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Shadows of Self release party ()
#1 Copy

Questioner

Is there a way for any of the Shards to circumvent the Cognitive Realm and resurrect somebody?

Brandon Sanderson

...So, resurrection in the cosmere is-- depends on if-- where your mind is, and the status of your body, and whether your mind and soul have kind of combined and passed on. If you get to them before that happens, then you can re-attach the soul to the body. And you see that happening in Warbreaker quite often.

Bystanders

The Returned.

Brandon Sanderson

The Returned, yeah. You just gotta get the soul before it passes on. Once it passes on nobody knows where it goes.

clyguy

Now Harmony tells Spook that Kelsier and Vin say hi. So is he able to reach into wherever they are?

Brandon Sanderson

He doesn't say that they say hi, he says--

Bystanders

They're doing well.

Brandon Sanderson

They're doing well.

clyguy

Can he see them or communicate with them at all?

Brandon Sanderson

He has interacted with them at some point.

Firefight release party ()
#2 Copy

Lady Radagu

Does being the donor of a Hemalurgic spike have any implications for your afterlife? Or how about the recipient?

Brandon Sanderson

That is actually going to depend on-- Okay. Yes it has implications for the afterlife. Yes.

Lady Radagu

Okay so are there a bunch of Scadrian souls wandering the afterlife with holes in their personalities or memory or identity? Or some with extra parts tacked on?

Brandon Sanderson

So it has implications, but they are not exactly ones that you are assuming. So in the cosmere there is "dead" and "mostly dead". Okay? And this has been shown several times so once someone dies there is a period before they transition. Sazed talks about this in Mistborn 3. And so most of the implications are for before transition. Does that make sense? Post-transition you are going to have to ask the philosophers and the theologians who are the ones that talk about that. So there is an afterlife and an after-afterlife. Not as many implications for after-afterlife. Middle? Yes. Okay?

Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
#3 Copy

Questioner

I was wondering if the Tranquiline halls, if that's in the spiritual, the physical, or the Cognitive?

Brandon Sanderson

So... that's a big fat RAFO, because that's actually a false dilemma, there are other options than those three. One of which just being that it is a mythological piece from their theology and not an actual location.

Questioner

So it's not an actual place?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a fourth option for the three, does that makes sense? So its a bigger RAFO even than that, it's a RAFO in that I'm not going to confirm that its one of those three. Good question.

Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
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Questioner

So, if Nightblood, unsheathed, killed someone, would their soul still go to the Beyond?

Brandon Sanderson

So, that's gonna be a matter of-- There's gonna be disagreement in the cosmere about that. Nobody has been able to actively test it, because there are certain things you can see, but there are people who are actively discussing this concept.

Questioner

So, no one knows for sure?

Brandon Sanderson

Nobody knows for sure. And I'll just leave it at that. It's an astute question that even Vasher has-- Vasher has his thoughts, but he does not have a definitive answer, and others disagree with him.

General Reddit 2016 ()
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Evilkill78

While rereading HoA I decided to do a bit of research on an informant. But I also found another interesting tidbit on Theoryland.

http://www.theoryland.com/intvmain.php?i=727#35

This WoB. It implies TenSoon is eventually going to be able to reconnect with Vin, or at least, someone with Hemalurgic spikes is going to be able to communicate with someone that's departed to "The Beyond" (or the Spiritual Realm)...

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, this looks like one where I was tired from answering a lot of questions, and was thinking about Kelsier--I was really excited to write Secret History back then. I realize that it wouldn't make sense for Kelsier to want to talk to TenSoon, but you'd be surprised the things that you say sometimes when you're trying to write in someone's book, keep yourself from giving too many spoilers, but also answer questions. You can go on auto-pilot sometimes for a minute or two, answering questions that my brain THINKS someone asks, when it's not one they actually asked. Or mashing together two questions, and having a kind of crossed-wires brain moment. You can see me do this on Reddit sometimes too, if you look back through my history. I often catch it and edit to explain myself, but not always This was during the era when I was heavily laying foreshadowing to fans for Kelsier's return, so it wouldn't feel like a cheat when I eventually got to Secret History. So I was looking for opportunities to talk about people with spikes communicating with the Cognitive Realm. I can't remember. There's also a possibility that I was still contemplating Vin staying, which she could have done, as someone who'd carried one of the powers. Either way, I made the call that even bringing Kelsier back was dangerous for undermining consequences, and having Vin hang around would be counter to her character arc and the arc of the stories. So Vin and TenSoon won't be talking any time soon. Sorry to shut down conversation on this one, and sorry to lead you on.

When Worlds Collide 2014 ()
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Khyrindor (paraphrased)

Shards can talk to dead people. Are the Tranquiline Halls where everyone in the cosmere goes when they die? Or does each world have its own heaven.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

There is an afterlife that is not heaven that the Shards don't know about, or can't look into. Each world has its own heaven depending on its religions. The real afterlife is different across the cosmere, and the Tranquiline Halls are different.

Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
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Melhay

Also, We just took for granted that Sazed is with Tindwyl now. Is that so?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, here's the thing. What Sazed is right now is something of a god in the classic Greek sense—a superpowered human being, elevated to a new stage of existence. Not GOD of all time and space. In a like manner, there are things that Sazed does not have power over. For instance, he couldn't bring Vin and Elend back.

Where Tindwyl exists is beyond space and time, in a place Sazed hasn't learned to touch yet. He might yet. If you want to add in your heads him working through that, feel free. But as it stands at the end of the book, he isn't yet with Tindwyl. (He is, however, with Kelsier—who refused to "Go toward the light" so to speak, and has been hanging around making trouble ever since he died. You can find hints of him in Mistborn 3 at the right moments.

Oathbringer release party ()
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Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

We see, in Secret History, all the people going Beyond after they die. Do all the victims go there? Or just people? Just sentients? Would a Ryshadium go the Beyond, if it died.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Um-- Yes.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

What about, like, a rockbud, or a chasmfiend?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Um, that, you're gonna have to ask the philosophers about. Because, if it happens, it happens really fast, so they have trouble spotting it.

Oathbringer London signing ()
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Yata [PENDING REVIEW]

When someone dies on Nalthis, their Breaths: go away with the soul, or remain in the corpse?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Breaths return to Endowment.

Yata [PENDING REVIEW]

Together with the soul? Or remain in the corpse?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

The soul--

Yata [PENDING REVIEW]

Passes away?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes, unless it turns into a Cognitive Shadow. Then, the soul goes into the Beyond. And so the actual essence of the soul, the Investiture of it, does return to Endowment.

Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
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Ward

When Harmony Ascends, he admits he doesn't have a good view of the Spiritual Realm. Does he develop a better one over time? And are there other Shards that already have a very good view of that?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. But it is still something that is hard to grok, so to speak, in-canon, *inaudible*, hard to understand. But he has a much better understanding, and the other Shards, some of them have a very good understanding. The thing is, the difference between the Spiritual Realm and the Beyond is not something that is immediately obvious.

Ward

So, the Spiritual Realm is not the Beyond?

Brandon Sanderson

No, Spiritual Realm is not the Beyond. There are three Realms of existence. The Beyond, some would say... There are philosophers would would say, the Spiritual Realm and the Beyond are one, that the soul gets sucked into and joins the Investiture. That's the idea of the One. But, most people would say the Beyond is not...