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The exact nature of Adonalsium has not yet been fully revealed. However, it is essentially the cosmere's power of creation that permeated and permeates everything.[1]


"There was a God. Adonalsium. I don't know if it was a force or a being, though I suspect the latter. Sixteen people, together, killed Adonalsium, ripping it apart and dividing its essence between them, becoming the first who ascended."

Khriss to Kelsier[2]

Long ago there was a plot to destroy Adonalsium. It failed.[3] However, some unknown time later, due to as yet unrevealed events, Adonalsium was killed and Shattered by the sixteen eventual Shardholders (and others in attendance), per WoB, the letter, the second letter, and from what Khriss said above.

Thus, Adonalsium was intentionally Shattered into sixteen pieces, known as Shards of Adonalsium or 'Shards' for short - which are pieces of the power of creation itself - and that they were then picked up by those sixteen now Shardholders.[4][5]

So, those who killed Adonalsium were a combined force, but a diverse group with equally diverse motives. Some wished for the power; others saw killing Adonalsium as the only good option left to them. Together they murdered a deity, and became divine themselves.[6]

Rather than half-gods, they could be considered to be fractional gods. And gods with no particular qualifications for deityhood, other than being conniving enough to murder the guy who had the job before.[7]

Also, it is not random which of the sixteen Holders got which Shard. And Shards very rarely change hands. However, the power distorts the Holder.[8]

Further, Adonalsium created the first humans, so the gods of each cosmere world had a pattern to use.[9]

There are other forces within the cosmere outside of those which have been derived from Adonalsium. One is a force that opposes Adonalsium (a force that still exists),[10] and there are those who say that "subtle forces" are being made manifest, separate from Adonalsium.[11]

Present Day[]

Wit asks Dalinar if he has ever heard the term. Dalinar responds perplexed, having not quite understood the word, to which Wit replies "Nothing."[12]


Hoid was, apparently, present at the event of the Shattering.[13] Frost is also well aware of it.

Brandon often refers to Adonalsium as male in Q&As. He has not yet revealed why, when Shattered, Adonalsium split into both male and female Shards.


Adonai is the Hebrew name for God, and Adon is the Hebrew name for Lord.[14]


While the sixteen people referenced above (and perhaps some others) were instrumental in the Shattering, it may have been Adonalsium’s own plan they were carrying out, whether they knew it or not.

However, if that theory is correct, it’s possible that Hoid is on the wrong end of things with whatever he’s trying to do, and that Frost is justified in admonishing Hoid (in the second letter) that they are like children stumbling around in the workshop, and may well do more harm than good. Then again, it’s just as likely that whatever Hoid is trying to do is exactly what Adonalsium expected and intended to be done.

Also possible is, a little theory still not proved by thereal.shadow, that Hoid himself - the man with the many names - is the remaining part of Adonalsium, just like the Stormfather - a very powerful spren - is the remaining part of Honor. Not like the other Shards, he isn't another person, he is the immortal part left from Adonalsium. That would also explain many things:

  • The way and plans Hoid follows (he maybe just tries to let the gigantic plan from Adonalsium work out).
  • On the question of Dalinar, Hoid responded that he's not a Shardholder. Also, he said that he had his own plans and stood on no one's side, and he would watch the world burn, with tears in his eyes, to get what he is there for.[citation needed] This means that first of all, he HAS the power to do so, while he isn't one of the direct gods of this world, which also means that he is powerful enough to avoid the others. Also, who else would gain anything from destroying another world, except somebody who could as easily create a new one?

Another reader has speculated that Adonalsium was Shattered by a Dawnshard.[citation needed]

Q&A with Brandon[]

Q: Are you ever going to do a big story about Adonalsium and take it out of the shadows?

A: Yes, um, the series called Dragonsteel itself is that, and then at the end of all of this, there will be kind of a climactic one. So eventually yes, it is just a little ways off.[15]

Q: Was Adonalsium shattered intentionally, and if so, was the intention malevolent?

A: Yes, and RAFO.[16]