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Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
#202 Copy

Dragon13

Does Hoid have any relations other than his parents?

Brandon Sanderson

Hoid have any-- like direct blood relatives?

Dragon13

Yeah.

Brandon Sanderson

Okay. In the book, when I wrote it before, he did not. Dragonsteel isn’t 100% canon anymore so that will possibly change, but he did not, and there are none in my mind right now, so he's an only child as I have right now. It's unlikely to change, but I do have to asterisk that one because I haven't written Dragonsteel yet... Oh no, he had a little brother! He did have a little brother. Even in the original.

Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
#204 Copy

Questioner

The prevailing theory on the 17th Shard is that [Hoid] worldhops using Shadesmar. I was wondering if you were willing to confirm or deny that?

Brandon Sanderson

Hoid has indeed gotten between worlds before through Shadesmar.

Questioner

And would you be willing to give us a hint as to how he does that?

Brandon Sanderson

There are hints in the books. There is a hint in the very first cosmere book I released [Elantris]. [...] Which I thought was a huge hint, but so far I haven't seen anyone talking about it.

Argent

Really?

Brandon Sanderson

Mmhmm. [...] I thought that once people started figuring the Cosmere, they would see the massive in-your-face hint I put in that book, but so far, as far as I know, no one has. *brief conversation about Brandon's tendency to drop sneaky hints and how he likes doing that* Now, the one [hint] about the map [of Roshar], that one I don't think is obvious. I know people have been trying to figure it out. It's something fun once you figure it out, but it's not something huge and obvious. The Elantris once was, like, enormously "HIIINT!"

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#207 Copy

Questioner

Why didn't you have Vin talk to Hoid? She sort of saw him and then just ran off.

Brandon Sanderson

I have not answered that question yet. But that means you can have one of these [RAFO cards].

Argent

That doesn't come up very often but we got it twice.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, it's not that big of a thing.

Argent

You should take the hint.

Brandon Sanderson

You are going to have to wait a while to get that answer.

Footnote: The answer to this question is revealed in the novella Mistborn: Secret History.
Legion Release Party ()
#209 Copy

Questioner

Is the concept of the King's Wit inspired by Shakespear's Twelfth Night?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, a lot of Shakespear's fools. But the fool in Twelfth Night, and the fool (for a different reason) in King Lear, both are inspirations. And I think you would find that as a blanket truth for a lot of us writers. I haven't asked Robin Hobb this, but I'm willing to bet that there's some Shakespear's fool characters in that. Twelfth Night is my favorite of his fools. In fact, in the very first versions that I wrote of him, he was way more jester-like than he ended up being in the published version of the Cosmere. But if anyone reads Dragonsteel, the one at BYU, he'll feel even more like a jester.

Mistborn: Secret History Continuity Notes ()
#210 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Hey, all. Brandon here. With the release of this book, there have been some minor updates to continuity that I think some of you will find relevant.The big one has to do with Hoid's visit to Terris in The Well of Ascension. For those unfamiliar with the backstory, this little behind-the-scenes action has been a source of some consistent problems. The outline, and original draft, of Well had Vin and Elend traveling up to Terris, then into the mountains, to find the Well itself.

This was a huge momentum killer in the story. Having your cityscape-focused book suddenly turn into a traveling quest fantasy for a few chapters felt very out of place, and required too much strange time-jumping to make it work. In revisions, I set about finding a way to repair this, and to overlap the Well of Ascension discovery with Vin's return to Luthadel.

The end result worked much better, but I was forced to cut Hoid's cameo. (In the form of footsteps in the snow and frost leading to the Well, hinting that someone had been there just before her.) I knew where Hoid was, and added in the cameo of him with the Terris people—with the plan still being that he visited the Well sometime during the days after Vin's return to the city.

Well, in working on Secret History, I found that this had a problem with it. Hoid had to already know where the Well is, because after the destruction of the Pits, he'd need to use the Well to return to Scadrial after leaving in the middle of book one to attend to certain other events.If you've read the story, you know this is how I proceeded. Official continuity is that Hoid went up to Terris after visiting the Well, as he had things to do there. He did not go looking for the Well. This doesn't change continuity for any of the books, though it does render one of the annotations for Well obsolete.

Otherwise, I'm quite pleased about this novella. I wasn't certain how it would go, writing something using threads I'd left dangling ten years ago. (You should thank the beta readers, who are all Sharders I believe, for their continuity help. They made me aware pf several things I needed to make much more clear from the original draft, so that canon would be more crisp.)

I know there has been a lot of discussion regarding which times when someone appears to hear Kelsier's voice were actually Kelsier. The story offers the official canon for this as well.

It's nice to finally be able to give the answers to some longtime fan questions, such as what spooked Vin during her inspection of Hoid and what was up with Preservation and the Mist Spirit. It's entirely possible that, despite our efforts, we slipped up and made some continuity error here or there. If so, I'm terribly sorry! This one has been particularly challenging to do.

Oathbringer release party ()
#212 Copy

TheFulgid

...I know that a lot of [Dragonsteel] is not canon anymore? How much of it, like, percentage-wise, I don't need specifics. 

Brandon Sanderson

I would say that all... I consider almost all the worldbuilding to be canon, but the characters to not be.

TheFulgid

So, anything about Topaz, does that not stand?

Brandon Sanderson

Doesn't really stand. The whole thing with the gods, and stuff like that, is really in flux.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#214 Copy

Questioner

So in Words of Radiance, when Hoid has-- switches places with the carriage driver, who was mentioned as having a hat and a strange accent - is that carriage driver important?

Brandon Sanderson

Hehehehe… That's a-- I'll leave this one to you. It's a RAFO, but it's not a big RAFO.

YouTube Livestream 23 ()
#217 Copy

bb m

Has Hoid ever used Allomancy on Roshar or in The Stormlight Archive.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. On screen he has. I've mentioned times when he's pulled on emotions, or pushed on emotions? I think he... I'd have to look at the scene and see which one he's doing. But he is playing with people's emotions using Allomancy in a very obvious way. There are other places. He doesn't do it a ton. Wit, as you can see in Rhythm of War, considers too extravagant use of the various arts to be cheating to an extent, because it makes things too easy. There are other reasons to not do it, though. He would become visible very quickly to entities to whom he wishes to remain non-visible if he were aggressively using Allomancy. Allomancy is not a very quiet skill.

Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
#219 Copy

Questioner

From Shadows of Self, you just sort of name Hoid. Is he just not caring anymore, or is it just space in the book?

Brandon Sanderson

In Alloy [of Law], he wasn't really interested. He showed up only for a wedding. By this [Shadows of Self], he's noticed something else is happening on-world, so he's come back to investigate, but he's not really relevant. You will see him taking a larger role as he becomes more interested in what's happening on-planet. His level of involvement is kind of directly tied to how interested he is in what's going on.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#222 Copy

i_do_stuff

Hoid likes to be in interesting places. What was so interesting about the Yomen/Joshin wedding that he had to be there?

Brandon Sanderson

In that case, he went to congratulate friends. Not everything is about large-scale cosmere problems.

WeiryWriter

Is there anything you are willing to say about how he befriended them?

Brandon Sanderson

Afraid not.

Footnote: The characters are a shout-out to two of the 17th Shard admins, Josh and Mi'chelle, who had just been married in real life.
Sources: Reddit
Stormlight Three Update #2 ()
#224 Copy

katfan97

Um, what about us (Wit fans)? Will we see any more of him in this book? RAFO?

Brandon Sanderson

:) Well, he hasn't skipped a book in the cosmere yet...!

havoc_mayhem

Was he in Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell, or does that only count as a story, not a book?

Brandon Sanderson

I was meaning full novels. There are a number of the novellas where he doesn't appear.

Salt Lake City signing ()
#228 Copy

Questioner

Steelheart and The Rithmatist, are they a part of the Cosmere as well?

Brandon Sanderson

They are not, yup.

Questioner

Just someone in line said that Steelheart was Hoid's planet, but I thought that they were not part of it.

Brandon Sanderson

They are not part of it. Anything that mentions Earth is something that I didn't want to be in the Cosmere.

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

Questioner

Matrim Cauthon, Kelsier, and Vasher all decide they need to get together and run a heist on Hoid. How do they do it? Why? And what are they looking for? Assuming they know where his "hideout" is...

Brandon Sanderson

Mat has to be persuaded. He doesn't think this is worth it. Once he knows about Fortune, he'd be interested.

Kelsier wants to beat him to a pulp.

Vasher is very utilitarian about it, and agrees that having access to him would be smart, but dangerous.

Shadows of Self release party ()
#230 Copy

Questioner 1

In The Way of Kings, when Hoid is talking to Kaladin and he says his name is Hoid, he said that he took the name from someone else.

Brandon Sanderson

He did.

Questioner 1

So why is he Hoid in everything else?

Brandon Sanderson

Hoid is not his original name.

Questioner 1

So...

Questioner 2

Does he still go by his original name ever?

Brandon Sanderson

I don't know if you've ever seen his original name.

Questioner 2

I've read your Master's thesis [Dragonsteel Prime].

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, he doesn't go by the name that is in there very often but there are people who know him by that name.

Questioner 1

What is his original name?

Brandon Sanderson

Well he's assuming that the name he is using in there is actually his original name. He's using the name Cephandrius. Which you're assuming is his original.

Questioner 2

Closer to the truth than Hoid is.

Brandon Sanderson

It is closer to the truth...

Questioner 2

Cephandrius is closer to his original name than Hoid, it's an earlier alias.

Brandon Sanderson

Well Hoid was one of his very first aliases.

Questioner 2

So I stand corrected.

Brandon Sanderson

But, Cephandrius is more him.

Questioner 2

Does he still go by his nickname he got.

Brandon Sanderson

To some people, Topaz.

Peter Ahlstrom

Cephandrius Maxtori.

JordanCon 2014 ()
#231 Copy

Questioner

When will we see a Hoid book?

Brandon Sanderson

You will see a Hoid book-- You will not see a Hoid book until I finish the first five books of Stormlight and the next Mistborn trilogy at the earliest. More likely it's after Stormlight is done.

General Reddit 2016 ()
#232 Copy

har

Is Cephandrius the real name of the character who goes by different names on different planets?

Brandon Sanderson

No, but it's one of his earliest aliases.

faragorn

I'm positive this is RAFO bait but would one of Hoid's aliases possibly be Cephandrius?

Brandon Sanderson

Hoid is Cephandrius. It's less an alias and more a long term identity. If you read Dragonsteel, it is super obvious.

Dawnshard Annotations ()
#234 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Hoid was a Dawnshard at some point in the deep past, and the reason he (even still) cannot physically harm people, or even eat meat, is related to the changes this made to his spirit. (Consider this the same fundamental principle as savanthood.) The few of you who have read Dragonsteel know that him being a Dawnshard was also the source of his immortality in that book, though the terms were different back then. (The word Dawnshard was never mentioned, for example--though the primary story of Dragonsteel (which is no longer cannon) was about several people who unwittingly become Dawnshards.)

And a preemptive RAFO to all questions on this point. :)

Firefight release party ()
#237 Copy

Herowannabe's wife

In this one [Sixth of the Dusk] is the guy he [Dusk] finds dead, is that Hoid?

Brandon Sanderson

They guy he finds dead is not Hoid. Good question.

Herowannabe's wife

Is it anyone we already know?

Herowannabe

Does Hoid make an appearance in that one?

Brandon Sanderson

Hoid does not make an appearance in that one.

Herowannabe

What about Shadows for Silence?

Brandon Sanderson

In Shadows for Silence he does not make an appearance. I established with those two, my goal was, he-- I found that if I just shoehorned him in it didn't actually fit the narrative. Like I want this to not just be a cameo, he's actively doing things. Does that make sense? He's not just there for cameos... he's actively up to something.

Now he has been to Threnody. Threnody is very interesting to him for certain reasons. He hasn't been to First of the Sun, he's never visited Sixth of the Dusk's planet, yet.

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

Yamato

Where did you get the idea for your Adonalsium mythos? Did it develop in your head for a while, or did you have a sudden flash of inspiration.

Brandon Sanderson

Over time, particularly when building Dragonsteel as a novel. I was planning it as I wrote Elantris. Hoid has been around forever, long before Adonalsium became the central plot of his story. I have an old short story from the early, early, early days where he's on a planet trying to figure out how the local magic system works.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#239 Copy

Questioner

My question's about Secret History, specifically it's kind of a two-parter. The first part's easier to answer. Is it relevant that the glowing substance that Hoid puts on his oar is very similarly described as the same stuff that the Ire drink, the glowing--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, that is relevant.

Questioner

And does it have to do with Connection.

Brandon Sanderson

Ah… *sighs* Yes, but not the way you're thinking. That's a "I'm wiggling out of..." Yes, it has to do with Connection, but so does a dog. Cause a dog is Connected to things. *laughs in the audience* You said "does it have to do with"! The answer is yes.

Shadows of Self release party ()
#242 Copy

Questioner

Can I get the Hoid sense of humor question real quick?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, where'd he get his sense of humor?

Questioner

Yeah, because he doesn't really have one in like Mistborn.

Brandon Sanderson

You will find that eventually. It depends on the character he's playing. He had it in Mistborn, he just was not playing a character that was conducive to that.

Questioner

Fair enough, 'cause he's very different in--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. In Elantris too.

Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
#243 Copy

Nikleas

Since you established that all the worlds you created in your books are linked, any chance to see in the (very) distant future a book/series that delves into this overarching story/universe/rules more directly? Possibly with a crossover of characters from your different stories, specifically characters that became "immortal" or at least achieve a "different" state: Sazed, Kelsier, Raoden. Is that something you would even be interested in doing?

Or will you stick to placing subtle hints in your different books/series about the overall system?

Brandon Sanderson

VERY distant future is correct. I will confirm that I do have stories planned that delve into what is going on behind the scenes. There will be short stories dealing with Hoid, most likely posted to my website.

Some of these stories are novel length, and I can't say what I'll do with them. Perhaps I'll write them out in novel form and release them in bookstores, but I have a feeling that most of my readers would be completely confused by them. So perhaps these will all just be on my website only. (If they are released that way, they'll most likely be free for download and reading.)

The subtle hints will continue until then. Mostly, I want the stories to be enjoyable and self-contained. I don't want anyone to HAVE to know any of the behind the scenes, regarding Hoid, Adonalsium, and the rest. (Yes, there is more.) Those are there for the readers who want to dig, and who want to see the greater story. But I don't want them to overshadow the stories of the books themselves. At least not yet.

JordanCon 2018 ()
#245 Copy

Questioner

Exactly how turbulent is the Cognitive Realm around Sel? Khriss seems to think it's rather difficult [to travel] but how difficult would it be for Hoid to get through?

Brandon Sanderson

How difficult would it be to get through to Sel, how difficult would it be for Hoid. I would say straining his resources and capacity. It is difficult for him. So take that as you will. But it is worth his effort and he has done it numerous times.

Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
#247 Copy

Questioner

I don't know what you can or cannot tell me but I read a comment that Hoid is your favorite character, I don't know what you can say about that.

Brandon Sanderson

Hoid is definitely a favorite of mine. Picking a favorite character is like trying to pick a favorite child, It's just not productive. Robert Jordan always answered this question by saying "My favorite is the one that I am writing right now" and so-- But yes, Hoid is the character-- one of the very first characters I came up with, and he travels through almost all of my books. So you can watch for him.

Shardcast Interview ()
#248 Copy

Chaos

Do you ever worry, like, when you actually need to write Hoid's backstory that it... That's a lot of pressure, in a way, Hoid's backstory..

Brandon Sanderson

It is a lot of pressure, yeah. I am not worried about the book being great, because the story that I have for it is a great story. What I am worried about is: what random things have I said in books that I didn't write down in the wiki that I need to make good on? That he's mentioned doing at some point. Those are the things I worry about. The actual story is really solid for Dragonsteel, the new one. And I think people will really like it. I think it does cool things. But we will see. We'll see if I can.

The longer it goes without me writing it, the more expectations there will be on it. And so I should be telling people, "Look, it is just a book like the other ones." It is hopefully a great book that you will really love, but it is just a book. Once I write it, it can no longer be all the things you're imagining it to be, and I apologize for that. I do want to do it, but it is just a book. It's going to read like a lot of my other books. It will be in first person, which is the only planned first-person cosmere series. That will set it off and be distinctive in ways I think will be cool.

YouTube Livestream 1 ()
#250 Copy

Stevie B Art

We're studying King Lear in English, and I noticed that the character of The Fool is very much like Wit. I was wondering if you've ever read King Lear, and did you write Wit to be like him?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, Wit comes from The Fool from King Lear, and Twelfth Knight also has one. The jester character in Shakespeare is a direct inspiration for Wit. I love them. Particulary, the fool in Lear. Lear is one of my favorite stories, and even to this day, maybe The Fool... it might be Kent who says it, says "See better, Lear." That line is one of those succinct, beautiful, powerful lines that's burned into the back of my brain that I read way back when I was in high school, and I have since experienced King Lear. Usually, I like to go to Shakespeare, rather than read Shakespeare, for obvious reasons.

I would say, though, I was already writing Wit at the time, the fact that Robin Hobb did such a fantastic fool character in The Assassins books, that fool definitely had an influence on my as well. One of the things I always wanted to do with Wit was to make sure that he felt different from just another court jester, because I'm assuming I'm not the only one inspired by Shakespeare to create a character similar. And I spent a lot of time early in my career, in the unpublished days, saying "What's gonna make Wit, what's gonna make Hoid different from just another jester?" And I spent a lot of time on that. And when I publish, eventually, I'll let you guys read Dragonsteel. He reads way more like a Shakespearean fool in Dragonsteel than he eventually became in the later Cosmere books, once I was getting published.