Search the most comprehensive database of interviews and book signings from Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson and the rest of Team Jordan.
2012-04-30: I had the great pleasure of speaking with Harriet McDougal Rigney about her life. She's an amazing talent and person and it will take you less than an hour to agree.
2012-04-24: Some thoughts I had during JordanCon4 and the upcoming conclusion of "The Wheel of Time."
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Do you ever plan to use bio‐chroma again? It'd be a shame to see such an interesting and original idea left with a single book.
It is unlikely that I will use this magic system in a different book because it is distinctly tied to that particular Shard. The sequel likelihood is good. There is more to tell in this world, so there is a decent chance I will return and do a second Warbreaker book (I've been calling it Nightblood when I've mentioned it before). That isn't to say that there will never be magic systems that will repeat across series—in fact there's a decent chance that will happen—but I'm not going to say any more on that right now.
Heh. Nightblood will happen someday. Bribes of cookies or Magic Cards at signings might help. More seriously, I do intend to do this—and post it online as I write it—but it probably won’t be for a few years.
Then you shall have both when you come here this winter. Help turn a few years into six months, right?
lol. Well, it can’t hurt. But I DO have a lot on my plate... We’ll see. I want an Elantris sequel out for 2015.
Wow, an Elantris sequel would be awesome too. Where would it fit chronologically after the end of Elantris?
Elantris direct sequel would be 10 years later and use Kiin’s children as viewpoint characters living in Fjorden.
Choosing the next project is a balance between the promises I've made to readers and the best way to channel my creativity. I stay fresh by jumping between projects; it's the way I've (for better or worse) trained myself. And so I always have a lot of ideas, and there are a lot of things I've worked on.
One thing to keep in mind with me is that, because of the way I work, some of these things just don't end up turning out. They aren't good enough for publication, at least in their current state, so I shelve them. Imagine it like the B-sides of an album. The band may do a lot of playing, jamming, and recording—and then they pick the very best to present to their listeners.
In the case of the books mentioned above, Liar turned out poorly enough on the first go-around that it's shelved indefinitely. I'm not sure how I stand on The King's Necromancer yet, and White Sand is unlikely to be in good shape for many years. Scribbler (one you didn't mention) turned out great, and you'll probably see it in the near future.
As for sequels to books that are half-promised, we'll see. Something like Nightblood (where there is a potential sequel, but the story of the book was wrapped up and told strongly, I feel) is less urgent than something like the rest of the Stormlight Archive (which is a single story, told across many books.) In the case of Stormlight, I've made a stronger promise to readers, one I feel the need to fulfill.
Of course, the question you asked is how I keep them all straight. Lots of notes mixed with quirks of the way my brain works.
A manifestation of Ruin's gathered consciousness, much like the dark mists in book two. The lake was still around in Vin's era, but had been moved under ground. (Note that the Well is a very similar manifestation. You've also seen one other manifestation like this....)
The "lake" was barely ten feet deep—more like a pool. Its water was a crystalline blue, and Raoden could see no inlets or outlets.If that's what you're hinting at...I never thought of the connection before! I just kept thinking of Aether of Night, and never thought of this pool at all.
Both are accurate, but the first is what I meant, as most people here don't have access to Aether.
I'm also thinking that the Dor in Elantris is another Shard of Adonalsium. Certainly in the Elantris world, where the Dor came from is rather ambiguous, which I expected it would be. Of course, if other Shards of Adonalsium do exist, the Dor could have come from that source.
I will RAFO from here on the other Shards of Adonalsium, as it would be better for me not to give spoilers. Please feel free to speculate. Readers have met four shards other than Ruin and Preservation.
Have we met these four by name, or just by influence? I can't think of a name that would go with the one that the Elantris lake is a manifestation of.
Hoid could be one? I know nothing his purpose other than that he shows up in lots of different books, sometimes begging and sometimes telling stories. Since most of these series happen on different planets (though two of them may happen on the same planet as each other), I'm assuming he has mad planet-hopping skills.
Ookla, I'm going to be tight lipped on this, as I don't want to give things away for future books. But I'll tell you this:
You've interacted with two directly.
One is a tough call. You've never met the Shard itself, but you've seen its power.
The other one you have not met directly, but have seen its influence.
I thought Nightblood was explained sufficiently for my tastes in Warbreaker, so I doubt that it is a Shard, but I've been plenty wrong before. Also, I don't know if Hoid could even be a Shard. Certainly he has mean planet-hopping skills, but I don't know what purpose a celestial storyteller would have in this universe. He doesn't really have the same kind of power as Ruin or Preservation did, so normally I would rule him out right off the bat. But it is possible that these Shards come in many shapes, not just in the near-deific quantity Ruin or Preservation had. I think it's a bit of a stretch to say Hoid is a Shard... but, then again, I don't have any ideas for what those four other Shards are.
Maybe Hoid is just a traveler trying to find remnants of Adonalsium and stories about them. He doesn't need to be a shard, I suppose.
This is slightly a tangent, but here is a relevant chunk from the Warbreaker Annotations. As this won't be posted for months, I'll put it here as a sneak preview.
This whole scene came about because I wanted an interesting way to delve into the history. Siri needed to hear it, and I felt that many readers would want to know it. However, that threatened to put me into the realm of the dreaded info dump.
And so I brought in the big guns. This cameo is so obvious (or, at least, someday it will be) that I almost didn’t use the name Hoid for the character, as I felt it would be too obvious. The first draft had him using one of his other favorite pseudonyms. However, in the end, I decided that too many people would be confused (or, at least, even more confused) if I didn’t use the same name. So here it is. And if you have no idea what I’m talking about. . .well, let’s just say that there’s a lot more to this random appearance than you might think.
Brandon, I believe in one of Sazed's epigraphs, he actually called it "Adonasium" rather than what you are referring to here, which is "Adonalsium". I'm thinking that's just a typo, right?
I don't suppose you could tell us which book series of yours will tell us more about Adonalsium, would you? You know, just so us theorizers on the forum know when to properly theorize about these things...
Well, I guess this means that the proofreaders did not add the "L" when I marked the error on the manuscript.(sigh). Yes, the correct spelling is Adonalsium. I will try to get this fixed for the paperback, but I've been trying to get that blasted steel/iron error in the back of book one fixed for two years now. . .
If it helps, Sazed would probably under-pronounce the "L" as that letter, like in Tindwyl's name, is said very softly in Terris.
As for your other question, you will have to wait and see. Now, you could search my old books for clues, but I would caution against this. While there are hints in these, they are not yet canon. Just as I changed how things were presented in the Mistborn books during editing, I would have fixed a lot in these books during revision. Beyond that, reading them would give big spoilers for books yet to be released. White Sand, Dragonsteel, and Way of Kings in particular are going to be published some day for almost certain. (Though in very different forms). Aether of Night should be safe, as should Final Empire prime and Mistborn prime, though of those three, only Aether is worth reading, and then only barely. (It is still pretty bad).
The silly question is, who would win in a fight? Vin or Vasher or the Nightblood?
And who would win in a fight between Vin and Vasher? It would probably depend on who got the jump on who. Vin's a bit more sneaky so I have the feeling that Vasher would be in trouble if it involved sneaking but Vasher is - he only has to get one little cut on you and you're gone so it's, it would probably- my money would be on Vin.
Anything infused (regardless of the world or magic that infused it) is resistant to magic. So you'd have a lot of trouble pushing or pulling on a spike, unless you had access to a boost of some sort to overcome the resistance.
So, Nightblade would be resistant to steelpushing? Good to know ;-)
My friend and I asked him something like this at a book signing, but for some reason it never seemed to make it onto 17th Shard. We asked if a shardblade or Nightblood could be used as a hemalurgic spike (i.e.: two different investitures of magic). Brandon said that yes, in theory you could do that, but objects have a limit to how much investiture they can hold, and that it could be argued that things like Nightblood and Shardblades are already "full."
Is the risk of Vasher dying from wielding Nightblood unsheathed too long because Nightblood would consume his divine Breath or does that also extend to those who are not Returned?
Yes, and yes, it does apply to others.
If Nightblood were a Magic card, what would its abilities/stats be?
Equipment. When equipped creature does combat damage, destroy all other creatures. During your upkeep, pay WUBRG or you lose the game. (Note, I have no development chops, so I have no idea how to properly cost the artifact or the equip.)
Other Happy and Exciting information on various books:
Nightblood: Would mostly be about Vasher and Vivenna hunting down the last of the Five Scholars. Apparently.
Here’s an interesting one. Why do some Breaths flare when people die? Vasher mentions it in the book.
I will answer that in the next book, if I ever get to it.
So, like metal inside a person’s body?
It depends on how strong the investiture in them is.
Is that going to be the answer for all of these?
How about a spike charged with Hemalurgy? Not in a person.
Not in a person? It depends on how strong—yeah. A spike is moderately—in the realm of these sorts of things—moderately easy to push on, because a spike does not rip off very much investiture. Only enough to short circuit the soul, and it loses that over time. So I would put that at the bottom—with the top being very hard—to be one of the easier things.
How about a metalmind? A feruchemy metalmind that is "full."
That is going to be middle of the realm. Generally easier than, for instance, a shardblade, which is going to be very hard.
But a shardblade isn’t actual metal. Ish?
Ish. Is Lerasium a metal? Yeah.
So would that be the same for Shardplate, too?
Shardplate and blade are very hard. Blade is probably going to be harder. [...]
Halfshard? Like a halfshard shield?
Halfshard shield is going to be in moderate.
Nightblood? I imagine is going to be very difficult.
Very hard. Of all the things you’ve listed, he’s the hardest. Far beyond even a shardblade.
Far beyond metal inside a person?
Yes, depending on how invested the person is.
If someone was invested as much as Nightblood I’m pretty sure it’s going to be very difficult.
Yes, for instance, the Godking, at the end, with all of those Breaths. Pushing on something inside of him? Getting through all that? Gonna be REAL hard. Average person on Scadrial? You’ve seen how hard that is. A drab? Much easier.
That was actually going to be my next one- No, sorry, not a drab, a Lifeless.
A Lifeless. Lifeless are kinda weird, because they’ve had their soul leave, but then they’ve had a replacement stuck in, in the form of Breath, which puts them in a really weird position compared to a Drab, which has had part of their investiture ripped away, but the majority of it remains. So anyway, I’m going to give you one more. Pick your favorite.
Okay, a soul-stamped piece of metal.
A soul-stamped piece of metal is going to be on the lower, easier side. Not a lot of investiture going on in a soulstamp.
Vasher misses Nightblood and feels responsible for him.
How many worldhoppers have we seen?
Oh, I haven't kept track, you've seen quite a few. There's one from Mistborn, did you catch him? I don't think people have really picked out the Terriswoman yet, who makes her way into them, but they're mostly not supposed to be noticeable yet, until you get to know them as characters and you look back and be like "oh that was that person."
Is it the Terriswoman I think it is?
I don't know which Terriswoman you think it is.
Speaking of the Terriswoman, is she the nurse in Warbreaker?
< Pauses; gleefully says > RAAAAAAFO!
The "God Surges" you mentioned recently, are they a part of the Way of Kings frontsheet?
You've said that there are three types of Blades in the Stormlight Archive. We've seen "dead" Shardblades, Honorblades—is the third type the "living spren" Shardblades, or is there another type we haven't seen?
Do all Surgebinders breathe Stormlight in, or are there other ways? Is Lift one-of-a-kind in this regard?
All I said regarding this was to tell a fan that it was possible to make an analogy between the god metals on Scadrial and certain powers on Roshar. However, these are not a codified part of the magic system.
Lift is one of a kind.
Nightblood is a very unique kind of Shardblade, but IS a Shardblade.
Zahel/Vasher is in Roshar for Nightblood? Will we know in Stormlight Archive why these two were separated? or in the sequel of Warbreaker?
The Warbreaker sequel will give clues about this, but the actual event happened between that and TWoK. So I'm not sure where I'll slip it in.
A while back someone asked if Hoid's sword is Nightblood, you said that was interesting. Is it similarly Invested?
I'm going to RAFO that. It is a very interesting question.
Yes it is, in fact Vasher is in the book.
Is that Vasher?!? [Presumably referring to Nale]
No, look for somebody making color metaphors and when they are waking up they feel like they can sense other people's presence and things like that. There is one character who is Vasher. He doesn't go by that name anymore.
It is Nightblood! Vasher is in there too if you look for him.
Are they going to be in the next...?
You will see a lot more of Nightblood, you'll see a little bit more of Vasher.
Well Nightblood feeds on Investiture, which is the general life-force/magic-force in the cosmere and so he can feed on basically any source of magical energy.
And do other magics work on other worlds?
I've been describing it lately more like you see DC current and AC current, where they're similar things but slightly different. It is possible to make magics work on other planets, some it's easier than others.
So Nightblood and Shardblades are both kind of powered by Investiture?
Yes, in fact you can call Nightblood kind of a miss-made, evil Shardblade-- more miss-made than evil but yes.
But a Shardblade wouldn't shear through Nightblood.
Yes a Shardblade would not shear through Nightblood. In fact I wrote The Way of Kings first and then I wrote Warbreaker and The Way of Kings came out after Warbreaker but in my mind Warbreaker is a prequel to The Way of Kings, where I was telling Vasher's backstory.
Oh really, so the Warbreaker we know takes place after The Way of Kings?
No, it takes place before, it's a prequel meaning I wrote The Way of Kings and then I went back in time and told Vasher's backstory but Warbreaker ended up coming out first because The Way of Kings wasn't ready yet.
I'd say more dangerous, a little bit easier to get the Stormlight.
I assumed I'd learn a lot more about him...
You will, and he's pretty dangerous, but he is also less dangerous because other people have Shardblades, if that makes sense.
I know, and the Warbreaker fans really get on my case about that. Well, I wrote Words of Radiance, and I got Vasher into it, so that would kindle interest, and make sure that you at least got to see your characters again. But did you hear the story about that? So, I wrote The Way of Kings in 2002, the first version, and in that version Kaladin trained with a swordmaster, and that swordmaster, a guy named Vasher, had a mysterious past. After I finished that book, later on I wrote Warbreaker as a prequel to The Way of Kings, to show Vasher's backstory. But then Warbreaker came out before The Way of Kings, which was a really kind of interesting thing. So in my head, Warbreaker is the prequel, but to everyone else...
Yes, it is a totally different world, different planets, people get around...
So how much of Vasher's backstory do we actually have?
Well, a huge chunk of it! If you were reading The Way of Kings, you would know nothing, and then you'd read Warbreaker and you'd be like, "Oh, here's a whole past that he had!" That doesn't mean it's all of his past.
That is possible. That would actually not be a very difficult Soulforge. The problem is, he's Invested. So reInvesting him, which is what Soulforgery is, is really hard. So you'd have to figure out how you could use Forgery on something that is already Invested. But forgery can get through some of those hoops a lot easier than some other magic systems can.
Do you have to be a willing subject to be Soulforged?
You do not. Working with the soul is really hard though. You have to be a supreme expert in what you're doing, because soul is Investiture
It would suck the Breath from anybody, and if they were unable to feed it he would feed on their soul.
So they would die.
Yes. Anybody wielding Nightblood, he will suck their soul. For too long, he will eventually, if you draw him, he will suck your soul.
Breath is definitely like Mist, it is in the form of the air.
And is Stormlight the same?
Stormlight is the same. Good questions!
Would Vasher be able to use Stormlight in the same way that he can get Breath?
That would not be immediately easy, but Stormlight could feed Nightblood.
Which is why Szeth can wield Nightblood?
Eh, you'll have to see if … but yes. That could theoretically happen. You can use most of the magics on most of the planets to fuel the other magics, if you know how to do it, it is not easy.
He, ah, he is, he is in dangerous hands right now, let’s just say that
Yeah, untrustworthy hands.
Yes, yes he is.
How does Nightblood compare to a more living Shardblade?
More living Blade? Well, let’s just RAFO that one..
Is that an intentional creation or mimicry?
Yes, that is intentional.
I mean, intentional on the part of the person who made that…
So she wouldn’t be…?
Mhm, yes, that things that she eats that she can metabolize, she can turn into Stormlight.
So what would happen if she ate Nightblood? [laughter]
Yeah, eating Nightblood would not be a smart idea for anyone. [more laughter] Nightblood would eat you. In Soviet Russia, sword eats you? I don’t know…
And why does he call it "sword", and not by its name?
It has not told him its name.
A thousand breaths doesn't seem to be that much - the God King has tens of thousands - would a piece of stone or wood or cloth or plain metal that has a thousand breaths be as Invested as Nightblood, or is there something more?