alexyquest

Are all spren nonbinary?

7 posts in this topic

As a trans NB Cosmere fan, I'm constantly fascinated by the exploration of gender in the Stormlight Archive. At one point Shallan mentions that despite the fact that she uses he/him pronouns for Pattern, she doesn't think he has a gender. Are all spren canonically nonbinary?

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

They have genders as human perception warped them that way, just as ancient spren have/had 4 for similar reasons due to different primary influencers.

Quote

She sniffed. “You don’t ask your other weapons how they feel about being swung about.”

“My other weapons aren’t people.” He hesitated. “Are they?”

She looked at him with head cocked and eyebrows raised, as if he’d said something very stupid. Everything has a spren. His mother had taught him that from an early age.

“So … some of my spears have been women, then?” he asked.

“Female, at least,” Syl said. “Roughly half, as these things tend to go.” She flitted up into the air in front of him. “It’s your fault for personifying us, so no complaining. Of course, some of the old spren have four genders instead of two.”

“What? Why?” She poked him in the nose.

“Because humans didn’t imagine those ones, silly.”

OB, Chapter 7.

 

So they're malleable, at least at some point.

Edited by The Cosmere Unaware
3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good point about the influence of human perception on these things! That probably means that a culture with less strict gender concepts would generate more spren with a less strict concept of their own gender.

Some revlevant WOBs:

A lot of spren identify with one gender:

Quote

Heartlight

What is Nightblood's opinions on gender, and who decided on him having he/him pronouns?

Brandon Sanderson

Nightblood is fascinated by gender, and trying to figure it out. Unlike spren like Syl, Nightblood has not self gender assigned as an influence of interacting with humans. That said, Vasher was probably the one who just started calling him He, so if you want to take the issue up with anyone, go to him.

/r/books AMA 2015 (March 13, 2015)

Apart from Nightblood, the other spren who's confirmed non-binary is of course The Sibling:

Quote

UppityDarkeyes

Would you be willing to confirm that the use of 'they' pronouns for the Sibling is because the Sibling is non-binary? Since apparently some people are confused on this point.

Brandon Sanderson

The sibling did not view themselves as male or female. (And considered it odd that so many spren would adopt human genders.)

Skyward Pre-Release AMA (Nov. 3, 2018)

 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It also varies by spren sub-race.  Some statistically lean toward male or female, others (like the Cryptics presumably) represent things that are more abstract and removed from the human experience for it to be relevant. 

I wonder if Cryptics have some mathematical sense of Gender (Odd vs Even, perhaps).  

 

 

Quote

 

mooglefrooglian

Are all spren of a single type (eg. honorspren) going to be the same gender?

Brandon Sanderson

No. But some do skew one direction or another.

/r/books AMA 2015 (July 9, 2015)

 

 
2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

This makes me wonder whether Ral-na's transitioning due to the influence of the Nahal Bond/Stormlight healing had any effect on their spren's identified gender and how someone in that position fits into the statistical prevalence of bonding to a spren identifying as the opposite gender. Would the 'opposite identity' in this case tend to be that of the Radiant's body at the time of the bond forming, or their identified gender?

Edited by Weltall
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wait, if a spren identifies as another gender do you think that would change their appearance as well?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Weltall said:

This makes me wonder whether Ral-na's transitioning due to the influence of the Nahal Bond/Stormlight healing had any effect on their spren's identified gender and how someone in that position fits into the statistical prevalence of bonding to a spren identifying as the opposite gender. Would the 'opposite identity' in this case tend to be that of the Radiant's body at the time of the bond forming, or their identified gender?

Per WOB that statistical gender trend is just about the relative compatibility of the individuals and more how gender informs on personalities.  Given that I assume the Spren chose their bond based on who the radiant actually is as a person and not physical traits that (by the nature of Spiritual Healing) were simply incorrect for that person and needed to be Healed.

34 minutes ago, Some Random Spren said:

wait, if a spren identifies as another gender do you think that would change their appearance as well?

There are a couple separate questions buried in there.

Spren dont usually get injured but I assume they get similar Healing durability as their Radiant, but I could be wrong.  If not then they might have no mechanism to Change their "innate" form.

As Cognitive Beings, Spren dont reproduce sexually so there shouldnt be any DNA part of the equation to get misaligned with their own Gender Identity.  It may be that their Cognitive "body" is always in alignment with their Identity.  

No clue at all if there are any that are actively Gender Fluid in the sense of idenfiying differently at different times (or live stages), but some of the overarching statement about Honor and the Oathpact claim that Spren are expressions of Fundamental Truths and dont Change the way Humans/Mortals do. 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.