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YouTube Livestream 32 ()
#1 Copy

Avery Hinks

Is there a canonical reason why Vasher and Vivenna changed their names to Zahel and Azure on Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, it kind of comes into the fact that Vasher has gone through a bunch of name changes and there are a couple of answers to this. One is, in the Cosmere, like in a lot of like fantasy worlds, names and identity are just a pretty big deal, part of how the magic works is how you view yourself, and I like, in that instance, indicating that time has passed and the character has adopted a new name and things like this, it's just that's a thing.

You've also probably noticed that behind the scenes in the Cosmere there are lots of different groups vying for control and power and things like this, and so going under a pseudonym's actually a pretty good idea. I guess an alias, they're not writing books, it's not pseudonyms, you know what I mean, going under an alias's generally a pretty good idea for just if you don't want attention from the wrong people.

That said, I do have to balance this because, for instance, in Azure's case, you know, I picked something that Vivenna had, you know, blue had been associated with her in the previous book, so it's not a completely, that's partially for the reader's benefit, so it's easier for you to track who is who, just a little bit, and just a little bit easier to figure out who is who.

But if run into someone like Felt, right? Felt doesn't care. He's not hiding from anybody. Felt is, you know, he's more like "I moved from Nebraska to Texas," right? "And now I'm living in Texas." That's more how he views it a little bit. He's not a secret agent (ooh, big spoilers). Felt just, you know, he moved, so he goes by the same name. And that's, you'll see some of that as well. If someone's going by an alias, I'm doing it to indicate one of those two things, usually.

Orem signing ()
#2 Copy

Questioner

You know Felt?

Brandon Sanderson

Felt, I know Felt.

Questioner

Is Felt originally Scadrian?

Brandon Sanderson

Yep... You guys know about that, right? I don't think that's a big secret. But, he is, and that should be raising other questions.

Questioner

About his name? Or how he's showing up on Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

About that and the fact that-- He should stand out more.

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

Questioner

So, I heard you talk about cameos, are there any other cameos besides Hoid and Nightblood in the books?

Brandon Sanderson

So, Galladon from Elantris, Baon from White Sand, and Captain Demoux all show up in Way of Kings. They're the Purelake scene. Let's see... the character of Felt is a worldhopper, you see him in a couple of books. Watch out for him. Khriss is in a couple of the books, she's the one who writes the Ars Arcanums. Nazh is in a couple of the books, Khriss's assistant. Vasher is in the book. They're all over the place.

The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
#4 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Felt

Oh, and Felt gets a mention here. I don't know if you remember him from book one, but he was the spy who Elend sent to tail Vin one night and figure out who she truly was. He was loyal to house Venture, and Elend inherited Felt from his father when Straff fled Luthadel and left behind most of his servants and men.

A third son of a very minor nobleman, Felt is used to working for a living—something that does happen to a lot of nobility in this world, even if the ones you see most of the time are either too busy ruling, stealing, or going to war to bother with things like that.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#5 Copy

Questioner

Is the Felt question the one that you got away with?

Brandon Sanderson

No, that really is-- Felt really is Felt. He's been around, let's just say.

Questioner

Are there more places I should look for him?

Brandon Sanderson

Eeehhhh, there are more places you could look for him, whether you find him or not is a matter of…

Questioner

I'm going to guess that he's going by a different name in other places.

Brandon Sanderson

Things that he s-- There are things that he said in Mistborn which are relevant in minor ways... These are not huge big things, when you read them you'll be like "Oh, interesting".

Footnote: The questioner is referring to these exchanges from the RAFOlypmics event the previous day.
JordanCon 2016 ()
#6 Copy

Questioner

So I noticed in Mistborn Era 1, there-- the head guard of the Venture House was a man named Felt.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Well… yeah.

Questioner

He was in the guards.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

Questioner

There's also a character in Words of Radiance--

Brandon Sanderson

Yes!

Questioner

--a scout called Felt. Is that the same person?

Brandon Sanderson

It is the same person. *audience murmurs/laughs*

Moderator

You didn't repeat that one.

Brandon Sanderson

Is the Felt from Mistborn the same as the Felt from Stormlight. Yes it is.

That's one of the two things I can remember surprising Peter. Which was, when he's like, "This name is kind of interesting. It's kind of different. You sure you want to use this? Shouldn't he have more of a Vorin name?" I'm like, "Go read back in Mistborn." He's like "OH!" *laughter* I'm always happy when I surprise Peter, because-- The other big one that surprised Peter was when I put Vasher into Stormlight, right? He's like, "Huh... Vasher-- Vasher is in Stormlight?" And I'm like, "Go read Way of Kings Prime." Which he had read, which is the Way of Kings I wrote in 2002, where lo and behold Kaladin's swordmaster is Vasher, named Vasher at that point. He hadn't realized that I had written Warbreaker after as a exploration of this character who'd already been in The Stormlight Archive. Those are the two things I can remember Peter not catching about the cosmere. He gets most everything but those two surprised him.

Skyward Seattle signing ()
#7 Copy

Hoiditthroughthegrapevine

Can modern-day Felt get his hands on atium?

Brandon Sanderson

He would know how to try going about it, he would not be able to get ahold of it right now. It would be outside-- It's not something he can just pop off. He would have some ideas on how to try to go about it. I doubt he could pull it off.

Skyward Seattle signing ()
#8 Copy

Hoiditthroughthegrapevine

*written* Is Felt and agent of Harmony? If not, is he a member of a secret society that we have seen?

Brandon Sanderson

*written* Felt is different in his allegiance depending on the part of his life.

*spoken* Felt's allegiance has changed at various times during-- yeah, we'll just say that. His allegiance has changed over the years. There are times he's been a rogue agent.

Skyward Seattle signing ()
#9 Copy

Khyrindor

Was Felt cosmere-aware during Era 1?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Khyrindor

Was he directly involved in the interplanetary trade through the Pits?

Brandon Sanderson

He was involved. Whether directly is the right term or not I will not say.

Khyrindor

And is he part of the Seventeenth Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

He has been a member of various different groups and had various different motivations over the years. I would not put him, right now, as a member of the Seventeenth Shard.

Khyrindor

As in, like, Stormlight Archive--

Brandon Sanderson

As of Stormlight Archive Era: Not a member of the Seventeenth Shard. Obviously--well, I won't go any further on that.

Skyward Denver signing ()
#10 Copy

Questioner

Felt. Was he involved with Scadrial's atium pit mercantile system?

Brandon Sanderson

Let's say, he was aware.

Questioner

How old is he? Was he born around first Era, or so?

Brandon Sanderson

Felt is a little older than that. Not a lot.

Starsight Release Party ()
#11 Copy

Questioner

Felt told Dalinar that the Nightwatcher doesn't like to talk to foreigners. If he had the opportunity to talk to the Nightwatcher, what would he ask for?

Brandon Sanderson

*Excited* I would have to think about it so I'm going to give you a RAFO. I'd have to consider actually what he really, really wants.