Kalaksbreath

could a Kandra have a child?

19 posts in this topic

I was just wondering if a kandar wanted to have a child could it replicate the requisite parts to give birth to one.

 

I was thinking of MeLaan and Wayne even though they would both probably be bad parents unless they took the "role" of being a parent.

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21 minutes ago, Kalaksbreath said:

I was just wondering if a kandar wanted to have a child could it replicate the requisite parts to give birth to one.

 

I was thinking of MeLaan and Wayne even though they would both probably be bad parents unless they took the "role" of being a parent.

Short answer, yes. WoB below:

 

Questioner

If a kandra and a human were to have a baby, what would that baby be like?

Brandon Sanderson

I would say that right now… It would depend... The kandra would have to remain in human form, keep the same body, and then would give birth to a human. If it was a woman [human] with a man [kandra], it wouldn’t be that big of a deal, with a kandra. Does that make sense? Because when the kandra is in human form, they can identically recreate the bodily functions and things if they want to.

Calamity Chicago signing (Feb. 22, 2016)
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@Pathfinder thank you that what I thought would be the case 

 

I kinda want MeLaan and Wayne to have a kid

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I actually really want to ask Brandon that at some point where he has a lot of time to answer. Because yeah, he says he thinks they could but..Does that mean that their body will automatically know what hormones to produce at what time in order to get the fetus to develop? I ask because kandra imitate, and they can't imitate what they haven't sampled, experienced or practiced with, and none of them would have any idea what hormones to create in order to successfully carry through a pregnancy. Like, they can't even grow hair. So the idea that they could actually create all the systems needed to support a fetus, and have them work exactly right is a little strange.

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Posted (edited)

12 minutes ago, RShara said:

I actually really want to ask Brandon that at some point where he has a lot of time to answer. Because yeah, he says he thinks they could but..Does that mean that their body will automatically know what hormones to produce at what time in order to get the fetus to develop? I ask because kandra imitate, and they can't imitate what they haven't sampled, experienced or practiced with, and none of them would have any idea what hormones to create in order to successfully carry through a pregnancy. Like, they can't even grow hair. So the idea that they could actually create all the systems needed to support a fetus, and have them work exactly right is a little strange.

I kinda get the sense that a kandras are pretty smart about the human body like when MeLaan is able to fix up Marasi (if I remember MeLaan talks about some things that modern science is just barely able to do I think it was skin graphing) plus kandar have been doing a lot of experimenting on what they are capable of.

 

(edit): plus kandar all live for like 600+ years and have a better understanding of the human body than any given human could.

Edited by Kalaksbreath
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2 minutes ago, Kalaksbreath said:

I kinda get the sense that a kandras are pretty smart about the human body like when MeLaan is able to fix up Marasi (if I remember MeLaan talks about some things that modern science is just barely able to do I think it was skin graphing) plus kandar have been doing a lot of experimenting on what they are capable of.

Very true. I'd just like to get all of that clarified, because I'm not entirely sure Brandon knows how complicated a pregnancy is. It's not just making a uterus, there are hormones and things that need to be generated at just the right time, and a bunch of stuff.

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1 minute ago, RShara said:

Very true. I'd just like to get all of that clarified, because I'm not entirely sure Brandon knows how complicated a pregnancy is. It's not just making a uterus, there are hormones and things that need to be generated at just the right time, and a bunch of stuff.

true enough

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There's also narrative issues:

Quote

Questioner

Could a kandra imitating a human have a child with the human?

Brandon Sanderson

So, I kinda go back and forth on this. So-- 'Cause I think about it, then I tweak the magic, and I think "no this isn't possible," and then I go back, and I'm like, "but..." So it kinda comes down to a lot of things, such as, would I want a DNA test to be able to determine if a kandra is real or not. And I haven't canonized that yet, so your answer is, Read And Find Out, once I decide. I go back and forth on that one so much.

Oathbringer release party (Nov. 13, 2017)

 

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On 3/13/2020 at 3:19 PM, RShara said:

Very true. I'd just like to get all of that clarified, because I'm not entirely sure Brandon knows how complicated a pregnancy is. It's not just making a uterus, there are hormones and things that need to be generated at just the right time, and a bunch of stuff.

I would imagine if they replicated a human body exactly, all the hormones and such would work on their own. I mean, a real human doesn't need to control the process consciously or know how it works, so if all the soft tissue is 100% identical to a human's... The only problems, I'd imagine, would be if there is any interaction with bone marrow or anything.

As Dreamer points out, even Brandon hasn't completely decided kandra limits; we probably won't have a final answer until Era 3 books come out. But some of the things kandra have been observed doing in the Era 2 books, IMO, kind of lean toward them being able to do total imitation at the molecular level (otherwise, Marasi's immune system would probably have rejected MeLaan's patch).

But this does kind of lead to narrative problems, as then a kandra with months to spend on it could grow bones (by first growing the cells that produce bones), and for that matter (once their scientific knowledge advances far enough) could become almost unlimited biotech factories,,,

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I don't think growing bones would help. It's not just Physical laws that applies here, the bones are probably relevant Spiritually

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On 3/14/2020 at 6:21 PM, cometaryorbit said:

I would imagine if they replicated a human body exactly, all the hormones and such would work on their own. I mean, a real human doesn't need to control the process consciously or know how it works, so if all the soft tissue is 100% identical to a human's... The only problems, I'd imagine, would be if there is any interaction with bone marrow or anything.

As Dreamer points out, even Brandon hasn't completely decided kandra limits; we probably won't have a final answer until Era 3 books come out. But some of the things kandra have been observed doing in the Era 2 books, IMO, kind of lean toward them being able to do total imitation at the molecular level (otherwise, Marasi's immune system would probably have rejected MeLaan's patch).

But this does kind of lead to narrative problems, as then a kandra with months to spend on it could grow bones (by first growing the cells that produce bones), and for that matter (once their scientific knowledge advances far enough) could become almost unlimited biotech factories,,,

Maybe? I mean, you'd think if it was just replicating a human body 100% exactly, they should be able to grow hair, right? And they can't.

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Posted (edited)

9 hours ago, RShara said:

Maybe? I mean, you'd think if it was just replicating a human body 100% exactly, they should be able to grow hair, right? And they can't.

I thought the idea is because they cannot digest hair (keratin), nails (keratin) and bone (partially calcium) to replicate it, but they can digest muscle, tissue, and fat. Given that hormones are not produced by the skeletal structure, I would imagine they would be able to mimic the organs, and glands that produce and secrete the hormones. An interesting question would be as technology advances, could it be possible to detect a kandra based on a specific type of white blood cell content being low or non-existent due to the bones not producing it. 

 

edit: doing a little further digging, this may not be a problem for a Kandra either. They are essentially all stem cells that they can differentiate at any time. So there should be no reason that they couldn't without the aid of bone barrow, produce more red and white cells. So I think it really just comes down to the skeletal structure, the hair, and nails are unable to be digested and replicated, but every other process seems to be capable. 

Edited by Pathfinder
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Excluding out-of-world explanations (like "when Mistborn was first written there wasn't quite so much of a team of experts looking at the books before publication"), I think the limits are likely Realmatic, not biological.

Because yeah, things like bone and hair are ultimately derived from "soft" tissues. We know they can grow tendons and stuff, that's connective tissue... there really is no line on the cellular level that makes sense.

If Kandra can get the blood right, fix Marasi,  adjust their own immune systems ... there really shouldn't be much limit on what they can do besides processes that would require high temperatures or pressures. (So no growing steel body parts, but spider silk, poison dart frog poison, anything that can be made by any living creature or any room-temperature organic chemistry ought to be viable if they knew how.)

On the other hand... there is that bit about mistwraiths being humans with a Cognitive blockage. Kandra are kind of a "half" fix to that, using Hemalurgy to "bypass" the blockage. So I think there may be a Cognitive or Spiritual (from the Hemalurgy) limit of some sort that prevents them from completely replicating humans.

On another other hand, even without the Realmatics, if a kandra really imitated a person perfectly down to the molecular level, it would then effectively be human... it would have to be distinguishable from human, at some level, to keep the shape-changing ability, immortality/super-longevity, etc.

So who knows...

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Another interesting thing to keep in mind is the impact of the soul in the cosmere. Even if the Kandra could replicate the biological aspect, what would the soul look like? Human, human with a little extra, unstable, flat out won't work? I would suspect human, or human with a little extra, but something to keep in mind.

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On 3/13/2020 at 4:19 PM, RShara said:

Very true. I'd just like to get all of that clarified, because I'm not entirely sure Brandon knows how complicated a pregnancy is. It's not just making a uterus, there are hormones and things that need to be generated at just the right time, and a bunch of stuff.

Yabbut Brandon doesn't have to know. It's the kandra who have to know, and they have had plenty of time to practice! Maybe this is why they're not allowed to go out on missions until they're over 300 years old!

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Posted (edited)

26 minutes ago, Wandering Investor said:

Another interesting thing to keep in mind is the impact of the soul in the cosmere. Even if the Kandra could replicate the biological aspect, what would the soul look like? Human, human with a little extra, unstable, flat out won't work? I would suspect human, or human with a little extra, but something to keep in mind.

I don't think the soul of a child in the Cosmere is a combination from the souls of its parents - I doubt the parents are losing pieces of their souls when they have children!

Whatever the "spark of life" is, Cosmere-speaking of course, it's (a) related to or composed of Investiture and (b) something related to the Spiritual Realm, Identity, consciousness, and the Beyond.

Most people in the Cosmere are descended from pre-Shattering populations, so whatever mechanism is in place to implant that spark into people as they're born was already there when various Shards began tinkering or linking up with it for their local populations. The deepest Connection would be from Preservation to Scadrians, who were created from nothing by the concerted action of him and Ruin, and to who he "gave more of himself" to kickstart the Spark of Life engine.

Edited by robardin
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6 hours ago, cometaryorbit said:

Excluding out-of-world explanations (like "when Mistborn was first written there wasn't quite so much of a team of experts looking at the books before publication"), I think the limits are likely Realmatic, not biological.

Because yeah, things like bone and hair are ultimately derived from "soft" tissues. We know they can grow tendons and stuff, that's connective tissue... there really is no line on the cellular level that makes sense.

If Kandra can get the blood right, fix Marasi,  adjust their own immune systems ... there really shouldn't be much limit on what they can do besides processes that would require high temperatures or pressures. (So no growing steel body parts, but spider silk, poison dart frog poison, anything that can be made by any living creature or any room-temperature organic chemistry ought to be viable if they knew how.)

On the other hand... there is that bit about mistwraiths being humans with a Cognitive blockage. Kandra are kind of a "half" fix to that, using Hemalurgy to "bypass" the blockage. So I think there may be a Cognitive or Spiritual (from the Hemalurgy) limit of some sort that prevents them from completely replicating humans.

On another other hand, even without the Realmatics, if a kandra really imitated a person perfectly down to the molecular level, it would then effectively be human... it would have to be distinguishable from human, at some level, to keep the shape-changing ability, immortality/super-longevity, etc.

So who knows...

I guess the point I was trying to make, is if they cannot digest the bone, nails, and hair, how will they know how to replicate those particular aspects of that particular person correctly? She had to eat a bit of Marasi to replicate the skin, and even then wasn't sure it would take because it could still turn necrotic. Here is the scene:

 

"Oh. I caught a hole in the intestines, as you'd guessed. Sewed that up tight, using some catgut I made from some spare intestines I had brewing. I patched it with some of my flesh grafted on."

"She'll reject the flesh"

"Nah. I took a bite and replicated her skin. Her body will think it's hers"

.....(few sentences down)......

"Is tht the part of me you.... um.... ate?" Marasi asked

"No, just what was leaking" Melaan said "That grafted patch over the wound should hold until you heal on your own - I melded it to your veins and capillaries. It's going to get itchy, but don't scratch it, and let me know if it starts to go necrotic"

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12 hours ago, Pathfinder said:

I guess the point I was trying to make, is if they cannot digest the bone, nails, and hair, how will they know how to replicate those particular aspects of that particular person correctly?

That's possible too, at least for bones (assuming they don't eat the living cells and soft-tissue inside the bones). But I think if they ate a whole person (except bones) they would get the cells that produce the hair and nails.

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14 hours ago, Wandering Investor said:

Another interesting thing to keep in mind is the impact of the soul in the cosmere. Even if the Kandra could replicate the biological aspect, what would the soul look like? Human, human with a little extra, unstable, flat out won't work? I would suspect human, or human with a little extra, but something to keep in mind.

 

13 hours ago, robardin said:

I don't think the soul of a child in the Cosmere is a combination from the souls of its parents - I doubt the parents are losing pieces of their souls when they have children!

Whatever the "spark of life" is, Cosmere-speaking of course, it's (a) related to or composed of Investiture and (b) something related to the Spiritual Realm, Identity, consciousness, and the Beyond.

Most people in the Cosmere are descended from pre-Shattering populations, so whatever mechanism is in place to implant that spark into people as they're born was already there when various Shards began tinkering or linking up with it for their local populations. The deepest Connection would be from Preservation to Scadrians, who were created from nothing by the concerted action of him and Ruin, and to who he "gave more of himself" to kickstart the Spark of Life engine.

I think they have human Spiritual aspects already, or rather basically human modified by Hemalurgy - mistwraiths are humans with a "Cognitive blockage", and Hemalurgy kind of bypasses that blockage to create kandra.

The part of a person that goes Beyond appears to be the Cognitive, not the Spiritual. It's interesting to note that in Secret History dead koloss appear as humans in the Cognitive Realm.

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