May 22 2014 12:00pm

The Way of Kings Reread: Epilogue and All that Comes After

Brandon Sanderson The Way of Kings rereadWelcome back to the final chapter of The Way of Kings reread on It’s been a long and stormy road to this moment, but we’re not quite done yet. This week I cover the Epilogue, in which one guy tells a bunch of riddles and another guy knocks on a door, most thrillingly. Also contained within are an opportunity to pose questions to Brandon Sanderson and an announcement of what’s coming next for the reread community. Don’t miss out!


Epilogue: Of Most Worth
Point of View:
Setting: Kholinar

What Happens: Wit sits on a box just inside the gates of Kholinar, strumming on his instrument and generally confusing three guards. His behavior is totally at odds with what they expect of an appropriate lighteyed gentleman. He tells them that something has changed, and that he’s waiting for a storm.

While he waits, he engages them in a conversation by asking what men value in others. One guard suggests that music is what men value most, and Wit begins to play his enthir, calling that statement a beautiful lie. Another soldier asks Wit what the most valuable talent is, and Wit says that isn’t the question. He says that what men value most of all is novelty. Intellect, aesthetic achievement, and innovation are all valuable, but men only value the thinker who comes to an idea or achievement first.

The gate shakes, and Wit declares that “the storm has come.” Again the gate shakes, as if being hammered on by something gigantic. Chaos breaks out, and the thump comes again. Then a Shardblade appears between the doors, slicing through the bar that holds them fast, and the gate opens.

A gigantic man with dark skin and dark eyes, dressed in ragged cloth, stands outside. He holds “a massive Shardblade, point down, sticking about a finger’s width into the stone, his hand on the hilt. The Blade reflected torchlight; it was long, narrow, and straight, shaped like an enormous spike.” Wit welcomes him.

The man trudges into Kholinar, ignoring the cries of the guards, his dark eyes dazed. He orders them to sound the alarm, then introduces himself. “I… I am Talenel’Elin, Stonesinew, Herald of the Almighty. The Desolation has come. Oh, God… it has come. And I have failed.” Then he collapses to the ground.

Wit looks down at him, and says again that what we value, most of all, is timeliness, and he’s afraid Talenel’Elin may be too late.

Quote of the Chapter:

“You think I’m a cynic,” Wit said. “You think I’m going to tell you that men claim to value these ideals, but secretly prefer base talents. The ability to gather coin or to charm women. Well, I am a cynic, but in this case, I actually think those scholars were honest. Their answers speak for the souls of men. In our hearts, we want to believe in—and would choose—great accomplishment and virtue. That’s why our lies, particularly to ourselves, are so beautiful.”

Reading Words of Radiance makes this proclamation take on a new level of meaning. Well done, Brandon Sanderson, seeding such a key concept of your next book in your epilogue.


It was not an ending. There are neither—What? Wrong series? Right.

Sometimes I wonder if Wit/Hoid has a day planner full of key moments to hang out at and kibitz. He loves to be where the action is, and has some kind of unerring sense of dramatic timing. Hoid is Sanderson’s eternal observer, his authorial insert who makes narrative out of history, only occasionally changing what he sees. Usually that change is practically quantum, changing by observing rather than through action. Wherever he appears, Hoid is a storyteller, who brings out deeper modes of thought in his interlocutors. But he has a deeper agenda on Roshar. His conversations are so frequent and widespread that he’s positively meddlesome.

The narrative of The Way of Kings, and perhaps of the Stormlight Archive overall, is neatly wrapped up here. Taln has come back, as the Heralds always must. He plans to teach them, to make them ready for the Desolation. But he’s far, far too late. In Words of Radiance we’ll see in greater detail what each of the Heralds were supposed to do, which makes it clear how monstrously late Taln is. But it’s not just him. Every revelation or resolution our heroes come to were needed yesterday, if not years ago. They realize the world needs saving well after it’s past the tipping point. They realize the need to rebuild the Radiants, a process that deserves decades, partway into the Desolation. And it only gets worse in the next book.

Wit’s off-handed observation that the arbitrary Alethi structure of rule based on eye color happens to have a good reason at its core shocked me, especially in a chapter that packs in so much class-based confusion. The guards react to Wit through the filter of their perception of his eye color, despite the fact that he is in no way Alethi and in no way descended from whatever their basis of rule is. Then Taln shows up, a Herald of the Almighty in the flesh, and be bears all the marks of base foreignness. His skin and eyes are dark. But he also wields a Shardblade! If Shardblades lighten your eyes, his should be light, and he should be noble. Taln is a living refutation of their system.


Well, here we are, gentle readers. We’ve come to the end of our reread of The Way of Kings. I’d like to thank Michael Pye for all the work he’s done, on behalf of He will be moving on to other projects from here, and we wish him all the best. The Stormlight Archive Reread will continue with Words of Radiance, starting in early June. I am thrilled to announce that I will be joined in that continuing effort by long-time commenter and general Stormlight genius Alice Arneson, aka Wetlandernw. Watch this space for our triumphant return, complete with a new and exciting reread format.


And with that, I open the floodgates to your questions for Brandon Sanderson! Post them in the comments between now and Tuesday, and we’ll send the best along to Brandon for him to answer at his earliest convenience. We’re going to try not to send him anything likely to get R.A.F.O.’d, so please keep that in mind. I look forward to all your questions.

We are no longer accepting new questions. Thank you all for participating!

Carl Engle-Laird is an editorial assistant at, where he acquires and edits short fiction and has been known to write about the Stormlight Archive. You can follow him on Twitter here.

Evgeni Kirilov
2. ArgentSun
Here are some whose answers we, from the 17th Shard, would like to get our greedy theorycrafting hands on:

Windspren and honorspren can be treated as spren cousins (whatever that means). Are there other pairs of spren with similar relationship? * Is the rate at which Soulcasting happens fixed regardless of size and composition of the item being Soulcast? E.g. would Jasnah take the same amount to Soulcast a pebble and a large rock?
Are highstorms visible in Shadesmar, and if so what do they look like?
In Dalinar's vision, why does Nohadon make a distinction between Surgebinders and Soulcasters (reference quote: ""They have leaders," Nohadon said. "There are princes, kings, Soulcasters, Surgebinders. We never lack men and women who wish to lead."")?

I expect (a lot) more questions will coming in soon...
Deana Whitney
3. Braid_Tug
I have liked Wit's observation about novelty since the first time I read it. It's so true. And so sad in its own way.

Edit after reading:
Wow Wetlander! Yeah Alice! Congratulations for joining the madness in a super official, you might get paid, way! :-)

If the Desolations are not supposed to be triggered until the Herald in chains breaks, how did it start sooner? Not a Brandon question, he would RAFO that too fast. But a question for everyone else to answer.

Talen's comment about showing them how to work metal and all the other items really drives home how far back civilization is driven after each Desolation. So maybe they really are in their own "Age of Wonders" with all the Fabriles...
Leeland Woodard
4. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
The Epilogue is titled "Of Most Worth," referring to Hoid's question--what is it that men value most in others? The answer, as given by Hoid, is that they tend to value timeliness above all other things. He then whispers to himself that Talenel'Elin, Herald of the Almighty, might be too late.

The herald icons for the Epilogue are Masked Man / Tanat. These are by far the easiest ones to interpret in the whole book. The masked man appears whenever Hoid is particularly featured. Being as this is Hoid's viewpoint, it's only natural that Hoid should be the icon.

We also have Tanat, which has divine attributes dependable/resourceful. Obviously, Tanat is given here because we see the appearance of (as Brandon would say) a man who calls himself Talenel'Elin, who is primarily associated with those attributes. It's interesting to me that the theme of the chapter seems to be timeliness--a type of dependability. Hoid's statement that Talenel might be too late is another in a long string of implications that the Heralds are not what they once were. Talenel is late, not timely, and has proven himself undependable.

It's interesting to me that Talenel's arrival is being considered untimely here, especially considering the theory (which I believe has been confirmed by Brandon, but I'm not sure) that the desolations start when one of the Heralds can't take the torture that they're subjected to any longer. This would indicate that Talenel's dependibility failed him somehow--he was trying to stave off the desolation indefinitely, but because of his reluctance to leave the place that he is tortured, he arrives late to warn others of the desolation.

Actually though, now that I'm thinking about this--we have no idea when or where Talenel showed up in the first place. How long has he been on Roshar? What has he been doing? Obviously something that would get bits of trees stuck in his beard. What are everyone's thoughts on this?
5. JeremyG
Thanks Carl (and Michael, belatedly) for all you've done in putting together the reread. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your insights and reactions, and participating in the discussion. It's been fun to get involved from the beginning on this one. Also excited to have Alice join in for the next round. I'd say welcome aboard, but you're already on here at least as often as I am - looking forward to what you have to say.

Good catch on Taln and the eyes thing. Very cool to see how one of the mighty Heralds throws a huge kink in their commonly accepted views. Oh, and take careful note of the description of the blade - that will become significant in the next book.

As far as Hoid goes - there is Word of Brandon somewhere that he has an actual magical way of knowing when these significant events are happening. Through feruchemy, if I recall correctly, but I can't point to a specific source.

Questions for Brandon:

Assuming we're focusing only on Way of Kings:

1) How is Kaladin able to consistently recognize Syl, even when she's in different forms?

2) In chapter 69, it states that Dalinar "mentally unlatched his gauntlet". How much can you explain about how he was able to do that, and how it's similar or different to how the original Radiants were able to manipulate their armour?

If questions can come from beyond Way of Kings:

3) Have any of the Heralds ever been to Nalthis?

4) (Likely to get RAFO'ed, but I'm curious) If a Herald were to die off-planet, would the "rules" of dying on Roshar be applied (i.e. sent back to the place of torture awaiting the next Desolation), or would they be under the rules of the place they died (e.g. possibility of becoming Returned when dying on Nalthis)?
6. Underbelly
Question for Brandon:

As a man of many projects, you seem very good about compartmentalizing your workload to be able to complete or advance a project independently while midway through even larger commitments. That being said, even authors such as Stephen King have viewed a certain project as their ‘life work’. Would you consider The Stormlight Archive to be this to you (or at least your early life’s work—being as young as you are) or rather does your ability to compartmentalize extend to your accomplishments as well as your workload in that you can view your achievements independently?
Leeland Woodard
7. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
...and now that I've read the commentary, let me make some comments on it.
Wit’s off-handed observation that the arbitrary Alethi structure of rule based on eye color happens to have a good reason at its core shocked me, especially in a chapter that packs in so much class-based confusion.
As a point of contention, Wit never says that there's a good reason at the core of the eye color thing. It says:
Perhaps Wit should have been bemused by the stock these people put in something as simple as eye color, but he had been many places and seen many methods of rule. This didn't seem any more ridiculous than most others.
Oh, also, farewell @michael, and congrats @wetlandernw! I can't wait for the WoR reread!
8. Chris L
I've been waiting for this post to ask something I've always been kind of fuzzy on. Did Taln arrive so late because the other Heralds abandoned the Oathpact in the Prolog, and that screwed up the cycles? Also, and this is where i go cross-eyed pondering it, was their abandonment and the timing of the response to this Desolation foretold anywhere and actually meant to happen?
Anon ymous
9. Kurkistan
Thanks for putting so much work into these re-reads, guys!

My question for Brandon: "Why did Jasnah's 'combat-soulcasting' of the thugs in that alley affect the clothing of some of them but not of others?"
10. E.N. Weiry
In the Axies interlude Axies mentions Cucicesh is one of a handful of spren that are "unique", what is another one? (besides the nightwatcher, the stormfather, or any of the unmade)

Is Cucicesh a Splinter of Adonalsium?
11. cyddenid
Thank you so much for this reread- Can't wait till June....

Questions for Brandon
1 Kaladin obviously had a high reputation within Amaram's warcamp- was anyone suspicious about the deserter charge or the liklihood of his men trying to kill the Highmarshal?

2 What were the Slave pits Kaladin escaped from?

3 Who was Hav in relationship to Kaladin?

4 Has Jasnah had a ward before Shallan?

5How well do Elhokar and Jasnah get on?
Nick Hlavacek
12. Nick31
Every question I can come up with about The Way of Kings is pretty much guaranteed to get a RAFO. And I have LOTS of questions, many about the Cosmere and how it all ties together. Therefore I'll ask more general questions: You've obviously put an incredible amount of thought into the details of these books, and clearly have a vision of where you're headed with them (and the other books in your Cosmere). As you're writing them, how often do you find that you have to change direction because the characters don't go the way you intended? Any major changes that you just didn't see coming? What character has surprised you the most while writing, either with the choices you find the character making or with how enjoyable (or not) they are to write?
Christopher Smith
13. Scipio Smith
8. I'd like to know that too. I'd also like to know if the heralds abandoning the oathpact (poor Taln, I think I feel sorrier for him than I do for Kaladin) is the reason for the desolation changing.
Nadine L.
14. travyl
Thread title: Epilogue and All that comes after
--> are we allowed WoR Spoilers now? (Question for Carl, not BWS)
(Observation not really a spoiler):
I really like how both WoK and WoR start and end in similar ways: the different viewpoints on the same event in the prologue and Wit awaiting someone, while philosophizing.
I wonder if Brandon keeps that up (not a BWS question)

Endnote / ketek:
the text says that a ketek is "divisible into five distinct smaller sections, each of which makes a complete thought."
I was never good with poems, i positively hate them. How is "dying" or any of the other sections a complete thought?
And to my shame I have to confess, that despite the whole ketek is given to us here, it had to be pointed out to me that we'd already read the ketek (as the titles of the parts of the book), again well done by BWS.

@tor: bad planing to end WoT and WoK rereads within a week of each other (and Erikson's DoD as well). But glad to hear, we will go on with WoR after such a short hiatus.
Adam Bodestyne
15. thanners
Here's the question that continues to nag at me, even if it doesn't seem important on a large scale:

Dalinar can't hear his wife's name (or at least it seems to be magically censored to him, anyway), nor can he recall anything about her. But what happens if another woman with the same name is mentioned. Can he not hear her name? Or will he instead be unable to retain the fact that that name is the same as his wife's name?
16. birgit
If the Desolation comes when the Heralds break, how can they be there before a Desolation to teach people?

Question for Brandon:
What kind of gems are gemhearts? Do different species have different gems? Do the Alethi Soulcasters on the Shattered Plains import different kinds of gems from other sources?
Thomas Simeroth
17. a smart guy
Hey Brandon, what's the deal with wine on Roshar? What is the order of colors from least to most intoxicating? Why do they use colors to indicate the levels of alchohol? Are they just food coloring, or is it something to do with the chemical nature of the wine? Also, is Rosharan wine even made with grapes? If so, where do they grow them? This has been bothering me for a while, so I'd love to see your responses.
Nadine L.
18. travyl
@7 TheKingOfCarrotFlowers, RE eye color:
no, Carl is right; you have to cite a little bit further than you did:
"of course, there was a reason the people did what they did. ... In this case, it just happened to be a good one."
Question for Brandon:

I always wondered about the choice to give Kaladin the appelation "Stormblessed" in "both" of his lifes. I understand why slave-Kaladin was named "Kaladin Stormblessed" after surviving the Highstorm, but why did he have the same appelation when he was a soldier earlier (before being betrayed by Amaram) and how did he "gain" it.
Leeland Woodard
19. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
Ah, crap, I stand corrected--somehow I skimmed past that line.
Matthew Kurnick
20. mkurnick
@18 travyl: I always wondered about the choice to give Kaladin the appelation "Stormblessed" in "both" of his lifes. I understand why slave-Kaladin was named "Kaladin Stormblessed" after surviving the Highstorm, but why did he have the same appelation when he was a soldier earlier (before being betrayed by Amaram) and how did he "gain" it.

He "earned" it because in Anaram's army he was known to lose the fewest men in battle which was always significantly fewer then other squads.
Deana Whitney
21. Braid_Tug
@17: Wine can be made from almost any fruit.
Thought the thought of a tomato wine rather turns my stomach.
So any fruit on Roshar should be able to produce a wine.

But the coloring of them is odd. Hope he gives us more, because unless a wine maker is a future POV charter, not sure we ever will get that answer in story.
Any brewers around? It’s the sugar content that helps make grape wine more potent, yes?
Jordan Hibbits
22. rhandric
Thanks Carl and Michael! And congratulations Wetlander!
Leeland Woodard
23. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers

I have a feeling like we talked about the strength of wine vs. the wavelength of the light that it reflects, but I don't remember whether we came to a conclusion as to whether it is proportional or not. Something makes me think that it does go along with the spectrum though....
Adam S.
24. MDNY
Wow, the end of WOK. Sniff. Thanks to Carl and Michael for the great job, and the whole community on here for making it such a great read.
Regarding this week's entry, I felt that it was just about the perfect way to end the book. Hoid has moved from such a minor character in previous (published) BWS stories to a much larger role on Roshar, and as an outside observer (of supreme wit) he is an excellent observer to witness Taln's broken return. I always assumed that being alone for thousands of years, bearing the entire brunt of the tortures the Heralds face, was what broke his mind and made him unable to fulfill his duties as he's supposed to.
I'm trying to think of questions, but between these reads and the WOR thread I've seen so many explanations and conjectures that I'm having trouble remembering specific WOK questions, though I certainly had them. Anything I can think of is pretty much a given RAFO, so I'll hold off for now.... Thanks to everyone involved, and I'll be back soon (I hope).
25. TerraofRoshar
Question for Brandon:

We know that Shallash is Jezrien's daughter. What other relationships exist between the Heralds? (eg other family members, romantic relationships, particularly close friendships, Heralds that don't get along, etc.)
Leeland Woodard
26. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
General question (not a Brandon question) for Carl & Alice--

You said that the WoR reread would probably start sometime in June--weren't there also talks of an Alice-headed Warbreaker reread?
Nadine L.
27. travyl
@20. "Stormblessed"
Yes, he was lucky, and lost fewer men ..., but why call him "stormblessed" because of that? Kaladin is the only character who was named "stormblessed" it doesn't seems to be a common appelation for gifted/lucky men as far as we know, does it?
28. Moogle
Question for Brandon: Was "Taln" bonded to the Shardblade that he was holding?
Yubin Kim
29. shdwfeather
A question for Brandon!

One of my favourite parts about Roshar is the diverse set of cultures that exist in the world. Could you talk about some of the inspirations for the complicated cultures such as the Alethi?
Gary Singer
30. AhoyMatey
Thanks Carl and Michael. This reread has been awesome. And congrats Alice! Can't say I'm too surprised. :)
31. Aether of 17th Shard
My question is: The Epigraphs of chapter 66 mentions someone having strange dreams during Highstorms for the past two years. Was she experiencing the same thing as Dalinar?
32. Dan crockett
So, if zahel in WoR is vasher from warbreaker, then what is the timing in comparison to warbreaker? Would it be before it, or after the events in warbreaker? Will there be another book about what happened to vivenna when vasher just goes to another world???? Sorry for all the questions ;). But not sorry enough to ask one last one. What would happen if there was a true mistborn, like someone who ate the lerasium bead, had an honor blade, and stumbled upon the God Kings breaths. Would that like break some sort of rule in your magic system? Cause would stinkin kill everything, or just give it to kaladin and it would be 2x as awesome
Thanks again!!
Jonah Feldman
33. relogical
I have to wonder, what makes Wit think Taln is so competely and utterly 'too late'? At the least, the Desolation hasn't started yet when he arrives. If he had his sanity and his Herald powers, he might have been able to get things going. He could travel to various kingdoms to warn them, using his powers and his Honorblade as proof of his identity, and then start locating Radiants to train, maybe get his old Herald buddies back in the game. We've been given the impression that this is a fairly advanced society compared to past Desolations. There's a hundred or so fully trained Shardbearers who could fight the Voidbringers while the new Radiants are still figuring out their oaths. Maybe it's optimistic that people would listen to him, but it's worth a try. Taln's mental condition seems like a much bigger imposition than his timing.

Question for Brandon: Has Hoid contacted the Stormfather or the Nightwatcher since arriving on Roshar?
Mike I
34. MikeyRocks
Congrats Wet!!!, I hope you still maintain your presense in the comments section.

Here is my question for B.S

The Almighty is dead... Is it possible for another person/entity to become the "Almighty"? Is the Almighty a being, a position or a physical host?
Mike I
35. MikeyRocks
I just realized that some questions here for B.S. may be spoilers for words of radiance... is that a problem?
Kellen Periwinkle
36. Mithrandir42
Question for Brandon:

Why did you choose to structure The Way of Kings as you did, with Shallan's and Dalinar's/Adolin's viewpoints alternating between parts and then mixing all the plotlines together in Part Five? I have long thought this structure an interesting aspect of the novel. I adore the book beyond imagination, but I have always felt the way Dalinar's and Shallan's stories are broken up lessens the narrative tension. For example, when Part Three cuts off with Jasnah Soulcasting Shallan's blood, the reader wants to know what happens to her immediately, but has to wait 300 pages to find out, and by then doesn't care as much anymore. I also felt like I had catching up to do when I returned to Shallan and Dalinar, thinking "What were they up to when I left them?" I understand that Shallan's story would have distracted from the Battle of the Tower had her story been juxtaposed with it, but there is really no reason (that I can see) to split up the rest of the novel this way. You could well have done something similar to what you did with Elantris and the chapter triads. So overall, what was your reasoning? Was it a difficult decision to make when outlining the novel, or an easy one, and why?

~Mithrandir42 (GreyPilgrim on 17th Shard )
Congratulations to Alice on her new assignment. I guess having over 1200 comments in that WOR post didn't hurt.

Questions for BWS:
1. How did the Parshendi elders at the treaty signing event learn of Szeth's abilities in time to rely on him to assassinate the Alethi king?
2. Related to 1. - Were Taravangian and cohorts involved in the sale of Szeth to the Parshendi?
2. What can you say about the mysterious and powerful group, the Ghostbloods and their goals?
3. We see Hoid more clearly in the Stormlight books as the author's spokesperson and inspiration for several principle characters - particularly, Kaladin. Another seemingly minor character in WOR appears to have a somewhat similar role. Are they unique, or will there be other Cosmere travelers with a positive role?
Leeland Woodard
38. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers

I can speak to #3 at least a bit--BWS has indicated that Khriss is by far the most knowledgeable about the Cosmere of all of his characters. I don't know that we've seen Khriss in Stormlight, but she might be someone to look out for. The issue though is that Khriss comes from White Sand, which is an unpublished novel (though you can request a copy from Brandon by emailing him--it's really a good book, though it does end on something of a cliffhanger).
Alice Arneson
39. Wetlandernw
Thanks, everyone! I’m really excited about doing the WoR reread with Carl! Nervous, possibly terrified if I think about it, but excited nonetheless. It’s gonna be fun, it is.

TheKingOfCarrotFlowers @26 – Yes, there were talks… and the Warbreaker reread will still happen, just not right away. My best guess is that it will come shortly after the WoR reread is finished. The reasoning is something like this: it’s better to only have one Sanderson reread going at a time (especially if I’m going to be doing it). Since we don’t know yet when Book 3 will be out, it seems like a good plan to go ahead with the WoR reread right away; then, if #3 comes out on the early side of things, we’ll have finished WoR just in time (or so) and be glad we didn't wait, and if it comes out later, we can fill in the difference with Warbreaker in anticipation of what will happen with you-know-who and you-know-what.

MikeyRocks @34 – ABSOLUTELY. I’ll be here as much as ever. I love this community. (And there are fresh snickerdoodles & Chex mix in the Storm Cellar, if anyone is hungry…)

STBLST @37 – Well, I’ve always attributed the number of comments to the brilliancy of the book itself rather than the review, but I suppose the fact that I didn’t completely kill it is a good thing… ;)
40. MRC Halifax
My question for the Q&A: to what extent has the economy of the world been planned out? Obviously, there's a refreshingly fair amount of economic activity happening in the novels, often times helping to move along the story. But to what extent do you have it planned out already vs. "I'll come up with it when I need it."

That is to say do you know that place A sells to place B, but place B has nothing to sell to place A and so sells to place C, which sells to place A, influencing the trade patterns of ships. And what the price of a horse is in A vs. B vs. C., or the price of an inn for the night, or the price of a pair of well made boots. Have you worked out how people are taxed and tithed, how the trade routes flow, how comparatively wealthy people are around the world, etc?
Tricia Irish
41. Tektonica
Thanks to Carl and Michael, and all of you! Your insights and comments really helped get me up to speed here, as I was having some trouble getting into this book. I came to this book rather late, and didnt' get to participate here very much, but I have read WoR now as well, so I'm really looking forward to the reread in June.

And Congrats to Wetlander! I'm looking forward to your insights/summaries, in whatever form you guys settle on!
Ben McSweeney
42. Inkthinker
I'm pretty sure that the term you meant to use (regarding Wit's tendency to show up at opportune moments just to observe and comment) is kibitz, not kibbutz.
Carl Engle-Laird
43. CarlEngle-Laird
@42 Thank you very much, I'll change it immediately. I've never seen kibitz written down before.
Deana Whitney
44. Braid_Tug
First round of Brandon questions from me. If anyone knows they have been answered already, please point me to the right spot.

1) Do you have a full text of the in-world book for the "Way of Kings?" and will you ever release it?

2) The "safe hand" is an idea, taken to extremes. Is the division of food styles, also from an ideal taken too far? Which type of cuisine would you prefer?

Rich Bennett
45. Neuralnet
thanks Carl and Michael for the reread. I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I am not sure whther to congratulate Wetlander or feel sorry for her, so I will just say good luck!

Questions are tough, of course I have 1000s of them, but most of the good ones will certainly be RAFO and some have been asked above. Here are a few that might have a chance of getting through:
1) A larkin can take in stormlight, can it also infuse an object or person with what it has taken in?
2) can a splintered shard be remade/healed
3) The characters eat all of these crustaceans... do they have some sort of butter to dip into - even without cows, although maybe they have cows in shinovar? (I can't be the only one who envisions himself on Roshar eating dinner everytime I eat crab or lobster)
4) are the humanoid inhabitants of Roshar native to the world or were the tranplanted/traveled there and stayed at some point in the past.
5) how does Vasher/Zahel hide being Returned... you teased us with this at the end of Warbreaker, and I am dying to know the answer.
46. Jasuni
@14 I believe that complete thought would be stated more accurately as a phrase.

@37 In response to question #1, the Parshendi did not know about Szeth's abilities. "As far as {Szeth} knew, he had killed every stonewalker who had ever seen what he could do." (prologue)

Questions for Brandon Sanderson:
During the chasmfiend hunt, what happened to the bait? (I want to know if someone orchestrated the chasmfiend's suprise arrival by messing with the bait.)

When Szeth walked through an area he had lashed in Interlude-9, could he have decided to let himself be affected by his own full lashing? How does this extend to other surgebinders?
Andrew Berenson
47. AndrewHB
Good luck Wetlandernw. I wonder if you will have a different perspective from the other side of the table?

Questions for Brandon
a) With respect to the type of Shardeblades seen in WoK, is there any signifcance to their shape and design?
b) Are the Heralds the same size as the average humanoid inhabitant on Roshar?
c) Were the Heralds born on Roshar?
d) Did the Heralds seek out the opportunity to become a Herald or did the sombody/somebodies specifically seek out the 10 individuals who became the Heralds?

Thanks for reading my musings,
(aka the musespren)
Leeland Woodard
48. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers

I can tell you right now that specific questions about the Heralds, their origins, etc. are going to get RAFO'd. I asked Brandon if there was a particular reason he kept RAFOing Herald questions, and he basically said that it's because the 2nd arc is going to deal a lot more with the Heralds, and he didn't want to encourage building suspense about stuff that wouldn't get revealed for a long time.
Julian Augustus
49. Alisonwonderland
Congratulations, Alice. Now looking forward to the WoR re-read even more than ever!
Anthony Pero
50. anthonypero

Word of Brandon is that Warbreaker takes place before Stormlight Archive. And there are plans for a Warbreaker 2. Here is a link to Brandon's blog that discusses his longterm story plans. There have been a few updates to this, but I'm not hunting them all down:

edit: more updated version.. I guess I am going to hunt it down, lol:

edit 2:

This is an older post, but lists some other things not in the newer one:
51. bartbug
Questions for Brandon:

Allomancy was introduced into the population of Scadrial because their inhabitants had varying amounts of extra Preservation Investiture. With more Investiture, came more amounts of Mistingness or Mistborness. However, this rule of "more Investiture of Shard x =more magic of Shard x" does not seem to be the same in many, if not most of the other magic systems. How did Feruchemy get introduced into the Terris population? Does a specific Shard power it, or what? Similarily, what gives a human Nahel bond potential? Could an off worlder create one of those, or do you need Investiture from Honor to create the bond with a Spren?
Anthony Pero
52. anthonypero
Also, while searching for those links, I found this on reddit (possible spoilers):
Highstorms I also think is likely to be of Honor. As we saw in Mistborn when Preservations body became the Mists, I think it's likely that after Odium vs Honor played out, the remnants of honors power became the highstorms. The face Kaladin sees in the middle of the highstorm could be akin to the Mist-spirit, a barely sentient shadow of the Shardholder, almost mindless. The highstorms being of Honor is also given credence that Dalinars visions sync up with them, something we know is directly down to Honor.
That was pre-WoR by months and months. That guy deserves a cookie.
Jasuni, if the Parshendi elders did not know of Szeth's extraordinary abilities, they would not have relied on him to assassinate the king. Szeth's failure to accomplish the mission would have imperiled their own lives. Moreover, the Parshendi group at the king's palace was capable of much mayhem on their own given their destruction of the forces sent against them after the murder of the king (see WOR). That is why I suggested the possible involvement of Taravangian who seems to have an unusual appreciation of and insight into Szeth's abilities. While that knowledge may have come after the assassination of Gavilar, it has been suggested that Taravangian was familiar with Szeth from an earlier period and certainly knew Shin culture.
Bruce Gordon
54. freckledred
My question for Mr. Sanderson is about the spren. In Way of Kings we saw chasmfiends and Rhyshadium. Both extraordinary creatures on opposite ends of the spectrum I feel.

How similar are Rhyshadium and chasmfiends?
Cory S.
55. Hungry_For_Hands
My question, and hopefully I can explain this correctly....

I've always felt that the realmatic theory is the single most important aspect of the Stormlight Archives and all other Cosemere books. By this I mean that a full understanding of the physical, cognitive, and spiritual realms would explain a lot of the mysteries that we currently theorize about. Furthermore, if Hoid ever succeeds in whatever his master plan is, the realmatic theory will play an extremely important role. Your thoughts?
Alice Arneson
56. Wetlandernw
Question: Do the Ryshadium have a spren connection? (Or has that been asked already?)
57. Phantrosity
In The Way of Kings, we see a lot of worldhoppers on Roshar. Have you already seeded worldhoppers FROM Roshar in your other works?
Leeland Woodard
58. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
@56 wetlander

I don't know if that specifically has been asked before--17th shard has had a few discussions on the Ryshadium, and the spren bond thing is a decent theory. Look at this comment for some of the WoB we have on them:

The first question there is asking why Ryshadium are so cool, and anecdotally mentioning that the questioner suspects a spren bond, and Brandon just said that there's investeture involved.
59. RobotAztec
Symmetry is holy to the Alethi so I'd think mirrors would be holy too, but on the other hand in a mirror you could TOTALLY SEE a lady's naked safehand. Are mirrors sacred or perverted in their culture?
Jeremy Guebert
60. jeremyguebert
Wetlander @ 39 - Thanks for the update on scheduling! Was wondering how they were going to fit everything in. Here's hoping we can finish the WoR re-read before Stones Unhallowed.
61. EMTrevor
A small contribution to the Q&A for Brandon:

If Ivis were to grow her hair out, what color would her hair be?

Why does Jasnah tell Shallan that drawing is frivolity, but she has her perform a song for her? It seems as a veristitalian that she would have an appreciation for drawing as it could preserve pieces of the past.

Concerning Nan Balat, is there something supernatural behind the cremling deaths soothing his aches and pains?

Was Kabsal actually an ardent? The implication being that the Ghostbloods had members in the ardentia who were Vorin believers, or, was he a Ghostblood who entered the ardentia as an assignment?

What does alaii'iku mean translated from Horneater to English, roughly?
Kathryn Huff
62. Woozle_Mom
@57 - I kind of like the worldhoppers question!

@60 re: WoR reread done before SA3?

I was bored, so I figured it out. If we start on the first Thursday in June (the 5th), and only do one chapter at a time, it will take 110 weeks and we'll be done July 7, 2016. That's for one post per chapter, including separate posts for the prologue, epilogue, each of the interludes, and five posts for the epigraphs (one post per part). That's also assuming that there is a post every single week, with no holiday breaks or anything.

If we're doing double-chapter posts, we might end up with a reread schedule that looks something like this (note that I didn't look at the length or "heaviness" of content for the chapters, I just assumed that there would be double-chapter posts wherever possible so I could try to get an estimate for the shortest amount of time we might spend on this reread):
6 posts for the 12 chapters in Part I
Part I epigraphs
Interludes 1&2
Interludes 3&4
11 posts for the 22 chapters in Part II
Part II epigraphs
Interludes 5&6
Interludes 7&8
12 posts for the 24 chapters in Part III
Part III epigraphs
Interludes 9,10,11
9 posts for the 17 chapters in Part IV (one post being a single chapter)
Part IV epigraphs
Interludes 12,13,14
7 posts for the 14 chapters in Part V
Part V epigraphs

That's a total of 58 posts. Beginning the first week in June and taking no breaks in posting for holidays, that would have us finishing the reread on July 9, 2015.

So sometime between July 2015 and July 2016, which I realize is ridiculously broad, but I can get some useful information from it. :) (Of course, I'm kind of weird.)

If I'm remembering correctly, Wetlander said something somewhere about how she's guessing we can expect SA3 in early 2016, around 2 years after the release of WoR. If that's accurate, we can take the reread at closer to the slowest pace and still finish around the time it's released. If we power through it, we might be able to get in a decent chunk of the Warbreaker reread before we get our hands on SA3.

I think I will be surprised if anyone actually read all this nonsense...
Glen V
63. Ways
Thanks Carl and Michael!

Re: Alcohol content of Rosharian wine.
It's inversely proportional to wavelength, i.e., violet is the strongest and red is the weakest.

And Braid @21
The higher the fermentable sugar content of whatever is fermented (the 'must'), be it from fruit and/or added from a bag purchased at the grocery store, the higher the alcohol content in the finished product. Up to the point that the yeast strain used can tolerate the alcohol content, anyway. Grapes have a naturally high sugar content, so grape wine is pretty potent in the grand scheme of things. Tomatoes, not so much. Maybe that's what the red wine on Roshar is made from.

Neuralnet @45 and AndrewHB @47
Brandon most definitely RAFOd the question "Are the Heralds native to Roshar?"

I'd like to hear what he has to say about Parshendi and the more human-like inhabitants being native to Roshar.

Questions for Brandon:
1) the one immediately above
2) How can Rock see Syl? (If it hasn't been answered somewhere that I missed.)

Woozle_Mom @62
If you post it, rest assured someone will read it.
64. Rosie The Robot
Question for Brandon:
Is there anything I can do, clean, tutor, brush, legally support, experience then vulcan implant to your head, publisher advocate or pry for you that will help accelerate your draft beginning of Stormlight book 3?
Andrew Berenson
65. AndrewHB
As presented in SA, Roshar humanoids resided in the Tranquiline Halls until hte Voidbringers cast them down to Roshar. Rosharns view the Tranquiline Halls as something akin to Heaven in RL (i.e. a Garden of Eden.Heaven type place where humans resided until something horrible happened to cast them down to Earth).

What if the Tranquiline Halls is not really a Heaven (i.e. a place where souls will go to fight (in Vorinism line of thinking). Rather the Tranquiline Halls is really another world(s) in the Cosmere. For whatever reasons (possiblly Rayse coming to Roshar and confronting Tranavast and the holder of Cultivation), some groups of humanoids were forced to go to Roshar to fight the Voidbringers. Maybe the shatering of Honor prevented these humanoids from leaving Roshar. Thus the knowledge, which over time faded to legend, which over time faded to myth and all the while taking different "components" of the original truth (sort of like a game of telephone). Under this theory/idea, the Heralds were the leaders of the ten "tribes" of people who first came to Roshar to fight the Voidbringers.

I doubt I am the first person to propose this theory (I have not read the multitude of theories at the 17th shard). Comments are welocome.

Thanks for reading my musings,
(aka the musespren)
Kellen Periwinkle
66. Mithrandir42
@65 AndrewHB:

We've had some interesting discussions about the Tranquiline Halls over on 17th Shard. There are two parties, pretty much. One speculates that Braize (the planet where now resides Odium) was once the Halls, but now it is Damnation. The other (which is where I tend to fall) believes that Braize has always, or at least for a while, been Damnation and that Ashyn, the third planet in the Greater Roshar system, was the Halls before humans were cast away. Going with this is the idea that each planet has a corresponding original Shard (Honor+Roshar, Odium+Braize, Cultivation+Ashyn).

Some 17S threads relating to this:

While those are not all directly related, they provide some relevant discussion.
67. EMTrevor
Sorry for the extra post, but I thought of one more. Would an Awakener be able to awaken a corpse that was soulcast into stone more easily because it used to be living, thereby being able to create lifeless similar to Kalad's Phantoms without having bones in the framework?
68. MrAgi
I have very much enjoyed both of these books, but haven't necessarily got time or money to dedicate to the many series set in this cosmos. So, from a brandon sanderson newbie perspective, I would very much like to know if I would need to read mistborn in order to appreciate these books. Thank you for your time!
Alice Arneson
69. Wetlandernw
MrAgi @68 - You really don't need to read any of his other stuff to appreciate these. Eventually he plans to bring them all together more obviously (probably about 30 years from now!), but for now everything relating to another book/series is by way of an "Easter Egg" - something you might catch if you're familiar with his other work, but not necessary to catch in order to know what's happening on Roshar. So you can limit yourself to the Stormlight Archive and you'll be fine.

Which is not to say that you won't find yourself going and borrowing things from the library while you wait for the next book... :)
Leeland Woodard
70. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers

Though, I really would say that a read-through of Warbreaker might help with this series...
71. ESSH
Question for Brandon:

By the end of The Way of Kings, what was Kaladin's citizenship rank? Did being freed by Dalinar returned him to the second nahn? Or did he need to start over as a Darkeyes of the tenth nahn?

I realize that by the end of Words of Radiance this may be irrelevant, but this has been bothering me ever since I first read The Way of Kings.
72. Jasuni
@53 Some of the Parshendi elders who made the decision let themselves be executed so that the other Parshendi could escape. The Parshendi elders were also desperate, which would lead to them making desperate decisions that may or may not work. There is a chance that they may have figured out his abililities without Szeth realizing it, but I think that it is unlikely. All they really would have needed to know to decide to send Szeth is the knowledge that he is a capable warrior carrying a shardblade.
Maiane Bakroeva
73. Isilel
Thanks for the re-read, Carl and Michael! And congratulations to Wetlandernw of course!

I didn't think that I could come up with questions pertaining to WoK only, but a few things occurred to me, eventually.


Does military service raise one's nahn/dahn?
Let's say somebody from a very low nahn, who is basically a serf, right? I mean, they don't have the freedom of movement. So, what if a man like that rises to a sergeant and serves 25 years with distinction, does he go back to being a serf when/if he retires from the military? Would he be required to return to his village/town of origin? Can something like this be properly controlled, even? I mean, do they check travelling people's papers?

Ditto with the lighteyes - does exemplary service raise one's dahn?

If parents have different nahns/dahn's, how is child's position calculated? For instance, if Shallan had married 10-dahner Kabsal, what dahn would their children belong to?

Or, and another thing - what happens if a lighteyed child is born to darkeyes or even slaves? Which should happen often enough, given that male nobles seem rather promiscous. Anyway, are such people automatically of tenth dahn?
Andrew Berenson
74. AndrewHB
Does anybody know if the naming of Hoid as Wit in SA is Brandon's homage to Robert Jordan? In 2012, a documentary about Robert Jordan's life was made. The title of the documentary is "The Wit of the Staircase: The Life and Work of Robert Jordan."

Thanks for reading my musings,
(aka the musespren)
Carl Engle-Laird
75. CarlEngle-Laird
Thanks to everyone for your questions! I am collecting a list to send to Brandon now, so anything posted after this will not be considered.
Jordan Hibbits
76. rhandric
@66 Thanks for reminding me of a question that, while not directly related to WoK, may be close enough! ;)

We know that Allomancy and other magics can be performed afar (that is, you do not need to be on the planet of origin, or even necessarily have the precise form of Investiture, to use magics of a given Shard). What, then, is the sphere of influence of a Shard? I would assume it is different from the range of their associated magic, but are we talking planetary, or (solar) system, or some other scale?
Jeremy Guebert
77. jeremyguebert
Carl @ 75 - Thanks again for all the work you've put in and continue to do in this community. Looking forward to hearing what Brandon has to say!
Carl Engle-Laird
78. CarlEngle-Laird
@73: I believe that all free citizens of Alethkar have the legal right to freedom of movement. It seems to be considered fundamental. The constraints against movement are all economic and practical, rather than legal.
Deana Whitney
79. Braid_Tug
@75: darn... just as I had a "What could you tell us..." question. Oh well, next time.

@62: That is some serious good work. But I hope the WoR is not a one chapter a week post. I know some of those chapters need to be that, but I hope the whole is not.

When Leigh’s Read ASoFaI slows down to that pace for more than three weeks, people get jumpy. ReReads are different, but I still think people would get jumpy.

And, like others, I think it would be good to have a Warbreaker Re-Read done before then. Because while I pick up some of the stuff, this community picks up so much more that helps me appreciate Sanderson's writing.
Adam S.
80. MDNY
I'd love to have a Re-Read of all the Cosmere works directly referenced in Stormlight. Agree that Warbreaker makes the most sense, given the prominence of Vasher/Zahel in WOR, but Mistborn Trilogy and Elantris both have characters who appeared, as well (and Mistborn is my favorite Cosmere work so far). Whoo more BWS reads!!!
81. EMTrevor
@71 I believe Amaram says there is a benefit to Nahn for joining when Tien is recruited.
Maiane Bakroeva
82. Isilel
CarlEngle-Laird @78:

No, I have just looked at the coppermind wiki, and like I remembered, freedom of movement is for higher nahns only. They cite WoK chapter 10 as a source.
83. Shaizam
1) Which happened first and which happened last? Shattering of Honor, Recreance, Last Desolation? How long ago were each of these?

2) Did spren precede the shattering of Honor? Did they precede the shattering of Adonalsium?

3) Were there Desolations with no heralds? Were there desolations after the “Last Desolation” but before this one?
4) In the afterlife, will someone killed with a shardblade be disadvantaged compared to someone who died by a spear?
5) Can Harmony make more Laurasium if he wants?
6) Would something change about Allomancy and Hemalurgy if Harmony were shattered? Would something happen to Scadrial?
Deana Whitney
84. Braid_Tug
@83: Good questions.
Yet I think 5&6 would get an "Out of scope" reply for this question set from Brandon. Or a RAFO (books 6-10).
I hope you are able to ask him at some point.

Re: 3) My guess would be "No." Because we have the in world book "The Way of Kings", which was written after the last desolation. And there are the advances of the fabrils and civilization in general.
With the way the Desolations are discussed, and Talen being the only Herald bound, it makes me think the last one was seen in the Prologue of WoK.
David Foster
85. ZenBossanova
Ok, I am all kinds of behind, and obviously too late, but why are Taln's eyes dark? Kaladin and Moash are already lightening their eyes.

My guess is that Taln has been killed, tortured and brought himself back to life so many times, that he really does need to start over. Anyone have anything better than that?
Andrew Berenson
86. AndrewHB
ZenBossanova @85. My guess is that Taln (as with all of the other Heralds was not originally born on Roshar. Moreover (roll over for WoR spoilers), Kaladin and Moash's eyes (as of the end of WoR) turned light do to the effects of the Nahel bond (in Kaladin's case) and bonding of the Shardblade (in Moash's case).

Taln is not subject to the Nahel Bond and does not possess a Shardblade. He possesses an Honorblade.

(note to moderator: if we are still not allowed to discuss the contents of WoR, feel free to delete everything after the first sentence.)

Thanks for reading my musings,
(aka the musespren)

(Moderator note: whited out spoilers for WoR)
Jordan Hibbits
87. rhandric

In the various visions Dalinar saw, the KRs didn't all have light eyes, either. More specifically, the color of their eyes match the color associated with their order.
(whited out since I can't recall precisely if it was in-book or WoB)
Leeland Woodard
89. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers

Are you sure about that? I know that we saw officers that weren't lighteyes, but I'm fairly certain that all of the KR that we see do have lighteyes.

In fact, I'm fairly certain that BWS indicated that the lightening of the eyes is due to investerture, so anyone invested (i.e., any KR) would have lighteyes.
Glen V
90. Ways
rhandric @87
I'm pretty sure you're correct about KRs not all having light eyes, but I definitely missed the whited-out part. Wow! So, Kal's eyes should be turning blue; Szeth's to some dark shade (gray, brown or black), if they aren't already; Renarin's to green, if they aren't already; Shallan's...well, that's a real mystery b/c garnets can be clear, green, purple or gold/brown; Jasnah...same problem as with Shallan, but often colorless; and Dalinar's to yellow-greenish. And, of course, Lift's should be colorless. I don't remember any of this happening through the end of WoR, but I often miss much. I like the concept, seems like a real can of worms for Brandon, though, with the gemstones that can have so many different colors.

And I'm taking your comment to meant the color of the gemstone associated with their order, and that might not be what's up.

Whited out for the usual reason.
Jeremy Guebert
91. jeremyguebert
@90 - Sanderson has said that much as there are specific allomantic metals (i.e. specific proportions of each metal in an alloy), there are specific Surgebinding/Stormlight gems. So, a "Surgebinding" garnet would be one with a specific composition, structure, etc. Because of that, when we talk about the gems used to contain Stormlight, each distinct type would be internally consistent in terms of colour. I'm assuming that those would match the colours presented in the Surgebinding chart on the WoK endpapers, but I'm not 100% sure about that part.

Edited for grammar.
Jordan Hibbits
92. rhandric
@89, 90

There's actually a lot of information out there on this. has WoB on the topic (I'm pretty sure that quote is taken from one of the WoR tour transcripts).

The eye colors (likely) have to do with sDNA (spiritual DNA), which is related to, but not the same as, Investiture. The bond with a spren (be they "dead" or alive) has an effect on the person's sDNA, which is why the holder of a Shardblade's eyes change. And yes, I mean the color of the gemstone associated with the order. 91 has more details.

Whited out for reasons.
Glen V
93. Ways
jeremyguebert @91

Makes sense, and may well clear up the problem with Shallan's and Jasnah's eye color.

I remember Kal commenting on Moash's eyes changing color once he bonded his shardblade, but not so much about the "newbie" surgebinders. Perhaps they haven't been bonded to a spren long enough (Kal and Dalinar), or aren't actually bonded yet (Renarin), for the change to manifest. Or I've just forgotten the changes being mentioned.

And that obliquely brings up another question: Can Jasnah summon a blade?

These questions all point to the necessity for me to reread WoR, even though doing so probably won't answer all of my questions. Oh, wait, we have a Tor reread starting up soon. And Alice is going to help blog. Fantastic!

rhandric @92
Interesting 17th Shard post and WoB, especially the part about wine color and alcohol content. Brandon suggests that we would probably not call it wine because it's made from a local fruit and not grapes. (Singular "fruit", or a transcription error?) But we would. It's called fruit wine or sometimes farm wine.
Kathryn Huff
94. Woozle_Mom
@93 regarding question in whited-out portion:

We see Jasnah summon her Shardblad in the Epilogue, when she reappears out in the middle of nowhere and sees Wit/Hoid. Apparently she doesn't like him much.

I'm really excited for the WoR reread, too!
Nadine L.
95. travyl
Woozle_Mom @62.
I don't think we can expect the next sequel in early 2016.
Brandon is a terribly fast writer, but I also hope/expect the book to be nearly as large as WoR.
I believe it was said, that "they" will plan the publishing date one year after Brandon finishes his writing (to give the editors and beta-readers more time I think).
On Brandon's website there is no indication that he as even started with the sequel, so I really don't see how early 2016 could become true.

I'll be more than happy to be proven wrong, though.
matei tugui
96. matei
can we see a list of the final questions sent to Brandon? :)
Deana Whitney
97. Braid_Tug
Any word on when we will see the answers posted?
98. Shaizam
@97 or where?
Carl Engle-Laird
99. CarlEngle-Laird

We have the answers in and will be posting them this week, in preparation for the launch of the Words of Radiance reread.
Deana Whitney
100. Braid_Tug
@99, Carl - Yeah! Thank you!

Guessing Thursday, since you have us trained to look for Stormlight stuff of Thursday. ;-)

And, yes, I'll take the hunny.
Jeremy Guebert
101. jeremyguebert
I hope I'm not the only one who thought of the following exchange from the WoR Rysn interlude after 99:

"Define soon"
"What do you mean by soon?"
"Today. Maybe."
Kathryn Huff
102. Woozle_Mom
Just in case anyone hasn't already seen it, here is a link to the post with the answers to the questions:

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