Keeper Exile

The Levels of Savantism

6 posts in this topic

So I was thinking about savantism lately and the difference between the multiple "cases" of savantism. Some, like Spook, were examples of extreme savantism that are not seen anywhere else in terms of the severity. Others, like Vin's pewter and Kelsier's iron and steel savantism, were not as prominent, but still had an effect. That is why I think that there are different levels of savantism. Some are extreme and very noticeable, like Lestibournes, while others are more "mild", like most other savants that we have seen. I made a preliminary list of the levels below:

Extreme Savantism

Rashek

Spook

 

 

Miles

 

Vin

Wax

Kelsier

Less Extreme Savantism

The reason I put Kelseir at the bottom is that his savantism is perhaps the least noticeable out of everyone on the list. In addition, Kelseir's savantism might just be due to his extensive use of the metals and years of practice. I had a hard time placing Miles and Vin, but I think that their places could be optimized.

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For what it's worth, Savantism is likely going to change to the point that what Wax has exhibited is just advanced skill.

 

 

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Brandon Sanderson

Warning, Evgeni. I'm really considering doing a backpedal on savants. The more i think about them, the less I'm not liking how my current course has them being treated in upcoming books. I think it deviates too far from my original vision.

Argent

Hey, I wouldn't normally contact you directly like this, but given that you thought it important enough to reach out and let me know you might change how savants work, I figured you probably wouldn't be too upset by this message. I replied to your Facebook comment, asking if you could clarify a little bit which aspects of savantism you are thinking of keeping and/or cutting. I don't need an essay on the topic (though you know I'd love one!), just some details on what we can consider canon for theories, and what we should be careful around.

Brandon Sanderson

Evgeni,

So here's the problem. The more I dig into savants in the later outlines, the more I feel that I'm in a dangerous area--in that I'm disobeying their original intention. (Which is that using the power so much that it permeates your soul can be dangerous, a kind of uncontrolled version of a spren bond.)

And so, I don't want to let myself just start making people savants right and left. It needs to be a specific thing. Wax is the troubling one, as I have him burning so much steel that he's well on his way, but isn't showing any side effects. If I'm going to give him savant-like abilities, he needs savant-like consequences.

That's the danger, just falling back on savanthood to do some of the things I want, so often that it undermines the actual point and purpose of them in the cosmere lore.

So if I backpedal, it will be to contain this and point myself the right way, sharply curtailing my desire to make people savants without their savanthood being an intrinsic part of their story and conflict in life. (Like it was for Spook, and is for Soulcasting savants on Roshar.)

Feel free to share this.

Argent

Okay, so - if you do decide to go this route, I see the story implications (larger focus on consequences, less easy to get to the point where a character can be considered a savant). What I am not sure about is the potential for a mechanical change. Would a backpedal on your side cause a conflict with information you've shared with us, in or out of your books? Are you saying that it's possible that Wax won't be considered a savant (if you can't squeeze a good ramifications plot for him that doesn't contradict the apparent lack of consequences so far, for example)?

Brandon Sanderson

I haven't decided on anything yet. It's mostly consequences for the future--just a kind of, "be aware I'm not 100% pleased with how Wax turned out, re: savanthood and Allomantic resonance."

The idea of resonance is that two powers, combined, meld kind of into one single power. This is a manifestation of the way Shards combine. Wax was intended as a savant of the two melded powers. But without consequences in his plot, I'm not confident that I'll continue in the same vein for future books.

Footnote: The first message comes from Brandon reaching out to Argent (Evgeni) on Facebook with a follow-up regarding this entry. This rest is from a Reddit PM exchange between Argent and Brandon.
Miscellaneous 2016 (Dec. 15, 2016)


 

 

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6 minutes ago, Quantus said:

For what it's worth, Savantism is likely going to change to the point that what Wax has exhibited is just advanced skill.

 

 

 

And that is what I was thinking with Kelsier and Wax at the bottom of the list. Their savantism is borderline with just skill,  rather than a physical change and consequence (like Brandon said). 

However, what about Vin’s savantism. There have been some WoB’s concerning it, but with this WoB will her classification as a pewter savant change? What is the point at which it is just skill or actually savantism?

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Just now, Keeper Exile said:

And that is what I was thinking with Kelsier and Wax at the bottom of the list. Their savantism is borderline with just skill,  rather than a physical change and consequence (like Brandon said). 

However, what about Vin’s savantism. There have been some WoB’s concerning it, but with this WoB will her classification as a pewter savant change? What is the point at which it is just skill or actually savantism?


Well what we do know is spook flared tin all the time for a year before actually achieving savantism to that degree so I say that Vin burning pewter to stay awake for weeks on end probably had some effect but didn't have a significant effect.

 

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Is there actually WoB that Vin or Kelsier are savants?

All I can remember is Vin being smaller meant she could focus the power in less area (like stabbing someone with the pointy end of a knife vs the blunt end of the hilt) and Kelsier's 'specialty' being iron/steel.

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2 hours ago, jamesbondsmith said:

Is there actually WoB that Vin or Kelsier are savants?

All I can remember is Vin being smaller meant she could focus the power in less area (like stabbing someone with the pointy end of a knife vs the blunt end of the hilt) and Kelsier's 'specialty' being iron/steel.

I do not believe that there is a WoB concerning their savantism, so I guess they are not confirmed savants, and with the above WoB (in which Brandon states he wants to backpedal on savantry) I don’t think they will be considered savants in the future.

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