Elhokar with the Herdazians--is that meant to be like Alfred the Great?
No, that is completely coincidental. I didn't even think of that.
Elhokar with the Herdazians--is that meant to be like Alfred the Great?
No, that is completely coincidental. I didn't even think of that.
Can the Heralds Surgebind without their [Honor]Blades, and if not are they under the same restrictions the Radiants are?
[...] I will say that the Heralds without their Blades are incapable of the powers you are familiar with. It doesn't mean there aren't other things they can do, but they are incapable of the powers you are familiar with throughout the book.
I've heard rumors of a Mistborn movie. Is that true?
The Mistborn movie, is not even up to handshakes now. We do have a Vin chosen, but it’s not official yet, so I can’t say who it is.
I've heard rumors. Will you confirm or deny this?
Yeah, I can deny that one. *Continued Laughter* It's not Paris Hilton's dog either.
Yeah, basically it’s where it’s been at for a while, which is we’re at a good version of the screenplay, we’re trying now to get people to look at it in Hollywood.
Could you make a Kandra an Allomancer?
With the right sequence of sorts of things, you could impart those powers to them theoretically. It’s not likely to happen, but you could do it. You could build a spike that would let them Push or Pull. But you’d give the powers separately, probably.
Got another one [on behalf of Chaos]. Why do Kandra need two spikes to have a blessing and to become sentient?
It is just the nature of how Hemalurgy works. More spikes are capable of changing form and body more, and I didn’t feel that one spike was viable for the alterations that are made to their nature.
Are you going to write any chapter from the point of view of a spren?
Will I ever write any chapters from the viewpoint of a spren.
It's likely that I eventually will but it will probably be an interlude. The Stormlight Archive is about ten characters at its essence, and none of them are a spren. You've met all of them I believe and each of them will have a book with a flashback sequence in it, which is another thing I'm doing to make sure each book has an identity.
Epic fantasy I also feel part of the problem is when later books stop having an identity because the story kind of blurs together for the writer. My goal is if I have a good solid flashback sequence for each of these characters to give an arc it'll help me keep each book distinct, which I feel is very important.
If you ask me later I'll tell you who some of those are. In three of the first five I've been very upfront with who they are. I don't talk about the back five very often because I don't want the focus to be on those yet.
[Complements artwork in The Way of Kings, asks how working with illustrators has changed the way Brandon sees the world]
One of my initial visions for The Way of Kings was one of these cross-genre books. I wanted to bring illustrations and-- you know there's this sense for whatever reason in contemporary fiction that illustrations are for kids, not for adults. That's not the way it always was. If you go back to the 1800's every book was illustrated, to an extent. And you'd get these beautiful bookplates and things like this that would be in the novels. I wanted to go back to something like that. Though I did want to be aware of the idea that you as a reader are participating, and I wanted to be careful not to define too much what people look like, particularly characters, because I wanted that to be through you.
So I wanted to be doing artwork in the books, but I didn't want to do artwork that was too specific to the characters—other than the cover art. This meant I wanted to do in-world stories, which is how Shallan started to develop as a character. She was based off of Pliny the Elder, as a character and my research about him and some of the people like him; and a little bit about Darwin and his travels and things like this. So I wanted-- I started to build her. She replaced a character in the original Way of Kings, what I call Way of Kings Prime, that I wasn't pleased with.
So I really want to do a lot of artwork for the books, and it's been a lot of fun. One of the first things I did when I went to pitch Way of Kings to Tor was I commissioned artwork of all the characters. Because it was going to be such a visual book, I wanted to have in hand for me reference material on characters, races, things like this. I wanted to have this like world book that you sometimes get in a book afterward, I wanted that in the before. So that I had it all in hand. Because there's a lot of screwy stuff going on in this world.
It really helped me to envision, to visualize how this book was supposed to go. Beyond that it's just awesome. Who here has read Watchmen? Have you guys read Watchmen? If you haven't read Watchmen it's amazing, particularly if you're a comic book geek like me. When I first read Watchmen-- what Watchmen does, it adds all sorts of ephemera. Like one of the characters is creating action figures of all the other characters and trying to market and sell them, and they include his pitch for the action figures and things like that. And it was part of what brought that book to life for me: not just the excellent writing, but it was the idea that this is not just a comic book, this is a comic book plus a world. And I wanted to write books that were not just a book, they were a book plus a world.
It's been a blast. I am in a position where I can hire the artists myself, which allows me to have a lot of control, and so the artwork inside the book is all stuff that I've commissioned. I've gone to the artists and I've talked to them myself, and I've picked my favorite artists and we do this awesome work just as part of it.
Hopefully it's something that people enjoy, it's something that I intend to keep doing and it's been a blast.
If Nightblood was on Roshar—for whatever reason—would it be a Shardblade essentially, like would it func--
Yes. They are exactly the same thing. [...] Nightblood is indeed a Shardblade, basically the exact same thing. Though he is a Shardblade that is twisted and he is a lot more powerful than your standard.
If Kelsier's [Cognitive Shadow] or a seon went to the Forests of Hell, would they be shades there?
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.
Is the Nightwatcher Cultivation or do you not want to say that yet?
I haven't answered-- I've actually given some very strong hints on that, but I think I haven't answered that. The 17th Sharder can answer me: Have I answered that?
No, but it's been very very strongly hinted at.
For [Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell], did that take place in the cosmere?
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.
How does Snapping work now? You said that Sazed changed it.
Uh, RAFO. That is a good question though.
Not even a little hint?
Nah. I don't think so.
What was decision that Kaladin made differently in version 1?
He kept the Blade and Plate.
I caught that reference. [in reference to tinfoil hats blocking emotional allomancy]
I built aluminum to do all sorts of funky things to all the powers, and I actually hadn’t made the connection of tinfoil hats until after I’d built it in, and I was writing it in Alloy of Law, years after I built it in, saying “Wait a minute! I just put tinfoil hats in the book!” (laughter) So I actually built that without thinking that there would be a joke to that.
At the very end of Words of Radiance, Dalinar touches a Shardblade and it screams at him. Shouldn't that particular Blade have been safe?
No it should not have. It's a clue that something has happened.
[This is] a question that the subtle reader should be asking. And there are other clues that something is wrong with what the story you've been told is.
Because Option 2 is that it's unsafe to touch an honorblade, but there's no evidence of that.
There is no evidence of that. In fact there's much stronger evidence that something else is going on.
Did Hoid switch out the blades?
Hoid did not switch out the blades, but good question.
Also speaking of continutiy...
This is a very very minor spoiler. It's just a statement that was made in Alloy of Law, that Smokers could...
Oh yeah, that was just a typo
Is that going to change things?
Wait, go ahead and say it.
Can Copperclouds shield others' emotions?
Oh okay. Did we put that in Alloy of Law in the Ars Arcanum? Is that wwhere you read it?
I forget. I don't remember where it is.
I believe it’s in the Ars Arcanum, which in Alloy of Law was put together by Peter. And that’s mostly a mistake, though the thing is the Role Playing Game came to me and said “Is it feasible that this could happen?” And I said “It’s perhaps feasible, but only a very rare individual could make this work if they knew exactly what they were doing.” And so I said “Yeah, go ahead, but make it a power that someone really has to know what they’re doing to make it work.” And so they put it in, and so Peter assumed that it was canon, that anyone can do it, but that’s not what I intended.
So would it be easier to say that somebody discovered they could do it and now they are training copperclouds to do it?
I would say that it is viable that someone could figure it out, but it would be a very difficult thing to train, and it is not a common Coppercloud—A common Coppercloud isn’t going to be able to be doing it, and almost no Mistborn will ever be capable of doing it, they just don’t focus on that metal enough to learn it. Of course, there aren’t Mistborn around anymore. So it is a possible power, it is plausible, but it is not the standard. Perhaps I will allow it to become the standard eventually, but it’s not right now. It would be much easier to wear a tinfoil hat. (laughter) Aluminum, aluminum. Which does work.
Why do they ride horses, and not like fast insects of some sort?
That is an excellent question. That I'm not going to answer.
In The Way of Kings you do this one thing when you went into the point of view of the character Gaz, just for like two pages that turned him from random bad guy to interesting character. Last I hear you said that if we read carefully we could figure out what happened to him but I never could.
So he had his debts. He was owing people debts and they came due and he deserted.
On all the cosmere worlds, it seem as if-- do all the humans have what you call innate Investiture?
I believe that they all do. I don't think that you've seen anyone without innate Investiture yet.
Because when they don't have Breath anymore, they would get Drabs, and those don't have innate Investiture?
They don't have innate Investiture. And on Scadrial they have the pieces of Ruin and Preservation in them. And they do have it on Roshar.
Which Shard is that?
You'll have to read and find out. *gives card*
So yes, I don't think you've seen any worlds where they don't.
If there is only one Shard on [Taldain], are there other Shards in the solar system?
Ahhh. Now that's a clever question. The answer is "no". One for that solar system. And there's also, um-- we'll stop there.
There's also what?
There are other places with only one. It's not uncommon for there to be only one. I've gone to the planets with multiples intentionally because the conflict there is very long. And the ones on the planets without multiples: like for instance in Warbreaker the conflict is not about cosmere-centric things. And you'll see that very commonly on the planets you go to. There's the same sort of things on Elantris. And so when you see me going-- even though there are two there, they're dead. And so, when you see me--
The reason I ask is that there have been intimations that in Stormlight Archive a Shard may be on the moon just from things that people have--
There have been *inaudible* that that may be the case, so I had to ask.
You guys are awesome, thank you so much.
Spren bonds: there was some intimation somewhere that I read that there might not have been spren bonds before [Aharietiam, the day the Desolations ended]?
I'm not going to answer that one either but we will delve much more into this. The spren were around back then but they were not nearly what they are now: they've changed over the course of the book obviously. I think the cosmere theorists have figured it out. They are much more prevalent following Honor and what happened to him, but there were some spren on the planet before even that happened.
In the [Purelake vision that Dalinar had in WoR] there was a pouch that the Shardbearer grabbed when the spren went into the ground. I was wondering what is this pouch? Is it a fabrial? Was it important? It was just sitting there, sitting there!
You need to get at least one RAFO. I'm not saying that's an important thing--
...it might be, but you need to get at least one RAFO from me, so that's the one I'm gonna RAFO.
As of [Words of Radiance's writing] have people not from Scadrial [used Hemalurgy]?
I was wondering if a Hemalurgic spike would take surges, or if it could take a spren bond? Would it interact at all for that?
Hemalurgy can interact with every one of the magics. I designed it specifically in writing Mistborn for future use. Because some of the magics are so limited by their planet I wanted one that transcended all of them and Hemalurgy is very important to the entire cosmere. Its invention is a thing of great power and great danger to the entire cosmere.
Is [Bavadin] the only Shard on White Sand? If so is he the sun or is he the darkside?
He is the only shard on the planet.
But is he the sun?
I'm not gonna answer.
What is your favorite original Shardholder?
My favorite original Shardholder?
I don't knoooowwww...
Are they all that bad of people?
No no, they're not bad-- they're not all bad people. Many of them are-- you know the trick is I'm gonna have to really write them, as their personalities. Because right now they're really just concepts, and I haven't written very many of them. And so... I'm very fond of Bavadin, but I can't say.
I dont recall hearing about this anthology until recently. Did Brandon need a break from writing S3 and so [Arcanum Unbounded] was put in the schedule?
This was put on the schedule when it was determined that Stormlight 3 wouldn't come out until next year. Brandon has been wanting to do something like this for a while, so we went for it.
The book is not just reprinting stuff you've already read. Aside from the new Lift novella (at 40,000 words it's actually a mini-novel), each story has a new full-page illustration and a postscript by Brandon. Each world section of the book has a planetary system map and an essay about the system written by Khriss, who writes the Ars Arcanum section at the end of the books.
The Ars Arcanum, is there an in-cosmere author of that?
Those are in-cosmere, yes.
It sort of seems like they would be written by someone like Hoid or someone.
It is not. I don't know if I've released who it is. It's probably not who peole are thinking, but it is in-world.
The next thing I'll probably write is: I've been developing the world for awhile now, where... are you familiar with Tesla, Nikola Tesla? He wanted this whole wireless electricity thing to work, he was trying to make it work. It was kind of like electrifying the air and having the current run into the ground.
I want to build a world where that happens naturally, where your ground is positive and your air is negative and electrons will move through it and you can like-- animals adapted to use this and you can use fantasy-T technology, like you set a lamp on the ground and it'll just glow because a current is running through it; and stuff like that.
Would aluminum give an atium shadow? Like if someone threw an aluminum spear?
The aluminum would not give an atium shadow. Good question.
How did you decide that you were going to tackle racism, classism, gender, all those things in The Way of Kings? What sort of things went into how you decided the various ways...?
One of the things I like about Fantasy is the ability to tackle things like this in a way that removes the baggage from our current society which is why you see me doing things like the gender relations based around whether the hand is sleeved or not; what are feminine and masculine arts... I want to do something that's one step removed—not too far removed, because I want it to be pertinent—but removed enough that we can remove some of the baggage and talk about things like this. That's where the lighteyes and darkeyes came from.
I just decided to do it because I felt it's an important part of who we are, and something important to discuss. Beyond the fact that the Parshendi-Human thing is going to be a big deal for this series so I wanted to introduce it early on in the book to let you know this is something that we're going to deal with.
Are you ever going to expand on the cosmere in its own book or is it going to be a long *inaudible*?
Yes, the thing that started it all, Dragonsteel, is going to be about the cosmere a lot more, and the third Mistborn trilogy will be also.
I like how you have that background going through all your different cosmere novels, tying them together
I want to make sure that it never becomes the forefront until I am warning people, "Now, you need to know this stuff."
Do you hear the-- when you write the Parshendi have such a musical language. Do you hear it when you're writing, like what the songs sound like?
To an extent, yes, but I am not as musically inclined as some, and so if we ever do it, I would probably have somebody else come up with something more... It's more of a cadence though, like the difference between iambic and things like that.
The question I was a little more interested in was not so much the interludes, but like Gaz *inaudible*?
So Gaz was always planned to come back. Which is why there's kind of a mystery to him in the first book, like "where did he go?" It's something Robert Jordan did that I like. I don't know if you read-- oh you did, you read-- So like when Bayle Domon shows up again; and some of the characters getting woven in, I like that. And so you will see that sort of thing happening, it's just something I'm fond of that he did.
I'm so surprised that Gaz showed up.
And the other thing about Gaz is: one of the things I like to do in my fiction is show that the light through which someone is seen and perceived changes a lot of who they are. We all do that, we go to different situations and we're different people. And Gaz you saw all through Kaladin's eyes as one person and I want to show you through someone else's eyes without the initial problem they had together would see him very differently.
Has anybody read The Way of Kings on any other worlds, particularly Sazed, Elend, or Tindwyl?
The Way of Kings as a novel is known off-world, but not on any of the planets you've mentioned. At least not currently.
I love the Hoid scavenger hunts that have been going on. What does he-- what powers does he have, what magic has used *inaudible*?
If you watch in these books, he has used on screen so far three of the different magics.
And have we seen those three-- do we know what those three are?
You know at least two of them. Very deep clues-- very more obvious clues are in this book [WoR].
And I haven't gotten to yet-- you can see where I am.
Yeah; watch where he and Kaladin have some interactions. If you watch carefully you will see something in what he mentions. You've already seen him and Shallan, that scene in one of her flashbacks.
I was almost-- I was reading that scene like "that has to be..."
Yeah, in that scene he uses one if you watch.
How many people... What percentage of the population roughly turned into Epics, and is that number in any way significant?
It is not significant, and it is very rare. Like your average-- Like a big city, after collecting them for such a long time will have, like, maybe 300 Epics. Against a population of probably 2 or 3 hundred thousand. But that's after-- Remember the Epics have survived and the average people have taken heavy casualties. But the number is not significant.
So assuming you have mentioned that it is technically possible to be able to use one magic system on another planet from a different one...
Is it possible to fuel that... Like, say could you fuel Awakening using Stormlight, or do you have to bring Breaths?
Yes, you could!
Excellent question. Now it's-- there are tricks to making it happen on each world. Some are easier than others, but yes you can.
So could that allow a loophole to maybe... convert from one form of power to another? Or like from Stormlight to Breath?
Yes. In fact, that's part of why Vasher--
Vasher. I wondered that.
--is on Roshar, is because it's a lot easier to get Stormlight than Breath.
Would copper or, like, an aluminum hat influence subliminal messaging and that kind of thing?
*laughs* Only if they are working through cosmere magics. Not if they are just normal... which is of debatable effectiveness anyway.
The Shards of Adonalsium.
Can those be held by a sentient non-human, like the Parshendi or Aimian?
Yes. They do not have to be human.
How are the letters between Hoid and Frost getting delivered?
That is read and find out.
Okay, so first I need to know, before all is said and done, is Kelsier likely to get to punch out anymore gods? *Brandon laughs* Because that was pretty awesome.
That's a read and find out.
So what is the, like, actual density of metalborns born in Elendel?
Oh boy, I have this in my notes somewhere. Um...
*inaudible* I guess?
Roughly. All metalborn? One out of every couple thousands. Little more common than you would probably think, based on... I don't know. People usually assume they're a little more rare than they are. But, yeah...
Yeah. It just-- As I was reading I kept finding people saying, "Oh yeah, it's so rare. It's so insanely rare." I was like, "I feel like it's not that rare," like...
Yeah, but still. One every couple thousand. Like, you're going to know somebody, but the chances of you actually being one are pretty rare.
The thing people have been dancing around—they haven't been asking the right questions—is they need to be asking more questions about the Dor, specifically trying to figure out why the Dor works differently. It's only a little thing, it's not like it's going to be mind blowing, but it is important for them understanding how the cosmere magics work.
Does being an Elantrian, when it first happens to you do you get rushed with the feelings that Szeth describes holding Stormlight is like? Or Vin describes holding the Mists?
No, you get different.
No, it feels different.
So it feels completely different?
You definitely get an emotion, but it is not those same emotions.
What leaks out of Elantrians, would it be considered similar to, for example, stormlight leaking, or...?
Yeah, yeah you could totally say that.
The Dor: Is it gaseous Investiture or is it something else completely?
Oh that's a great question. People have not been asking enough about the Dor.
And if it is gaseous—or not gaseous—is it plasma?
You got it. *said definitively*
It's super sup-- not plasm-- yeah, it's super-dense to the point that's it's liquefied and dense-- does that make sense? So it's plasma, basically. It's its own weird thing, so yeah. What you can write is that it's its own weird thing that's kind of plasma-like.
Who would win a game of Tarachin: Hoid or Lightsong?
Um... Hoid. Even if he has to cheat. Lightsong just wouldn't care enough, you know?
Say you have a Feruchemist who pours Identity into a metalmind. Then subsequently loses that mind, and then is later Awakened? Would that mind retain the personality of--
*Everyone laughs, Scottish man says "it's 11 o'clock at night, give the man a break!"*
Okay, so they store Identity—which I haven't told you what it does--
Yep. We don't know.
And then you Awaken it, and then you want to know if it has the personality of the person?
Yeah, or if it's able to communicate in any way.
Um, if-- how much Awakened is it? Is it Nightblood-level Awakened? Or is it just regular Awakened?
Sure let's say Nightblood-level.
Nightblood-level. So it's-- so the Investiture has been granted sapience. And it's got Investiture from somebody else stuffed in it. I can foresee a scenario where that has an influence, but it's not going to be the personality of the person who stuffed it in. I can see some circumstances where they can-- where the Investiture of the object can make use of that in some way, but...
Oh boy, that was a weird one.
Does Glys hide intentionally or is he just invisible to other spren that are not his kind of spren?
A little of both.