mostly by the forces of evil in that story. It's based on pounding metal spikes through people's bodies, to transfer various powers from body to body and the like. But then the citadel of the Lord Ruler, the pseudo-God from the first Mistborn book, is also said to resemble a host of Hemalurgic spikes.

In The Way of Kings, a character tries to prove that God exists used an argument-from-appearance-of-intelligent-design related to the layouts of various cities. Cities are the main type of setting Sanderson has used across the board in his fantasy stories (Elantris, Hallandren, Luthadel, etc.).

Judeo-Christian/Mormon theology involves plentiful references to a Zion and a New Jerusalem, a great and eternal city that will be constructed from various crystals (twelve, the Book of Revelation says) at the end of time.

So... drumroll...

What if Adonalsium was a living city?
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say a couple things: don't get too caught up in Mormonism's influence on Sanderson's writings. They are there, but it is not a one to one analogy like some other over-rated Mormon writer (glares at the over-rated writer who shall remain unnamed Mad ) It should also be noted that Adonai, as a Mormon concept, is stolen from a Jewish name for God and is separate from, and not dependent on, Adam-ondi-Ahman (which is not a city, and if I recall correctly, was never going to be a site for a temple. It's more of a meeting spot for important congregations at the beginning and end of time).

Doesn't really invalidate your interpretation, I'm just being somewhat pretentious here Razz

I always viewed Adonalsium more along the lines of the "god" character in Marvel that blew himself up and became the Infinity Gems as a result. I don't think Adonalsium offed himself (necessarily), but it's hard to tell at this point.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it seems as if Adonalsium would have been a very large object. Consider the sizes of Ruin and Preservation, as far as the extent of the mists or the atium reserves that were these beings' "bodies," sort of. So Adonalsium might have been an enormous presence in this physical sense (unless it was from the Cognitive or Spiritual Realms, of course; or all three?--more likely, maybe...).

Accordingly, a final moment in relation to this entity would either take place in outer space (the characters would be near the planet-or-star-sized reconstructed Adonalsium--supposing that reversing the Shattering is part of the broad Cosmere plot!), or on/in it. Actually, forget about how the Cosmere mythos will end (if it does) and go back to the start. Where was Hoid "standing" in relation to Adonalsium when it Shattered?

As a living city, it'd still be a divine being, only one with a more tangible character (something like Plato's ideal Republic, but manifest within the universe).
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mighara Sovmadhi wrote:
Well, it seems as if Adonalsium would have been a very large object. Consider the sizes of Ruin and Preservation, as far as the extent of the mists or the atium reserves that were these beings' "bodies," sort of. So Adonalsium might have been an enormous presence in this physical sense (unless it was from the Cognitive or Spiritual Realms, of course; or all three?--more likely, maybe...).
I think it's safe to bet that Adonalsium would exist in all three realms. Of course, we are concerned with its physical manifestation. Since it is the "power of creation", Adonalsium could theoretically be "found everywhere"... even though there are limits to its being... I mean, it was shattered and the Shards carried to various parts of the Cosmere. So the size could probably be variable, but from a thematic standpoint: you would want Adonalsium to have a bigger presence than all the Shards.

Now, thinking about it more, I still doubt Adonalsium is, strictly speaking, a living city. However, if we assume it exists in all three realms, it would have a physical manifestation. So it could be a massive, magical crystal city, or a "Shard ocean", or some other environment... or maybe it has the -sium ending because it's a sort of mineral or mountain...

I guess a good question to answer is whether Adonalsium is cognizant... which I would assume, since some of the Shards are characteristics like Devotion, Honor, and Odium (or divine hatred).

Quote:
Accordingly, a final moment in relation to this entity would either take place in outer space (the characters would be near the planet-or-star-sized reconstructed Adonalsium--supposing that reversing the Shattering is part of the broad Cosmere plot!), or on/in it. Actually, forget about how the Cosmere mythos will end (if it does) and go back to the start. Where was Hoid "standing" in relation to Adonalsium when it Shattered?

As a living city, it'd still be a divine being, only one with a more tangible character (something like Plato's ideal Republic, but manifest within the universe).
Possibly the most attractive notion of having it manifested as a city is that you could see the results... much like with Elantris, you knew something had gone wrong because the "god city" became the "city of the Living Dead". In that case, having Hoid observe the effects the Shattering had on the Living City could be impactful on the reader. Sure, there would be effects on the Spiritual and Cognitive realms, but that gets pretty abstract. Sometimes, readers want something they can grab onto!

So, you might convince me of your Adonalsium as a City theory, yet!
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- Herman Melville

I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
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"All creation is a huge, ornate, imaginary, and unintended fiction; if it could be deciphered it would yield a single shocking word."
-John Crowley
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Mighara Sovmadhi
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adonalsium might not be a city in the normal sense so much as a society, or a social structure of some kind. In the Physical Realm it would be like a city, in the Cognitive Realm it would be political dynamics like voter intentions or nobility house-games and the like, and finally in the Spiritual Realm it would be the divine source of moral value or something similar. The Shattering of Adonalsium would be when the Spiritual Realm itself was broken apart and Invested in the inhabitants of the Physical Realm. This would correspond, via a transcendental social dynamic (to bring in LDS theology again, the Godhead is a social presence, not a Trinitarian one), to political forces within the Physical Realm, especially cities apparently, but also in various caste or magic or other systems.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OR!!!

Maybe it was a temple of some kind. "Adonalsium" looks like a mineral kind of name, but it also reminds me of the Palaneum or w/e from the Stormlight books, which is a building. In fact, the suffix -ium also appears in words like "coliseum" and "auditorium." Then Hoid, et. al. (Hoid's maybe-associates or whoever) might've been the priesthood of that temple, and some of them, perhaps, inheritors of its Shattered power.
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