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RoW Release Party ()
#51 Copy

Questioner

Can a Radiant join multiple Orders?

Brandon Sanderson

This was not done in the past.

Questioner

Or become a squire of a different Order?

Brandon Sanderson

It is actually not impossible for this to happen; it simply was not done.

Questioner

If Dalinar became a Lighweaver squire or had the Lightweaver Honorblade, could he create the Roshar map himself?

Brandon Sanderson

This is going to depend on factors. It is possible, but highly implausible, following another highly implausible set of circumstances that would actually allow him to actually do that. (Though getting the Honorblade would not be as difficult.)

YouTube Livestream 23 ()
#53 Copy

Tom Goldthwait

At any point in the Rosharan history, was it possible to form a Nahel bond without swearing oaths?

Brandon Sanderson

"Nahel bond" is the phrase used for a bond between a spren and a being from the Physical Realm. That is the definition of it. So the answer to that is yes; it's currently possible right now. It's how greatshells exist and grow to the size they do. It's how Ryshadium exist. Those are Nahel bonds also.

What you're asking is if a sapient spren, a spren and a sapient individual, forming what we currently call the Radiant bond, which has access to much greater power; was that possible without swearing oaths? Yes and no. The formalization of the oaths and the Orders aligned with certain spren did take a little bit of time to come together. It was possible to form a Nahel bond before that, but it was not a Radiant bond accessing the levels of powers that are currently possible. So it's another one of these "yes and no" answers, if that makes any sense.

You could find a Nahel bond... In fact, many would call the bond between the singers and the spren that give them forms Nahel bonds. It may not fit fully into the categorization that most people would use it for, but you could kinda call that the same thing.

Calamity Seattle signing ()
#54 Copy

Questioner

For all the spren, like the honorspren and the liespren, I’ve noticed that all of the characters, the honorspren have been girls and all the liespren have been boys.  Is that just ‘cause all the people who attract liespren are girls and all the other people--

Brandon Sanderson

So it’s not a one to one ratio of people who are more likely to attract a spren of the opposite gender.

Questioner

Is there a reason for that?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah I’ll delve into it eventually in the books.  Maybe just obliquely, but there is a reason for it.

EuroCon 2016 ()
#55 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.

GollanczFest London ()
#57 Copy

Havoc (paraphrased)

In Way of Kings, Shallan is being chased by Cryptics. She begins to summon her Shardblade, stops and then Soulcasts for the first time. We know from Words of Radiance that it's her bond to Pattern, her Shardblade that allows her to Soulcast. So my question is, if Shallan had not begun to summon her Blade, would she have been able to Soulcast?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

She would not have been able to. Good question! Wow. No one has ever asked me that before.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#59 Copy

PallonianFire

If a Shard were to heal the cracks in someone's spiritweb, like Sazed did with Spook, and that person who was getting healed has a Nahel bond, would that break the bond?

Brandon Sanderson

No, because the Nahel bond is already filling in those cracks, so you would have to rip it off to put something else in there.

PallonianFire

So it wouldn't really be-- the Shard wouldn't be able to heal--

Brandon Sanderson

Well, the Shard-- Like, here's the thing we have to get at with this, what we're getting at, which is the question of, for instance, is Kaladin's depression a flaw in him that needs to be healed? And that is a question for philosophers. There are certainly people, cosmere and outside the cosmere, that say "Yes, this needs to be healed" and things like this. But what about somebody who's-- say, someone who is autistic, and their mind just works in a different way, and this way allows a certain bond to happen that couldn't otherwise happen? Is that a flaw, or is that-- is it a bug or a feature, to speak in coding terms? Is what's up with Kaladin a bug or a feature? I know that my wife would probably get rid of her depression if she could, but it's also been fundamental in how she sees the world and who she is, would that change her into a different person? And things like this. So, I want you when you discuss this, to be very careful about treating mental illness as a flaw as opposed to an aspect of a human personality that allows certain different things to happen. Does that make sense? *applause*

PallonianFire

The way I was sort of thinking, was, could Odium say, "Oh, I'm just going to fix this" and then you can't Surgebind anymore?

Brandon Sanderson

Right, right, yeah. If he-- if there w-- that is possible, but it would be hard to do without the consent of the person, but that is possible… You can fix somebody in a way that they didn't want to be fixed, and it would ruin things.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#60 Copy

Phantine

So you said how stuff is stuffed into the soul changes what a bond can give. Is that like the difference between a Spren bonding a Person and and maybe Hemalurgy forcing a bond or is it more like the difference with how Parshendi form bonds with Spren?

I guess a better way to say that is would the bond be different if a human created the bond with a Spren not a Spren Bonding with a human?

Brandon Sanderson

These things are all important parts of the system, and I'm curious to see where fans go in exploring the possibilities and theories related to it.

...

RAFO

Stormlight Three Update #3 ()
#62 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.

OdysseyCon 2016 ()
#63 Copy

Questioner

So there are some forms of Investiture that some people can access regardless: like BioChromatic Breath, but there are some that are not like Allomancy—and there are a few exceptions of course—but are there other ways besides [hemalurgic] spikes that you can access investiture from different worlds?

Brandon Sanderson

Like if an Elantrian went to-

Brandon Sanderson

If you can blank your Identity and create the right Connection you can have it happen.

Questioner

If an Elantrian showed up on Roshar, they wouldn't bond with a spren?

Brandon Sanderson

They can bond with a spren, the spren is up to the spren's choice. The spren can bond with whoever they choose to bond with.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
#64 Copy

Questioner

When does a person become a Surgebinder? Cause Kaladin talks about when he was a child, talked about it being a familiar feeling, and Shallan obviously was younger. Or is it when they speak the Words?

Brandon Sanderson

The bond starts forming before the Words are spoken, but if the words are never spoken that bond will eventually evaporate and get broken. But the bond will start forming before. Just like an emotion attracts a spren, acting in the way that the spren you would eventually bond will start drawing them toward you and that will start to create that bond.

Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
#65 Copy

Overlord Jebus

Can a spren willingly break their bond anytime between the First and Fifth Oath, with their Radiant?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, this is possible--

Overlord Jebus

Essentially committing suicide isn't it though--

Brandon Sanderson

I just ascribe to that question-- A spren could at any point break it. Can they break it safely? That's a different question.

Overlord Jebus

Can they break it safely? *laughs*

Brandon Sanderson

There are methods in place where it can be stopped. So yes it can be done. But once you've started into this, once you've chosen on both sides, it's a dangerous process. But yes it can be done, and it can be done safely.

Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
#67 Copy

Questioner

Is the Nahel bond Hemalurgically transferable?

Brandon Sanderson

I don't know what I've said on this in the past, but I'm gonna RAFO it right now, and give you a card. Because there's some things involved in this that I don't know that I want to dig into right now. Nahel bond would be used cosmerelogically to refer to any bond where the mingle of sapient spren mixes with a sapient Physical Realm being. Connection between a Cognitive or Spiritual Realm being and a Physical Realm being. And there's all sorts of things involved in doing that that I don't want to necessarily get into right now.

Skyward release party ()
#72 Copy

Ethour

Would an Aviar be capable of a spren bond?

Brandon Sanderson

What they do is the same thing, by cosmere terms. It is not as powerful; because of that it is easier to shift between people. What you gain is not as strong, but you also gain flexibility. But it would be, cosmerologically, considered the same thing.

Words of Radiance Houston signing ()
#73 Copy

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.

General Reddit 2016 ()
#74 Copy

PG_Wednesday

[WoB compilation about spren]

Brandon Sanderson

Hmm. With a casual glance, I see at least one here that I might have been fixated on a question that wasn't actually being asked. I do this occasionally, particularly at signings, where we're going so fast and I think someone is asking something that they're not.

In regards to there being spren bonds before the Last Desolation--there obviously were. (We see Knights Radiant in Dalinar flashbacks that are before the Last Desolation.) I think I was trying to talk my way around a different question, without giving RAFO answers, that I'm not going to get into now.

Another sketchy one on this list is regarding whether the spren call the nightwatcher Mother or if they're calling cultivation Mother. I don't think the text of the books actually implies either way, despite what I said. (Unless I'm forgetting something.) For those in the know, with the Nightwatcher being an analogue of the Stormfather, that implication is there--but I don't want to confirm it either way. You'll get more on the Nightwatcher and Cultivation, and their relationship, in the books.

Oathbringer Houston signing ()
#76 Copy

Questioner

How was Shallan able to bond with Pattern before she was broken?

Brandon Sanderson

She was open to him even before she went through a lot of that turmoil

Questioner

I thought everybody had to be broken in order to--

Brandon Sanderson

Well, that's their philosophy in-world. But I'm not going to say whether it's correct or wrong. I will imply that there are other means as well.

Words of Radiance Washington, DC signing ()
#77 Copy

Questioner

If an Elantrian bonded to a Seon were to travel to Roshar, would that act as a Nahel bond?

Brandon Sanderson

It would act very, very similarly, yes. But it would be like... it wouldn't necessarily do the exact same things. Like if you've got two radios tuned to a frequency, they won't necessarily pick up another radio frequency, or things like this. I don't know, that's a bad metaphor, I'd have to think of a better one. But it would be treated exactly the same way but it might not grant the same powers.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#78 Copy

Argent

How old would you say somebody has to be in order to attract a spren (with bonding intentions)? I can't imagine infants performing anything remarkable enough, but what about, say, 5-6 year olds? I could easily imagine them being selfless and protecting in their own little way - does this mean we can have children who can barely speak well Lashing their breakfast to the ceiling?

Brandon Sanderson

Someone like Lift is near the lower threshold, though it does depend on the spren in question.

GenCon 2017 ()
#80 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

If I wanted to Hemalurgically acquire a power from First of the Sun, which metal would the spike need to be?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

This is going to be pretty complicated, but several metals would work.

Questioner (paraphrased)

Would it involve Connection between the person being spiked and the bird?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Well it would be even harder than on Roshar, where you need to somehow spike the spren and also the Radiant. You would need to spike the bird and steal the power, but also spike the person and steal Connection.

White Sand vol.1 Orem signing ()
#81 Copy

Questioner

So, the fan page wanted to know. Would it be possible for Hemalurgy to steal a living Shardblade? That was the top voted question.

Brandon Sanderson

Ok, so you're bonded to a Shardblade. You get spiked, then they spike off the bond so that the Shardblade is bonded to someone else.

Questioner

I assume so...

Brandon Sanderson

But can they do it with a living Shardblade? You can definitely do it with a dead Shardblade because its just stealing the Connection. With a living Shardblade, yes you could do that 'though the spren could break the bond at will.

Questioner

So the spren would survive? That was the second-- the corollary--

Brandon Sanderson

Ehhh. Would the spren survive? The spren would survive as long as the oaths were--

Questioner

Intact?

Brandon Sanderson

--the person didn't break the oaths. But you could theoretically steal the bond, break the oaths, and kill the spren. If you wanted to. Its a very convoluted to kill a spren, they are easier to kill than that, but yes. You could do that. That is a viable but twisted route that you can do. You would end up with a dead spren and a Shardblade, so there is that. But there are easier ways to accomplish that...

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#82 Copy

Miss_Silver

First on Nahel bonds and a bit of a darker question. We know from Syl that if their bonded person is killed in some way, the spren does not die like they do when one breaks their Oaths. However, would Oaths count as being broken if the Radiant committed suicide? Were there any Radiants during the Recreance who did in an effort to spare their spren?

Brandon Sanderson

This would be an individual case basis, but I would say that the baseline is no--this alone wouldn't count as breaking the oaths, but getting around the issue of that specific event wouldn't work.

Skyward Chicago signing ()
#83 Copy

Questioner

In Arcanum Unbounded, it said that a Hemalurgic spike could work in any world. So if I were to take a Hemalurgic spike and spike someone like Kaladin, would he die and then I have a Windrunner's power?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, but there's a big asterisk on that. Because, with the spren being a third party in this sort of arrangement, weird things would happen.