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Related to Awakening, BioChromatic Breath
Type Focus
World Nalthis
Universe Cosmere
Featured In Warbreaker

Commands are the focus for Awakening.[1] A command must be clearly spoken in the Awakener's native language and clearly visualized in their mind to function. Incomplete or mumbled Commands will take Breath but create no effect.[2] Sometimes Awakeners will intentionally do this or use Commands designed to have no effect to store their Breaths in an object.[3]

The most basic Commands are "My life to yours, my Breath become yours" and "Your Breath to mine," which respectively allow Breath to be given to another person and retrieved from an Awakened object you created.[4][2]

Commands tend to be simple phrases, such as "hold things" or "grab things."[5] More complex phrases, however, can still work for experienced Awakeners, as the visualization is the most important part of the Command.[3] Examples of more complex Commands include "upon call, become my fingers and grip."[6] The length of a phrase is not always indicative of its complexity; one of the most complex known Commands is the simple phrase "fetch keys."[7]

Vasher claims to know Commands that can erase a person's memories, and he even appears to use them once. It is unclear how these Commands work, as all known Awakening invests a lifeless object or corpse, but it appears that they can only be used on oneself, as Vasher offers to teach them to Denth rather than using themself, and appears to teach them to Nanrovah's daughter after rescuing her from captivity.[3][8]

The Command given to Lifeless at creation provides for the giving of additional Commands without consuming extra Breath.[6] The Command given to Type Four Biochromatic entities, such as Nightblood, takes on nuance and incredible power, becoming the core personality of the object.[9]


According to the Ars Arcanum, at the Sixth Heightening, Awakeners can use basic Commands instinctively and learn to use new Commands much more easily. At the Eighth Heightening, Awakeners can override others' Commands, though this is exhausting. Awakeners of the Ninth Heightening can Awaken stone and metal with specialized Commands, and can Awaken without touching the object they are Awakening. Vasher comments at one point that Awakeners at the Tenth Heightening can Command without speaking, though it takes a lot of training[10].


  • In the Warbreaker GraphicAudio, Vasher uses the Command "My Breath to give for life to live" (instead of the usual Breath transfer Command, "My life to yours, my Breath become yours") to avoid accidentally giving away his divine Breath. Brandon believes GraphicAudio got that from his team and that it is the canonical version of the Command, but was unsure and said he would have the check with Isaac Stewart and Peter Ahlstrom.[11]


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