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Skyward San Francisco signing ()
#2 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

When Shallan is telling the story about the girl and the wall, she said that her hair was white. Does that matter in any way?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Are the Shinovars... Shin people hair white?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

They are not all white, but I'll RAFO the further question.

Footnote: It sounds like the questioner intended to ask about hair color, but Brandon's phrasing makes it sound like he may have been talking about skin color.
Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
#4 Copy

Questioner

He said, "I was reading through *inaudible* Szeth section he mentioned that 'we are all that remains'. Is he saying that the Shin are the lost Order? The one that didn't abandon the oaths? Of course the section *inaudible* alternatives-- *interrupted*

Brandon Sanderson

What they are doing is-- Szeth is saying, "We are all that remains that remembers what happened before." [...] And they may be-- they may not remember accurately. But they consider themselves the only ones who know. Does that make sense? [...] It is not reference to the Orders.

Words of Radiance release party ()
#5 Copy

Questioner

I've seen online, but I haven't been able to find an actual confirmation. In Way of Kings, it describes Shin Warriors as being bought and sold by means of small stones. Are those Oathstones?

Brandon Sanderson

Those are very similar to Oathstones indeed. You will find out a lot more. But yes, you're on the right track.

Salt Lake City signing ()
#6 Copy

Questioner

So Truthless are kind of pretty rare, right, in the Shin society?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

So how did they come by the [Honorblades] that Szeth's got?

Brandon Sanderson

They, historically, kept all of them.

Auestioner

Oh, ok. I wondered if that was the case. Interesting. Does that have anything to do with why they think stone is sacred?

Brandon Sanderson

You will find out more about that as time progresses.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#7 Copy

theblackthorne

I find the Shin fascinating. Given their reputation for docility and Szeth's internal monologues, am I right in thinking that the Shin do not feel The Thrill?

If so, is this due to the protection of Cultivation or sheer distance from Nergaoul? And finally, is an awareness or fear of the Thrill the reason for the Shin societal disdain for soldiers or is it primarily to discourage use of the honour blades?

Brandon Sanderson

Distance is the big factor here, though there are cultural reasons for things as well. In addition, being very close to something tied to Honor reduces the effects of things like the Thrill. As for the Shin culture, you'll find a great deal in the next three books, so I'd rather not say much now.

General Reddit 2018 ()
#8 Copy

TopRamen713

I think it's probably the remnants of the first agreement between the singers and humans. They were allowed to terraform Shinovar, and rule that area, but anywhere else, they were forbidden from. Eventually, it morphed into the "soil lands are for humans, everywhere else is for singers." Then, over the millenia, it became a religious teaching, "don't walk on stones."

Peter Ahlstrom

Brandon wrote a ton of worldbuilding down before starting to write the first book, and this particular thing is definitely something he planned from the start. He does keep a lot of stuff in his head, but sometimes that shifts over time. Part of our job is to make sure what's in his head now doesn't conflict with what has previously been published.

If the outline doesn't work for something, Brandon will change it while writing. As long as it doesn't conflict with published canon, it's always more awesome than his earlier plans.