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YouTube Spoiler Stream 4 ()
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In the Stormlight Archive, Cryptics are often humming to tunes that denote their emotional state. A Rhythm of Curiosity is cited, and Pattern often hums when he is curious. The same goes for a Rhythm of Confusion. Are Cryptics humming to the Rhythms like the singers? If not, what are they humming?

Brandon Sanderson

They are humming to something very akin to the singer Rhythms. I would call them the same, with an asterisk.

General Reddit 2013 ()
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And on an unrelated question, they have symbols on their heads. If Shallan managed to draw one of these would it be some glyph? Perhaps some glyph that we would recognize, like the glyphs in the artwork at the front?

Brandon Sanderson

As for the symbols making up the heads of the cryptics, those are not glyphs. But it's possible you would recognize them...

YouTube Spoiler Stream 4 ()
#4 Copy


Why do Cryptics have such a bad rap among other spren? The contrast between what spren think about Cryptics compared to how they come off to the reader is hilarious. They're these utterly guileless beings who never try to fight anyone or conquer anything in Shadesmar, and who literally can't lie without audibly buzzing. And yet other spren talk about them as if they're Machiavellian geniuses bent on dominating everyone else.

Brandon Sanderson

I love that you picked up on this. There's a couple things going on here. One is, the Cryptics are just kind of their own weird little club. I mean, all of the various different spren are, to an extent, but the Cryptics are one of those that are extra. You know, that word, extra. They're extra. I had to cut a scene that was very fun, that would explain some of this, but you get a bit of it. I reused some of the same concepts in Rhythm of War, when Shallan around a lot of them. They can get to be a bit much, and because they will start talking in numbers and in mathematical formulas, they often seem like they're planning something, when in reality they're just not quite getting what's going on in the same way. And it's kind of this, when you meet somebody that you don't quite get, sometimes you assume things about them. That said, there have been some very smart, very dangerous Cryptics in the past, and spren have long memories. So the reputation isn't entirely unearned, but it is perhaps too liberally applied as a stereotype to an entire race-- that never happens-- when a small percentage of them might have earned this reputation individually.