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/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#53 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.

Idaho Falls signing ()
#54 Copy

Questioner

The Skybreakers, are they from the old Radi-- the old Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, they've still been around. Not all of them. They aren't still alive-- The ones back then are not still alive, but they have an unbroken chain. The only Order that has that. They're the only one that didn't abandon their Oaths.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#55 Copy

Argent

Why is it that Allomancers and Feruchemists get either one or all of the powers? Radiants / Surgebinders being limited to two Surges makes sense, because it depends on the type of spren they bond with, but Allomancers?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm not ready to answer this one yet, I'm afraid. So it's a RAFO.

Argent

Fair enough. Is this something we'll see explored in future (far future?) books, or will we need to bug you about it during signings / AMAs every few years?

Brandon Sanderson

It will explored in far future books, most likely.

Idaho Falls signing ()
#56 Copy

Questioner

Dalinar Ascends, right? Like, right then, there.

Brandon Sanderson

I have RAFO'd that. Whether he is Ascending or not is a RAFO.

Questioner

Okay, because I know he kind of mentions from that, I don't know how to say his name but the older guy who has the Diagram--

Brandon Sanderson

Taravangian, yeah. Whether that deserves to be a capital "A" or not is a matter of argument. It can be disputed.

Questioner

I guess my main question would just be Dalinar's now able to pull Stormlight and give it to people now.

Brandon Sanderson

He definitely can. That is a Bondsmith power, so.

Questioner

That is a Bondsmith power, okay.

Brandon Sanderson

That is specifically a Bondsmith power.

Questioner

Because my roommate was saying well, the Stormfather was surprised he could do that or was the Stormfather surprised that he was able to bridge--

Brandon Sanderson

He was surprised by what was happening to Dalinar as a whole.

Questioner

Oh okay, that's what I thought because I was like, because I felt like the Stormlight, that power would be a Bondsmith power.

Brandon Sanderson

Let's say that the Stormfather and Odium were seeing something in Dalinar that, perhaps, the average person watching even who is knowledgeable about Surges would not completely understand... But he will be able to use that power and Bondsmiths in the past have used that same power.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#57 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.

EuroCon 2016 ()
#59 Copy

Questioner

Hi. I have two questions about the Cosmere. The first one is if a Radiant can have a bond with two spren, and the other one is if Truthwatcher spren are related directly with Cultivation or the Nightwatcher?

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, so RAFO on if a Knight Radiant can have two spren. But the second question was, "Are spren of Cultivation?" One more time?

Questioner

If the spren of the Truthwatchers are related directly with Cultivation or the Nightwatcher? Or both?

Brandon Sanderson

So, most of the sapient spren that form the Orders of Knights Radiant are related to a mixture of Honor and Cultivation. Some lean one direction much more than the other, and the spren of the Truthwatchers leans toward Cultivation.

Idaho Falls signing ()
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Truthwatcher_17.5

Does the Fourth Ideal of Knights Radiant for Windrunners go something like "I will forgive myself for those I've failed to protect"?

Brandon Sanderson

I will put you on the record for having guessed that, but you won't find the answer until a Windrunner is capable of figuring it out. 

General Reddit 2020 ()
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CephandriusTW

We know for previous WoBs that Truthwatchers are worried about knowledge and helping people with it (wob#8500). In the test you recently released, the new info about them says that they are worried about the use of the knowledge and the leaders trying to deceive the people they lead. So, I think they have some things in common with Windrunners and Edgedancers, because the three Orders are more worried about the common people than about the elite. Protecting those who can not protect themselves, remembering those who had been forgotten; both of this Second Ideals refers to the common people, that people that the leaders don't really care about.

Considering all of this, and following the example of the Second Ideal of Windrunners and Edgedancers, which are the most worried about the common people with no epic powers, I wrote a theoric PURE (without corrupted sprens like Glysn) Second Ideal for Truthwatchers:

"I will seek truth, to prevent others from being deceived."

I know you are RAFO'ing this, but I would only like to know if my approach of the Truthwatchers Order is correct.

Brandon Sanderson

[That] is, I'm afraid, a RAFO as I don't want to talk too much about the oaths of given orders until I write books about those orders, as it would constrain the story a little too much. Your theorizing is sound, however.

Stormlight Three Update #3 ()
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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.

The Great American Read: Other Worlds with Brandon Sanderson ()
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Questioner

Kaladin kind of went back on his Oaths in the second book, right?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. He started down that path.

Questioner

How could Shallan or Lightweavers go back on the truths they make? And did Shallan do any of that in Oathbringer?

Brandon Sanderson

No, the Cryptics-- remember, how the spren is viewing this is very important. The Cryptics have an interesting relationship with truth. Harder to break your Oaths in that direction with a Cryptic. Harder to move forward, also, if you're not facing some of these things and interacting with them in the right way. But, while I can conceive a world that it could happen, it'd be really hard to for a Lightweaver to do some of the stuff. Particularly the ones close to Honor, you're gonna end up with more trouble along those lines, let's say.

Questioner

So then, what happened with the Lightweavers during the Recreance? Did they break their Oaths?

Brandon Sanderson

They did break their Oaths. I mean, breaking your Oaths as in "walking away from the first Oath" will still do it, regardless of what Order you are. You can actively say, "I am breaking my Oaths and walking away." Anyone has that option. But you also are holding the life of a spren in your hand.

DragonCon 2019 ()
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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.

YouTube Livestream 26 ()
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Joe Collins

What was your inspiration for the Knights Radiant

Brandon Sanderson

I prefer stories about magic awakening and magic being discovered and investigated. So the idea of these Orders of Knights whose powers were lost, and people are now recovering them, was really cool to me. You certainly would have to point at the Jedi as a theme for that. Like, I grew up in the '80s and '90s; there's no way that Star Wars wasn't a huge influence on everything that I did. I wouldn't say that I thought it was the single influence, but you cannot separate someone of my generation, so steeped in pop culture as I was, from Star Wars as a deep cultural influence.

Words of Radiance Houston signing ()
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Questioner (paraphrased)

How about the other way around? Can a Parshendi bond a Knights Radiant spren?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Historically, the Parshendi were not made Knights Radiant, or the parshmen weren't.

Questioner (paraphrased)

Can they become squires maybe?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Historically they did not, but it's not impossible.

Oathbringer San Francisco signing ()
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Questioner

On the eye colors on Roshar, there are some weird ones, like orange and yellow. Are those there for a specific reason, or are they just--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. The whole eye color thing is kinda based a little bit on the Knights Radiant, the eyes changing is involved there. What's normal eye colors to them, it's just normal to them. It's not weird to see violet eyes and things like that. But it would be weird to us.

Questioner

Did the eyes have to do with the Orders?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Skyward Seattle signing ()
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Questioner

Do the Dustbringers have a propensity toward evilness?

Brandon Sanderson

I would not call them evil, but certain members of the Knights Radiant would say they're on the edge, and did not get along with them. Let's just say Skybreakers have not gotten along with Dustbringers, even though they are very near each other in a lot of ways.

JordanCon 2016 ()
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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.

Orem signing ()
#76 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.

YouTube Livestream 7 ()
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Spencer Walther

Lopen clearly states he doesn't consider himself a broken character, like all the other Knights. Do you consider him a broken character?

Brandon Sanderson

I do not. And, again, "broken" is a term with a lot of baggage, let's point that out. I would rather use the terminology that a given person is comfortable with, and let them put definitions on that themselves. Because the way I view it, I don't really view most people as "broken," even if they may use that terminology. What they might have is, they might have certain mental health issues that they haven't yet figured out how to work with that are integral to who they are. But not broken, just still practicing. And that's how I would define a lot of people, but I don't get to define it for those people, if that makes sense.

And one of the things I like to do is to have a variety of viewpoints in my stories, to make sure I'm kind of running the gamut on this, and I think some of the characters in my stories would say, "Yeah. Something in me's broken. You can talk about all the funny business you want, Brandon, about just needing to practice. Something in me's broken, and I need to learn to deal with that. Either fix it, or learn to not let it ruin me." And there are people that I've talked to, that that's how they've described it.

I've talked to other people who say, "No, I'm not broken. 'Broken' implies I'm a less valuable person, because of that phrasing." That is something that I never want to imply. And so it is a dangerous word to use. I let people in fiction use it, because people in real life use it. But just wanted you to be aware of that.

So, the idea that a person needs to be "broken" to be a Knight Radiant is a part of the world that a lot of people talk about. I actually intend Lopen to be a counterargument to that. But people in-world would disagree with me. They'd say, "No no no, he's got some of these things." But if Lopen has them, we all have them. So there are no not-broken people, which also makes the word "broken" just completely wrong phrase to use, if that makes sense.

So, that is how I view it. But I admit that some of my characters would disagree with me.

JordanCon 2016 ()
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Questioner

Can spren be put back together, through Bondsmiths rejoined, as Shards can be joined and combined?

Brandon Sanderson

That, um… so what do you mean by spren put back together?

Questioner

Could a Bondsmith combine spren in the way that Shards can be combined?

Brandon Sanderson

Ok, so the answer is they can be combined. Whether the Bondsmith is a method or not I won't say, but spren can be combined.

Tel Aviv Signing ()
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Questioner

One. Can there be Nahel Bonds with more then ten types of spren because we have ten Orders.

Brandon Sanderson

Meaning, are there other possible spren that could form other Orders of Knights Radiant that are not the ten? This is theoretically possible, but that is basically what you could argue is happening to Renarin. So now if you want to say... if you want to throw out the exception of spren who were one of the ten who got changed, then this is theoretically possible but right now currently wouldn't work.

17th Shard Forum Q&A ()
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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].

JordanCon 2016 ()
#85 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.

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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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.

Oathbringer release party ()
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Questioner

Would you be able to write the... Second Ideal of the Truthwatchers?

Brandon Sanderson

...It's a RAFO. There's a lot of stuff about the Truthwatchers in [Oathbringer], that's gonna make it complicated to do that, okay? ...Yeah, it's really complicated, and those are things I'm not gonna probably canonize for another couple of books, for reasons that will be very clear by the end of this book.

BookCon 2018 ()
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Questioner

So Kaladin's in charge of the Windrunners, right?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Is Lift in charge of the Edgedancers?

Brandon Sanderson

You'll have to see in the next book. Lift is the first Edgedancer they've found. Lift is not so good at being in charge of anything... So I wouldn't probably say the first one discovered has to be in charge. Different Orders of the Knights Radiant lend themselves to different styles of organization. Like, some of them are a lot more disorganized than the Windrunners, who you'll see have a very militaristic organization to them.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
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AndrewHB (paraphrased)

Is Niccolò Machiavelli's political theory--the ends justify the means--incompatible with the Knights Radiant's First Oath?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

No. Although many of the Orders of Knights Radiant would find Machiavelli's theory, that the ends justify the means, incompatible with additional oaths and/or values of that Order, there are some Orders who could accept a Machiavellian. (Brandon said that the Skybreakers are where a Machiavellian could find a home.)

YouTube Livestream 7 ()
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Rafael DePaulo

What Knights Radiant orders would Rand, Mat, and Perrin belong to?

Brandon Sanderson

I built the Knights Radiant orders so that people could naturally fit into multiples. And so, for instance, you could very easily see Mat as a Lightweaver. I just totally think that that is a natural and nice fit for Mat. But it's not the only thing that will work for Mat. But it is definitely where I would place him most naturally.

Where would I put Rand? Rand, if you look at kind of his powerset and his theme in the stories, is probably Bondsmith. That's probably a very good match for Rand's narrative theme. He is probably very Windrunner in his characterization through a lot of it. There are lots of arguments.

And Perrin's kind of naturally going to either be another Lightweaver, because of the art aspect to Perrin, making and creating. But probably is gonna be a Stoneward or Willshaper instead. In fact, Willshaper fits him really well for various thematic reasons. So I'd probably stick Perrin in Willshaper. Working with the stone, plus moving and traveling to Shadesmar, or being able to see into Shadesmar, just kind of fits him really well.

Skyward Atlanta signing ()
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Questioner

Is there anything about the Stonewards that you can share that's not a RAFO? I know they're coming later.

Brandon Sanderson

They are coming later, so not really. They were more of the Knights Radiant front line troops, as opposed to the Windrunners who were scouts. But you probably already knew that.

General Reddit 2018 ()
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Brandon Sanderson

All right. So...things do get confusing whenever I'm trying to circumlocute spoilers. I could have smacked myself for forgetting to mention "no spoilers" before the Q&A. I keep forgetting that there are many readers who are not as sensitive to these things as I am. (Though one woman did gasp in the row behind that guy asking the question--as his original one mentioned Sadeas's death, I believe.)

I will say that there are multiple people I'd consider well on the path to being Radiants by the end of Book Three, and several of these would--shall we say--dispute KR traditions from the past, specifically on this subject matter. (What makes someone eligible to become a KR.) So this discussion is relevant for multiple reasons.

I wasn't trying to drop any bombs about Adolin, however, as I remain very solidly in RAFO territory about his future.

Enasor

Thank you for taking the time to clarify this one Mr Sanderson.

This WoB created a massive shock-wave all across the fandom and many readers were taking you had officially confirmed Adolin was "well on his way towards Knighthood" which I was personally convinced was very deeply into the RAFO territory, as it should be.

Perhaps in order to also settle some additional debates, would you say Adolin would challenge what has traditionally made someone eligible to become a KR or is this within RAFO territory too? Readers can never seem to agree on how perfect Adolin actually is. We seem to find rationals for both.

Brandon Sanderson

I hate to use terms like "perfect" or the like. It's even difficult to (when not speaking in world) use some of the terminology the KR have used in the past--as we have to reconcile several things.

How do you decide what is a mental illness and what is simply a person's unique brain chemistry? Usually this comes down to two factors--the person's own feelings on it and the advice of medical professionals. Even language like "Well-adjusted," as I used before, is dangerous territory because it's so subjective. One need look only to the deaf community to find examples of people who challenge an outsider's perspective of what is a disease and what isn't.

So I generally prefer to talk about this through the character's viewpoint, the lens of historical commentary (which is in world, and may not therefore be accurate--but at least offers a perspective,) and the context of the book.

And in that context, I like Adolin being a RAFO. I believe that using the text, there are multiple directions one could go in discussing him.

Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
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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.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#96 Copy

Rah179

Could you give us a snippet about the Dustbringers? Or Willshapers?

Brandon Sanderson

Dustbringers never liked their name, and tried hard to get people to use another title for them.

awakenedtassel

Was there a mechanical reason they weren't able to effect the name change, or was it just because the new name didn't catch on?

Brandon Sanderson

The latter.

Stormlight Three Update #3 ()
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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. :)