I was wondering if Rayse and Rhyshadium, is there a connection like for Aon and Aona, Ati and atium?
For what? For Rayse and Ryshadium? No.
I was wondering if Rayse and Rhyshadium, is there a connection like for Aon and Aona, Ati and atium?
For what? For Rayse and Ryshadium? No.
They're called "Wax and Wayne." Is that something to do with the moon or is that just...
It's a pun, it's just a pun on my part.
So you did it on purpose but it's nothing in the book?
I did. Yeah, Scadrial doesn't have a moon so they wouldn't really... The words "wax" and "wane" still mean what they mean, but it's not part of common vernacular the way it is over here. So it's me being goofy and loving the pun way too much.
During the lecture the other day, you talked about the books that you never published, the thirteen books. You mentioned something you called the unspeakable, terrible book number nine. What is that about?
Parts of it ended up as Warbreaker. It was called Mythwalker and I never finished it - it's the only one out of all those I gave up on. It had a magic system that didn't end up working. So, that's pretty bad for one of my books. I had an intriguing concept, but it never worked.
And do you have another one from the thirteen that you still intend on adapting, changing and then maybe publishing?
Aether of Night will probably end up in some form or another, and Dragonsteel will probably end up in some form or another.
Can a Nahel Bond be stagnant because of a spren's inability to progress? If the spren has a character deficiency they cannot break through or something?
Can a spren cause the Nahel Bond to not progress? This is possible. Not very common but it is possible.
Did the old Knights Radiant know the Shin were in possession of the Honorblades?
So... the Knights Radiant are aware of where... most of them are aware of where the Honorblades are.
In the old times?
Oh, I thought you meant the Heralds. Did the old Knights Radiant know where the Honorblades were? I will RAFO that one, sorry. I was thinking, yes, the Heralds knew where their Blades ended up, but I will RAFO the Knights Radiant.
Second thing, can I get a Releaser Ideal maybe?
No, I don't give the Ideals out until they come up in the books. They're all major plot points.
Are the Sleepless Invested? And if so, is that in every hordeling or is it like the hive mind is an Investiture?
I will RAFO that. All things are Invested. So-
Un-Innate Investiture, like extra...
Extra? I will RAFO that.
Two days ago, you read the first chapter of Stormlight 4 and Navani has a homesteward there and he has those rings, lots and lot of rings. Is it maybe... he has...
You're gonna ask if he is a Terrisman, right?
When Zahel worldhopped to Roshar, did he ever do that before Warbreaker?
Yes, in fact Roshar was where the idea for Nightblood kind of came from.
Will you ever write about that?
I will probably reference it in future books and maybe I'll do some flashbacks, but I haven't decided. I'm unlikely to write a book that covers that time period on its own.
So my question is this: So, Investiture is a different [type?] of existence separate from matter and energy, right?
So, does entropy apply to Investiture?
Yes... It does, with some caveats, but yes. It works a little differently, but it does apply. You should be able to apply all three laws of thermodynamics with... accounting for a third state of matter, energy.
What's the technological level of Nalthis by the time of Stormlight?
I'm going to RAFO that also.
If Nightblood were out of its scabbard and then you hit someone who is wearing a Shardplate, what would happen?
You will find that out in the books eventually, so that's a RAFO.
Where did you get the inspiration for the <pilot unit> in Skyward, because you get the culture of the piloting program in Israel very well!
I actually went to a lot of pilots and asked them to be my beta readers and talked to them and they gave me a bunch of feedback.
If you took Nightblood into the Cognitive Realm, what would he look like?
RAFO, and yes, he has been taken into the Cognitive Realm before.
More specifically, would he stay a sword or would he give himself a sort of...
That's a RAFO... that's the RAFO. Just make sure when you go through that perpendicularity, he's in a sheath. Otherwise, bad things happen.
There would be a difference, you say?
Yeah, bad things would happen if you took Nightblood through.
So you said, so the only two ways to really worldhop are Cognitive Realm or FTL.
I did not say that, I said...
So there could be another way?
Yes. I said, if you couldn't use Shadesmar, is there another way. I did not say there are only two ways.
Okay, so there could be more than two ways?
Okay, thank you. That's the answer I was looking forward to.
What kind of spren is Maya?
Maya is a cultivationspren.
The Reachers in the ship that leads Kaladin and the group... What kind of Order do they create?
That will be answered in the next book. You'll have pictures of all of the Radiant spren and their bonds, except the Bondsmiths, obviously.
One. Can there be Nahel Bonds with more then ten types of spren because we have ten Orders.
Meaning, are there other possible spren that could form other Orders of Knights Radiant that are not the ten? This is theoretically possible, but that is basically what you could argue is happening to Renarin. So now if you want to say... if you want to throw out the exception of spren who were one of the ten who got changed, then this is theoretically possible but right now currently wouldn't work.
So, Shadows for Silence... Threnody, or Hell at least, is based off of Judaism, right? And Shade sounds a lot like the Hebrew word for demon, Shedim. Is there a relation?
Yes... yes. But it's not an in-world reason, it's just in my brain, right?
Okay, so I was going to ask like... do they have chicken legs, which is how [Jewish demons are depicted]
No, they don't. But, you know, things like She’ol [Hebrew word, the Jewish interpetation of the afterlife in certain texts] and things like that, they're in the back of my head - mostly because of Stormlight. I would say, I hadn't thought about it before, but that's definitely an unconscious influence on me. But they do not have chicken legs.
I have a follow-up question about Nalthis and synesthesia. How would having a lot of Breaths affect the Heightenings of someone with chromesthesia, which is a form of synesthesia where you... light and color. I mean, sorry, sound and color.
Okay, so you hear sounds and you see colors?
Or vice-versa, you hear color and see sounds.
Okay, you hear colors and you see sounds... So, what did I say before?
You said that it would affect it in different ways, but you didn't say how.
Alright, so... See sound and hear color... *struggling* I'd have to think about it, honestly. I don't think I can off the cuff that one.
Will we be seeing Szeth training the Radiants in the future?
So... Szeth will be sharing some tips, but I don't know that you'll see him training. He starts the next book in jail, so... yeah...
If an Elantrian were to tattoo someone with an Aon with the intent of it working...
Could that work? Yes... you could make that work. There is some trouble with moving some Aons around, so it's gonna depend on how you're building and things, but you can make that work.
So, about Feruchemy. If someone takes, for example, a copper metalmind, fills it with memories, and then a tin metalmind, fills it with senses, then melts them together into a bronze metalmind, would you be able to tap anything from it, and what?
If you made an alloy of them, you would not get anything out of them. You would know there's Investiture in there, but you wouldn't be able to pull it out.
Even if it's your own?
Even if it's your own, yup. They would interfere with each other to the point that you wouldn't be able to get anything out. Sorry.
First of all, did Mormonism play a role in building the Cosmere at all?
It certainly did... Not really a conscious one, but my faith really influences who I am. Like, one of the big tenets of my religion is this idea that we're all gods in embryo that are then growing up to be like our Father. And so you can see in the Cosmere, it's really about the power of God given to men and what they do with it and how it kinda messes things up if it's not done right. I think that's probably deeply influenced by my religion.
What is your favorite relationship between two characters?
Favorite relationship? Oh boy... Adolin and Kaladin. That was a lot of fun to write, because they're such different people, but they're really good for one another.
So, who is the character you're most proud of?
I would say, I am most proud of Dalinar. I spent a lot of time getting Dalinar to work. Either him or Sazed, both of them were very difficult at times to make work.
We wanted to ask if you know... if you can tell us the age gap between Kelsier and Marsh?
Kelsier and Marsh? Like... four years, yeah.
Did Taravangian meet the Nightwatcher? Or Cultivation?
Cultivation. Good question.
I asked what's up with Warbreaker's sequel and if we'll get to see Endowment get a bigger role.
Can Susebron break Nightblood's commands?
Susebron just isn't strong enough.
Could Shashara have retrieved her Breath from Nightblood?
Not by means she knew.
Brandon said this is the first confirmation of a second Shardpool on Sel when he signed my book.
There is a second Shardpool.
How will time bending metals (of Allomancers) affect electronic devices?
RAFO, but they will probably be OK.
Can a Shardblade cut a drab or just a soul? As they are only half alive..
A Shardblade would cut the soul, killing the drab.
If an individual has a mental sickness, such as multiple personalities, can that affect a Shard's intent if picked up by him or her?
Yes, that is possible.
Is it possible that Autonomy is one such, and has multiple personalities?
I noticed most of the Unmade have a Middle Eastern mythology inspiration, and could pair them with deities, but I couldn't find a fit for two: Yelig-nar and Ba-Ado-Mishram. Could you tell us their names' origin?
Those two are actully not Middle Eastern but actually inspired by Lovecraft.
Since the gemstones on Shardblades seems to be infused with Stormlight, could a Surgebinder draw that Stormlight and use it?
No he couldn't. You see, that Stormlight is the Shardbearer's life energy, you wouldn't be able to draw it just like I can't draw your life energy from you. If you were to extract that gemstone from the Shardblade it is possible.
But then the gemstone would go dark.
What would happen if an Elantrian burned or flared aluminium? Would they become Reod or a normal person? Or something else?
Like if they got Allomantic powers?
Yeah, like a lerasium [bead] or something.
Okay, yeah, I'm gonna say RAFO, I knew this one was coming.
We can see all over history that people with absolute power tend to be quite awful, was Adonalsium like that?
RAFO, good question and you will learn about this
Can you Awaken a complex mechanism in a way that it will work by itself?
I didn't understand the question.
Like Awakening a gun so it'll shoot by itself.
It's very hard since you need lots of Breath but theoretically it's possible.
If I were to cut an Elantrian's head off, would it still live? Just the head, the body, both or perhaps neither of them?
The body would grow a new head, as most of the soul is in that part.
Which part of the two in Dalinar's oath in the end of book three - y'know, "I will take responsibility [...] If I must fall I will rise each time a better man" - would you say encompasses the Third Ideal of the Bondsmiths best? The neutral version of it, what would it be?
*he thought a bit, hummed* It would be about the second part, mainly about getting better - I will rise each time a better man.
When are you gonna finish the Scribbler [The Rithmatist] - and just by the way I'm a huge fan, and like all of your books are amazing.
Thank you so much!
Uh, so Scribbler we will probably finish... eventually but I don't have a specific date. It's a side project, it has to squeeze in between the other books. When I feel a little ahead on something, that's when we'll see me doing it.
Is that how you work? Just whenever you have strength you just...
Well, normally I'm very good at planning all of what I'm writing and the books that are coming, but side projects like that... like, I will finish Stormlight 4, I'll write Wax and Wayne 4 and I'll write Skyward 3, and then we'll see if I have time right then, and if I do I'll slide in a side project and if not I have to go straight to Stormlight 5. So like, Stormlight, Mistborn, Skyward right now are the things I have to have deadline on and be regular. Side projects is whenever the time happens.
In Elantris, we know the Shards Aona and Skai influenced the large religions, Shu-Korath and Shu-Dereth. When Odium came to Elantris to shatter... to Splinter them, did he make the [Jeskeri] Mysteries cult?
Oh, the Mysteries, the Jeskeri Mysteries? I'll RAFO that for now.
My question is about Bavadin. Is she a hive mind?
No, hive mind isn't the right word for it, but...
So she's not an Aimian or something like that...
She's not an Aimian. That's - that's a good question. No, she is not.
The linguistics there, with the... for the Aonic... so, I had a couple of inspirations there. By the time I was writing this book, I was looking to do a little bit more interesting linguistics, I was looking to explore linguistics, and I like that one of the ideas I had is... I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Letter-day Saints - Mormon - and I served a two year mission in Korea. While I was in Korea, I fell in love with the relationship between the Korean language and the Chinese language.
If you're not familiar with how that is, in a lot of Asia, Chinese was the writing system for years. For centuries, people wrote in Chinese, even if they didn't speak Chinese, because Chinese is a logographic language, it's not phonetic. When you write the character, the <Hànzì>, you can pronounce it in any language. It can be written... read in any language - we can read them in English, you can read them in Hebrew. They just mean a concept, it's like hieroglyphics, right?
But what this means is, it's really hard to learn to write, because you just have to memorize every symbol and they're very complex, very intricate. So, around... I think it's 1400, someone will have to look that up to make sure, but... the king Sejong of the Korean people, who is remembered as their favorite king, he came in and said "My people are illiterate because Chinese is just too hard to learn. We aren't Chinese, we don't speak Chinese, we're trying to use their writing system for our language. Let's develop an alphabet."
They got a bunch of scholars together and they built an alphabet by which you can write Chinese in Korean, in an alphabet that's a Korean alphabet. It's really fascinating linguistically, because they create Chinese characters that are phonetic to take the place of Chinese characters in their language and then surround them with grammar only in Korean. So, you have like "Chinese character, Chinese character, Korean grammar... Chinese character, Chinese character, Korean grammar..." and you could replace those characters with Korean ones if you want, or you could just leave the Chinese - really cool.
I wanted to develop a language that had these symbols that would also have... that were from an old language... that would then have grammar around them in another language. It was really interesting to me and that's where the Aons came from, this kind of language that predates their culture, predates their linguistics in Arelon. And that they have developed alongside and that they use in their writing system... and if you were to read Aonic, you would see these big Aons and then little Aonic text between them that is bridging all these ideas together with actual linguistics.
So, the Aons I wanted to stand out, I wanted to... when you read them in English to be able to say... and I experimented with making them all caps and it just looked really weird, but that that would be the way that... then you would have to have "RAO" and "den", "RAO" would always be in caps and "den" and readers had real troubles with that. It just read... it looks like you're screaming, right? So, people would read the name *loud* RAO- *speaking normally again* den, *laughter from audience* which is not what I wanted to say.
So I went back, but I still wanted these... So, I used the two long vowels sounds. Whenever you hit a name, they're all gonna have two long vowel sounds in them that are stressed and then an unstressed Aonic portion pushed onto it. So it's /ˈɹeɪ.ˈʊ.dɛn/ [Raoden], where you've got a-o, and you've got /iːniː/ [Ene], /sɑː.ˈɹiː.ˌniː/ [Sarene], and things like that. And even Elantris... I say /e.ˈlɑːn.tɹɪs/ [Elantris], they would say /ˈiː.leɪn.tɹɪs/ [Elantris], and things like that.
I built this just, like, have... I love it, when in fantasy, the form and the function meld together, so that what you're putting on the page actually enhances in all ways the culture and the magic together, but it did make for a difficult reading experience. My first review I ever got for Elantris [...] My first review that ever came in was "This book is great, but the names are terrible. Brandon Sanderson can't name anything. Keep him away from naming things, because the first book he published might be the most linguistically challenging, let's just say."
So, what's going on here is that when I was writing Elantris... number one, Elantris is my only book that I wrote not knowing if it would get published. For those who don't know, Elantris is my sixth novel and I wrote thirteen before I sold it. And so, I was finishing my thirteenth unpublished novel when Elantris finally sold and so Mistborn is number fourteen. I didn't publish any of those other ones.
So, Elantris was the only book that I wrote without a professional team behind me. And even those early Mistborn books, I did have assistants and things... For instance, I now have a team of fifteen people that work for me, of which nine are full-time. The Brandon Sanderson business is... we take this very seriously and I have two full-time editors who work on my staff in addition to my editors at the publishers.
When I wrote Elantris, I didn't have that whole team backing me, it was just me. So, when we did the tenth anniversary edition, I said, "Let's look and see if people can actually walk in the time I say to the places I say. Let's make sure you can actually see the things they say you should be able to see". And lo and behold, they're like "You say he looks out of his window and sees Elantris, but you put his house over here and there's stuff in the way" and things like this. This is the sort of stuff that, as a writer, it's just really hard to do without a team specifically looking to ask "Can a person walk to... this distance?" and things like that.
Now that I have those resources, I was able to just update it. All the changes to Elantris, none of them change the story, but all of them were meant for these reasons: People can't actually walk this distance or it takes them too long. Like, it would take fifteen minutes, you say it takes an hour... what happened? It's just easier to say "No, it took fifteen minutes", right, and stuff like that. So, those are what the updates were mostly.
With me adding the scene - I don't know if you guys put in the bonus scene - *affirmative from the interviewer* the bonus Hoid scene in the back, which... the story of Hoid, if you don't know, is... he's the character that connects all the Cosmere. When I first started writing, Elantris was the first book ever I put him in and then he appeared in Dragonsteel, which is an unpublished novel, and in White Sand and in Aether of Night, but just little, tiny cameos.
My feeling was - early on - that people wouldn't put up with this <false> behind the scenes continuity. I thought it would scare people off of the series and things like that. I don't want someone to pick up Elantris and be like "Oh, to understand Elantris, I have to read all of that". I just wanted them to be able to enjoy Elantris, but I found out very quickly: fans, number one, loved it. They weren't intimidated by it. Plus, the MCU [Marvel Cinematic Universe] has done way more of that, right? *laughter from audience* When I started, the MCU wasn't out yet. People were not used to, you know, dealing with continuity between different series and things like that on the level they're willing to now. But I found that, even with the early books, there were at least people like "No, you can trust us more, you can give us more of this. It won't turn us off to the books if we know that Hoid is around" and so, I've started... like, you know, I wrote into Elantris a little bit more Hoid for a bonus scene at the end, stuff like that.
I will speak up... I do like the American cover. Some people don't and I can understand... there's like... a lot of people who don't like it say that it looks too sci-fi. And Stephan Martinière was a concept artist for science fiction movies and the book, the cover feels too sci-fi for a lot of people.
In Arcanum Unbounded you mentioned that Sel is one of the biggest planets. You also mentioned that there are three empires on that planet. In Elantris 2 two will we get... You also mentioned that they are largely ignorant of each other, will we get a book in which those empires interact? Maybe in Elantris 2?
Also, can you please specify on their nature and maybe some inspirations you got when writing and thinking about them?
So, sure. Sel wears its inspirations quite blatantly on its sleeve, right? It's not that obvious for instance in Stormlight that the Alethi are based off of Mongolians, because there's so much more in the mix there, that it's not quite as obvious. But in Sel, it's a little more obvious. You know, basically the idea came to me that what if the vikings had united behind a very hierarchical religion like Catholicism, and we had Catholic vikings, conquering the world. What would the world look like and that is where the entire religion came from.
Actually the truth is it's like, there was this priest, right, and one group became Buddhist and the other became Catholic vikings and, you know, Buddhist Renaissance... Italians is kind of where we got there and of course, the Rose Empire the inspirations are a little bit more Eastern and Middle Eastern. For instance, the Grands are based on Babylonian influences and I'm kind of looking at a lot of Babylonian, a little bit of Syrian. But of course Shai is very very clearly based on East Asian cultures and specifically China.
So, the empires and things like that... for there you might have noticed that we've got a Europe centered one, and an Asia/Eastern centered one, so you might be able to theorize where the third empire's inspirations might be or at least a list of possible candidates.
So, I wanted to ask. It wasn't translated to Hebrew yet, but one of your stories has a loosely based magic system based on Shabbos.
Yes. Very loose! It started stricter, it got very loose.
*explaining to audience* Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell.
I was wondering, on the same planet, are there more magic systems or is this magic system going to be expanded upon and built, to keep it in the religious theme?
Yes. There is more and it is... all the magics that I'll do there, they are takes on sort of religious concepts. We'll do more. Threnody is really messed up, I'm just gonna warn you. *audience laughs* You haven't even seen how messed up it is.
*in humor* Half of the place is called HELL, how worse can it get?
Yeah, it's worse outside of Hell. Hell is nice. *audience laughs*
So, yeah, that's my theme...
Will it keep the Jewish motif?
Yes, it will keep some more Jewish motifs, and things like that, because I find them fascinating, so, you will find a things like that, yeah.