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FanX Spring 2019 ()
#1 Copy


What was your motivation behind-- for killing Elhokar and simultaneously ripping my heart out?

Brandon Sanderson

So, it was-- I never feel like I'm killing characters, I'm letting characters take risks and I'm letting other characters have agency to do the things they're doing in the books. That whole plot cycle was more-- less me killing someone off and more me letting Moash go down the dark path that he have been demanding that he go down.


Okay, but you realize half the fandom-- or the whole fandom practically wants him dead now.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, yes. Well, they should! He made a very, very bad decision, and he deserves everything that the fandom is throwing at him.

Skyward San Diego signing ()
#3 Copy


In terms of redemption arcs. In terms of Moash. Will he be able to redeem himself?

Brandon Sanderson

I won't say no, because I think you have to go really, really far in order to not be redeemed. But at the same time-- Let's just say if Dalinar got redeemed, Moash has gotta go further than Dalinar. At the same time, he is certainly not looking for that.


But neither did Dalinar?

Brandon Sanderson

But neither did Dalinar.

Skyward Seattle signing ()
#4 Copy


How do you feel about Moash as a character? In terms of how the fandom receives him?

Brandon Sanderson

I am not surprised by how the fandom receives him. I wish it weren't a Wheel of Time meme that became our meme, but that's how memes go, right? ...I will say, brace yourself.

General Reddit 2017 ()
#6 Copy


I just finished the audiobook this morning, and in the setting are rules about how to not provoke shades of the dead. The rules are in order of least to most severe:

  • Don't run
  • Don't kindle a flame
  • Don't draw blood

The post script talks about how these rules were based on shabbos as presented in the Torah. It was just interesting to see a non-Jewish author (In this case, Mormon) base something off of Judaism.

Brandon Sanderson

:) Thanks for the thread.

The Double Eye from the Stormlight books (inside front cover illustration of the magic in the hardcover of book one) has some roots in the Tree of Life also, and if you look at Alethi, you'll find some Hebrew poking through now and then.


I read all of your books as audio books because they are all so well narrated, especially the Wax and Wayne series.

I will have to keep a better ear out for the Alethi.

Brandon Sanderson

It can be easy to miss, as I play with it a little first, fitting it to Alethi. But Moash came from Moshe, for example.


Is that a hint of things to come? Is Moash like Moses or something? He is, isn't he?

Brandon Sanderson

Sorry. It doesn't mean anything other than "My editor is named Moshe, and I've always liked how the name sounds."


Speaking of which, there's a Lighteyes named Yonatan (a very Jewish name) that Wit insults in...I think it was Way of Kings. Is that based off of someone you know as well?

Brandon Sanderson

That is indeed. (Look again at what he's wearing.)

That's based off of my editor's nephew, who was included as a wedding gift.

General Reddit 2021 ()
#7 Copy


Is Moash intended to read as being interested in men?

Beyond some of the things he says, I relate a lot to his feeling of alienation even within his marginalized group, as a queer person of character.

Brandon Sanderson

I wasn't intentionally coding Moash as queer - but that doesn't mean I didn't do it on accident. I see him as straight, personally, but having gone so far down a dark path he basically feels nothing anymore.

Skyward Seattle signing ()
#8 Copy


What do you think of Moash?

Brandon Sanderson

...I am very curious what the fan reactions have been. I anticipated it. Moash exists to represent a different direction that a character with some of the same motivations as Kaladin could go.

Stormlight Three Update #7 ()
#9 Copy


You don't have to worry about him becoming unproductive, but I do worry a little about Stormlight taking more out of him and needing more and more "hamburger and fries" to recharge. I also am suddenly worried about the series growing beyond 10 books, especially with Peter Ahlstrom suggesting that story could be moved from 4 to 5, but story can't be moved from 5 to 6 without delaying the planned time jump.

GRRM started with ASOIAF planned as a trilogy, and even if he were fully healthy and productive, it's hard to see how he would wrap this up in the currently planned seven. Wheel of Time was pitched as a trilogy, and the publisher knew better, and Jordan was signed to six books, we wound up with 14. Stormlight Archive originated as a 10 book series, and now I'm slightly worried as to whether this is going to grow like many fantasy series do.

I don't think it would be by much, Sanderson appears to have a much more detailed plan than some of these other authors, but even growth from 10 books to 12 books would make a huge difference considering the interesting concepts I'd like to read that are bottlenecked behind the end of Stormlight.

Peter Ahlstrom

I think that if he ends up with too much content, more novellas like Edgedancer are much more likely than expanding the number of books.

Also, Brandon has already moved plot elements forward in the name of awesome. Moash's plot for book 2 was originally planned to be in book 3.

Stormlight Three Update #3 ()
#12 Copy


I'm pretty sure moash was named after moshe, right? >.>


Wow. I'd be pretty offended if the author I got published, after something like ten huge books, named one minor vengeful, traitorous character after me. Or else I would find it really amusing.

Brandon Sanderson

Moash was actually named before Moshe became my editor, as Alethi has some Hebrew roots, making some of the names similar to Hebrew names. He considers it a fun homage that I left it, after he became my editor. (Even considering what Moash does in WoR.)


Alethi has Hebrew roots? Man, I'm Israeli and I didn't notice.

Brandon Sanderson

They're buried, but in there. The Kh that you see in a lot of Alethi (like Kholin) are a gutteral, kind of like Chet. That might help you find some. Do note that there are some other influences too, not the least of which being the Vorin idealism of symmetry. (Bonus fun fact, the Double Eye is inspired by the Sephirot, though that one's a little more obvious.)