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Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
#1 Copy

Questioner

When Wax is talking to Harmony he mentions 'the radio' and other things. Are there already societies that have things like that and how is he getting that information. Is it like a Spiritual Realm..

Brandon Sanderson

He knows things from his Ascension. He gain an innate knowledge of the universe in interesting ways. In addition, Preservation had some minor innate progno... he could see the future a little bit, and so could Ruin in a little different way. Let's just say that there are a bunch of things mixing together that give Harmony some knowledge that most people wouldn't have.

Questioner

But will we see some of societies soon or is that further in the future?

Brandon Sanderson

*RAFOes* You'll find out.

White Sand vol.1 release party ()
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Questioner

Does Odium actually present a real threat to Harmony, because he-- *interrupted*

Brandon Sanderson

So Harmony is vastly more powerful than Odium.

Questioner

Yeah. 

Brandon Sanderson

Elend was vastly more powerful than Vin. Who would win in a fight?

Questioner

Vin.

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, there's your answer.

Orem signing ()
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Mason Wheeler

If Harmony could make it so that koloss can reproduce, why is it he did not do the same thing for the kandra?

Brandon Sanderson

*long pause* I'm not sure how to answer this without straying in directions I don't want to go. It was a conscious choice, I'll tell you that.

Oathbringer release party ()
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Mason Wheeler

Harmonium is ettmetal... Its chemicals properties are sort of analogous to cesium. It explodes in contact with water. People are made out of water. You try to spike someone, you try to swallow it, you try to wear it as jewelry, it will not end well. Why in the world would he pick something so inharmonious?

Brandon Sanderson

He didn't pick it. It's unstable because of the two halves of him not meshing well.

A Memory of Light Seattle Signing ()
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Mason Wheeler (paraphrased)

You've said that Splintering a Shard is essentially the same thing as the Shattering of Adonalsium, repeated on a smaller scale.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yeah.

Mason Wheeler (paraphrased)

And a while ago, someone asked you if Splintering was permanent or reversible, and you said that it can be reversed.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yeah.

Mason Wheeler (paraphrased)

And Shardholders [Vessels] tend to take the name of the Shard they hold. So you've got Sazed, who goes by "Harmony" now, after taking up Ruin and Preservation. That makes me wonder, does he hold two Shards... or one?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

You could really answer that either way. The distinction is a really subjective one, and you could say that he's holding both Shards, or that he holds one single Harmony.

General Reddit 2021 ()
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Mojonero

In Era 1 there was an imbalance between Ruin and Preservation because humans had a bit more Preservation than Ruin in them. After Harmony became a thing did this imbalance become [ir]relevant because both powers turned into one, or is it something Sazed had (or has) to deal with?

Brandon Sanderson

This is a RAFO for now--should come up in Era 3.

Oathbringer London signing ()
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ParadoxSpren

If someone did, like what Dalinar did at the end of [Oathbringer], go on Sel, and they Ascended to take up the Dor, would they be stronger or weaker than Sazed?

Brandon Sanderson

If someone were able to take up the entire Dor, would they be stronger or weaker than Sazed? I would say equivalent.

ParadoxSpren

Aren't they all Shattered? Aren't they all Splintered, both of them?

Brandon Sanderson

The thing about it is, taking up the power-- taking up the power would-- So, I'll leave it at this. I would say equivalent. Everything still considered.

Bonn Signing ()
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ElantrianHypochondriac (paraphrased)

In Mistborn Era 2 Marsh has a pouch with some atium leftovers. If he burns a bead occasionally (and hereby burns a part of Ruin's body) does this weaken the Ruin part of Harmony/Sazed somehow?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Technically yes, but it's too little atium to make any difference.

Bands of Mourning release party ()
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Questioner

Is Harmony only able to see and watch over Scadrial or will he be able to see the potential of other parts of the cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

We'll talk about that in an upcoming story. You'll get more clues about that very soon.

Questioner

Very soon?

Brandon Sanderson

Very soon.

Questioner

Like before the end of the night?

Brandon Sanderson

Poten-- Well not-- Potentially before the end of the night, yes.

The Alloy of Law Annotations ()
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Brandon Sanderson

Sazed speaks to Wax

So, if it matters to you, this is actually Sazed talking to Wax here. It's not just Wax's imaginings.

I'm not sure what readers are going to think of this. My goal with the original Mistborn trilogy was to set up a mythology for the world, one in which real characters were playing a part. Sazed is, essentially, God now. Maybe a lowercase g would be better on that word, but regardless, he's the one watching over the world and making sure things go as they should. At this point, he's working hard to discover what's going on with the other Shards and to keep another disaster from coming Scadrial's way.

I've spoken before on my fascination with religion, and this aspect is a particularly interesting one for me. I've played with the ideas of men being treated like gods in Elantris and Warbreaker—but they didn't really deserve it. Here, however, we have Sazed who is approaching more of what a god would be. Should he be prayed to? Why or why not?

You should know that holding two opposed Shards of Adonalsium has made Sazed more . . . zen, if you will. Not inactive. However, he has taken a belief that both Ruin and Preservation are important in people's lives, and doesn't feel that interfering is something he should often be doing. He sees his primary role being to encourage people to be better, to keep an eye on the other Shards, and to make sure the world keeps working as it should.

JordanCon 2021 ()
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Questioner

Is there a significance between Harmony and Discord being musical terms? And would they be considered different Investiture tones? 

Brandon Sanderson

Yes and no. So what's going on here is that... it is significant, I chose those two terms very specifically. Not gonna tell you a lot about Discord or things like that, but the idea is that idea of Harmony is in... the sounds are in harmony, they are working together. In Discord they are not. I wouldn't call them Investiture tones, more the way the two tones are responding to each other.

JordanCon 2016 ()
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Questioner

So we've seen three different cultures of people on Scadrial. Is Harmony involved… well, we can probably assume there's probably more cultures, but there are…

Brandon Sanderson

There are more, yes.

Questioner

Is Harmony involved in all of them, or is he-- Does he pretty much keep his attention on the main one.

Brandon Sanderson

Harmony considers himself the god of all of them.

General Reddit 2012 ()
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kilomtrs

So in the trilogy, we see that when someone has a Hemalurgic spike implanted in them, they can hear Ruin talking to them, both as a vision and in their head. However, we learn in the Hero of Ages that Ruin cannot hear a person's thoughts no matter how much under Ruin's influence they are.

In Alloy of Law, we see that Wax (and other Pathians) uses an earring to "pray" to Harmony, and we see that Harmony can hear his thoughts and respond.

So I guess this leads to three questions: How does Harmony hear the thoughts of Wax, when it's explicitly pointed put that Ruin cannot?

Are the earrings that the Pathians use Hemalurgically charged, as otherwise they would be of no use to Ruin, and therefore Harmony?

Or did Harmony completely change how that aspect of Hemalugy works?

Brandon Sanderson

How this all works dates back to the original design of the magic system.

I wanted Ruin and Preservation to be complementary opposites, like many things in the Mistborn world. Allomancy, for example, has Pushes and Pulls were are less "negate one another" opposites, but instead two sides to the same proverbial coin.

Ruin is invasive. The power is more "Yell" than "Listen." The philosopher would probably have some interesting things to say about the masculine symbolism of Hemalurgy and its spikes.

Ruin can insert thoughts. That power, however, can't HEAR the reactions. It's about invasion.

Preservation, however, is the opposite. Preservation listens, Preservation protects. (Perhaps to a fault--if there were no Ruin, there would be no change to the world, and life could not exist.) Because of this, Preservation can hear what is inside people's minds. It cannot, however, INSERT thoughts. (This is important to the plot of Hero of Ages.)

Harmony is both, the two complementary opposites combined. And so, he inserts thoughts with Ruin and still uses Hemalurgy. He can also listen.

Yes, Wax's earring is Invested. (Or, in other terms, it's a Hemalurgic spike.)

bettse

Doesn't that imply it was shoved through someone's heart at one point (ala Steel Inquisitor creation process)?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, the metal would have to have been part of a spike that at one point was used to kill someone and rip off a piece of their soul.

San Diego [email protected] 2020 ()
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Questioner

You've mentioned before that Odium is scared of Harmony. Is it only because of the raw power of the two Shards? Or is he scared of what Harmony represents? (Meaning the possibility of merging two Shards.) Was he aware that this was possible?

Brandon Sanderson

He, on one level, was aware. But it was more of awareness of this as a possibility. It actually happening is part of what has him scared. It's the idea of the two merging Shards both being more powerful and finding a harmony. (Which Sazed is actually having way more trouble doing than Odium realizes.) Those two things really have Odium scared. Because, partially, this means he has to find a way to destroy or split Harmony without taking up a second Shard himself, because Odium knows if he takes up a second Shard, terrible things will happen. And so he doesn't want to do that. (Terrible things as he views them.) And so he's gotta find a way to split this apart, or somehow otherwise defeat.

Now, the more he learns about Sazed's actual state, the less afraid he'll probably be. But that's an advantage that Sazed has right now.

Firefight Miami signing ()
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Questioner

How far does Sazed's power actually extend?

Brandon Sanderson

It is mostly limited to his immediate sphere of influence, so the planet.

Questioner

...But doesn't he move stars at the end?

Brandon Sanderson

No, he moved the planet. His solar system, he can definitely have influence on the whole solar system. But none of the other planets around Scadrial are inhabited.

Oathbringer San Diego signing ()
#37 Copy

classicalkhlennium

Could a Shard like Harmony create new elemental metals, like harmonium, or is that unconscious--

Brandon Sanderson

So, unconscious isn't the right word, but a manifestation of his will being the same as manifestation of the laws of physics in the world, if that makes sense. It's not like a choice, it's not, like, not a choice either, to create others, it is theoretically possible, but what has happened is more in line with the laws of his realm.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
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Argent

When Sazed picked up the Shards of Preservation and Ruin, did he actively choose to be known as Harmony (instead of, for example, Balance, or Equilibrium, or Stability), or is there some Cosmeric law that says Preservation + Ruin = Harmony?

Brandon Sanderson

He chose the name, but in part because it FELT right to him.

Argent

Is this similar to how a Shard's "personality" overwrites the Shardholder's over time?

Brandon Sanderson

Similar, yes.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
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darklordreddit

With puts and pieces of the respective pieces of harmony still laying about is Harmony actually skewed in one way or another if slightly and does Sazed's personality circumvent this in any way ?

Brandon Sanderson

Personality can always circumvent the powers--it just gets harder and harder to hold out as centuries pass.

YouTube Livestream 32 ()
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Michael Kernan

How would a dinner party between Kelsier, Hoid, and Harmony go down, and who else would be invited?

Brandon Sanderson

Alright, Kelsier, Hoid, and Harmony? Hoid and Kelsier squabble the entire time, and Harmony tries to get them to stop.

General Reddit 2016 ()
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xolsiion

I'm a big fan of Harmony.

zatanamag

Probably will never happen but I'd love to see him put the smackdown on Odium.

chx_

Paging [Brandon]... what do you think of this theory :) ? Is this your plan? Or are we asking about something which is decade(s) away?

Brandon Sanderson

I find theories like this very interesting, but yes, you're right. This is talking about things very far away. I've said, however, that Odium is wary of Harmony.

zotsandscrambles

It seems like Odium has been attacking shards that share a world for some reason (dom and dev hon and cult). Maybe his exploit against dual sharded worlds would work less well against a dual-wielding shardholder?

Brandon Sanderson

I won't say yes or no to that, but you can imagine that what happened on Scadrial is something he would have preferred never occur.

zotsandscrambles

I'm surprised it didn't occur to anyone to grab two shards to begin with? Pairing Odium with Devotion seems like a good idea.

Did this not occur for a specific reason, or just an oversight on the part of the folks involved?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO

Orem signing ()
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Questioner

Did Harmony give Ironeyes full Mistborn powers, or anything other than what he has with his spikes...

Brandon Sanderson

Just what he has with the spikes, I believe. No-- okay let's say this: Harmony did not do anything... That doesn't mean that Marsh hasn't done things himself.

Worldbuilders AMA ()
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Phantine

A friend of mine was thinking Harmony's two-power combination 'perk' was the ability to use them together to create instead of just to destroy or preserve.

Was that 'chemical reaction' rule in the plan from the beginning, or was having Harmony more a precedent to develop a rule from it?

Brandon Sanderson

It was pretty early. (The idea that the two together can create was mentioned very early in the series, long before Harmony came to be.)

JordanCon 2021 ()
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Questioner

It seems to me like the Shards each have a color associated with them. Honor I think is blue, Odium is gold... My first question would be, what colors would be associated with Preservation and Ruin?

Brandon Sanderson

So, I have always associated white and black with Preservation and Ruin.

Questioner

Would that have changed for Harmony?

Brandon Sanderson

It will have changed for Harmony. But I won't say what it is.