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White Sand vol.1 release party ()
#2 Copy

Questioner

I've also heard rumor that there's a chronology? <On the cosmere?>

Brandon Sanderson

On my computer, yes.

Questioner

No, that was going to be in [Arcanum Unbounded] or *inaudible*.

Brandon Sanderson

No, not a chronology. Not a timeline. I've been preparing one that eventually I'm going to release. But I don't think I'm *inaudible*. I did consider it, but...

Oathbringer Newcastle signing ()
#3 Copy

Questioner

Time-wise, where do the events of Bands of Mourning happen with respect to Words of Radiance?

Brandon Sanderson

...So, Bands of Mourning, all the Wax & Wayne books take place after Stormlight 5, but I'm not sure if it happens after or before Stormlight 6, It'll have to wait, because there's a time jump between Stormlight 5 and 6 that I haven't exactly defined in the timeline yet.

Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
#5 Copy

Questioner

Where does Sixth of the Dusk sit in the timeline?

Brandon Sanderson

Where does Sixth of the Dusk sit in the timeline. It is probably the furthest future of any of the cosmere stories I've done.

Questioner

So around the third trilogy of Mistborn?

Brandon Sanderson

Potentially, probably not quite to that. But yeah, it is very... But yeah that's the latest.

Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
#7 Copy

Yata

What is the event showed in the books, that are earlier in the Cosmere's Timeline ? (just to understand if WoK's prologue is before or after Elantris's event)

Brandon Sanderson

I believe WoK prologue is before everything else you've seen. Some of the Dalinar flashbacks show scenes pretty early as well.

The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
#8 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Spook's Timeline

One of the problems with Spook's sequences is that I had to break the chapters timewise longer than I'd wanted to. Originally, these latest three or four Spook chapters happened in the course of a week's time. However, when I added them into the rest of the book, I realized I had to space them out a lot farther because of the things happening in Vin and Elend's timeline.

So it's a little bit awkward. Three chapters ago, Spook heard men mention the rumors Durn was spreading about him. Then we had two chapters dealing with Sazed and Breeze's arrival. Only now can Spook finally track down Durn and demand to know about the rumors he was spreading.

It would have made much more sense to have had Spook find a way to do this earlier, but I just couldn't work it in until now. The “count the skulls” thing is coming up too; I haven't forgotten it. Unfortunately, it suffered from this same issue.

Pocatello signing ()
#9 Copy

LairdDuncan (paraphrased)

You mention the phases of the moon fairly often in [The Way of Kings]--is this significant or something that we should be paying attention to?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

After working with the Wheel of Time community and dealing a lot with fans wanting to know when certain events happened in regards to some other event, Brandon added in [details about the moons] in order to give dedicated fans a way of determining the chronology of the events of the Stormlight Archive.

Footnote: When initially reported Peter questioned the accuracy of this exchange as "the way the moons are used in Words of Radiance really has nothing to do with phases", LairdDuncan then explained that Brandon didn't actually use the word "phase" but did indicate the moons could be used to determine chronology.
Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
#10 Copy

Wetlander

How much time elapses between the beginning of the main part of the story [where they start out at the Shattered Plains] and the end of the series?

Brandon Sanderson

And the end of the series? Because the end of the series, um, we have a 15-year gap between [books number] 5 and 6. So, the first five will probably be Wheel of Time-ish, sort of, each one picks up where the last one left off; we have a little more time, maybe, than Wheel of Time, but not terribly much, so it will probably be just a couple of years for the first ones, but then we will jump.

White Sand vol.1 release party ()
#11 Copy

Questioner 1

Timeline-wise will Warbreaker 2 come before Stormlight Archive or is it after?

Brandon Sanderson

Before the end of the Stormlight?

Questioner 1

So Warbreaker 2 would it take place before the start of...

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, before. Yeah, Warbreaker 2 chronologically is pre-Stormlight. Before Stormlight 1, yeah.

Questioner 1

Pre-Stormlight. Okay.

Questioner 2

I'm excited for that.

Brandon Sanderson

In fact, chronologically I think it's the exact book before Stormlight 1. I don't think there's anything in between there.

Questioner 1

Will the book say why Nightblood's on [Roshar]...

Brandon Sanderson

It will at least hint at it. I mean the book is called Nightblood. If it doesn't I'll write a bridge novella to kind of do that.

Questioner 1

Bridge the gap?

Brandon Sanderson

Bridge the gap. Because the story-- I'm not sure if I can work in everything. Because the story isn't about Nightblood leaving. It's about-- yeah.

Questioner 1

Yeah, it's not about that. It's just kind of like a... how did that transition happen.

Brandon Sanderson

I mean, yeah. Vasher's cosmere-aware, and so the more you talk to him the more some of this stuff will come out.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#13 Copy

potterhead42

On Scadrial, humans were created as a result of the deal between Preservation and Ruin. But what about the rest of the humans on the other worlds of the Cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

It's split. Some predate the shattering; others were created. The humans that existed before were always a model, which is why they're so similar to one another.

Skyward Seattle signing ()
#15 Copy

Questioner

Silence Divine, are you allowed to talk about when it's going to happen in the timeline?

Brandon Sanderson

...It is late Stormlight Archive era. I image it being around book 8 or something like that.

Questioner

So it was after the Dawnchant was written.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. But since it hasn't been written yet, the timeline is not canon for that yet.

/r/Fantasy_Bookclub Alloy of Law Q&A ()
#16 Copy

zas678

How long before [The Way of Kings] is Alloy of Law? I heard somewhere that it's a hundred years, but I don't think that's right.

Brandon Sanderson

I intended them to be happening roughly close to one another, with [The Way of Kings] slightly before.

Hal-Con 2012 ()
#17 Copy

Lance Alvein (paraphrased)

How about the general number of years Warbreaker is from [The Hero of Ages] and [The Alloy of Law/The Way of Kings]?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

RAFO - the reason that timeline questions are being RAFOed right now is because the final times are still not 100% solid, and Brandon said that he doesn't want to give us a time and then have it change around again (like what happened to [The Alloy of Law] being moved to the same time as [The Way of Kings] instead of being a bit earlier), so he won't answer any timeline questions until after he has the final timeline correct in his own system.

Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
#19 Copy

Mondoodle

I don't know if someone has already commented on this, but something that's caught my attention after listening to the audiobooks back to back is that there seems to be a commonality of a significant event happening 300 years in the past. Was there a particular event that happened on one planet that has cascaded to others?

Brandon Sanderson

There are events that have happened on one planet, and cascaded through, but don't fixate too much on 300 years. The different books are happening on slightly different timelines, for one thing, so the separate '300 years' notations might not actually line up at the same year, if that makes sense.

Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
#21 Copy

Questioner

Can I ask you real quick: Where Warbreaker falls in Stormlight Achive?

Brandon Sanderson

Warbreaker is before Stormlight Archive. Vasher, before Warbreaker, had been to Roshar.

Questioner

Okay, that's what I needed to know. Nightblood.

Brandon Sanderson

Nightblood was patterned off of things that Vasher and the others saw on Roshar.

Firefight San Francisco signing ()
#27 Copy

Questioner

How far ahead in the timeline is Sixth of Dusk?

Brandon Sanderson

Pretty far.

Questioner

Can I have a general--

Brandon Sanderson

Most people that I'm writing about now are dead.

Questioner

Is it up into the third trilogy of Mistborn?

Brandon Sanderson

It is that era, yes.

Questioner

Sweet! That's what I thought.

Brandon Sanderson

It might be a little bit before that trilogy, but it's that era.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#28 Copy

tisces

Do you keep a timeline for your Cosmere books? I'm assuming the events from books such as Elantris and Warbreaker happen before the Stormlight Archives but I'm curious about how much time has passed whether it is months/years/centuries.

Brandon Sanderson

Centuries have passed. I think we're closer to a thousand years covering events you could place on the line, with closer to ten thousand years since inciting incidents.

Skyward release party ()
#29 Copy

JoyBlu

An epoch, is that a standardized set of time or relative?

Brandon Sanderson

It is not a standardized set of time.

JoyBlu

So it could be variable like, when dad gets home from work til when leaves from work.

Brandon Sanderson

Well, that's not going to be one, but yeah... The epochs were way better defined in the original Way of Kings. I let them be more squishy.

JoyBlu

In the original Way of Kings, like a first edition?

Brandon Sanderson

No, in the Prime, that I read from.

Boskone 54 ()
#32 Copy

Questioner

From all of your Cosmere books, do you have anywhere written what the timeframe between the series are?

Brandon Sanderson

I haven’t done that officially. We have it ourselves. What I’ve told people is that they are basically in order of being released. I haven’t jumped back. At least if you count the first of each individual series. So they’re roughly in order chronologically. White Sand is out of order because that’s chronologically one of the earliest. And now Stormlight and Wax & Wayne… Wax & Wayne are post-Stormlight, but I’m releasing… You know, it’s a little mixed up now.

Questioner

Okay, I was almost expecting that in the Arcanum.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, we will do that eventually. There are just some secrets in there that I’m not sure I want to release, and there are other things I’m not sure I want to canonize because I’m still tweaking the dates a little bit.

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#35 Copy

Questioner

I'm 66 in a couple months and I want to make sure I live long enough to read the whole Stormlight--

Brandon Sanderson

Alright.

Questioner

Am I going to?

Brandon Sanderson

You'll definitely make it through the first five. The thing about it is I'll break in the middle, but the first five come to a natural climax, and then there's an in-world break of 15 years. Not 15 years away for us but an in-world break. And then I'll do another trilogy. I think you'll make it through them all. I think you'll easily make it, you look very hale and healthy.

Idaho Falls signing 2014 ()
#36 Copy

leftinspace

Can you tell me how long it was from the Shattering of Adonalsium to the prelude of The Way of Kings when the Heralds abandoned the Oathpact?

Brandon Sanderson

Current timeline, which I have NOT canonized, is around 6,000 years... I have not finished with my outline document yet.

leftinspace

'Cause I've looked at the current chronology and it's very, very spotty...

Brandon Sanderson

Yes it is... the real trick is... making sure that I fit in, for instance, White Sand and things with the proper amount... because I haven't released that book series yet, I have to make sure while we're doing the graphic novel, that it fits the chronology, which is why I can't quite canonize things yet.

leftinspace

That one takes place before Way of Kings doesn't it?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes

leftinspace

'Cause I know one of the worldhoppers from there shows up in Way of Kings...

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, White Sand is one of the very earliest.

Boskone 54 ()
#38 Copy

BeskarKomrk

What is the rough order of magnitude of years between Vo, the First Returned, and Warbreaker. Like thousands of years?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, I believe that it is. I’m going to have to look at my own documents, but you can get a tentative yes that it is a long time.

BeskarKomrk

Was there just nothing interesting happening in that thousands of years?

Brandon Sanderson

No, interesting stuff happens. Thousands? I’m not sure it’s thousands. Let me RAFO that, we’d need to look at the master copy of the timeline to answer questions like this. You’re giving me numbers and I’m like “It’s that number, no it’s that number.” So we’ll just go with the RAFO on this.

Footnote: Reading Hoid in Chapter 32 of Warbreaker it's likely been somewhere in the order of hundreds of years.
General Reddit 2015 ()
#39 Copy

HorseCannon

I didn't realize Horneaters had parshmen blood, didn't even realize that was possible. How closely are humans and parshmen related, do they have a common ancestor? Or is one an artificially created version of the other?

Brandon Sanderson

There was intermixing long ago. Horneaters and Herdazians are both a result. (Signs of this are the stone carapace on Herdazian fingernails and the Horneater extra jaw pieces--in the back of the mouth--for breaking shells.)

Humans and parshmen don't have a common ancestor. And as a side note, both of these strains of humanoids predate the ascension of Honor, Cultivation, and Odium.

ccstat

Are there Aimian-Human hybrids as well? (Either type of Aimian) If so, are the Thaylen people one of these?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

Blightsong

*via private message*

Some of us believe that you are saying that humans and listeners existed pre-Shattering while some of us believe that you are saying that Horneaters and Herdazians existed pre-Shattering (you have mentioned that humans had been on Roshar since before the Shattering recently). What were you trying to say here?

Brandon Sanderson

Humans (other than those on Yolen) existed pre-Shattering, as did parshmen.

Fantasy Faction Q&A ()
#40 Copy

Windrunner

When is Emperor's Soul set chronologically in relation to Elantris? Because if its around the same time Teod and Arelon might not have to stand alone against the Fjordell Empire.

My other question is also a timeline one. (There are a lot of those tonight haha) I heard you had to move The Way of Kings a little bit due to some plot constraints. So does Warbreaker still fall around the same time as The Alloy of Law or has that shifted as well?

Brandon Sanderson

Thanks for the kind words! Emperor's Soul is after Elantris, but not too long after. It is before Mistborn.

Second question is that I've moved things so that The Way of Kings is around the same time as The Alloy of Law, forced by some behind-the-scenes events. Warbreaker now happens before The Alloy of Law.

Worldbuilders AMA ()
#42 Copy

Xluxaeternax

Is the chronology through the whole cosmere fairly linear, or are there some Interstellar-relativity timey-wimey stuff at play?

Brandon Sanderson

Relativity is in play for sure, but I am not allowing time travel into the past in the cosmere. So while you might find places that move at slower/faster speeds, and while foreseeing future timelines is in play for sure, nobody will not be pulling serious time travel shenanigans.

Skyward Houston signing ()
#44 Copy

Questioner

Do you have a giant timeline somewhere written out all of it?

Brandon Sanderson

I do. Actually, it's in a wiki. I work digitally for most of my stuff. It's one that myself and my assistants use to try and keep everything straight. Actually, Karen, who this book is dedicated to is my-- Her main job is to do the timelines and keep me consistent for every book.

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#46 Copy

Questioner

And are there parts-- Are the cosmere novels chronological so far? So when you eventually go back to Warbreaker the effects of Vasher being on Roshar...

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, no, they are not all going to be chronological. Most of them have been chronological so far, but we are getting to the point where they're stopping to be because like Way of Kings was before Alloy but now we've gone back and done Words of Radiance which is a jump backward and then we are going to be jumping to the next Alloy which is a jump forward. I'm pretty sure that's how it goes.

General Twitter 2011 ()
#48 Copy

mistlepro

regarding “bumps” in TWoK, did the events referred to in the Part 2 bumps already occur in your other novels?

Brandon Sanderson

So far, the books have been chronological. Alloy of Law is a little out of order, happening before KINGS.

Boskone 54 ()
#49 Copy

Questioner

When Sazed moved the planet in the third Mistborn, I know it has it’s own solar system but did it affect the cosmere in any way?

Brandon Sanderson

Not in huge amounts. Technically yes, because you change gravity, but they are lightyears away, so they wouldn’t even notice. I mean, it changed Shadesmar a little bit too, so there were upheavals, but it was not drastic. If what you are looking for is the cause of the earthquake on Sel, then no. The earthquake was years before.

General Twitter 2011 ()
#50 Copy

mistlepro

my question was Aona/Skai Shards shattering the event we saw the aftermath of in Elantris? Or a further final apocalypse?

Brandon Sanderson

The events in Elantris happened many years before The Way of Kings. That’s all I’ve said for now.

mistlepro

But I thought the monks of Dakhor and the ChayShin(?) were all AonDor related? The energy familiars are related to Skai?

Brandon Sanderson

What the Dakhor did accessed the Dor, but it was not AonDor—they weren’t using Aons, but different symbols.