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17th Shard Forum Q&A ()
#1 Copy


How intelligent is a mistwraith? Could you raise and train mistwraiths like dogs or horses, controlling what forms they take by the bones you give them? Would you be able to train yourself a horsewraith steed by giving it only the bones of a horse?

Brandon Sanderson

This is feasible. One thing to keep in mind is that mistwraiths are people who have a blockage between the Physical and the Cognitive Realm, messing with their ability to think. Think of them as mentally-stunted people. There's enough there to train, but then you have to dig into the ethics of it...

Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
#2 Copy


What's the difference between a spike prepared for a Koloss and a spike prepared for a Mistwraith or Kandra? What side effects might occur from... [?]... Koloss spikes?

Brandon Sanderson

It's the pieces of the soul that are being ripped off and the amount of the soul that's being ripped off. That's a big part of it. What side effects would there be? You would probably not get something as intelligent.


What's the difference in how you prepare those spikes?

Brandon Sanderson

The Koloss spikes, you've seen how they're done. The Kandra spikes were prepared by the Lord Ruler. He gave them to them, and so we don't know what he did, at least in canon.

Questioner 2

That means that we kind of screwed up the role playing.

Brandon Sanderson

You can totally do- I imagine all the role playing happening in a slightly different alternate universe, where there are slight variations and differences.

But yeah, there are no- Kandra spikes are prepared and given by the Lord Ruler, they didn't even know how to make them themselves. I mean they had an inkling of what went on, but they didn't know.

Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
#3 Copy


If a mistwraith eats a Koloss will it [?].

Brandon Sanderson

If a Mistwraith eats a Koloss, you're asking "will it become it", um, "will it gain sapience because it now has Feruchemical* spikes?" Any Feruchemical* spike is not necessarily enough to make the creature we call 'Kandra', but there may be very weird side effects to what you just described.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#4 Copy


TenSoon comments that when the unbirthed are given Blessings, they lose the mimickry instinct that mistwraiths have and have to be taught anew. If their only native senses are touch and taste, how exactly do you teach a blob of muscles how to form things like eyes and ears?

Brandon Sanderson

Basically, you feed it some partially digested eyes, then some more eyes, then eventually it starts making eyes on its own. It takes a while; Kandra 'children' grow more slowly than human ones.


I don't know if you've considered how mistwraiths would be taxonomically classified; have you decided whether or not mistwraiths would be considered 'mammals'?

Brandon Sanderson

They are not mammals. Since they were deliberately created, I'd place them in their own branch.

Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
#6 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Mistwraiths are a hold-over from Mistborn Prime. They did more in that book than they do in this novel, but I thought they were an interesting world element. In fact, in Mistborn Prime, the hero fights one. It was a kind of fun scene, as the Mistwraith tried to ingest him. However, I couldn't really see the things being dangerous enough to threaten a Mistborn, so I turned them into more scavengers in this novel.

The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
#7 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Eighty - Part Two

Sazed Sees Mistwraiths

I worry that I didn't get to show mistwraiths very much in this book. It's not that big of an issue—they're only a minor world feature, and are only tangentially important. Still, they're a part of the kandra past and culture, and I want readers to understand what they are and what they have to do with the kandra life cycle.

Remember, all of the kandra save for the First Generation were born first as mistwraiths. That race of creatures breeds true, and has only a fifty-year lifespan. They die off, but birth new members. Taking one of those new members and adding spikes to them, however, awakens them and brings them sentience. They're part human, just like the koloss who remember having once been human.

Worldbuilders AMA ()
#8 Copy


Dumb personal-obsession question - mistwraiths are people with "a blockage between the Physical and the Cognitive Realms" - does that mean if they set foot on Threnody they turn into actual undead-type-wraiths?

Brandon Sanderson

This is a very cool theory. I don't think I can shoot it down.