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Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#2 Copy

LoneWarmonger

If you take Bondsmith Honorblade, will you be able repeat Dalinar's Perpendicularity trick, or it is something special only Dalinar can do for a different reason?

When Dalinar repairs temple does he use Bondsmith power or...something else? If first, which Surge does he use?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO!

LoneWarmonger

I expected to get RAFO...But is Oathbringer a Bondsmith book or Skybreaker book? I know it was supposed to be Szeth/Skybreaker, but changed to Dalinar/Bondsmith. And still we learnt more about Skybreakers than Dalinar and his strange abilities. Will book 5 have more of Dalinar?

Brandon Sanderson

Books 5 will have a lot of Dalinar. Once it is out, you'll be able to see why it could have been a Bondsmith book--but I think it's better this way, with Book 3 being the Bondsmith book.

LoneWarmonger

Thank you, Mr Sanderson, I'm pleased with the choice, but I guess, I just wanted to learn more about Dalinar's powers in his book, he's my favorite character. Even after HIS book, his abilities are a mystery. But I'm exited to hear I'll get more in the future. Please, don't keep Dalinar on the background, he's the best.

Brandon Sanderson

Note that book four may see less of him, as he steps back a little (like each of the characters will for a book or two here and there) but book five has him as a focus again.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#4 Copy

uchoo786

I was wondering, if one were to take an honorblade to Nalthis (I think that's the Warbreaker planet?), would it function like a minor version of Nighblood?

And could one fuel one of these shards with other forms of investiture, not gas based like breath and stormlight, e.g. Burning metals?

Brandon Sanderson

Shardblades will not lose or change functionality when taken off of Roshar.

Words of Radiance Dayton signing ()
#5 Copy

luke.spence (paraphrased)

You mentioned that human can’t bond Honorblades, but Nalan tells Szeth that his bond with his Honorblade has been broken. Can you clear this up?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Humans CAN bond Honorblades. There's a crucial difference between Honorblades and Shardblades. When you drop an Honorblade, it does not disappear, even if it has been bonded. A Shardblade will disappear when dropped.

Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
#6 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

What's this sword's *points at replica of Jezrien's Honorblade* name? Do you have-- have you named Szeth's blade?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Various people have named the swords various things. I just-- I'm not going to canonize it right now, but it's had many names over the years...

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Can you give me one of them?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

...I mean-- just "the Assassin's Blade."

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#10 Copy

FirstSelector

When Kalak sees the ring of Honorblades in the Prelude, he describes them as "flowing in design, inscribed with glyphs and patterns." However, in the main text we encounter two (presumed) blades - Jezrien's and Talenel's, neither of which were included in Kalak's original accounting. The first is explicitly depicted as being devoid of ornamentation, and the second is ambiguous. Were all ten original Honorblades ornamented and inscribed, and if so, what causes the change?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO

Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
#11 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

So Honorblades: Can they actually be bound? ...Can you bind to an Honorblade or not?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeees you can, but it's not exactly the same thing.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

It's not exactly the same thing as a regular Shardblade?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah... In some ways they're more powerful in some ways they're a prototype, if that makes sense.

Stormlight Three Update #3 ()
#13 Copy

ascensionprops

My other question is related to the Honorblades (and is most likely a RAFO for sure). Talenel's blade at the end of Way of Kings is described spike-like. We've seen that the magic systems are similar (especially with investiture) across the different cosmere worlds, even though they have different things that make the magic happen (Stormlight vs Breath etc). With this similarity, do the Honorblades imbue similar effects? I mean, the blade is not of Ruin (or is it? lol), but as a spike, does it imbue similar powers to Hemalurgy - without the obvious need to be stabbed with it heh?

Brandon Sanderson

The reference is intentional, as a call-back, but it is not the same mechanic. Remember, Szeth's blade is an Honorblade, and doesn't look like a spike. There is some similarity here, but it's minor.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#14 Copy

mooglefrooglian

1) How simple is it to bond an Honorblade? Is it just a matter of willing it? Shardblades need gemstones, but it seems like Honorblades might not even need those.

2) Do you need to be bonded to an Honorblade to Surgebind? Or is just holding it in your hand sufficient?

3) Do you need to be bonded to an Honorblade for it to change your eye color? Or would holding it in your hand be sufficient to do the eye color trick?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

Salt Lake City signing ()
#16 Copy

Questioner

So Truthless are kind of pretty rare, right, in the Shin society?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

So how did they come by the [Honorblades] that Szeth's got?

Brandon Sanderson

They, historically, kept all of them.

Auestioner

Oh, ok. I wondered if that was the case. Interesting. Does that have anything to do with why they think stone is sacred?

Brandon Sanderson

You will find out more about that as time progresses.

Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
#17 Copy

Moogle

If a non-Windrunner Surgebinder (who had spoken all the Ideals of their Radiant Order) summoned Jezrien's Honorblade, what color eyes would they get? A blend? Different colors for each eye?

Brandon Sanderson

:) I'm going to RAFO eye color questions for the moment. We'll actually be dealing with some of these in the books. Maybe not the specific ones you ask, but the concepts in general.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#18 Copy

keleks_breath

1) In their place of torture, are the Heralds able to communicate with each other or with other people/spren outside of that place? E.g. how is Ishar able to maintain his threat of severing the Nahel bond if he is being tortured for hundreds of years? 2)When the Heralds return to Roshar, do they appear like Schwarzenegger in Terminator (nude) or do they appear with the clothing they wore when they signed up for the Oathpact? 3)Are the Honorblades involved in the torture of the Heralds? Again, thank you for taking the time to interact with us fans and readers.

Brandon Sanderson

I have to RAFO questions along the lines of what you're asking. These are things that are relevant to books 6-10, which probably won't even be written for a decade. Talking about them too much now would be counter-productive, I feel. Sorry. :(

Words of Radiance Washington, DC signing ()
#23 Copy

Rybal

Can the Heralds Surgebind without their [Honor]Blades, and if not are they under the same restrictions the Radiants are?

Brandon Sanderson

[...] I will say that the Heralds without their Blades are incapable of the powers you are familiar with. It doesn't mean there aren't other things they can do, but they are incapable of the powers you are familiar with throughout the book.

FAQFriday 2017 ()
#25 Copy

Questioner

Why didn't Dalinar get the powers of a Stoneward when he bonded Taln's [Honorblade]?

Brandon Sanderson

Some readers have already figured this out, so I don't think I'm engaging in too large a spoiler to dig into this one here.

There are several oddities going on here. The most important one relevant to this question is the Blade in question. If you compare the descriptions of the sword described in the epilogue of The Way of Kings to the one that traveled with the madman (allegedly Taln, the Herald) to the Shattered Plains, you'll find they are different.

The one that the characters obtained in Words of Radiance is NOT an Honorblade. It's an ordinary Shardblade (as ordinary as one of those can be called.) I'm not going to say specifically what happened to the Blade Taln arrived with at Kholinar, but I will say that it IS a different weapon from the one in Words of Radiance.

The other issue here is the somewhat lesser question of whether this character is actually Taln, the Herald, or not. Some characters in-world don't believe that it is, though his viewpoint in Words of Radiance strongly implies otherwise. This isn't specifically relevant to the conversation for reasons I'll talk about below--but it is tangentially related. Because in the cosmere, Intent is important to many of the types of magic. It's theoretically possible to hold an Honorblade and not realize what its powers are, and therefore be unable to access them.

As an aside, this character was actually the primary protagonist of the version of The Way of Kings I wrote in 2002. A man who woke up, with lingering memories of madness, and claimed to be a Herald when nobody believed him--as he couldn't manifest any powers, seemed to have lost his sword, and lore said the Heralds weren't coming back anyway.

When I wrote the new version of The Way of Kings in 2009 or so, one goal was to focus the storyline. I'd included so many characters in the 2002 version that none of them progressed very far in their arcs, creating a strong setting and interesting characters--but a bad book. During the new version, I decided that this character would be moved to the later books, and I'd explore him there.

In the 2002 version, the text was very dodgy on whether or not Taln was a Herald. Confronting the fact that he might be crazy was a major arc and theme of the book--however, as I've worked on the new version, I've realized that it would be dangerous to be too vague on this. Stringing people along with the question for a book or two is one thing, waiting until book six or eight to do a character's arc, and leaving the question of whether they're a Herald or not all that time, seemed unfair.

So the text is going to be making manifest fairly quickly who this person is. You'll have confirmations long before we dig into his viewpoint in the later books.

So, a recap:

1) The swords WERE swapped somehow.

2) Someone could hold an Honorblade and not realize they had access to powers.

3) This character may or may not actually be a Herald--but the text is going to make the answer clear, and I'm not trying to trick you.

Skyward Chicago signing ()
#27 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

So, Shardblades are modeled after honorblades. Are honorblades modeled after something else?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

The honorblades were provided for the Heralds. The person doing the providing was aware of certain things. So, yes, but not really. I can answer a "yes," but it's more like a big asterisk.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
#34 Copy

Questioner

I'm guessing it's a RAFO, but why do Honorblades work the way they do?

Brandon Sanderson

Honorblades were crafted before Shardblades existed...

Questioner

So they were crafted.

Brandon Sanderson

They were crafted before Shardblades existed, and all Shardblades that exist came about as certain individuals trying to find out how to copy Honorblades.

Questioner

So would it be fair to say that Honorblades are analagous to fabrials in some sense? Trap spren in a crystal yada yada Stormlight power?

Brandon Sanderson

There is an analogy there, that I think would pass the SAT's rigor for analogies.

JordanCon 2014 ()
#35 Copy

Questioner

What was the reason for choosing the base form of Shardblades as blades, why not another form? Was it because of the spren?

Brandon Sanderson

Why was the base form of Shardblades chosen to as blades, as swords? It is because the Shardblades were devised... They were devised as imitations of the Honorblades, which were created and given to the Heralds. And so since the original pattern was the Honorblades, they were built to feel like the Honorblades.

Skyward San Diego signing ()
#38 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

You mentioned that the Heralds could sense each other's location...

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

In that version of the story, he actually gets his sword and it lets him sense and it leads him, not to the other Heralds, but the other Honorblades. He was mistaken even about that power because they have never separated from them before. And so, he thinks that he's going to find the other Heralds and he just finds their abandoned Blades.

It was very cool in the context of that book. But of course, where the other Honorblades are now is not necessarily a mystery anymore. It doesn't kinda work in the current continuity.

The Great American Read: Other Worlds with Brandon Sanderson ()
#41 Copy

Questioner 1 [PENDING REVIEW]

In the Stormlight Archives, do we ever find out how the Assassin in White, how he gets the sword?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes, that should be next book.

Questioner 2 [PENDING REVIEW]

And does it intertwine any more with Warbreaker?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Oh, that you're gonna have to wait a little while for. You're talking about Nightblood. I thought you were talking about the Honorblade. Next book will explain how he got the Honorblade. How he ends up with Nightblood, really how Nightblood got onto the planet, is gonna take a little while. I will work it in. But it's gonna take a while.

Questioner 2 [PENDING REVIEW]

Does that sword have a character arc?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

The sword is important and relevant to multiple series.

Questioner 2 [PENDING REVIEW]

It's getting better.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

He has learned some things in the intervening years. He learns real slowly.

General Reddit 2016 ()
#42 Copy

Ray745

You have stated that each Knights Radiant order gets their own unique ability, for lack of a better word, due to the combination of their surges. For instance, you have stated this ability for the Windrunners is strength of squires. My question - is this due to the Nahel bond, or just inherent in the surges combining. Would a non-Radiant get these abilities from the Honorblades, or would they be out of luck due to no Nahel bond?

Brandon Sanderson

Good question! The unique abilities have more to do with the powers interacting, same as how twinborn will often manifest some odd side effects of the powers interacting. But there are limitations. For example, Jezrien didn't actually have any squires, as none of the Heralds did.

Boskone 54 ()
#44 Copy

Steeldancer

The Heralds, back before Honor died, were they directly powered by Honor?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. You’ll find out more about that, but the Shardblades [pretty sure he means Honorblades here] were pieces of Honor’s soul that he gave them and direct access to his essence.

Steeldancer

Like Vin and Elend?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, a little like that. That’s why Honorblades don’t work like Shardblades do, like Radiants do.

Steeldancer

The second part of the question is, what would happen if they were directly powered by Honor and they were holding Nightblood?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO

Words of Radiance San Diego signing ()
#47 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

Can someone bond more than one Honorblade?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Honorblade?  You can't bond an Honorblade, though it can be given to you. Shardblades, however, come from a spren bond and it is possible to bond more than one.