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JordanCon 2016 ()
#51 Copy

Questioner

The next tattoo I'm going to get will be the Oaths from the Windrunners, because they are a huge part of my life. And I was just wondering if you'd be able to give me one of them? There's two more, right?

Brandon Sanderson

There are more Oaths.

Questioner

Or if you could tell me which books they're going to come out in, so I can plan on--

Brandon Sanderson

So that's a huge spoiler, and they're recording me right now. So I can, maybe, if you promise you're not going to share this on the internet... So I can give you Oath #3. That'll be it for a while

Questioner

Okay, that's fine. I appreciate it...

Brandon Sanderson

That's the wording as I have it in my head right now. I might not use the exact words, but that's okay because the Oaths are concepts and each person who speaks them will speak them slightly differently. Like you will see in future books people speaking Oaths you have seen before, they'll be slightly reworded to match their personality. But that's the concept. You might be able to see that it's a very important thing.

Shadows of Self Boston signing ()
#52 Copy

AndrewStirlingMacDonald (paraphrased)

Are there any other Davars that are Invested?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

*laughs* That is TOTALLY a RAFO.

AndrewStirlingMacDonald (paraphrased)

I mean, I knew it, when I asked.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

"Are there any?" is an odd question. Depends on what time you're talking about. But let's just say there are few people in all of Roshar who've gotten as far as Shallan.

Holiday signing ()
#54 Copy

Questioner

If you were to place yourself in the...  what Knight Radiant-- what Radiant Order would you be?

Brandon Sanderson

Mmmmm.

Questioner

It's a hard question.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah that is a hard question. I probably naturally, I think the best fit would be Lightweaver but it could be Bondsmith depending on what mood I'm in. You'll have to read that one… Dalinar becomes one at the end.

Questioner

We don't know much about them yet. What do they do? There's only three though, right?

Brandon Sanderson

Right now? There's-- yeah. But there's also Lift, who's an Edgedancer--

Questioner

No, I mean three Bondsmiths.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, yeah. There aren't very many, ever.

DragonCon 2019 ()
#55 Copy

Questioner

What is the First Ideal of the Elsecallers?

Brandon Sanderson

The First Ideal of all the... all of the Orders is the same. She's actually asking what the Second Ideal is and the answer is actually a RAFO, which means "Read and find out". I will reveal that... when... eventually.

Firefight Miami signing ()
#56 Copy

Questioner

In Words of Radiance, there's a fragment that says that the Bondsmiths have a power that none of the other Orders have.

Brandon Sanderson

That will be answered in a future book... *discussion on RAFOs* Basically, each of the Orders actually had their own quirks and individual things. Some of them were more dramatic than others. But if you watch through, you'll be seeing that they kind of have some different effects that aren't related necessarily to the Surges.

Questioner

So, then follow-up question, the reason that the Bondsmiths don't get Shards is because they have that extra power?

Brandon Sanderson

The reason is because the Stormfather is particularly-- how he is. And he's more cantankerous than he was, even in the past...

Each of the Orders, I wanted to have a lot of individuality. I didn't want them to all just be different copy-clones. You'll also find that they also have very different philosophies on even things like honor and what is good and things like that.

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#59 Copy

Questioner

I know at the end of Words of Radiance Syl shows she can turn into different forms, not just a sword. Why do they not... Or why do none of the other past Radiants really show that they have done that. Because normally in the flashbacks they are shown just being swords.

Brandon Sanderson

So the Shardblades came from spren seeing the Honorblades, which were created for mankind, and being like "I can do that". That is what they were imitating.

Questioner

So that's what they wanted...

Brandon Sanderson

No, that's how they see themselves and how they are seen. They can change into other things...

Questioner

They just never...

Brandon Sanderson

But when you let go of one it's going to become a sword again.

Questioner

Oh, I just meant in all the visions they were always portrayed as swords. Was that just for...

Brandon Sanderson

That's cultural, like this is... One thing that is interesting is you are going to see that the new Radiants don't have... I mean the Radiants you have seen almost all of them are after thousands of years of Radiants and Orders and you have certain things that you do.

So the writing reason was I didn't want to give away...

Questioner

That's what I was going to ask.

Brandon Sanderson

There is a writing reason behind it. I didn't want to do that and give too much away. I already worried that having Syl shift shapes as often as she did through the first book was going to be a big clue to people and I wanted to hold off on giving away too much.

OdysseyCon 2016 ()
#60 Copy

Blightsong

Would it be harder for Jasnah to Soulcast a Knight Radiant?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Would it be harder for her to Soulcast a Mistborn?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, Investiture resists Investiture. It's harder for her to even Soulcast a person than a rock, right?

Questioner

Is a Mistborn Invested?

Brandon Sanderson

The Mistborn, how they're burning the metal, you're right. They are not specifically Invested when they are not burning. When the Investiture becomes active, the yes. Before, no, you're right on that.

Blightsong

So Kelsier, he stayed around longer, not because he was Invested, but because he had the potential to use Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson

Over time using the magic will Invest you, on Scadrial. Most of the power is not coming from, on Roshar the power isn't coming from the person either [he cut himself off, so I assume this is how it works on Scadrial even though he didn't finish his thought] so I'm going to have to back up on that one and say, yes, the Mistborn are as Invested as a Knight Radiant, because in both cases the majority, bulk, of the power is coming from somewhere else, but there is the Spiritweb. Investing the wrong term, but you have all these connections in the Spiritual Realm, so yanking you away from them, or rewriting them is harder.

Questioner

Would they be harder with more Stormlight or metals burning?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, yes. That would increase the difficulty ratio. For instance, wearing Shardplate is gonna be a great barrier, right, and things like that so yeah. The problem is like, Invested is the wrong term for that, their Spiritweb is connected in different ways.

DragonCon 2019 ()
#61 Copy

Questioner

I know Hemalurgy [has to go to mix and match powers], would it be possible to use Feruchemy for Connection to hack into multiple Knights Radiant, kind of act as a Squire to more than one at the same time.

Brandon Sanderson

Great question! I think you could make this work. I think it would take a little bit of legwork, but I think what you're wanting to do could indeed work. More likely in that case though, you could probably be a Squire to multiple Orders. *Hesitantly* Yeah...I think that would work, but I don't think it's the easiest way to do what you want to do. I think there are easier ways.

Holiday signing ()
#63 Copy

Questioner

The cover of, the front cover of any Way of Kings books, there's the little engraving, are those Honorblades?

They are the symbols of the various orders of Knights Radiant stylized as Honor-- as Shardblades.

Questioner

Oh, okay. That makes a lot more sense, because I've seen the symbols on the back...

Brandon Sanderson

*pointing at the book* So it's this symbol right here is the same symbol as this.

Questioner

Right, it's just a little more expanded and stuff down the blade.  Wow.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#65 Copy

ThingsThatMakeMeMad

Dalinar insists that honorable men would not fight their allies, when Adolin wishes to spar. Would the knights radiant spar one another, or would they generally agree with dalinars point of view?

Brandon Sanderson

Some would agree but many would disagree. Do note there is a difference between sparring and prize fighting or dueling.

The Great American Read: Other Worlds with Brandon Sanderson ()
#66 Copy

Questioner

Soul Forging. Emperor's Soul. If one created the stamp properly, could you, using it, say, Windrunner you stamp, rewrote past to be Lightweaver. Possible?

Brandon Sanderson

That is possible and a little easier than a lot of other things. It's gonna run into problems... in that the Oaths are gonna be hard to align.

Questioner

Probably require some very fine crafting on the stamp.

Brandon Sanderson

Very fine crafting on the stamp. And there are certain people that they're just gonna have a hard time fitting into certain Orders. This is a lot easier though than just taking a random person and making them into one, because you're gonna already have Investiture that they've got.

Questioner

And have the basis of the First Oath.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. So this is not as hard as it might at first sound. It's the sort of thing that people in the cosmere are looking at. Like, being able to transfer magics between-- and things like that is one of very much interest in the cosmere.

Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
#67 Copy

Blightsong

What did Ivory mean by the Skybreakers living in death? 

Brandon Sanderson

Ivory likes contradictions, they fascinate him. And he is saying that they live in death in that they kill a lot. It's a philosophical sort of thing. He's making an Ivory observation, it's not something you're supposed to take as a pronouncement of nature or reality. 

17th Shard Forum Q&A ()
#68 Copy

Lightflame

You've confirmed that several Heralds have appeared or been mentioned in the modern (non-prelude, non-vision) parts of The Way of Kings. Have any members of the Knights Radiant (the one from the days of Urithiru, not near-Radiants like Kaladin) appeared in the modern parts of The Way of Kings? And if you have to RAFO me, could you give me a hint about the Heralds?

Brandon Sanderson

I can answer that--no, no Radiants from those days have appeared on screen in [The Way of Kings].

FanX Spring 2019 ()
#69 Copy

Questioner

At the end of Oathbringer, or near the end, Kaladin is talking to Syl about not getting Shallan or whatever, and he says that she really just reminded him of someone, who is it that she reminded him of?

Brandon Sanderson

She reminded him of Tien, his brother, because his brother was a burgeoning Lightweaver, and Lightweavers, you'll notice, when they're around someone, that person starts to act a little bit more like a little bit of their best self. There's a bit of, also, counteraction to feelings of darkness and despair, it's just a natural Lightweaver sort of thing. And so, part of what Kaladin was drawing from Shallan was that feeling. I think it could've totally become love. And he's now cutting that off, he's saying it couldn't at all have become-- it could have. But that was part of what was drawing him in.

Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
#70 Copy

Questioner

So far all the spren that have bonded to humans appear to be emotion-based as opposed to nature-based. Is that true for all the Knights Radiant?

Brandon Sanderson

Well it depends. For instance: how would you define Wyndle?

Questioner

I struggled with that one.

Brandon Sanderson

Uh hm. So I would say that you are on the right track, that there is a definite inclination that direction.

Questioner

Towards Honor?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. There is.

Questioner

Is there other surges then, that are more Cultivation-exclusive or other Knights Radiant that are...?

Brandon Sanderson

We'll RAFO that, but the original Knights Radiant are more focused on Honor and his spren.

Salt Lake City signing ()
#72 Copy

Questioner

Why does the Shardbearer-- when they are dueling with Adolin and Renarin-- Why does the Shardbearer freak out when Kaladin grabs the sword? The <Shardbearer> like... He screams, and he's like, "I didn't kill you", and ran away.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Why does he do that?

Brandon Sanderson

Because when Kaladin was there, and they were touching it, they actually heard the spren that was inside of it. Right? Because when an--

Questioner

So it wasn't Syl that he heard, it was the sword.

Brandon Sanderson

It was the sword's spren... that Kaladin was touching it. When the Knight Radiant touches it-- You can see when other Knights Radiant pick up swords, they can hear the screaming.

Orem signing ()
#74 Copy

Questioner

Hypothetically speaking, if some of the main Radiants were to die at the end of book 5, go to Braize and then spend the time in between 5 and 6 there, would they age?

Brandon Sanderson

There are lots of problems with that question. If a Radiant dies, they don't go to Braize. A Herald would, but a Herald is a Cognitive Shadow, so there's inherent problems in there. When you're a Cognitive Shadow, aging is different there, because you're basically a ghost. Even if you've been stapled to a body, it happens weirdly. So there's all kinds of flaws in that question.

Stormlight Three Update #3 ()
#77 Copy

twixttwists

What would happen to Syl, say, if Kaladin dies? Can she transfer the bond to someone else?

Brandon Sanderson

So long as Kaladin did not forsake his oaths, Syl would be traumatized (as one might imagine) but be capable of forming another bond.

twixttwists

Good to know she can form another bond. I'm guessing she'll be a little more mindless in the interim, though? 

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, without a strong tie to the Physical realm, she would have trouble thinking here if she pulled through to exist here.

Stormlight Three Update #3 ()
#78 Copy

Ghodicu

The pocket companion states that there are three spren that can bond a person to make them into a bondsmith, the Stormfather being one of them. As far as I recall the books implied that the number was low, and implied heavily that it was around that number in an epigraph, but didn't actually have a straight confirmation. So, should I take that as canon?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, you can take that as canon. They came to me for that information.

yahasgaruna

Sweet. I guess it hasn't been canonized which three spren these are? I seem to recall that the prevailing theory on 17th Shard was that Nightwatcher was one of them, and the third was that weird spren with too many faces that Axies the Collector looked at in the tWoK interlude.

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO. :)

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#79 Copy

drabgod

In Words of Radiance we find that Pattern is very literal-minded (at least until Shallan corrupted him), and mathematically-inclined. Even his real name is just a mathematical construct. And his head is a fractal. When I think of Pattern, I think "logic" and "truth", not "art" and "lies".

If all Cryptics are like this, then I wonder why they (and not artistic spren like Wyndle) are the ones attracted to the artistic Lightweavers. Is this just a matter of "opposites attract"? Are spren naturally drawn to people with personal qualities they themselves do not have? I am reminded of the Divine Attributes, and it seems like Shallan has the "Creative" side while Pattern has the "Honest" side. Is that a coincidence?

Brandon Sanderson

These things are not coincidences.

I have some very interesting rationals why certain spren are involved with certain orders. I never wanted it to be so straightforward as, "Oh, you control pressure? Here's a spren dedicated to that power." I feel there is more intricacy, and honesty, to a system that isn't so "on the nose" as we say in writing.

Oathbringer Houston signing ()
#81 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

In fact, in the origin of The Stormlight Archive, the first Surgebinding things I did, every order of the Knights Radiant was going to be able to Soulcast. Be able to change things from one to another. It was just, you would be locked into the element that was associated with your order of Knight Radiant, you could turn that into anything else you wanted to. That was one of my original pitches. I eventually moved away from that, a lot of the Orders were just feeling too similar in what they did, but that core concept is still there in Stormlight, and Soulcasting as a concept is there because the series is about change.

Shadows of Self London UK signing ()
#82 Copy

Questioner

Why are there so many Kholins that are Radiants? Is there a story reason or...

Brandon Sanderson

There is a story reason, kind of. So the Kholin family is in Alethkar, which was the hereditary-- one of the homes of the Knights Radiant. It's still kind of in the forefront of the-- how shall we say-- the collective unconscious and things like this. Plus there's--

Questioner

And then they are on the forefront of that.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. I mean-- Yeah. And so the spren, some of them are naturally looking for where a lot of Radiants used to be. So it's just a higher concentration of spren around the area, if that makes sense?

Calamity Philadelphia signing ()
#83 Copy

marcos

As of Words of Radiance, are there two groups of Skybreakers running around claiming to be Skybreakers?

Brandon Sanderson

Nale’s group is the only one I think I’ve had on-screen, so yeah I think there’s only one. Why would you ask that?

marcos

Was the group that Helaran joined the actual Skybreakers?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, I get what you’re saying. Okay. Yes, there is one unified group that call themselves the Skybreakers, good question.

OdysseyCon 2016 ()
#86 Copy

Blightsong

Were the ideals of the Knights Radiant consciously chosen, or did they happen naturally?

Brandon Sanderson

*apprehension*. This is one of those vague ones in that yes and no. They are a natural outgrowth of the spren, but the spren are a natural outgrowth of human's perception of natural forces, but the spren are sentient, so I would say it's a little more by instinct than not. For example two Knights Radiant in the same Order might speak the words differently, but the concept is the same. You will see this happen in a future book, where a Windrunner will speak the oaths. It's a slightly different take on the same concept. Some are moreso, like Shallan's oaths are very individualized truths, so.

General Reddit 2017 ()
#88 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

A full-blown Radiant can heal almost anything (cut from a Shardblade included) because of the way the magic works--their soul is literally bonded to Investiture, and it suffuses them in such a way that even the soul is very resilient to damage.

Honorblades are what you'd consider a "prototype" for what eventually happened with Shardblades. An Honorblade can be used by anyone, without need for oaths, which makes them very dangerous--but since the bond isn't as deep, they are far less efficient. They use more Stormlight, for example, and can't heal to the extent that a Radiant can.

So the difference is not in the device that did the damage, but in the method using to heal. Over the course of the first two book, the reader should be able to subtly pick out differences from what Szeth says is possible (in more than just healing) and what Kaladin experiences.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#89 Copy

VindicationKnight

Do you mind telling us what the average number of Knights for a Knight Radiant Order were (barring Bondmiths) and possibly how close the different orders worked together?

Brandon Sanderson

It varied very widely, and depended on many factors. At their highest, some orders had members in the low thousands.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
#91 Copy

NutiketAiel

When a Radiant is in the Cognitive Realm, does their mind exist individually, like separately from their body?

Brandon Sanderson

Uhh, no.

NutiketAiel

So you physically travel to the Cognitive Realm?

Brandon Sanderson

You can kind of step in between both but you do not separate from your body.

NutiketAiel

So when Shallan is only partly in...she's in both at the same time?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. She's transitioning. It's not astral projection. But no that's a legit question.

NutiketAiel

So Shallan, and Lightweavers, are capable of physically stepping into Shadesmar?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO. But the implication is yes.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#92 Copy

Questioner

When it comes to the epic-level spren on Roshar, like the Nightwatcher and the Stormfather-- Is the number of epic-level spren equal to the number of Bondsmiths that you can have on Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

Hmm, is the number of epic-level spren related to the number of Bondsmiths you have? Well, I've said there's a maximum of three. And there are three Shards involved in Roshar. I'm not gonna tell you if that's a coincidence or not. Sorry.

Goodreads WoK Fantasy Book Club Q&A ()
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Jay

Do Szeth and Kaladin both belong to the same order of knights radiant?

Brandon Sanderson

Szeth isn't actually in an order of Knights Radiant. Something different is happening with Szeth that people have already begun to guess. And Kaladin isn't yet a Knight Radiant, but the powers he uses are those of the Windrunners, one of the orders of the Knights Radiant. Szeth is using the same power set. So your phrasing is accurate to that extent.

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
#96 Copy

Questioner

Does the Shard of Ambition have anything to do with the Bondsmith?

Brandon Sanderson

Shard of Ambition have anything to do with the Bondsmith, no, good question. Oh! I see what you guys are getting at. Who's the third Bondsmith... So, uhh, this is a RAFO. I will eventually start talking about the third Bondsmith. I'm gonna RAFO all questions about it for a while though. So just warning you guys.

Shadows of Self London UK signing ()
#97 Copy

Cemci

Have we-- I think you mentioned in a previous signing that we'd already met one member of every Order of the Knights Radiant.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, I think you have.

Cemci

My question is, have we met two Edgedancers? And is one of the Dustbringers a viewpoint character?

Brandon Sanderson

One of the Dustbringers is eventually a point-of-view character.

Cemci

Haven't been yet?

Brandon Sanderson

No, not yet, I don't think. But it depends if you count the Heralds as members of their order.

Cemci

I don't.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, see I would, because they're kind of heads of their Order. If you don't count them you have not met some from every Order.

Cemci

Have we met someone from the Dustbringers?

Brandon Sanderson

Well-- Dustbringers are really complicated. Really complicated. So that's the weird one. Okay? So let's shelve that one. You'll see why it's really weird later on.

/r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
#99 Copy

luxgladius

Do you already have a fully fleshed-out idea of all 10 orders of the Knights Radiant, or are you still coming up with them and their Ideals?

Brandon Sanderson

All ten orders are finished and worldbuilt. (I feel pretty good about them.) However, I could decide to move some things around as I write.

Idaho Falls signing ()
#100 Copy

Truthwatcher_17.5

Are you ever gonna make an official quiz that sorts people into Knights-- Knights Radiant? 

Brandon Sanderson

You know, I'm less likely to do a quiz and more likely to do a list of-- kind of attributes and traits and requirements. I feel that some people are more likely to be able to sort themselves than a quiz sorting them. Granted, it does depend on the spren also, so there are two parties in this. And so, you don't have absolute influence over which order you might end up in. But it is possible to be viable as a candidate for multiple orders and it also is going to depend on the spren.