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FanX Spring 2019 ()
#1 Copy

Undercoverwillshaper

So you had had a Word of Brandon that had said that Tien was on his way to becoming a Lightweaver. My question is, did he ever actually become a Lightweaver; did he speak an Oath, and if so, did he bond with a Cryptic?

Brandon Sanderson

That's an excellent question. If you look closely through the first book, you will see Tien having some slight Lightweaving effects. In the back of my head, he was where Kaladin was during most of the first book, where it wasn't really official but there was a spren hanging around. He was very close to-- by the time he left, already done that. I would say he never actually managed to get that bond working... Otherwise, perhaps, things would have played out differently than they did.

Skype Q&A ()
#3 Copy

LadyLameness

You've said that Tien was beginning to bond a Cryptic before he died – did he use Surgebinding before he died, even unconsciously? If yes, did we ever see it on screen?

Brandon Sanderson

He was far enough along to start having some of the-- let's just say he was far enough along to have sworn at least one oath.

Skyward Atlanta signing ()
#4 Copy

Questioner

Is there anything more significant to Tien's obsession with rocks? Or is that just an example of him being a unique kid?

Brandon Sanderson

There is a little bit to the way he's seeing color in mundane things. It's less the rock, and more the things about the world he finds interesting. So I'm going to say it's the second. It's an aspect of who he is; the rock itself is not the important thing.

Barcelona Virtual Signing ()
#5 Copy

Koajan

I have a question about the man at the end of Rhythm of War that Kaladin finds, that used to recollect lost objects from the Shattered Plains, such as Rock's razor or even Tien's horse. Will we get to know more about him, or is it just a random man?

Brandon Sanderson

So, what is happening there is all RAFO material. I'm not gonna answer any specifics about Tien's horse or even about Tien. There are lots of ways you can theorize that this happened, and I'm not gonna canonize which of them it is. One of those includes Hoid and his shenanigans, that's a possibility. One of which is kind of some Fortune being bent around what's going on. Other possibilities are that there's a divine manifestation. I'm not gonna say which of those it is, but there are lots of plausible answers there.

Dragonsteel Mini-Con 2021 ()
#6 Copy

Questioner

You've said before that Tien was on the track to becoming a Lightweaver, before he, you know. What lie was he telling that was attracting a Cryptic?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a very good question. Tien was hiding a lot of belief that he was not a good person. That people didn't want to be around him, and things like this. He was hiding a lot of that, and he knew that people saw him as a burst of sunshine, and he didn't ever want them to not see him that way. That was really hard on him, as it is on a lot of people who are like Tien.

Questioner 2

But did he like rocks?

Brandon Sanderson

He really liked rocks. The fact that he never got to meet Rock is... and throw a bucket of water on him!

The Great American Read: Other Worlds with Brandon Sanderson ()
#7 Copy

Questioner

In Stormlight, with Kaladin and his brother Tien, is there a connection or a reason why, whenever his brother finds a rock, that keeps coming up several times?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. So, there's a couple themes going on here. One is just the subtle theme that Tien tends to find beauty in things that Kaladin finds dull. That's, of course, kind of the metaphor. But Tien also was a budding Lightweaver, and he saw color and light a little bit differently than other people did. And he has the same general effect that you'll see Shallan having on people, which is how the Lightweaver views you influences a little bit more how your mood is, and things like that... And there is a magical element to that, as well. There's both a metaphoric reason and an in-world reason.

Dragonsteel Mini-Con 2021 ()
#8 Copy

Questioner

Close to the end of Rhythm of War, Dalinar Connects Kaladin to something, which gives him the vision of Tien. Did he Connect him to Tien's dead soul, and if so, does Dalinar know what he did?

Brandon Sanderson

There are two prevailing theories on what happened here among cosmerenauts, in-world Arcanists. You would get two different answers. The most common answer is, Dalinar attached himself to the Spiritual Realm, pulled out possibilities, and showed one of those to Kaladin.

Questioner

If so, where did the horse come from?

Brandon Sanderson

Either pure coincidence, or some sort of matching of Fortune to the moment, that ended up leading Kaladin to the place he needed to be, which is the way a lot of Fortune works. Fortune would be like, "You should go here," and you don't even know why. That's what the Arcanist answer would be, it would be the most common answer. Some people would say he reached into the Beyond and connected Tien to Kaladin via Tien's actual soul. I will leave these both as equally valid theories. As I've said many times, I'm not gonna say whether there is an actual afterlife in the cosmere because it is too foundational to too many characters' beliefs, or lack of beliefs, or worldview in-world to have the author contradict them either way.

MisCon 2018 ()
#9 Copy

Questioner

Was Syl starting to bond with Tien before he died?

Brandon Sanderson

No, good question. But Tien was starting to bond a different spren.

Questioner

I was suspecting that he was bonding a spren, but then Syl says, at one point, I think she was familiar with Kaladin's hometown, so I was like, maybe!

Brandon Sanderson

Good question, but no, he was going in a different direction.

Questioner

Can you tell me--

Brandon Sanderson

Lightweaver.

FanX Spring 2019 ()
#10 Copy

Questioner

At the end of Oathbringer, or near the end, Kaladin is talking to Syl about not getting Shallan or whatever, and he says that she really just reminded him of someone, who is it that she reminded him of?

Brandon Sanderson

She reminded him of Tien, his brother, because his brother was a burgeoning Lightweaver, and Lightweavers, you'll notice, when they're around someone, that person starts to act a little bit more like a little bit of their best self. There's a bit of, also, counteraction to feelings of darkness and despair, it's just a natural Lightweaver sort of thing. And so, part of what Kaladin was drawing from Shallan was that feeling. I think it could've totally become love. And he's now cutting that off, he's saying it couldn't at all have become-- it could have. But that was part of what was drawing him in.

YouTube Spoiler Stream 1 ()
#12 Copy

Drew Berg

Is Tien's spren still around, or are they recovering like Syl did after her prior Radiant's death?

Brandon Sanderson

We'll RAFO that for now. Tien's spren is not going to be a deadeye. Tien didn't break his oaths, Tien was killed. So we'll RAFO what's up with his spren for now. But you can rest assured that it's not any of that.