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Legion Release Party ()
#2 Copy

Questioner

In one of the prologues to the first book, the assassination of Gavilar, mentions--I don't have the characters name--mentions his bodyguard or the head of his bodyguard being one of the greatest swordsmen in the realm, right? And then we get into Words of Radiance, which has such emphasis on duels. I kept waiting for this guy to come in again. I don't know if Szeth killed him in the assassination?

Brandon Sanderson

A conscious decision on my part. I'm going to RAFO it, but not for any good reason. Just a little reason, I might make reference to it, I might not.

JordanCon 2018 ()
#4 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

I will be very liberal with the RAFOs. Just because getting pinned down on things like this-- I always say, I like to answer questions. I like to give you guys the secrets you want to know. But at the same time, I'm a showman. And where I really want it to come out is in the stories. And so there are a lot of things I'm holding.

For those who don't know, RAFO could mean "This is a secret I want to hold for dramatic purposes in the stories." It could mean "I enjoy the fact that the community is discussing this even though the commonly assumed answer is the right answer. I don't want to canonize something 'cause I don't want to kill the looney theories. Because people who love their looney theories really hold on to them tightly for a long time." It could just mean, "You know what, I haven't thought of that," or "I know I wrote it down somewhere, and I don't want to say it right now because I'll contradict myself later."

Legion Release Party ()
#7 Copy

Jozomby

At the time of the Recreance, were there any Bondsmiths?

Brandon Sanderson

This is a plot point. You are supposed to be asking that question.

Jozomby

I was mostly trying to find out if the Sibling was bonded, and if the break in the bond is what caused the Sibling to go into slumber

Brandon Sanderson

Let's just say this is a RAFO with the promise that I intend to answer the question relatively quickly.

The Great American Read: Other Worlds with Brandon Sanderson ()
#8 Copy

Questioner

You have written before on Reddit that you had to add some scenes for Perrin in the epilogue, even though the majority of the epilogue was Jordan's. Did you have to figure out endings for any other characters, or did he write them?

Brandon Sanderson

I did have to come up with endings for other major characters. Other than Perrin, they were strongly suggested by the notes or by the books. And technically, he had in the notes, Perrin's absolute end. One of the few things that it said was, "Perrin ends up as king." So, his absolute end. But I did have to do lesser than Perrin, but still some major.

Questioner

Perrin finding Faile. Was that Jordan's? Or was that you?

Brandon Sanderson

That was me. He did write the scene-- I think this is the epilogue, where Mat comes back to Tuon, and things like that. Like, that whole scene was finished. The whole scene where Rand comes out of the cavern, all that stuff was finished. Some of the stuff with... Cadsuane, we had to extrapolate. Not extrapolate, he had some of the things in the notes. Some of the other ones, we had to. Others you would consider main characters, we decided on. Harriet decided on a couple of things.

Questioner

Galad and Gawyn?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm gonna have to RAFO that, because I think Harriet has not wanted me to go down that path. I would say that major chunks of the Egwene and Gawyn plot were finished and written, particularly a lot of the stuff in Towers of Midnight. But there's a few things she's asked me to stay away from. One is who decided what happened to Egwene. Harriet has asked me to ease off on that one.

Manchester signing ()
#10 Copy

Questioner

I was reading the first book-- The Way of Kings, there is a scene-- no a Letter. Is that scene-- the person who is sending the Letter says that the Shards in Elantris are broken-- sorry they're, like, [Splintered], and they can’t be used again. How is that so, because if there was Adonalsium which Shattered and people took the Shards.

Brandon Sanderson

There are those who believe you could put the pieces back together and their are those who believe you can't, and shouldn't.

Questioner

You shouldn't put them back--

Brandon Sanderson

There are some who believe that.

Questioner

So will they be able to put it back together?

Brandon Sanderson

Well there are some who believe it is possible. *laughter*

Congratulations, you win a RAFO card!  RAFO is something Robert Jordan would say, that means Read And Find Out and I print out little cards so at least you get something. That means "I'm sorry I can't answer your question but I'm really not that sorry otherwise I would answer it"

Legion Release Party ()
#12 Copy

Questioner

In the Cosmere, as space becomes more developed...*inaudible* outer space.

Brandon Sanderson

It's an interesting question that I've had to ponder. Would the space race happen more slowly because there's an alternative, or would it happen more quickly because you know other planets are inhabited. I'm not going to answer what I came up with, because it's a plot point in the books. So I'll give you a RAFO card, but that's the question to ask yourself.

Questioner

That wasn't my question! My question was, in the Cognitive Realm, with the gap between planets...

Brandon Sanderson

Oh! Will the gap between planets get larger as more people travel in between it. So, barring things like space stations, there's going to be so few minds in between, that I don't expect space to become larger because of that.

I don't expect it to be a factor, except--barring--there will be possibilities of certain regions popping up.

Shadows of Self release party ()
#14 Copy

Questioner 1

What is something that we don't know about Bavadin?

Brandon Sanderson

Somebody asked that already too…  Those are both things that you will find out eventually and I'm holding those answers close to my heart right now...

Questioner 2

So can I assume that any question about Bavadin is going to be a RAFO?

Brandon Sanderson

It depends on how specific it is. Like "I just want to know something more" is almost always going to be a RAFO on any question nowadays. Something asks very specifics has a better chance.

Legion Release Party ()
#15 Copy

Questioner

In Stormlight with the way the Radiant's armor works, is it going to be similar to in Aether of Night where it grows? Or do they summon it like the Shardblades?

Brandon Sanderson

Mmmm, someone's read Aether of Night! RAFO! You should find out before too much longer. I've been working very hard to keep that mechanism hidden until we can have some things like this happen on screen. But it's getting increasingly hard.

Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
#16 Copy

Questioner

What does RAFO mean?

Brandon Sanderson

...Okay. RAFO. RAFO-- Jason do you want to explain what RAFO is?

Jason Denzel

Clearly you've not read The Wheel of Time. *laughter* RAFO is an acronym that says-- that stands for Read And Find Out. It's a term that-- I don't know if he coined it but he certainly popularized it in our genre-- Robert Jordan came up with it. And really it was because at every signing, like this or anything else, there were two or three questions that he fielded-- He would even say "Please do not ask the following questions" and he would still get two or three people asking him those very questions. Does anyone know what they are? There are Wheel of Time fans here, right? "Who killed Asmodean?" and everything else. So what he would do is tell them-- he would just say "Read And Find Out" and so that, online, turned into "RAFO". And Brandon took it and-- Actually I think Maria took it to the next step and she--

Brandon Sanderson

Actually I asked for it.

Jason Denzel

Okay, so Brandon asked her to make RAFO cards, so instead of just saying it he would start handing them out. And if you actually get one of those cards-- you have to earn them-- on the back of the card it explains what the acronym means and why you received it.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, I felt really bad saying RAFO to people, right? Like I am a-- I have the attitude that I very much want people to be happy and I don't want to tell them "No I won't answer". So instead I had them print the cards so I could at least give them something? And now fans trophy hunt for those.
Holiday signing ()
#17 Copy

chasmfriend

Who is Lady Truth?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, who do you think Lady Truth is?

chasmfriend

Tindwyl is who I hope it is. *long silence* Why is that a secret?

Brandon Sanderson

Because there are certain things I am not sure how much more I want to say in the books, or how much things-- So it's not that it needs to be a secret or something big and mysterious is happening, but it's because if I speak now I risk undermining things that I might do and I don't want to risk that even if there's a decent chance that whatever I say won't have anything to do with it. So a lot of times my RAFO's are "I know the answer to this, it's not a big secret, but I am not ready to just pin it down". Does that make sense? You've already pried a couple important things out of me so...

Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
#18 Copy

Questioner

I can't take credit for this, because it is a friend's question, but he has this little theory that your more quiet and reserved characters end up being super important or just interesting characters somehow and he has this theory that Dabbid from Kings is like a worldhopper that just went there and like "I'm just going to stay quiet and watch what's going on."

Brandon Sanderson

The question is: Is Dabbid from The Way of Kings, who you may not quite remember, he is the bridgeman who is very quiet and displays some very strong signs of PTSD, and things like this, even though he was healed. Is it-- Yeah, what's going on with him. And that is definitely a RAFO. But it's not a RAFO-- Like sometimes Read And Find Out means "I'm going to reveal it eventually", sometimes it means "I don't want to crush any fans' theories" and I won't tell you which one it is until the end of the series...

Legion Release Party ()
#20 Copy

ShadowBlaze

Would a kandra react to electrical shock differently than a human would?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, but not that much differently. It's going to depend on the kandra and if they have enough control over their bodies. A kandra that's expecting it, for instance. But a kandra that's not expecting it I think would respond like a human [being?] would.

ShadowBlaze

Could it be an effective revealing method?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm going to RAFO that the same way I've been RAFOing the question of whether they actually go down on the DNA level. So the whole point behind *inaudible* the kandra was, a blood test under Era 1 technology would not identify one. I'm going to have to decide in Era 3, I'm going to have to canonize whether, you get that under a microscope, if you can tell. And what about Era 4 you just do genetic testing, can you tell. And I don't know how I'm going to need that to go yet. And I don't know how realistic it is? And I don't know if I want to deal with the ramifications, like with human/kandra hybrids.

Right now, the way I have it, they fundamentally build their DNA in such a way, they could even have children. But I don't know if I'm going to keep that or not.

Bands of Mourning release party ()
#21 Copy

CarolaDavar

If the Stormfather were to turn into a blade for Dalinar, would it be bigger than other Shardblades?

Brandon Sanderson

Um… That's a RAFO. *people get excited* That doesn't mean that I'm going to answer it, that means that answering it would either canonize something I don't want to canonize or it would mean that it is something irrelevant and I don't want to send fans spiraling into-- and so... It doesn't necessarily mean that something that will be included in the books.