Shardlet

Seattle Firefight Signing 1/6/2015

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It's also possible he meant it won't be addressed anytime soon. There are a lot of books to go.

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As a female "scholar" myself, I would feel deeply annoyed if someone started to pester me about this topic...probably for similar reasons. I think what he's getting at here is that Jasnah doesn't define herself according to her romantic longings, it annoys her that people want to define her based on this and not on her work (which she is passionate about). She doesn't need to be defined by a romantic partner, she shouldn't have to be. What defines her is the work she does and the discoveries she's made, thus, if she found a partner, that person would have to allow her to continue to be defined by her work first and her partner second...

 

I personally hope she doesn't get into a relationship, it shouldn't matter one way or another if she finds "true love" or romance. That's not what she wants, and that should be enough, I think. Buuuuut, if I was to guess her sexuality, it's probably some kind of demisexual; she'll only like you if she gets to know you and you can fit, she doesn't need romance...a shocking revelation, indeed.

 

Ehhhhhhh, yeah and that would be one thing were she an actual person who had a right to privacy or self definition. And I would agree that Jasnah, if she was sitting in a room with us, if she was something other than straight, would most likely define herself by the other things. Like being a woman or a "heretic" or a scholar. 

 

However, she actually is actually a potentially queer fictional character in a series full of straight characters. And it is unsatisfying to claim that it would somehow lessen that character to be upfront with her sexuality when most every other major character is both straight and has been shown to be straight in a way that has not monopolized or otherwise diminished their character. Secondary characters like Lopen and Teft (Teft was the one with the crush on the barmaid in WoR?) have both been shown to be attracted to the opposite sex, something that was neither necessary nor did it diminish anything else about them. 

 

So no, I think it's silly for Jasnah, if she has some sort of sexuality other than straight to have it kept off stage so it doesn't co-opt her character. Purely arbitrary characters have been shown to also have sexual preference and it has never been a problem. 

 

I should reiterate that this is my response to Nymph and Argent's justifications for Brandon's (paraphrased) statement. Not the statement itself. 

 

 

It's also possible he meant it won't be addressed anytime soon. There are a lot of books to go.

 

 

That would be a very reasonable thing to mean. Jasnah, for all that she is a great character, is not one that the reader has spent a lot of time with at this point in the series. It's possibly she may never been a full pov like Dalinar or Shallan. It's possible that, with the ending to the second book, she may never be in a setting where her sexuality is going to be relevant to the plot. Like Szeth in the first two books.  

 

Still, there are plenty of characters whose sexuality is completely irrelevant to the plot who have been also shown to be attracted to the opposite sex.  

Edited by Yados
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Ehhhhhhh, yeah and that would be one thing were she an actual person who had a right to privacy or self definition. And I would agree that Jasnah, if she was sitting in a room with us, if she was something other than straight, would most likely define herself by the other things. Like being a woman or a "heretic" or a scholar. 

 

However, she actually is actually a potentially queer fictional character in a series full of straight characters. And it is unsatisfying to claim that it would somehow lessen that character to be upfront with her sexuality when most every other major character is both straight and has been shown to be straight in a way that has not monopolized or otherwise diminished their character. Secondary characters like Lopen and Teft (Teft was the one with the crush on the barmaid in WoR?) have both been shown to be attracted to the opposite sex, something that was neither necessary nor did it diminish anything else about them. 

 

So no, I think it's silly for Jasnah, if she has some sort of sexuality other than straight to have it kept off stage so it doesn't co-opt her character. Purely arbitrary characters have been shown to also have sexual preference and it has never been a problem. 

 

I should reiterate that this is my response to Nymph and Argent's justifications for Brandon's (paraphrased) statement. Not the statement itself.

First, it's "Nymp", no pun, despite the irony that this would create. :P

Second, being demisexual could mean that she's bi, lesbian, or straight. This could also be a more interesting character arch than the stereotypical justifications that Argent mentioned, but I often get tired of reading about romance in general (I have a low level of romantic-tolerance; probably much lower normal than the norm)...

 

 

That would be a very reasonable thing to mean. Jasnah, for all that she is a great character, is not one that the reader has spent a lot of time with at this point in the series. It's possibly she may never been a full pov like Dalinar or Shallan. It's possible that, with the ending to the second book, she may never be in a setting where her sexuality is going to be relevant to the plot. Like Szeth in the first two books.  

 

Still, there are plenty of characters whose sexuality is completely irrelevant to the plot who have been also shown to be attracted to the opposite sex. 

 

She'll get her own book though in the second series, so, we'll probably know by then what's up with her. Remember, she could always be asexual or aromatic, and considering that she hasn't had many pov in general, it's hard to show her sexuality properly...

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First, it's "Nymp", no pun, despite the irony that this would create. :P

Second, being demisexual could mean that she's bi, lesbian, or straight. This could also be a more interesting character arch than the stereotypical justifications that Argent mentioned, but I often get tired of reading about romance in general (I have a low level of romantic-tolerance; probably much lower normal than the norm)...

 

 

She'll get her own book though in the second series, so, we'll probably know by then what's up with her. Remember, she could always be asexual or aromatic, and considering that she hasn't had many pov in general, it's hard to show her sexuality properly...

 

Sorry, that was either auto-correct or stupid-fingers. 

 

Sure, her sexuality could be anything. My point was just that if it's something other than straight (sort of implied by the response?), then we have had all these other characters who are straight, who have been shown to be so, who have not been monopolized by romance. It sucks that this justification would get trotted out for the single major (identified?) non-straight character. It doesn't need to be shown via romance. Surely this series has not been one of grand, sweeping romance, something that hasn't stood in the way of showing that many of the characters have a sexual preference. 

 

Also, Jasnah may get her own book in the second series, but does that mean that she will have a similarly large focus in the book like Kaladin and Shallan did? 

 

I was expecting to see more characters in the main sequence in WoR, but it was basically the same ones as WoK. I guess we'll have to see if whoever ends up getting the flashbacks in Book 3 has a similarly large role in that book. Unless it's Dalinar, it will be someone who has not had a large role in the previous two books. 

Edited by Yados
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I just hope he doesn't give in to fanbase wishes and declare a pointless sexuality for her just to soothe shippers.

 

Personally, I like the Cosmere because of the meta, and how intricate and crazy it is going to become. Not for romance. But that's obviously my personal opinion.

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Remember, she could always be asexual or aromatic...

Just popping in to point out another humorous auto-correct. :D

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I am going to bravely stick my nose into this conversation.  While I have no problem whatsoever with Jasnah turning out to be homosexual or asexual, I think it would detract from the story if Brandon made a point of expressly identifying this, UNLESS it was pertinent to the plotline of the story.  Here's why I think this: I'm sure that we are all aware that this is a major social and political issue right now which unfortunarely intensly divisive.  If Brandon included direct information about Jasnah's sexuality and it was not important to or germane to the plot of the story, there would likely be harsh feelings and contentious interactions regardless of what particular sexual preference she had.  As evidence of this, I point to J.K. Powling's statement that she always thought of Dumbledore as being gay.  Look at the anger and hurt that was generated in the subsequent exchanges.  I note that not only did she not even identify Dumbledore as gay in the text, she merely said that she thought of him as such. 

 

The result would be that whether Brandon intended it to be such, or not, many of his fans and several in the media would declare that Brandon is making a statement by such an inclusion.  The ultimate result being Jasnah's sexuality superceding and overshadowing the story.  If her sexuality is not pertinent to, or affect, the plotline, then I would hate to see this happen.  Obviously, if her sexuality is important to the story, then I would hope that Brandon would address it wherever her preferences lie.

 

Edit: As a side note, I would point out that Dalinar's relationship with Navani and Shallan's relationship with Adolin and Kaladin by all appearances so far appears to be important to the plot of the story. 

Edited by Shardlet
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I just hope he doesn't give in to fanbase wishes and declare a pointless sexuality for her just to soothe shippers.

 

I honestly think that this is one of the last things Brandon Sanderson would do. He writes the stories that he wants to tell, and I doubt that soothing shippers is on his list of things to do. 

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I am going to bravely stick my nose into this conversation.  While I have no problem whatsoever with Jasnah turning out to be homosexual or asexual, I think it would detract from the story if Brandon made a point of expressly identifying this, UNLESS it was pertinent to the plotline of the story.  Here's why I think this: I'm sure that we are all aware that this is a major social and political issue right now which unfortunarely intensly divisive.  If Brandon included direct information about Jasnah's sexuality and it was not important to or germane to the plot of the story, there would likely be harsh feelings and contentious interactions regardless of what particular sexual preference she had.  As evidence of this, I point to J.K. Powling's statement that she always thought of Dumbledore as being gay.  Look at the anger and hurt that was generated in the subsequent exchanges.  I note that not only did she not even identify Dumbledore as gay in the text, she merely said that she thought of him as such. 

 

The result would be that whether Brandon intended it to be such, or not, many of his fans and several in the media would declare that Brandon is making a statement by such an inclusion.  The ultimate result being Jasnah's sexuality superceding and overshadowing the story.  If her sexuality is not pertinent to, or affect, the plotline, then I would hate to see this happen.  Obviously, if her sexuality is important to the story, then I would hope that Brandon would address it wherever her preferences lie.

 

Edit: As a side note, I would point out that Dalinar's relationship with Navani and Shallan's relationship with Adolin and Kaladin by all appearances so far appears to be important to the plot of the story. 

 

But couldn't you say he's made such a statement by "including" gay characters in the series? He was under no obligation to do so. Whatever "anger and hurt" has surely already been invited at this point. 

 

What you're saying is a fine argument for every single character on Roshar being straight. But why, if he's going to write a character as queer, should he not acknowledge that on the page? You cite Dumbledore in Harry Potter as inviting criticism from those who did not want gay people in Harry Potter, but many people also view that statement from Rowling to be quite cowardly from a representational standpoint. Dumbledore's sexuality was not very relevant to the plot, sure, but the choice to make the only gay character one with no relevancy to the plot is also a conscious choice, as was the fact for it to have been completely absent from the books.

 

Dalinar and Navani and Shallan/Adolin/Kaladin are relevant to the plot because they've been a component of that plot. What sort of criteria would you set for a similar relationship that hinged on Jasnah or Drehy's sexuality? 

 

Look, I don't need gay characters in fiction to represent me. I'm doing fine. There's plenty of great books in fantasy that reflect the fact that gay people exist (I read City of Stairs over the break, great book. Republic of Thieves notably did this in a non-essential way as well) and plenty of great books that pretend as if they don't. However, I don't understand this idea that the author should tell readers that a character is gay and then not include that in the text because it's not relevant. It's hard for me to view that as anything other than mercenary behavior to please a certain audience without actually doing anything. I would like to think that if people paid attention to how many non-essential characters are shown to have a non-essential sexuality in books, they might understand why this justification rings hollow. 

 

*Disclaimer*

 

Brandon didn't do that here. He didn't say Jasnah was gay. He didn't say her sexuality wasn't going to be addressed because it wasn't essential to the plot. I'm responding to other peoples' justifications for his paraphrased comment. I don't like these justifications. They are a double standard. 

Edited by Yados
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I honestly think that this is one of the last things Brandon Sanderson would do. He writes the stories that he wants to tell, and I doubt that soothing shippers is on his list of things to do. 

 

I don't think he would either but as this is easily my favorite Fantasy series (the entire meta), I'm naturally concerned of what-could-be's and the like.

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I just hope he doesn't give in to fanbase wishes and declare a pointless sexuality for her just to soothe shippers.

 

Personally, I like the Cosmere because of the meta, and how intricate and crazy it is going to become. Not for romance. But that's obviously my personal opinion.

 

I don't think he would either but as this is easily my favorite Fantasy series (the entire meta), I'm naturally concerned of what-could-be's and the like.

 

C'mon, man. No one said anything about shipping or romance. Plenty of characters throughout BS's books have had their sexuality made plain without co-opting the plot or creating a romance subplot. 

 

Kelsier, Ham, and Dockson in Mistborn each had dead or offscreen significant others that partially informed their characters. If any of those characters had been gay, the only thing that would have changed about them would have been pronouns in certain scenes. 

 

If you're worried about "pointless sexualities" in Brandon's books, it may already be too late. They've been here all along. They've just all been straight. 

Edited by Yados
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But couldn't you say he's made such a statement by "including" gay characters in the series? He was under no obligation to do so. Whatever "anger and hurt" has surely already been invited at this point. 

 

What you're saying is a fine argument for every single character on Roshar being straight. But why, if he's going to write a character as queer, should he not acknowledge that on the page? You cite Dumbledore in Harry Potter as inviting criticism from those who did not want gay people in Harry Potter, but many people also view that statement from Rowling to be quite cowardly from a representational standpoint. Dumbledore's sexuality was not very relevant to the plot, sure, but the choice to make the only gay character one with no relevancy to the plot is also a conscious choice, as was the fact for it to have been completely absent from the books.

 

Dalinar and Navani and Shallan/Adolin/Kaladin are relevant to the plot because they've been a component of that plot. What sort of criteria would you set for a similar relationship that hinged on Jasnah or Drehy's sexuality? 

 

Look, I don't need gay characters in fiction to represent me. I'm doing fine. There's plenty of great books in fantasy that reflect the fact that gay people exist (I read City of Stairs over the break, great book. Republic of Thieves notably did this in a non-essential way as well) and plenty of great books that pretend as if they don't. However, I don't understand this idea that the author should tell readers that a character is gay and then not include that in the text because it's not relevant. It's hard for me to view that as anything other than mercenary behavior to please a certain audience without actually doing anything. I would like to think that if people paid attention to how many non-essential characters are shown to have a non-essential sexuality in books, they might understand why this justification rings hollow. 

 

*Disclaimer*

 

Brandon didn't do that here. He didn't say Jasnah was gay. He didn't say her sexuality wasn't going to be addressed because it wasn't essential to the plot. I'm responding to other peoples' justifications for his paraphrased comment. I don't like these justifications. They are a double standard. 

 

I can see why some people feel that JK's statement was cowardly.  I am not prepared to cast judgement one way or the other because I don't know her motivation for making the statement.  And that is essential to any judgement.  I merely cited the situation as illustrative of how the statements identifying the sexuality of a character, when such statements are irrelevant to the plot, can distract, and even detract, from the story itself.

 

The question is, how does one write a book in our current social climate where the book has a significant character which is LGBT where their sexuality is pertinent to the plot and avoid the social issues from taking over the story?  If an author does this, the book becomes an LGBT book.  I cite such outfits as Netflix for evidence of this.  Consider that Netflix has a category of programming dedicated to gay/lesbian programming.  Some of these programs deal directly with gay/lesbian issues (as one would expect in a category identified as such) while others are stories which simply have LGBT characters in significant roles (i.e., the sexuality is flavor but not subject).  These movies are all pigeonholed together.  The simple truth is, it is difficult to produce a piece of popular media in our current social climate involving LGBT characters without that work being pigeonholed as LGBT media.  Add to that, Brandon Sanderson is LDS (mormon).  By the very fact of Brandon's particular religious affiliation, the effect would very likely be exacerbated.

 

As to Drehy/Jasnah, my basic criteria would be how important the character's relationship and sexual preference is to moving the story forward in a smooth fashion.  Unless Jasnah and Drehy are put in some situation where some conflict about their sexuality is of benefit to the story being told or that their romantic relationship is an important part of the story, i think it would disrupt the flow because then Brandon would have to devote time and space in the book to address how their society views and deals with these relationships.  If such a conflict is beneficial to the story, then go for it.  If it is not, then it is disruptive to the story and I would prefer not to have this.  Personally, I don't go in for much discussion of romantic relationships of any kind in books unless it is germane to the plot.  I shake my head (and sometimes get annoyed) with all the 'shipping' that goes on in fandom.  You will find this reflected in the complete absence of any posts from me in shipping discussions.  I prefer the meat of the story as opposed to the fluff.  However, I do recognize the need to include relationships in books because this is a very real part of the fabric of the world in which these characters live. 

 

I hope that someday our social climate settles down so that we no longer have to dance around race and sexual preference and no longer have to fear a fierce lens of scrutiny for whatever is said or produced.  For example, you have used the term "queer" in your post above.  By all accounts, I as a heterosexual am not allowed to use that term because it is offensive and derisive if I use it (at least to some very vocal individuals).  The same goes for racial terms.  The fact of the matter is, we cannot have equality or even an earnest and genuiine discussion (collectively, not individually) of equality until we are all using the same lexicon and one side is not allowed to use terminology that the other side is allowed to use, until we stop parsing out every word uttered to hunt out bigotry, and to stop being so quick to be offended (again, I am speaking on a societal basis.  You have not done any of these things in your posts).

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lightningrani on tumblr went to this signing and asked a question about Hesina:

 

 

The only possibly cosmere-important thing I gained was what I learned about Hesina’s parents; apparently they were of a very high status, and she fell a lot when she moved to the town. I don’t know if he meant in nahn or class (I’m… not sure how well they are related).

 

Since Kaladin's family was second nahn (rani said that Brandon actually thought they were third, but they're second in WoK) that means either the difference between first and second nahn is significantly larger than I had thought or she was higher than first nahn (i.e. some level of dahn... which is for lighteyes...).

 

Also there was mention of Brandon doing a physical/digital bundle thing for Shadows of Self.

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Also there was mention of Brandon doing a physical/digital bundle thing for Shadows of Self.

 

Yeah, he talked about this a bit on the 6th.  He was saying that it would likely be something on the order of a kickstarter kind of thing where you bought different packages where one of the packages would include at least the book and a DRM-free digital copy.  He addressed that outside of Amazon, there were major logistical hurdles to 'buy the book, get the ebook too'.  He also said Amazon was the last resort because he did not want to give Amazon any more strength that it has.

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I can see why some people feel that JK's statement was cowardly.  I am not prepared to cast judgement one way or the other because I don't know her motivation for making the statement.  And that is essential to any judgement.  I merely cited the situation as illustrative of how the statements identifying the sexuality of a character, when such statements are irrelevant to the plot, can distract, and even detract, from the story itself.

 

The question is, how does one write a book in our current social climate where the book has a significant character which is LGBT where their sexuality is pertinent to the plot and avoid the social issues from taking over the story?  If an author does this, the book becomes an LGBT book.  I cite such outfits as Netflix for evidence of this.  Consider that Netflix has a category of programming dedicated to gay/lesbian programming.  Some of these programs deal directly with gay/lesbian issues (as one would expect in a category identified as such) while others are stories which simply have LGBT characters in significant roles (i.e., the sexuality is flavor but not subject).  These movies are all pigeonholed together.  The simple truth is, it is difficult to produce a piece of popular media in our current social climate involving LGBT characters without that work being pigeonholed as LGBT media.  Add to that, Brandon Sanderson is LDS (mormon).  By the very fact of Brandon's particular religious affiliation, the effect would very likely be exacerbated.

 

As to Drehy/Jasnah, my basic criteria would be how important the character's relationship and sexual preference is to moving the story forward in a smooth fashion.  Unless Jasnah and Drehy are put in some situation where some conflict about their sexuality is of benefit to the story being told or that their romantic relationship is an important part of the story, i think it would disrupt the flow because then Brandon would have to devote time and space in the book to address how their society views and deals with these relationships.  If such a conflict is beneficial to the story, then go for it.  If it is not, then it is disruptive to the story and I would prefer not to have this.  Personally, I don't go in for much discussion of romantic relationships of any kind in books unless it is germane to the plot.  I shake my head (and sometimes get annoyed) with all the 'shipping' that goes on in fandom.  You will find this reflected in the complete absence of any posts from me in shipping discussions.  I prefer the meat of the story as opposed to the fluff.  However, I do recognize the need to include relationships in books because this is a very real part of the fabric of the world in which these characters live. 

 

I hope that someday our social climate settles down so that we no longer have to dance around race and sexual preference and no longer have to fear a fierce lens of scrutiny for whatever is said or produced.  For example, you have used the term "queer" in your post above.  By all accounts, I as a heterosexual am not allowed to use that term because it is offensive and derisive if I use it (at least to some very vocal individuals).  The same goes for racial terms.  The fact of the matter is, we cannot have equality or even an earnest and genuiine discussion (collectively, not individually) of equality until we are all using the same lexicon and one side is not allowed to use terminology that the other side is allowed to use, until we stop parsing out every word uttered to hunt out bigotry, and to stop being so quick to be offended (again, I am speaking on a societal basis.  You have not done any of these things in your posts).

 

 

Look, we disagree on matters of basic premise. 

 

I don't agree that anything was lost by Rowling making a statement as to Dumbledore's sexuality. How would that detract or distract from the franchise? Were people who didn't like gay people upset because they were tricked into liking a gay character? Is that something that any writer should be concerned about? 

 

I also disagree with your claim that, by writing a LGBTQ character, Brandon would run the risk of being known as an LBGT writer. Does that mean that Neil Gaiman, Kate Elliott, Richard K Morgan, NK Jemisin, Robert Jackson Bennet, Orson Scott Card, David Farland, Scott Lynch, John Scalzi, Jim Butcher, and Robert Jordan are in their own little genre of fantasy because they've all acknowledged that gay people exist in their books to varying degrees of visibility (and tastefulness)? I'm not going to speak to the quality of some of those representations (because at least two are awful), but no, I doubt that compassionate representations of gay characters who are also interesting and well-drawn would stigmatize Brandon. If he put as much thought into gay people as he put into guns in the Reckoners books, he'll be fine. 

 

Oh, and also, Netflix has multiple category settings. So those programs you're referring to are probably also in drama or comedy or quirky workplace TV comedies as applicable. Netflix isn't trying to ghettoize gay media; they're trying to make it easier to find for those who want it. 

 

And look, you may be here for the magic in the world building, but the notion that gay people are something that can't be world-built into Brandon's worlds is pretty insulting. The Stormlight Archive is full of the gender roles and sexual mores of Alethi Culture as well as references to at least a dozen others on Roshar. Are you saying he couldn't figure out how gay people fit into that? That doing so would be somehow counter to the rest of the project of creating rich, immersive settings?

 

Even if, as you suggest, Brandon's personal beliefs create restraints on what he can write about gay people, Mistborn had a thousand year old culture based on forcible eugenics and sexual slavery (something which appears to be extending on into Wax and Wayne books). So he can obviously think about things he disagrees with and build them into his world. He's also included drinking and premarital sex in his books (not to mention lots and lots of murder), practiced by the heroes of said books. So he also has no problem including things in his books that the Mormon Church would not condone of his heroes. Why would this thing be across the line? Would humane and compelling portrayals of gay people somehow further a deviant agenda more than these other things? 

 

Also, as I think I've stressed enough in this thread, I disagree that an LBGT character needs to justify their own existence by some sort of romantic plot. First, gay people are not synonymous with romance or shipping any more than straight people are. Second, it's not a standard that the sexuality of any other character is held to. Why did Kelsier need a sexuality? Or Dockson? Or Sebarial? Or Lopen? Or Ham? Or Teft? Were you distracted by all this non-essential sexual coding or is it only one kind of sexuality that needs to justify itself (rather, any apart from one)?

 

Look, I didn't decide that Brandon should put LGBT characters in his books. He did. I just don't agree with the reasoning put forward in this thread as to whether he should hide the fact that they're there. 

 

tl;dr we have some serious disagreements about the radicalness of what I'm proposing.

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Perhaps we've taken the thread a little sideways from its original purpose?

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Please make a different topic if you would like to continue this discussion on sexuality; keep this topic on the signing and direct comments about the signing.

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I'm working on the transcript from the release day event in Seattle; it's going to take a while to work my way through the entire three hours of signing-table chaos. Here are a few things from my own personal Q&A while he was signing stock and we were packing up the stuff. I hadn't really had a chance to sort through the questions I'd collected, so in retrospect there are a couple I wish I hadn't bothered with (I still have a dozen or so unasked), but... it is what it is. I'll post the signing-table stuff when I figure out what's worth collecting; a lot of it was the same questions we've heard a couple dozen times already, and some of it is, of course, indecipherable. 

 

ALA: Were any of the original Shardholders related? We know that Honor and Cultivation were romantically involved, but were any of them brother and sister or child/parent?

BWS: There was at least one relationship of that style.

ALA: Was Adonalsium shattered all at once? Or did each Shard form at a separate time?

BWS: All at once.

ALA: Do Cryptics have the same general dislike of Honorspren as Syl has towards Cryptics?

BWS: RAFO!!

ALA: Prior to becoming pregnant, did the queen spend most of her time at the Shattered Plains, or in the capital?

BWS: She has spent most of her time in the capital. She obviously has been back and forth. I would say she has spent more time off the Shattered Plains than at it.

ALA: But she was at the Shattered Plains, rather than Elhokar going back to the capital?

BWS: He has been back at least once, but it is a long trip.

ALA: In addition to the two abilities given by each surge, does a Knight Radiant order have a third blended ability, the interaction of its two given surges?

BWS: Not specifically as phrased there, but each order has quirks that are unique to it. They are magical quirks, but it’s not necessarily a blend of the powers.

ALA: So Shallan’s Memories is kind of a …

BWS: Is associated with her Order, yes.

ALA: It’s not just because she had that wonderful ability, and Pattern came along and went, “Oh, I like this one!”

BWS: No that is not necessarily what attracted Pattern.

ALA: When Shallan does Lightweaving, is that a combination of Illumination and Transformation, or is Lightweaving just of Illumination?

BWS: Lightweaving is just of Illumination. Lightweaving is a long-established power in the cosmere. Very early books, in fact one of the very first stories I ever wrote, Lightweaving was the magic. (That story is unpublished, written long ago – long before Liar of Partinel) And so, this stems from my own personal affection for illusion and my feeling that it had not been used as well as I wanted it to be used in fantasy fiction. So I consider it only Illumination truly in the Stormlight Archive.

ALA: The bit with the bandits out there, and the deserters, and she convinces them to all go… Was she doing Lightweaving? Was she doing Transformation? Was she doing some combination?

BWS: She was… You have seen what she was doing before, done by another character.

ALA: Have you actually written out the Diagram, and the Words of Radiance, and so on?

BWS: Oh, heavens, no. That’s the sort of thing that falls into the worldbuilders’ disease thing; there’s no way that writing those out is worth the effort, so no, I have not. Definitely not the Diagram. If I were going to write any of them, I would write The Way of Kings, but even that, it’s probably 30 or 40 thousand words in-world.

ALA: How much time elapses between the beginning of the main part of the story (where they start out at the Shattered Plains) and the end of the series?

BWS: And the end of the series? Because the end of the series, um, we have a 15-year gap between (books number) 5 and 6. So, the first five will probably be Wheel-of-Time-ish, sort of, each one picks up where the last one left off; we have a little more time, maybe, than Wheel of Time, but not terribly much, so it will probably be just a couple of years for the first ones, but then we will jump.

ALA: Human, spren, splinter sliver shard Adonalsium – which of these is most similar ontologically to Nakomi?

BWS: (laughter) I can’t say anything about Nakomi! Robert Jordan did not want anything said about Nakomi! I can’t say anything at all about Nakomi! Dig into the notes when they are released, and then you can find out things said about Nakomi. The little tiny hints we have, I told you he wrote that thing at the end, and I’m like well, okay. So.

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Thanks for the transcript! :)

 

ALA: The bit with the bandits out there, and the deserters, and she convinces them to all go… Was she doing Lightweaving? Was she doing Transformation? Was she doing some combination?

BWS: She was… You have seen what she was doing before, done by another character.

 

Well that's not going to drive me mad trying to figure out or anything...  :unsure:

Edited by Kurkistan
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ALA: The bit with the bandits out there, and the deserters, and she convinces them to all go… Was she doing Lightweaving? Was she doing Transformation? Was she doing some combination?

BWS: She was… You have seen what she was doing before, done by another character.

 

Was it Tien? Was it Tien? Was it Tien? Was it Tien?

 

It says it didn't count my upvote for you; would someone else mind giving him an upvote in my stead?

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One thing I forgot to add!!! At the 1/7 signing, a friend asked a follow-up question for me: Is there a similarity between what Shai does in "The Emperor's Soul" and what Shallan did with the deserters? His answer was that there's some similarity, but that's not the person he was thinking of, and that "no one is going to expect it" when we learn the answer. 

 

So... it could be Tien - at least if Brandon isn't too aware of the hopes and theories regarding him. Beyond that, I have no idea. I was SURE it was Shai when the thought occurred to me two hours later, but I was wrong.

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Well if it's someone no one would suspect, we can rule out Hoid.

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ALA: The bit with the bandits out there, and the deserters, and she convinces them to all go… Was she doing Lightweaving? Was she doing Transformation? Was she doing some combination?

BWS: She was… You have seen what she was doing before, done by another character.

 

Now that I think about it, Vasher's way with animals and small children seems to imply a similar personality-transformation ability. Given that Vasher is in Roshar right now, could he be what Brandon was talking about?

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Now that I think about it, Vasher's way with animals and small children seems to imply a similar personality-transformation ability. Given that Vasher is in Roshar right now, could he be what Brandon was talking about?

 

I doubt it, given how it looks to be more a function of kids/animals just sensing how "pure" Vasher is.

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Kurkistan, on 12 Jan 2015 - 2:04 PM, said:

I doubt it, given how it looks to be more a function of kids/animals just sensing how "pure" Vasher is.

Eh, I was thinking of that WoB as well. According to the annotations, children and animals like all Returned, because the Divine Breath comforts them. This doesn't mean all Returned are "pure" as in good or uncorrupted; that's obviously not true. The Divine Breath, no matter how evil its holder is, simply has this strange calming effect on animals and children. Note that in that link you gave, Brandon himself says he still needed to think about whether this is a mind-control ability or not:

Quote

However, I will say that I didn't even think that people would get mind control from Vasher's actions in the last chapter, and I see that I'll have to think about that.

This was back in 2007, so there's been plenty of time for him to decide. In my point of view, if a person could ensure that animals and children will like him, no matter how bad he really is, and no matter what the animal or child's current temperament might be, just by being a Returned, I don't see how he can't consider that as an ability to transform personality/behavior of some targets. Even if it is just a side effect of his Breath.

***

Other possibilities of who Brandon was talking about:

  • One of the people who used Emotional Allomancy to trick others into doing their bidding.
  • Nightblood, Ruin, and voidspren, who could compel targets to perform evil deeds.
Edited by skaa
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