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General Reddit 2016 ()
#1 Copy


How about the Iriali and Alethi mix we have going on with Adolin and Renarin? Where would this put them within the chibi figures? I have always had a hard time trying to figure out how they would look like due to their mix ethnicity. I have ideas... of course, but I'd be great to have confirmation.

Brandon Sanderson

They're gong to have lighter skin, but skin tone isn't something Alethi pay much attention to. Hair and eye color is what draws their attention. Dalinar and Kaladin will be darker than Adolin and Renarin, though none of them would look Caucasian to us. Of course, Caucasians have varied skin tone as well, so it's hard to say specifically what they'd look like. (As a note, Renarin/Adolin are a Riran/Alethi mix--not exactly Iriali/Alethi, as there's some slightly different genetics going on there.)


Oh I thought Riran and Iriali were the same... Where did I go wrong?

Brandon Sanderson

I can't say much without giving spoilers, but there are small differences.


Would be cool if you ever got the chance to sit down with a sketch artist to put out images of your visualization of how some of these characters look.

Brandon Sanderson

It would be fun, though I've done this (in a small way) with Ben McSweeny, who does a lot of art for my books. I have semi-official character sketches I use for my own descriptive purposes, but I don't consider them close enough in some ways to be canon, so we don't release them or put them in the books. That said, some of them might be floating around on the internet--I'm not sure.

One thing I wish I'd done was nudge Michael Whalen to push his Kaladin on the cover of Words of Radiance a little further to be a little more ethnically Alethi--as I think it would help people's visualizations of him. But the one we ended up with is already the third version of Kaladin he did for that painting, and each one was increasingly better--I felt bad pushing him further.

As a side note, I've always loved this fanart for Rock. I don't know if there's a more on-target picture of one of my characters out there:

Salt Lake City signing ()
#3 Copy


Rock is taller than the other bridgemen. When he gets under the bridge, will that make it more difficult for him? Wouldn't he have more load on his shoulders than the guys next to him?

Brandon Sanderson

Um, yes, though you will notice that I equalized for height with the pads on the shoulders. And a bridge that will run-- yeah, they will use pads and things like this. And you can customize your bridge over time. The fact that most bridgemen die before that's necessary... um, yes. But it would mean he would end up having to stoop for part of it unless you wanted to carry a lot more of the weight. Being next to Rock would probably be a fun thing. But then there are the pads, and things like that, so. *brief pause* And once they really got it going, they could re-- they could really customize that bridge. Like, you know, take off pieces underneath and things like that so that it fit everyone really well. But in Sadeas's army you don't really get to that point.

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


How would you pronounce Rock's full name?

Brandon Sanderson

I usually get this wrong. *apprehensively chants the name* I think, but there might be something in there. It actually means... in Horneater you don't have to use a pronoun at the beginning, which is one of the weird things, you usually start with a verb. It means something along the lines of "I saw a beautiful wet stone that no one is paying attention to, but it was really cool because of the water pattern on it." Right, like, that's what his name means, and it kinda just means "Hey, appreciate the beauty of nature." Its kind of a little Horneater, their version of the haiku. The meaning is "Nature is beautiful, don't walk past the beauty of nature and ignore it." But his name actually kinda means "lonely, or forgotten rock". But "I saw a beautiful rock washed by rainwater that everyone is ignoring." Anyway, it doesn't translate all that well, I'm using a bunch of weird Asian and Indo-European language structures for this so its not real easy to translate to English.

YouTube Livestream 23 ()
#9 Copy

James M

According to Cord, Rock drew the Bow of Hours at the dawn of the new millennium. Roshar is at year 1173. Do Horneaters have a different calendar, or is Rock just really really old?

Brandon Sanderson

No, Rock is not really old, that's a different calendar. Rock is not old enough to have drawn that bow 74 years ago.

Skyward Houston signing ()
#11 Copy

Deana Whitney

What would Rock's favorite vegetable be in a soup? Like the Earth equivalents?

Brandon Sanderson

Ooh! Well, see, Rock is gonna base it based on the soup, because he's a chef. But if it's his perfect favorite, he's gonna want something crunchy, so he's gonna want like—

Deana Whitney

Well, I know he'll want the, the essentially the equivalent of crawdads.

Aubree Pham

She's trying to write a cosmere food article...

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, yeah. But there are-- like, if you can get like a... radish, that's going to crunch, he's probably going to look for that in a soup, because that's going to be closer to what he likes. Something that's got some variance in the texture.

General Reddit 2019 ()
#12 Copy


Huh, I had assumed Rock's or Rysn's novella would be your airplane project. I guess taking a break from Stormlight by doing more Stormlight doesn't really work. Can you share your current plan for these two too?

Brandon Sanderson

Still hoping to do both of them sometime this year, but we'll see. I would hate for Edgedancer to be the only X.5 novella for Stormlight. Feels more right if I can get those, and the Lopen one happening between books one and two, done some day soon.

The Rock one kind of needs to happen, so we'll see. I need to get back on schedule with the main book first, though. That takes precedence over all of these smaller projects.


This may be too much to ask.

For Rock's, is this a prequel in his homeland? Post-Oathbringer, coming to terms with his actions? Something different all together maybe..

I find either very exciting.

Brandon Sanderson

It is post-Oathbringer, involving him returning to his homeland.

JordanCon 2021 ()
#13 Copy


I really miss Rock. Is that going to be part of the Words of Radiance Kickstarter?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. It will be part of the Words of Radiance Kickstarter. There will be a novella about Rock as part of the Words of Radiance Kickstarter. If I don't give myself the deadlines, then it might turn into, like,  Rithmatist 2, where it's like "oh I'll do it someday." I've committed to doing that. It will be the thing I write right after Book 5, and it should come out right before Book 5, in the same way that I did with Dawnshard. That's, at least, the plan right now.

Oathbringer Portland signing ()
#14 Copy


In Herdazian, is there no personal pronoun, and that's why Lopen always refers to himself as "The Lopen"?

Brandon Sanderson

No, that is his personal thing. In Rock's language, most nouns are gendered, masculine, which is why you always see him flipping-- screwing that up. But Lopen, just his thing. Just his thing.

General Reddit 2020 ()
#15 Copy


I wonder if Rock's story made it into an interlude (or primary narrative) [in Stormlight Four], or if it still needs to be written?

Brandon Sanderson

It would still need to be written. There wasn't room for it in book four, and it wouldn't really fit thematically anyway. If I don't manage to do it as a novella between four and five, I think I can make it fit in five thematically, so we'll put it there.


I love Rysn's interludes in every book; especially her adventure with Chiri-Chiri in Oathbringer. That being said if you end up doing a novella for her does that mean she'd be out of the interludes in future books? Also if you don't mind answering, does she have an interlude in Book 4?

Brandon Sanderson

I haven't written it yet, but I do plan for her to have one. I can't really do it until I've written the novella, if indeed I find the time for that.

General Reddit 2018 ()
#16 Copy


Rock is the cook for Bridge 4, and not once does he say, "Can you smell what the Rock is cooking?" It is a missed opportunity

I have to wonder if /u/mistborn had that mind when creating the character. I will only see him that way now!


Unfortunately not.


I don't believe it. To clarify, I believe he didn't intentionally do it and I 100% believe Brandon is telling the subjective truth.

On the other hand, he invented a fictional culture loosely based on Polynesians and then made a big strong character from that culture and gave him the same name as a big strong descendant of Polynesians.

Have to stress, I'm in no way saying any of this as a negative thing...but the conscious part of the human brain isn't always aware of everything the rest of the brain is doing or where its thoughts come from.

Brandon Sanderson

I can see how you'd be skeptical...but you can find Rock in the 1998/99 version of Dragonsteel. He's largely the same character with the same name--though this was before he and Bridge Four were moved to the Stormlight Archive. Regardless, Dragonsteel was printed as my honors thesis several years before I even heard of the wrestler/actor. This really is just a coincidence. Sorry, /u/CarterLawler.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
#19 Copy


Rock sounds Hawaiian.

Brandon Sanderson



Hawaiian royalty. Is that a pun on Dwayne ["the Rock"] Johnson?

Brandon Sanderson

*laughs* No it's not. 


So if you have a book on Rock, you can get him to--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, that's a coincidence. 


Dwayne Johnson is a prince, Hawaiian prince.

Brandon Sanderson

Is he? Really?


Yes, he is. He is from a royal family, a Hawaiian royal family

Brandon Sanderson

He's from a royal family? I didn't know that!


So, get him to pay for the movie. And star as Rock!