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Skyward Atlanta signing ()
#1 Copy

Questioner

Is there anything more significant to Tien's obsession with rocks? Or is that just an example of him being a unique kid?

Brandon Sanderson

There is a little bit to the way he's seeing color in mundane things. It's less the rock, and more the things about the world he finds interesting. So I'm going to say it's the second. It's an aspect of who he is; the rock itself is not the important thing.

Skyward release party ()
#2 Copy

JoyBlu

Both Tien and Kaladin are Radiant, you talked about how that wasn't hereditary, and how that was more because of where they were with association. Was it because they were associated with the same person, or the same place?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, Connection influences spren.

JoyBlu

Right, but was the Connection to a person that they were around?

Brandon Sanderson

Connection to people.

JoyBlue

So not necessarily the place where they were?

Brandon Sanderson

Right.

Joyblu

Because my way of thinking it might be with the people is because, like with the Purelake on the Cognitive Realm there would be more spren hanging out there because that was more land, right; so if you spent more time on that you would have more spren around you. So if you're closer to more water, you're closer to more spren.

Brandon Sanderson

That is not an irrelevant observation.

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

Questioner

In Stormlight, with Kaladin and his brother Tien, is there a connection or a reason why, whenever his brother finds a rock, that keeps coming up several times?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. So, there's a couple themes going on here. One is just the subtle theme that Tien tends to find beauty in things that Kaladin finds dull. That's, of course, kind of the metaphor. But Tien also was a budding Lightweaver, and he saw color and light a little bit differently than other people did. And he has the same general effect that you'll see Shallan having on people, which is how the Lightweaver views you influences a little bit more how your mood is, and things like that... And there is a magical element to that, as well. There's both a metaphoric reason and an in-world reason.

Skype Q&A ()
#5 Copy

LadyLameness

You've said that Tien was beginning to bond a Cryptic before he died – did he use Surgebinding before he died, even unconsciously? If yes, did we ever see it on screen?

Brandon Sanderson

He was far enough along to start having some of the-- let's just say he was far enough along to have sworn at least one oath.

MisCon 2018 ()
#8 Copy

Questioner

Was Syl starting to bond with Tien before he died?

Brandon Sanderson

No, good question. But Tien was starting to bond a different spren.

Questioner

I was suspecting that he was bonding a spren, but then Syl says, at one point, I think she was familiar with Kaladin's hometown, so I was like, maybe!

Brandon Sanderson

Good question, but no, he was going in a different direction.

Questioner

Can you tell me--

Brandon Sanderson

Lightweaver.

Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
#11 Copy

belerax

Brotherhood (or siblinghood) seems to be an important relationship theme in Stormlight (Kaladin and Tien, Dalinar and Gavilar, Adolin and Renarin, Shallan and her many brothers, Jasnah and Elhokar - although we haven't seen much of these two together) and perhaps in other Cosmere books too (Vin and Reen, Marsh and Kelsier, Eventeo and Kiin). I was wondering where this theme came from - do you have siblings yourself? Are there other relationships in your life you've used to inspire relationships in your books?

Brandon Sanderson

I have three siblings, and my relationship with them is important to me. I also think that books sometimes ignore family, in the name of making a character feel more isolated. While I have used that on occasion, I don't want it to be the norm. I find family too interesting, and important to most real people, to do otherwise.

Worldbuilders AMA ()
#12 Copy

sheesania

Are we ever going to find out more about Tarah, the woman Kaladin was involved with somehow during his time in Amaram's army? I'm curious about what sort of woman could manage to pull Kaladin out of his depression and obsessive training in the spear after Tien's death...

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Words of Radiance Omaha signing ()
#13 Copy

Questioner

In Words of Radiance and The Way of Kings, was there something important about the stone and the herald <in> the *inaudible* <scene> that has to do kind of with the stone, and maybe Tien giving him rocks?  Am I reading too much into that?  

Brandon Sanderson

Some of that is reading too much into it and some of it is real. I'm not going to tell you what is what. But the st-. . . there is definitely something about that.