Voidspawn

Are WoBs Actually Canon?

16 posts in this topic

I was looking up details on Releasers, and came up with a post (https://wob.coppermind.net/events/373-skyward-chicago-signing/#e12048)

Spoiler

Questioner

Any new Dustbringers in Stormlight Four?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, there will be.

However, there were no new Releasers in RoW. Instead, we got [Dawnshard Spoilers]

Spoiler

Ral-na, King of the Reshi Isles. Discovered in Dawnshard.

Therefore, we were lied to in a WoB. What does this mean?

The best thing I can think of to sum this up is, "Mmm... lies."

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8 minutes ago, Voidspawn said:

I was looking up details on Releasers, and came up with a post (https://wob.coppermind.net/events/373-skyward-chicago-signing/#e12048)

  Hide contents

Questioner

Any new Dustbringers in Stormlight Four?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, there will be.

However, there were no new Releasers in RoW. Instead, we got [Dawnshard Spoilers]

  Hide contents

Ral-na, King of the Reshi Isles. Discovered in Dawnshard.

Therefore, we were lied to in a WoB. What does this mean?

The best thing I can think of to sum this up is, "Mmm... lies."

Um... he told us Kelsier was dead a few times before HoA and not coming back which was very much a lie seeing as all three books were written together.

He referred to the blade that killed Shallan’s mother as ‘he’ several times, despite Testament being female.

This is really more minor; he obviously switched where he planned to mention the king.

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WOB are not canon. The books are canon. WOB is a stressed out and tired author answering every random question people can think of.

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They are semi-canon. The information in them can be considered canonical unless contradicted in the books (except of course when the author is rectifying errors or doing retcons)

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Yeah not canon. He holds the power to retcon and has stated that he will retcon WoB if required for story telling purposes:

Quote
YouTube Livestream 23 (Dec. 17, 2020)
#6 Share Copy
 
Play/PaMaxwell Goode

Before he betrayed Bridge Four, had Moash attracted the attention of any Honorspren, like the other members of Bridge Four?

Brandon Sanderson

So this was pretty early, so I would say probably not. But that's a RAFO. I can see opportunities in the future where I would want to retcon that. I don't think he did, I don't think most of them were attracting spren until middle of Oathbringer or early in Oathbringer, when we actually had kind of a mass influx of Honorspren who decided not to follow the rules and kind of, as a group, came looking for Knights Radiant. But it's not outside the realm of possiblity that Moash had attracted a rogue Honorspren like Syl. I don't have it right now as happening.

I am pretty sure there's one more instance where Brandon has stated he would retcon if needed, I can't find it at the moment.

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Thanks!

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Brandon commented on this recently:

Quote

Adam Horne

Do you reserve the right when you answer one of these questions, to change your mind later?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, it doesn't happen that often, but I do mention that, on occasion, that Words of Brandon are not as strong as the book continuity. You have to understand when I'm answering these things, I'm answering as I feel right now, and there are times where the book demands rewrites to not-yet-canon things in the books. Occasionally it requires rewrites to small canon things. Like when we decided, "When Brandon wrote Way of Kings, he used too many metaphors that they just wouldn't use." And we went ahead and tweaked some of those. That's a thing we don't like to do very often, but there are certain times where the book can just genuinely be improved by changing and tweaking a few things. We do sometimes take those steps when we're doing an updated version for the leatherbound or something like that.

But I don't really consider the things that I'm telling you as Words of Brandon to be canon. I consider them insight into the development process of the stories at their current state, and there are things that I will change. This just happens when you're writing a book, where you're like, "Wow, that thing I was planning; that was a bad idea." I can either keep consistent with what I've said and what I was planning and make a worse book, or I can make a stronger book. I try to consider the books as they're written to be canon, revising at that point. Except for ways I have tricked you and things like that (I try to avoid that), but I do not take much into consideration what I've said. I do take it into consideration, but it's not going to prevent me from writing a better book, how about that.

YouTube Livestream 23 (Dec. 17, 2020)

 

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I wonder if any of the Dustbringers got caught up in the tower's defenses being turned against Radiants or if Taravangian quietly instructed them to be out of the tower. I can't remember if the book indicated that they were unconscious with the others or not.

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2 hours ago, Harrycrapper said:

I wonder if any of the Dustbringers got caught up in the tower's defenses being turned against Radiants or if Taravangian quietly instructed them to be out of the tower. I can't remember if the book indicated that they were unconscious with the others or not.

I think Brandon has something big planned for Dustbringers that would have been slightly spoiled had he clarified their status. If there were any Dustbringers fighting for the good guys, they would have been at the big battle, not hanging out in the tower. But we don't even know if the good guys have any Dustbringers. We know Taravangian had one, and there's a king up north that is one. That's really about it.

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16 minutes ago, Leuthie said:

I think Brandon has something big planned for Dustbringers that would have been slightly spoiled had he clarified their status. If there were any Dustbringers fighting for the good guys, they would have been at the big battle, not hanging out in the tower. But we don't even know if the good guys have any Dustbringers. We know Taravangian had one, and there's a king up north that is one. That's really about it.

It's been a bit since I read Dawnshard, but they did say Dustbringers not Dustbringer. I just assumed there was more than one before the Reshi king showed up but they all defer to Malata who is clearly loyal to Taravangian. 

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It can also be interesting to notice when Brandon changes his answers.

For example: Brandon stated several times that Kelsier was unlikely to appear in SA. From 2019 forward, since he started plotting SA4&5 and writing RoW, he’s RAFOd it instead.

Personal theory: when plotting the two books he moved the Thaidakar reveal from KOWT to RoW. So we can actually learn things by seeing which answers he’s changed from yeses or nos to RAFOs.

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On the recent Shardcast he was a guest on, Brandon said that a WoB is basically what he plans to do in the future, but those plans can change as the stories evolve.  The only canon is what actually shows up in the published books.

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On 1/22/2021 at 1:57 AM, HoidIsAdonalsium said:

Yeah not canon. He holds the power to retcon and has stated that he will retcon WoB if required for story telling purposes:

I am pretty sure there's one more instance where Brandon has stated he would retcon if needed, I can't find it at the moment.

Heck, he's even retconned his WoBs, most notably about how it is that Rashek became Mistborn, which mechanism is never mentioned in the books. At first, it was implied in the books and borne out by a WoB that he did so by consuming a lerasium bead the way that Elend did; later, that he had collected the beads to distribute to others, but had directly modified his own Spiritweb while Ascended to be an even stronger Allomancer than a lerasium one.

Why he'd bother to do that is worth thinking about.

Personally I'd rather see him address the apparent conflicting stories of how Kelsier and Marsh grew up, how they were exposed as skaa, and how their parents lived and died - as mentioned in a recent thread, not only does Marsh's account to Vin not jibe with what Kelsier tells her in TFE, neither account jibes with Kelsier's own POV thoughts to himself about his past with Marsh in Mistborn: Secret History, which version you'd think the most accurate of all - because while Marsh and Kelsier might have reasons to want to sugarcoat or emphasize different elements of their past in talking about it to Vin, if he's dead and thinking to himself, why would he lie?

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2 hours ago, robardin said:

Heck, he's even retconned his WoBs, most notably about how it is that Rashek became Mistborn, which mechanism is never mentioned in the books. At first, it was implied in the books and borne out by a WoB that he did so by consuming a lerasium bead the way that Elend did; later, that he had collected the beads to distribute to others, but had directly modified his own Spiritweb while Ascended to be an even stronger Allomancer than a lerasium one.

Why he'd bother to do that is worth thinking about.

Personally I'd rather see him address the apparent conflicting stories of how Kelsier and Marsh grew up, how they were exposed as skaa, and how their parents lived and died - as mentioned in a recent thread, not only does Marsh's account to Vin not jibe with what Kelsier tells her in TFE, neither account jibes with Kelsier's own POV thoughts to himself about his past with Marsh in Mistborn: Secret History, which version you'd think the most accurate of all - because while Marsh and Kelsier might have reasons to want to sugarcoat or emphasize different elements of their past in talking about it to Vin, if he's dead and thinking to himself, why would he lie?

I did manage to create a non-contradictory answer... with difficulty. Their father was an Obligator who killed their mother and himself. They were adopted and raised by noble relatives, and left once their adoptive parents died.

Yes, a murder/suicide and giving them a second set of parents is literally the only way all the accounts add up to anything remotely plausible.

Any additional words of Brandon will probably just make the above WORSE at this point...

In other news, he created a non-canon WoB on the Shardcast. As in “this isn’t canon, because I’m going to try and come up with something better, but right now this is the idea in my head.” (Regarding Kelsier using a Seon and a cloak to con the GBs into thinking he has an avatar.)

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6 hours ago, Mason Wheeler said:

On the recent Shardcast he was a guest on, Brandon said that a WoB is basically what he plans to do in the future, but those plans can change as the stories evolve.  The only canon is what actually shows up in the published books.

Exactly.

He has an outline for the Cosmere as a whole and current projects. And he has the Dragonsteel stuff as sort of an endpoint. But when it comes time to write the book he's not like, "oh no, I told that dumb kid in Austin that Dalinar dies in book 5! Well back to the drawing board."

Apologies to dumb kids in Austin.

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12 hours ago, KSub said:

Exactly.

He has an outline for the Cosmere as a whole and current projects. And he has the Dragonsteel stuff as sort of an endpoint. But when it comes time to write the book he's not like, "oh no, I told that dumb kid in Austin that Dalinar dies in book 5! Well back to the drawing board."

Apologies to dumb kids in Austin.

LOL at Brandon's inner monologue being deeply cynical and mean, yet honoring what he tells them. "What if Lift combines her surgebinding powers to get out of this jam. Oh wait I told that ****er Argent that Radiants can't do that. Drat!"

As he laid out in the recent Shardcast he gives himself options of how things are gonna go and he reserves the right to change something if he thinks of a better idea as he's writing. 

Another thing pointed out on the Shardcast is sometimes he's just wrong because he doesn't have his notes in front of him. Even on the Shardcast he got the timeline of when MB Era 2 and SA front 5 take place in relation to each other mixed up. Those two series don't intersect much in the published books so it's just a background fact. He has his own internal wikipedia to keep track of this stuff. To quote Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade:

i-wrote-it-down-so-that-i-wouldnt-have-to-remember-it.jpg.8eab54dbd88f6b8a923755693bce1eb2.jpg

 

Edited by Child of Hodor
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