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General Reddit 2016 ()
#1 Copy

Enasor

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.)

Enasor

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.

CodeMonkey76

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:

http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/stormlightarchive/images/d/d9/Stormlight_Archieves_-_Rock.png/revision/latest?cb=20140518054457

Salt Lake City signing ()
#3 Copy

Questioner

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

Questioner

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.

Oathbringer Portland signing ()
#8 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

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

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

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.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
#11 Copy

Questioner

Rock sounds Hawaiian.

Brandon Sanderson

Yep.

Questioner

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

Brandon Sanderson

*laughs* No it's not. 

Questioner

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

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, that's a coincidence. 

Questioner

Dwayne Johnson is a prince, Hawaiian prince.

Brandon Sanderson

Is he? Really?

Questioner

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!

Questioner

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