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/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#1 Copy

mysteriouspenguin

You said that there are ten major Shardworlds. Are Threnody and First of the Sun (planets without shards) part of those ten? What other Shardworlds we know about are not part of the ten?

Brandon Sanderson

I don't know if I've said specifically, but I think I've implied that neither one are major worlds for the storytelling narrative. (Though Threnody is more important by far.) I believe that I've mentioned the others all being major factors in the story.

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
#2 Copy

Questioner

Will there be any more of Silence from the Forests of Hell?

Brandon Sanderson

The world is very relevant to the cosmere. I have several books planned there, I don’t know how many of them I’ll write. I will at least write one of them. Silence herself is not a character from the books. I designed that story and it matched the world so I put it there. But yes there will be other things from that world.

Shadows of Self release party ()
#3 Copy

Questioner

So Threnody, does it have anything to do with Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

Uh, I mean--

Questioner

Beside y’know that there in the same--

Brandon Sanderson

No, it doesn't. I mean, it's connected to the larger cosmere… You will find more. There are important people from Threnody that are involved in things. You've seen other people from Threnody in the books but I don't think like it's connected to Roshar in any special way

Words of Radiance San Diego signing ()
#4 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

For the Dangerous Women story, are you going to write anything again in that world?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

That world will show up again. Silence probably won't, but the world itself, yes. It's called Threnody, it is one of the Cosmere worlds. There's not a Shard there but there are interesting things happening. There's actually been a character in other books who's from Threnody. It will eventually be clear who that is, but they have shown up in many previous Sanderson novels.

Questioner (paraphrased)

Would that be Hoid?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Hoid is not from Threnody. Good question though. Hoid is from Yolen.

Words of Radiance San Francisco signing ()
#5 Copy

Questioner

If Kelsier's [Cognitive Shadow] or a Seon went to the Forests of Hell, would they be shades there?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, that is the same thing. Now, you can see that there-- the people on that planet; their Investiture; the lack of Shard means that their cognitive shadows react differently.

[...]

In fact, the Cognitive Shadow is also the same thing as the ghost you saw in Mistborn, that was the spirit of Leras is the same thing too.

/r/fantasy AMA 2017 ()
#10 Copy

Phyrkrakr

I just finished Arcanum Unbounded and I have to ask: Who's the "dangerous" guy in the corner of the waystop in Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell? That's not Hoid, is it?

Brandon Sanderson

This is not Hoid. I toyed with a cameo for him in the story, but decided that forcing him to be at every little point in all the smaller stories was just having him be there for the sake of having him be there. It's better for the cosmere if I don't force him into every story, but let him be involved in the ones where he has a legitimate reason.

Beyond that, getting on and off of Threnody is not particularly easy.

Holiday signing ()
#11 Copy

Questioner

Are you going to do another book for Perfect State? ‘Cause that sucked me in.

Brandon Sanderson

A lot of people really want more.

Questioner

It made me so mad. "Stop writing novellas! I need more information on this."

Brandon Sanderson

The big secret on that is that Sophie, the one-- is actually his nemesis. So the robot was not actually a robot, it was a VR thing that she was controlling...

Questioner

So are you going to write another?

Brandon Sanderson

I don't know if I will, I don't know if I will. So you didn't actually get to see Melhi, his nemesis getting to play with him in-person and things like that. So there's layers there that are kind of complicated.

Questioner

Like even with the cosmere novella you released Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell, that one I was like "Why are these so short?!"  I'm not used to this.

Brandon Sanderson

That world is important to the cosmere, so that world-- Silence herself you won't see any much more of, but that world itself is very cosmere relevant.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#15 Copy

Questioner

I currently have a pet theory--

Brandon Sanderson

Oh yeah? What is it?

Questioner

That... there's a-- That there was-- Whatever the fourth Shard that Odium [Splintered]-- People-- The people who founded Threnody were--

Brandon Sanderson

So you should read Khriss' introductions to the worlds in the Cosmere Collection.

Footnote: The essay for Threnody in Arcanum Unbounded did reveal that Ambition, the "fourth" Shard Odium Splintered was dealt a grievous wound in the Threnodite system, and it's Investiture has had an effect on the planet and it's inhabitants.
Librarypalooza ()
#17 Copy

Paladin Brewer (paraphrased)

Is Threnody in the same planetary system as Sel?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

[No, they are not]

Peter Ahlstrom (paraphrased)

Folks, I hate to be a killjoy, but I just asked Brandon about this, and he says that he answered that question with "No, they are not."

Brandon says he specifically remembers this question, and he remembers saying that Threnody and Sel were not in the same system.

In any case, Threnody and Sel do not revolve around the same star. (And they're not in a binary system system either, for those trying to salvage something out of this.)

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
#20 Copy

Questioner

I’ve been fixating on this mass exodus. The Iriali, the Iri people, are they the people of the mass exodus? Or-- I've always wanted it to be the people of Threnody.

Brandon Sanderson

The Iriali are not native to Roshar.

Questioner

Okay, that's... what I've always assumed.

Brandon Sanderson

There is stuff going on on Threnody too, it shares some similarities.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#21 Copy

zotsandcrambles

Is the silver on Threnody imbued with investiture? The presence of a silver knife in Stormlight leads me to believe Threnodoic Silver is actively different than average silver and Threnody's silver could be used off-world in a way - say - Sel's silver couldn't.

Brandon Sanderson

I'm RAFOing most questions about Threnody for multiple reasons. It's a RAFO you shouldn't read too much into, however.

Words of Radiance San Francisco signing ()
#22 Copy

Questioner

For [Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell], did that take place in the cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

It does. It's on a planet called Threnody. There is no Shard on that planet, however. So you can see the magic is very different in that the magic is something you interact with, not something you perform. Because there isn't a Shard there. But yeah, it is in the cosmere.

/r/fantasy AMA 2017 ()
#24 Copy

gauzemajig

Do you think you'll ever go outside of the established raunchiness of your books? I don't mean a murder sex party, but you know, straying a bit into the dark and gritty. It's just my opinion but I feel like you play it a little safe. Not necessarily a bad thing though!

Brandon Sanderson

I don't think I've crossed the line where I'm personally comfortable doing, but I think I'm close. Usually, I give a few characters (like Wayne) the ability to go further than others, as an acknowledgement that there are good people out there who don't happen to have my same prudish nature.

I think the thing you'll see that is the closest is when (and if) I write the Threnody novel.

For everything else, you'll have to settle for knowing that one of my quirks as a writer is that I do indeed play it a little safe--and probably will always do so. I'm very aware that my children, nieces, and nephews read my books. Beyond that, I feel that I'm an intentional and specific contrast to other writers in the genre--I consider it my duty to prove that (like many of the classic movies) you can write something that is for adults, and has depth, without delving into grittiness.

This is not a disparagement of people like Joe Abercrombie, who I think is an excellent writer, or others like him--and I'm glad we have them in the field. However, my own path goes a different direction, and I think it's important that I also publish, proving to those who perhaps wish to be more circumspect in these areas that there is a place for them in the genre too.

Xluxaeternax

Does that mean that you recognize that the stories that take place on Threnody, a world of your creation, are stories that you are uncomfortable exploring because they are too harsh or intense? If that's the case I find that absolutely fascinating and very impressive- it's almost as if the Cosmere is a real place with real people and you're just communicating their stories to us. I personally would rather you never told those stories instead of forcing them to be something that is untrue to what you created them to be.

Brandon Sanderson

A writer must be willing to do uncomfortable things; I fully believe that. Stories like Snapshot (my most recent novella) have done this before, and if I write the Threnody novel, I intend to do it well. (But also be very clear to audiences that it's darker than other cosmere books.)

It's not about intensity--I feel other books are intense. Or even about violence or darkness. It's about how far the narrative needs to delve into these things, or the relationship of light and hope to the darkness.

Dalinar's backstory in Stormlight is uncomfortably dark, and I won't pull punches from it. But it's balanced by the man he has become. In Threnody, some of the stories don't have that balance.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
#25 Copy

Rhandric

How many magic systems are there on Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

It depends on your definition. Is Windrunning its own magic system, or is it a division of a larger magic system? Are the ten different Surges each their own magic system, or...it's really how...

Rhandric

If you assume the surges are considered one.

Brandon Sanderson

Well then you would have Surgebinding, and the Old Magic, those are two at least, and there are things that are not explained in those at all, and how do you count creating fabrials? Is that a science and not a magic? Is that its own magic system?

Questioner 2

It's a science, because anyone can do it.

Brandon Sanderson

So Awakening is not a magic, then? Awakening's a science? Because anyone can Awaken if they just get the breath.

Rhandric

That's one thing that stood out to me in your magic systems, because in all your other magic systems that we've seen so far there has to be some form of snapping to occur, and that's unique...

Brandon Sanderson

Not all of them because, um, let's see...

Questioner 3

BioChroma doesn't.

Brandon Sanderson

BioChroma does not requires snapping.

Rhandric

Actually wait, is there an active magic system on Threnody?

Brandon Sanderson

Threnody has a non Shard-based...it depends on what you call magic. Do spirits coming back to life count as magic? It's science to them, but it's goofy science.