Hoid

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Hoid
Wit.jpg
Abilities Lightweaving, Feruchemy, Awakening, and Worldhopping
Aliases Wit, others
World
Featured In The Stormlight Archive, Elantris, Mistborn series, Warbreaker
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“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, who has appeared in every cosmere novel; he was involved in events before the beginning of the novella. The subtlety of his appearances vary from book to book, ranging from him being named outright and making cosmere references to appearances where his name isn't mentioned and he's in a deep disguise. He is confirmed to be the same individual,[2] but one who Worldhops between planets. Hoid's actions and motives are mysterious, as most of his actions appear to occur behind the scenes.

Hoid is not a Shard, nor is he a Herald, but something else entirely.[3]

It has been said that the origin of Hoid will be revealed in the Dragonsteel series,[4] and so it is commonly believed Hoid is from Yolen, the world of Dragonsteel.

Hoid has a home base somewhere in the cosmere,[5] and he has a bead of lerasium.[6]

Hoid is not the author of the Ars Arcanums, nor of the back-of-book blurb for Words of Radiance.[Citation needed] He occasionally will show up somewhere, stand around for a while, realize there isn't a novel-worthy plot going on, and leave.[7]

History[edit]

Very little of Hoid's history is known beyond the fact that he was present at the Shattering of Adonalsium.[8] The specifics of his appearances follows, but bear in mind that it is arranged by book, not chronologically. Hoid's appearance in Alloy of Law takes place after his appearance in The Way of Kings.

Sel (Elantris & The Emperor's Soul)[edit]

Scadrial (Mistborn)[edit]

He has appeared multiple times on Scadrial:

Nalthis (Warbreaker)[edit]

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.[17]
Way of Kings[edit]

In a departure from his previous appearances, Hoid plays a relatively major role 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".[18] He also meets Kaladin and tells him a story about Derethil and the Wandersail.[17] 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, a man from the Purelake, spends six months being paid by three men to ask around the area after Hoid. These three men are Galladon, Demoux, and a third man from a book that has not been published, referred to as Vao or Blunt. These men are confirmed to be members of the Seventeenth Shard.

Words of Radiance[edit]

Hoid again in this plays a minor role as Wit. For most of the book, they say he is away, which is presumed to be when he went to Scadrial during the mistborn series, but not for certain. Hoid appears again later on in the book at the very same time as Taln, a Herald, who breaks through the gates of Kholinar and falls unconscious after declaring that the True Desolation is imminent.[19] Also in a flashback 5 and a half years ago from Shallan, Shallan meets Wit, who is disguised as a messenger, and he talks to her. At the end of the book, he meets with Jasnah Kholin as she exits Shadesmar, offering to travel with her.

Appearance & Personality[edit]

Hoid's appearance varies drastically 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;[18] hawk-like and arrow shaped. Hoid is tall and thin[20] and also has a sharp nose and jaw with delicate eyebrows.[18] He tends to cock his head to one side[17] and has keen blue eyes.[20] Hoid's hair is white, although he occasionally dyes it.[21]

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.[19][17]

On Roshar as King Elhokar's wit he 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.”
[20]

This blade is not Nightblood.[22]

Abilities[edit]

  • Lightweaving - possible illusion magic from Yolen. This allows him to create images of anything he likes, and even possibly change how he looks to others.
  • Worldhopping - Hoid is very good at manipulating Shadesmar.[13] He can travel to any world he likes, and can even use this ability to move swiftly around a single planet and to get to otherwise inaccessible areas, like the Well of Ascension.[23]
  • Feruchemy - Hoid also has access to at least one of the Three Metallic Arts native to Scadrial.[24]
  • Limited foresight - Hoid knows where he needs to go and when he needs to be there.[25] Feruchemy is somehow involved in this ability.[24]
  • Extremely long life and time dilation[26] - Hoid is far older than any human could really live. He also hasn't lived through all those years. He can move swiftly forward in time, but has not yet traveled backwards in time.
  • Awakening - Hoid likely has a Breath, something that a scene in Words of Radiance seems to confirm, as he mentions how playing an instrument was easier now with 'perfect pitch' - something granted to those with the Second Heightening.[27]
  • Unknown immunity - Hoid was threatened by Jasnah with a Shardblade but he remained unconcerned, saying "I'd be surprised if that little knife of yours poses me any real threat ...," implying that he is immune to the effects of a Shardblade or is very nearly so.

Known Pseudonyms[edit]

Speculation[edit]

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

Hoid Wrote The Letter[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 all the original Shardholders 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. This provides strong evidence that the author of the Letter is Hoid, as he is being hunted in an area far from where he really is by three men who are probably from the Seventeenth Shard. It is confirmed that we "may have read that Hoid has specific beef with Rayse." As for only the Letter tells about Hoid having a grudge against Rayse this can be seen as an acknowledgement that Hoid wrote the Letter.[29]

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.[30] Some believe that Hoid is a common root to both of these organizations, one of which, the Worldbringers, was very Realmatically aware.[31]

Lerasium Bead[edit]

We know that aside from the beads of lerasium burned by the original nine Allomancers and Elend there is at least one more other bead somewhere in the cosmere.[8] We know that Hoid was at the well prior to Vin and Elend arriving there.[23] Also, Hoid has "metal he isn't supposed to have".[32] Hoid has also been confirmed to have retrieved something from the Well.[23] Combining all these facts heavily hint that Hoid is in possession of a bead of lerasium.

It was later confirmed that Hoid does in fact have a lerasium bead.[6] In the letter it also references that someone is keeping something safe for Hoid. It is presumed to be the Lerasium bead that he took.

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[16]
“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.[16]

As Hoid developed that type of storytelling,[33] it's possible that the "man who didn't know who he was" is himself. Also, "where gods have died"and "many, many years ago" seem to speak of the Shattering.

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[18]
“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)[18]
“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[18]
“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[17]
“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[17]
“People see in stories what they’re looking for, my young friend.” He reached behind his boulder, pulling out a pack and slinging it on his shoulder. “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[17]
“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[19]
“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[19]

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. He was on a planet trying to figure out how the magical system of the area worked.[34]
  • Brandon has stated that Hoid is his favorite character, but he couldn't say why without giving away spoilers.[35]
  • Brandon may eventually write a parallel novel to the Mistborn series that chronicles what Hoid was up to behind the scenes.[23]
  • Hoid loves bacon.[36]

Notes[edit]

  1. Words of Radiance chapter 67
  2. This is, indeed, the very same person.
  3. Is Hoid a Herald?
  4. He is a primary viewpoint protagonist of Dragonsteel, but that happens before all of the other books.
  5. He has a home base.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Well, he has a bead of Lerasium
  7. Hoid appears on planets where nothing happens
  8. 8.0 8.1 Hoid was at the Shattering
  9. Elantris chapter 58
  10. The Final Empire chapter 19
  11. Hoid got wrapped up in things he didn't expect to be involved in, and they dominated much of his time during the events of Mistborn: Well of Ascension.
  12. The Well of Ascension chapter 56
  13. 13.0 13.1 If so, is this Hoid's part in Well of Ascension? This trace of him?
  14. Is Slowswift Hoid?
  15. Was the "beggar in black" Hoid?
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Warbreaker chapter 32
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 17.6 The Way of Kings chapter 57
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 18.6 The Way of Kings chapter 54
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 The Way of Kings epilogue
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 The Way of Kings chapter 12
  21. 21.0 21.1 The Way of Kings interlude I-1
  22. Is Hoid's sword in WoK Nightblood?
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 Well, by this point Hoid had been to the Well--getting there just before Vin--and had retrieved something from it.
  24. 24.0 24.1 How does Hoid know where to go?
  25. How does Hoid know where to go when?
  26. Can Hoid jump through time?
  27. It seems quite likely that he would.
  28. Brandon says in the Annotation for Warbreaker Chapter 32 annotation that Hoid was using one of his favorite pseudonyms in the original draft, which was Dust.
  29. Hoid has a specific beef against Rayse.
  30. Mi'ch was telling me that Brandon said that their similarity in names wasn't a coincidence.
  31. Realmatic theory was part of the ancient Terris religion.
  32. Hoid has metal he isn't supposed to have
  33. This is a storytelling method that Hoid developed on his own.
  34. Hoid has been around forever, long before Adonalsium became the central plot of his story.
  35. I’ll have to say Hoid is my favorite.
  36. Brandon shared this in a signing personalization @trevorade twitter 2014/01/13
The Cosmere
Shards Cultivation · Devotion · Dominion · Endowment · Honor · Odium · Preservation · Ruin · Bavadin's Shard · Survival Shard
Shardworlds Ashyn · Braize · Nalthis · Roshar · Scadrial · Sel · Taldain · Threnody · Yolen
Terms Adonalsium · Sliver · Splinter · Realmatic Theory · Intent · Focus · Investiture · Shardpool · Spiritweb
Other Hoid · Seventeenth Shard · Chronology · Shattering · Worldhopping · Letters