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JordanCon 2016 ()
#1 Copy

Questioner

If the highstorms existed prior to the Shards' arrival, what's the relationship between the highstorms and the Stormfather?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh good question. I was wondering if someone was going to ask that… So, I'll tr-- Let me see… *sighs*

You know, I'm actually going to RAFO this one. *laughter* And let me tell you why, because I mean, I want to give you some reasons to be interested in the things that Dalinar will be talking about with the Stormfather. So this is a RAFO with an explicit promise that book 3-- These are things that are covered now that we have bonded the Stormfather to a person who can now ask some of these questions. I could totally just tell you now, but where's the fun in that? Read book three.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#3 Copy

Boogalyhu34

Is the mist creature, that was seen through out the second Mistborn book, Preservation/the mists version of the Stormfather, which seems to be related to Honor/Highstorms.

Brandon Sanderson

You are on the right track.

Boogalyhu34

The afore mentioned mist being was called a "shadow of self" in one of the original 3 MB books. Does this have anything to do with a book of the same name? The Stormfather also called himself a "shadow" of what Honor was, does this support my above theory?

Brandon Sanderson

The Stormfather would use the same language.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
#6 Copy

Questioner

We were talking that it's kind of a shame that Dalinar doesn't have his own "real" spren. I think it's an upgrade, is there a way I should think of this? Is it a cool thing or a bad thing?

Brandon Sanderson

This is a very cool thing, but it's also a very dangerous thing.

Questioner

Well [the Stormfather] controls the highstorms ... follow-up question: if he dies, does that affect the spren?

Brandon Sanderson

Dying, as long as the oaths are not broken, does not affect the spren in a very terrible way. There are effects.

Bands of Mourning release party ()
#7 Copy

Questioner

What happens when a... spren picks up a Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

What do you mean picks up a Shard? Shardblade or Shard of Adonalsium?

Questioner

Picks up a Shard of Adonalsium.

Brandon Sanderson

A spren is a Shard of Adonalsium so it just--

Questioner

Picks up one of the big ones like could a spren do the same thing that Kelsier's spirit did after he--

Brandon Sanderson

*hesitantly* It's like you're asking if electricity can gain a charge of electricity and get electrified. Does that make sense? I mean-- It's a question that doesn't make a lot of sense.

If a shard were to somehow-- They would just combine into a bigger shard and get larger-- if that makes sense?

Questioner

The foundation of that question was I thought that maybe the Stormfather spren was basically doing what Kelsier's spirit did.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, um *sighs* Not really... It's really a not really There's some similarities but it's a not really. It's not quite a RAFO though. more of a--

Questioner

More of a "doesn't quite work that way".

Brandon Sanderson

--doesn't quite work that way but you're thinking along the right lines?

Shadows of Self San Francisco signing ()
#9 Copy

Questioner

Does the spren have to be present for a Surgebinder to have their abilities? Because with Dalinar, the Stormfather won’t be around all the time...

Brandon Sanderson

Good Question! Fortunately, the Stormfather is a little more omnipresent. Normally you’re gonna have to have your spren close, but the Stormfather absorbed... is basically Honor’s cognitive shadow, which means he’s got a connection to a lot of different things, so he’s not bound by a lot of the rules that others are.

Firefight Miami signing ()
#10 Copy

Questioner

In Words of Radiance, there's a fragment that says that the Bondsmiths have a power that none of the other Orders have.

Brandon Sanderson

That will be answered in a future book... *discussion on RAFOs* Basically, each of the Orders actually had their own quirks and individual things. Some of them were more dramatic than others. But if you watch through, you'll be seeing that they kind of have some different effects that aren't related necessarily to the Surges.

Questioner

So, then follow-up question, the reason that the Bondsmiths don't get Shards is because they have that extra power?

Brandon Sanderson

The reason is because the Stormfather is particularly-- how he is. And he's more cantankerous than he was, even in the past...

Each of the Orders, I wanted to have a lot of individuality. I didn't want them to all just be different copy-clones. You'll also find that they also have very different philosophies on even things like honor and what is good and things like that.

Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing ()
#11 Copy

Questioner

Seons are Splinters?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Splinters of Devotion.

Questioner

Um, Splintered...Honor is the *inaudible*...the stormwall...

Brandon Sanderson

The Stormfather?

Questioner

The Stormfather.

Brandon Sanderson

The Stormfather is technically a Splinter of Honor, but it was an intentional Splinter, that Honor did himself.

Questioner

Does he have another Splinter?

Brandon Sanderson

So, all of the honorspren are Splinters of Honor, but this is a different situation because he actually did this intentionally.

Oathbringer Houston signing ()
#12 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

I was wondering if there was a connection between when we meet Preservation in Secret History, and the way he is, and the Stormfather. Like, is he dead yet, in Secret History?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

There is a similarity, but-- Dying for a Shard takes a long time, in a lot of cases. So, it's similar. But the Stormfather is something different, *inaudible* remnants left over after the god died. 

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

So is he dead?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Honor is dead, yes. But, at the same time, the Stormfather is kind of his Cognitive Shadow. So-- what does "dead" mean?

JordanCon 2016 ()
#13 Copy

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

1) The Nightwatcher and Stormfather are parallel entities such that Nighwatcher:Cultivation :: Stormfather:Honor.

2) There is sort of a parallel for Odium, but the parallel is the various Unmade instead of a single entity.

3) They are parallel in that they are all Splinters.

4) The Unmade are voluntary Splinters, because Odium ("like almost all of the other Shards") voluntarily Splintered part of it's power.

5) The Stormfather is different from the others because it's a Sliver.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#18 Copy

Questioner

Speaking of the Stormfather, would the Nightwatcher and the giant water spren be on the same level of spren as the Stormfather?

Brandon Sanderson

...The Nightwatcher, yes. Um... There are, I would say, a level below the Stormfather and the Nightwatcher who are also much-- a much bigger deal than something like one of the sapient spren, and that's what Cusicesh is.

Questioner

So the Nightwatcher is a spren you'd say?

Brandon Sanderson

The Nightwatcher-- I mean, they call the Nightwatcher a spren. Everyone in the books thinks the Nightwatcher is a spren. That's what they would call-- that's what they would call, if they knew what Honor was, they would call Honor a spren. A spren is Investiture that is alive.

Bystander

Nightblood?

Brandon Sanderson

So they would call Nightblood a spren. They would call-- That's the word for what all of these things are. They would probably've called Adonalsium a spren…

Moderator

What would Hoid call one of those?

Brandon Sanderson

What would Hoid call the Nightwatcher? *laughter* What would Hoid call one of what?

Moderator

Yeah what would Hoid call the Nightwatcher?

Brandon Sanderson

Um… *long pause/laughter*

Moderator

If Hoid were to use a non-proper noun?

Brandon Sanderson

Unpleasant names. *laughter*

JordanCon 2014 ()
#19 Copy

WeiryWriter

What are Cultivation's feelings with regards to the Stormfather?

Brandon Sanderson

Cultivation's feelings... Cultivation is, *long pause* I just have to decide how I can say things that are not spoilers. Cultivation-- The Stormfather reminds her of certain things about someone else she knew, and she feels the same way about the Stormfather in some ways as this person that she knew.

Worldbuilders AMA ()
#20 Copy

WeiryWriter

Can a person who dies but somehow hasn't passed Beyond the Three Realms (a la Kelsier) serve in place of a spren for Radiant purposes?

Brandon Sanderson

This is theoretically possible, but it would require an unusual sequence of events.

WeiryWriter

We know that the Stormfather is a Cognitive shadow and is also acting as a spren for Dalinar but is he able to do that because the "unusual sequence of events" took place or is there something else going on specific to the nature of the Stormfather?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO. :)

Carluun

If Kelsier became a "spren" for a Radiant, would he grant Surgebinding or Allomancy?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

FAQFriday 2017 ()
#21 Copy

Questioner

Can holders of Shards give them up voluntarily? If so, what would happen?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, a Vessel for a Shard of Adonalsium can give up their power if they wish.

As for what would happen...well, there are some variables in there. Kind of like the variables in what happens to a bucket of water if you dump it out. Depends on where it falls, how strong the wind is, what the air is like.

Power dropped like this, if left alone, could end up Splintering and turning into something like spren/seons. It could become something more like the Stormfather--a large, self-aware entity. It could become something like the Dor or many of the Unmade--something proto-aware, but not truly an individual. There are other possibilities as well, depending on lots of factors. (Are sapient beings involved? what is being done with the power--is it concentrated in the Spiritual Realm as normal, or is it being pushed somewhere else?)

General Reddit 2016 ()
#22 Copy

PG_Wednesday

[WoB compilation about spren]

Brandon Sanderson

Hmm. With a casual glance, I see at least one here that I might have been fixated on a question that wasn't actually being asked. I do this occasionally, particularly at signings, where we're going so fast and I think someone is asking something that they're not.

In regards to there being spren bonds before the Last Desolation--there obviously were. (We see Knights Radiant in Dalinar flashbacks that are before the Last Desolation.) I think I was trying to talk my way around a different question, without giving RAFO answers, that I'm not going to get into now.

Another sketchy one on this list is regarding whether the spren call the nightwatcher Mother or if they're calling cultivation Mother. I don't think the text of the books actually implies either way, despite what I said. (Unless I'm forgetting something.) For those in the know, with the Nightwatcher being an analogue of the Stormfather, that implication is there--but I don't want to confirm it either way. You'll get more on the Nightwatcher and Cultivation, and their relationship, in the books.

Bands of Mourning release party ()
#23 Copy

CarolaDavar

If the Stormfather were to turn into a blade for Dalinar, would it be bigger than other shardblades?

Brandon Sanderson

Um… That's a RAFO. *people get excited* That doesn't mean that I'm going to answer it, that means that answering it would either canonize something I don't want to canonize or it would mean that it is something irrelevant and I don't want to send fans spiraling into-- and so... It doesn't necessarily mean that something that will be included in the books.