art by Jake Johnson

Theoryland Resources

WoT Interview Search

Search the most comprehensive database of interviews and book signings from Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson and the rest of Team Jordan.

Wheel of Time News

An Hour With Harriet

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.

The Bell Tolls

2012-04-24: Some thoughts I had during JordanCon4 and the upcoming conclusion of "The Wheel of Time."

Theoryland Community

Members: 7611

Logged In (1): Khoram,

Newest Members:johnroserking, petermorris, johnadanbvv, AndrewHB, jofwu, Salemcat1, Dhakatimesnews, amazingz, Sasooner, Hasib123,

Theoryland Tweets

WoT Interview Search

Home | Interview Database

Your search for the tag 'szeth' yielded 54 results

  • 1

    Interview: Sep 13th, 2010

    Patrick

    Over your previous books you've developed a reputation as the 'magic system guy'. Was it therefore a deliberate move to hold back on the magic in The Way of Kings, at least compared to your earlier books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, it was. That's a very astute question. I've written a blog post that I'm not satisfied with, but that I'll probably be revising and posting very soon, that is going to talk about this. When I finished the Mistborn trilogy and Warbreaker, I felt that there were a few things that were becoming Brandon clichés that I needed to deal with. I don't mind being known as the magic system guy. But when I become known ONLY as the magic system guy, that worries me. It isn't that I sat down with this series and said, well, I'm gonna show them, I'm not going to do a magic system. But when I planned this series, it was not appropriate for me to shoehorn in a lot of the magic system in book one. Though my agent suggested that I do just that. He said, look, this is what you're known for, this is what people read you for; if you don't have this it's going to be glaringly obvious. My response was that I would hope that story and character are what carries a book, not any sort of gimmick—well, gimmick is the wrong word.

    Something that I pondered and wrote about a lot—just to myself—is that Mistborn was postmodern fantasy. If you look at the trilogy, in each of those books I intentionally took one aspect of the hero's journey and played with it, turned it on its head, and tried very hard to look at it postmodernly, in which I as a writer was aware of the tropes of the genre while writing and expected readers to be aware of them, to be able to grasp the full fun of what I was doing. And that worried me—that was fun with Mistborn, but I didn't want to become known as the postmodern fantasy guy, because inherently you have to rely on the genre conventions in order to tell your story—even if you're not exploiting them in the same way, you're still exploiting them.

    For that reason, I didn't want to write The Way of Kings as a postmodern fantasy. Or in other words, I didn't want to change it into one. And I also didn't want to change it into a book that became only about the magic, or at least not to the extent that Warbreaker was. I like Warbreaker; I think it turned out wonderfully. But I wanted to use the magic in this book as an accent. Personally, I think it's still as full of magic as the others, but the magic is happening much more behind the scenes, such as with the spren I've talked about in other interviews, which are all about the magic. We haven't mentioned Shardplate and Shardblades, but those are a very powerful and important part of the magic system, and a more important part of the world. I did intentionally include Szeth's scenes doing what he does with the Lashings to show that there was this magic in the world, but it just wasn't right for this book for that to be the focus. I do wonder what people will say about that. I wonder if that will annoy people who read the book. But again, this is its own book, its own series, and in the end I decided that the book would be as the story demanded, not be what whatever a Brandon Sanderson book should be. As a writer, that's the sort of trap that I don't want to fall into.

    Tags

  • 2

    Interview: Nov 8th, 2010

    Question

    What's up with Szeth? (The Way of Kings)

    Brandon Sanderson

    He's very bound by his honor, but very messed up psychologically.

    Tags

  • 3

    Interview: Oct 15th, 2010

    17th Shard

    On later Stormlight Archive novels will there always be one character we get to see flashbacks for?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, and it should rotate to different characters. I have not yet decided who gets book two yet. It's really between Dalinar and Shallan and I go back and forth on whose story I want to tell next.

    17TH SHARD

    So, does that mean there's going to be 10 different characters that would be seen?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's very likely there will be 10 different characters. The only caveat on that is that part of me really wants to do a second Kaladin book. And so I haven't quite decided who gets flashback books. You can probably guess from reading this book some of them who do. But there are some that don't necessarily absolutely need them, so Kaladin may get a second flashback book.

    17TH SHARD

    So, fingers crossed, fingers crosses, will Szeth get one?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Szeth will get a book.

    17TH SHARD

    YES! (laughter) We're all cheering.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, Szeth will get a book. Shallan and Dalinar will get books.

    17TH SHARD

    Adolin?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    UmÖI'm not sure on him yet. He's one that could, maybe not. I mean he's got some interesting things going on but we'll see how the series progresses first. There are characters who will get flashback books that you haven't yet met or at least not spent much time with.

    Tags

  • 4

    Interview: Jul 11th, 2012

    Brandon Sanderson

    EXCLUSIVE FIVE:

    Szeth Shirt (from The Way of Kings)
    Launching at SDCC will be the new Szeth shirt from The Way of Kings. Wear the Assassin in White proudly on your torso. :) This shirt is based off of the concept art Ben (Inkthinker) McSweeney did for Szeth when I pitched the series to Tor. I loved his rendition of Szeth so much, we ended up using Ben's image for the Szeth chapter icon in the books.

    These will be for sale eventually on InkWing's website. But for now, the place to get them is SDCC!

    Tags

  • 5

    Interview: Apr 14th, 2012

    Question

    Have you chosen a flashback character for book two of Stormlight Archive yet?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. I have chosen to use Shallan as the flashback character for Stormlight Two. I feel that her narrative is the best one right here, and so I pretty much filled out the first five, 'cause Stormlight's in two five-book narratives, where we're going to anchor it with Kaladin is the first one and Dalinar is the last one, and then we'll use Shallan, Szeth is number three, and then probably Navani is number four. That's the one I haven't nailed down yet. It's either Navani or a character I can't tell you yet.

    Tags

  • 6

    Interview: Feb 7th, 2013

    Question

    Why do the Shardblades in the Stormlight Archive have the effect on flesh (human tissue) that they do?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He originally wrote the scene in the prologue with the assassin Szeth using a traditional sword, but it was so bloody and gruesome that Brandon was actually disgusted. He had to find a way to avoid that and so he came up with a new way for the swords to behave.

    Tags

  • 7

    Interview: Feb 16th, 2013

    Viper

    This will probably be RAFO'd, but: Is Szeth bound to a spren?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. He's not. Haha, I didn't RAFO that.

    Tags

  • 8

    Interview: Sep, 2012

    Stroniax

    Is JeksonsonVallano important? Is JeksonsonVallano SzethsonsonVallano's brother?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He is the same person as Szeth; I just changed the name. Sorry, no hidden truth there.

    Tags

  • 9

    Interview: Sep, 2012

    Stroniax

    What did Jek and Szeth do to become Truthless?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This will be answered in his book, during his flashback sequences.

    Tags

  • 10

    Interview: Sep, 2012

    Stroniax

    Does SzethsonsonVallano's Surgebinding require HonorSpren like Kaladin's?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, it does not. (Hm....) Gold star to you.

    Tags

  • 11

    Interview: Sep, 2012

    Zenith

    Is Szeth bound to his Oathstone by anything but honor (not the shard. No loopholes here )?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

    Tags

  • 12

    Interview: Sep, 2012

    astalduath

    After reading The Way of Kings, I couldn't help but to wonder this: hypothetically if there were two equally skilled combatants in every way, one armed with a Shardblade and the other with a Lightsaber, and take magic and the Force out of the equation (except for the weapons themselves), who would win? And yes, the Shardblade would have already been summoned and the two are just squaring off in a dual. Have fun with it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    A lightsaber is actually a little more easy to wield than a Shardblade, I would guess. Shardblades were designed to fight something larger than another person; you don't actually need all of that size when fighting someone. So that gives a slight edge to you average Jedi. If it's someone like Szeth, who has a more modestly sized Blade, then I don't honestly know.

    Tags

  • 13

    Interview: Sep, 2012

    Arcanist

    8. A bit RAFO but: Is Szeth bounded to the Oathstone (master) with magic/force or just with his honour? As I can remember, in the end of WoK he nearly killed Taravangian.

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO. :)

    Tags

  • 14

    Interview: Apr 15th, 2013

    Reddit AMA 2013 (Verbatim)

    The_Vikachu ()

    Is Kaladin naturally stronger than Szeth in using Stormlight? Szeth can only hold onto it for a few minutes, but Kaladin has been shown to hold onto it for much longer. Or does it have to do with Kaladin having a spren?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ah, so you all noticed that, did you. :) Glad you did. I have like a dozen things I nearly posted here, but all of them spoil a scene in Words of Radiance. So I'll just zip it for now.

    Tags

  • 15

    Interview: Mar 29th, 2014

    Nicrosil

    Would any of the Orders be okay with one being an assassin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Nicrosil

    Please note that a family member decided to drop in at this point, so I may have heard wrong. Woops.

    Tags

  • 16

    Interview: Mar 29th, 2014

    Brandon Sanderson

    Anyone else have questions or books that they need signed?

    Question

    I have a question. You gave me one of these little Szeth cards. I noticed on the back it looks like a game.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah it does, doesnít it?

    Question

    Whatís the story with that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Those—that was just like randomly printed there.

    Herowannabe

    [in a stage whisper] I donít think heís telling the truth.

    Brandon Sanderson

    We just got them back and we were like, "Wow, those random collection of letters look surprisingly like words from my books. How did that happen?"

    Question

    [inaudible ]Ö look forward to that?

    Aradel

    Heís not allowed to say.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Itís not a ďNot allowed to say,Ē itís that this is a fun little thing that may become something in the distant future.

    Tags

  • 17

    Interview: Mar 21st, 2014

    macros

    Based on what we know currently about the ten heartbeats, why does Szeth require ten heartbeats to bring forth his Honorblade?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Perception is a very important part of how these things all work, and remember, the Honorblades work differently from everything else. Everything was based upon them. Why donít you read and find out whatís going on there, but remember, the charactersí perception is very important.

    macros

    So then thatís why at one point Shallan requires ten heartbeats and now she doesnít.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right, just like—itís the exact same reason why Kaladinís forehead wounds donít heal, because he views himself as need—as having those, somewhere deep inside of him, and that canít heal until that goes away. And itís the same reason why in Warbreaker, when you bring something to life your intention, rather than really what you say, is what matters. Itís all about perception.

    Tags

  • 18

    Interview: Sep 24th, 2013

    Question

    When we get to the interlude in The Way of Kings, where we see the Shinovar merchant, he talks about his guards being different from Truthless. What makes the distinction?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will find that out in Book 3 which has Szeth's flashback sequences and show him becoming Truthless.

    Tags

  • 19

    Interview: Mar 6th, 2014

    Question

    Who are the 5 main characters from the first half of The Stormlight Archive?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Kaladin, Shallan, Szeth, Eshonai, Dalinar in that order.

    Tags

  • 20

    Interview: Mar 6th, 2014

    Question

    So that bit at the end [of Words of Radiance with Szeth...

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's setting up for book 3, which is going to be crazy.

    Tags

  • 21

    Interview: Mar 7th, 2014

    Question (Paraphrased)

    ThirteenthóDo the Windrunners have any Surges that Szeth doesn't have?

    Brandon Sanderson (Paraphrased)

    RAFO because it's explained in [Words of Radiance].

    Footnote

    The answer is no, Szeth was using Jezrien's Honorblade, which granted him the abilities of a Windrunner.

    Tags

  • 22

    Interview: Oct 14th, 2013

    Question

    Is Szeth's sword noticeably smaller than other shardblades?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Tags

  • 23

    Interview: Mar 4th, 2014

    QUESTION

    Are we going to find out in here, why Szeth and what the Truthless are all about?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That, you will have to wait for his flashback sequences in a future book. Each character gets a set of flashback sequences. I'm not going to promise that the characters live to the book where their flashback sequences are. You might have a character die and then get their flashbacks the next book to get more information on them. This will be Shallan's flashback, then the next book will be Szeth's flashback, then Eshonai, then Dalinar.

    Tags

  • 24

    Interview: Dec 6th, 2014

    Newan

    Is there some kind of connection between Szeth and Yelig-nar, the Unmade?

    Brandon Sanderson (Paraphrased)

    Hmm... Szeth has no more of a connection with Yelig-nar than anyone else does.

    Tags

  • 25

    Interview: Mar 14th, 2014

    the_archduke

    Was Szeth's resurrection done with Rosharan Investiture or that from Nalthis?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    Tags

  • 26

    Interview: Mar 19th, 2014

    Question ()

    You mentioned that human canít bond Honorblades, but Nalan tells Szeth that his bond with his Honorblade has been broken. Can you clear this up?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Humans CAN bond Honorblades. There's a crucial difference between Honorblades and Shardblades. When you drop an Honorblade, it does not disappear, even if it has been bonded. A Shardblade will disappear when dropped.

    Tags

  • 27

    Interview: Mar 20th, 2014

    Outis

    What was the tweak you wanted to put in the end?

    Brandon Sanderson

    At the end of the day, I kind of wish that I had had Kaladin decide not to kill Szeth. But him killing Szeth is what the outline calls for and it's going to send the book in some interesting ways but I kinda wish I hadn't done that. Forcing him to live with what he'd done instead. Taking his blade and forcing him to live with what he'd done, I'd kind of wish that's what I'd done.

    Tags

  • 28

    Interview: Jan 6th, 2015

    Question

    What was your inspiration for coming up with Szeth?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So... I designed his culture first, one of the odd cases where I was working on the culture, and out of that grew his character, at odds with his culture. So I wanted somebody who was both the paragon of his culture and the person who was at odds with it. That concept just worked for me.

    Tags

  • 29

    Interview: Jan 6th, 2015

    Question

    I read online, something about one of your original drafts, I think it was about Gavilar, and it was where he was blind?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah that was actually Taravangian, in the oldest version. One of the very first things I wrote was that, though Taravangian had a different name then, and was very different. Szeth has stayed the same through all the revisions. Kaladin has changed wildly, and almost everybody has changed dramatically, except Szeth is the same person. Him and Dalinar are the same.

    Tags

  • 30

    Interview: Mar 20th, 2014

    Outis

    Szeth in the prologue of book one says he can't heal from a Shardblade wound, but Kaladin can. What is the distinction there?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You should be looking to see if you can find other distinctions between what Szeth says and what happens to Kaladin, because there's three or four big inconsistencies.

    Tags

  • 31

    Interview: Mar 20th, 2014

    Outis

    What's with the black stone that the king gives Szeth?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It holds a secret that will be revealed in future books. I'd tell ya but they're recording me right here, so I can't tell you otherwise it gets out on the internet!

    Tags

  • 32

    Interview: Mar 21st, 2014

    Question

    Szeth a lot of the time throughout Words of Radiance is referring to the fact that he's hearing his victims scream in his head. Is that actually his conscience screaming at him or has he possibly already bonded to a spren in some way, that is displeased with-

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is not the spren. Good question. It is not...the spren is not a spren that is a...for one of the orders.

    Question

    But it is related to--

    Brandon Sanderson

    I didn't say that. I just said it is not a--it is not a blade. It is not one of those.

    Tags

  • 33

    Interview: Mar 21st, 2014

    Question

    I know that there's three sorts of forms that magic presents itself in, the liquid and the solid and air. What would Breath be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Breath is definitely like Mist, it is in the form of the air.

    Question

    And is Stormlight the same?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Stormlight is the same. Good questions!

    Question

    Would Vasher be able to use Stormlight in the same way that he can get Breath?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That would not be immediately easy, but Stormlight could feed Nightblood.

    Question

    Which is why Szeth can wield Nightblood?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Eh, you'll have to see if Ö but yes. That could theoretically happen. You can use most of the magics on most of the planets to fuel the other magics, if you know how to do it, it is not easy.

    Tags

  • 34

    Interview: Mar 21st, 2014

    Question

    Does Szeth have a puppy, and what would it be like if he did? Because I feel like he could really use one.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Szeth could totally use a puppy. He totally could. He does not have an axehound pup, but he totally should get one. But he does now have something very puppy-like.

    Tags

  • 35

    Interview: Mar 21st, 2014

    Question

    Are we going to get ten different perspectives for Gavilar's death?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will get five.

    Tags

  • 36

    Interview: Mar 21st, 2014

    Leiyan

    On the back of the Szeth card, it's a gamepiece?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, they just printed all of those random words there! Random collections of letters. It's really surprising that they would print all this on the back of the card and have it happen to turn out to spell out things like "Investiture," I can't believe that! I have no idea why that might've happened.

    Tags

  • 37

    Interview: Mar 29th, 2014

    Question

    Truthless are pretty rare in Shin society?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Question

    How did they come by the Dawnshard[I think he and Brandon meant honorblade?] that Szeth got?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They historically kept all of them.

    Question

    Does that have anything to do why they think stone is sacred?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will find out more about that as time progresses

    Tags

  • 38

    Interview: Jan 17th, 2015

    Question

    Inspiration for Szeth?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Discovery writes his characters. Writes characters into a plot like casting them into roles. For Szeth it came from the idea of a religion worshipping stone.

    Tags

  • 39

    Interview: Jan 17th, 2015

    Question

    Iím concerned that that bloodthirsty sword is off on his own again

    Brandon Sanderson

    He, ah, he is, he is in dangerous hands right now, letís just say that

    Question

    Yeah, untrustworthy hands.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, yes he is.

    Tags

  • 40

    Interview: Jan 19th, 2015

    Question

    When Szeth Surgebinds, frost forms on his clothing. Why?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ehhh, Iíll get around to talking about that eventually.

    Tags

  • 41

    Interview: Jan 24th, 2015

    Question

    Now that Szeth-son-son-Vallano died and came back will he be an ally?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will have to read more and find out.

    Tags

  • 42

    Interview: Feb 20th, 2015

    Question

    How did Kaladin heal his shardblade wound without the power of Regrowth?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Thatís partially a RAFO. Remember that healing in the cosmere usually has to do with how you view yourself. And as long as there is some outpouring of Investiture you are usually capable of healing. More the weird thing is not that Kaladin healed itís that Szeth couldnít.

    Tags

  • 43

    Interview: Feb 20th, 2015

    Question

    Szeth says in the first stormlight book that he canít heal from a shardblade--

    Brandon Sanderson

    He canít.

    Question

    So when he got cut he couldnít heal thatÖ

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. Not with his powers.

    Question

    Not from an honorblade.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not from an honorblade.

    Tags

  • 44

    Interview: Feb 20th, 2015

    Argent

    At one point Syl turns into a hammer when Kaladin fights Szeth. Are there any actual advantages to a Shardhammer over a Shardblade or knife?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Very minimal. It has mostly to do with a-- How much thrust or swing or things you can get to it. The impact of blade or weapon against armor is not going to be-- The hammer could in some ways get more leverage. But itís not that the impact is going to do--

    Kurkistan

    So it didnít help against Szeth.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah

    Argent

    It was like the flow of the fight was-- Syl turned--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Tags

  • 45

    Interview: Oct 12th, 2015

    Question

    Would it be safe to assume that Kaladin is also carrying the Honorblade? Because that makes the most sense to me.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Which Honorblade?

    Question

    The one from Szeth.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is... He's not.

    Question

    That surprises me, because to me that would be the best- That would make the most sense.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That would be sneaky of me. But that's not the case.

    Question

    So he actually has an Honorblade, since you asked which one.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He took Szeth's. So he has that one. Oh! I thought you meant Taln's, I thought. He does not have Taln's. He has Szeth's.. Yes he has Szethís.

    Question

    I'm assuming he found that one, because that made the most sense to keep it safe

    Brandon Sanderson

    Heís got Szethís, that is true. ... Sorry, I assumed you meant Taln's. Taln's is gone.

    Question

    Yeah. Taln's vanished off the face of the planet! I'm assuming Hoid grabbed that one, actually.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is one of the prevailing theories and not one that is unreasonable.

    Question

    Well, considering. That was the one, because you had mentioned last time you were here that you could have both, and I was like, "okay, so that means heís got Szeth's sword."

    Tags

  • 46

    Interview: Oct 9th, 2015

    Question

    Whatís your most terrifying character and why is it Nightblood?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nightblood is pretty terrifyingÖ An object created thatís made to destroy evil and doesnít know what it is? YeahÖ I wanted you to think that Nightblood in the hands of Szeth is one of the most terrifying things that you have ever contemplated.

    Tags

  • 47

    Interview: Oct 9th, 2015

    Question

    I was wondering, is Nightblood a Shardblade?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nightblood is an attempt by someone who didnít know how Shardblades were made to create a Shardblade using a different magic system.

    Question

    If Nightblood feeds on Breath, but Szeth doesnít have it, will it feed on Stormlight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nightblood can feed off Stormlight, but Szeth can't draw in Stormlight right now. So Szeth better not draw that sword, for a while at least.

    Tags

  • 48

    Interview: Apr 8th, 2016

    Blightsong

    Is anything magical going on with the screams Szeth hears?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uhhh, Szeth's screams. Uhhm, I'm trying to decide how to answer this. It is not, see here's the thing. What we would call magical may not be considered magical in the Cosmere, but it depends on your definition of magic. Would Szeth if he were on our planet and have done those things would he hear those screams, probably not, but would someone else in the Cosmere who had gone through what he had gone through hear those screams, yes.

    Blightsong

    So it has to do with the spiritual realm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yea, mhmm, yea.

    Tags

  • 49

    Interview: Nov 29th, 2016

    Question

    Could only Lift see Szeth's afterimages?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Anyone sufficiently Invested can see them. Connection to the Cognitive Realm helps, too.

    Tags

  • 50

    Interview: Nov 29th, 2016

    Question

    Szeth refers to Nightblood as sword-nimi. What is the -nimi ending?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is an honorific.

    Question

    And why does he call it "sword", and not by its name?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It has not told him its name.

    Tags

  • 51

    Interview: Nov 30th, 2016

    Borderlands SF-AU Tour (Paraphrased)

    Question

    I asked if Szeth is a Skybreaker

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    Tags

  • 52

    Interview: Dec 6th, 2016

    Question

    Can you write something about Szeth?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He writes something, not sure what it is.

    Tags

  • 53

    Interview: Dec 6th, 2016

    Question

    [Question about Chasmfiends, but I think we know stuff about already.] Thunderclasts have chasmfiendÖ theyíre part of the in-world inspiration for thunderclasts [...]

    Brandon Sanderson

    [Chasmfiends are] an introduction of gemhearts and things like this, and the ability of certain creatures to hold investiture permanently, as Szeth says, rather than it seeping away like it does to humans.

    Tags