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DragonCon 2016 ()
#2 Copy

Questioner

I have a question about progression of powers for the Knights Radiant. So we see with Kaladin that it seems that there's a definitive border to the Ideals and how you gain them, I guess? It would be hard to touch on the third without having learned the second. Would that-- Is that the same for all of the Orders? Like the Willshapers are much more varied and individualistic, could they go through a different order and if so would that affect how they express their Surgebinding?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, the Oaths are very individualized. In fact you'll get a lot more of this as you see different people, even within the same Order, swearing Oaths. And you'll see how it works, even with a given Order there is individuality to them. So I'm going to give you a RAFO, you can have a card.

Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
#3 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

From what we've seen so far, most of the Ideals of the Orders of the Knights Radiant have been in line with the Divine Attributes ascribed to them. Did the Divine Attributes come from the Ideals of the Knights Radiant? 

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

These two are heavily interconnected. And the Divine Attributes, like the Double Eye at the front, are more philosophy than they are strict, you know part of-- Rather than capital-T Truth revealed. And so a lot of social structures were built out of the things going on. So the answer is yes. Not 100% yes, but certainly those sorts of things are extrapolations that people were making, as opposed to core concepts of the magic. 

Oathbringer release party ()
#5 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Would you be able to write the... Second Ideal of the Truthwatchers?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

...It's a RAFO. There's a lot of stuff about the Truthwatchers in [Oathbringer], that's gonna make it complicated to do that, okay? ...Yeah, it's really complicated, and those are things I'm not gonna probably canonize for another couple of books, for reasons that will be very clear by the end of this book.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#6 Copy

AndrewHB

I wondered if I could follow up to that Machiavelli question. Would Elsecallers be a-- one of those other, uh-- one of those...

Brandon Sanderson

So, yeah. Elsecallers are fairly compatible. Like, Elsecallers feel like the journey is... the journey is the entire species, right? And that the journey is the destination. *inaudible*

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#7 Copy

AndrewHB (paraphrased)

Is Niccolò Machiavelli's political theory--the ends justify the means--incompatible with the Knights Radiant's First Oath?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

No. Although many of the Orders of Knights Radiant would find Machiavelli's theory, that the ends justify the means, incompatible with additional oaths and/or values of that Order, there are some Orders who could accept a Machiavellian. (Brandon said that the Skybreakers are where a Machiavellian could find a home.)

Oathbringer release party ()
#9 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

As far as the Oaths go, for Orders of the Knights Radiant that have Oaths that are, like, set, like Windrunners and Bondsmiths, do they have to be spoken in a specific order, or is it just as the--

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

They have to be spoken in a specific order. But the Oath can vary depending on the individual's own interpretation and feeling about it.

Oathbringer Glasgow signing ()
#11 Copy

Hoidonalsium [PENDING REVIEW]

In that one long rejection of Odium, how many Oaths did Dalinar swear before merging the Realms? And is "I am Unity" the fifth.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

No, that is not an Oath. He swore one ideal in that experience.

Hoidonalsium [PENDING REVIEW]

Okay. How many Oaths is he on?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

The number you think. So, he should have just finished three, right? Or maybe four. I'll have to go look. It's the number that you think it is. I'm not being sneaky on you. There's nothing sneaky there. He doesn't get armor, so I can't remember where he is... He should be at three. "Life before death." "I will unite instead of divide." "I will stand up each time I fall." Yeah, so he's done three.

When Worlds Collide 2014 ()
#14 Copy

Jeremy (paraphrased)

Is the order of the Ideals fixed? E.g. does Kaladin have to say the Windrunner Ideals in a specific order, or are they situation-specific?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes, the sequence is fixed. The oaths for each order are essentially a progression of understanding of the kind of person that each Order of Knights Radiant is trying to produce. The specific wording of each Ideal is not fixed, but the overall idea of each Ideal, and the order in which they are spoken, is.

Oathbringer London signing ()
#16 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

What do you base the codes on, from The Stormlight books? Do you have anything specific--

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I don't have anything specific. It's kind like a general-- lot's of different things, looking at bushido and knightly code and things like this and just kind of building my own out of it. The words "Life before death" were like one of the first things I thought of for the book and I'm like "I gotta use that. It's going in there." And eventually it grew out of that.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
#17 Copy

Questioner

When does a person become a Surgebinder? Cause Kaladin talks about when he was a child, talked about it being a familiar feeling, and Shallan obviously was younger. Or is it when they speak the Words?

Brandon Sanderson

The bond starts forming before the Words are spoken, but if the words are never spoken that bond will eventually evaporate and get broken. But the bond will start forming before. Just like an emotion attracts a spren, acting in the way that the spren you would eventually bond will start drawing them toward you and that will start to create that bond.

Orem signing ()
#19 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

I do have a question about the Fourth Ideal of the Windrunners--

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Mmhmm?

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Does it have something to do with either killing or allowing people to die in order to protect others?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

*RAFO card*

Bystander [PENDING REVIEW]

Aw, RAFO. *laughs*

JordanCon 2016 ()
#21 Copy

Questioner

The next tattoo I'm going to get will be the Oaths from the Windrunners, because they are a huge part of my life. And I was just wondering if you'd be able to give me one of them? There's two more, right?

Brandon Sanderson

There are more Oaths.

Questioner

Or if you could tell me which books they're going to come out in, so I can plan on--

Brandon Sanderson

So that's a huge spoiler, and they're recording me right now. So I can, maybe, if you promise you're not going to share this on the internet... So I can give you Oath #3. That'll be it for a while

Questioner

Okay, that's fine. I appreciate it...

Brandon Sanderson

That's the wording as I have it in my head right now. I might not use the exact words, but that's okay because the Oaths are concepts and each person who speaks them will speak them slightly differently. Like you will see in future books people speaking Oaths you have seen before, they'll be slightly reworded to match their personality. But that's the concept. You might be able to see that it's a very important thing.

OdysseyCon 2016 ()
#23 Copy

Blightsong

Were the ideals of the Knights Radiant consciously chosen, or did they happen naturally?

Brandon Sanderson

*apprehension*. This is one of those vague ones in that yes and no. They are a natural outgrowth of the spren, but the spren are a natural outgrowth of human's perception of natural forces, but the spren are sentient, so I would say it's a little more by instinct than not. For example two Knights Radiant in the same Order might speak the words differently, but the concept is the same. You will see this happen in a future book, where a Windrunner will speak the oaths. It's a slightly different take on the same concept. Some are moreso, like Shallan's oaths are very individualized truths, so.