BeskarKomrk

Cosmere Timeline

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Hello fellow Sharders!

For a little while now, I've been working on a project in my spare time. I wanted to create a (very) rough timeline of the events of the Cosmere that we have seen so far. So... I did! You can find it here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1JJtJhHwpKdow01n2-bsT3scVvqJd6lZh4uvpNwcslv8/edit?usp=sharing

Here's a little explanation of what I did and how the whole thing is set up.

First of all, I used this page as my starting place and reference. The timeline is organized and color coded by planet, so that books not technically in the same series (like Elantris and The Emperor's Soul) will be in the same set of columns. I filled out each planet's timeline based on the Coppermind page linked above, then made my best guess as to how all the different series fit together. You can find my notes, reasoning, and sources in the other two tabs, but I'll give a rough outline of my thought process here as well. CAVEAT: obviously this is heavily guesswork and estimation, so I would not encourage using this for evidence for any theories. My intent was to give a framework for asking questions and thinking about the relationships between the series. As an example, the question that started me off on this project was "Is it possible that Vasher was on Roshar during the Hierocracy?".

I've also included predictions for many unreleased books. I mostly did this for fun, but it should make it easier to update and refine this spreadsheet as the books are released; the framework for them is already in place this way.

Without further ado:

THE PROCESS

The two pillars of the Cosmere Timeline are the Mistborn Series and The Stormlight Archive Series. These two cover the widest ranges in time and have the most timeline information within them. Thus, I began with these two series and how they interweave. We have it from WoB that there are roughly 6000 years between the Shattering of Adonalsium and the Prelude to The Way of Kings. This is admittedly non-canon, but I had to use something and this is the best estimate we currently have. From there, we know that the main plot of The Way of Kings takes place 4,500 years after the prelude. I made three assumptions at this point.

1. All dates/times given within the text of The Stormlight Archive are given in Roshar Years, where 1 Roshar Year = 1.1 Earth Years. Thus the 4,500 years between the prelude and the main plot is actually 4950 Earth Years.

2. All planets other than Roshar have years of the same length as Earth. This is obviously a huge unfounded assumption, but we have no information to the contrary, so for now it's the best estimate I have. I looked into the possibility of calculating the length of the year based on planet size and orbit, but there isn't really a correlation.

3. The 4,500 years later refers to the gap between the prelude and the prologue (e.g. the night of Gavilar's assassination). So the prelude is 4,500 years before the year 1167, which happens to be -3333 (in Roshar Years).

From there, I filled out the rest of Roshar's timeline from the Coppermind in Roshar Years, then made another column for Earth Years so I could relate the dates to the other Cosmere books.

The next task was to place The Alloy of Law in relation to The Way of Kings. We know Alloy takes place after Stormlight 5, and I estimated from various WoB that the first five Stormlight books take place over a period of a few years. Thus, I somewhat arbitrarily placed Alloy as happening about 7 Roshar Years after Stormlight 5. This gives time for the entire Wax and Wayne set of novels to take place between Stormlight 5  and Stormlight 6, assuming a 15 Roshar Year gap between the events of those two novels. Again, this is an estimate, but it seems reasonable enough until we get more evidence. So how does this fit into the rest of the Mistborn timeline? Well, Alloy takes place 341 Earth Years after Sazed Ascends to become Harmony. This places Gavilar's assassination as happening 324 Earth Years after Sazed's Ascension. From that starting point, I filled out the rest of the Mistborn timeline based on the Coppermind.

With my two pillars in place, I then filled in the rest of the books based on WoB and some slightly educated guessing. You can find my reasoning for the placement of all of the other series on the Notes tab, but I would be happy to go into it more here if there are any questions. Please keep in mind that we have no firm dates for most of the placements and they are inherently very subjective!

I would love feedback on this project from all the passionate Sanderson fans here. Any evidence or arguments for moving things around on the timeline will be deeply considered, and I'm happy to discuss that in detail in this thread. Any design suggestions or additional information people would like to see on the timeline are also welcome. Some of the timelines for individual planets are fairly sparse (White Sand, the novellas/short stories). My next project is to help update the Coppermind page with some of this info before incorporating it into the timeline.

My plan is to continue updating this timeline as new works and information come out. Hope you all find this helpful!

Version description (spoilered for length):

Spoiler

 

v1.1: Updated dates for Mistborn Era 4 and Sixth of the Dusk to account for new WoB. Explanation here.

v1.2: Added the death of Tanavast at 2000 years prior to Words of Radiance and the Recreance 50 years prior to that. Explanation here.

v1.3: Moved up Mistborn Era 3 to match WoB suggesting there were about 50 years between Alloy of Law and Era 3. Moved up Era 4 and Sixth of the Dusk to compensate and preserve nice round numbers.

v2.0: Moved White Sand before Elantris. Added event from Arcanum Unbounded essay. Added Edgedancer. Explanation here.

 

 

Edited by BeskarKomrk
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Mistborn is only going to Era 3, three trilogies. Wax and Wayne are not part of the Eras.

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22 minutes ago, Spoolofwhool said:

Mistborn is only going to Era 3, three trilogies. Wax and Wayne are not part of the Eras.

Incorrect. Wax & Wayne /are/ Era 2. What was originally the "second trilogy" is now Era 3, and the "third trilogy" is Era 4.

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7 minutes ago, WeiryWriter said:

Incorrect. Wax & Wayne /are/ Era 2. What was originally the "second trilogy" is now Era 3, and the "third trilogy" is Era 4.

Oh, he changed it? I was under the impression that he said that W&W were just going to be an interlude before he continued with the Eras. The State of Sanderson of 2015 does refer to it as Series 1.5.

Edited by Spoolofwhool
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27 minutes ago, Spoolofwhool said:

Oh, he changed it? I was under the impression that he said that W&W were just going to be an interlude before he continued with the Eras. The State of Sanderson of 2015 does refer to it as Series 1.5.

When he originally instituted the Era nomenclature at the beginning of 2015 W&W was Era 2. He briefly tried to change it to Era 1.5 late during 2015 but has since reverted to calling it Era 2 since then (it is officially referred to as such during the Postscript to Mistborn: Secret History).

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I added another WoB to the sources tab that can be found here.

Quote

So I just got back from the book signing Brandon held today, I asked him about the time between each of the original 99 desolations. It turns out that the number 99 in the stories was made up, and that there were much fewer of them. He also then stated that the cosmere runs along a 10,000 year gap and that Roshar falls right into the middle of the timeline. He ended with "That should give you a perspective of the timeline and events of the desolations". I figured that if anyone wanted to know a bit more of Roshar's history they might find this interesting.

The thing I'm not sure about in this quote is when Year 0 is on this 10,000 year timeline. My first thought would be the Shattering of Adonalsium, but that doesn't match up with Stormlight Archive being in the middle of the timeline. If there are 6000 years between the Shattering and the Prelude to Stormlight Archive and then another 4950 years (in Earth Years) between the Prelude and the main series timeline, there's just no way that can be in the middle of a 10,000 year timeline. My next guess is that the 10,000 year timeline starts either from the Prelude to SA or from another pivotal event around the same time frame (possibly Odium killing Aona and Skai on Sel). Assuming the Prelude is Year 0, this puts Stormlight Archive right around the middle at ~5000 years into the timeline. This would imply that the end of the Cosmere arc (the final Mistborn trilogy) happens around Year 16,000. This is about 4,000 years later than I had originally placed it. I have changed the dates on the spreadsheet to update this estimate. This also affects the estimated date for Sixth of the Dusk.

I want to point out that I have no idea what length of time the final Mistborn trilogy will span. It, in and of itself, could take place over thousands of years (depending on how Brandon does FTL travel with relativistic time dilation). So I suppose the date on the timeline actually refers to the end of the trilogy, based on the information we currently have.

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Here's an interesting thought to look at with the timeline. Not sure if you noticed it or not.

Quote

Whether this was Tanavast’s design or not, millennia have passed without Rayse taking the life of another of the sixteen.

This is a quote from the letter to Hoid, in the epigraphs of WoR. It is assumed, and I believe it too, that the letter is sent during WoR, or at least during SA. Chances are that the letter is saying that at least two thousand years have passed since Rayse killed Tanavast and splintered Honor. Of course it's unknown which years are being used to measure it, but I imagine it's "standard" Earth years, or Roshar years. 

Now the thing is, there is a theory that the Recreance is when Honor was killed by Odium. Now, this theory could be completely wrong. However, if it isn't, then your marking of the Recreance is off, since you currently have it listed 1300ish Earth years and 1167 Roshar years before. Or whoever wrote the letter is exaggerating.

That's it really. It's relying on a large series of assumptions, but I'm not sure if it was something you had noted, so I thought I'd throw it out there.

Edited by Spoolofwhool
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@Spoolofwhool two things:

- Honor is probably died after the Recreance as he had some memories of the KR's oathbreak that He sends to Dalinar with the Visions.

- Your quote from the letter may be read to have a opposite meaning. As "thanks to Tanavast, thousands of years passed before Odium may kill a Shard's Vessel. It's a true shame that this stop with the Tanavast's dead" after all when Tanavast's die. Odium was struct for Millennia

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Yes, I know that Honor died after the Recreance. That's why I was thinking that the Recreance happened earlier than listed on the timeline, since the letter seems to imply that Honor had died millennia ago. I'm not sure about what you're saying, since the letter seems to be present day, referring to Hoid by his moniker Wit, and there doesn't seem to be anything which says that it has backwards meaning. "Millennia have passed" indicates that the millennia are still passing to the writing of the letter. Otherwise, it would be written as "Millennia past".

It's that it is open to interpretation, so who knows. 

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Quote

 

Rayse is captive. He cannot leave the system he now inhabits. His destructive potential is, therefore, inhibited. Whether this was Tanavast’s design or not, millennia have passed without Rayse taking the life of another of the sixteen. While I mourn for the great suffering Rayse has caused, I do not believe we could hope for a better outcome than this. WoR (p. 828). Kindle Edition.  


 

Given the context, it's pretty clear it means after Rayse was captured on Braize, so the milennia are after said capture.

Side note: Hoid and Frost are both from Yolen and Frost has not left Yolen, so they are probably using Yolish years. Which I do not think we have any info on, so assuming the same as Earth is probably accurate.

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@Spoolofwhool I've actually been thinking a lot about exactly that quote for the past week or so, trying to figure out what the implications are. Here's where I'm at currently.

I think there are three ways of interpreting that quote, depending on who "another of the sixteen" refers to.

Quote

millennia have passed without Rayse taking the life of another of the sixteen

  1. Millennia have passed since the last time Rayse killed one of the original Shardholders (another meaning "in addition to the ones he had already killed). This doesn't specify who the last one to die was. Probably Tanavast, since Aona and Skai were killed a long, long time ago, but it's hard to say for sure. There is a WoB that Odium has killed at least one more Shard than the ones we know about, so Frost could be referring to that Shard. Either way, this would imply that Tanavast died at least two thousand years ago.
  2. Millenia have passed since Rayse killed anyone other than Tanavast (another meaning "in addition to Tanavast"). This tells us nothing firm about when Tanavast died, but it does tell us that Aona, Skai, and the other Shard died a long time ago. I personally would infer from this that Tanavast died sometime in the last few thousand years, but it's not the only way to read it.
  3. Millenia have passed since Rayse killed any of the original Shardholders (another meaning "besides himself", e.g. another member of his group). This would imply that Tanavast died at least two thousand years ago, along with Aona, Skai, and the other Shard.

Note that, in all of these interpretations, I take "millennia" to mean "more than two thousand years ago, probably several thousand more". I personally think #1 is correct, which seems to be your reading of the quote as well. I was actually considering sending Brandon a message on Reddit to ask about this, even though I think more detail is likely a RAFO. It's also worth noting that we don't have 100% confirmation that Honor was alive during the Recreance, just like 95%. But that's enough to assume it's true until we see contradictory information, in my opinion.

There is a WoB that says the Recreance is "not like 4000 years ago". That gives a relatively short period of time where the Recreance could have happened that is both "longer than two thousand years because it was before Tanavast died, which was more than two thousand years ago" and "less than four thousand years ago".

Thoughts? I would not be opposed to moving the Recreance to be ~3000 years before the current day with Tanavast's death being somewhere after that.

EDIT: I added Tanavast's death at 2000 years prior to Words of Radiance (e.g. when the Second Letter was written, more or less) and moved the Recreance to 50 years before that. I also assumed that the millennia referred to in Frost's Letter were Earth Years, rather than Roshar Years. I may end up moving these to be a little earlier at some point but we don't really have much hard evidence (as is usually the case here). It's interesting to note that Rayse must also have killed Aona and Skai more than 2000 years ago, which on my timeline puts their deaths as predating or approximately at the beginning of Sel's Late Period. I think it's likely that Odium's visit to Sel corresponds with some major event in Selish history that ended the Middle Period of history. This is a reasonably obvious guess to make, but you can consider it the first official prediction based on my timeline! Now we just need more information about Selish history...

Edited by BeskarKomrk
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The actual quote is:

7 hours ago, Argel said:

Whether this was Tanavast’s design or not, millennia have passed without Rayse taking the life of another of the sixteen.

Unless you want to claim the comma is a typo and was supposed to be a semi-colon, English grammar dictates that we have to interpret the entire sentence (and going beyond that, the rest of the paragraph as well). Which means millennia have passed since Rayse was captured.

I do need to correct my earlier post though -- it's possible Tanavast intentionally or unintentionally set things in motion that eventually lead to Rayse being trapped on Braize. So Tanavast could have died before Rayse was captured. I don't know if that helps or hurts figuring out the timeline.

It can't hurt to ask Brandon on it. You've clearly put a lot of work into the timeline, so he may be willing to clarify a point or two. Also, I know he said he could not pin the timline down till Whitesand was released. It's out now, but I do not know if we have seen any timeline updates since then. So maybe you could get him to lock down when Whitesand at least starts.

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1 hour ago, Argel said:

Which means millennia have passed since Rayse was captured.

I do need to correct my earlier post though -- it's possible Tanavast intentionally or unintentionally set things in motion that eventually lead to Rayse being trapped on Braize. So Tanavast could have died before Rayse was captured. I don't know if that helps or hurts figuring out the timeline.

I definitely agree that Rayse was captured millennia ago. As you said, Tanavast may have been dead before Rayse was captured. I think it's also possible that Tanavast was killed after Rayse was captured. The quote says he cannot leave the system he's in; presumably this refers to the Greater Roshar System, which includes both Roshar and Braize. It's certainly not impossible that he could have traveled between them to kill Tanavast after he was trapped there. It's not even inconceivable that he could kill Tanavast from Braize due to the way the Cognitive/Spiritual Realms work with regard to distance. 

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25 minutes ago, BeskarKomrk said:

I definitely agree that Rayse was captured millennia ago. As you said, Tanavast may have been dead before Rayse was captured. I think it's also possible that Tanavast was killed after Rayse was captured. The quote says he cannot leave the system he's in; presumably this refers to the Greater Roshar System, which includes both Roshar and Braize. It's certainly not impossible that he could have traveled between them to kill Tanavast after he was trapped there. It's not even inconceivable that he could kill Tanavast from Braize due to the way the Cognitive/Spiritual Realms work with regard to distance. 

There's a WoB that Odium can affect all three worlds in the Greater Roshar System. 

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I sent Brandon a message a week or so ago, and he sent me a response the next day, which I haven't had time to post until now. Here's the text I sent him (at least the relevant parts):

Quote

A few days ago on the 17th Shard Forum, I was discussing the Letter from the epigraphs of Words of Radiance as it pertains to the timeline of events on Roshar. Specifically, we were discussing the lines "Rayse is captive. He cannot leave the system he now inhabits. His destructive potential is, therefore, inhibited. Whether this was Tanavast’s design or not, millennia have passed without Rayse taking the life of another of the sixteen.". I think there are two general ways of interpreting this quote, and I was hoping you would clarify which one was intended by the author of the Letter. The first way to interpret it is that it has been millennia since Rayse last killed any of the sixteen (a group that includes Tanavast), which implies Rayse killed Tanavast a long time ago. The other way to interpret it is that it has been millennia since Rayse killed anyone aside from Tanavast, which doesn't give any firm information on when he killed Tanavast.

Which of these is the correct interpretation? Or if neither is precisely correct, which is closer?

And since I'm already sending this: now that White Sand Volume 1 has been released and the timeline has (in theory) been canonized, any chance of a hint on when in relation to other books White Sand takes place? I'm adding this in the hope that I'll get an answer to this even if my main question is a RAFO.

Here's what he said in response:

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Yes, the author of the letter was implying others of the sixteen. You are correct.

White Sand is relatively early in cosmere book timelines.

As I said in my original message, I believe that this implies Tanavast died more than two thousand years ago, which (assuming he was alive to see the Recreance) would put the Recreance at least that long ago as well. I believe it's been theorized in the past the Recreance played a part in the death of Tanavast, so the Recreance may have been relatively shortly before his death. My current plan is to add an event ~2000 years before Words of Radiance for the death of Tanavast, and then move the Recreance to be shortly before (like 100-200 years). Thoughts on that?

Not really any new info here about the timeline for White Sand, but it's nice to have confirmation that it's still early in the book timelines now that it's been canonized. I'm comfortable leaving it where it is now, after Elantris but before Mistborn.

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@BeskarKomrk thanks to made it clear.

PS: But where did you sent the message ? I am a bit confused

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I have updated my Cosmere Timeline to version 2.0! The new version includes Edgedancer, now that it's been released, as well as an event from one of the Arcanum Unbounded essays with a very rough estimate of the date. I also moved White Sand to be before Elantris based on a new WoB. I'd love to hear some theories as to exactly how long before it takes place; my guess is a fairly long time (like 500-1000 years). Thanks a bunch to @Yata for his persistence in asking about the timeline and finally getting us some new information!

I don't know whether to be proud or ashamed of the fact that I've managed to simultaneously necro the thread and double post. But I've also seen a fair amount of timeline discussion happening that I've contributed to, so I want to encourage people to discuss things in this thread as it helps me make the document better!

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8 minutes ago, BeskarKomrk said:

Edit: and the site seems to have posted this post twice. Is it possible to delete this post?

You can hide the second one. Select the options drop-down at the bottom of the post.

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Well done. This is amazing. I will read it after I get AU, because It obviously has spoilers. Nevertheless, you have put a LOT of work into this, and it is a great idea. Thank you.

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Very nice! Thank you for the effort.

 

One suggestion: perhaps color-code the main line of the events (or preface it with planetary/system labels) in the column B.

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