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BookCon 2018 ()
#7 Copy

WeiryWriter [PENDING REVIEW]

The Nightwatcher is described as having an amorphous, vague, humanoid form of dark green mist with a smooth, defined face. This is similar to how the mistpren are described (faces like porcelain masks and bodies of swirling fog). Did the Nightwatcher serve as the progenitor of the mistspren similar to how Honor, and later the Stormfather, were progenitors of honorspren like Syl.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

One more time.

WeiryWriter [PENDING REVIEW]

...Did the Nightwatcher serve as the progenitor of the mistspren similar to how Honor, and later the Stormfather, were the progenitors of the honorspren like Syl.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

...Are you talking about author inspirations or in-world sort of things?

WeiryWriter [PENDING REVIEW]

Either.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

No, not in-world. And out of world, it's the reverse. Mist spirits came before. I ended up doing--

WeiryWriter [PENDING REVIEW]

No, mistspren.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Oh, mistspren. So you're saying the ones in Shadesmar... You're using terms for things, because I haven't given you other terms.

WeiryWriter [PENDING REVIEW]

They are named mistpren in the books.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah. So ask me one more time.

WeiryWriter [PENDING REVIEW]

Did the Nightwatcher serve as the progenitor of the mistspren similar to how Honor and later the Stormfather were the progenitors of the honorspren like Syl.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Okay, I see what you're asking now. I was thinking mist spirit the whole time. We'll RAFO that. More because-- yeah we're just going to RAFO it.

Calamity Seattle signing ()
#9 Copy

Questioner

What would happen if you went to the Nightwatcher asked for your boon to have a boon and no curse?

Brandon Sanderson

You would…

Questioner

Probably end up with nothing?

Brandon Sanderson

It depends on the mood the Nightwatcher is in.  When you read Book 3 of Stormlight you’ll get to see a little bit of what the Nightwatcher is, and that will inform what you think about these things, okay?

Legion Release Party ()
#12 Copy

PrinceDusty [PENDING REVIEW]

At the Pixel Project event, you talked about a further extent of Cultivation's magic than just the boon and bane? Are there any people alive at the end of Oathbringer who are influenced by that magic?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes, Lift. Well, I guess that's a boon, isn't it? Yes, there are. But nobody on screen that has Cultivation magic, other than boons or curses from the Nightwatcher. Yes, there is such a thing, no, there's no one else on screen. But what Lift does is a hint.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#15 Copy

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

1) The Nightwatcher and Stormfather are parallel entities such that Nighwatcher:Cultivation :: Stormfather:Honor.

2) There is sort of a parallel for Odium, but the parallel is the various Unmade instead of a single entity.

3) They are parallel in that they are all Splinters.

4) The Unmade are voluntary Splinters, because Odium ("like almost all of the other Shards") voluntarily Splintered part of it's power.

5) The Stormfather is different from the others because it's a Sliver.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#16 Copy

Questioner

When will we find out what the Nightwatcher looks like?

Brandon Sanderson

Um… well, Dalinar, in the past, met the Nightwatcher. Dalinar's third book is getting flashback sequences to his past experiences. You can postulate that one of those important past experiences might be a visit to the Nightwatcher.

JordanCon 2018 ()
#19 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

So, in Oathbringer, when Dalinar goes to the Nightwatcher, we see Cultivation intervene directly. How closely does she supervise other Nightwatcher <visits>? Could the Nightwatcher give a boon that Cultivation wouldn't want her to?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Well... yes. "Wouldn't want her to" is a strong phrase. Like, Cultivation is always aware of what's going on. Cultivation rarely intervenes, even if she thinks it would be a bad boon, because she wants the Nightwatcher to learn. And she also is very interested in seeing what happens. So, rarely intervenes, but is aware.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Would she intervene if she thought the boon would help Odium?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Not necessarily.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#23 Copy

Questioner

Speaking of the Stormfather, would the Nightwatcher and the giant water spren be on the same level of spren as the Stormfather?

Brandon Sanderson

...The Nightwatcher, yes. Um... There are, I would say, a level below the Stormfather and the Nightwatcher who are also much-- a much bigger deal than something like one of the sapient spren, and that's what Cusicesh is.

Questioner

So the Nightwatcher is a spren you'd say?

Brandon Sanderson

The Nightwatcher-- I mean, they call the Nightwatcher a spren. Everyone in the books thinks the Nightwatcher is a spren. That's what they would call-- that's what they would call, if they knew what Honor was, they would call Honor a spren. A spren is Investiture that is alive.

Bystander

Nightblood?

Brandon Sanderson

So they would call Nightblood a spren. They would call-- That's the word for what all of these things are. They would probably've called Adonalsium a spren…

Moderator

What would Hoid call one of those?

Brandon Sanderson

What would Hoid call the Nightwatcher? *laughter* What would Hoid call one of what?

Moderator

Yeah what would Hoid call the Nightwatcher?

Brandon Sanderson

Um… *long pause/laughter*

Moderator

If Hoid were to use a non-proper noun?

Brandon Sanderson

Unpleasant names. *laughter*

Steelheart Portland signing ()
#24 Copy

swamp-spirit

Is the Old Magic in Shinovar, and is this a result of something to do with Cultivation?

Brandon Sanderson

The Old Magic is at The Valley, which is not in Shinovar, which is… If you've got a book, I'll show you where it is.... Let's see where Issac's wonderful map is, the first big one… Right here. So the Valley's right there. So that's where you go in order to visit the Old Magic.

Oathbringer San Francisco signing ()
#27 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

One of your characters wishes for and is given capacity... That is one of my favorite concepts of all the books that I read of yours. Can you talk about the inspiration for that gift of limited and maximum capacity?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

To not give spoilers, there is a character in The Stormlight Archive who has asked the Old Magic, which is a force that kind of has references in things like The Monkey's Paw and what-not, a force that doesn't always give you things exactly the way you want them. And I built, by the way, the Old Magic into The Stormlight Archive because I felt that at a certain point, while I love to do these rule-based magic systems, I wanted there to be a contrast to it... It's kinda like this idea that, yes, modern science and things have explained a lot of stuff, but there's something primal, perhaps, in the past, I don't actually know. But that idea that there's a primal magic that doesn't really adhere to the rules, we can't anticipate it, was really, I felt, vital for me to include so that I didn't overexplain everything in the books.

So, there's a person who asked for capacity. It wanted to be, let's say, strong enough to lift (it's not actually strength, but it's more of an emotional thing) what was coming. That, I feel like, is a very real thing to wish for, right? I have frequently, like... people say "What would you wish for," and I say "The ability to fly," because I would love to be able to fly. But really, if I sit and think about it, capacity, ability, the capacity to hold all of this stuff in my head, would probably be the sort of thing that I would wish for. So this character, in some ways, is giving wish fulfillment for me, because that's what I would maybe ask for if given the opportunity, but even that kind of turns on its head because the Old Magic just doesn't get people in the way that people think they should be gotten.

General Reddit 2016 ()
#29 Copy

PG_Wednesday

[WoB compilation about spren]

Brandon Sanderson

Hmm. With a casual glance, I see at least one here that I might have been fixated on a question that wasn't actually being asked. I do this occasionally, particularly at signings, where we're going so fast and I think someone is asking something that they're not.

In regards to there being spren bonds before the Last Desolation--there obviously were. (We see Knights Radiant in Dalinar flashbacks that are before the Last Desolation.) I think I was trying to talk my way around a different question, without giving RAFO answers, that I'm not going to get into now.

Another sketchy one on this list is regarding whether the spren call the nightwatcher Mother or if they're calling cultivation Mother. I don't think the text of the books actually implies either way, despite what I said. (Unless I'm forgetting something.) For those in the know, with the Nightwatcher being an analogue of the Stormfather, that implication is there--but I don't want to confirm it either way. You'll get more on the Nightwatcher and Cultivation, and their relationship, in the books.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
#30 Copy

EHyde

As Lift's spren refers to the Nightwatcher as Mother, right...

Brandon Sanderson

He definitely calls somebody a mother. The implication in the text is that it's the Nightwatcher.

EHyde

Certainly, so I'm just going to run with that right now. So the question that I'm asking is, is surgebinding in general a melding of Honor and Odium, a la feruchemy being in some sense not directly derivative of Ruin and Preservation?

Brandon Sanderson

It is...Honor and Cultivation is what you mean?

EHyde

Yes.

Brandon Sanderson

There are spren of all three Shards, and those spren can work within the bounds of the magic that has already been set up on Roshar.

EHyde

What Shard are Cryptics associated with?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.