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JordanCon 2014 ()
#151 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Hoid waxes poetic on the idea that the more people expect, the more difficult it becomes for the artist. This is more the critic in me having noticed that my own expectations for a piece play dramatically into how much I enjoy it. Some of my best experiences at the cinema have been films where I had no idea what to expect. The Sixth Sense was like this for me. I had never heard of the film, my friends dragged me to it, they said it's a horror and I said "I'm not sure if I want to watch a slasher pic, but I think it's going to be terrible but whatever." And I watched it and it was a great movie and I came out of it saying, "Wow, I did not expect that." And yet something like The Dark Knight Returns, which is a fantastic film, well done. Yet the second film was so good that I went into the third film and it wasn't quite as good as the second film and I came out and said, "Eh." Where it is a great film and yet my expectations-- It's unfair to the artist but it is the way I think a lot of us work. That our expectations do play a lot into how our experience is for the story. A lot of things when I go into things like that, I'm not trying to let the author speak so much as I'm trying to say what would someone who analyzes art like a critic in my analyzes art what would be an observation they would make. Hoid is not me and he does not voice necessarily my personal opinions, but he is an artist and a critic and so he notices some of the things I notice.  

Orem Signing ()
#163 Copy

JoyBlu

At the end of Oathbringer, Hoid is there, and he uses the Breath to talk to the doll, and he gives the doll to K-whoever - he gives it to someone named Cob and Kheni. So, is Kheni a Parshman?

Brandon Sanderson

I'll RAFO that.

The Dusty Wheel Interview ()
#164 Copy

The Dusty Wheel (paraphrased)

Where does your favorite scene take place in this book [Rhythm of War]?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

In this one it's in Part 4. It's a character who only has one viewpoint in Part 4. It is the ... Let's just say it's the chapter in this book where we get a story from Wit. We usually get one in every book - sometimes two - we get one in this book and it's the chapter that has his story.

Bands of Mourning release party ()
#165 Copy

Questioner

Is it possible to Compound your Spiritual Connection to a location on a planet while storing your Spiritual Connection to all other locations on the planet to kind of pull yourself through the Spiritual Realm to that location?

Brandon Sanderson

That's not how that would work. Parts of what you say are possible, but the teleportation aspect wouldn't actually do anything.

Questioner

Was Hoid trying to Compound his Spiritual location in the scene you added in the 10th Anniversary [Elantris]? Was he trying to Compound Connection to that location to try to become Elantrian?  

Brandon Sanderson

...So at that point chronologically he was not an Allomancer.

FanX Spring 2019 ()
#168 Copy

Stormlightning

Are Hoid and the Set aware of each other?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, but I wouldn't say the Set as a general rule, but members of the Set.

Stormlightning

How do they feel about each other?

Brandon Sanderson

Some various shades of loathing.

Stormlightning

On both sides?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#170 Copy

Tellingdwar

How did Hoid get to Scadrial? He didn't seem to know the location of Preservation's Shardpool until book 2, and I feel like him crawling out of the Pits of Hathsin would have created a bit of a stir... Unless he slipped out during the confusion caused by Kelsier...

Brandon Sanderson

In answer to your question, that IS a RAFO, but it's one I am planning to answer before too long.

Oathbringer Portland signing ()
#171 Copy

Questioner

Hoid seems to know things that are not explained. He'll show up places, when the Herald showed up, or when Jasnah comes back. Is that something that's just not been explained yet? Or is that something that's a part of some magic system that we've heard about? Or is that something different?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, so, he has access to things that other people do not. It is explainable, but it has not been explained yet. He can be places he needs to be, but if you watch, he doesn't always know why he needs to be there. He's really good at covering that part up. But he does-- he knows he needs to be somewhere, and so he gets there.

FanX Spring 2019 ()
#173 Copy

Stormlightning

You've talked about how Hoid really appreciates his new Lightweaving abilities, but what about the Soulcasting side of things?

Brandon Sanderson

So, you'll have to see.

Stormlightning

Is he excited about that, or does he already have all of that?

Brandon Sanderson

No, he doesn't have all of that. He knows more than a lot of people do, and knows to be more-- frightened of Soulcasting than others are. Frightened is perhaps the wrong term. Wary. 

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#175 Copy

Argent

I've been listening to the Graphic Audio The Hero of Ages and just got to the point where Vin meets with Slowswift. While the meeting itself revealed nothing knew, the events after it made me wonder about something. When Vin leaves Slowswift, she burns her bronze to check whether the informant is an Allomancer, and then heads off to meet with Hoid - where, of course, something makes her turn away. Was she still burning bronze at that time? Was Hoid maybe manipulating Investiture in a way unfamiliar to Vin, so her bronze alerted her of something, but because it was such a foreign experience to her, she didn't recognize it for what it was?

Brandon Sanderson

I have to RAFO this one. It's been hard not to spill the beans here, as it's such a small thing, but it has important ramifications. You will have an answer eventually, I promise.

Rithmatist Provo signing ()
#177 Copy

little wilson (paraphrased)

Brandon confirmed that "the element" is the bead of lerasium. Which confirms both this theory, and the theory that Hoid wrote the letter.

When I asked the question, I also thought the element and the lerasium were different. I asked it as a "Hoid clearly has a habit for taking important items. He has the bead of lerasium and the element. What other items does he have that we should know about?"

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Brandon's response was that the bead and the element are the same. And that he has many items he should not have.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#179 Copy

mooglefrooglian

Why is Hoid’s color aura from his Breaths not noticed by anyone on Roshar? Are the characters just not used to noticing that sort of thing, or does he not have one?

Brandon Sanderson

There are a mixture of reasons. Not the least is Hoid's control over investiture.

uchoo786

Would someone with breath be able to notice his aura on Roshar? E.g. Vasher?

Brandon Sanderson

Various methods of detecting investiture would still work, depending on how good a job Hoid is doing of suppressing his.

Sasquan 2015 ()
#184 Copy

Questioner

Which of the roles Hoid has played is your favorite? And will we be seeing him in Dalinar's flashbacks?

Brandon Sanderson

So which of the roles played by Hoid is my favorite. I would probably say Dust from Warbreaker. I just like-- That's the most true storyteller he's been, kind of based on oral storytelling tradition and things like that.

I can't tell you.  You'll have to read and find out whether you'll find him in Dalinar's flashbacks or not.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#185 Copy

uchoo786

Has Vasher met Hoid, and are they BFFs?

Brandon Sanderson

Not BFFs by a long shot.

KingSloth

Has Hoid seriously offended someone on EVERY planet he's been to? Kelsier, Shai, the Alethi nobility, who knows how many shards from Yolen, AND Vasher are all out for his blood..? :o

Brandon Sanderson

That's only a small fraction of the total list.

Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
#187 Copy

Farnsworth

Why was Hoid drinking perfume when he met Wax [in The Bands of Mourning]? And where did he get it?

Brandon Sanderson

Why was Hoid drinking perfume when he met Wax and where did he get it. This is an answer-- You are getting RAFO'd-- But this is one I do intend to talk about eventually. There are lots of seeds of things in the Mistborn series that I can't promise I'm going to be able to get to, that I hope I'll be able to get to. Secret History, which is in the Arcanum Unbounded that hopefully many of you have. If you haven't read through to the end of the released Mistborn books, don't look at that story, because it's a behind-the-scenes story of things that are happening, that I put seeds in the original trilogy for. That's another seed, and it might be one I can take up. I might just have to explain it someday.

Skyward release party ()
#188 Copy

Questioner

What would happen if Hoid held Nightblood?

Brandon Sanderson

Uh, Hoid would not do that. Hoid would stay very far away.

Stormlightning

Not even hold it??

Brandon Sanderson

He would stay really far away. There are very few things in the Cosmere that Hoid is afraid of, and Nightblood is one of them.

Stormlightning

I thought he'd be afraid of the blade end.

Brandon Sanderson

So let's just say if very, very, very few things in the Cosmere had a chance of destroying you, you wouldn't even pick one up. You'd try to be in a different room entirely.

R'Shara and Sunbird and JoyBlu

*Whispering about Nightblood being able to destroy Hoid*

Brandon Sanderson

I didn't say, I said theoretically. I said "had a chance of", I did not confirm. Hoid doesn't know. But there's a chance, and so he is not going to risk that.

Ancient 17S Q&A ()
#194 Copy

Chaos (paraphrased)

Long, long ago when Hero of Ages came out you listed four Shards other than Ruin and Preservation. You said we interacted with two directly. One is a tough call, we've never met the Shard itself but have seen its power. The other one we've not met directly but have seen its influence. My questions:

-Is the Dor the "tough call" one?

-Do you count Hoid in this list of four shards? It makes a difference for the theories, Brandon! You don't even need to say if he is bound to a shard, rather just if you consider him in this list.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

RAFO, and no, Hoid is not included in the list.

Ancient 17S Q&A ()
#195 Copy

Chaos (paraphrased)

Will Hoid's character arc, as well as the whole Adonalsium arc, get a satisfactory conclusion eventually?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

It depends on what Brandon decides to do. We also might or might not get the rest of the story (pre-story). From a market standpoint it's not wise, simply because if the books require you to have read 32 other books before you read them it doesn't make sense to work on them. However, if the demand is high enough he MIGHT do them after all of the rest of the cosmere books.

Goodreads Fantasy Book Discussion Warbreaker Q&A ()
#197 Copy

Nick

The question I have for you is will we ever get to know what Hoid's purpose is? He shows up in each of the books, presumably looking for something or on some kind of mission. (Lerasium bead?)

Will Hoid have a short story, novel or will we have to try and piece it together?

Brandon Sanderson

There will someday be Hoid short stories. I've actually written half of one and then haven't been able to have time to finish it. He will also have short viewpoints throughout the Stormlight Archive series, assuming he survives.

Mostly this is for you to piece together. As I said before, this is a story I'm telling, and if I have to explain the story outside the story, then in some ways I've done something wrong. So let the story speak for itself, and you will see. I guess that's a RAFO.

Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
#199 Copy

Questioner

Will we see the Moon Scepter again?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, I intend for you to see it again. But I've already said what it does, I believe. It's a Rosetta Stone for the different symbols on [the world of] Elantris that mean different things.

Questioner

So, it's more specific to Sel?

Brandon Sanderson

It's specific to Sel, it's specific to understanding the magics on Sel. It helps figure out how the different magic systems do the different things they do on Sel. So, it does have Aons along one side of it. You probably will see it again, but it will probably be in cameo. Hoid got the information he needed off of it, from that.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#200 Copy

link6112

Where would you place Hoid on this scale: http://i.imgur.com/z9fwRP2.jpg

If you have time, where would you place the other characters of your books on this?

Brandon Sanderson

Though I do like the D&D system conceptually--I think it leads to interesting discussions--one of the problems is that by putting a character into it, I would be making a value judgement upon their actions. Here's what I can say: If you asked Hoid himself, he'd probably say he was Neutral Good. The Sixteenth shard would argue that he's Chaotic Neutral. Frost would rationally argue him to be Chaotic Good, but there are those who even claim his motives far too selfish to be anywhere near "good," and probably deem him something akin to Neutral Evil.

WeiryWriter

Sixteenth Shard? Is this just a typo or a really stealthy dispensation of information?

Brandon Sanderson

Sorry. Just a typo.

Footnote: The scale linked is the Dungeons and Dragons alignment chart.
Sources: Reddit