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Calamity release party ()
#2 Copy

Zas678

How long either before modern day or before the Hierocracy was the Recreance?

Brandon Sanderson

Um...

Zas678

Like 200 years-ish? 100 years-ish?

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, Recreance to Hierocracy is what you're asking? 

Zas678

Yes. Or to modern day, I don't care.

Brandon Sanderson

Uh, so Recreance to Hierocracy... Hierocracy is in recent memory. Recreance is not.

Zas678

Okay. So that's probably like a 500-year difference. Something like that.

Brandon Sanderson

Uh, yeah, or more. Hierocracy, though, is recent-ish memory.

Starsight Release Party ()
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Questioner

I have a bit of a problem with the first Desolation timeline. I'm wondering how old were the Heralds when they became Heralds.

Brandon Sanderson

The age that you would see them as when you met them. They basically are the age they look. When they became Heralds, they are the age that they appeared.

Questioner

So they were like in their younger middle age?

Brandon Sanderson

Some of them. I mean Ishar is older.

Questioner

So that means that the entire timeline of the first Desolation happened within a single lifetime?

Brandon Sanderson

A lot of the ancient chronologies are wrong and you won't get the actual answers until the Heralds themselves explain it in their flashback sequences in the back five. 

Questioner

You've said that the Heralds came over from Ashyn. 

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Okay. How old were they then?

Brandon Sanderson

Younger than they were when they became Heralds.

/r/Fantasy_Bookclub Alloy of Law Q&A ()
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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.

White Sand vol.1 release party ()
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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.

Idaho Falls Signing ()
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Shawn M. Halversen (paraphrased)

I asked him about the time between each of the original 99 desolations.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

It turns out that the number 99 in the stories was made up, and that there were much fewer of them. He also then stated that the cosmere runs along a 10,000 year gap and that Roshar falls right into the middle of the timeline. He ended with "That should give you a perspective of the timeline and events of the desolations".

Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
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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.

Stormlight Three Update #4 ()
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BeskarKomrk

When you say Scadrial has an earth similar year, are you referring to the time it takes the planet to go around the sun? Or the year as people on the planet would measure it (e.g. Vin is fifteen years old when her brother leaves her)? Are these the same thing?

While I'm here, a selection of related questions for you if you have the time:

  1. Did the length of a year (as measured by the people on the planet) change when Scadrial was moved by The Lord Ruler/Harmony?
  2. I've assumed that lengths of time given in the books use that world's time lengths. For example, the Reod happens ten Selish years before Elantris (which may not correspond exactly to Scadrian years or Earth years), or that the 4500 years between the prelude and the prologue of Way of Kings is in Rosharan years. Is this an accurate assumption?
  3. I've assumed in the past that all the major shardworld planets we've seen have roughly earth similar years. Can you confirm/deny this for any of them specifically? I'm especially interested in Sel and Nalthis. (Specific numbers would be ideal, but even a yes/no for any of the planets would be super super awesome!)

Brandon Sanderson

  1. I mentioned in another post that I'll wait a bit to give you exact numbers, because I want to make sure Peter has run all the right calculations. But yes, changing the orbit had an effect on things--though official calendars didn't need to change, as they'd been used since before the original shift happened anyway. When we talk about 'Years' in the Final Empire, it's original (pre LR) orbit anyway. I knew I was going to go back to them later in the series, and when characters were actually aware of things like the calendar, it would be close to earth standard.

  2. Though, since you mention it, all numbers mentioned in their respective series are in-world numbers. This makes things tricky, as Rosharan years (with the five hundred days) are blatant enough to start the average reader wondering about these things.

  3. Mostly, Roshar is the big one (not in actual deviation--I think a Roshar year is only 1.1 Earth years--but in how the scope and terminology of the novel will make people start to notice and ask questions.) Other planets have deviations from Earth, but it's not as noticeable. We'll give specific numbers eventually. I promise.

Dragonmount Zoom Call ()
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Zachary

In reference to the events in Rhythm of War, what is the timeframe for Mistborn Era Three? Is it before? Or after?

Brandon Sanderson

After. Era Three is after. Era Three is gonna take place around fifty to seventy years after Era Two. And Era Two is happening in the ten years between Books Five and Six of Stormlight. Era Three will be happening in a post-all-ten-books-of-Stormlight world.

So I have to jump forward in time seventy years on Scadrial, and then jump backward in time and finish Roshar, and then jump back forward in time. I think it’s all gonna work in the jigsaw puzzle of my brain of how all of this is going. But Karen will tell me if it doesn’t work, and we will adjust appropriately. She keeps the timeline and keeps me honest.

General Reddit 2015 ()
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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.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
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Jericho5589

In regards to the time period each series takes place in. What time period is it during Mistborn whilst the other series are going on?(More specifically. Is it Wex during Stormlight? Or still Vin?)

Brandon Sanderson

Stormlight is closer to Wax than Vin, but takes place between the two.

Skyward release party ()
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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.

Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
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Questioner

So Stormlight and Breath are both just different manifestations of Investiture.

Brandon Sanderson

That's correct.

Questioner

So Nightblood and Shardblades are both kind of powered by Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, in fact you can call Nightblood kind of a mismade, evil Shardblade... more mismade than evil but yes.

Questioner

But a Shardblade wouldn't shear through Nightblood.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes a Shardblade would not shear through Nightblood. In fact I wrote Way of Kings first and then I wrote Warbreaker and Way of Kings came out after Warbreaker but in my mind Warbreaker is a prequel to Way of Kings, where I was telling Vasher's backstory.

Questioner

Oh really, so the Warbreaker we know takes place after Way of Kings?

Brandon Sanderson

No, it takes place before, it's a prequel meaning I wrote Way of Kings and then I went back in time and told Vasher's backstory but Warbreaker ended up coming out first because Way of Kings wasn't ready yet.

JordanCon 2016 ()
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Questioner

Are we ever going to get an official Cosmere timeline?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, we will eventually. We're really close to being able to release it, I'm not sure when we will. Um, the real trick is-- Like now that we're locking down White Sand, that's kind of like the last wild card because the novel version wasn't canon. So it's like where do we make sure this is, and stuff like that. So yeah we should be, once White Sand is out I think, everything we can lock down. The trick is, like if I release it there are certain-- like where is Sixth of the Dusk exactly? It's not something I want because that's got spoilers.

Questioner

..It is actually canon that Era Two [of Mistborn]takes place between the first half and the second half of [The Stormlight Archive]?

Brandon Sanderson

Well I haven't written the second half of Stormlight so that--

Questioner

But does it take place after the first half?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes it takes place sometime after the first half, but it depends on how long I break and things like that, whether they overlap, maybe it takes place after 7, maybe it takes place after 5, maybe it takes place after-- Like we'll see when I get there how many years, because the timing on those is a little more tight.

Questioner

So they're more interweaved with those, those are closer to the same time period.

Brandon Sanderson

They are much closer to the same time period than other things, which is why I have to be dodgy on those ones, mostly just because they are on a similar timeline.

Calamity release party ()
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Zas678

Did Vasher visit Roshar before the Recreance? Because he had-- *Brandon mumbles question* Because he had to see Shardblades, and... presumably live ones.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah... I'll RAFO that. I'll RAFO that. It is an assumption that he had... He doesn't necessarily have to have seen alive ones. He could have heard records of them.

Zas678

Okay. Because I've tried to make out a timeline, to be like, "Okay, if this is here..."

Brandon Sanderson

Kara has a timeline-- Not Kara-- Karen has a timeline in hand. But I would have to look at it to give you exact dates, but yeah.

Zas678

Okay. So you didn't have to see...

Brandon Sanderson

He did not have to see.

Ancient 17S Q&A ()
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Chaos (paraphrased)

Could you tell us a chronology of the Shardworlds thus far? Like, did Warbreaker happen after Mistborn or before, things like that. Personally, I was under the impression you said Mistborn was a sequel to Elantris, but Mi'ch and Josh disagree.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

He wasn't positive on where Warbreaker went, but Elantris is first and MB is after it.

Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
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Questioner

How does time work in the Cosmere? Or a better question to ask: are any of the books happening at the same time in the Cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm gonna have to look at the timeline. Most of them do not happen concurrently. Mostly they have been at distinct points. But the closer we get to modern and future era Mistborn world, the more overlap there is between them, just kind of by necessity 'cause they eventually start ramming together. So, the further we get in the Cosmere, the more likely things are overlapping.

So, I don't know that we've had anything actually overlap yet, in fact I'm pretty sure that we haven't, unless you count some of the short fiction might overlap. But even then, I don't think anything big overlaps, but it will start happening soon.

Orem signing ()
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Zas

Elantris. Where does it fit in the timeline in reference to Hero of Ages? Since that's what most other things are referenced to.

Brandon Sanderson

Right. Elantris is far earlier.

Zas

Like thousands? Or like hundreds?

Brandon Sanderson

It's quite... It's not thousands.

General Twitter 2011 ()
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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 ()
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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.

Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
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Questioner

Was Elantris built before or after the prologue of Way of Kings

Brandon Sanderson

*Pauses* Go to my notes and find out. I would have to actually specifically look that one up. My instinct says.....oh boy.

Questioner

Yeah, because they're both really old.

Brandon Sanderson

They're really old. They're both really old. I want to say that the prologue is older, but I don't know for sure, because I know things on Roshar are older. But, the prologue happens late in things on Roshar, so it's still old. So I'm gonna go with, I think this but I'd have to actually get the outline and look at the timeline. 

Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
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Questioner

How do the timelines line up? So they're all in the same universe. But how does Stormlight and--

Brandon Sanderson

They are mostly been chronological, yet Alloy-era is after Stormlight book 5.

Questioner

Okay.

Brandon Sanderson

Otherwise, mostly chronological. White Sand is before most of this happens. So if you ever read that one, it’s a pretty early book.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
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mbue

Do people on Threnody get really old or something? I can't work out the timeline of the events leading up to Shadows for Silence. She says her grandparents were among the first to reach the Forests of Hell, but also that the waystop has been safe for over a hundred years. Given Silence's age, her grandparents couldn't really have founded the waystop over a hundred years ago if life expectancy on Threnody is similar to other planets.

Brandon Sanderson

I'd have to look at the timeline myself. That might just be me not looking at continuity closely. I wasn't trying to imply people living very long.

Oathbringer Newcastle signing ()
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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.

ICon 2019 ()
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Questioner

I want to ask how were the Realms created and does their creation have anything to do with Adonalsium and the Shattering?

Brandon Sanderson

So, good question. The Realms predate the Shattering of Adonalsium and are part of the fundamental physics of the cosmere. So they would have been created at the equivalent of the cosmere Big Bang when time was created and things like that.

General Reddit 2020 ()
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LewsTherinTelescope

How long after Warbreaker does Way of Kings take place? I know you usually don't finalize timeline details until they actually are stated in-book, but are you willing to say how far apart the books are, in the current plans?

Brandon Sanderson

I have Warbreaker happening a few generations before, right now.  However, I'm very likely to move Elantris up in time, so it's a little in the air at the moment.

LewsTherinTelescope

Thanks! I assume asking why Elantris being moved affects how far apart Warbreaker and Way of Kings are is a behind-the-scenes thing and/or RAFO?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, it does.  The big linchpin is going to be when I need Sel and Scadrial to align when big crossovers start happening.  We'll know in a few years; there are things I intend to write that I could imagine needing to change, after they're finished, that will influence the timeline structure.

Tor Instagram Livestream ()
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Questioner

How long after Warbreaker do these events take place?

Brandon Sanderson

We have numbers in the wiki. We haven't canonized a lot of them in the books yet. Because my original plan for the cosmere involved more space between the series than I'm probably going to eventually do. What I've said is, that basically the books that have been released have all been chronological except for White Sand, which takes place before the other books chronologically. Wax and Wayne takes place after Stormlight Five, but before Stormlight Six. And that's all I'm saying about how far apart things are right now.

One thing you have to remember is, also, time dilation is a thing in the cosmere that comes up a lot more often than it does in our world, for various reasons, because of the way I am treating Investiture. So treat that how you will.

Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
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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.