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Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#1 Copy

UppityDarkeyes

Would you be willing to confirm that the use of 'they' pronouns for the Sibling is because the Sibling is non-binary? Since apparently some people are confused on this point.

Brandon Sanderson

The sibling did not view themselves as male or female. (And considered it odd that so many spren would adopt human genders.)

General Reddit 2021 ()
#2 Copy

LewsTherinTelescope

It's a plot point in Hero of Ages that gender-neutral pronouns were used for the aforementioned Hero because they were neither male nor female:

The prophecies always used the gender-neutral, he thought. So that they could refer to either a man or a woman, we assumed. Or . . . perhaps because they referred to a Hero who wasn’t really either one?

However, even this paragraph uses the male pronoun "he".

In Shadows of Self, it's again brought up (by MeLaan, this time) that Sazed is not quite either gender:

“Not really. Wow, you blush easily, don’t you? I’d have thought you’d find this natural, considering that your God is basically a hermaphrodite at this point. Both good and evil, Ruin and Preservation, light and dark, male and female. Et cetera et cetera.”

But the books continue to use the male pronouns (though normally they use Capitalized Male Pronouns or just the name "Harmony").

So my questions would be:

  1. What pronouns should be used for Sazed/what gender does Sazed identify as: he/him? they/them? Or does Sazed not particularly care and he, she, they, etc all work just fine?
  2. If Sazed's pronouns would indeed more accurately be they/them, might we see characters in Era 3 starting to use They/Them in place of He/Him, as Basin society grows more aware of this topic?

Brandon Sanderson

Sazed always saw himself as a "He." So a lot of the records refer to him that way. He'd accept they, though, and might even see himself a little more this way now. What you suggest here is something I've considered--with him having two Shards, they is a good pronoun for other reasons too.