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General Reddit 2019 ()
#1 Copy

Angrybread

I want Rysn to keep accidentally finding herself in ever increasingly plot-relevant situations until she just becomes a worldhopper by accident.

Ellarree

u/mistborn, please seriously consider this. It would be amazing.

Brandon Sanderson

I've got some plans for her. Saying anything more would be a RAFO.

Stormlight Three Update #1 ()
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SageOfTheWise

Aww, was really hoping to get a Rysn book. Hopefully we still get a lot more of her anyway.

She can team up with Adolin and make their own club for people too cool for books.

Brandon Sanderson

Rysn will appear again. Not getting a book does not mean someone isn't an important character, just that I don't consider them as having a flashback sequence worthy of structuring a book around.

ICon 2019 ()
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Questioner (A wheelchair user)

Have you had any negative feedback from other wheelchair users about Rysn's storyline?

Brandon Sanderson

I did go to a bunch of them to ask, so I've been trying. But if you have negative feedback to give me, I would love to hear it, because I had two beta readers in wheelchairs give me the best advice they could. But I obviously do not have that same disability, so there's things I'm going to get wrong.

Ad Astra 2017 ()
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Questioner

Rysn has come up a lot in interludes in both books.

Brandon Sanderson

Yep.

Questioner

Will she continue to be in the--

Brandon Sanderson

She does have an interlude in the third book. She is kind of, like-- so far I have wanted to use one of my interludes on her each time. I only get, you know, I get like only like eight or so per book, but I've used one of those on her every book. And I probably will going forward, but I can't promise.

General Reddit 2020 ()
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Simon

1) Is Hoid still holding his Dawnshard?

2) If not, is the Dawnshard currently hold by Rysn the same as Hoid's or a different?

3) Nikli mentions 4 Dawnshards. Are there more than that?

4) Are all the Dawnshards currently (as of SA 4) on Roshar? Or in the Rosharan System?

5) Are there some of them on worlds we have already seen (Scadrial, Sel, Threnody, etc...)?

Brandon Sanderson

  1. Hoid Dawnshard is a RAFO.

  2. Same.

  3. There are only four Dawnshards.

  4. RAFO on whether they're on this planet or not.

These are great questions, but Dawnshard info is mostly for the future cosmere books--and so I consider most of it very RAFOy.

Brandon Sanderson

"Same," here meant RAFO. I answer these quickly, I'm afraid, particularly when they come in a list like that.

YouTube Livestream 1 ()
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Katie Gerskey

Earlier you have stated that Spensa's story in Skyward was inspired by the 'boy and his dragon' stories that you read in your teens. Is Rysn and Chiri-Chiri's story in Stormlight 4 based upon this plot archetype as well?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. But only in small, minor ways.

Getting the gift of a strange and unusually pet is one of those things ever since I read Dragons Blood by Jane Yolen, ever since I read The White Dragon and Jackson getting his dragon. There is something in me that loves this sort of fantastical pet - I mean own a macaw. [As far as] pets that are responsible to have go, excluding things like getting a lion, it's one of the weirdest things you can get as a pet. And that's going back to that love of dragon stories. That's why I bought <Cock>, my love bird, that was my buddy all through high school, it was because a flying, talking, little creature just feels so fantasy to me. So yeah, definitely Chiri-Chiri is playing into that trope to an extent.

General Reddit 2020 ()
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Claincy

I've been thinking for a while about the presentation of disability and chronic pain in Brandon's books and I reread a bunch of them recently and ended up with a lot of thoughts. I wrote a letter/email to Brandon trying to provide a little insight and I think it might be worth sharing here as well.

Brandon Sanderson

This is exactly the kind of feedback that is useful for writers to hear. I try to do the best I can, but I can always do better. I particularly like how you outlined some of the traps/tropes authors fall into, because those are exactly the things that are super helpful for me to read. (And similar lists have helped me a lot with my writing in other areas.)

I don't want to say much more than that, because I don't want to imply your perspective is invalid. (It most certainly is.) But I do want to mention that I pay a lot of attention this kind of issue, and there is a fine line to walk. Many things having to do with disability have a bit controversy surrounding them similar to the cochlear implant one--where the community itself can be very divided at what they want to happen, and what they want to see happen in fiction.

I consider it my job to listen, particularly to well-reasoned and passionate arguments like yours. But I do need to note that there are arguments on the other side that I do also listen to. And I personally--from all the many things I've read and the time I've spent pondering it--do not currently consider curing of physical aliments with magic to be inherently problematic. I DO consider it to be a difficult issue, and recognize your feelings, which are completely valid. If healing people of disability in the real world is difficult and full of touchy subjects, with a variety of opinions, then it certainly is valid to consider it so in fantasy!

My goal is always to try to depict the varieties of different human experience and opinions. And, indeed, one of my goals with Rysn is to specifically have a character to contrast someone like Lopen--who falls (as you have noted) on a different side of the argument.

But, to be honest, I don't even consider the healing of mental disabilities with magic to be inherently problematic. (Speed of Dark, an excellent science fiction novel, is about a cure for autism--and is done brilliantly.) I do run into a lot of people who really like that I don't let Stormlight heal most mental illness--but I'd say I've run into an equal number of people with depression who wish that I would let it do so, and have told me they'd take a cure for depression without hesitation if one gets invented. (Indeed, there are many who do a great deal to medically to try just this.)

What I would say is that I need to be careful not to present one idea as the only valid response to these sorts of things. You're absolutely right that there is a perspective I need to be careful not to invalidate, and tropes I can be harmful in perpetuating if I don't watch myself. (My sister in law has chronic fatigue, and yeah--the number of people who told her if she was just stronger-willed, she'd get past it, is huge.)

I will be very careful with the Rysn novella. (And we do these days try very hard to have specific readers who have disabilities like the ones I depict. It is my plan to do this here.) And I'll keep your post handy as I revise, as I think it will be helpful.

[deleted]

I would strongly urge you with Renarin in particular to not do some sort of "cure" storyline and to leave him as autistic. I feel that the story would be better off with that and would most probably do more good that way.

Brandon Sanderson

I have no intention of "curing" Renarin, as I agree with your points here--but I really appreciate you mentioning them. We are aligned on this idea. I used Speed of Dark as an example of how a theoretical cure could be used in a story in a non-problematic way. (In that story, a cure is invented, and the story is entirely about the ramifications of it--and the dangers. It is a highlight of why I think Science Fiction is important. Asking the question, "What if?" before something happens in real life gives us a lot of questions, ideas, and concerns to work on as a society in preparation for such events.)

That said, that is a book that specifically deals with this idea. My intention for the Stormlight Archive, and Renarin specifically, is to explore him as a character. Not to change him into someone else.

Claincy

I was wondering if we'd see assistive devices using fabrials in future stormlight books? I think there might be a lot of in-world potential with fabrials in wheelchairs, prosthetics and other assistive devices as that technology progresses.

Brandon Sanderson

Dawnshard actually has Rysn looking at fabrials and wondering if those could be of use in the way you're indicating here. I think you'll be pleased with the result.

General Reddit 2022 ()
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/u/ph4mp573r

[Hoid] was beheaded in Dragonsteel Prime and the Dawnshard is what regrew his head. He makes a crack about always thinking his head would have grown a new body, not vice versa, as he stares at his own severed head.

/u/sambadaemon

Slightly related: If the Dawnshard let Hoid regrow his entire head, will it eventually give Rysn back the use of her legs?

Peter Ahlstrom

The different dawnshards have different powers.

Information subject to change when it appears in canon.

Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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Zachrandir

Does this mean that Rysn is immortal now? If so that's going to start causing some questions if she stops aging.

Also, would Hoid be able to tell that Rysn bears a Dawnshard? Solely from having born one before? (Maybe he'd be able to sense it with Breaths or some other mystery Investiture.)

I also want to see what would happen if you stabbed a Dawnshard (/Dawnshard bearing person) with Nightblood.

Brandon Sanderson

These kinds of questions are why I gave a preemptive RAFO. :)

Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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cinephile42

Now that Rysn has secrets to keep, where do her alliances lie? She seems slightly skeptical of the Radiants, so would she be more patriotic to Thaylen City and potentially share her information with Queen Fen? Or maybe even Vstim?

Brandon Sanderson

Her loyalty is most likely to her babsk and others who have proven, in person, to her their merit.

Dragonsteel 2023 ()
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Lightweaver2 (paraphrased)

Does Rysn have a Torment?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

She hasn’t had the Dawnshard long enough for it to change her spiritweb enough.

Lightweaver2 (paraphrased)

Will she?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

She may not call it that, but the Dawnshard will change her spiritweb in drastic ways.

Sofia signing ()
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Questioner

So, is she [Rysn] going to get a novella maybe?

Brandon Sanderson

Rysn is probably not going to get a novella but Rysn is a character who's going to have a nice novelette in each story, in the interludes. Maybe not quite to novelette length on each of them but she, in each of the first five books you will get a scene from Rysn.

Questioner

I think she's a very interesting character because in a way she epitomizes what you just said about being exposed to different cultures and--

Brandon Sanderson

Right, that's kind of her thing, is she goes and visits the different cultures of Roshar.

Questioner

And then we get to visit them too. 

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. She's got a potted plant, she's got some grass actually, there's some grass that doesn't respond to the storm. So she's one of my favorites, I intend her to be in each of the interludes and have her own kind of little story running through the books.

Questioner

So now we know, when you think about--

Brandon Sanderson

Absolutely, there is a Rysn point of view in Oathbringer.

Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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XavierRDE

Since when did your start to plan this specific development for Rysn? Was it something that existed from her inception?

Brandon Sanderson

Rysn wasn't in my very first outlines; I decided upon this path for her when working on Words of Radiance, as I realized I really wanted one Interlude character that I returned to, and showed a longer story across several years for.

Starsight Release Party ()
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Questioner

Will we see more of Rysn in the Stormlight Archive books?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. I plan to... She never becomes a main character. I plan to have an interlude with Rysn every time.

Questioner

She won't be out of the interludes?

Brandon Sanderson

No, she won't be, but I might write a novella with her. Like I did with Lift.

Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A ()
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ArgentSun

If Rysn's Dawnshard is about Change or Remaking or something like, how do we refer to it? The Dawnshard of Change? The Change Dawnshard? I am asking purely from a semantic standpoint.

Brandon Sanderson

I haven't honestly decided yet, Argent. I am playing with several themes for the Dawnshards even still.

David-El

It seemed from the way the mural was done in the book that you were implying that there are four Dawnshards, one for each four of the shards, considering the sun was split in four, then each quadrant was then further split into four more.

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO, I'm afraid. As I said somewhere else, this was written as it was deliberately--but also somewhat vague on purpose.