This is a blanket Character Sheet for forces throughout The Cosmere, including the Shards of Adonalsium and Hoid. As with the Franchise page, this page will not have spoiler tags, and will assume that the reader is familiar with the books in question.For information on other characters around the Cosmere, see these pages:
The holder of the Shard of Odium (hatred). As a man, Odium was cruel, and taking a Shard has only made him worse. He is the most dangerous of the 16 Shardholders, and has been set up as the Big Bad of The Stormlight Archive, along with being the Bigger Bad of the larger Cosmere.
Big Bad: Of The Stormlight Archive, or at least appears to be.
Bigger Bad: He is set up as the most significant evil presence in the Cosmere, and his actions have caused a lot of the problems seen on the other Shardworlds, even if he wasn't directly influencing their events. To be more specific, he is all but outright said to be responsible for the damage inflicted to Sel (the world where Elantris is set) and splintered the Shards used by two others (Aona and Skai).
The Dreaded: Everyone who knows about him is terrified of him.
Serial Killer: Has shades of this, having killed at least three Shardholders.
Shardholder: Leras, Kelsier (postmortem), Vin, and then Sazed Shardworld: Scandrial Magic: Allomancy
Initially known to the people of Scandrial as the "Mist Spirit", Preservation presents himself as a mysterious creature made out of mist, mentioned in the logbook Kelsier and Vin find. The source of Allomancy, he locked Ruin away.
All-Powerful Bystander: Justified because initially all his power is tied up in keeping Ruin imprisoned and after Ruin gets out, one of his first acts is to kill the weakened Preservation's mind.
Arc Number: Sixteen, which was built into everything surrounding his powers and actions as his "signature."
The Chessmaster: Preservation is the best Chessmaster in the whole Gambit Pileup in the Mistborn series. Culminates with Vin absorbing his power and using that to destroy Ruin, because while Preservation himself can't destroy, humans can because they are of both Preservation and Ruin.
Hero with Bad Publicity: Thanks to Ruin's manipulation, the oncoming mists that signify Preservation's power are interpreted as the Deepness. For all of The Well of Ascension and most of The Hero of Ages, everyone assumes that the mists are of Ruin and a deadly danger to the land.
Mass Super-Empowering Event: The mists that "attack" people in the second and third books are actually Preservation's power identifying those with innate Allomancy and forcing them to Snap.
My Death Is Just the Beginning: Sacrificed most of himself to set off the dominoes that would ultimately lead to the death of his opposite number, Ruin. Technically he didn't actually die until much later, but since his sacrifice left him almost totally unable to interact with the world, and his eventual true death was also part of his plan it counts.
Red Herring: Presented as a possible Big Bad in The Well of Ascension. In reality he's the Big Good, but circumstances made him look like a villain.
Thanatos Gambit: He knows that he's going to die, so he sets up Vin as the heir to his power.
Shardholder: Ati, then Sazed Shardworld: Scandrial Magic: Hemalurgy
"How do you like that? I killed him! I Ruined everything you love. I took it from you!"
One of the two male forces of creation that created Scadrial long ago. Ruin agreed to help Preservation create the human race, under the condition that he would eventually be granted the right to destroy all things. To prevent Ruin from accomplishing his goal, Preservation sealed him in the Well of Ascension, but he was released by Vin. He can manifest in the minds of people with Hemalurgic spikes. He is Zane's "God" and the voice of Reen in Vin's head.
Above Good and Evil: Ruin denies being malevolent; to him, the destruction of the world is both inevitable and natural.
Badass Boast: "I am mountains that crush. I am waves that crash. I am storms that scatter. I am the end. ...I am Ruin."
Big Bad: The true villain behind all the events of the original Mistborn trilogy.
Blue and Orange Morality: The little we see from his perspective (through Marsh) indicates that his claims that things are only beautiful when they end is completely genuine as far as he is concerned. To him, life and the story of peoples' lives are insignificant compared to the ending that they reach.
Break Them by Talking: He shows up several times for the express purpose of doing this to Vin. The fact that he feels the need to do this is her first clue that on some level he's human, and therefore fallible.
The Chessmaster: Hoo, boy. For most of the Mistborn trilogy, everybody is dancing on his strings.
The Corrupter: To people who have hemalurgic spikes, with subtlety ranging from making them hold onto an item to convincing them to do morally dubious experimentation to simply urging them to kill everyone they meet. He's so good at this last one that he sometimes has to force his victims to not kill everyone they meet, as it is slowing them down.
Dead Person Impersonation: Pulls one of several people, notably Kelsier (to Spook and Quellion), the Lord Ruler (to Penrod), and Reen. Vin sees through the last pretty quickly, at least when it's more than just the voice.
Evil Redhead: As a human, he had red hair. This is played with, because he was only evil as a Shardholder, and he didn't have a body then. Before obtaining Ruin, the man he once was, Ati, was actually kind and generous.
Face-Heel Turn: He was once a kind and generous man, but due to his Shard's Intent he was corrupted and became nothing more than an instrument of destruction.
Fake Memories: He is able to edit the contents of Copperminds, allowing him to create them.
Faux Affably Evil: Willing to act friendly towards Vin and others, but evil to a fault.
For the Evulz: a lot of his conversations with Vin seem to have no purpose other than to taunt her, especially when he gloats that his servant killed Elend.
Hannibal Lecture: Tries to do this with Vin once she is captured by Lord Aradan Yomen.
Hero Killer: By far the most powerful and terrifying villain in Mistborn. He'd have killed the whole world if Vin hadn't managed to stop him, and even then it was a close call.
Hoist by His Own Petard: When Ruin and Preservation worked together to create the world, they both put part of themselves into humanity, thus allowing humans to both preserve and destroy. Thus, when Vin absorbed Preservation's power (just as planned) she could use that same power to attack and destroy Ruin, unlike Preservation.
Weaksauce Weakness: He can't see or directly affect words written in metal- a rather potent weakness, as his greatest success came from altering written records, especially prophecies (this is due the fact that the magic systems on Scadrial are fueled by metal, and thus glow with power to his senses. Trying to read words on a metal tablet would be like us trying to read scratches on a really powerful lightbulb). He also can't read minds, though he can influence them if the person has a Hemalurgic spike.
Almighty Janitor: He often takes the position of a beggar or other low-profile role, though his job as the King's Wit in Roshar is a partial exception due to his proximity to an important ruler. Although his power level isn't known much, he is implied to be planning something that spans the entire Cosmere, likely related to Odium.
Dead Person Impersonation: If early looks at The Liar of Partinel are accurate, he took the name of his own Lightweaving master following the latter's assassination, and kept it for hundreds of years after. However, given the sheer amount of time and the fact that he goes to many worlds where people would have no idea who the original Hoid is, it's largely irrelevant.
Deadpan Snarker: His entire job as the Alethi King's Wit in Roshar is to be this. He spends every feast thrown by the King just sitting by the entrance, insulting everyone who walks in with an easy, practiced air. He also mocks Sadeas, one of the most powerful highprinces, several times.
Wit: Sadeas, I don't believe you've ever paid me a sphere. Though, no, please, don't offer. I can't take your money, as I know how many others you must pay to get what you wish of them. Sadeas: A whore joke, Wit? Is that the best you can manage? Wit: Each man has his place. Mine is to make insults. Yours is to be in-sluts.
Fourth Wall Observer: As noted by him in The Way of Kings, "I began life as a thought, a concept, words on a page." Plus, his character has appeared in every Sanderson "world" of the Cosmere. He even mentions Adonalsium to Dalinar once.
Inexplicably Awesome: We understand some of his magic and how he moves between Shardworlds, along with his world of origin. However, we don't really know anything else about him, up to and including his motives, history, and actual appearance.
The Jester: His job as "the King's Wit" in Alethkar, Roshar is to be this, being allowed (and required) to insult members of the court. However, the narration makes clear that this is not the same thing. His role asthe Imperial Fool of the Rose Empire is implied to be another example. He plays a short, similar role in the Court of the Gods in Nalthis as a storyteller who explains some history of Hallandren to Siri.
Master of Illusion: He is capable with Lightweaving, among other skills. This makes it very hard to tell what he actually looks like.
Meaningful Background Event: He practically is one due to his many behind the scenes acts. By the time of The Way of Kings, some of the people he crossed paths with are starting to put ends together to find out what is going on.
Obfuscating Disability: In Mistborn: The Final Empire, he pretends to be blind so that Kelsier will let his guard down. Unfortunately, Kelsier sees right through it, being familiar with the skaa underworld, but it doesn't end up mattering much.
Considering Hoid's other characteristics, odds are he was intentionally letting Kelsier know that he was faking blindness so as to have Kelsier assume he was just another Skaa urchin/informant.
Only Known by Their Nickname: According to he himself, he "abandoned his real name long ago", meaning that Hoid isn't actually his name. According to early looks at The Liar of Partinel, the earliest novel in The Verse chronologically so far, his real name is Midius, and he took the name of senior jesk and master Lightweaver Hoid on Yolen following the latter's death.
Time Master: He ages very slowly, and has been in all of the Cosmere works in chronological order. However, he has not seen all of the years he has gone through, meaning he has some form of time travel.