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This page describes the usage of theories and speculation on the Coppermind. This is particularly relevant to Cosmere works where certain facts may not be stated, but are still important for a wiki article.

When to add speculation

In general, theories are not allowed. Do not make Content pages for your theory, or terms you invented for your theory. You may make subpages on your user page for this purpose, in the form of User:MyUsername/MyTheory. The Coppermind is a wiki about the facts of Brandon's works, not a database regarding fan work or fan theories.

However, there are some occasions where theories and speculation is acceptable. These are the instances when the article at hand would be critically incomplete without the speculation.

For example, for a long time, the true nature of Seons was unknown, but once Brandon revealed the existence of Splinters and that Splinters can have thoughts of their own, it was commonly thought that Seons were Splinters of the Shard relating to AonDor (later revealed to be Devotion). This is the type of thing that an article on Seons would be incomplete without mentioning, and would serve readers of the wiki poorly if it was not mentioned.

Thus, the golden rule of speculation is: if the article would not be considered content-complete without this speculative information, include the speculation.

Generally, most speculative material will be Cosmere-based, as a quote on one thing could have clear ramifications on other planets or magics entirely. Noncosmere works, however, are not excluded from these policies on speculative content.

How to use speculation properly

Speculation should:

  • Always be marked with {{theory}} on its section, or rarely on the whole page (see below)
  • Should be well cited with quotes from the books or quotes from other interviews with Brandon
  • Be a generally well accepted theory in the community

Do not state things as fact if they are not fact. Use words like "this may be that," not "this is that." Word choice is essential so that a reader does not mistake speculation for absolute fact. Despite using these words, you should cite every speculative statement with reasoning concrete from books. (Generally things should be cited on the Coppermind, but speculation is put through a much higher standard.) If there could be another interpretation of the facts, mention it.

In other words, when you are using speculative material it not only needs to be obvious that this is not fact, but also, you want to include a ludicrous quantity of quotes from the books, so as to sound very reasonable to a reader. What speculation needs to do is open up reasonable possibilities in a reader's mind, not tell them absolute facts.

Avoid referring to specific fans, and try and keep speculative material as in-universe as possible. Sometimes it will not be able to keep it totally from an in-universe perspective, but try to do so.

Entire pages as speculation

In some cases, an entire article may have {{theory}} at its top. When doing so, the editor is implying there may be some leaps in absolute fact, but are nonetheless important to get correct.

An example of this would be the Voidbinding page. So little is known about the true mechanics of this magic system that not much can authoritatively be stated as "fact." And yet, this is an important topic that the wiki would be hurt by not having.

The article is written in such a way that it is impossible to not realize that there is speculation going on, but the article tries to make as much sense of the topic as possible, given what we know. Note how throughout the article everything is clearly cited and sticks very close to information from the books and relevant answers Brandon has given to reader questions.

That is how one writes theoretical content in articles properly: by staying very close to the facts, and by being essential to the quality to the wiki.