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Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
#401 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.

Oathbringer release party ()
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Questioner

What's the deal with Hoid and instant noodles?

Brandon Sanderson

...He likes his ramen, right? Like any sane person, he likes his instant noodles. Nothing more than that.

Questioner

...Has he ever had instant noodles?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, he's had instant noodles before. They have them on Taldain, yeah.

Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
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little_wilson

So, Brandon. Hoid. I remember you saying at the Idaho Falls signing last year that he was in Well of Ascension. We, your dedicated fans who like scouring books searching for obscure characters who have any possibility of being the mysterious Hoid, have yet to find him. Peter sent us on a hunt for him (Hoid, not Peter...) in the deleted scenes, and we found his boot-print.

Now, I think he broke the pottery there too—the one holding the lerasium—and since there's broken pottery in the actual version, I think he may have snuck into the cavern and broken it as well. If so, is this Hoid's part in Well of Ascension? This trace of him? I commend you if it is. It is clever, making us think it was a person, when in fact it's just something he did.

Brandon Sanderson

You are on the right track, but wrong on one point. Hoid does appear in the book.

I had originally toyed with making his touch on the novel more obscure, but decided that I wanted to be consistent with the other novels by actually having him appear. Once I realized I'd probably cut the scene with the footprint, I decided I needed this actual appearance even more badly.

Fortunately, I knew what Hoid had been up to all this time, and had placed him in a position where several characters could run into him. In Well of Ascension, Hoid believed (as Vin did) that the Well was in the North, even though it was not. He spent much of the book pursuing this idea.

Through events, however, he discovered he was wrong. He made the realization after Vin did, but only because of a chance meeting. (This is recorded in the books. Let's just say he was listening in when someone implied that the Well was in Luthadel.)

He hurried to Luthadel, and was in the town, skulking about in the last parts of the novel. He isn't seen here, though he does still infiltrate the Well. (Hoid is quite proficient at manipulating Shadesmar for his own ends.)

Dark Talent release party ()
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Windrunner Savant (paraphrased)

I asked for a random fact about Hoid.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

He was hesitant at first, and after a bit, and me begging for even something inconsequential, he responded: "In the next book people will think he is helping them, but he is really helping himself."

Windrunner Savant (paraphrased)

I pushed by what he meant by "next book".

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

He refused to answer.

White Sand vol.1 release party ()
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Questioner

Do we see Hoid in this [White Sand Volume 1]?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. *inaudible*

Questioner

Aw! Is he Hoid though or is he hidden?

Brandon Sanderson

He's hidden, but the further the book progresses the more obvious it will be that it's him.

Questioner

Cool.

Brandon Sanderson

I don't know if he's done the obvious things yet. I can't remember where this one cut off. I'll have to go back and look because you won't be the only one who asks that.

General Reddit 2016 ()
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A_Shadow

Was Hoid a Feruchemist before he ever got to Scadrial?

I remember reading this somewhere but I can't find it. Not sure if it is a theory or a WoB.

Brandon Sanderson

I don't believe I ever said anything like that.

Footnote: Brandon has said that Hoid uses Feruchemy to know where he needs to go in the cosmere. He has also said that it may not necessarily be Feruchemy, but something similiar based on the same underlying mechanics.
FanX 2018 ()
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Questioner

So, in Oathbringer, you said that Hoid still has a god worshipping him. Can you give some back story to that?

Brandon Sanderson

I cannot, I mean I can, but I'm not going to.

Questioner

It will be revealed later?

Brandon Sanderson

Maybe. I plan to get all of this stuff eventually into his memoir when he writes it. Or when I write his memoir for him.

Skyward Houston signing ()
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Paladin Brewer

Previously you were asked if Hoid could have been using the lerasium to alloy with other metals to change his spiritweb, and you answered it was technically possible. Does that mean you’re finally admitting that Hoid did not digest the bead?

Brandon Sanderson

I am not admitting that. It was possible for him to do that, but he did not.

Skyward Houston signing ()
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Questioner

Did Kelsier help in the search for [Hoid] that Galladon and Demoux were doing in the Purelakes?

Brandon Sanderson

Good question--

Questioner

He's the only one that can call him something similar, like "Drifter" so -

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, I'm going to RAFO that-- Not quite where-- I'll just RAFO it. I'll just RAFO it. Kelsier is not on Roshar, but obviously that's not what you're asking, which is what I thought you were.

Questioner

He has an aura that fits in with--

Brandon Sanderson

Mmhmm!

Warbreaker Annotations ()
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Brandon Sanderson

Hoid the Storyteller Tells Us the History of Hallandren

This whole scene came about because I wanted an interesting way to delve into the history. Siri needed to hear it, and I felt that many readers would want to know it. However, that threatened to put me into the realm of the dreaded infodump.

And so, I brought in the big guns. This cameo is so obvious (or, at least, someday it will be) that I almost didn't use the name Hoid for the character, as I felt it would be too obvious. The first draft had him using another of his favorite pseudonyms. However, in the end, I decided that too many people would be confused (or at least even more confused) if I didn't use the same name. So here it is. And if you have no idea what I'm talking about . . . well, let's just say that there's a lot more to this random appearance than you might think.

Anyway, I love this storytelling method, and I worry that Hoid here steals the show. However, he's very good at what he does, and I think it makes for a very engaging scene that gets us the information we need without boring us out of our skulls.

Is everything he says here true? No. There are some approximations and some guesses. However, all things considered, it's pretty accurate. All of the large bits are true.

Skyward Houston signing ()
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Questioner

Are we ever going to see the Moon Scepter on screen and what it does?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, you should see the Moon Scepter on screen. What it does is it works as a kind of Rosetta Stone for interpreting some of the magics.

Questioner

So that's why Hoid wanted it?

Brandon Sanderson

That's why Hoid wanted it, yes. He's  trying to figure out how to give himself-- To be able to use the magics on Sel, and that's a key that he wanted.

Shadows of Self Houston signing ()
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Questioner

I've got a question about Hoid. Now that he is a [worldhopper], he's been in quite a few books, do you have any plans or is it possible that he may windup jumping realities into a universe that, as you write more books that are outside the cosmere, or do you just kind of plan of having him--

Brandon Sanderson

Good question. So the question is am I going to have Hoid, who has appeared in many of my books, jump between universes as I write more outside the cosmere. The answer is actually no. I have a distinct story that I'm telling in the cosmere and it's less about the fun of connecting all my works, which is fun, but it's less about that and more about the actual story. Part of the reason I'm actually doing this thing with Hoid is I like the idea-- playing with the idea, of what is an epic. An epic that spans many many years is really cool to me, so I have hidden that amongst my books, and it'll eventually come out in a much more direct way. I actually had to make this choice pretty early in my career, when I was writing The Rithmatist was the first one. You know, the Alcatraz books are just goofy and zany, so I didn't have to think about it as much with those, but with The Rithmatist I was like "what am I going to do with this?". Because it had originally been planned as a cosmere book, and then I decided I wanted to set it on Earth and I didn't want to do a lot of these sort of political things on Earth in the cosmere, I wanted it to be a far-off and distant place. And that's when I made the break, I said "no I'm not going to put him in this". And that made it easy when people were like "hey, you going to sneak him into The Wheel of Time?". Nah nah let's move along there. A lot of people were expecting me to sneak him in.

Sofia signing ()
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Questioner

My question is about Yolen. If, or when, you chose to write Hoid's origin story, do you plan to keep the same plots in Yolen? Where the moss is taking over the planet?

Brandon Sanderson

So I need to give you some back history to this one... My epic fantasy books, this is all of them but not Steelheart and not The Rithmatist, so the epic fantasy, are all connected, if you weren't aware. They all have little ties between characters, and there's a character named Hoid who's shown up in all of the books basically; he's the same person. When I was earlier in my career, before I published, I tried writing his origin story and I failed. The book wasn't very good, and I tried it again later, after I was published, and I failed again. It still wasn't very good. And this still happens to me. Sometimes I try things out and they just don't work. So the question am I going to try it; when I go back to it will it be the same story? The core part of it will be the same. There are certain events that Hoid has talked about in the books that are published that I will make sure are still relevant, but the story continues to evolve in my head. So I will have to decide eventually what things I want to do and what I don't. I think it will change from what I originally planned, but the soul should be the same. The core should still be the same. It will be very different from Dragonsteel, though, which was the one I wrote in 1998, because that had Bridge Four in it, and I moved them to The Stormlight Archive. So most of that book is gone, and it ended up in The Stormlight Archive, so who knows what will go-- It'll be very different from that.

JordanCon 2016 ()
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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.

General Reddit 2016 ()
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harsh20483

Leras mentioned something like Cephandrius had the choice/chance to take up a shard but declined. So was the shattering an event that was predicted to happen so that people like Leras, Ati, Rayse, etc to be present at that time to pick up the shards after the shattering.

Brandon Sanderson

There's more to it than that, but some of what you say is close.

General Reddit 2016 ()
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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.

Skyward release party ()
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Stormlightning

Where you *inaudible* Hoid as a Lightweaver in Era 2?

Brandon Sanderson

Hoid was a Lightweaver in Dragonsteel.

Stormlightning

I mean a spren Lightweaver. Unless the timeline's still, really--

Brandon Sanderson

Meaning was I planning for him to become a Lightweaver?

Stormlightning

Before Era 2 since we thought Era 2 was going to be Era 3.

Brandon Sanderson

 Hoid has never quite stopped being a Lightweaver. He is very happy to be fully empowered with things.

Stormlightning

Does that mean he was not fully a Lightweaver?

Brandon Sanderson

You will find out someday. His magic was not fully functional, but he was Lightweaving in Way of Kings

Calamity release party ()
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Questioner

What would have happened if Vin had actually met up with Hoid in Mistborn-- er-- Hero of Ages?

Brandon Sanderson

Eh... Have you read Secret History?

Questioner

I-- I have never heard of Secret-- I'm kind of new to the cosmere.

Brandon Sanderson

There is a short-- or a novella called Mistborn: Secret History that you should read that has a little bit to do with this. It doesn't answer that question exactly, but read it and then ask again, okay?

/r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
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staircasewit

You’ve mentioned some of the characters who we are going to see throughout the Stormlight Archive series (Shallan, Dalinar, Szeth, Jasnah, etc.). However, I don’t remember seeing you comment on Wit. Are we going to see Wit (or plain ol’ Hoid) more throughout the series? Or less? (Hopefully more! :D)

Brandon Sanderson

Hoid has a large part of the story in the Stormlight Archive. You will be seeing much more of him. However, he will not get a 'book' of his own, most likely. He will get his own novels, just not among the Stormlight sequence.

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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Questioner

The Epilogue of Words of Radiance.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Hoid makes particular note of a cremling.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Dysian?

Brandon Sanderson

Hehehehe. You're starting to learn! You're starting to learn.

Questioner

That epilogue just got so much--

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, he was speaking to one of the Sleepless there. He has spotted them and they--

Questioner

So, he knows.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, he knows!

Questioner

Because he makes a comment about having “no intelligent audience.”

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, yes, yes. *laughter* Of course he doesn’t have an intelligent audience!

Legion Release Party ()
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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.

/r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
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Chaos

Can Hoid jump through time? If so, can Shards jump through time?

Brandon Sanderson

Hoid, so far, has only moved forward in time. He has not 'lived' all of those years, but has used some time dilation techniques. That said, he is far older (both in relative and real time) than a normal person can live.

/r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
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Renian

When will we see a book that basically revolves around the concept of the Cosmere and the shard-travelers? Basically, a book revolving around people like Hoid who can jump from shard to shard.

Brandon Sanderson

Third Mistborn Trilogy involves a lot of this. I MIGHT do some parallel stories showing more of what Hoid has been up to. He is a primary viewpoint protagonist of Dragonsteel, but that happens before all of the other books.

Oathbringer release party ()
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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.

Ad Astra 2017 ()
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Questioner

And question: what is your favorite and least favorite thing about Hoid?

Brandon Sanderson

My favorite thing about him is that he just doesn't care about, you know, like-- what-- he is able to have the right amount of caring what people think about him, right? He's able to kind of control perception. My least favorite thing about him is he can be a very not nice person.

Words of Radiance San Diego signing ()
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DefiantBurrito (paraphrased)

Can you tell me what Wit put in his drink in Shallan's flashback scene?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

It was something that you or I would probably not want to eat in our world, but that Wit got some benefit from eating...

DefiantBurrito (paraphrased)

Something we've seen in the Mistborn books, perhaps?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

[sounding pleased] Yes, perhaps like something you've seen in Mistborn.