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Ripheus23

Nightblood is a Returned

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His name is a Returned kind of name. The Returned can heal anyone using their one divine Breath. So, rando theory, the process of creating Nightblood was kind of like when a Returned uses their divine Breath to heal something, only Vasher/Shashara "healed" a piece of metal and only used the equivalent of half their divine Breath (not their combined divine Breath = 4000 but either of theirs = 2000, so 1000 normal Breaths). Or, let's say, they "killed" the metal in such a way that Edgli quasi-Returned someone(s) into the metal. But instead of being a specific person, it was the concept of, "Destroy evil," in EVERY dead Nalthian from history (or from every dead Returned Nalthian, or whatever). So, the metal embodies an abstract concept, hence is a "robot spren."

EDIT: I know, we've no indication that divine Breaths can be partitioned into equivalents of normal Breaths, so the theory probably can't really be true, but it might be close to a true theory...

Edited by Ripheus23
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Vasher renamed Nightblood after seeing what he could do at the Battle of Twilight Falls.

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Brandon Sanderson

Nightblood

Nightblood's name, by the way, is supposed to sound kind of like the names of the Returned. I played with various different ways for his powers to manifest. I liked the idea of him driving those who hold him to kill anyone nearby. It seemed to work with the concepts that have come before—a kind of unholy, sentient mix of Stormbringer and the One Ring.

The strangest thing about him is the idea that his form isn't that important. The sheath is like a binding for him, keeping his power contained. So drawing him out isn't like drawing a regular weapon, but rather an unleashing of a creature who has been kept chained.

Once that creature is unleashed, he becomes a weapon—even if he's unleashed only a little bit. The sheath itself turns into a weapon, twisting those around it. You don't need to stab someone with Nightblood to kill them; smashing them on the back with the sheath works just as well. It will crunch bones, but beyond that, merely touching them with the sheath when the smoke is leaking can be deadly.

Warbreaker Annotations (Feb. 7, 2011)
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Brandon Sanderson

Anyway, Nightblood is named for the smoke he leaks, and he originally had a different name when he was created. Vasher himself dubbed the sword Nightblood after he had used it to kill the woman he loved. The blackness that leaks out is actually corrupted and consumed Breaths, the ones that Nightblood leeches off anyone who draws him.

Warbreaker Annotations (April 25, 2011)

As for a Divine Breath, probably not.

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Questioner

Nightblood.  Is there a person-- like are we seeing the outpouring of a sword that can now think more than a sword or was there a person...

Brandon Sanderson

There was--  There were many people who went into that, because it was all the Breaths that were little pieces of people.

Questioner

Okay, but there’s not one person more than another?

Brandon Sanderson

No.  Nope, it attained sapience kind of through sheer weight of Investiture.

Calamity Chicago signing (Feb. 22, 2016)
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Viridian's eldest daughter

Did it take a life to create Nightblood?

Brandon Sanderson

Did it take a life to create Nightblood. It did not. It just required a lot of Breath, which you could assume each one is a little piece of a life so maybe. Multiple lives in that way but no one actually had to die. Good question.

Bands of Mourning release party (Jan. 25, 2016)

 

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