Author Topic: Yes, Brandon's books are all related. Read here to find out! (spoiler free)  (Read 10717 times)

hubay

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So although the current sticky explaining the cosmere does a good job, I thought it might be nice to write one with a basic explanation at the beginning, and to write it so that new readers can find out what's going on without ruining any of Brandon's books they haven't read. If you're new to his books or even this forum, or just confused by some of the concepts the more hard-core fans are talking about,  you might want to quick read this before you dip in to anything else.

First and foremost:

Yes, most of Brandon's books –Mistborn, Elantris, Warbreaker, and Way of Kings, but NOT Alcatraz and obviously not WoT – take place in the same universe. It's called the Cosmere. No, this doesn't affect how you read the books.

Think of it as more of an "easter egg." That's how this began for fans – a couple of readers noticed a reoccurring character named Hoid. In Mistborn, Elantris, and Warbreaker he never got more than a very brief role, but in Way of Kings, well ... I said this is spoiler free so I'll just say that the Stormlight Archive appears to be a little obviously intertwined in the overarching story of the Cosmere.  However, Brandon has specifically said in an interview that the Archive isn't the overarching story. He said there's another series where he wants to write that.

There are a couple key points to be said here, but  most of them are explained better in longer, more in-depth threads on this forum. If you see a title with the words "Shards" or "Hoid" it's probably one of them.

You see, the idea behind the Cosmere involves a magical/divine artifact/god thing called Adonalsium, which was shattered into sixteen shards. These shards provide the energy necessary to create life on different planets, as well as a source of magic. The magic in Warbreaker, Elantris, Mistborn, and Stormlight is all a product of the shards, sometimes from a single shard and sometimes from the interaction between multiple shards.

Additionally, every shard is controlled by a god-like consciousness that used to belong to a mortal. Each shard has a sort of ... pathology to it that eventually turns the mind of the shardholder until it matches the shard's will. Some might be considered "bad", while others are arguably "good." Some fans believe Hoid might be a shardholder whose power allows him to jump between worlds. It also appears that one shardholder is attacking others.

I'm not as steeped in this as some of you guys are, and I know some what I said is probably still speculation, so let me know if I got something wrong.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2010, 07:28:42 PM by hubay »

Guinevere

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Re: Yes, Brandon's books are all related. Read here to find out! (spoiler free)
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2010, 04:25:49 PM »
I believe that the claim that Hoid is a Shardholder is still up for some debate.  There are still a lot of Shards unaccounted for, of course.  Brandon still has 9 (+?) books left to give us all the information!  :)

Fireborn

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Re: Yes, Brandon's books are all related. Read here to find out! (spoiler free)
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2010, 08:16:14 AM »
Well, I thought the thinking was that Adonalsium was a conscious being who is basically God of the Cosmere and that's where the mortals who became Shardholders came from.
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Tasslehoof

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Re: Yes, Brandon's books are all related. Read here to find out! (spoiler free)
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2010, 04:13:04 PM »
Boo at you!  I just got out of class and came to my room to start up this thread :(

Beat me to it :P
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Ottilie

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Wow, I didn't pick up on this at all from reading Sanderson's books! This makes me even more fascinated by his stories, which I didn't think was possible.

If I may ask; where did this information come from? Cosmere and Adonalsium? Were those mentioned in his books? Did Sanderson talk about this in an interview or blog post?

EDIT: Never mind, I found a post about it :)
« Last Edit: December 17, 2010, 09:31:50 PM by Ottilie »
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Wow, I didn't pick up on this at all from reading Sanderson's books! This makes me even more fascinated by his stories, which I didn't think was possible.

If I may ask; where did this information come from? Cosmere and Adonalsium? Were those mentioned in his books? Did Sanderson talk about this in an interview or blog post?

EDIT: Never mind, I found a post about it :)

Yeah, most of what we know is from what's been teased out of brandon through interviews, but there's subtle bits in the books than you can link together to figure some bits out.

One major clue is hoid, since he's in pretty much all of 'em in some capacity.
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Xegnma

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It was one of the first things I noticed about his books. I have seen a similar experiment conducted by the now defunct comic book publisher called Crossgen(1998 - 2004). Each title formerly published by Crossgen focused on a specific world in its cosmos with the pivotal character(s) of that world bearing a special mark of power. Their powers shared the same source but would manifest itself differently per user. There was this grand overarching story that served as an undercurrent to all the books. Pity the publisher went bankrupt. Fortunately though, Disney bought the rights to the characters and plan to revive them through one of the many lucrative properties they also own...namely Marvel Comics.

But I digress :)....

I'm keen on seeing Sanderson explore this aspect of his books. In a way it validates the similarities we see in his magic systems. I read some comments where some people believe Sanderson is rehashing/retooling his magic systems from series to series. Frankly I see nothing wrong with an author getting as much mileage out of a concept as he can. But I don't think that's the case here. I think those similarities are there because the author fully intends them to be there.
Sanderson is a strong proponent of magic systems being governed by a palpable sense of logic. It only stands to reason then that if these magic systems occupy the same cosmos (and possibly come from the same source) that they bear some semblance to each other. Its all by design.

Edit: If any of you are curious look up crossgen on wiki-pedia.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2011, 06:10:36 AM by Xegnma »

andygal

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Quote
I'm keen on seeing Sanderson explore this aspect of his books. In a way it validates the similarities we see in his magic systems. I read some comments where some people believe Sanderson is rehashing/retooling his magic systems from series to series. Frankly I see nothing wrong with an author getting as much mileage out of a concept as he can. But I don't think that's the case here. I think those similarities are there because the author fully intends them to be there.
Sanderson is a strong proponent of magic systems being governed by a palpable sense of logic. It only stands to reason then that if these magic systems occupy the same cosmos (and possibly come from the same source) that they bear some semblance to each other. Its all by design.

Brandon has actually said that there is an underlying logic to all the Cosmere magic, so yeah, it's not surprising that we have the same kinds of abilities showing up in different books, because they are all working off the same internal logic.

Unfortunately I forget exactly where he said this.

Hoidbringer

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It makes sense.  Each of the magic systems stem from relatively the same source, or part of the same source.  The differences and similarities are fairly easy to understand.  They are affected by the nature of the shard and the nature of the culture they develop in.  Something similar to a concept Brandon used in Warbreaker with the returned, but I don't want to go into details on that theory here in the unspoilerish thread.

socom-delta

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Vin makes a description of the mist near the end of the Hero of Ages that sounds an awful lot like Stormlight, how the Mist appeared to leak out of her (moreso when she breathed), but then went around in a stream and went right back into her. It reminded me quite a bit like Stormlight.

Hoidbringer

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I can see the similarities.  Which play nicely into a theory I'm working on.  However there are some subtle differences.  I like the idea quite a bit though.  I'll have to mull it over with this bottle of wine for a little while.  Of course in the end I'll probably decide I'm just a woolhead.

Melriken

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I can see the similarities.  Which play nicely into a theory I'm working on.  However there are some subtle differences.  I like the idea quite a bit though.  I'll have to mull it over with this bottle of wine for a little while.  Of course in the end I'll probably decide I'm just a woolhead.

Don't forget the Chapter Epigraph of Chapter 35 when mulling over your theory.

Quote from:
"Though many wished Urithiru to be built in Alethela, it was obvious that it could not be. And so it was that we asked for it to be placed westward, in the place nearest to Honor."
--Perhaps the oldest surviving original source mentioning the city, re-quoted in The Vavibrar, line 1804. What I wouldn't give for a way to translate the Dawnchant.

Highlight the area above to read it.