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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.

The Ten Orders of Knights Radiant ()
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Brandon Sanderson

Lightweaver

I will speak my truth

Lightweaver oaths are an oddity, perhaps because their spren tend to be the oddest among all Radiant spren. Instead of speaking specific words, or even words along a certain theme, Lightweavers speak truths about themselves—things they must admit to themselves in order to progress as people. It is theorized that because Lightweavers live on the line between reality and fiction, it is important for them to be able to separate the real from the lie, and only with the proper ability to do so can they move forward.

Lightweavers are the Radiants most interested in the arts, including all kinds of visual arts and theater. They range widely in personality from the quiet and introspective painter to the outgoing and gregarious stage performer, with everything in between. What unites them tends to be a love of art, though there are some few who are more interested in intrigue, secrets, and espionage. They are the spies of the Knights Radiant and are often untrusted by others (such as the stoic Skybreakers) for their love of subterfuge. They have a reputation for having looser morals than other Orders, but the Lightweavers are quick to point out that their personal values are strong. They just don’t feel they need to match what other more hardline Orders tend to require. They can be vague with oaths, and many say there is far more Cultivation in them than Honor. (Others dispute this, saying that all Orders have an equal mix, despite some spren naming themselves “honorspren.”) Lightweavers tend to be free spirits, and many among their Order see the importance of entertainment, beauty, and art in a person’s life, and strive to make sure that the world doesn’t just live through the Desolations—because mere survival isn’t enough unless there is something to live for.