Have the Bondsmiths ever had a Shardblade? Have any of the Bondsmiths had Shardblades?
RAFO! Good question. Good question.
Have the Bondsmiths ever had a Shardblade? Have any of the Bondsmiths had Shardblades?
RAFO! Good question. Good question.
The final thing I'll note on this chapter is that the voice Spook hears after he's pulled out the spike is actually Kelsier. You'll see Kelsier's voice pop up a few more times in the narrative, now that Preservation is dead.
Ever the meddler, Kelsier can't just sit around and let the world end. Preservation's death left a void, and Kelsier has managed to piggyback his spirit just slightly onto Preservation's power. He can't do much, but he can reach out and whisper a few choice words to people. At least until Vin takes the power and shoves him out.
I know I said he wouldn't come back, but . . . well, he's Kelsier. He doesn't listen to what I say. He just does what he wants.
Chapter Fifty-Eight - Part Three
Overall, I'm very pleased with the Spook cycle of chapters in this novel—particularly once I revised the early ones to make him a little more sympathetic to the reader. I think there's real heart, tragedy, and triumph in these chapters. Their one flaw is that the Spook/Beldre romance isn't very strong, but I can accept that. Considering that both of them are teenagers, with powerful teenage passions, and considering what I managed to do with the space allotted, I'm pleased.
What worked best, I think, was the subtle demonstration of Ruin's corrupting fingers—mixed with careful plotting to give Spook the power to overcome in the end. He doesn't win through use of his powers, ironically, but through use of his flaws. The numbness that was so shocking to him earlier now becomes the tool he can use for victory.
The twist with Beldre being an Allomancer isn't too much of a twist; I suspect that some readers will guess it early on. However, this is the reason the Citizen started saving Allomancers. He recognized their usefulness because of his sister. Like most tyrants through history, it was very easy for him to make, for people he liked, excuses and exceptions to his hatred. It should be noted that Quellion himself had no noble blood. His sister was in fact a half sister.
Quellion Pleads with "Kelsier"
By the way, Quellion can in fact see Ruin here. When Ruin manifests himself in form, not just in voice, anyone who he's corrupted with a spike can see him with their natural eyes. (Or at least, in the case of Inquisitors, with their Allomancy.) I tried to get this across as best I could, but some readers still had trouble with it.
I was also wondering if there's any chance of seeing a Nightblood point of view.
There is a chance of seeing a Nightblood point of view. [...] It is something I have sincerely contemplated ... and even maybe even posted about online. It was just one tweet.
Chapter Fifty-Eight - Part Two
Spook in Ruin's Power
In this chapter, we show Spook almost completely under Ruin's power. This is the ultimate culmination of everything that the force has been working toward with Spook.
Ruin knows how to play off the lusts of mankind. Lust makes sense to Ruin, as he has lusts himself. He needs to destroy. It's part of who he is and what makes him function. It's the driving force of the power upon which his consciousness feeds to remain alive.
Things that don't have to do with lust, yet are still human emotions, are more difficult for him to remember and empathize with.
Most of my alpha readers thought by this point of the book that I would make Spook's storyline a tragedy—that he would snap here and become a villain. I won't rule out my doing something like that in a novel, as I think it would be very compelling. I don't know how many readers thought I would do that here. However, it wouldn't work in this story. The problem is, if I showed this entire plotline just to end with Spook destroying the city, I think the sections would ultimately feel unfulfilling because they wouldn't be connected to the rest of the book.
If this were a middle novel, and not the end of a trilogy, I would have been much more inclined to show a tragedy like this. Then it could have effects on the next books, and the pages the reader had invested would mean something to the overall story. As it stands, I was always intending for Spook to be redeemed. Partially because I think that's who he is—he let Ruin urge him toward getting carried away, but he's still a solidly good person. Also, I have a fondness for him since the first book. I couldn't let him end that way.
Spook's Delusions of Grandeur
Spook thinks a line here that my editor, and several writing group members, tried to cut. It's the line where, just in narrative, it implies that Spook had been the one to overthrow the Lord Ruler. It says something like, "It was much like that night, the night when he had overthrown the Lord Ruler" with the narrative making it clear that the "he" was Spook.
You have to remember that I use a limited narrator, not an omniscient one. When I'm writing a scene from a character's viewpoint, the text is colored by what they think and their view of the world. This line is deliberate, as by this point Ruin has his claws deep into Spook and is making him begin to think things that just aren't true. It's getting difficult for Spook to distinguish Ruin's fantasies from the reality, and for a moment he inflated his own part in the overthrow of the Lord Ruler.
Beldre Shoots a Coin at Spook
I imagine there being a lot of interaction between Spook and Beldre off screen in this novel. We start the book knowing he'd gone to spy on the Citizen numerous times, and had grown to look forward to seeing her there. We know that weeks passed while Sazed was building his machine, and Beldre was down with them for a good chunk of it.
However, I tried to make it so that the plot didn't rely on there being a very strong relationship between them. In the end, she's willing to shoot Spook, but feels bad about it. Afterward, she's willing to forgive him for what he did, as he did not end up killing her brother—but instead, as you'll see, brought him back from being under Ruin's power.
Do the moons relate to the Highstorms at all?
The moons...at all? Sure!
I was curious about the dye in Hallandren, the Tears of Edgli. So, that can be used to make a whole bunch of different colors, right? Does the flower come in different colors? Or is that something in the dye process, or-?
The flower comes in different colors.
And it dyes all fiber types the same?
It does not dye all fiber types the same.
In theory, if they had synthetic fibers would it work on them?
I would say yes.
Is it more fuel-efficient for Awakening?
Is what more-?
Like, color used in Awakening-?
Yes. Those dyes are very effective for Awakening.
Chapter Fifty-Eight - Part One
Spacing Out the Climaxes
I tried something new in this book. I've been criticized—rightly—in the past for cramming too much into my endings. A good, fast-paced ending is great, but when you layer climax on top of climax, a little of it gets lost. I've been trying, therefore, to plot things so that we end up with the important climaxes spaced more evenly. My hope is to not lose any of the tension or drama, but to have the climaxes be more focused by not letting them interfere as much with each other.
We're seeing this here with Spook. This chapter is, essentially, the climax of his scenes. We'll have some smaller chapters involving him later in the book, but his storyline pretty much ends here (save for one loose end). Hopefully, by having this explosive chapter here, I can save the last third of the book to deal with the other characters, making the pacing a little more even.
Did the shattering [Splintering] of Honor happen in the Cognitive Realm, and Ruin in the Physical? *Brandon laughs* The reason I'm wondering is, are spren the expression of the shattering in the Cognitive Realm while Ruin's physical being is an expression of the shattering in the Physical?
This is an interesting theory that I don't want to completely shoot down, but it is not heading in absolutely correct directions. The shattering of a shard is an event that transcends all three Realms.
I'm curious about the sun because it's described as white, and our sun is typically yellow. I assume it's a different type of star?
The yellowing of our sun is not actually caused...so our sun being yellow is not based on the star's actual color.
So is it bigger than our sun? Smaller? If there's anything you want to throw out there I'll take it.
Okay...I'm having to reach into my memory. This is not canon. Younger and larger, I believe it is both. Younger and larger.
The star's age, at Roshar...Earth astronomers would say that is a star which could not have planets with life on them.
Vin Asks Ruin about Preservation
After this scene, perhaps you can see why I wanted so badly to spend some time with Vin and Ruin talking while she was imprisoned. I felt this was important enough that I was willing to stretch plausibility a tad to make it possible. (The spoiler in the chapter 54 annotation explains what I mean by that.)
The discussion of morality here is an important one, as I wanted Ruin and Preservation to represent forces, not moral poles. This is vital for various reasons in the underlying cosmology. If they represented poles, then that implied there could only be two like them. But, as they represent opposites, that leaves more room.
Preservation did betray Ruin. This brings us onto the shaky ground of the morality of lying to achieve a greater good. If as much were at stake as is here—the end of an entire world—then perhaps you'd betray someone too. (I love fantasy. Where else can you talk about the end of the world as a consequence of a betrayal and have it be literal?)
Ruin's consciousness—separate from his power—isn't a particularly nice being. But you can't much blame him, as there's very little that is left of the mind that once was. The force of Ruin has pretty well molded the mind to fit with the force's intent.
Are we going to get ten different perspectives for Gavilar's death?
You will get five.
If somebody with some kind of magical ability, for example Allomancy, etc., were to travel off-world, would they still have that ability?
Depends on the ability. Some are easier to use off-world than others. You have seen Allomancy used off-world already.
Vin Wonders If She's Mad
I love Vin's paragraph on deciding if she's mad or not. Zane spent his entire adult life debating this issue, trying to determine whether he was really insane or not and trying to figure out how much of the world around him was a fabrication of his broken mind. Vin? She gives herself a couple of seconds to consider, realizes that if she's mad, there's no way to know, and decides the line of reasoning is useless.
On occasion Vin complains that she's a creature of instinct and not logic—but that's not the right way to put it. She's very logical—far more so than most scholars, I'd say. She just doesn't like to dwell on things and debate them. Present facts to her, and she'll accept them.
In a way, she's literal and concrete—which are the most basic of logical philosophies, I'd say. Elend is abstract. He likes to consider and rationalize. Think around problems, rather than face them head on. But he's logical too.
Perhaps their love of hard facts is part of what draws them together.
Spook and Sazed Talk about Faith
I say that I don't try to put messages or morals into my writing, but that doesn't mean they don't appear there. It just means that I try to avoid sitting down and writing stories for the express purpose of getting across an agenda.
Every character in the book is a piece of me. Some of them voice my doubts; others voice my hopes. However, what Spook says here at the end of the chapter is my voice almost directly.
This is what religion means to me. It means that someone up there is watching. That someone is sorting everything out, and that someone cares about us and wants us to succeed. It means that if you try your best, you may not win—but winning won't end up being important. The fact that you tried your best, however, will be important.
I have real trouble believing that God, assuming He exists, is the type of being who would condemn the greater portion of mankind to eternal punishment because of their ignorance, their mistakes, and their . . . well, humanity. Yes, we need to try to be good people. Yes, the things we do wrong will cause us sorrow eventually. But there is someone watching, and that someone will do His best to make it all work out for us in the eternities. Or, most of the time, that is what I hope. Hope's enough for me right now.
Sorry to rant on you. To get back to the story, Spook is right. There are a lot of reasons to point fingers at religion and faith. We deserve it, and a pointed finger—the eyes of a critic—will hopefully make us into better people. Religion, as practiced by man, is far from perfect. The reason, then, to keep believing in the face of seeing the troubles religion can cause is directly related to the knowledge (or at least hope) that someone upstairs is going to make it all work out for us.
What's your working title for the third book [of The Stormlight Archive]?
It has two. The original working title was Stones Unhallowed. However, [Patrick] Rothfuss is using Doors of Stone, and I kind of feel like I might want to do something different, so my interim title is Skybreaker, but it has to be an in-world book. The in-world book for book 3 is kind of a different one, so I can do a lot with it, but Stones Unhallowed is easier.
I was gonna ask if this was gonna be a trend for the whole series--
It is going to be a trend.
Elend Sees the Mist Spirit
Elend really does have a lot of faith in Vin, even if he doesn't worship her. He ascribes an almost supernatural power to her. And, I can kind of see why he would. In these books, Vin's almost less of a character and more a force. Like Ruin and Preservation, in a way.
Regardless, this chapter is about Elend giving up—then finding his hope again. I bring the mist spirit back here for a final appearance, but I wanted to be careful not to have it give too much information to Elend. Not because I don't want the information itself to get out, but because the mist spirit hasn't been a presence in this book, and so I haven't foreshadowed it enough. Therefore, if it simply showed up and gave a bunch of answers, I think that would feel cheap to the reader.
The mist spirit is, as the next epigraph explains, the remnants of Preservation's mind. I don't delve into it too much in this book, even the epigraphs, but Preservation's consciousness is indeed separate from his power. However, his consciousness itself has a limited power. And that is what he used to bind Ruin.
That did not weaken his power, which still protects the world. Instead, it cost him his mind, leaving behind only a faint shadow—like the mists' memory of Preservation, far removed from what he had once been.
That consciousness attached to Preservation—like the one attached to Ruin—is a part of Adonalsium, which will eventually be explained. Suffice it to say that in a pinch, Preservation could draw upon the power of his own mind and use it to imprison Ruin. This was why he was able to pull of the trick, as Ruin wasn't expecting it. He might have anticipated an attack using Preservation's power, but not his mind—not knowing what burning his own mind would do.
That is why Preservation's cage captured Ruin's own mind, but not his power.
Are we going to see Shai again in the next ten years?
Yes. [...] But the chances of me doing another short about her are not great just because The Emperor's Soul turned out so well that I feel like doing a follow-up is just the wrong move. So more likely you'd see her show up in something else.
Vin Gets Her Earring Back
Getting Vin's earring back to her proved a logistical problem here, perhaps one of the biggest puzzles in the entire book for me. If I pulled the earring, then Ruin couldn't talk to her, and I couldn't include the scenes of her and Ruin in jail. I felt they were very important—both to make good use of Vin's time while imprisoned, and to get across useful information about the nature of Ruin—his goals, his motivations.
And so, I needed to have Yomen give the earring back. But why? Why would he give a piece of metal to an Allomancer? Vin's reasoning in this chapter is the best I could come up with. Yes, Yomen has atium, ready to burn it. He is, indeed, trying to spring any traps Vin has ready. In fact, once he had her taken away, he followed a distance behind and waited by her cell for the rest of the day, expecting her to try something. When she didn't, he was rather confused.
The earring also presented a problem in that in the original drafts of book one, silver was an Allomantic metal. I later changed silver to tin and played with what the metals did. However, I didn't have the specifics of Hemalurgy down. And so, when I got this book, I worried that her earring would be the wrong metal. Hence the silver plating explanation, as I worried that I'd forgotten or missed some instances in book one where I mentioned the earring being silver. (I tried to cut all references to its actual metal, so that I would be open to build Hemalurgy as I saw fit.)
Notice that Ruin's voice doesn't come to her until after she puts the earring back in. As she points out later, his telling her to kill isn't as specific as she's interpreting it. He's just sending her a general feeling that she should kill and destroy; his attention is elsewhere at the moment, watching what Spook is doing.
Vin Is Out of Metals
Yes, Vin is saying what you think she's saying. The best way to be sure an Allomancer is out of metals is to make them poop them all out. Vin was probably in a very undignified position over the last couple of days.
The Aimians seem disliked throughout the world. Is that based on something that has happened in the past?
Um, yes, but they're also really creepy.
Are they open to manipulation like other sentient non-human humanoids of Roshar? The Parshendi? Or, similar?
The Two Sides of Spook
The best part of this chapter, in my opinion, is how we get to see both sides of Spook. We get to see a glimpse of the bumbling, but good-hearted, teenager in his conversation with Beldre. And we get to see the budding figure of myth in the way he deals with the people at the bars. We get to see sincere and intimate Spook, and we get to see insincere megalomaniac Spook—or, at least, hints of both.
At this point, Ruin is well on his way to corrupting the poor boy.
The Long Trail of the Iriali, was one of the first three lands Braize?
Hehehe. No. Excellent question.
The Romance Starts to Work
Anyway, this is the part I told you about earlier—the place where the Spook romance starts to work. For there to be real romance, I believe there has to be interaction. I've never been a fan of the "love at first sight" types of romances in books, though I do have to admit that such things afflict teenagers regularly. My goal here, then, is to show Spook moving a little bit beyond the infatuation stage and into the stage of knowing and caring for someone.
The book doesn't take their relationship very far, and that is intentional. There just isn't the time.
For the Honorblades, if somebody that was already a Radiant used an Honorblade, would they get that Surge also?
It is possible to get multiples, yes.
Spook Asks Kelsier for Help Talking to Beldre
"Kelsier" can't help Spook with relationship advice, which is telling. Ruin doesn't understand relationships at all. It's one of his main weaknesses.
In creating Ruin as a villain, I wanted to shy away from making a force that was purely evil. I don't believe that Ruin is evil, personally. I believe that he's actually justified in what he's trying to do.
That doesn't mean the characters should just sit back and let him destroy the world. However, he is a force given sentience—or, rather, sentience that has attached itself to a force. Regardless, that force drives him and dominates him. And destruction is a natural part of life.
Beldre is a Normal Person
The point Spook makes about Beldre being normal is an important one in this book. I think that readers might be overly harsh on her for her innocence and the way she ended up getting captured. (Though there is more going on there than the reader knows.) I like how she doesn't notice when someone is walking up to her, which is seen as odd by Spook at first. People in this world, particularly our protagonists, don't get surprised from behind. They are people of extreme senses and training.
Beldre is a regular person. I think a lot of us would have acted like she did in this book. Confronted by someone like Spook, perhaps we would have taken a chance on believing in him. And perhaps we'd have been captured.
Either way, I doubt any of us would notice if an Allomancer walked up behind us.
There are three planets in the solar system, are they all in the habitable zone, with the water...at least two of them must be...
When you say three, is it actually three in the solar system, or is it three...
There are three planets with sentient beings on them.
There are more than three planets in the solar system?
There are. With non-sentient beings. There are three planets of importance. So I didn't give you very much, because you wanted something...I could give you something.
Yeah I knew that, I should have said that I knew that before I asked.
You may have...here's one for you alright. You may have heard a reading from one of those planets today.
Is the surge Cohesion, that we haven't really seen much, strong axial, is that related to the fabrials for the half-shards?
Aha! Um, I'm gonna RAFO. It's not me not knowing the answer, it's me not knowing if I should say or not. I will RAFO that, because I don't want to get into that too much right now.
Several of my friends play the [Mistborn] tabletop game, and we have a question, so, if you want to burn a metal Allomantically do you actually have to ingest it, or can it just be in your bloodstream, or-?
If it gets in there somehow, you can use it.
So you can inhale something, or inject something ... what about spikes? Could you like burn a spike that was-?
Yes, you could, but not if it's Hemalurgically placed or Hemalurgically charged. But otherwise yes. If it gets in you-- I almost wrote a scene where someone got stabbed through the chest and they burned it. The problem is your metal also has to be of the right allomantic alloy.
Was Nohadon a bondsmith?
RAFO! Good question.
Doesn't Shadows of Silence happen in that system?
Threnody? Threnody is not one of the three.
What information do Stormwardens use to predict Highstorms?
Many things, some of which is necessary to the process and some of which is not. But previous Highstorm arrival is a very big part of it, and Highstorms from previous years, most recent Highstorms, and if they can get when the Highstorm left the other side [of the continent], that's a calculation that will help them, and things like this.
In other worlds, are we seeing any magics already? Like, if Allomancy might be on Roshar?
You've seen people using Allomancy in Roshar before.
[...] I remember reading in in Words of Radiance you said that the only way to get aluminum [on Roshar] was to Soulcast it, right? I think you said something like that... maybe? I thought I read that. I was wondering how that would work, if an Allomancer were to--
Aluminum has some weird properties on all of the magic systems, not just Allomancy. It does not have the same effect, but aluminum has some bizarre effects.
Do you ever find yourself, when you're in the middle of writing a book, swearing like the characters do?
I do occasionally, yes. That does happen. Which cracks my family up. [...] I'm writing the sequel to Legion right now, and J.C. has decided that he's not a hallucination, he's an interdimensional space ranger who only exists partially in this world, so he starts using made-up future curses and so he's saying all these weird curses ... anyway. It's a lot of fun.
And, how were the Radiants able to summon their Shardblades at the Recreance if they'd already decided to break their oaths?
Their Shardblades are part of what brought them to—part of the Oathpact—but breaking the Oathpact did not affect their ability to bond or unbond Shardblades.
Are all the original sixteen Shardholders from Yolen?
They mentioned a video game in the Mistborn world at one point - I was wondering, in terms of the story, is it just an adaptation or--?
I wrote a story for them to use that is in the second century of the Lord Ruler's reign. The idea was for them to use that story and then come back to me with the finished game and then I would write the dialogue for the characters to match the story. That is what we want to do, it is taking them forever to write this game. [...] Our goal was to do a kind of Infamous-style open world RPG sort of thing.
Were there Desolations before there were humans on Roshar?
You have a tendency to write books with theocracies that are legitimately ruled by the gods, and this seems to be missing. Is that a direction that the Knights Radiant might be heading, or is something else going to happen?
I'm gonna RAFO that one. There was a theocracy on Roshar at one point. There was also a mage-ocracy, whatever you want to call it.
No, mage, magic-user...A lot of things have existed on Roshar.
Rock sounds Hawaiian.
Hawaiian royalty. Is that a pun on Dwayne ["the Rock"] Johnson?
*laughs* No it's not.
So if you have a book on Rock, you can get him to--
Yeah, that's a coincidence.
Dwayne Johnson is a prince, Hawaiian prince.
Is he? Really?
Yes, he is. He is from a royal family, a Hawaiian royal family
He's from a royal family? I didn't know that!
So, get him to pay for the movie. And star as Rock!
What is the current plan for the Stormlight Archive *inaudible* what we do *inaudible*
Yes. Oh, that's one of those hard ones.
Can you tell us where we - that the Queen's arc, in the question of *inaudible*? Not that I wouldn't read the section on the Herald--
Nah, that's fine. Nonono, it'll have an arc. The first five are about Dalinar, Kaladin, Shallan, Szeth, and Eshonai in an arc, and then the back five will be about Jasnah, Taln with *inaudible* and stuff like this. So, I mean, some of the same characters from the first five will be characters and still have viewpoints and things, but it's kind of a shift in focus.
Are you going to write something about Hoid?
I am. He'll have his own series, but it's a long ways off. Gonna warn you right here, right now.
How many magic systems are there on Roshar?
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...
If you assume the surges are considered one.
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?
It's a science, because anyone can do it.
So Awakening is not a magic, then? Awakening's a science? Because anyone can Awaken if they just get the breath.
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...
Not all of them because, um, let's see...
BioChroma does not requires snapping.
Actually wait, is there an active magic system on Threnody?
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.
It is not Mraize's stick.
I was wondering about the in-world text, the Way of Kings. It's older than those 4500 years, right?
It was written by Nohadon.
Especially since Jasnah mentioned how all the texts have been corrupted or changed since then, especially the ones dealing with the Radiants, I was wondering if we will find out how the Way of Kings survived intact for so long, or if it actually did, or if it's...
They do say that...well let's just say that some books exist in translation over the centuries with the primary text having been lost, or things like this.
But you're not going to say if the translation is guaranteed to be accurate.
I am not going to say that.
As Lift's spren refers to the Nightwatcher as Mother, right...
He definitely calls somebody a mother. The implication in the text is that it's the Nightwatcher.
Certainly, so I'm just going to run with that right now. So the question that I'm asking is, is surgebinding in general a melding of Honor and Odium, a la feruchemy being in some sense not directly derivative of Ruin and Preservation?
It is...Honor and Cultivation is what you mean?
There are spren of all three Shards, and those spren can work within the bounds of the magic that has already been set up on Roshar.
What Shard are Cryptics associated with?