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Oathbringer Houston signing ()
#1 Copy


I was wondering if there was a connection between when we meet Preservation in Secret History, and the way he is, and the Stormfather. Like, is he dead yet, in Secret History?

Brandon Sanderson

There is a similarity, but-- Dying for a Shard takes a long time, in a lot of cases. So, it's similar. But the Stormfather is something different, *inaudible* remnants left over after the god died. 


So is he dead?

Brandon Sanderson

Honor is dead, yes. But, at the same time, the Stormfather is kind of his Cognitive Shadow. So-- what does "dead" mean?

Steelheart Seattle signing ()
#4 Copy

Wetlander (paraphrased)

Did the Splintering happen before the Recreance?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

I will reveal this as we go. However, be aware that in the past, when a Shard was killed, the person holding it, it is a slow burn to actually kill someone; because power cannot be destroyed. So, what it means to be killed means something a little different in these cases.

Hoser (paraphrased)

Did Tanavast survive Honor's splintering?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Tanavast is dead. Good question. However, that is as of the start of The Way of Kings.

Hoser (paraphrased)

So he could have survived the Splintering...

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

He could have survived the Splintering.

Hoser (paraphrased) a mortal...

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Well, he could have survived for a time, but then he could not have then...

Hoser (paraphrased)

...passed away in his sleep...

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)


Firefight Chicago signing ()
#5 Copy


I am very convinced that Adolin, with the events that happen with the last book. You're sending him down a like a dark path. Is he possibly going to be a-- *questioningly* Antagonist? Protagonist?-- A bad, eventually? Or is he--

Brandon Sanderson

I'm going to say this, the things that Adolin did do not contradict some of the moralities on Roshar, in fact they follow them directly. Some of the moralities on our planet would say what he did is the right thing to do. I think treating it as a "dark path" is too reductionist to say. There are people who would seriously argue, and they would have a good argument, that what Dalinar was doing by leaving Sadeas around was a good idea. And then there are other people who would say "You know what Sadeas did was a challenge and it was rightly then responded to" and then there are people who would say it was absolutely immoral. So, it depends on your philosophy.

What would Honor say? Well, Honor's dead, so-- *lots of laughter* You know Honor would not have been behind that action, but Honor's dead.

General Reddit 2017 ()
#6 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

I've watched this conversation with interest, and wasn't planning to step in, as it's exactly the sort of thread that's generally better without me. Author intervention can derail a good discussion.

But after considering, I decided I did want to talk about this topic a little. There are two things going on here. One is the mistake I made with Jasnah in Words, which I've mentioned before. One is a larger discussion, relevant to the cosmere.

Warning, WALL OF TEXT. This is me we're talking about.

You see, Jasnah wasn't originally meant to be a fake-out. Jasnah originally was going to go with Shallan to the Shattered Plains--but she was really messing up the outline, diverting attention from Shallan's character arc and pointing it toward Shallan/Jasnah conflicts instead.

My biggest breakthrough when outlining the book in detail was the realization that the book would work so much better if things I'd planned to do with Jasnah in it were diverted to later books. When that came together, WORDS really started working. Hence her jaunt into Shadesmar. I initially wrote the scenes with it being pretty clear to the reader that she was forced to escape--and it was super suspicious that there was no body.

In drafting, however, early readers didn't like how obvious it was that Jasnah would be coming back. I made a crucial mistake by over-reacting to early feedback. I thought, "Well, I can make that more dramatic!" I employed some tools I've learned quite well, and turned that into a scene where the emotion is higher and the death is more powerful.

HOWEVER, I did this without realizing how it mixed with other plotlines--specifically Szeth's resurrection.

We get into sticky RAFO areas here, but one of the biggest themes of the Cosmere is Rebirth. The very first book (Elantris) starts with a character coming back from the dead. (As I've mentioned before, a big part of the inspiration for Elantris was a zombie story, from the viewpoint of the zombie.) Mistborn begins with Kelsier's rebirth following the Pits, and Warbreaker is about people literally called the Returned. (People who die, then come back as gods.) The Stormlight Archive kicks off with Kaladin's rebirth above the Honor Chasm, and Warbreaker is meant as a little foreshadowing toward the greater arc of the cosmere--that of the Shards of Adonalsium, who are held by ordinary people.

Szeth's rebirth, with his soul incorrectly affixed to his body, is one of the things I've been very excited to explore in The Stormlight Archive--and the mistake with Jasnah was letting her return distract from that.

That said, you're not wrong for disliking this theme--there's no "wrong" when it comes to artistic tastes. And I certainly wish I'd looked at the larger context of what happened when I shifted Jasnah's plot in book two. (Doubling down on "Jasnah is dead" for short term gain was far worse than realizing I should have gone with "Jasnah was forced to jump into Shadesmar, leaving Shallan alone." I consider not seeing that to be the biggest mistake I've made in The Stormlight Archive so far.)

However, the story of the cosmere isn't really about who lives or dies. We established early on that there is an afterlife (or, at least, one of the most powerful beings in the cosmere believes there is--and he tends to be a trustworthy sort.) And multiple books are about people being resurrected. What I'm really interested in is what this does to people. Getting given a second try at life, being reborn as something new. (Or, in some cases, as something worse.) The story of the cosmere is about what you do with the time you have, and the implications of the power of deity being in the hands of ordinary people.

More importantly (at least to me) I've always felt character deaths are actually somewhat narratively limp in stories. Perhaps it's our conditioning from things like Gandalf, Obi-Wan, and even Sherlock Holmes. But readers are always going to keep asking, "are they really dead?" And even if they stay dead, I can always jump back and tell more stories about them. The long cycle of comic books over-using resurrection has, I think, also jaded some of us to the idea of character death--but even without things like that, the reader knows they can always re-read the book. And that fan-fiction of the character living will exist. And that the author could always bring them back at any time. A death should still be a good death, mind you--and an author really shouldn't jerk people around, like I feel I did with Jasnah.

But early on, I realized I'd either have to go one of two directions with the cosmere. Either I had to go with no resurrections ever, stay hard line, and build up death as something really, really important. Or I had to shift the conversation of the books to greater dangers, greater stakes, and (if possible) focus a little more on the journey, not the sudden stop at the end.

I went with the latter. This isn't going to work for everyone. I'm fully aware of, and prepared for, the fact that things like Szeth coming back will ruin the stories for some readers. And I do admit, I've screwed it up in places. Hopefully, that will teach me better so that I can handle the theme delicately, and with strong narrative purpose behind the choices I make. But do warn you, there WILL be other resurrections in my books. (Though there are none planned for the near future. I took some extra care with the next few books, after feeling that things happening in Words and the Mistborn series in the last few years have hit the theme too hard.) This is a thing that I do, and a thing that I will continue to do. I consider it integral to the story I'm telling. Hopefully, in the future, I'll be able to achieve these acts with the weight and narrative complexity they deserve.

If it helps, I have several built-in rules for this. The first is that actual cosmere resurrections (rather than just fake-outs, like I did with Jasnah) can happen only under certain circumstances, and have a pretty big cost to them. Both will become increasingly obvious through the course of the stories. The other rule is more meta. I generally tell myself that I only get one major fake-out, or one actual resurrection, per character. (And I obviously won't use either one for most characters.) This is more to keep myself from leaning on this narrative device too much, which I worry I'll naturally do, considering that I see this as a major theme of the books.


(Sharders, please don't start asking me at signings who has had their "one death" so far. This is me drawing the curtain back a little on the process, I really don't want it to become an official thing that people focus on. Do feel free to talk about the mechanics of resurrection though--it should be pretty obvious now with Elantris, Warbreaker, Szeth, and a certain someone from Mistborn to use as guides.)

General Reddit 2020 ()
#7 Copy


Anyone know if WoK Prime is more or less a complete/conclusive story? I’m just wondering if it’s like a stand-alone or if it gives the sense of “this is part 1 of X more books to come.” I’m actually nervous about cliffhangers and such never being resolved—alternative storyline or not.

Brandon Sanderson

I'm afraid there are some. It's worse than the published Way of Kings in that regard, I'd say. It IS a complete story; it doesn't just end in the middle. But it also is obviously part of something larger that I will never now write.


Will you be releasing a general over view of what you intended with the cliff hangers?

Also was Taln going to remain dead?

Brandon Sanderson

It's been a LONG time, so remembering exactly what I was going to do will be tough. But Taln was going to be proven a Herald, so he wasn't DEAD dead.


I was left with three implied backstory questions with no equivalent in the published SA, dunno if either can be answered without spoiling published SA:

What happened "17 years ago" around the end of the conquest war, around the time Merin/Shinri/Renarin were born, that reawakened the ancient powers?

Who killed Nolhanarin (sp?) and why. Was it Ishar? (who we know lied about it)

What's the deal with Meridas' mysterious past?

As for other stuff (such as what the hell are the Shin leaders up to, who is in cahoots with Odium and who's just a bastard, what's the endgame, etc), they're somewhat similar to published SA so I'm guessing RAFO.

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, I'm stretching here because it's been a LONG time.

But I believe what happened is that the other Heralds did something that caused the return to begin, and the powers to reawaken. This was related to Taln being abandoned, which he didn't realize had happened.

Meridas was involved in something very similar to the Sons of Honor, and much of his mysterious past relates to that.

I don't remember who performed the murder.


Was it also related to Jarnah's/the Shin Invasion, which also happened 17 years prior?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. The Shin had a much stronger cavalry in this edition, and had a little more of an Aiel feel to them. I eventually started to go a different direction, because I realized I was subconsciously leaning on Wheel of Time with the Aiel invasion.


So sorry to bug to you, but I just finished Prime and I had one burning question at the end. And I don't think it will ever be answered in the current iteration of the Stormlight Series.

What was the real drawback of Merin using his Windrunner powers? Your book kept on hinting that pain was just merely a side effect and not the real danger.

Brandon Sanderson

Real danger was, I believe, drawing the attention of the enemy. (Book two was going to start with his home being attacked because the voidbringers--can't remember what they were originally called--had picked out a budding Radiant and as soon as they Returned, sent everything they had to kill him.)


Was Vasher supposed to be Jarnah the Conqueror in disguise? Is this why one of Vasher's friends said that Dalenar was a liar? That maybe Dalenar didn't win the duel at all, but Jarnah decided that he was wrong about the Return and gave up?

Brandon Sanderson

I'll be honest...I don't remember. (Sorry.)

Manchester signing ()
#9 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

A WARNING FROM BRANDON: This scene gives major spoilers for Words of Radiance. Please don’t continue unless you’ve finished that book. This is a very short sequence of Jasnah’s backstory I’ve been reading at signings. It’s not a polished draft. I often read very rough (and potentially continuity-error filled) sequences at signings as a special treat to people who attend. This scene is even rougher than most—first draft, and shouldn’t be taken as canon quite yet, as I haven’t firmed up or fixed all the terminology or Shadesmar interactions.

Brandon Sanderson

Jasnah Kholin opened her eyes and gasped, fingers rigid, clawing at the obsidian ground. A knife in her chest! She could feel it grinding on her bones as it slipped between two ribs, glancing off her sternum. She spasmed, rolling into a ball, quivering.


No. She could not lay prone. She fought to her knees, but then found herself raking her fingers across the ground, trembling, heaving breaths in and out. Moving—even breathing—was perversely difficult, not because of pain or incapacity, but because of the overwhelming sense of tension. It made her shake, made her made her want to run, fight, do anything she could to not die.

She shouted, stumbling to her feet, and spun about, hand on her chest.

Wet blood. Her blood. A dress cut with a single knife hole.

“Jasnah.” A figure all in black. A landscape of obsidian ground reflecting a bizarre sky and a sun that did not change locations.

She darted her head from side to side, taking in everything but registering very little of it.

Storms. She could sense that knife again, sliding into her flesh. She felt that same helplessness, that same panic—emotions which had accompanied the knife’s fall. She remembered the darkness consuming her, her hearing fading, the end.

She closed her eyes and shivered, trying to banish the memories. Yet the effort of trying to do so only seemed to solidify them.

She knew that she would remember dying for as long as it took the darkness to claim her again.

“You did well,” Ivory said. “Well, Jasnah.”

“The knife,” she whispered, opening her eyes, angry at how her voice trembled, “the knife was unexpected.” She breathed in and out, trying to calm herself. That puffed out the last of her Stormlight, which she had drawn in at the last possible moment, then used like a lash to pull herself into this place. It had kept her alive, healed her.

Ivory said that while a person held enough Stormlight, only a crushing blow to the head itself would kill. She’d believed him, but storms that hadn’t made it any easier to lay there before the knife. Who would have expected them to stab her? Shouldn’t they have assumed that a blow to the head would be enough to—

Wait. Shallan!

“We have to go back,” Jasnah said, spinning. “Ivory, where is the junction?”

“It is not.”

She was able to locate the ship with ease. In Shadesmar, land and sea were reversed, so she stood on solid ground—but in the Physical Realm, Shallan and the sailors would still be in their ship. They manifest here as lights, similar to candle flames, and Jasnah thought of them as the representation of the person’s soul—despite Ivory telling her that was an extreme simplification.

They spotted the air around her, standing up on deck. That solitary flame would be Shallan herself. Many smaller lights darted beneath the ground—faintly visible through the obsidian. Fish and other sea life.

Nerves still taut, Jasnah searched around for the junction: a faint warping of the air that marked the place of her passage into Shadesmar. She could use it return to the ship, to…

One of the lights up above winked out.

Jasnah froze. “They’re being executed. Ivory! The junction.”

“A junction is not, Jasnah,” Ivory repeated. He stood with hands clasped behind his back, wearing a sharp—yet somehow alien—suit, all black. Here in Shadesmar, it was easier to distinguish the mother-of-pearl sheen to his skin, like the colors made by oil on water.

“Not?” Jasnah said, trying to parse his meaning. She’d missed his explanation the first time. Despite their years together, his language constructions still baffled her on occasion. “But there’s always a junction…”

“Only when a piece of you is there,” Ivory said. “Today, that is not. You are here, Jasnah. I am…sorry.”

“You brought me all the way into Shadesmar,” she asked. “Now?

He bowed his head.

For years she’d been trying to get him to bring her into his world. Though she could peek into Shadesmar on her own—and even slip one foot in, so to speak—entering fully required Ivory’s help. How had it happened? The academic wanted to record her experiences and tease out the process, so that perhaps she could replicate it. She’d used Stormlight, hadn’t she? An outpouring of it, thrust into Shadesmar. A lash which had pulling her, like gravitation from a distant place, unseen…

Memories of what happened mixed with the terror of those last minutes. She shoved both emotions and memories aside. How could she help the people on the ship? Jasnah stepped up to the light, hovering before her, lifting a hand to cup one. Shallan, she assumed, though she could not be certain. Ivory said that there wasn’t always a direct correlation between objects their manifestation in Shadesmar.

She couldn’t touch the soul before her, not completely. Its natural power repelled her hand, as if she were trying to push two pieces of magnetized stone against one another.

A sudden screech broke Shadesmar’s silence.

Jasnah jumped, spinning. It sounded a trumping beast, only overlaid by the sounds of glass breaking. The terrible noise drove a shiver up her spine. It sounded like it had come from someplace nearby.

Ivory gasped. He leaped forward, grabbing Jasnah by the arm. “We must go.”

“What is that?” Jasnah asked.

“Grinder,” Ivory said. “You call them painspren.”

“Painspren are harmless.”

“On your side, harmless. Here, harmmore. Very harmmore. Come.” He yanked on her arm.


The ship’s crew would die because of her. Storms! She had not thought that the Ghostbloods would be so bold. But what to do? She felt like a child here, newborn. Years of study had told her so little. Could she do anything to those souls above her? She couldn’t even distinguish which were the assassins and which were the crew.

The screech sounded again, coming closer. Jasnah looked up, growing tense. This place was so alien, with ridges and mountains of pure black obsidian, a landscape that was perpetually dim. Small beads of glass rolled about her feet—representations of inanimate objects in the physical realm.


She fished among them, and these she could identify immediately by touch. Three plates from the galley, one bead each. A trunk holding clothing.

Several of her books.

Her hand hesitated. Oh storms, this was a disaster. Why hadn’t she prepared better? Her contingency plan in case of an assassination attempt had been to play dead, using faint amounts of stormlight from gems sewn into her hem to stay alive. But she’d foolishly expected assassins to appear in the night, strike her down, then flee. She’d not prepared for a mutiny, an assassination led by a member of the crew.

They would murder everyone on board.

“Jasnah!” Ivory said, sounding more desperate. “We must not be in this place! Emotions from the ship draw them!”

She dropped the spheres representing her books and ran her fingers through the other spheres, seeking… there. Ropes—the bonds tying the sailors as they were executed. She found a group of them and seized the spheres.

She drew in the last of her Stormlight, a few gemstones’ worth. So little.

The landscape reacted immediately. Beads on the ground nearby shivered and rolled toward her, seeking the stormlight. The calls of the painspren intensified. It was even closer now. Ivory breathed in sharply, and high above, several long ribbons of smoke descended out of the clouds and began to circle about her.

Stormlight was precious here. It was power, currency, even—perhaps—life. Without it, she’d be defenseless.

“Can I use this Light to return?” she asked him.

“Here?” He shook his head. “No. We must find a stable junction. Honor’s Perpendicularity, perhaps, though it is very distant. But Jasnah, the grinders will soon be!”

Jasnah gripped the beads in her hand.

“You,” she command, “will change.”

“I am a rope,” one of them said. “I am—”

You will change.

The ropes shivered, transforming—one by one—into smoke in the physical realm.

Oathbringer Houston signing ()
#10 Copy


The quote that Dalinar says at the end [of Oathbringer]. "I am Unity." Is that something that happened specifically because Honor is dead, and, for all these different reasons, that was able to happen? Also Odium said that he had Ascended. He wasn't supposed to Ascend, but he did...

Brandon Sanderson

I am totally RAFOing all that stuff; I knew people were gonna ask about it. You're just gonna have to wait and find out.

General Reddit 2020 ()
#11 Copy


Was really Evi the voice that Dalinar heard when he opened Honor's perpendicularity?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO. (You knew it was coming.)

So here's the thing--I'm never going to confirm or deny anything from beyond the Spiritual Realm. Because it is unfair for me to do so. I believe there is an afterlife in our world, while others (quite rationally) conclude there is not.

The Cosmere has systems in place for ghosts and things to be real, yes, but I want it to always be possible for intelligent people to disagree about things like Evi's voice. Spiritual Connection creates visions in the Cosmere that are quite realistic (like all the ones Dalinar experienced.)

What Dalinar heard here could very rationally be a version of such a vision. That's what the Death Rattles are, for example.

Or, it could be his dead wife speaking to him from beyond the grave. Navani would say that's what it is; Jasnah would say it's the first. I try very hard (despite my personal biases) to not undercut the viewpoint of someone who doesn't believe in an afterlife. It is vital to me that the author not sweep in and say, "Yeah, it's cool some characters are Atheists at all who doesn't believe in an afterlife...but nudge nudge, we both know there is one."

The existence of an afterlife (not Cognitive Shadow style, but in the Beyond) in the cosmere is subject to your own personal interpretation. Everything that happens like this CAN be explained by Realmatic Theory, with very valid examples from the books.

Skyward San Diego signing ()
#12 Copy


Is the reason that the Fused have access to unlimited voidlight is because Odium's alive, and the Radiants have that access that limited access to Stormlight because Honor is dead?

Brandon Sanderson

Not exactly... They do not have access to unlimited voidlight, how about that.

SpoCon 2013 ()
#13 Copy

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

There are two Shards on Roshar. Odium's presence is felt on Roshar, but he is on Braize, the third planet in the system.

theofficetroll (paraphrased)

Is that Shard on The Silence Divine?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Oh, you mean Ashyn. Ashyn is mostly barren with small fertile patches

There are two Shards on Roshar; however, Honor is dead.

Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing ()
#15 Copy


Seons are Splinters?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Splinters of Devotion.


Um, Splintered...Honor is the *inaudible*...the stormwall...

Brandon Sanderson

The Stormfather?


The Stormfather.

Brandon Sanderson

The Stormfather is technically a Splinter of Honor, but it was an intentional Splinter, that Honor did himself.


Does he have another Splinter?

Brandon Sanderson

So, all of the honorspren are Splinters of Honor, but this is a different situation because he actually did this intentionally.

General Reddit 2020 ()
#16 Copy


Is it possible that Honor's Shard is named Honor, because this is how the man who hold The Shard inerpreted it but not it's real name? In that case could The Shard change the name to something else that would better fit with personality of the new holder? As an example, could Honor become Unity if Dalinar were the holder?

Brandon Sanderson

The name Honor is bigger than Tanavast, though it's not impossible for shards to be interpreted differently by those who hold them, and perhaps other names be applied.

JordanCon 2018 ()
#17 Copy


Back in ['14] you referred to Honor's Purposes to me at one point. Is that still a thing in the cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

Honor's purpose?


Honor's purposes. You referred to ten of them. Using the concept of Shardic numbers. But I don't have that on record, I don't know anything about it, it's been a confusing topic ever since.

Brandon Sanderson

So that's still a deal. It just plays into the ten names of the Almighty and the ten attributes of the Fools and the ten attributes of the Almighty.


Are Purposes something every shard has?

Brandon Sanderson

I wouldn't say-- No. It's playing more into the nature of Honor itself.

Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
#19 Copy


I want to know if Taravangian, the Ghostbloods, Amaram, is there any kind of like connecting... are they working together or anything like that?

Brandon Sanderson

Taravangian, so the Diagram, the Ghostbloods, is that the two you mentioned? Amaram is Sons of Honor; Amaram and Gavilar are Sons of Honor. These are three different groups who are aware of what is happening and have different philosophies on how to deal with what is coming. They have opposed views, for example, the Sons of Honor are trying to bring back Voidbringers because they believe it will return the heralds as well. Where as the diagram has his plan... y'know, I wont give them away. Some of the are hinted at, you can read. He talks about it, but you can see what he's doing. The Ghostbloods, they have not talked about their motives very much. They have different motives. The Sons of Honor are the easiest to figure out and they are also the most wrong, right. If you read what Taravangian says you can probably see what the Diagram is trying to do.

Orem Signing ()
#20 Copy


My thought is, you know how the Stormfather in Oathbringer says he's not able, or he's never seen Dalinar be able to create the bridge. Does that mean Honor could be reborn?

Brandon Sanderson

So, there are things standing in the way, but cosmereologically, it is fully possible that another person could become Honor. The Vessel that was holding Honor before is gone. Though the Stormfather is kind of his Cognitive Shadow at this point, in a way. But the power, something else could be done with it. Or it could remain in the state it is now. Your answer is yes, but there are some hindrances along the way.

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#21 Copy


Back in, I think, Words of Radiance I asked you-- Somebody asked the question that had to do with the number 10 on Roshar and I didn't get the question on the recording--which was horrible--but your answer talked about Honor's purposes. Is what you said, and you mentioned 10 of them and that is why the number 10 is so sacred. Could you say something so I have something on the record? So we know what you said about that?

Brandon Sanderson

Honor's purposes...


Or Shard's purposes... Like what is that all about?

Brandon Sanderson

That will become-- I said it vaguely on purpose.

General Twitter 2011 ()
#22 Copy


The Almighty’s original name was Tanavast, yes/no?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes and no. The concept of the “Almighty” in Roshar has a lot of meanings, many of them wrong.


But the person who held the Shard Honor was originally named Tanavast?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. You wiggled it out of me. That was the name of the original holder of the Shard Honor.

Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
#23 Copy


So far all the spren that have bonded to humans appear to be emotion-based as opposed to nature-based. Is that true for all the Knights Radiant?

Brandon Sanderson

Well it depends. For instance: how would you define Wyndle?


I struggled with that one.

Brandon Sanderson

Uh hm. So I would say that you are on the right track, that there is a definite inclination that direction.


Towards Honor?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. There is.


Is there other surges then, that are more Cultivation-exclusive or other Knights Radiant that are...?

Brandon Sanderson

We'll RAFO that, but the original Knights Radiant are more focused on Honor and his spren.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
#25 Copy


As Lift's spren refers to the Nightwatcher as Mother, right...

Brandon Sanderson

He definitely calls somebody a mother. The implication in the text is that it's the Nightwatcher.


Certainly, so I'm just going to run with that right now. So the question that I'm asking is, is surgebinding in general a melding of Honor and Odium, a la feruchemy being in some sense not directly derivative of Ruin and Preservation?

Brandon Sanderson

It is...Honor and Cultivation is what you mean?



Brandon Sanderson

There are spren of all three Shards, and those spren can work within the bounds of the magic that has already been set up on Roshar.


What Shard are Cryptics associated with?

Brandon Sanderson


FanX 2018 ()
#26 Copy


I'm supposed to ask how Odium and Honor's Investiture could be so similar.

Brandon Sanderson

Odium and Honor, like a lot of the Shards, can be considered to have a similar theme. But that is very common among the Shards, in my opinion.

Oathbringer Glasgow signing ()
#27 Copy


What was the order of the Shards coming to Roshar and changing allegiances? Did humans come with Odium?

Brandon Sanderson

So... you're talking about on Roshar specifically? So, Odium had visited Roshar. The humans gave him more of an ear... The Dawnsingers would have considered him the god of the people who had come, but-- I mean, it wasn't like they necessarily brought him. He was capable of getting around before that. I mean, he did kinda come along with them, he was instrumental in what happened there.


Okay, but he was separate, and after Honor and Cultivation had really settled there?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, he was after Honor and Cultivation had settled.

Calamity Seattle signing ()
#32 Copy


What Shard is the opposite of Odium in the sense of the *inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

There are several that could be considered opposites--


I mean in the assimilation sense, you’ve said that Odium doesn’t want to absorb any of the other ones but which one would want to?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, which one would want to join with him?


Or any of them.

Brandon Sanderson

I think that if personalities had been different, Honor and Odium, there would have been a very natural pairing, not that they’re opposites but they would have attracted. [...]

General Reddit 2020 ()
#34 Copy


Secondly a theory of mine is around the healing factor of Stormlight. I believe that the healing was added later by Honor because it would heal away the Ashyn diseases that bring powerful surgebinding - it's Tanavast's way of preventing the Ashyn magic system following Odium and Humanity over to Roshar. Can you confirm healing is a newer addition to Stormlight, or comment on this at all?

Brandon Sanderson

For the second, I'll RAFO for now. Interesting theory!

General Reddit 2016 ()
#35 Copy


If I remember correctly, Allomancy is from Preservation, Hemalurgy is from Ruin and Feruchemy is from both Preservation and Ruin.


This is correct. It isn't caused by a shard, but the interaction of two opposing shards


Would something like that happen between honor and odium?


I just read WoK the other day, I have yet to start in on WoR. That said, my speculation is possibly, but I don't think so. It sounds kind of like Odium isn't from Roshar. Maybe I'm wrong there, but I got that impression. That would mean his form of investiture is somewhere else.

Also, I think that the reason Preservation and Ruin have Feruchemy is also that they worked together to create. There has to be some reason that they interacted while others didn't, and I would guess it is probably their working together

Edit: We could summon [Brandon] but I am almost positive this would get RAFO'd

Brandon Sanderson


Shadows of Self San Francisco signing ()
#38 Copy


Does the spren have to be present for a Surgebinder to have their abilities? Because with Dalinar, the Stormfather won’t be around all the time...

Brandon Sanderson

Good Question! Fortunately, the Stormfather is a little more omnipresent. Normally you’re gonna have to have your spren close, but the Stormfather absorbed... is basically Honor’s Cognitive Shadow, which means he’s got a connection to a lot of different things, so he’s not bound by a lot of the rules that others are.

Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
#44 Copy


Do the Shards know each others' weaknesses? Like the metal blindness or anything?

Brandon Sanderson

They are not aware of every specific, but they know generalities.


So they know that they do have weaknesses.

Brandon Sanderson



So would Odium have taken advantage of Honor's weakness to Splinter him?

Brandon Sanderson

You could say that, yeah.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#47 Copy


Shallan explains the theory that all spren can be divided into two categories (emotions and forces). Jasnah then links these to Cultivation and Honor, and also notes that voidspren are of Odium.

Is this theory maybe a little incomplete? Is there a third category of spren for "sensationspren" like painspren (which don't seem to involve emotions or forces)?

Brandon Sanderson

In Vorin thought, those would be emotions, but that doesn't mean that the scholars who think about these things are right.