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#SayTheWords ()
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Dan Wells

Sixth Epoch, Year 31, Palahabach 5.7.3.

Lightweavers

And now it's time is the strangest Order, and I can say that with authority because studying this Order is what got me selected for this project in the first place. The Lightweavers are strange not just because they are artists, renowned the world over for their stubborn refusal to act like everybody else, but because they don't worry so much about the things that most concern the other Orders. They don't tie themselves to rules or rituals, or even oaths. I mean, they call them oaths, but really they're just truths. And they're not bogged down trying to find the great truths like the Truthwatchers do; they're just acknowledging truths about themselves, as individuals. The other Orders stand on ceremony or tradition, or arcane systems of laws and rights and organizations. Lightweavers just get the job done in whatever way's best, beholden to no one but themselves. And they use art to do it.

I think a lot about their oaths. Why speak truths about themselves? I have a theory. First of all, it's important to know who we are. That's true for everybody, but I think it's especially true for artists, because they live their lives in fiction. Lightweavers are the spies of the Radiant Orders, skilled in subterfuge and trickery. A Lightweaver spy might have to spend days, or even years, pretending to be someone they're not. What keeps them grounded to reality? Core truths about themselves. When you know who you are, you can see the world through others' eyes. This helps you to infiltrate an enemy organization, sure, but it also helps you to understand people, to empathize with their needs and fears and desires, and thus give vital context to actions and decisions that might seem ludicrous otherwise. When you can put yourself in someone else's shoes, and see the world as they see it, and still come back to yourself, you find a perspective that's impossible to get in any other way.

The Great American Read: Other Worlds with Brandon Sanderson ()
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Questioner

Kaladin kind of went back on his Oaths in the second book, right?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. He started down that path.

Questioner

How could Shallan or Lightweavers go back on the truths they make? And did Shallan do any of that in Oathbringer?

Brandon Sanderson

No, the Cryptics-- remember, how the spren is viewing this is very important. The Cryptics have an interesting relationship with truth. Harder to break your Oaths in that direction with a Cryptic. Harder to move forward, also, if you're not facing some of these things and interacting with them in the right way. But, while I can conceive a world that it could happen, it'd be really hard to for a Lightweaver to do some of the stuff. Particularly the ones close to Honor, you're gonna end up with more trouble along those lines, let's say.

Questioner

So then, what happened with the Lightweavers during the Recreance? Did they break their Oaths?

Brandon Sanderson

They did break their Oaths. I mean, breaking your Oaths as in "walking away from the first Oath" will still do it, regardless of what Order you are. You can actively say, "I am breaking my Oaths and walking away." Anyone has that option. But you also are holding the life of a spren in your hand.