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2012-04-30: I had the great pleasure of speaking with Harriet McDougal Rigney about her life. She's an amazing talent and person and it will take you less than an hour to agree.
2012-04-24: Some thoughts I had during JordanCon4 and the upcoming conclusion of "The Wheel of Time."
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Can Sazed "will" himself to any Shardworld if he so desires?
Yes, he has the capacity for it. However, will he? Don't know. If he did there would be a lot of ramifications for it...
Will Sazed eventually go mad trying to hold two Shard's power at the same time (being pushed to two different Purposes simultaneously for millennia)? Why hasn't anyone else tried this trick before in the Cosmere?
No. Since they're so opposite they work together to create a whole. However, after a LONG time it would change him as a person.
5. Is Hoid a Herald, or a Shardholder, or something else entirely.
6. Was the letter posted on the top of chapters to Sazed?
7. Barring the Almighty, did we seen a Shardholder (like Sazed) in this book?
5. Hoid is something else entirely.
6. It is written to a character who exists outside of Roshar. I won't yet say who.
7. I think "Shardholder" would get confusing alongside "Shardbearer." Basically, in the Cosmere's terms, when someone holds a Shard of Adonalsium, I call that person a Shard of Adonalsium. They are imbued with the power of that Shard, but they also become the Shard. Fans can use whatever terminology they wish, but this is how I term it.
You did at least see the direct effects of two of the Shards of Adonalsium, but I won't say whether or not you actually saw a Shard of Adonalsium.
I recorded the entire session and, should we get approval to post it (I could understand if Peter would rather we didn't), I'll upload it here. Until then (or instead of that, should we get a "no") here are some details that I recalled on the ride home (no cheating, Peter. I promise!)
- We deal with a bendalloy (Allomantic)/gold (Feruchemical) Twinborn in addition to Wax's steel/iron combo
- The nickname for a iron Feruchemist is a "Slider"
- A nickname for Sazed is "Harmony" (I think)
- The events in the first trilogy have spawned 2 religions: Survivorism (der) and Pathism (followers of Sazed, unless I completely misread things)
- Bendalloy has some very interesting rules/restrictions: once a time bubble is created, it cannot be moved; I had always thought it would follow the misting around as they moved) entering/exiting a time bubble has some interesting effects. You can't shoot out of it, because objects entering/leaving the bendalloy bubble (especially those at high velocity) have some strange kind of conservation-of-energy-like effect, where they gain some kind of spin and ricochet in a different direction. I can't help but extrapolate what this means for individuals trying to enter/leave the stationary bubble. Maybe if it's done slowly (like with a shield in Dune), it's OK. We'll have to theorize on that until the novel comes out.
- [This one might already be known, but it sounded new to me] The third Mistborn trilogy will be sci-fi, involving space travel. Crossovers, anyone? This might be the beginning of the final stage of Unity
Kel said he ended atium production for a few hundred years. Will atium reappear in Alloy and such, or did Sazed move the Pits?
In Alloy of Law are people still Snapping?
Sazed chose to alter the way Snapping works. It bothered him. It does happen, but differently.
Oh, and another little tidbit,
The person who gave Wax his earring was the kandra, MeLaan.
Also, that Kandra are working as "Sazed's Angels". And their role is primarily to go along fixing things by Sazed's Will. Brettin was killed towards the end of the book, but not in the storyline related plot. Sazed saw this, and told Tensoon to go get his bones, which is why he wasnt able to imitate him properly.
One person asked what metal Wax's earring was made of.
He wouldn't say which metal, however he did confirm that it does have a "slight hemalurgic charge".
Hey Brandon! As much as I want to fan-gush, I'll keep it short so you can get back to your A Memory of Light drafting.
How was Sazed/Harmony able to communicate with Waxillium near the end of the book? During the original trilogy, Ruin could occasionally implant thoughts into people's minds, but he couldn't just listen in whenever he felt like it. Is Harmony just way more powerful?
There is interesting discussion about this one below, which I like to see. I thought this might spark some discussion. Remember that human beings were given more of preservation than Ruin during their creation, which led to Preservation eventually being overwhelmed by Ruin. That was the bargain; people would be of preservation at their core, but in turn Ruin got to claim the world once Preservation wound down.
Another factor to consider here is that Wax was given a special earring designed for communication with a being that he actually worships.
I'm not sure how free we are around here with spoilers regarding the Mistborn trilogy, so I'll try my best to avoid anything that will get me strung up.
The Mistborn trilogy left everything on the table, so to speak, with regards to the validity of a particular religion and its deitie(s). I worried the final scenario left no room for other religions to manifest in that world thereafter, and yet here we have Alloy of Law, which involved a few different religions (some of which we -the readers- know to be false) and somehow it seemed to work. My questions are:
1.What were some general challenges that you had to deal with when establishing the religious backdrop of the story?
2.Though you include brief examples of interaction with a deity in the novel, can you further explain some of the limits of that deity's ability to interact with the world in which the story takes place? The brief explanation in the novel seemed rushed. Then again, there didn't seem to be room for much philosophical debate during the awesome actions scenes.
Thank you for taking the time out of your day to deal with questions like these.
You covered the biggest challenge. However, you have to remember that as a religious person, I do believe in God in our world--and we have a ton of religions, many of which are related and interpreting the same concepts and scriptures in many different ways.
As for this deity, you're right--this book didn't have the space for a lot of philosophy. However, I can get into it a little bit here. He does not interact partially because of his innate nature, which allows him to see many different sides of a lot of different debates and activities. On the other hand, I am a firm believer that the nature of free will demands people to actually be given opportunities to make decisions. Stopping them just before, ala Minority Report, doesn't cut it for me. So, the deity in question feels he must be very careful about direct involvement, instead letting people act and react--and letting choices be made.
That said, I want him to be involved. Just more in a "I give people the tools they need to accomplish goodness," rather than "I'll just step in and make sure everyone does everything right."
Are there 50 Allomantic Metals?
Nearly. Does Harmony have a metal?
Is that an alloy of Lerasium and Atium?
You're along the right lines.
So in the trilogy, we see that when someone has a Hemalurgic spike implanted in them, they can hear Ruin talking to them, both as a vision and in their head. However, we learn in the Hero of Ages that Ruin cannot hear a person's thoughts no matter how much under Ruin's influence they are.
In Alloy of Law, we see that Wax (and other Pathians) uses an earring to "pray" to Harmony, and we see that Harmony can hear his thoughts and respond.
So I guess this leads to three questions:
1. How does Harmony hear the thoughts of Wax, when it's explicitly pointed put that Ruin cannot?
2. Are the earrings that the Pathians use Hemalurgicly charged, as otherwise they would be of no use to Ruin, and therefore Harmony?
3. Or did Harmony completely change how that aspect of Hemalugy works?
How this all works dates back to the original design of the Magic system.
I wanted Ruin and Preservation to be complimentary opposites, like many things in the Mistborn world. Allomancy, for example, has Pushes and Pulls were are less "negate one another" opposites, but instead two sides to the same proverbial coin.
Ruin is invasive. The power is more "Yell" than "Listen." The philosopher would probably have some interesting things to say about the masculine symbolism of Hemalurgy and its spikes.
Ruin can insert thoughts. That power, however, can't HEAR the reactions. It's about invasion.
Preservation, however, is the opposite. Preservation listens, Preservation protects. (Perhaps to a fault—if there were no Ruin, there would be no change to the world, and life could not exist.) Because of this, Preservation can hear what is inside people's minds. It cannot, however, INSERT thoughts. (This is important to the plot of Hero of Ages.)
Harmony is both, the two complimentary opposites combined. And so, he inserts thoughts with Ruin and still uses Hemalurgy. He can also listen.
Yes, Wax's earring is Invested. (Or, in other terms, it's a Hemalurgic spike.)
Somewhere in the italicized pre-chapter blurb of the prologue here is the clue one needs to figure out the over-arching mystery of the entire series. If you figure it out, good for you! If you don't, you'll have to wait until the last chapter of the final book to get it explained. . . .
So are Shards the most powerful thing in the Cosmere?
Or is Adonalsium?
No, no, let him RAFO the first one first, or he'll lump them together.
It depends on what you believe. The Shards are the most powerful things currently overtly manifest. There are those who would say there are other subtle forces being manifest. Most people in the know would say that Shards are the most powerful thing.
Does Hoid believe that Shards are the most powerful thing?
You'll have to ask him sometime. [gives troll grin]. Or see him get asked something like that sometime. There's argument to be made that right now Harmony is the most powerful thing in the Cosmere.
You've said that Splintering a shard is essentially the same thing as the shattering of Adonalsium, repeated on a smaller scale.
And a while ago, someone asked you if Splintering was permanent or reversible, and you said that it can be reversed.
And shard holders tend to take the name of the shard they hold. So you've got Sazed, who goes by "Harmony" now, after taking up Ruin and Preservation. That makes me wonder, does he hold two shards... or one?
You could really answer that either way. The distinction is a really subjective one, and you could say that he's holding both shards, or that he holds one single Harmony.
If Odium were lured to Scadrial, would his physical body turn into a burnable metal? If so, could Harmony create an Odium-metal legion of Mistings to consume and burn it? Would that weaken him sufficiently enough to be killed or destroyed?
The difficulty here is, again, one of Identity. People born on Scadrial have an Identity tied to it and its magic. Odium would have to do certain things to make them able to use a magic he fuels. He has done these things on Roshar, so it's not impossible for him to manage it on Scadrial.
Thanks so much for all your writing, Way of Kings is the best book I've read in the last decade.
If Sazed were to die, would he drop the shards Ruin and Preservation, or would he drop the shard Harmony?
Excellent question. The shards are now intermingled, and would take effort to split apart. He would drop Harmony. (This is what Odium feared would happen, by the way.)
If I can ask a question, I just read the Mistborn trilogy and, were Preservation and Ruin two different shards or a single one with their power split somehow? If they were two shards, does that mean a single person can hold more than one, since Harmony apparently holds both now?
They were two shards.
Yes, one entity can hold more than one. Remember that holding a shard changes you, over time. Rayse knows this, and prefers to leave behind destroyed rivals as opposed to taking their power and potentially being overwhelmed by it.
I have a question, if you are willing. Would Ruin be more compatible with Rayse, would he pick up that shard had he visited Scadrial and shattered him? All the shards we have seen that he has shattered seem rather different in intent than him—Honor, Cultivation, Love, Dominion. But Ruin seems more in line with Odium. Rayse has ruined the days of quite a few people.
Technically, Ruin would be most compatible with Cultivation. Ruin's 'theme' so to speak is that all things must age and pass. An embodiment of entropy. That power, separated from the whole and being held by a person who did not have the willpower to resist its transformation of him, led to something very dangerous. But it was not evil. None of the sixteen technically are, though you may have read that Hoid has specific beef with Rayse. Whether you think of Odium as evil depends upon how much you agree with Hoid's particular view.
That said, Ruin would have been one of the 'safer' of the sixteen for Rayse to take, if he'd been about that. Odium is by its nature selfish, however, and the combination of it and Rayse makes for an entity that fears an additional power would destroy it and make it into something else.
Is Harmony involved in more of them, or is he… does he keep his attention on the main one.
Harmony considers himself to be the god of all of them.