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    Ad Astra 2017 ()
    #10901 Copy

    Questioner

    You said you had thirteen books that you wrote before you got published. Did you ever go back to any of them, or are they all just totally trunkable?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, number thirteen was Way of Kings--that first version I talked about. Elantris was number six. So those two got published. I ripped apart number nine and built it into Warbreaker--some of the ideas. White Sand was one of them but became a graphic novel. Some of them, ideas are still waiting to get used. Because some of them got ripped up and turned into Mistborn. I have reused some of the ideas, but some of them just--

    Questioner

    Yeah, but like-- but you did reuse some of the full book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I didn't ever--I didn't take any of the actual words, but yeah.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #10903 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, so I lied. I thought the fight scene came in chapter six, but it came in five. I'm better at pacing than I thought!

    The truth is, this is one of my least favorite fights in the book. I put it in primarily because it gave a good, quick showing of the basic concepts in Allomancy. You got to see Kelsier enhance his strength with pewter, his senses with tin (including using it to help him focus), and then use both steel and iron in a variety of different Pushes and Pulls.

    The thing is, it wasn't that exciting because it wasn't really a fair fight. As soon as Kelsier got ahold of that ingot, those soldiers were toast. I did spice up the fight a bit by giving them shields–something that was missing from the original draft of the fight. Even still, this seems like a kind of brutal combat, not the more poetic and flowing battles I generally envision for Allomancy.

    (This is, by the way, the only fight I ported over from Mistborn Prime. There was a similar scene in that book where the protagonist took down a group of men with only an ingot. Again, I decided to grab it because of how well it introduced the concepts of Allomancy. It was quick and dirty.)

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #10904 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Five

    "There's always another secret." That's the unwritten law of this series, by the way. Keep that in mind as you read not only this book, but books two and three. Also, keep in mind that I take no end of delight from doing what people don't expect. (But only in cases, however, where such unexpected events make perfect sense, once they happen.)

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #10907 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    In this chapter we also have the first mention of the Eleventh Metal. I kind of wish that I'd found another place for this, since the chapter is already filled with a long discussion scene. Yet, it proved to be the best place for it in the drafting process.

    If you think that what Kelsier is saying here is a little fishy, then you're not alone. Most of the crew doesn't believe him either. I'll certainly admit that there is more going on here–far more–than anyone suspects.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #10908 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Originally, by the way, Yeden wasn't the one who hired the team. There was no employer–Kelsier just wanted to try and overthrow the Lord Ruler. The main way I took the focus off of stealing the atium (making this less of a heist book and more of a Mission: Impossible style book) was to put the focus on raising and training the army. Having Yeden be paying them to get him an army worked much better for this format.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #10909 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Four - Part Two

    The other big part of this chapter is, of course, the plan. This is where the story has been pushing up to this point. I worry that even still (despite several cuts) this section feels a little too much like an info-dump. I couldn't really get around that, since Kelsier is–essentially–dumping some information on the crew.

    This is also where I begin to diverge from the "heist story" framework. I started with that concept to write the book, but as I proceeded with the plotting and the writing of the actual novel, I realized that the heist structure was simply too small to fill the larger concepts for the trilogy I was working on.

    So, in rewrites, I came back and reworked this section to take to focus off stealing the Lord Ruler's money. The truth is, Kelsier wants to overthrow the government and get back at the Lord Ruler. The money isn't half as important to him. And, as the story progresses, you'll see that the crew spends most of its time on the army.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #10910 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Four - Part One

    Ah, the introductions. I worry that this scene is a little too long, and perhaps a little too obvious, as we bring in the separate members of the crew. However, it seemed like the best way, and it adheres a little bit to the heist genre framework I'm using.

    My favorites of the group are, of course, Ham and Breeze. I knew I wanted to use a smaller crew than you see in some heist stories–I wanted to get to know them better, and deal with them more, than one has opportunity for in a movie like Ocean's Eleven. Ham and Breeze, then, formed the basis for my group. Simply put, they're both guys who are fun to talk to. I can put them in a room with each other, or with Vin, and an interesting conversation will blossom.

    I was a little worried about Ham when I first started writing him. The warrior philosopher is, perhaps, a character that you've seen before. In this case, I knew I wanted a character who could be a foil for Breeze. Since Breeze tends to be arrogant, long-winded, and manipulative, I came up with someone humble, long-winded, and kindly. Mix in a desire to understand the world, and a mind that thinks about things a little differently from others, and I had Ham. I think he turned out all right.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #10911 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    In Mistborn Prime, there were no such thing as Mistings. Allomancy's practitioners were called Mistborn, and they could use all of the various abilities, depending on which metal they ingested.

    When I started work on this incarnation of the book, however, I felt that I wanted to involve a specialized team of Allomancers. That meant including people who were really good at one specific thing, but who couldn't do other things. It's a staple of the heist genre–you want specialists. So, I split up Allomancy, allowing lesser Allomancers to exist. These people, who only could do one of the many Allomantic powers, would be very good at the one thing they do. And, since Mistborn were so rare, you couldn't really make an entire team of them. You'd be lucky to even get one. (Though Kelsier's team just got a second one.)

    Soon, you'll get to meet the rest of the crew, and will be able to see how I split up Allomancy. One thing of interest, however, is that there was no emotional Allomancy in Mistborn Prime. I added Soothing and Rioting–the ability to make people less or more emotional–into this book because I felt I needed something that would be more. . .sneaky. These are skills that don't relate to fighting, and I think they'd be very helpful for the sort of political intrigue I want to do in this book.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #10912 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    An item of note is in this chapter bump. I mention "Terris" for the first time here, which I was glad that I was able to do. Remember that name, because you'll soon get a lot more about that country.

    I do worry that the bumps will make the book feel a little too much like a standard fantasy. Mention of prophesies and the like has become such a cliché in fantasy that I avoid them whenever I can. The story in Mistborn doesn't really deal much with that aspect of the history, but the story that is happening in the bumps has quite a bit to do with it.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #10913 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Three

    So, Kelsier is very interesting to me as a character. Mostly because of what we see in this chapter. He is a man of dichotomy, which is one of the themes of this novel. On one hand, he's the joking, lighthearted man you see in the second half of the chapter. On the other hand, however, he's a very dangerous, even ruthless, man. He laughs at himself in this chapter, but he wasn't faking when he acted the way he did. There is an edge to Kelsier I've never built into a hero before. Sometimes, he makes me uncomfortable.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #10914 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Joshua, by the way, also pushed for an action scene here–where Kelsier grabs the Inquisitor's attention and runs. I do take most of Joshua's suggestions. In fact, his desire to have an action scene earlier in this book is the biggest bit of advice by him I can think of that I haven't taken. I just really felt that I needed more time to ease into Allomancy before I could do justice to an action scene. Actually, I think a fast scene like that would actually slow the book down, since I'd have to spend so much time explaining. Better to let the next few scenes play out, where we get some good explanations in dialogue.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #10915 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    This introductory scene, where Dox and Kell meet on the city wall, has just the right feel for me. I wanted this book–particularly at the beginning–to have the feel of a heist movie. Something like Ocean's Eleven, Sneakers, or Mission: Impossible. I thought a couple of senior thieves getting together on the wall and talking about the team they are gathering would fit in just perfectly.

    That was, by the way, one of the major inspirations for this book. I've mentioned that I stole the concepts for Allomancy and Vin's character from other books I wrote. The plot came from a desire to write something that had the feel of a heist movie. I haven't ever seen that done in a fantasy novel–a plot where a team of specialists get together and then try to pull off a very difficult task.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #10916 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Dockson, by the way, got his nickname before his real name. I wanted to call a character Dox, for some odd reason. The name just came into my head and stuck. And, I figured that this book would be one where everyone would have nicknames, so I started playing around with Dox until I got Dockson to be the main name.

    Of course, because of that, I established that "son" could end names. Therefore, we get other names in this linguistic paradigm–such Ferson in the second book, or Franson in book three. (Both of those names came from friends of mine.)

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #10917 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Two

    Moshe mentioned to me that we're going to have to do a book after the Mistborn series that doesn't have such a gloomy setting. First, I had Elantris, with the city full of dark sludge. Now I've got Mistborn, with the entire world full of black ash.

    The coincidence wasn't intentional. Remember, for me, there were seven books in-between Elantris and Mistborn . Most of those had far more cheerful settings. However, this story–which is based around a world where the Dark Lord won–kind of required a depressing atmosphere.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #10918 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Camon was originally far less competent than he ended up in the final draft. Originally, Vin was constantly (in this chapter and the next) thinking about how he was making mistakes when talking to the obligator and the crew. I thought this would establish Vin as an intelligent, insightful character–one who is even better than the guy in charge of her crew.

    However, I eventually realized that this didn't work. Camon was too incompetent–the version of him in the first draft would never have been able to keep control of his crew. In addition, by making him so weak, it weakened the threat to Vin. It's always better to have antagonists be strong, if only to make the heroes look stronger by comparison. Though Camon is only a minor villain in this book, strengthening him made the story seem much more logical, and I really don't think I lost anything.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #10919 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter One - Part Two

    This second scene with Camon is important for several reasons. The first thing I'll note is that Vin doesn't say anything out-loud in the book until she tells Camon that his servants are too fine. I thought it would be interesting to introduce Vin as a character who doesn't say a whole lot–who thinks her responses. This establishes, I think, that she's something of an introvert, and that she's smarter than she lets people know. When she does speak, she's blunt and straightforward.

    The other thing established in this scene is Vin's use of Luck. Hopefully, you connect her abilities with Kelsier's line in the prologue about the Lord Ruler fearing skaa who have "powers they shouldn't even know exist." Vin fits quite well into this category. She can obviously do something extraordinary, yet she doesn't know why–or really even how. It was difficult, narratively, to work out how Vin was able to use Allomancy without knowing it, but it works, and you'll get the explanation later.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #10920 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    One of the advantages of moving the first chapter back and making it a prologue is that I now get to start the book, chapter one, with Vin. That's important, in my mind, because she's the main character of the book. Establishing her with a very strong viewpoint as the first chapter of the book adds a lot to it, I think.

    We get a lot of important information in this first little section with Vin. I like starting early with Reen's advice and thoughts. As you'll see as you read the book, Reen's teachings have quite a strong influence on Vin. He's a little stronger in this chapter than in others, I think, but it's good to start off strong. You'll find out more about him, and about what these thoughts in Vin's head mean.

    I will admit that one of my weaknesses in writing is that I like to spend too long in contemplative, in-head scenes with my characters. This introduction with Vin is a good example of that. I like the scene quiet a bit, but I can understand that too much of this sort of thing gets boring. That's why I move it quickly into a scene where something is happening. Given my way, however, I'd probably spend about twice as long with characters just standing around thinking.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #10921 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter One - Part One

    The "bumps" or "trailers" or whatever you want to call them–those things at the beginnings of the chapters–are a very interesting part of the book for me. If you're reading the novel for the first time as you go through these Annotations, I'd recommend paying good attention to what happens in the bumps. This isn't like Dune, or even Ender's Game, where the bumps give interesting–but tangential–information. These little paragraphs are vital if you want to figure out the climax of the story before it happens.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #10922 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Part One

    Unlike Elantris, where I decided to divide the book into "parts" after the fact, I always planned this book to be told in several sections. Naming the parts actually came quiet easily to me. Part One is the section where Kelsier gets most of his viewpoint time, and I decided that naming it after him would be appropriate.

    In addition, I just like the way that "The Survivor of Hathsin" sounds. A piece of me was sad that I never came up with a good full name for Kelsier. Something like Kelsier Mistshadow or something like that. I tried several, but none of them ended up sounding quite right, and I had to rely on calling him "Kelsier, the Survivor" in those places. That ended up working just fine.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #10923 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, some spoiler stuff here. Mennis does make a return later in the book, as you probably know. I actually wasn't intending to ever use him again, and was surprised when people read this chapter and expected him to be a main character. I guess I characterized him a little too well in the scene where he gets up.

    So, when the time came for Kelsier to have a quiet conversation with one of the rebels, I dusted off Mennis and used him again. I'm very pleased with how that scene turned out, though it's another one I had to rewrite a couple times to get correct. We'll talk more about that later.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #10924 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    By the way, Joshua–my agent–pushed until the end to get me to put the Kelsier action sequence in-scene, rather than having it happen off-screen. I resisted. Allomancy is a very complicated magic system, and my writing relies on the reader understanding how Allomancy works in order to provide action. I didn't want to slow the story down right here by giving an extended explanation of the magic. Instead, I just wanted to show the effects of what Kelsier can do. Later (chapter six, I think) we'll actually see how he does them.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #10925 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    I really like the scene where Kelsier first displays his scars in this chapter. In fact, I really like how this chapter sets up Kelsier in general. It gives him a chance to be a light-hearted (perhaps even a little flippant) while also showing that he's had a hard pas. He has some scars–both visible and hidden. At the end, his attack on the manor house should be something of an indication of what he's capable of doing.

    In addition, we establish very quickly why Kelsier smiles so much. I've been accused of being a chronic optimist. I guess that's probably true. And, because of it, I tend to write optimistic characters. Kelsier, however, is a little different. He's not like Raoden, who was a true, undefeatable optimist. Kelsier is simply stubborn. He's decided that he's not going to let the Lord Ruler take his laughter from him. And so, he forces himself to smile even when he doesn't feel like it.

    This is a more brutal world than I presented in Elantris–which is somewhat amusing, since Elantris was essentially about a bunch of zombies. Either way, my goal in this chapter was to show the Final Empire as a place of contrast. Despair contrasted with Kelsier's attitude. The wealth of the nobility contrasted with the terrible conditions of the skaa.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #10926 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Prologue - Part Two

    I intentionally hit the setting very hard in this chapter. People bring a lot of preconceived notions to fantasy, and sometimes it's difficult to shake them free. With this book, I don't want people to assume an immediate time period or culture for this world. In realty, I've stolen from all over the place. My hope is that I'll be able to destroy people's conceptions quickly, then instead build my own world in their mind.

    So, here we have a land where the sun is red, ash falls from the sky, mists come upon the land at night, and plants are brown rather than green. In addition, we have a slave population who live like very rural peasants–but, at the same time, Lord Tresting checks his pocket watch in the first scene. Later on, you'll see gothic cathedrals mixing with people in near-modern clothing. It's all just part of the image I'm trying to create–a place that isn't set in any particular time. In fact, it's a little bit frozen in time, as you'll find in later books.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    This initial section, with Tresting and the Obligator, was added during one of the last drafts of the book. I had some troubles starting this novel. I really liked the Kelsier section of the prologue (which was originally the first chapter.) However, before I got to Kelsier, I wanted to have a kind of scene-setting omniscient description of the skaa working.

    The important part of this zoom out would have been to show them all with heads bowed, then show Kelsier look up and smile. I tried several drafts of this, and eventually settled on something that was okay. Later on, however, I decided that it was just too much of a viewpoint error to have an omniscient section in one of my books, especially since it was the first section of the novel. So, I decided to set the scene from Tresting's viewpoint.

    Once I changed that, I like how this scene turned out. However, it does mean that the very first viewpoint that you see in the book is that of a passing villain who doesn't really matter very much. I guess that's all right, but it's part of the reason I moved this back to being the prologue–I think that gives more of an indication that the characters introduced aren't necessarily the main characters of the book.

    Other than that, I liked how this scene let me introduce some of the world elements–obligators, Inquisitors, the ash, the nobility, and the Lord Ruler–in a quick, easy way. Plus, I got to have the scene with Kelsier looking up and smiling, which always gives me a bit of a chill when I read it.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #10929 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Maps

    I haven't actually seen the map yet. I'm curious to see how it turns out. . . .

    The person doing it is Isaac Stewart, a guy in one of my writing groups. He's a man of many talents, and works as an animator. He was very excited about Mistborn, and when I mentioned he could do the map, he was enthusiastic. I've heard a lot of what he's talked about with the book–doing a map that is based on old Victorian-era maps of London and Paris. We'll see what he comes up with!

    EDIT: Now I've seen the maps!

    Wow, Isaac did a wonderful job with these. One of the things I asked for was a round world map, and he really stepped up. I love the embellishments around the border and the illuminated manuscript type feel for it.

    The city map is probably more important to the story. Oddly, I didn't actually do one of these when I was writing the novel. In fact, I only had a very basic sketch for the world map. That meant, of course, that when I sat down with one of the later drafts, some things were inconsistent. It also meant that a lot of things on the map weren't named, such as the gates.

    I owe a lot to Isaac on this one. His intricate map is very detailed–each of those slums was hand-drawn with the insane twisting of all the little streets. He was the one who named the gates, building eight of them and naming them after the basic Allomantic metals. All and all, he did a fantastic job.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #10930 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Acknowledgments

    This page is much like the one from Elantris. I don't know if people ignore these, or if they read through them. Regardless, these are some important folks. They do a great job helping turn the rough drafts of my books into things that people would actually want to read.

    I really do like having writing groups. I don't know if I've talked about this before, but I find a good writing group to be a vital part of the process. Not only do they give you encouragement, but they provide great chapter-by-chapter responses to books. Giving the entire book to alpha readers helps a lot with the big picture–but those kinds of readers don't generally catch the smaller issues in a given chapter.

    But, there's another reason I like writing groups. I really enjoy watching writers progress, and seeing their prose develop. It's a lot of fun to take place in a small community of people who are all working toward the same goals, and to give them encouragement and aid.

    I also felt I needed to give David and Irene acknowledgements on this page. I added them in last, after I realized just how much I owe to the people at Tor. Without the people who do the publicity and the artwork, no book would ever get taken off the shelves–or even get out of the warehouse. These people do a great job, and I think they are part of the reason Tor is the powerful force that it is.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #10931 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Dedication

    I had trouble deciding on the dedication for this book. I know a lot of awesome people who deserve the honor. My mother got the dedication of my first one–that was easy–but it was much more difficult to decide who got to go next.

    I eventually decided on Beth Sanderson, my Paternal Grandmother. Both of my grandmothers are awesome people. I decided to use Beth for this one because she is one of the only fantasy fans in my immediate family. (The other being my little sister Lauren.)

    I still remember Grandma Beth talking about the sf/f books that she'd read, trying to get me to read them. She taught junior high English, and I think she must have been great at the job. She is just truly a fun-loving person, always smiling despite the physical hardships she's gone through lately.

    In addition, she's a little screwy–in a good way. Everyone says I must have inherited my strangeness from her.

    So, this book is for you, grandma!

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #10932 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Title Page - Part Two

    Okay, so here we see the words Final Empire for the first time. Continuing the discussion I had in the last annotation, one of the books that I wrote after Mistborn Prime was called The Final Empire. (I now call it The Final Empire Prime.) It was the story of a young boy (yes, boy) named Vin who lived in an oppressive imperial dictatorship that he was destined to overthrow. It was my attempt at writing a shorter book that still had epic scope.

    This book turned out to be okay, but it had some fairly big problems problems. While people reacted rather well to the characters, the setting was a little weak for one of my books. Also, once again, I wasn't that enthusiastic about the way the plot turned out.

    After that, I gave up on the short books. I proved no good at it. I decided to do The Way of Kings next, a massive war epic. It turned out to be 350,000+ words–I kind of see it as me reacting in frustration against the short books I'd forced myself to write. About this time, I sold Elantris, and Moshe (my editor) wanted to see what else I was working on. I sent him Kings. He liked it, and put it in the contract.

    I, however, wasn't certain if Kings was the book I wanted to use as a follow up for Elantris. They were very different novels, and I was worried that those who liked Elantris would be confused by such a sharp turn in the direction of my career. So, I decided to write a different book to be my "second" novel.

    I had always liked Allomancy as a magic system, and I liked several of the character concepts Final Empire. I also liked a lot of the ideas from both books, as well as some ideas I'd had for a great plot. I put three all of these things together, and conceived the book you are now reading.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #10933 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Title Page - Part One

    All right, first annotation! About the title page.

    I'm generally just going to call this book Mistborn, though the entire series is the "Mistborn Trilogy." Technically, this book is Mistborn: The Final Empire. The second book is Mistborn: The Well of Ascension, and the third book is Mistborn: The Hero of Ages.

    There’s an interesting story behind this title. As some of you may know, I spent a number of years trying to get published, writing books all the while. My first five books are what I call the "throwaway books." Those were ones I did mostly as practice, figuring out how to do the whole novel-writing thing. Book six was Elantris, which was published in May of 2005; it was the first book I managed to sell.

    However, while I was trying to get Elantris published, I wrote a number of other books. The three after Elantris were big epic fantasy books, much like it in style. After that, I decided that I was writing things that were too big–that no publisher was going to take a huge epic fantasy book from an unknown author. (Though that's eventually what happened. . . .)

    Anyway, I decided to try writing some shorter (i.e. only about 125,000 words instead of 250,000 words) fantasy novels. The first of these was what I now call Mistborn Prime. It was the story of a man who was a "Mistborn" (a kind of super-powerful assassin) who gets trapped in a small village with people hunting him, and has to try and blend in with the population there.

    Mistborn was a different book for me in many ways. It was shorter, for one thing, and it was also about a kind of anti-hero. It only had one viewpoint character, and the plot was much smaller in scope than my other books. It was successful in some ways, but a failure in others. The magic system I developed for it–Allomancy–was quite spectacular, as were the action sequences. The character, however, didn't appeal to many readers. And, the plot was just a little. . .uninspiring. I'm really better when I have more to deal with.

    As you can probably tell, this book–which was unpublishable–became the inspiration for the book I eventually wrote named Mistborn: The Final Empire. We'll cover that second part in the next annotation.

    General Signed Books 2017 ()
    #10940 Copy

    CosmereQuestioner

    Like Adonalsium, could Harmony split into 2 shards OTHER THAN Ruin/Preservation with the right intent.

    You once stated that it is plausible that with a different intent Adonalsium could have shattered into a DIFFERENT 16 shards. You have also said that Harmony is one shard (or could be viewed this way.) My question: Could Harmony split/be split into 2 shards OTHER THAN Ruin/Preservation (yet still complementing/opposite) with the right intent of the splitter?  And if not is this because Harmony is still too invested in Scadrial as Ruin/Preservation?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Almost anything is possible... but it is very, very unlikely that Harmony would split except back to Ruin/Preservation.

    General Signed Books 2016 ()
    #10945 Copy

    CosmereQuestioner

    The background to my question is this:

    It was once stated by Mr Sanderson that "Magic in the cosmere needs a guiding force.  If it doesn't have one, the magic itself will gain sentience."  We also have that things like Nightblood that gained sentience because of crazy amounts of investiture.

    My question then is:

    "Is the reason that investiture has this tendency to lead to sentience caused by the fact that pre-Shattering Adonalsium had a goal/purpose/intent of bringing sentience to his universe."

    (I guess this is in a way a 2 part question, because it assumes that Adonalsium actually HAD the intent of bringing sentience to his cosmere)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, this is part of the reason.  Good question!