In that same chapter, with the wedding, the Stormfather says, YOU HAVE BROKEN OATHS BEFORE to Navani. Will we ever learn more about that?
In that same chapter, with the wedding, the Stormfather says, YOU HAVE BROKEN OATHS BEFORE to Navani. Will we ever learn more about that?
In the... wedding, Dalinar suddenly remembers Kadash... retching... My theory is that the reason he was upchucking everything since yesterday was that he just realized that it was Evi, and he did it. Everybody's like, "No, it's just because it was such a brutal attack and it was horrible, and he's beyond it." And I'm like, no, I think it was was because he realized who's down there, and he was the one who lit the match. That's my theory...
I will not confirm or deny, but you did see me going like this *nodding*, so--
You've said the Sleepless are inspired by the Tines in A Fire Upon the Deep. They were very relient on being close to each other to survive. Are the Sleepless under the same restriction?
I would say not nearly as strict.
Are you going to make a Stormlight Archive RPG by chance?
Likely someday. The idea is we want to support Mistborn while we're supporting it. Maybe eventually we will do Stormlight as well.
And is Hoid now, like he can already basically Lightweave...
He can already-- I will have to delve into that during Hoid timed, but he was limited, and he's still limited. But there's stuff that he's been trying to do for a while that he can't quite get working.
'Cause it seemed like when he and Shallan were creating that story together of the wall--
Right, he was using her power, right? And guiding it, he wasn't doing it himself.
Is that something he can do in general, just help people with their powers?
Not necessarily. That was pretty special circumstances.
The spren that Hoid picks up, is that the one meant for Elhokar?
It is, yep.
I'm gonna take a stab at Kaladin's fourth oath. Is it, "I will not feel bad about slaughtering my enemies?"
...You know I'm not going to answer that. But I tell you what, it's been recorded by the fan sites, everything I say, so if you're right you're on record. But I'm not going to tell you.
The Sharders have asked if I can find out if the Ars Arcanum for Elantris written at any specific time. Like, was it during the events of Elantris?
The Ars Arcanum is around the context of then, yes. It should be around the events of the first book. I would have to look at it and double check that. But you can take that as canon unless I look at it and find--
Why are you a plant in the back of the book?
Well, here's the thing. When I wanted to do a picture in the back of the books, the original versions that the other publisher did, I said I wanted a silly picture. And they wouldn't let me put a silly picture. So I wrote that I was a potted plant, and then put my own picture. But when we did the reissues, the new publisher's like, "Eh, I guess we gotta use a potted plant," and then they went and got one and put it there instead. And I was totally fine with it. The joke was that it was just me but it said it was a potted plant, but now it is a potted plant.
In Stormlight Archive before the full disadvantaged duel, there's foreshadowing of Shardblades being spren and Adolin talking to his Blade, tradition. But then also... Adolin says, "Oh I forgot my mom's lucky necklace," and I don't think there's ever a reference to that again. Do we see something come back up about that necklace?
The necklace is just pure superstition on his part, it's not seeding something in... I have to sometimes make certain things not relevant, otherwise everything is relevant. So the chicken and the necklace mean nothing, but obviously the talking to the sword is a tradition that has a meaning, and it comes into play in Oathbringer.
Dalinar can learn languages with the people he contacts. Venli knows all the languages. Could he learn all the languages? And how long would that last?
His Connection is going to work-- He has to kind of be active about it, so it needs to be-- let me see if I can get the specific words right...
The mechanics I have in the notes is he has to touch someone and will learn to speak the language of their native country, that they spoke as a young person. He's making a direct Connection to that specific person and their way of speaking. So if you have learned another language and Dalinar shakes your hand and activates his Connection ability, he will Connect not to that language you've learned, but to your native language.
How long does it last?
I have it lasting-- it does need to be renewed, but I have it lasting basically as long as-- days not months. But I didn't actually put a define on it, so I'm going to say that's not canon. I'm not canonizing that. But I didn't want him to have to keep renewing it every couple of hours. But he would have to do it again if he left and came back.
So, when there's wordplay in The Stormlight Archive, we know they aren't speaking English, so are you to assume that that is a translation of the...
This is what Tolkein said, and I always rely upon this. You're reading the book in translation, and the person translating it is going to try to use the closest in feel, but to also make it translate to English. So even when they use idioms and things like that, sometimes they translate and the translator can drop them in. Sometimes they just don't translate, so the translator comes up with something that works in English... It gets you a lot of loopholes, like if you accidentally call something an ottoman and people are like, "But there's not an Ottoman Empire in this fantasy world!" But you're like, "Yeah, all words work that way." It's in translation. This is why when you read something like Allomancy, and they're like, "Well, it's got Latin roots, right?" Yeah... it's just the roots in their language would be something old Terris, and the easiest way to convey that feeling is to use something that's got-- you know. Stuff like that.
What do you think of the VR experience.
I thought it was a lot of fun. I liked the feeling of the world quite a bit. The version I played was a little buggy, so I hope that they got the build working where it's not as buggy. But I thought the visuals were great, like the chull, the feel of the chasms. I think they did a great job with the feeling.
Anything about Jasnah.
Jasnah, I would say, is the character who changed the least between the draft I wrote in 2002 and the final version. I always knew who she was and how she was going to turn out, and she stayed really consistent. So I'm really excited, particularly for the back five, which will have more of a focus on her. I've started to tease in some viewpoints, but you'll really get to know her starting in like books six, seven.
One of the characters in this book replied with "I've got this," or "I got this." It seemed really modern, like colloquially modern.
I've got an answer for this. So here's the thing. I use Tolkien's philosophy on this, which is that you are reading the books in translation, and the person translating the English tries to use the closest English approximation to the same sentiment that would happen in the books.
And we try to move away from being too modern colloquial, and things like that, but the actual answer is they said something that's a similar saying in this, and people did talk colloquially even if they didn't have modern slang. Like, the name Tiffany is a medieval name, people don't know that. There's all these sorts of things that people did even back then. But we try to find something that is not going to kick people out. We are less worried about historical accuracy, and more about what's going to convey the right idea. So just kind of pretend that. Pretend that it's being translated by someone like me, Brandon Sanderson, who can read the original Alethi and be like, "Oh, they said something that means this. What's the modern equivalent?"
You know the artwork... the arches with the faces? What are those?
Those are each of the Heralds. And those archways, Isaac picks based on what he thinks the themes of the chapter are. I don't pick which faces go on there. He reads the chapter... he tries to align what's happening with the emotions represented by the various characters.
And the thing underneath it is?
Generally the symbol of the viewpoint character. But those shift. Like for instance we sometimes start with a general one, and as the characters get more individual we add ones specifically for them. Usually you'll have one that's the viewpoint character, and then like for instance the ones for Jasnah and Shallan split apart when originally they just had one, and stuff like that.
I actually named my son named Kelsier.
Did you? That's awesome. I was actually realizing the other day that kids named after my books are starting, probably, to get old enough, the youngest ones, that they can be reading my books, which I'm not sure what I think about that.
What is the best advice you got from a beta reader or editor on your female characters?
Stop treating them like a role and start treating them like a person. Most of the times when guys write girls poorly, it is because they are saying "Well, this is the X. This person's role in the story is X," and then they make the person not exist beyond that. Every character, regardless of gender, should have their own motives, passions, and you should be able to know what they were going to do with their life if the plot hadn't smashed into them, and that can go a long way toward helping with that.
That was the big thing for me, was not writing anyone to a role... making everyone the hero of their own story. That was the big thing, but it was a process over time, figuring out treating people like characters instead of roles. That's kind of nebulous, right? Tell them to read a bunch of books by women, because a lot of them haven't, and that's part of the reason they're doing it poorly.
Oh and here's another big thing. The first way of being sexist in your writing involves writing people into roles, right? Into stereotypes. The next thing that people generally do, you'll see this a lot in cinema right now, is take the underrepresented group, or the token female or something, and make them awesome, so that they don't actually have any sort of-- they're just good at everything. Right? That's the next level of doing something wrong, and the third is where you're like, "Wait a minute. Let's make everybody kind of quirky and interesting in their own way, rather than putting anyone on a pedestal," and things like that.
And it's a process for all of us. You'll notice that like in the Mistborn books... I was so focused on making sure I had a strong female lead, that there is like no other women in whole the book. And that's a really common mistake... But you just get better at it the more you write.
Is Kaladin a worldhopper?
No. Kaladin has not been to any other planets (as of current)...
Is Dragonsteel Adonalsiumium?
RAFO. I'm not even sure how I'm going to canonize Dragonsteel when I add it in.
The smoky, shadowy spren that's at the battle of Thaylen fields, that's Yelig-nar, right?
During part 4 of Oathbringer when they are in Shadesmar. At no point did you depict an Everstorm whilst they are in there, and they were in there several weeks. Is there a specific reason you didn't depict that, or does it just not have a presence in the Cognitive Realm?
There is a specific reason I didn't depict that. It will be involved in a later book, and I was dodging it for "I'm not sure how I'm going to canonize this yet."
Adolin is hit by Parshendi lightning, and then his Plate reacts and starts blocking out the light from the rest of the lightning strikes. Is he awakening his Shardplate as well as his Blade?
So Shardplate didn't have as much of a problem as the Blades did, so if someone else were wearing that they could have had the same effect.
So it's more just a function of the Shardplate, really.
Yeah, but I mean the Shardplate needs to be a little more aware-- You know. It didn't have as much of an effect on Shardplate as the Blades.
That being the Recreance?
The Recreance, yeah.
Is Iyatil a Misting?
...That's a RAFO.
Is she a Ferring?
That's a RAFO.
Is she a Mistborn?
Iyatil is a RAFO!
Does Investiture seek/spawn intelligence because it used to be Adonalsium, or did Adonalsium come to exist because Investiture seeks intelligence?
That's a chicken and egg question, isn't it? You will find both theories espoused by people in the know. What are we calling them now? Cosmerenauts? That's what they said on Reddit. I would say cosmere arcanists, people like Khriss.
If someone is a full Mistborn and is able to use Feruchemical gold... can they safely burn harmonium?
Oh, okay. This is theoretically possible.
Would it have an effect?
Yes. It would do something.
And I'm going to hopefully ask what that is.
*gives a RAFO card* You've earned their card.
I know you have gay and lesbian, and you are planning on trans characters and have trans-ish characters. Do you have any asexual characters?
Yes, though I'm cheating. All the [singers] are asexual in certain-- I do have a non-[singer] asexual character, but I cheated and made an entire race of asexual characters.
Can you tell me anything about Zahel / Warbreaker / Vasher? I was very disappointed I didn't see him in Oathbringer. I was waiting for him.
He's in there. Briefly.
I'm waiting for him-- Him and Vivenna and Szeth. I want the three of them and Nightblood together. I want that scene, I'm waiting for it.
You will see some good things from him.
First, just please tell me anything about Nightblood--the book or the Type IV Awakened object. Or Warbreaker--the book or the Type II...
All right. My current plot for the book Nightblood. It's really minor, but it involves Darro entering the cosmere officially. He is a character from Aether of Night... He's a side character in that that I've always wanted to work into this main continuity, the real continuity, so he's coming.
If you're gonna crossover anyone into Stormlight, like if you were gonna grab Scooby Doo, or Dragonball Z, or any other series?
Any series that's not mine cross it over with Stormlight? Wow, I haven't been asked that before. What would I cross over with Stormlight? I don't know. Man, that's hard... Let me think about it. I could give you a goofy answer, but I've never even really thought about that before... Maybe I could slip over some futuristic sci-fi crossover with the Whedonverse.
The scene where Verin Mathwin dies. Did you write that?
I didn't. Robert Jordan wrote that. It is one of the very few scenes that he actually had written in the notes, and I was able to reach out, grab that one and drop it in. I was very satis-- In fact that was one of the big surprises when I was reading the notes.
Everybody-- I mean, it's probably my favorite scene that's ever been written.
Yeah, and he did that one. I feel very happy to be able to tell people that because there aren't a lot of scenes that I could just drop in that he wrote, and that is one of them.
Why don't you have to say the words if you're just bonding a Cryptic?
Every Order's First Oath is the same. Then the Second Oaths for the Cryptics go into truths, but everybody says the First Oath the same regardless of Order. Which should raise the question of--
Did Shallan say it when she was a teeny-weeny, like in the cradle?
That should raise a question. She wasn't teeny-weeny, but it should raise a question there.
Did humans come to Roshar through Shadesmar?
It is technology or magic closer to how the Oathgates work. But it was like that. It's not canon but right now that's what I have. It's not canon because there are certain things I have to work out before that can work...
By the way I'll just say to the tape recording that I haven't canonized, like for instance if they traveled to Shadesmar to get to Shinovar from Ashyn. Right now I have that not being via Shadesmar, but the mechanics of that might not work out, and I might have to default to Shadesmar. So there's certain things, you'll see, where I say, "This isn't the canon answer, it's where I have things right now."
So Urithiru might end up being a spaceship after all.
It's not that. Right now I have them using something closer to Oathgating, but it opens up a huge can of worms, when I'm not requiring direct-- When I'm sending through Spiritual Realm it opens up cans of worms, and I have to just make sure the mechanics on that are tight before I do it.
What was your favorite aspect from the Legion books to write? Who was your favorite character?
I would say JC was my favorite to write. I like humor. I like how unaware yet sometimes self-aware he can be. It allows me to play with character in an interesting way, so I would say him.
How many character chapters is too many? ...My first book has three character chapters, my second has six. I'm wondering if that's too--
Nothing is too many. It's good practice. You might lose control of it. My advice would be if you can keep those characters in clusters, meaning if you split them off into their own plots if they are together in one or two batches, it's going to be a lot easier. Adding more viewpoints is not too much harder when you're doing that. It's when they're all off on their own. But there's nothing that's too much, right? Even if it doesn't end up working out you will have taught yourself something.
...We saw in the [Arcanum Unbounded] that you can also travel without a perpendicularity to get to the different systems, but is that like an alien spaceship thing that we're going to find out?
Yes. You could get between them all if you used conventional space travel. It would take a long time, but you could get between them all. All the other methods use the magics in some way.
But does it always have to be the Cognitive Realm?
The ways that people know how to do it now are all related to the Cognitive Realm in some way. It doesn't have to be that way, but that's the way that everybody knows.
Has Eshonai left for the Beyond?
Yes. I'll canonize this. I'm sorry.
*sounds of horror and shock* Noooo, nooooo, RAFO it!
You wanted-- That was a RAFO-bait but, so I never intended that-- If you want to leave this one out there-- But I never intended Timbre to be Eshonai's soul. When people said that in the beta, I'm like, "Oh, I guess you could see that, but I mean that's not how spren work, right?"
I was going to say, so you're saying Timbre is not Eshonai's soul.
No. I never even thought they would make that connection. Because we saw Timbre in the previous book... I mean, I don't want to kill people's fan theories. But that one kind of blindsided me in the beta. I'm like, "Well I guess we'll go ahead and let people think that but no." No.
You can leave that one off if you want to tease people and things. Some people really want to believe that.
I made a bet that Eshonai was not only still be alive after Words of Radiance, but would also become Radiant. And then the bet was if not I had to eat a shoe.
So I've been trying to get out of it for like--
Well you could eat a gummy shoe or something like that...
But no, I didn't intend this. No. There are-- Yeah.
How did you come up with the name of the parshman Kaladin journeys with, Sah?
I don't remember. I was looking for Alethi names. Alethi has its roots in Arabic and Hebrew with a little bit of Chinese thrown in here and there, mostly with Arabic. So, not sure where I got that one specifically.
Jasnah and Khriss seem like they would be super good friends or girlfriends, and I was wondering if there was any possibility of that?
Yes, I think that they would get along.
Can a spren willingly break their bond anytime between the First and Fifth Oath, with their Radiant?
Yes, this is possible--
Essentially committing suicide isn't it though--
I just ascribe to that question-- A spren could at any point break it. Can they break it safely? That's a different question.
Can they break it safely? *laughs*
There are methods in place where it can be stopped. So yes it can be done. But once you've started into this, once you've chosen on both sides, it's a dangerous process. But yes it can be done, and it can be done safely.
Does Cusicesh the Protector have anything to do with the third Sibling at Urithiru?
See, you gave me too much wiggle room there. Because "anything" is a really broad term. So I could say yes, but not in the way you're thinking.
Okay, hmm I have to rethink my theory then.
I'll say probably not the way you're thinking.
Is there a difference between spikes from someone who is say, an eight year old and someone who is in their forties?
I've never been asked this before. My instinctual answer is no, but that's not written in the notes, that's just how I would answer right now.
So Hoid has a Cryptic.
It is heavily implied that Hoid is trying to get this Cryptic to--
And Soulcasting in some sense or another transports someone into Shadesmar. So does he no longer need a perpendicularity?
So, Hoid has been breaking certain rules along those lines for a long while. I guess he's not breaking any actual rules... He has found, by Stormlight, to do things in ways that others are not using. How about that?
That is excellent.
He is looking forward to having a spren bond that will make things like this easier...
And, audio recorder, that one is not quite canon yet. The one about Hoid.
Will we ever get a scene with Lift hanging out with Bridge Four?
Yes, you will likely get a scene like that at some point. No absolute promises, but probably.
All the physical manifestations--solid physical manifestations we've seen of Investiture has been metallic. It's been atium, lerasium, Shardblades. Is that just a coincidence?
No, it's intentional.
It's intentional so we're not going to see Investiture wood or Investiture plastic?
Right, I mean technically, like, what do you call the Aethers? Those are not metal. But I do it as metal intentionally.
They could be a metal with very low boiling point.
Yeah, the vine ones are--
Well we've had liquid, we've had gas, the solids all seem to be metallic, so.
That is intentional, it's just one of those little laws of the cosmere, that's not meant to mean anything
Are both of Kaladin's maternal... grandparents darkeyes?
No. Good question. I think you're the first one to pull that out of me...
There's one question, or two questions in [the signing line], that I know are driving your brains crazy, that are not as clear-cut in my answers as you might assume they are. One is about Kaladin's mother.
Mraize's Basement Emporium. Is that more like a trophy room or a "In case of emergencies" room?
Or a bank vault?
Or a weapon's vault?
I mean, he can't use the Aether, right? ...He can't use the Aether, he doesn't have an Aether. But the sand, the sand does stuff. So a handful of sand is a really useful amount of sand to have if you're not a sandmaster. Because sand reacts to Investiture. So if you let it fade and you take it somewhere, as soon as Investiture goes kinetic, it'll turn white again. So you'll be able to use it to tell who's using Inve-- it works just like a Seeker, like bronze pulses...
So having white sand, having sand around is really good. If you can keep the little beasties that are growing on the sand around, they will react to basically the Investiture equivalent of radiation. So that's handy.
Lightweavers are radios, aren't they? Lightwaves are radio waves? Light and-- they're the same thing, aren't they?
...They can do sound too, yeah. So you're saying lightweaving with illusion, can it?
Can transmit radio waves? As in, communicate over long distances, it's one of the most important things in battles, right? In war...
I had someone in one of my very early books irradiate someone with Lightweaving, I think.
Oh that's right you've got multiple kinds of Lightweaving.
You talked about Mistborn being the space traveler ones. I was wondering if you were going to utilize some of the speed bending into that, into the travel with it?
You will see what I do when I do that... The biggest problem is, for you physics majors, how we make sure that we're not breaking causality... So breaking causality is kinda my big no-no. For instance, I have right now that moving between Oathgates goes at the speed of light. But technically we still break causality, right, with Shadesmar stuff... But the issue--the way we can do it in Shadesmar is because it breaks causality, but there is so muc-- Like if you were able to go into Shadesmar, move at the speed of light, come out like, you could break causality but it's, in practice, impossible, because the difference is so slight.
We also break causality with the Spiritual Realm, but I can control that.
Also you can just kind of like, mulligan that off.
...If we were having instant speed, communication and things like that... yeah if we have an ansible, that's how we're not breaking causality. How we're not doing the train thought experiment which breaks my brain...
So that's the big thing I have to worry about once we get to the Mistborn era, the space travel and stuff. Like, right now I don't break causality, or at least if I do, it is indiscernible to human ability to realize it. Once we get to actual space travel, and actual FTL, then I want to have rules in place, even if it is just like the rule for red shifts. On speed bubbles, where I say, "Yeah it just doesn't happen." Letting you know. But it would be no fun. Even if it's just that. But I at least want to have that in hand.
Is there any effect on a Shardblade if the deadeye is really far away from where the Blade is?
The one that's trapped on the ship. Let's say they're taking him to the far side of Shadesmar, but the dude that owns that Blade lives in...
We will deal with that in the books. There is an effect, but that's not enough of an effect.
Considering no one says that their Shardblade is acting weird in two and a half thousand years.
That happens all the time in Shadesmar. If you were able to get it off the planet, it would have an effect.
If you as the owner of the Shardblade were offworld and you tried to summon it, that would be the effect?
Either way. But you can't take spren off-world. I mean, you can, but you can't really. Really all that I have in the notes for it to do right now, is to add slightly more time. So you're like, "That's weird that felt like not ten heartbeats, it felt like twelve." But it's like, you're on another planet, then it's suddenly speed of light type stuff. So suddenly it's like, "This is taking three years instead. That's a pretty big deal!"
...So I've got a few weird speed of light things mixed into the cosmere, and that's one of them.