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It's not much to go on, but I still remember the section of the plate from WoA where he wrote: "Some of you may know of my fabled memory. It is true; I need not a Feruchemist's metalmind to memorize a sheet of words in an instant." There has to be a deeper explanation to this than the simple fact that he had an amazing memory. This is Brandon Sanderson we're talking about. This leads me to think that somehow, Kwaan was a Lightweaver. He has a mnemonic ability very similar to Shallan's, and it is mentioned in WoR that Lightweavers did, in fact, all have varied memorization skills. I'm not sure how solid this is, as this is the only section that got me thinking on it. Kwaan was a Worldbringer, a scholar, and as far as we know, not an artist. That breaks with the pattern somewhat. Does anyone else have another possible explanation?

 

EDIT: Sorry, I probably should have posted this in the Mistborn section. Honest mistake.

Edited by Shattered Logic
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The coppermind said he had an eidetic memory, so there is that.

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I think the major problem with looking into crossing magic from different planets is that Brandon is trying to keep his books relatively accessible for the average reader. Let's face it, anyone reading this thread is beyond his mark a little bit. We're going to keep buying and reading his books regardless of, or maybe because of, how many tiny, mysterious Cosmere-crossing easter eggs there are. But I don't think they'll go further than that at least until the third Mistborn trilogy, and maybe not even then. I mean, Hoid obviously does some in scene stuff that is mystical even to native magic users, but beyond him, everything "big" has been fairly explainable in-world (by in-world, I mean 'in the series that is devoted to that Shardworld').

I'm not saying it's not possible, I'm just saying that for important plot points and characters it's more likely to be the... casually obtainable... explanation.

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I think a major player in SA just obtained one of them easter eggs though. And it is to powerful to just leave it alone considering his new objective.

Save for one other person we know of present not many can explain that thing.

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Kwaan probably just had an eidetic memory, as Redbird says. Apparently (though I only did a quick search), that kind of recall is extremely rare in children, and virtually non-existent in adults...by which I mean there hasn't really been any conclusive, undeniable proof of adults possessing it.

 

Since we're dealing with magic, we can probably fudge things a little bit (and there is some debate on the topic in real-life; one case apparently involved a woman proving she did have it, but then refusing to repeat the experiments afterwards), but those numbers make Kwaan's claim... plausible, I think. If eidetic memory really is so rare to be virtually non-existant, then it makes sense why no one would believe his claims.

 

(Of course, those words are still from Kwaan's point of view, so we can sort of afford some leeway. From what I could find, being able to scan a page and recite it instantly, as the quotation claims, isn't really how eidetic memory works; so either Kwaan is exaggerating his abilities, or it can be chalked up to as magic stretching how things work in reality a little.)

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Remember that they're technically not Earth-human too, so their minds may not be constructed exactly the same way. Do we even know if people from different shardworlds can interbreed? I presume the shards just based their creations off of the Yolen species, and genetics seem to function strangely for some of them and not/differently for others, so the shards were probably taking liberties with that.

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I think a major player in SA just obtained one of them easter eggs though. And it is to powerful to just leave it alone considering his new objective.

Save for one other person we know of present not many can explain that thing.

Sure, but in my mind that's a special case (I can hear your inward groans... I know). Warbreaker was written at least partly for the purpose of introducing Nightblood. The Stormlight Archives were always meant to have him come in. I'm sure that his powers and ramifications will be adequately explained with respect to Roshar in the third book for readers that stick to the Stormlight Archives, whereas Kwaan's powers were decently well explored within the context of Scadrial.

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This reminds me, I remember reading an interesting theory about Hoid effectively starting the Worldbringers. I can't remember the details exactly but it was about the similarity in title and function between that organisation and the Worldsingers. I could be that he took advantage of the preexisting magic system on Scadrial to produce the same ends, or was able to teach some element of Surgebinding maybe. 

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You don't need eidetic memory to read one page and remember it. There are memorization techniques that allow you to do that. They were already known in the ancient rome, when some people in the senate could hear a one-hour speech and repeat it verbatim afterwards.

I've seen a guy do that on a smaller scale. feruchemist themselves learned those techniques, because it would help them fill their coppermind faster and decay less when tapped. Kwaan was just particularly good at it. nothing supernatural and not even a million-to-one rarity.

 

If kwaan had been a surgebinder, than he would have been a worldhopper, and then he would have known about ruin all along. it is clear from his writing that  he is not cosmere aware. His memory is simply the narrative device that lets him realize the prophecies have been changed.

P.S. It's quite curious that ruin cannot read or alter scratches on a piece of metal, but he can read the ccontent of a metalmind.

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While I don't personally believe that Kwaan was a Surgebinder, I disagree that it would make the story any less stand-alone. It's exactly like Hoid. For someone who reads just Elantris, Hoid has a bit part you forget about, and move on.

 

If Kwaan does have magic memory, then people reading just this one book will assume it's simply eidetic. People reading more books will see the connections. That's pretty much what Mr. Sanderson says he's going for. To let the books stand on their own, doesn't have to mean "no connections, ever," it just means the connections have to be subtle enough that you don't scratch your head and say, "well that doesn't make any sense."

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Shallan does not have an eidetic memory. She does not remember everything she's ever read, as she notes in TWoK:
Enough time for Shallan to dedicate herself to some fierce cramming. Her ability to memorize pictures and scenes didn’t work as well on text, but she could learn lists and facts at a rate that her tutors had found remarkable.

 

She notes that taking Memories of things is a strain on her mind. I strongly doubt a Lightweaver could do what Kwaan did.

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The special memory abilities of the Lightweavers do not come from their Surges but the particular spren they bond (Cryptics)

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2015/01/words-of-radiance-reread-chapter-23
 
Specifically this WoB:
 

The first one was actually in context of a slightly larger question, but he specifically said that a Radiant’s bond gives them more than just the Surges. I used Shallan as an example, and he confirmed that her Memories are indeed an artifact of the bond, not something that is natural to her, and not something that is a result of the Surges at all. Pattern was not drawn by that ability, but was the cause of it.

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BAM! WoB FTW!

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Well, Kwaan would have to fit (assuming my theory that the divine attributes of the essences are what draws a specific spren to bond)the attributes of honesty and/or creativity. Shallan fits this but as for Kwaan... maybe. 

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so, that implies that those guys in the roman senate were rosharan lightweavers worldhoppers too? neat!  that explains why the roman republic got into an endless series of civil wars before it became an empire. I didn't knew sanderson also wrote the hystory books

:)

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Kwaan probably just had an eidetic memory, as Redbird says. Apparently (though I only did a quick search), that kind of recall is extremely rare in children, and virtually non-existent in adults...by which I mean there hasn't really been any conclusive, undeniable proof of adults possessing it.

 

Since we're dealing with magic, we can probably fudge things a little bit (and there is some debate on the topic in real-life; one case apparently involved a woman proving she did have it, but then refusing to repeat the experiments afterwards), but those numbers make Kwaan's claim... plausible, I think. If eidetic memory really is so rare to be virtually non-existant, then it makes sense why no one would believe his claims.

 

(Of course, those words are still from Kwaan's point of view, so we can sort of afford some leeway. From what I could find, being able to scan a page and recite it instantly, as the quotation claims, isn't really how eidetic memory works; so either Kwaan is exaggerating his abilities, or it can be chalked up to as magic stretching how things work in reality a little.)

Well he could have still had a awesome memory.

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Maybe Kwaan had Wilson's Disease and stored his memories in the Copper that was in his own body.

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