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Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
#2 Copy

Questioner

We know the Shattering was done on purpose. Is it having broken up into intents the only way that it could have shattered, or could it have actually shattered into like sixteen pieces pieces that all have the sixteen intents.

Brandon Sanderson

I'm going to RAFO this, because this is not a book i will write for many years and I do not want to start giving spoilers about it.

Leipzig Book Fair ()
#3 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

Hoid was once offered a Shard, but he refused it, right?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes.

Questioner (paraphrased)

Was it right after the Shattering?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes. It was during the events. I wouldn't necessarily say "right after", it was during this process. I would say this is a RAFO before I finish writing at that time. (Not sure if I understood the last sentence right, but I think that's what he said)

Questioner (paraphrased)

And who took this Shard instead?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

RAFO.

ICon 2019 ()
#4 Copy

Questioner

I want to ask how were the Realms created and does their creation have anything to do with Adonalsium and the Shattering?

Brandon Sanderson

So, good question. The Realms predate the Shattering of Adonalsium and are part of the fundamental physics of the cosmere. So they would have been created at the equivalent of the cosmere Big Bang when time was created and things like that.

TWG Posts ()
#5 Copy

Miyabi (paraphrased)

While talking with EUOL today I had asked about Hoid being Midius from Partinel. 

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

He said he had many names, but avoided a yes or no answer.

Miyabi (paraphrased)

I then asked if Hoid was a shard.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

He said no and then said something about how no one has read the end of Partinel due to its not being written well and the plethora of spoilers it contains. . . .

He then told me that Hoid was there when Adonalsium was shattered.

General Reddit 2016 ()
#8 Copy

harsh20483

Leras mentioned something like Cephandrius had the choice/chance to take up a shard but declined. So was the shattering an event that was predicted to happen so that people like Leras, Ati, Rayse, etc to be present at that time to pick up the shards after the shattering.

Brandon Sanderson

There's more to it than that, but some of what you say is close.

Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
#9 Copy

Questioner

Shards. We started with fairly obvious ones, magic wise. Trying to keep this spoiler free, so: Ruin, Preservation, this kind of thing. Then we get the weird ones. Why do we have Shards that can only exist in the mind of a sentient creature? ...Like the concept of Honor can only be done when it's carried out, essentially, by a sentient creature.

Brandon Sanderson

So when I split Adonalsium I said, "I'm going to take aspects of Adonalsium's nature." And this involves personality to me. So the Shattering of Adonalsium was primal forces attached to certain aspects of personality. And so I view every one of them this way. And when I wrote Mistborn we had Ruin and Preservation. They are the primal forces of entropy and whatever you call the opposite, staying-the-same-ism-y. Like, you've got these two contrasts, between things changing and things not changing. And then humans do have a part, there's a personality. Ruin is a charged term for something that actually is the way that life exists. And Preservation is a charged term for stasis, for staying the same. And those are the personality aspects, and the way they are viewed by people and by the entity that was Adonalsium.

So I view this for all of them. Like, Honor is the sense of being bound by rules, even when those rules, you wouldn't have to be bound by. And there's this sense that that is noble, that's the honor aspect to it, but there's also something not honorable about Honor if taken from the other direction. So a lot of them do kind of have this both-- cultural component, I would say, that is trying to represent something that is also natural. And not all of them are gonna have a 100% balance between those two things, I would say, because there's only so many fundamental laws of the universe that I can ascribe personalities to in that way. 

So I find Honor very interesting, but I find Autonomy a very interesting one for the exact same reason. What does autonomy mean? We attach a lot to it, but what is the actual, if you get rid of the charged terms, what does it mean? And this is where you end up with things like Odium claiming "I am all emotion." Rather than-- But then there's a charged term for it that is associated with this Shard. I'm not going to tell you whether he's right or not, but he has an argument. 

Calamity Chicago signing ()
#10 Copy

Eric

In Secret History we learn the 16 Shards that Shattered Adonalsium. Was that done [on behalf of the anti-Adonalsium force]?

Brandon Sanderson

You’re focusing too much on this idea of an anti-Adonalsium. It—the original question I believe that was asked me was “is there a force that is opposed to Adonalsium” and it left me a lot of wiggle room. In other words, the people who killed Adonalsium, you could say were a force, any person who opposed Adonalsium... What they were trying to get was a “devil” but to do that you must assume Adonalsium was a more Christian-style God, and I haven’t confirmed any of that.

Oathbringer London signing ()
#16 Copy

Overlord Jebus

Is all Investiture in the cosmere associated with a Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, well, okay. So this is a complicated one. *pauses* So, Investiture predates the Shattering of Adonalsium, all Investiture was from Adonalsium, all Investiture got assigned to one of the 16 Shards when Adonalsium was Shattered. Some of the Investiture was not on Yolen but location is irrelevant. So Investiture is related to Shards even on planets where none of the Shards are inhabiting. 

Overlord Jebus

Are they aware of that Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson

That's part of the whole seeing into the infinite, being beyond even the power of a Shard. So, technically you could make the argument that Harmony could feel the sense of Preservation on every world in the cosmere, right? Because the building blocks of all life and creation are these things.

Overlord Jebus

So the Shard of Preservation embodies all preservation in the cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes but he just can't do that, right? Like, he's not infinite. The Vessels are not, even if their minds are enormously expanded by holding a Shard, they are not infinite. The Connection is all there in the Spiritual Realm

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#18 Copy

Karthikeyan Eswaran

For a person to ascend as a [Vessel], is it enough to have a Connection with the Shard, or does their general intent/mindset have to align with the Intent of the Shard (like Rayse and Odium have both shown similar mindsets)? If the intent needs to be similar, how did Ati, who was described as a kind person, pick up a Shard like Ruin? And if the intent doesn't need to be similar, how did the people at the Shattering manage to ascend, as the Shards had just been created? Did they have to go through some process to create a Connection? Or did they all somehow already have a Connection with Adonalsium (and thus with all the Shards) which made it easier to Ascend?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, there did need to be some Connection created--there was a lot going on with this. But it is possible for intents to not align and someone to take a Shard. It's way easier if intents do align, but humans don't tend to align 100% to any specific intent.

Steelheart Seattle signing ()
#24 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

Please explain what you will about Shards and Splintering and Slivers.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

An event happened long ago which destroyed something called Adonalsium into 16 pieces. And 16 people took up that power.

Questioner (paraphrased)

People?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

I call all intelligent species people. If someone takes up the power and lets go of it, it has the effect much like a balloon that's been stretched and then the air is let out. I call that a Sliver; based off of the Lord Ruler calling himself the "Sliver of Infinity". The Lord Ruler is someone who held the power and then released it. And so, current Slivers are the Lord Ruler, Kelsier, and there may be others around who at one point held the power and let go of it. A Splinter is a term used by certain people in the cosmere for power of Adonalsium which has no person caring for it, no... no person holding it, which has attained self-awareness.

Questioner (paraphrased)

So is that like the mists and the Well? Are they...

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

They are not, because they have not attained self-awareness. But, the Seons are self-aware. So, any piece, for instance there were some spren on Roshar before Honor and Cultivation got there. Those were already Splinters of Adonalsium where he had left power which attained sentience on its own. So, it can be intentional is what I am saying, does that make sense? You have seen other Splinters.

Questioner (paraphrased)

Are the highstorms related to the Splintering of Honor?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

The highstorms are more related to the mist from Mistborn which terminology we have not discussed yet. You have seen Splinters quite a bit on various planets.

Oathbringer Houston signing ()
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Paladin Brewer

Was it necessary that Adonalsium split into sixteen Shards, or was it happenstance?

Brandon Sanderson

I will RAFO that one.

Paladin Brewer

Would the number or intents have been different, if there were more or less people?

Brandon Sanderson

That's all wrapped up in that RAFO. Let's say it's conceivable that the split could have happened in different ways.

Idaho Falls signing 2014 ()
#29 Copy

leftinspace

Can you tell me how long it was from the Shattering of Adonalsium to the prelude of The Way of Kings when the Heralds abandoned the Oathpact?

Brandon Sanderson

Current timeline, which I have NOT canonized, is around 6,000 years... I have not finished with my outline document yet.

leftinspace

'Cause I've looked at the current chronology and it's very, very spotty...

Brandon Sanderson

Yes it is... the real trick is... making sure that I fit in, for instance, White Sand and things with the proper amount... because I haven't released that book series yet, I have to make sure while we're doing the graphic novel, that it fits the chronology, which is why I can't quite canonize things yet.

leftinspace

That one takes place before Way of Kings doesn't it?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes

leftinspace

'Cause I know one of the worldhoppers from there shows up in Way of Kings...

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, White Sand is one of the very earliest.

Skyward San Diego signing ()
#31 Copy

Questioner

With the Shards and them kind of splitting pre-Adonalsium, was it really Shattered on Yolen or is there a different place?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, it gets a little sticky for various reasons, but you can assume that that's a yes, that what it appears to be is correct. Dragonsteel and the story of Hoid takes place on Yolen but it gets messy, because there's some weirdness about the planet.

Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
#32 Copy

Questioner

So, Hoid was there during the Shattering of Adonalsium. Odium is going around, like, destroying other Shards. We know that Hoid is collecting and has pieces of some of the other Shards.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Since Hoid was there at the original Shattering of Adonalsium. Is there an echo image of the original Adonalsium in Hoid?

Brandon Sanderson

Uh, that's a RAFO. Here's your card. But it is a valid theory.

Questioner

I have a two-parter on that.

Brandon Sanderson

You can ask me the next part, but it is a RAFO.

Questioner

Is his end goal trying to join as many pieces of Adonalsium together to *inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

Um, that, I will give a "that's a very good guess." And that is what the books seem to indicate is happening.

Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
#36 Copy

Questioner

I was just wondering if a Shard's intent can change over time without changing holders?

Brandon Sanderson

Without changing holders? The holder can have a slight effect on how the-- a big effect on how the intent is interpreted, but what the intent is stays the same. So it's gonna be filtered. The way it manifests can change, and you'll see that happening, but it is the same intent. When it was broken off, it took a certain thing with it.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#39 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Let's see... *reading written question aloud* "Can you tell me anything new about the force that opposed Adonalsium?"

*writes* "I would count groups of people as a force."

 Okay? So, I'm not saying that that's what it is, but when people ask that question and leave a lot of wiggle room... because I would count groups of people as a force that opposed him. So, I have not confirmed it's a group or anything like that. The question has a lot of wiggle room.