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Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
#2 Copy

Argent

Can you confirm: When Bleeder died, she only had one spike made of that new metal in her?

Brandon Sanderson

What does the book say?

Argent

It could go either way. Because it could be either one spike of the unknown metal and one regular, or just one of the unknown metal. And we're divided right now.

Brandon Sanderson

I have heard this. I didn't intend you to get divided, but I've heard that you are, and part of me doesn't want the… One week later... I want more time for the theories to come out!

Argent

There are theories.

Brandon Sanderson

I know. Let's give the theories a little more time and then I'll canonize it for you in a little bit. I didn't intend for there to be a division here, but obviously there is, and so I'm going to wait until I'm done with tour. Then you can write to us and we'll tell you exactly what's going on there.

Footnote: Peter Ahlstrom confirmed on Twitter that Bleeder died with only one spike in her, and it was the "trellium" spike.
Dark Talent release party ()
#4 Copy

Windrunner Savant (paraphrased)

So in Shadows of Self, when TenSoon and Was are fighting the spiked creature things, TenSoon mention that he was Harmony's "Preservation."

*Brandon seemed a bit apprehensive about that statement*

And he said that Wax was Harmony's "Ruin."

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

*still apprehensive* Yes...

Windrunner Savant (paraphrased)

Well since Harmony has been around for about 300 years someone else would have had to fill that role, right?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Probably...

Windrunner Savant (paraphrased)

And could that person possibly have been Paalm?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Maybe.

Bands of Mourning release party ()
#6 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

*after reading a personalization request* What do you mean by specifically what Paalm was doing, which thing?

Questioner

Her ultimate goal, we think, was to Shatter Harmony.

Brandon Sanderson

You think her ultimate goal was to Shatter Harmony?

Questioner

*audio obscured*

Brandon Sanderson

Her ultimate goal was to free people from Harmony, so I wouldn't say her ultimate goal was to Shatter Harmony. So what you're asking me is "Is Taravangian trying to combine Harmony?

Questioner

We thought that Paalm was trying to divide people from Harmony in order to Shatter Him. *audio obscured* Taravangian was doing the opposite, trying to gather his people so that he could pick up-- so Honor could come back.

Brandon Sanderson

Not really. Good question, once I figured it out.

General Reddit 2016 ()
#9 Copy

damenleeturks

Was anyone else completely surprised in Bands of Mourning when Wax offhandedly mentions that he and Lessie had been married?

I don't remember any mention of Wax and Lessie being married before that point in the series. Together, yes. But married, not at all.

Did I just miss it? Or did /u/mistborn forget to mention it in earlier books? (Or did he slip in some hand wavy retconning and hope no one noticed)?

Brandon Sanderson

This is one of those things that editors kept trying to change back, but which I insisted stay as it's not a contradiction to the earlier book. Wax's thinking of her in this way is a kind of unconscious defense against what his mind perceives as an attempt by society to wipe her out of existence and force him to move on.

damenleeturks

I appreciate that the intention here was for Wax's state of mind to feel a little off.

Still, with the concrete way he thinks of the relationship as a marriage, with how he remembers the specifics of a ceremony, it's hard for me to resolve your statement that "Wax and Lessie never had a real ceremony" with the conflicting statements in the text (emphasis mine)—

At the very beginning of chapter 1, Wax and Wayne are talking, Wax casually mentions that it's his second marriage and Wayne doesn't bat an eye:

“You gonna be all right?” Wayne asked.

“Of course I am,” Wax said. “This is my second marriage. I’m an old hand at the practice by now.”

Then, after Wax gets to the church and is getting dressed, he muses further on his previous wedding:

Then, after a moment’s hesitation, he strapped on his gunbelt and slid Vindication into her holster. He’d worn a gun to his last wedding, so why not this one?

And finally, Wax contemplates the actual ceremony as he and Steris are walking "down the aisle":

Wax found himself smiling. This was what Lessie had wanted. They’d joked time and time again about their simple Pathian ceremony, finalized on horseback to escape a mob. She said that someday, she’d make him do it proper.

With all three of these in short succession, Wax clearly establishes that 1. he was married before to Lessie (at least in his head), and 2. there was some kind of wedding ceremony (was this in his head, too?).

Brandon Sanderson

So, the following is how I explained it to Peter, I believe, back when he raised these objections during the editing stage. Wax and Lessie had no official marriage, though they did exchange some vows (as Wax notes, on horseback, fleeing a mob.)

Lessie gave him grief, claiming that it didn't count--that she wanted more. She wanted an actual wedding, and a piece of paper to say they were married. Wax figured this was good enough, and resisted wanting to do something more formal. It was his whole, "I am the law" thing he had out in the roughs. Focus on what matters, not what paper-pushers might claim he should do.

Over the years, they talked about getting married for real, and he started to think of the day they would. (Shifting his focus away from thinking of "my wife" but instead of kind of a long-term betrothed/common law wife.) When he lost her, and moved to Elendel, his viewpoint shifted. He wanted more and more to treat what they'd had as a legitimate marriage, for fear that what he and Lessie had would be wiped awaystamped out, by something more grand that society was demanding of him.

So while the event never changed, his perception of it certainly did. I intended for it to be contradictory, but only subtly so, and this is one of those things that I didn't feel like it was right to do in the text. (Much like Wayne's dislike of Steris for stealing Wax away from him and from the memory of Lessie--but this sentiment slowly shifting into a protectiveness of her as she reached the "inside" circle and gained legitimacy by making Wax happy.)

These are things that the characters themselves don't realize, and while I'll occasionally hang a lantern on them, sometimes I just leave it unspoken and subject to interpretation. If every little thing gets spelled out in the text, then I am left feeling that we're being too on the nose.

That said, once in a while, things like this DO annoy Peter. He'd prefer I pin the text down on things that seem to contradict one another.

Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
#10 Copy

Questioner

I wanted to ask about Paalm’s spike. Is it that one specifically that allowed her to hide from Harmony or would it happen with any sort of...?

Brandon Sanderson

It was because she was not using one out of any metal that he knew, was a big part of it. She couldn't have done that with any spike. Taking one out helped a bit, but a non-Harmony spike it had to be… What you’re seeing there is a weird hack of the magic system intentionally that was built to do that.

Stormlight Three Update #4 ()
#12 Copy

Argent

The name Bleeder - does it come from (the incorrect) idea that bleeding a patient can make them feel better? And so Paalm sees herself as the one who needs to bleed Elendel to make it healthy?

Brandon Sanderson

The idea of "bleeding" as we had on earth as a custom of medicine did not exist on scadrial. But the idea in your post isn't too far off.

Oversleep42

What do you think about translating 'Bleeder' as 'barber surgeon'? It's the Polish translation (and the term is one-word and sounds really well). I think the translators went with the same train of thought as Argent did and since Bleeder has already described herself as a kind of surgeon - her comments about cleaning the wounds being more painful than the cut itself and so on. Is this a "on spot" translation or is it far off?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, that's not a bad translation at all. I like it.