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Leipzig Book Fair ()
#3 Copy

Questioner

I was wondering if the Chasmfiends have... like their own Gemhearts...

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

It's probably not a coincidence that emeralds that can hold most of the Stormlight. So are Chasmfiends, do they take energy from Stormlight?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, yes, yes, yes. That's part.

Questioner

So there is a huge energy source there, they can supply it with eating so...

Brandon Sanderson

It is actually most beneficial during their metamorphisis, as you'll notice that the chrysalises are not as big as they get, and so yeah. They depend on the Stormlight and they depend on the Spren that they are bonded to keep them from crushing themselves. So Chasmfiends couldn't exist off world for multiple reasons.

Questioner

I'm guessing that for Chasmfiends the absorption of Stormlight is different because there is a whole shell thing that is thick.

Brandon Sanderson

Yup, yup.

General Reddit 2016 ()
#5 Copy

LordXenu069

How tall would the average chasmfiend be, and how much would they weigh? On a scale from ant to Godzilla.

Brandon Sanderson

So, they're big. Not godzilla big, but larger than elephant big. On average, they're going to loom over you at about twenty feet high, which is deceptive to their size, as they're longer than tall. And some do get even bigger.

Weight, though, is a tricky matter with greatshells on Roshar. The symbiosis with spren is how they get around crushing themselves. (Even on a lower gravity planet like Roshar.)

LordXenu069

One last question though, symbiosis is a two way relationship. The chasmfiends get a huge benefit, the ability to not immediately die. So what do the spren get out of it?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, the symbiosis is a two-way relationship. You'll find out more in future books, but suffice it to say, the spren DO get something out of the deal. (At least, when it happens naturally.)

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#7 Copy

Questioner

Are the chasmfiends that we have seen the last stage of their life-cycle?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, you have seen the last stage of their lifecycle.

Questioner

But that's--

Brandon Sanderson

You've seen the second and third stages mostly.

Questioner

Are you counting the cocoons?

Brandon Sanderson

Cocoons are a stage, yes.

Oathbringer release party ()
#9 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Where did you get the idea for a chasmfiend?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

This actually a pretty good one. So, what has happening with the Stormlight books is-- Originally, the Shattered Plains were not in Stormlight. If you didn't know about this, Stormlight started without the Shattered Plains. And when I came back to the series to write it after kind of failing at that 2002 version and wanting to try again, I hired a concept artist to do sketches of characters and settings for me. His name was Ben McSweeney... Ben is the person I eventually hired to do a lot of the artwork, because he had done all this great concept art. And one of the things he did is, he drew a giant brain coral, 'cause I said, "Give me corals, things that you would normally find underwater in a coral reef, but above ground, and this is where we're gonna start our big brainstorming," and he did this giant one that people were walking through the cracks, and there was a little crustacean monster in there. And I'm like, "Oh, that looks like the Shattered Plains. Hey, the Shattered Plains! Why didn't I think of that? They work really well!" 'Cause they had originally been in Dragonsteel, they hadn't really worked there. So, I brought the Shattered Plains over, and the original inspiration for a chasmfiend was that little beastie. It looked more like a crayfish, that he had stuck in one of these grooves. That's where chasmfiends came from.