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Hoid

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Hoid
Wit.jpg
by User: Botanicaxu
Abilities Lightweaving, Feruchemy, Allomancy, Awakener, Lightweaver, Worldhopping
Aliases Wit, Hoid others
World Yolen
Featured In The Stormlight Archive, Elantris, Mistborn, Warbreaker, The Liar of Partinel
This page or section contains spoilers for Oathbringer!
This information has the ability to potentially ruin elements of the plot for the reader. Proceed with caution if you have not read this book.
This page or section deals with theories or speculation.
Please read carefully and note that this is not necessarily canonical.
And while I am your friend, please understand that our goals do not completely align. You must not trust yourself with me. If I have to watch this world crumble and burn to get what I need, I will do so. With tears, yes, but I would let it happen.
— Hoid to Dalinar[1]

Hoid is a recurring character in the cosmere, as well as a legend rumored to have a thousand titles. He has appeared in almost every cosmere novel, short story, and novella which takes place in that universe. Note that his real name is likely not Hoid. In The Way of Kings, he mentions he stole the name from someone he should have loved, while giving Kaladin his flute and telling the story of the Wandersail. In section 2 of the 2nd Letter from Words of Radiance, the author of the letter asks if Hoid is no longer hiding behind the name of his old master. The name "Hoid" is likely the name he is hiding behind.

Hoid was involved in the events taking place before any of the cosmere's published books begin and is the second oldest character seen so far.[2] He was originally human, but has changed enough that when asked, Brandon only says "It's complicated."[3] Hoid is not a Shard, nor is he a Herald, but something else entirely.[4] He is very skilled with disguises, and the overtness of his involvement varies from book to book. In some, he is named outright and makes references to other events and places in the cosmere, while in others he is seen only deep in disguise, almost unrecognizable. Brandon has confirmed that all of these appearances are the same individual,[5] but that he worldhops between planets. Hoid's motives are unknown, and most of his actions occur behind the scenes.

His particular style of storytelling in which he manipulates sand or smoke to illustrate his stories, as in Warbreaker and The Way of Kings, does not originate from White Sand, but from another unpublished story, The Liar of Partinel.[6] In Warbreaker, Siri asked Hoid where he learned his style of story telling. Hoid answered, "I learned it many, many years ago from a man who didn't know who he was, Your Majesty. It was a distant place where two lands meet and gods have died. But that is unimportant." His origin will be revealed in the Dragonsteel series,[7] and so it is commonly believed Hoid is from Yolen, the world of Dragonsteel and Liar. He also has a "home base" somewhere in the cosmere.[8]

Hoid is neither the author of the Ars Arcanum, nor of the back-of-book blurb for Words of Radiance.[9] He occasionally will show up somewhere, stand around for a while, realize there isn't a novel-worthy plot going on, and leave.[10]

History[edit]

Very little of Hoid's origin is known beyond the fact that he was present at the Shattering of Adonalsium on Yolen.[11] He knew at least some of the original Vessels personally, was friends with Rayse,[12] and Tanavast once bought him a drink.[13] Hoid was once offered a Shard at the time of the Shattering, but refused to take it.[14] He also did something in his past that he regretted.[15]

He makes no appearance in Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell.[16]

The Restoration of Elantris and Theft of the Moon Scepter (Sel)[edit]

There is beauty in every disaster, friend, if you are clever enough to find it."
— Hoid to a skaze

Hoid traveled to Sel, likely making use of Devotion's Perpendicularity in Arelon. Hoid spoke to the skaze, and seems to have made some sort of agreement with them hinging on his desire to become an Elantrian with the restoration of Elantris.[17] Hoid disguised himself as a beggar, wrapped in bandages. He helped Sarene smuggle weapons into Elantris.[18] Following the restoration of the city by Raoden, Hoid traveled to the Pool to meet a skaze. He removed his bandages, hoping to find himself transformed into an Elantrian, but the transformation had not occured. The skaze ridiculed Hoid for his failure, but Hoid expressed his joy that secrets still remained unknown to him and then entered the Perpendicularity and transitioned to Shadesmar.

Hoid returned to Sel several years later, and found himself a position in the court of Emperor Ashravan in the Rose Empire as the Royal Fool. He allied himself with the Forger Shai in her attempt to steal the Moon Scepter, an artifact that allows for the translation of the various symbols of Selish Investiture. He arranged for her to be caught after she'd left the Gallery with the Scepter and later used her duplicate the steal the scepter for himself.

The Collapse of the Final Empire and Catacendre (Scadrial)[edit]

Hoid arrived on Scadrial, likely through Ruin's Perpendicularity in the Pits of Hathsin. He took up the guise of an informant, pretending to have bad eyesight in order to make himself less threatening to people seeking information from him.[19] At some point he became known to both Dockson and Ashweather Cett. Kelsier, pretending to be a nobleman contacted Hoid, requesting information on House Renoux. Hoid (closed shop, smoking tobacco) met with Kelsier on the streets of Luthadel and told him that House Renoux was buying large amounts of weapons and armor from various noble houses and that Lord Renoux was considering a marriage between Valette and Elend Venture. He also claimed that Renoux was rumored to have some sort of leverage on Venture and that he knew Shan Elariel to be a Soother. At some point following this, he left Scadrial to attend to other business, again likely via the Pits.[20]

Kelsier and Hoid's meeting at the Well of Ascension by LittleGreyDragon

Around a year later, Hoid returned to Scadrial, traveling through Scadrial's subastral, riding on the back of a Cognitive Shadow to the Well of Ascension, Preservation's Perpendicularity.[21] He encountered the Shadow of Kelsier, who asked for help returning to the Physical Realm. Hoid told him that there was nothing to be done, but he challenged Kelsier to an insult battle, with the prize being the answer to one true question. Kelsier instead threatened Hoid. Hoid attempted to enter the pool, but Kelsier attacked him. After the two wrestled, Hoid easily overpowers Kelsier in their and caused him serious pain, if not permanent injury. Hoid then transitioned through the Well and stole the bead of lerasium from the adjacent room.

Hoid then traveled to the Terris Dominance for reasons unknown,[22][20] and then became wrapped up in matters he did not anticipate. This may refer to him becoming involved after the Inquisitor attackk on Tathingdwen and the slaughter of the Synod. Hoid took up the guise of a Terris leader[23] and led the Terris refugees to the Central Dominance.[24]

A year later, Hoid was in Fadrex City, again acting as an informant, and Ashweather Cett suggested Vin speak to him.[25] Just before Vin arrived, Kelsier's Cognitive Shadow noticed Hoid from within the Cognitive Realm.[26] Kelsier tried to touch Hoid's soul, but was rebuffed by a shock that numbed his hand. At that moment, Vin arrived intending to meet with Hoid,[25] but Kelsier attempted to warn her away from Shadesmar[26] and she sensed he had something off about him[27] and instead chose not to speak to him.

Nalthis (Warbreaker)[edit]

  • Warbreaker - Lightsong summons him to the Court of the Gods, where he recounts the story of Vo, explains the origin of the Hallandren God Kings, and answers Lightsong and Siri's questions.[28] He likely achieved perfect pitch while on this world by obtaining additional Breaths.[29] Perfect pitch is later confirmed as something Hoid had attained.[30]

Roshar (The Stormlight Archive)[edit]

I've come to your land to chase an old acquaintance, but I end up spending most of my time hiding from him instead.
— Hoid to Kaladin.[31]
Prior Visits[edit]

Hoid has visited Roshar prior to the Way of Kings.[32] When visiting Kholinar in the epilogue of Oathbringer, he recognizes one of the fused as Vatwha, an old acquaintance. At some point, "thousands of years ago", Hoid visited Roshar and mingled with the original inhabitants of the world, even dancing with the ancient parshmen. The Fused, however, are now trained to watch for him - most likely to capture him and deliver him to Odium.

The Way of Kings[edit]

In a departure from his previous appearances, Hoid plays a more conspicuous role in the events on Roshar. Most often seen under the guise of Wit, Elhokar Kholin's court jester, he influences Dalinar, going so far as to ask Dalinar if he has ever heard the term "Adonalsium".[33] He also tells Kaladin the story of Derethil and the Wandersail.[31] During the course of the story, Hoid uses a special, ancient flute called a Trailman's flute. It is also likely that he uses Lightweaving to cause the smoke from the fire to take the form of various elements from his story. In the first Interlude, Ishikk talks with three men from the Seventeenth Shard who had paid him to search for Hoid in the Purelake. These three men are Galladon, Demoux, and Baon. He appears again towards the end of the book as Taln arrives in Kholinar.[34]

Words of Radiance[edit]

Hoid again in this plays his minor role as Wit, though he is absent for most of the book. In Shallan's flashback to three and a half years ago, she meets Hoid disguised as a messenger, and he talks to her. Rock also describes an encounter with him in the Horneater Oceans and calls him Lunu'anaki, the god of travel and mischief who cannot hurt man.[35][36]

Hoid is also seen acting as the carriage driver for Adolin when he is visiting Shallan at Sebarial's warcamp. He speaks to Kaladin about his flute and mentions that he wants an interesting story from him. When Shallan recognizes him she happily hugs him for his advice from three and a half years prior when he encouraged her at her worst and told her to keep seeking the light.[37]

Hoid, acting as Wit, visits Kaladin while he is in prison. He tells Kaladin the story of a man named Fleet who raced a highstorm across one end of Roshar to the other. Fleet wins, but dies of exhaustion at the end, and his spirit goes on to race the wind forever.

Later, at the end of the book, he meets with Jasnah Kholin as she exits Shadesmar, offering to travel with her.[13]

Edgedancer

The white-haired man who Lift says jumped into the mouth of a greatshell is implied to be Hoid.

Oathbringer[edit]

The three letters in part two of Oathbringer are directed at Cephandrius. The first two explicity says this, but the third one just says friend, however it is likely that they are all referring to the same person.

Hoid appears as Wit in the middle of the novel, discussing the nature of power with Shallan. He later helps her get into the Cult of Moments, and finds Shallan at her darkest moment when she discovers the food she has been giving to the poor is just making things worse.

Shalash, upon seeing sketches of Talenel and herself, wonders aloud why Midius (a name taken by Hoid in an as-yet-unpublished text) is giving away drawings of them.[38]

In the epilogue, Hoid is shown in Kholinar insulting a Thaylen man in an attempt to elicit a reaction. Upon realizing that the man can't understand Alethi, Hoid decides repeating it all in Thaylen would be boring, so he cuts in front of the man. The man hits Hoid, knocking loose a tooth which Hoid discards upon leaving the area. Hoid uses Awakening to lure a child away from the corpse of her mother, leaving the child in the care of a family in the city. He then heads to the palace where he finds a Cryptic, presumably the spren Elhokar was about to bond before he died.[39]

The Letters[edit]

In the epigraphs in Part 2 of The Way of Kings, there is the text of a letter. Both its author and recipient are unknown. This letter refers to Vessels by their names and begs the recipient for aid in the struggle against Rayse, holder of the Shard Odium. If Hoid wrote this letter, it offers valuable insights into his personality and goals. The author of the Letter is being hunted by the Seventeenth Shard and has set a false trail for them to follow, which lines up well with the interlude in which three men are searching for Hoid. Brandon has also said that we "may have read that Hoid has specific beef with Rayse," with the Letter being the only real example of this.[40]

The Letters in Oathbringer's epigraphs are all from Shards[41] and possibly all of them are directed to Hoid.

Post-Catacendric Scadrial[edit]

Oh, my lord, I know it, I do. I own the place, technically. Now, regarding those coins for old Hoid, my good lord...
—Hoid to Wax[42]

At some point following his actions on Roshar, Hoid returned to Scadrial to attend the wedding of Lord Joshin Yomen and Lady Mi'chelle Ostlin,[43][44] two friends of his that he had made at some unknown point in the past.[45] Rather than coming to Scadrial in response to some important event, Hoid initially came merely to congratulate his friends.[45] He came dressed all in black, appearing as a scruffy looking beggar and spoke to the couple soon after they arrived at the dinner.[46] It is unknown if he was present for the subsequent Vanisher attack. Hoid may have left the planet briefly afterwards, but something on Scadrial had caught his attention and he was back several months later[47]. Hoid became employed as Waxillium Ladrian's new carriage driver.[48] By that point he had become friendly with Wayne, who liked him but did not know anything about Hoid's true identity.[49] When Wax headed to the precinct station to question Rian, Hoid drove the carriage and Wayne rode up front with him.[48] During the carriage ride, Hoid eavesdropped on Wax's conversation with Harmony about Bleeder's plans to disrupt the Elendel Basin.[50]

Hoid's actions after this point are unclear. Hoid somehow obtained a coin-like unsealed metalmind containing a memory of Kelsier aiding the southern Scadrians survive the aftereffects of the Catacendre.[51] He also spent some time in New Seran and following Nazh's theft of Nicki Savage's map of New Seran, Hoid asked her if she wanted to hear a story, an offer that she declined.[52][53] He has also somehow come to the conclusion that he is the true owner of Kelesina Shores' mansion there,[54] for somewhat legitimate but unknown reasons.[55] He was apparently a regular intruder on the mansion grounds, to the irritation of the guards.[42] During this time, Hoid took the appearance of a beggar with long, unkempt fingernails and a ragged shirt. Hoid appeared blind with milky white eyes.

When Waxillium Ladrian walked up the path to Kelsina's mansion to attend a party with Wayne, MeLaan, Steris Harms and Marasi Colms, Hoid climbed out of the bushes, startling Wax.[42] Wanting to reveal Kelsier's resurrection and identity as the Sovereign,[56] Hoid looked for an opportunity to pass on the unsealed metalmind. He asked Wax for a few clips.[42] Steris noticed Hoid's cologne and asked him if he was wearing cologne. Hoid was startled by her observation and claimed that he had been drinking perfume, as it had quite a kick. Steris told him that that was unhealthy and Wax advised Hoid that he should leave the private grounds. Hoid agreed but claimed that it was his property and again asked for coins. Wax gave him a banknote and told him again to leave the grounds. Hoid claimed it was far too much and that he wished to give Waxillium change. As Wax walked away, Hoid threw the coin at Wax's head, who caught it in midair. A groundsman then noticed Hoid and tried to chase him off. Hoid laughed and escaped back into the bushes again.

Appearance & Personality[edit]

Hoid's appearance varies dramatically from book to book. He's often in disguise, which makes his true appearance difficult to ascertain. Couple this with the fact that he can most likely Lightweave his appearance in order to look however he wants, it makes it nearly impossible to know for sure what he looks like. To the best of our knowledge, his face is lined,[33] hawk-like and arrow shaped. Hoid is tall and thin[57] and also has a sharp nose and jaw with delicate eyebrows.[33] He tends to cock his head to one side[31] and has keen blue eyes.[57] Hoid's hair is white, although he occasionally dyes it.[58] There is a particular reason for his hair being white, which will be revealed in the future.[59]

Hoid's true personality, while also usually disguised, is more easily seen as he occasionally drops whatever part he is playing. One of his overall most noticeable traits is his sharp wit and intelligence. The characters he plays often have a penchant for jokes and mockery but when he removes the facade his personality often seems mysterious and grave.[34][31] If he was asked about whether he called himself a good man personality-wise, Hoid would reply with a "No".[60]

Hoid cannot easily kill people "because of certain things in his past."[61] Rock says he cannot hurt man because it is forbidden by other gods.[35] He also tells a young Shallan, "You needn't fear me. I'm terribly ineffective at hurting people. I blame my upbringing."[62] Hoid apologizes to Kelsier after beating him in a fight, stating he doesn't have the inclination to do real harm to him.[21] This aversion causes him to be nauseous when thinking about physically harming someone, and is sometimes bad enough to incapacitate him. However, this only extends to physical trauma- Hoid has no issues with mentally hurting someone or through inaction.[63] Hoid also has issues with harming himself physically, such as when he has to manipulate another man into punching him when he wants a tooth knocked out, rather than just doing it himself.[39][64] This is an involuntary trait.[65]

On Roshar as King Elhokar's Wit he appears to be in his mid-30's[66] and was described as

Tall and thin, the King's Wit rode easily on a black gelding. He wore a stiff black coat and black trousers, a color matched by his deep onyx hair. Though he wore a long, thin sword tied to his waist, as far as Adolin knew, the man had never drawn it. A dueling foil rather than a military blade, it was mostly symbolic.
[57]

The blade is not magically invested but has personal value to Hoid.[67] It is a symbol of office for the King's Wit, though Hoid "isn't even that good with a sword".[68]

Abilities[edit]

This page or section deals with theories or speculation.
Please read carefully and note that this is not necessarily canonical.

Hoid does not yet have the abilities of every planet he's visited.[69] Some of his powers predate the Shattering, but none of them are gained through Hemalurgy.[70] Hoid is concerned about opening himself up to the influence of Shards, so he only gains access to manifestations of Investiture through more conventional ways.[71] Hoid has access to multiple Invested Arts, but not an incredibly large number.[72]

Illusions[edit]

I see. You do not yet understand the nature of lies. I had that trouble myself, long ago. The Shards here are very strict. You will have to see the truth, child, before you can expand upon it. Just as a man should know the law before he breaks it.
—Hoid on Lightweaving to Shallan[62]

Hoid has access to an Invested Art known as Lightweaving that originates from Yolen prior to the Shattering of Adonalsium.[73] Lightweaving allows for the creation of optical and sonic illusions.[74] This Lightweaving was much less restrictive than the later Rosharan variant,[62] and did not require a spren or Stormlight to function.[73] Hoid sometimes makes use of this ability in his disguises[75] although he has several ways of changing how he looks[76] and he also makes uses of practical effects as well.[77] He may also make use of it in some of his storytelling,[78] such as the pictures of Derethil and the Wandersail Kaladin sees in the smoke when Hoid is telling him a story.[31]

Hoid's Yolish Lightweaving does not always seem to function perfectly on Roshar,[79] in fact he needs help from Shallan to fully craft an illusion.[80] His power is somehow limited, and he has trouble making some aspects of it work, even after multiple attempts.[79] It is uncertain why this occurs and whether or not this issue is unique to Roshar. Hoid's bonding of a cryptic will allow for some supplemental ability with his Lightweaving[81] and may allow him to overcome this issue crafting illusions, although further impacts or resonances between the two are unknown.[82] Hoid's access to Yolish Lightweaving does allow him to guide another Lightweaver's power, although this is not something he would be able to do with just any Invested Art.[79]

Worldhopping[edit]

Hoid travels between various planets within the cosmere by making use of perpendicularities,[83] places usually created by the presence of a Shard on a planet where the sheer power of Investiture causes the borders between the realms to be weakened.[84] A knowledgeable person such as Hoid is able to transition from the Physical Realm to the Cognitive Realm.[83] Hoid can then travel to a different world's subastral, as the distances between worlds in Shadesmar are much smaller than in the Physical Realm.[85] Hoid is very proficient at traveling in Shadesmar.[86] He can easily travel to any world that has an active perpendicularity, even those worlds where the perpendicularities are dangerous to pass through such as the Well of Ascension.[21] Hoid is known to be aware of perpendicularities on Scadrial,[21] Sel,[87] and Roshar,[35] and likely knows of Nalthis's perpendicularity as well.[28][88] While Hoid typically makes use of natural perpendicularities in his travels, later in life he may also have access to an ability that essentially allows him to generate his own personal perpendicularity, much like the Surge of Transportation.[89]

Agelessness and Time-Dilation[edit]

Other men . . . other men, as they age, merely grow stranger. I fear that I am one of those. I am the bones of a foreign species left drying on the plain that was once, long ago, a sea. A curiosity, perhaps a reminder, that all has not always been as it is now.
—Hoid on his age[90]

Hoid has lived for many more years than any mortal human would be able to live.[91] This immortality is known to have come from some remnant of the weapon the original sixteen Vessels constructed in an attempt to kill Adonalsium.[92] Additionally, Hoid has not actually experienced all those years,[93] instead making use of some time-dilation technique that may render him somehow unconscious or unaware.[94] However, Hoid does not have the ability to travel backwards in time.[95]

Healing Factor[edit]

I'd be surprised if that little knife of yours poses me any real threat, Kholin
—Hoid to Jasnah on her Shardblade

Hoid has access to some sort of healing factor that is capable of repairing both the body and the soul.[96] He is able to regenerate any damaged body parts at will, including his head. Hoid is able to repress his healing factor in some way, preventing instantaneous healing, an ability that he makes use of in some of his disguises.[39] This healing factor makes it very difficult to kill Hoid,[61] although he is still at least somewhat vulnerable.[39] The name of the manifestation of Investiture responsible for Hoid's healing is unknown, but it is ancient,[64] likely originating from some Pre-Shattering source. It is uncertain whether or not this healing factor is at all related to Hoid's apparent agelessness, which is known to originate from a remnant of a weapon built to kill Adonalsium.[92]

Fortune[edit]

I have discovered a place that I must be, though to be honest I'm not exactly sure why I need to be there. This doesn't always work as well as I'd like it to.
—Hoid to Dalinar[1]

Hoid has access to an ability that allows him to make use of the Spiritual attribute of Fortune,[97], which grants him a limited amount foresight.[98] Hoid's Fortune ability gives him an innate knowledge of where and when he needs to be.[98] While this ability may grant him knowledge of what he is to do,[97][99] usually Hoid does not know why his ability has brought him to a specific place.[97] Hoid's Fortune ability is not infallible, occasionally it directs him to go somewhere, but either nothing notable is happening or he is unable to discover the reason why he has been led there.[100] Hoid's fortune ability has let him know about instant noodles.[101]

Connection[edit]

Hoid has access to some manifestation of Investiture that allows him to manipulate the Spiritual attribute of Connection. The full extent of this ability is unknown, but its primary known use is to help Hoid speak the various languages of the worlds of the cosmere that he visits. The ability allows him to Connect to whatever land he is in, temporarily altering his Spiritual aspect to believe that he was raised in that place, allowing him to speak as a native.[102] While Hoid has learned naturally how to speak some foreign languages,[103] and is decent with languages, he desires to pass as a local oftentimes, which requires something beyond natural learning.[104] Generally he makes use of the his Connection ability to communicate in foreign languages.[103] This ability is not without fault though, as when Hoid speaks naturally it will fill in local idioms and phrases on its own, but if Hoid is careless and focuses on a specific word or phrase the ability may fail and he will say the word verbatim in his own tongue[102] or it may be said in an odd way.[105] Hoid is an expert in using his Connection ability, but even he sometimes makes mistakes. This is the reason he occasionally slips up and may say words that confuse others,[106] such as coin[13] and bunny[30] on Roshar. As Hoid has demonstrated the ability to fluently speak foreign languages before the knowledge of unsealed metalminds became widespread,[18] it is unlikely that he is making use of Feruchemical duralumin to maniupulate Connection.

Metallic Arts[edit]

Hoid has also gained access to Allomancy,[107] almost certainly by burning a bead of lerasium stolen from the Well of Ascension.[108] If true, this would grant him power equivalent to that of the ancient Allomancers.[109] It is uncertain how practiced he is with these powers, but he does make use of emotional Allomancy[110] on at least one occasion.[62] He also has access to atium.[111] It is unknown whether or not Hoid has access to Feruchemy.[112] However, he does have access to some unkeyed metalminds,[113] which would not be useful to him without Feruchemical abilities. The particular attributes are stored in these metalminds is unknown. Hoid does not make use of Hemalurgy, to gain access to the Metallic Arts or any other manifestation of Investiture.[71]

Awakening[edit]

Perfect pitch makes this all so much easier than it once was....
—Hoid to Kaladin on making music[30]

As a Yolish man, Hoid was not himself born with any Biochromatic Breath.[114] However at some point Hoid has gained access to enough Biochromatic Breath to bring him to at least the Second Heightening.[30] This means Hoid has approximately two-hundred Breaths, which grant him the ability to recognize other Breath auras and judge about how much breath another Awakener has, as well as perfect pitch.[115] That is not to say that Hoid may not have reached a higher Heightening, just that the second Heightening is his minimum power level.[116] Hoid's level of skill with Awakening is still unknown, as he has only made use of it on one known occasion, Awakening a doll to allow it to walk.[39] This makes it difficult to ascertain his knowledge of Commands or complex Awakenings. Hoid's level of control over Investiture does allow him to suppress his Breath aura, making it difficult to notice by others. However, there are various methods of detecting Investiture that could circumvent this suppression.[117] Hoid's perfect pitch does aid him in tuning instruments and making music.[30]

Surgebinder[edit]

"It's either go with me now or wait it out and get captured. I honestly don't even know if you've the mind to listen. But if you do, know this: I will give you truths. And I know some juicy ones.
—Hoid to a Cryptic[39]

Hoid has most likely bonded a Cryptic that formerly belonged to Elhokar, which will grant him access to Surgebinding. While the enhanced reflexes and healing permitted by Stormlight will likely be less useful to Hoid, the Nahel bond would allow him to access the surges of Illumination and Transformation. [39] This allows Hoid to Soulcast, transforming one type of matter to another by persuading its Cognitive aspect as well as Lightweaving, which grants him the ability to create visual and auditory illusions. This Rosharan Lightweaving may have a compounding effect with his Yolish Lightweaving, and likely allows him to circumvent the problems that he has experienced with his own Illusions. Although Hoid's Ideals are unknown, it may eventually grant him a Shardblade and Shardplate.

Storytelling Method[edit]

Hoid tells stories with smoke[31] and sand[28], literally.

Sand[edit]

In Warbreaker, Lightsong calls Hoid to tell the story of Hallandren history to him and Siri. As he told the story, he dropped sands, dusts, and small objects. As he told the story he began by trailing sand out of his hand, then he added a powdery black sand, when both trails mixed it became a white sand. He began to scatter fern leaves and then threw the handful up with blue and deep red dust making it seem like a minor explosion. He sprinkled silver glitter in front of him, then trailed powdery brown dirt. Black dust, and then flower petals. He then sent out a spray of half a dozen colors from both hands. Then bright yellow dust from one hand and black from the other. Torn writing on paper, followed by metal bits, black charcoal dust from both hands, he crumbled clay, sprinkled golden dust around, bits of grass and earth, a white powder and then a spray of water that turned into mist.

Smoke[edit]

While telling stories with smoke he uses a flute, blowing the smoke, it may be Lightweaving that causes patterns and images to appear in smoke.

In The Way of Kings the chasms echoed the music allowing him to speak and play without the music ever seeming to stop. It is unclear how the flute could be used without chasms or canyons.

Known Pseudonyms[edit]

Suspected Pseudonyms[edit]

  • Midius[38] Midius is a name Hoid uses in an unpublished work; it is probable that Ash is referring to Hoid.

Speculation[edit]

Worldsingers & Worldbringers[edit]

The names of the Worldsingers, a group of storytellers on Roshar, and the Conclave of Worldbringers, the leading body of the original Terris religion, are strikingly similar. Brandon has stated that this is not a coincidence.[124] Some believe that Hoid is a common root to both of these organizations, one of which, the Worldbringers, was very Realmatically aware.[125] There may be also a connection between the Worldsingers and the Dawnsingers, due to similarity of names.

Lerasium Bead & Allomancy[edit]

Brandon has confirmed that Hoid does in fact have a lerasium bead.[126][11][127][128][127] His original intent in acquiring the bead was to become an Allomancer, but Brandon's careful wording throws into question whether or not Hoid actually used the bead for that purpose.[129][130][131] The First Letter also mentions an "element" which its author is keeping safe. This could refer to Hoid and his lerasium.

Quotes[edit]

Warbreaker[edit]

I only tell stories, Your Grace. They may be truths, they may be fictions. All I know is that the stories themselves exist and that I must tell them.
— Hoid to Siri on the truth of his stories[28]
I learned it many, many years ago from a man who didn't know who he was, Your Majesty. It was a distant place where two lands meet and gods have died.
— Hoid to Siri on where he learned his particular method of storytelling.[28]

The Way of Kings[edit]

The foolishness of men who care, Dalinar, and the brilliance of those who do not. The second depend on the first—but also exploit the first first—while the first misunderstand the second, hoping that the second are more like the first. And all of their games steal our time. Second by second.
—Hoid to Dalinar[33]
Nonsense. Balderdash. Figgldygrak. Isn't it odd that gibberish words are often the sounds of other words, cut up and dismembered, then stitched into something like them—yet wholly unlike them at the same time?

"I wonder if you could do that to a man. Pull him apart, emotion by emotion, bit by bit, bloody chunk by bloody chunk. Then combine them back together into something else, like a Dysian Aimian. If you do put a man together like that, Dalinar, be sure to name him Gibberish, after me. Or perhaps Gibletish.

— Hoid to Dalinar (after namedropping Adonalsium)[33]
I've abandoned my real name. But when next we meet, I'll think of a clever one for you to call me. Until then, Wit will suffice—or if you must, you may call me Hoid.
— Hoid to Dalinar[33]
I began life as a thought, a concept, words on a page. That was another thing I stole. Myself. Another time, I was named for a rock."

"A pretty one, I hope."
"A beautiful one," the man said. "And one that became completely worthless for my wearing it.

— Hoid to Kaladin[31]
What you saw belongs to you. A story doesn't live until it is imagined in someone's mind."

"What does the story mean, then?"
"It means what you want it to mean. The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon. Too often, we forget that.

— Hoid to Kaladin on stories[31]
People see in stories what they're looking for, my young friend. I have no answers for you. Most days, I feel I never have had any answers. I've come to your land to chase an old acquaintance, but I end up spending most of my time hiding from him instead.
— Hoid to Kaladin[31]
Can you feel it? Something just changed. I believe that's the sound the world makes when it pisses itself
— Hoid to the Kholinar city guards[34]
What is it we value? Innovation. Originality. Novelty. But most importantly...timeliness. I fear you may be too late, my confused, unfortunate, friend.
— Hoid to Taln[34]

Words of Radiance[edit]

You must not trust yourself with me. If I have to watch this world crumble and burn to get what I need, I will do so. With tears, yes, but I would let it happen.
— Hoid (as Wit) to Dalinar[1]

Trivia[edit]

  • The character of Hoid existed before the concept of Adonalsium was developed. He first appeared in a short story Brandon wrote long ago, going by the name Kamp.[132] He was on a planet trying to figure out how the magical system of the area worked.[133]
  • Brandon has stated that Cephandrius is the closest to his real name. Only a few decades off.[citation needed]
  • Brandon has stated that Hoid is his favorite character, but he couldn't say why without giving away spoilers.[134]
  • Brandon may eventually write a parallel novel to the Mistborn series that chronicles what Hoid was up to behind the scenes.[127]
  • Hoid loves bacon.[135]
  • Hoid's parents were married, or at least he is not illegitimate.[21]
  • His favorite type of spren is a Cryptic.[136]
  • He has a good opinion of Khriss, and they have met at least once.[137]
  • Hoid has had a romantic interest in the past.[138] In fact, there were several.[139]
  • He is the happiest when "getting away with something". When asked in what published book that was, Brandon responded with The Bands of Mourning.[140]
  • Prior to the events Words of Radiance, Hoid has not been hugged in "a long time".[141]

Notes[edit]

  1. a b c Words of Radiance chapter 67 #
  2. Who is the oldest character we know?
    Theoryland - 2014-8-13#
  3. We would call him human, but he's not exactly that
    Theoryland - Mar 22, 2014#
  4. Is Hoid a Herald?
    Theoryland - 2010-12#
  5. This is, indeed, the very same person
    Theoryland - Jul, 2009#
  6. Does the sand storytelling in Warbreaker have to do with White Sand?
    Theoryland - Jan 10th, 2011#
  7. He is a primary viewpoint protagonist of 'Dragonsteel, but that happens before all of the other books
    Theoryland - Aug 31st, 2011#
  8. Hoid has a home base
    17th Shard forums - 29 September 2012#
  9. Who wrote the dust jacket?
    Theoryland - Mar 19, 2014#
  10. Hoid appears on planets where nothing happens
    17th Shard forums - 05 March 2014#
  11. a b Hoid was at the Shattering
    Timewasters Guide forum - 2009-12-19#
  12. Odium and Hoid were once friends
    Theoryland - Feb 15th, 2014#
  13. a b c Words of Radiance epilogue #
  14. Leipzig Book Fair
    Arcanum - 2017-03-24#
  15. Arcanum entry 8225
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  16. Arcanum entry 6665
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  17. Elantris chapter Postscript #
  18. a b Elantris chapter 58 #
  19. The Final Empire chapter 19 #
  20. a b Arcanum entry 1552
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  21. a b c d e f Mistborn: Secret History part 2 chapter 1 #
  22. Mistborn: Secret History part 2 chapter 2 #
  23. Arcanum entry 5942
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  24. The Well of Ascension chapter 56 #
  25. a b The Hero of Ages chapter 27 #
  26. a b Mistborn: Secret History part 6 chapter 1 #
  27. Arcanum entry 5760
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  28. a b c d e Warbreaker chapter 32 #
  29. Warbreaker chapter 52 #
  30. a b c d e Words of Radiance chapter 59 #
  31. a b c d e f g h i The Way of Kings chapter 57 #
  32. Has Hoid been on Roshar before?
    Theoryland - Mar 22, 2014#
  33. a b c d e f g The Way of Kings chapter 54 #
  34. a b c d The Way of Kings epilogue #
  35. a b c d Words of Radiance chapter 46 #
  36. Hoid in Words of Radiance
    Theoryland - Mar 17th, 2014#
  37. Words of Radiance chapter 55 #
  38. a b Oathbringer chapter 121 #
  39. a b c d e f g Oathbringer epilogue #
  40. /r/Stormlight_Archive
    Arcanum - 2013-03-14#
  41. Oathbringer's letters are from Shards we know.
    17th Shard forums - 2017-11-19#
  42. a b c d The Bands of Mourning chapter 11 #
  43. Arcanum entry 918
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  44. Alloy of Law Seattle Signing
    Arcanum - 2011-11-11#
  45. a b /r/books AMA 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-07-14#
  46. The Alloy of Law chapter 4 #
  47. Arcanum entry 6162
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  48. a b Shadows of Self chapter 7 #
  49. Arcanum entry 4376
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  50. Arcanum entry 5317
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  51. The Bands of Mourning epilogue #
  52. The New Ascendancy
  53. Arcanum entry 1702
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  54. Arcanum entry 8899
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  55. Arcanum entry 8392
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  56. Arcanum entry 1727
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  57. a b c The Way of Kings chapter 12 #
  58. a b The Way of Kings interlude I-1 #
  59. Arcanum entry 9236
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  60. Arcanum Unbounded release party
    Arcanum - 2016-11-22#
  61. a b Protagonist Brawl
    Theoryland - Mar 24th, 2014#
  62. a b c d Words of Radiance chapter 45 #
  63. Supanova 2017 - Perth
    Arcanum - 2017-06-25#
  64. a b Arcanum entry 8498
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  65. Arcanum entry 8687
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  66. Arcanum entry 1705
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  67. Brandon on Hoid
    Theoryland - 2016-12-03#
  68. Arcanum entry 896
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  69. Arcanum entry 2853
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  70. Arcanum entry 6658
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  71. a b Arcanum entry 656
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  72. Arcanum entry 1044
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  73. a b Arcanum entry 8909
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  74. Words of Radiance chapter ars #
  75. Arcanum entry 5775
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  76. Arcanum entry 5024
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  77. Oathbringer chapter 35 epigraph #
  78. Arcanum entry 8329
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  79. a b c Arcanum entry 9346
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  80. Oathbringer chapter 82 #
  81. Arcanum entry 8473
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  82. Arcanum entry 8664
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  83. a b Arcanum entry 1472
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  84. Arcanum Unbounded - The Drominad System #
  85. Arcanum entry 4132
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  86. Arcanum entry 5981
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  87. Elantris postscript #
  88. JordanCon 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-04-21#
  89. Arcanum entry 9294
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  90. Oathbringer chapter 68 #
  91. Arcanum entry 4031
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  92. a b Idaho Falls signing
    Arcanum - 2018-07-21#
  93. Arcanum entry 6585
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  94. Arcanum entry 4083
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  95. Arcanum entry 37
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  96. If Hoid got beheaded, would his body grow a new head?
    Theoryland - Mar 4th, 2014#
  97. a b c Arcanum Unbounded Fort Collins signing
    Arcanum - 2016-11-29#
  98. a b Arcanum entry 10011
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  99. Arcanum entry 738
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  100. Arcanum entry 5821
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  101. Arcanum entry 2753
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  102. a b Arcanum entry 3759
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  103. a b Arcanum entry 9012
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  104. Arcanum entry 223
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  105. Arcanum entry 3583
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  106. Arcanum entry 8185
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  107. Arcanum entry 4877
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  108. Arcanum entry 1515
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  109. The Hero of Ages chapter 22 epigraph #
  110. Arcanum entry 6933
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  111. Arcanum entry 465
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  112. Arcanum entry 466
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  113. Arcanum entry 1571
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  114. Arcanum entry 3212
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  115. Warbreaker epilogue #
  116. Arcanum entry 4655
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  117. Arcanum entry 3437
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  118. Words of Radiance chapter 81 #
  119. Deleted prologue from The Emperor's Soul
    Brandon's website - 2014-03-31#
  120. Hoid is also called Topaz (from the large gem stone he wore a long time ago)
    17th Shard forums - Oct 9th, 2015#
  121. Cephandrius Maxtori
    17th Shard forums - Oct 9th, 2015#
  122. Shadows of Self release party
    Arcanum - 2015-10-05#
  123. /r/brandonsanderson
    Arcanum - 2016-12-06#
  124. Mi'ch says Brandon said that their similarity in names wasn't a coincidence
    17th Shard forums - 06 December 2011#
  125. Realmatic theory was part of the ancient Terris religion
    17th Shard forums - 29 September 2012#
  126. Well, he has a bead of Lerasium
    Theoryland - 2013-01-23#
  127. a b c Well, by this point Hoid had been to the Well--getting there just before Vin--and had retrieved something from it
    17th Shard forums - 27 September 2012#
  128. Hoid has metal he isn't supposed to have
    17th Shard forums - 23 December 2011#
  129. Did Hoid use his bead for Feruchemy?
    Theoryland - Mar 29, 2014#
  130. Is Hoid an allomancer?
    Theoryland - Mar 29, 2014#
  131. What alloy did Hoid drink?
    Theoryland - Mar 20, 2014#
  132. It's Here
    Brandon's website - 2010-8-31#
  133. Hoid has been around forever, long before Adonalsium became the central plot of his story
    17th Shard forums - 26 September 2012#
  134. I'll have to say Hoid is my favorite
    Theoryland - Jul, 2009#
  135. Firefight signing Atlanta
    Arcanum - 2015-01-24#
  136. Arcanum entry 8135
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  137. Arcanum entry 1707
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  138. Arcanum entry 1753
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  139. Arcanum entry 9465
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  140. Arcanum entry 1745
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
  141. Arcanum entry 3169
    Error: missing reference description, click to import.
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