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{/{character |image=Wit.jpg |image-artist=User: Botanicaxu |abilities=Lightweaving, Feruchemy, Allomancy, Awakener, Lightweaver Worldhopping |aliases=Wit, others |world=Yolen |books=The Stormlight Archive, Elantris, Mistborn, Warbreaker, The Liar of Partinel }}

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. He has appeared in almost every cosmere novel, short story, and novella which takes place in that universe.

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to illustrate his stories, as in Warbreaker and The Way of Kings, does not originate from White Sand, but from another unpublished story, The Liar of Partinel.[6] In Warbreaker, Siri asked Hoid where he learned his style of story telling.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 Arcana, 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]


Early Life[edit]

I had thought that when he rejected the rest of us, he would stop interfering. I should know better than to trust an implication from him. Half the time you can't trust his outright promises. . . .

—Fuzz on Hoid[11]

Very little of Hoid's origin is known beyond the fact that he was present at the Shattering of Adonalsium on Yolen.[12] He knew at least some of the original Vessels personally, was friends with Rayse,[13] and Tanavast once bought him a drink.[14] Hoid likely went by the name of Cephandrius during this time, as Vessels such as Leras[11] and Rayse[15] refer to him by that name. Despite having once been Rayse's friend, Hoid developed a grudge against Rayse and Bavadin as well.[16] Hoid was once offered a Shard at the time of the Shattering, but refused to take it.[17] He also did something in his past that he regretted.[18]

At some point following the Shattering, Hoid traveled to Roshar. He met the singers there and even shared a dance with one of them, Vatwha, a member of the Fused.[19] It is also likely that Hoid interacted with the Unkalaki culture at some point, where they came to worship him as Lunu'anaki, the god of travel and mischief.[20] They learned of his inability to hurt others, and the details of this affliction and his appearance became a part of Unkalaki mythology.

His appearances are listed below, organized by book series and not necessarily in chronological order. He makes no appearance in Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell.[21]

Musician on Taldain[edit]

Hoid spent some time in the Dayside city of Lossand on Taldain around the time that the Taishan considered dissolving the Sand Profession.[22] Hoid's plans and goals during this time on Taldain are unknown. Hoid wore a brown hooded cloak and played a stringed instrument related to the enthir[23] outside the Hall of Judgement.[22] He was passed by Kenton and Diren heading toward the building to speak to the Taisha on behalf of the Diem. Later Hoid sailed with Duchess Khrissalla, Baon, and Diren to Darkside, playing a song on deck about how the greater the distance between the creator and the audience, the less clear the original intentions of the creator.[24] He sees Diren test Baon for his potential as a sand master and sees the resulting explosion of power.

The Restoration of Elantris (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.[25] Hoid disguised himself as a beggar, wrapped in bandages. He helped Sarene smuggle weapons into Elantris.[26] 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 occurred. 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 years later, hoping to steal the Moon Scepter of the Rose Empire. Hoid wished to use this scepter to help him translate between various runes used on the planet to hopefully gain access to the Invested Arts of Sel.[27] He 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.[28] He was pursued by Shai for his betrayal and she did eventually succeed in catching up to him.[29]

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.[30] At some point he became known to both Dockson[30] and Ashweather Cett[31]. 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.[32]

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.[11] He encountered the Shadow of Kelsier there, who asked for help returning to the Physical Realm. Hoid told Kelsier 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, but Kelsier instead threatened Hoid. Hoid attempted to enter the pool, but Kelsier attacked him before he could transition to the Physical Realm. After a brief scuffle, Hoid easily overpowered Kelsier. He found that because Kelsier was a shadow, Hoid was able to cause him serious pain, something that would be impossible normally for Hoid to do to a living being[33] Hoid then transitioned through the Well and stole one of the last beads of lerasium from the Chamber of Ascension.[11] He later burned the metal to become a Mistborn himself.[34]

Hoid then traveled to the Terris Dominance[35][32] to learn more about the nature of Feruchemy, and then became too involved in matters he did not anticipate, which resulted in him being badly beaten.[36] This may refer to him becoming involved with the refugees from the Inquisitor attack on Tathingdwen and the slaughter of the Synod.[37] Hoid took up the guise of a Terris leader[38] and led the Terris refugees to the Central Dominance.[37]

A year later, Hoid was in Fadrex City, again acting as an informant, and Ashweather Cett suggested Vin speak to him.[31] Just before Vin arrived, Kelsier's Cognitive Shadow noticed Hoid from within the Cognitive Realm.[39] Kelsier tried to touch Hoid's soul, but was rebuffed by a shock that numbed his hand. When Vin arrived to meet with Hoid, Kelsier attempted to warn her away from him.[39] Although Vin could not hear Kelsier directly, she sensed something off about Hoid[40] and followed her instincts, choosing not to speak to him.[31]

Storyteller to the Gods (Nalthis)[edit]

I seek not to be charming, Your Grace, I only tell stories.

—Hoid to Siri[41]

Hoid traveled to Nalthis at some point following the Catecendre and became a well-known master storyteller in the Court of the Gods.[41] Lightsong summoned him to tell himself and Siri the history of the division between Idris and Hallandren, answering their questions about the Manywar, Peacegiver, and the Hallendran God kings.[41] Hoid makes use of a unique storytelling method here involving dropping dust and powders that he carried in his pockets while telling a story.

It is possible that this is the time period in which Hoid gained hundreds of Breaths to achieve at least the Second Heightening and perfect pitch.[citation needed] Hoid also learned to play a game of Awakened cards, a game he began to win repeatedly after he started fixing the games.[42] However, he eventually lost after betting all on his own victory before he was forced into a tie. This event would serve as a lesson to Hoid later in life to focus on limiting his losses rather than aiming for total victory. At some point he also met Vasher who knew him as Dust,[43][44] as well as Vivenna,[45] although it is unknown if they met on Nalthis.

True Desolation (Roshar)[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.[46]

Prior Visits[edit]

Hoid has made a number of historical visits to Roshar well before the events of the True Desolation. At some point persumably prior to the Recreance, Hoid came to Roshar hoping to to bond a spren and become a Surgebinder, but did not accomplish this goal.[47] Several generations before the coming of the Everstorm, when Cord's grandmother was watcher of the pool, Hoid visited the Horneater Peaks and warned the Unkalaki of the Sleepless.[48] Hoid also became a Master Worldsinger at some point, a Rosharan storyteller specializing in sharing knowledge about the world. Given his nature, it is possible he was involved in the creation of this organization in the first place.

At some point possibly prior to the year 1170 Hoid returned to Roshar through Cultivation's Perpendicularity in the Horneater Peaks. He encountered Lunamor as he exited the Perpendicularity, making fun of his beard and asking for the year by the Unkalaki calendar. His specific goals at this time are not completely known, but he was hoping to gain full access to Lightweaving again by bonding a spren,[citation needed] as well as check in on Odium and perhaps rally others to work towards Rasyse's defeat.[citation needed]

Hoid at some point met Hallaran Davar in Alethkar, taking note of his determination. Around mid-1170 when Hoid mentioned to Helaran that he was traveling westward, Helaran asked him to deliver a message to Lin Davar. Helaran wished Lin to know that he had eyes near to Lin that were watching him.[49]

Shallan and Hoid's meeting at the fair by Marie Seeberger

Hoid came to the Middlefest fair in rural Jah Keved and met with Lin Davar in his box.[49] As they began to speak, Hoid was shocked to catch sight of Shallan Davar, potentially due to her abandoned spren bond.[citation needed] Hoid slipped metal shavings into his own drink before talking to Lin Davar,[49] making use of emotionally Allomancy to manipulate the man.[citation needed] When Shallan entered her carriage to speak with Wikim, Hoid climbed a nearby jella tree and waited for her to exit. When she came out, he revealed himself to her, expressing surprise that he had found her. Shallan asked for news of Helaran, and Hoid told her that he was busy doing things he found important and shared the contents of Helaran's message with her. Hoid asked her if spren spoke to her, but Shallan denied it, refusing to think of the memories she had suppressed. Hoid then told her a parable of two blind men discussing beaty, and asked her if beauty can ever be taken from a man completely. Shallan replied that she did not believe so, and Hoid asked her to imagine the most beautiful thing she could in exchange for knowledge of Helaran's whereabouts. As Shallan explained her dream of a happy family, she almost began to Lightweave an illusion with Stormlight from Hoid's spheres, but stopped herself before she could truly form an illusion. Hoid realized that she was not ready and encouraged her in her struggle to keep her family together. Before Hoid left, he told her Heleran was currently in Alethkar and that he would bring word of Shallan to him if he got the chance.[49]

Likely at some point following this, Hoid took an apprentice by the name of Sigzil, trying to teach him the ways of the Worldsingers as well as some common sense.[46] The two men spent some time in Babatharnam and Hoid was forced to bail Sigzil out of jail three times, as the locals had taken Hoid to be a wealthy foreigner, and knew he would pay to free Sigzil.[50] They traveled together for a long time, but somehow Hoid and Sigzil became separated in such a way that Hoid believed Sigzil had died.[46]

Sometime between 1170[51] and late 1173,[52] Hoid encountered Lift in Marabethia, talking with her about how it was permissible for art to be crass before jumping into the mouth of a yu-nerig.[53] At some point, Hoid also became aware that members of the Seventeenth Shard had come to Roshar hunting him[54] and had laid a false trail through the Purelake for them to chase.[55] Some time around the events of the True Desolation, Hoid began writing letters to Frost as well as Autonomy, Endowment and Harmony asking for help dealing with Odium. Frost refused citing his policy of non-intervention and his concern that their meddling could only make matters worse. Autonomy refused saying they wished to be left alone from his interference and they cared not for Odium's prison. Endowment refused saying that Odium would be dealt with if he became more of a problem. Harmony responded that he would try to help, but that his ability to influence events was limited by the opposing powers of his Shards. Hoid and Harmony remained in correspondence, planning to extend Odium's imprisonment so that more forces could be marshalled. Hoid recommended that Harmony reach out to the other Shards, which Harmony did so. Harmony warned Hoid that he had become too focused on Rayse as the Vessel and that Odium was the true threat, especially in the hands of a crafty Vessel.

The King's Wit[edit]

He also had become the King's Wit of Alethkar by around the middle of the year 1173.[56] He lived in the Alethi warcamps on the Shattered Plains, insulting the Alethi nobility in the stead of the king. During this time the king's sister Jasnah Kholin[57] and his mother Navani[58] both became familiar with Hoid in his role as Wit and his characterist humor. While serving as Wit, Hoid would often vanish without explanation for a time before returning, but Elhokar's fondness for Hoid's sense of humor prevented Hoid from being replaced as Wit.[59] Hoid became very familiar with other members of the Kholin family, Adolin came to like him, whereas Dalinar and Renarin were less certain.[56] Highprince Sadeas loathed Wit and desired to kill him.[60] Hoid commonly attended the feasts of the nobility, including one where he seriously insulted Highprince Roion.[citation needed] A week later, Hoid accompanied Elhokar Kholin and his family on a chasmfiend hunt on the Plains themselves, mocking Dalinar's sons until Dalinar put a stop to it and Hoid moved on to talk to others.[56] After the disastrous fight with the chasmfiend, Hoid had something to do, but he then met with Elhokar again, along with the other Kholins and Sadeas. Wit insulted Sadeas repeatedly, daring him to kill him before Sadeas stormed away. Wit left the Plains riding at the head of the party with Elhokar.[60]

Hoid tells the story of Derethil and the Wandersail

A few weeks later at another of Elhokar's feasts, Hoid stole a stool from one of the lighteyed artist competitions and set himself up near the bridge to the king's feasting island, insulting each of the people who came by.[58] When Dalinar came by, Hoid warned him that there were rumors about Dalinar being spread about, including that Dalinar had mentioned abandoning the Vengeance Pact. As Dalinar left, Navani approached the island and she and Wit exchanged friendly insults.

Following his return to the warcamps, Hoid became aware that Sigzil had survived and was now serving on the bridge crews.[46] He also had become suspicious that Dalinar Kholin was a member of a secret society and may have had knowledge of the wider cosmere.[61] At a feast weeks later, Hoid sat down next to Dalinar, wearing a hooded cloak. Hoid asked Dalinar if he had heard the term Adonalsium. After Dalinar expressed confusion, Hoid moved on with the conversation, warning Dalinar that Sadeas was planning a revelation at the feast that night, although he was uncertain what it was. Hoid told Dalinar that he had to leave the Plains, but that events were growing dangerous and that Dalinar was at the core of it all.[62] Before leaving the Plains, Hoid stopped by the edge of the chasms, lighting a fire and playing his Trailman's flute. Kaladin happened to walk by at the time, and Wit called out to Kaladin introducing himself and asking Kaladin's name. Kaladin tried to leave, but before he could Wit asked that he stay and listen to a story. Hoid told Kaladin the tale of Derethil and the Wandersail, a Rosharan myth about a king who sailed to the origin of the Voidbringers. As Kaladin saw various images from the story in Hoid's fire, it is possible that Hoid was Lightweaving as he played. After the story, Kaladin asked Hoid if the tale had been true and Hoid admitted it had been a lie. When Kaladin asked what the story had meant, Hoid refused to explain, saying it was up to the person who heard it to interpret for themselves. When Kaladin said that the story had been about taking responsibility, Hoid asked what Kaladin had been trying to avoid responsibility for and gave Kaladin his flute, asking Kaladin to learn to play it. As he left, Hoid asked Kaladin to look after Sigzil and tell him that he had achieved the rank of a full Worldsinger.[46]

Hoid left the Plains, traveling to the Alethi capital of Kholinar,[63] perhaps making use of his foresight. When he arrived there, he sat on a pile of boxes just inside the gate. His odd behavior drew the attention of some of the Kholinar guard, who spoke with him for a time about the most valuable attribute a man could have. Hoid dismissed all their answers, explaining that timeliness was the most valued, as anything produced second was inevitably seen as derivative. The gate was suddenly attacked by an unknown assailant who cut his way in with a Shardblade. The Herald Talenel entered the city, warning that a new Desolation had come, before collapsing. After the man collapsed, Hoid pondered quietly to himself that he feared the Herald himself had arrived too late.[63]

Return to the Plains[edit]

Wit rode in a wagon with Taln and Dalinar's man Bordin when Bordin brought the supposed-madman and his Blade to the Shattered Plains. On the second day, Wit apparently grew tired of their company, hitting himself in the head with a rock several times before telling Bordin that he needed an objective frame of reference to judge the experience of Bordin's company, which apparently fell around four or five blows to the head. Hoid then ran off into the hills for reasons unknown.[64]

All people are musicians,” Wit countered. “The question is whether or not they share their songs.

—Hoid to Kal

Hoid still arrived at the Shattered Plains later on his own however. He did not immediately return to Elhokar's court, preferring to remain unknown for a while and prepare a dramatic entrance. He also discovered that Kaladin had lost the flute he had given him. One one day, Hoid arranged to replacing Adolin's normal carriage driver. Before going to pick up Kaladin and Adolin, he paid another man to stand at a certain corner to take over as driver so he could vanish mysteriously.[65]

When Hoid arrived, Kaladin noticed him quickly and was surprised.[65] Kaladin climbed up on the front of the carriage with Hoid for the trip to Sebarial's warcamp and Hoid asked Kaladin whether he had learned to play the flute. Before Kaladin could respond, Wit interrupted him, telling him that he already knew that Kaladin had lost the flute and mocking him for it several times. When Kaladin protested music was a woman's art, Hoid questioned why the women's arts all seemed more fun. He mocked Kaladin several more times, trying to get Kaladin engaged in the conversation, but Kaladin refused to respond wittily. Hoid finally made a passing reference to Kaladin's flying, leading Kaladin to believe Wit was aware of his Surgebinding and alarming him. When Kaladin asked what Hoid wanted, he responded that he only wanted a story from Kaladin, mocking him again. They fell silent for a time, before Kaladin remarked on the oddity new farmers setting up fields, even though the highstorms are stronger in the east. Hoid explained to Kaladin that the whole area had once been farmed and admonished him for not knowing much about human nature or how to have a good time. Kaladin told Hoid that his definition of fun was being where Hoid was not, to which Hoid replied that maybe Kaladin still had some wit about him after all.

After arriving at Sebarial's manor, Hoid asked the footman to fetch Shallan and Adolin left the carriage and was also astonished to see Hoid driving it.[65] Hoid climbed down to speak with Adolin, who wanted to know what had happened to his normal driver. Hoid was insulted that Adolin seemed to think he had hurt the man and joked that Adolin's driver was probably escaped from being tied up by then. When Shallan arrived, she was astounded to recognize him from her childhood and immediately hugged Hoid to his astonishment, the first hug he had received in a long time. Shallan thanked him for the help he had given her as a girl. Adolin expressed shock that anyone would hug the King's Wit, as he was not supposed to be well-liked. Shallan told Hoid that she needed to speak to him, as she could only remember some of their first meeting. Hoid told her that he was busy but he would try to fit her into his schedule. After Adolin helped Shallan into the carriage he told Wit to stay away from her, worried that he was interested in Shallan. Hoid told Adolin that she was far too young for him and that there was only one woman his age in the area anyway. After Adolin entered the carriage, Hoid told Kaladin to flirt with Shallan a little to bother Adolin even though she was lighteyed, as Alethi put too much stock in eye color. When they decided to go to the menagerie instead of a winehouse, Adolin told Hoid to change his destination. At some point after that, Hoid successfully switched places with the man he had paid earlier, leaving him to convey the carriage to its destination while he escaped.

Unclaimed Hills[edit]

Hoid then discovered that there was a new place he needed to go, a place out in the Unclaimed Hills of Natanatan. When he arrived at the place in the middle of the wilderness, near a river, he played his pipes, alternating with the songlings for a time. Having identified one of the nearby cremlings as a member of the Sleepless, Hoid spoke aloud about the nature of art and the difficulty of expectations from an audience. Afterwards, he intentionally struck a knowing pose just before Jasnah Kholin transitioned to the Physical Realm from Shadesmar. When Jasnah saw Wit, she summoned her Blade threatening Hoid and demanded that he tell her how he had found her. Hoid told her that her Blade was no threat to him and Jasnah attempted to leave, believing that she needed to warn humankind about the Everstorm, locate Urithiru and refound the Radiants. Hoid told her that she was too late for all three, claiming that she was better of remaining in Shadesmar as the end of Roshar had come. He told her that the Everstorm would bring the transformation of the singers soon and that the Desolation would occur differently this time than it had in the past. When Jasnah wondered where mankind would find answers for the fight to come as the records of the past were meaningless and the Almighty was dead, Wit told her that he believed she was looking for God in the wrong places and that both God and salvation from the Desolation could be found in the hearts of men. The two departed, traveling towards the warcamps. During their trip, Wit explained to Jasnah the origins of Rosharan humankind and how it had led to the Recreance and the destruction of the Knights Radiant.[66] He also gave he drawings of the Heralds true faces so that she could identify them herself.

Mention Hoid knowing that Jasnah had caused problems with the spren?

Busking in Kholinar[edit]

At some point following his meeting with Jasnah, Hoid went to Kholinar, again for reasons he was uncertain of, taking up residence in an inn, promising the owner to attract crowds with his storytelling. While he failed to honor that promise, he did help Azure keep the wall guard fed by providing her with aluminum to hide the Soulcaster she was using to produce grain.[citation needed] Publicly, he took on the guise of a storyteller, wearing an unbuttoned soldiers coat with Sadeas livery, and a colored scarf around his neck. One day while standing on a cistern wall, he told the story of Queen Tsa and Mishim. Hoid made use of a storytelling technique that involved manipulating colored smoke that he made by burning various powders in a brazier. He may have been Lightweaving as well to enhance the effect. While telling the story, Hoid noticed that the jar of sand he kept in his pack had turned white one one side, detecting kinetic Investiture in the crowd. He quickly identified Shallan in the crowd and after he finished his story and the crowd dispersed, he invited her to come with him and buy him something to eat.[67]

Aiding Shallan[edit]

Hoid brought Shallan to the inn where he was staying.[68] At some point he picked Shallan's pocket, offering her pouch of spheres to the irate inkeeper as proof he had brought in at least one paying customer. Once they were seated in a private dining room, Hoid complimented Shallan's Lightweaving while she confronted him about his true nature. While denying that he was a Herald, Hoid did reveal his tremendous age to her and explained that he had made a vow to always be where he needed. He encouraged her to eat and Shallan asked him how she might become more like him and learn to change the lives of those around her, like he had done for her in Jah Keved. Wit warned her against trying to change the world too much, explaining that those few that succeed rarely see as far as they think they do. Shallan explained to Hoid about her companions and their goal of activating the Oathgate to save the city. They discussed the risks of power further and Shallan asked Hoid about the Cult of Moments. Hoid cautioned her against trusting anyone who claims to see the future as the Cult did, claiming they were a dangerous group who reminded him of another group he had once known. Shallan explained her plan to infiltrate the cult and Hoid gave her more information on the group as well as Ashertmarn, the spren that drove them to revel. Hoid told Shallan that she could get access to the Oathgate platform by providing high quality food for the leadership and agreeing to use his contacts among the cult to help her. Shallan invited him to join in their efforts to save the city, but Hoid refused, telling her that he had come to the city for another reason. He then asked Shallan to help him fool the innkeeper and sneaked out of the room behind the man's back. Hoid spent some time working to get Shallan a contact with the leadership of the Cult of Moments, although he had difficulty getting any more than advice that she do something to attract their attention.[69] He left a note for her at the inn updating her on this progress.

I cannot judge the worth of a life. I would not dare to attempt it.

—Hoid to Shallan[70]

Hoid later found Shallan in Muri's room in a tenement close to the market.[70] Hoid tried to comfort Shallan, who was devastated that her naivety in giving food to the poor had inadvertently worsened their lives by atracting the attention of the Grips. He told her that the men in the area had dispersed the gang after what had happened and apologized for not getting involved. Hoid explained to Shallan that failure is a part of life, asking her if she had heard the story of the Girl Who Looked Up. He tried to begin a Lightweaving several times, but failed, requiring Shallans help to get the illusion going before taking it over himself. He told the story with different details than the version Shallan knew, such as the fact that there was no light where the girl who looked up lived. As he told the story, the two argued about the nature of art and whether or not it has a purpose. Shallan ended the story by concluding that the humans were the monsters and Wit gave her a hug, telling Shallan that the world is improved by its association with her. Shallan explained that while she has now confronted the truth of what she did to her parents, she cannot stand having to know the truth and wished she would die rather than face it. Hoid finished the story with an ending Shallan had never heard, claiming the girl brought back a piece of god's Light over the wall, bringing with it the first storms, which caused hardship, but were better than living in the darkness as they had before.

You tried to help the people of the market. You mostly failed. This is life. The longer you live, the more you fail. Failure is the mark of a life well lived. In turn, the only way to live without failure is to be of no use to anyone. Trust me, I’ve practiced.

—Hoid to Shallan[70]

Hoid then asked Shallan if she wished she could go back to before she could see the truth.[70] When she replied that she did not, Hoid asked her to live on, accepting her failures as a part of her. He then used her Lightweaving to create two identical images of Shallan. The first collapsed under the weight of her memories, but when Shallan gave her memories to the second illusion, it remained standing as that version had forgiven herself. Hoid asked her again to allow herself to live despite her pain, explaining that her alters take over because their lives seems more appealing, and that she would never control them until she accepted herself for who she was. When Shallan told him that she'd never learn to control them, Hoid asked her to trust him that she was valuable and worth protecting, reminding her again that it was okay to hurt, but not okay to accept that it was her fault. He left her then, walking out into the market with his pack and vanishing. Later when Shallan confronted Ashertmarn and became lost in the flood of emotions, Hoid may have contacted her to help, speaking directly into her mind to tell her that she could be all of the people she imagined herself as being and that she can make Shallan so strong that the others must bow before her.[71]

Occupied Kholinar[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[19]

Hoid stayed in the city of through the end of the siege and the capture of the city by the Fused and the singers. Trying to keep a low profile as to avoid recognition by the Fused and Odium, Hoid began suppressing his healing factor, drinking a concotion that caused his hair to fall out in clumps.[19] While waiting in line, he also gave a grand lecture on how all great art is hated by some in order to frustrate the man ahead of him in line. When Hoid realized the man did not speak Alethi, he merely cut the man in line, which was enough to earn him a punch to the face that knocked out a tooth. After heading toward the palace district, Hoid wandered around, talking to some of the people he had come to know during his time in Kholinar. He went to a small girl who still squatted near a collapsed building where her mother had died. Hoid Awakened a doll to draw the girl out from under the wall, and brought her to Kheni a grieving mother to give her a new child to care for. After that he climbed the steps to the palace, adopting the act of a mad beggar and successfully avoiding the attention of the Fused Vatwha. He walked to the work project where the palace was being torn apart and managed to slip past a pair of singer guards, before pretending to fall against the wall in his panic. He spoke the Cryptic Design, who had been hiding in the palace since Elhokar's death, telling her that while he might not be her ideal choice for a bond, she did not have many options at the moment. As the guards reached him, Hoid pushed against them and fell against the wall again, allowiong Design to slip onto his person. After the guards carried him to gardens with the rest of the beggars, he looked at the Cryptic resting on his hand.

The Fused, however, are now trained to watch for him - most likely to capture him and deliver him to Odium.

The Queen's Wit and Counselor[edit]

At some point following his time in Kholinar, Hoid returned to Urithiru. By 1175, he had resumed his role as Wit, serving Jasnah in the same capacity as he had Elhokar. Hoid became one of her most trusted advisors, conferring often with her in meetings, and he confided in Jasnah at least something of his true nature. During this time, the two also began a romantic relationship. While this fact was not publicly known, their obvious closeness inspired rumors in the Alethi court. It also became more common knowledge that Hoid had bonded a spren to join the Lightweavers.[72] Despite the fact that his title of Wit remained the same, Hoid's demeanor was markedly different then during his tenure under Elhokar, often remaining quiet and serious in meetings, although often with a hint of mockery in his expressions. After the Mink was extracted from Hearthstone, Hoid attended the following strategy meeting. He arrived with Jasnah, listening to the Mink's thoughts and seemingly impressed by his perception. When the group discussed Dalinar's thought that giving up Alethkar might be necessary to make peace, Hoid disagreed, stating that Odium would not accept anything less than a total surrender, if not the absolute destruction of humanity. Wit then went to fetch Taln and Ash from their confinement, returning to the meeting with them for questioning.

Prior to coalition's expedition to Lasting Integrity, Hoid met with Pattern,[73] who had grown concerned with Shallan's worsening mental health.[74] Hoid told Pattern that he was funny, but did offer to help. He told Pattern that if he became worried, Pattern could use the box containing the seon to speak to Hoid via his own box and helped Pattern obtain a copy of the key to Shallan's trunk. He also helped Pattern remove Shallan's brothers from Urithiru to get them away from the threat of Mraize.[75] Hoid then accompanied Jasnah to the Oathgate platform to see off the expedition.[73] Sometime before the main campaign began in Emul, Hoid left Jasnah on an unknown errand, promising to meet her later in Azir.[76] During this time period he spoke to Pattern via the seons on at least x occasions, providing the spren with advice, and incidentally leaking information to the Ghostbloods via the Sleepless spy that had replaced on of his pens. At some point Hoid began planning with Jasnah to replace the insubordinate Highprince Ruthar, speaking to his son Relis about the abuse Ruthar's children experienced at the hands of their father.

Campaign in Emul[edit]

Weeks later Hoid accompanied Jasnah to a planning meeting, joining her in examining battle maps.} He was by Jasnah's side when Dalinar spoke to her about his desire to further explore his powers as a Bondsmith to successfully end the war with Odium and regain Alethkar. When Jasnah wondered if they might be used to push Odium to agree to terms of a duel, Hoid replied that Odium would never agree to terms unless he truly feared that he might lose the war in order to limit his losses. When Dalinar expressed his wish for total victory, Hoid mocked this hope. Dalinar expressed that he thought his powers might be used to trap the Fused or refound the Oathpact and he felt they were leaving options unexplored, Hoid agreed with him, claiming that his value was greater as a Bondsmith than a general. After Jasnah agreed to consider Dalinar's plan, Hoid mocked Dalinar again for his positive view of the monarchy and warned him to watch the highprinces, as Jasnah was about to move against Ruthar.[77]

Later at that same meeting, after Jasnah goaded Ruthar into insulting her, Jasnah called upon her Wit to return the insults to Ruthar. With Jasnah repeatedly ordering him to be harsher, Hoid mocked Ruthar's manhood, his honor, and ultimately revealed to the man that he'd spoken with Relis about Ruthar's abuse. In his rage, Ruthar challenged Hoid to a duel by swords, which Hoid accepted. Before the duel could begin, Dalinar reminded Ruthar that by killing Wit he risked his title and exile. Unable to harm another, Hoid agreed to allow a champion to face Ruthar in his place, offering his blade to Jasnah so that she could fight the man herself. After Jasnah defeated Ruthar and the man's life was saved by Renarin, Wit reclaimed his Blade from Jasnah and cleaned it of blood with his handkerchief. He then dropped the bloody handkerchief and mocked Ruthar again, stating that his bullying ways had left him devoid of any willing to show loyalty. After the fight Hoid's demeanor grew serious, his face expressionless and his eyes appearing as deep voids in the light.[77]

Weeks later, when Jasnah fought in a major battle against the singer forces, Hoid served as her valet when she retreated from battle for rest. During her first rest, she remarked to him that she had been less successful in battle than she had expected and could not beat a Fused in a fair fight. Hoid expressed his belief that fair fights were a lie, as one person is always superior to another in skill, training, or luck. Hoid sympathized with her desire to prove herself in combat, but told her that there was no shame in making use of her powers. Hoid also updated her on the state of the battle. The two discussed the potential end of standard battlefield formations, with Hoid saying that he felt it was unlikely they would persist as the powers of the Radiants became more commonplace. He offered to massager her sword hand, but Jasnah refused, preferring to return to the fight. Hoid visited her several more times over the course of the battle. However, at some point he returned to Jasnah's tent and discovered that one of his pens had been replaced by a Sleepless and all his conversations with Jasnah and correspondence had been compromised. Hoid began writing letters to those he communicated with to warn them of the breach, as well as his contacts among the Sleepless. He was interrupted by Jasnah returning from battle. When she refused to rest before an an explanation, he told her what had happened and that he suspected the Ghostbloods. He then told her more of the Ghostbloods and their leader Thaidakar than he had previously shared.[78]

Helping Kaladin[edit]

Hoid, Design, and Frost

When Kaladin suffered assault by Odium during his dreams, Hoid somehow discovered what was happening and entered Kaladin's vision to give him a moment of calm from Odium's attack. Interfering directly in this way was a risk for Hoid, opening him up to retaliation from Odium that he was normally immune to. he could only protect Kaladin for around twenty minutes before Odium noticed his touch and destroyed him. He pulled Kaladin out of his visions and into a bubble of light that was protected from the storm, containing a fire with stew cooking over it. Hoid explained to Kaladin that Odium had somehow trapped him in a vision and offered him stew for the little time that they had together. Kaladin asked him whether he was going to have to return to the storm, and Hoid confirmed that they did not have much time and that the vision would get worse. Kaladin confided in Wit that he was not strong enough to go on. Hoid accepted this, saying that he trusted Kaladin's judgement of himself. As he ate, Kaladin asked Wit to tell him a story, which shocked Wit, as he was rarely actually asked for a story.[72]

Design appeared in the vision, holding the flute that Hoid had given Kaladin. Before he began his story, Hoid warned Kaladin not to look for a moral in the story. Hoid began to tell Kaladin the story of The Dog and the Dragon, first explaining to Kaladin what a dog and a dragon are, as he had no idea what these creatures were. As Hoid told the story he and Design bantered back and forth, teasing one another as the story progressed. Hoid told Kaladin the story of a dog who wished to become a dragon himself after seeing one fly by, using his Lightweaving to create illusions of the events. He tried unsuccessfully to mimic the dragon's scales, and its ability to fly and speak, while learning other marvelous skills. Ultimately while the dog failed to become a dragon, he used his talents to save his owner's child who had fallen into a well. Hoid ended the story by explaining that even though the dog was adored and beloved by the family, he was miserable because he had failed at his goal. Kaladin took offense at this ending, as he had wanted a useful story and felt like the dog had failed to acknowledge his own achievements. Kaladin then realized that Hoid had told him the story to help him realize that he needed to stop ignoring his own accomplishments, although Hoid insisted as always that any meanings were for Kaladin himself to assign. Hoid then told Kaladin that they were running out of time and Kaladin readied himself to return to the storm. Before he left, Kaladin asked Hoid for the real ending of the tale, to which Hoid explained that the dog had realized that he probably had a better life than the dragon anyway. When Kaladin said that he felt that it would not end that way for him, Hoid told him that while his life might not get better right away, it would improve again as well. Hoid then pushed Kaladin out of the bubble of protection and back into the vision, and then vanished.[72]

Drafting a Contract for Odium[edit]

At some point, Hoid began drafting a contact for the terms of Dalinar's contest with Odium. According to the terms Hoid proposed, if Dalinar won, Odium and his forces would retreat to Braize for one thousand years. If Odium was victorious he would remain bound to the system but would be allowed to do as he pleased with Roshar and the monarchs and Radiants would submit to his rule. Following the final victory of the coalition armies in Emul, Hoid spent an evening with Jasnah in her house in their command camp. He interrupted her reading accounts from the Heralds, asking her to pay attention to him rather than the words of the mad and kissing the index finger of her safehand. Jasnah asked Hoid how they might beat Odium, with his ability to see the future. Hoid told her of a time he lost an Awakened card game that he thought he had fixed because he had bet on his total victory, but was instead forced into a tie. When Jasnah asked how they might limit their losses if Odium was victorious in the duel, Hoid produced the terms he had outlined.[42]

[I am] someone who wisely turned down the power the others all took—and in so doing, gained freedoms they can never again have. I, Jasnah, am someone who is not bound.

—Hoid to Jasnah[42]

After Jasnah had read the terms, Hoid asked her opinion and Jasnah replied that she felt the terms were perfect for Hoid, but not for the people of Roshar. Hoid argued that this was a good deal for the Rosharans and that at least if they lost Odium would be prevented from wreaking havoc on other worlds. Jasnah told him that she hated gambling on a contest and asked Hoid if they could risk the fate of the world on a single duel. Hoid explained to her that the events leading up to the duel were important and that Odium would be willing to risk waiting a thousand years to try again, which would give the Radiants more time to gather strength. He assured her that Odium was someone that they could beat and that Rayse had bet too much on Dalinar joining his side. Hoid told her that Odium was struggling to locate a champion who could legitimately win, as the duel was more about the hearts and minds of their followers than it was a contest of skill. When Hoid asked Jasnah if she trusted her allies and she failed to answer, he assured her that it would not matter, as if they could get Odium to agree to these terms Hoid would be able to finally help her openly. When Jasnah reminded him that Odium would destroy Hoid if he revealed himself, Hoid told her that he would add a line declaring himself to be Honor's contractual liaison, allowing him to finally exercise his true power.[42] When Dalinar later negotiated his final contract with Odium, the details differed, but it was structured to keep Odium bound to Roshar, which please Hoid greatly, who felt that they had essentially won already.[79]

Shallan contacted Hoid via seon after she successfully reintegrated Veil and wished to leave the Ghostbloods. He explained to her some information about seons and told her that he had helped her brother evacuate before the Tower fell. Hoid also told her something of Thaidakar and asked Shallan to pass a message along to Thaidakar via Mraize. Hoid told Thaidakar that he should deal with his own planet and stop meddling with others if he did not want Wit to come beat him again.[75]

Meeting with Odium[edit]

Shortly after he returned to Urithiru, Hoid ventured out to the old palace at the Pinnacle, hoping to speak to Odium directly for the first time in over a thousand years. As he walked the halls, Hoid spoke to Design and some corrupted windspren about the dirty tricks involved in storytelling, drawing an audience's attention to one subject and using their distraction to surprise them elsewhere. Hoid and Design bickered about this topic while Hoid performed coin tricks, with Hoid insisting that illusions performed with trickery were superior to those performed with magic as they draw the audiences attention better. When Design told him that she thought that was stupid, he told her to go bother someone else for a time and she left him to chase the corrupted windspren. Hoid's Breaths alerted him to a presence in Elhokar's old sitting room, and Hoid entered, allowing himself to be easily found. Odium arrived and the two argued about the contract, with Odium insisting he would have his vengeance upon Hoid while Hoid mocked him. Odium then asked Hoid who Hoid would chose for champion, a question that seemed odd to Hoid and he did not answer. As Hoid left the room, he realized the interaction had gone exactly as he had expected except for Odium's question about the champion. He realized that Rayse had been replaced as Vessel, but before he could act he was seized by Odium's power. Odium spoke to him them, admitting he had made a mistake in asking the question and realizing that while he could not harm Hoid directly, he could interfere with the Breaths that Hoid stored his memories in and excise the previous events. Hoid found himself standing in the hallway of the palace, with no idea of the events that had just occurred. He walked down the hall as he had before, beginning his monologue about storytelling again. He felt somewhat disoriented and noticed some oddities, such as Design's absence and one of his trick coins being in the wrong place on his person. Hoid then felt Odium's presence again and returned to the sitting room, having a nearly identical conversation with Odium, without the question about the duel of champions. After Odium declared that he would destroy Dalinar's champion, Hoid left the room feeling uneasy, but he assured himself that all must be well as the conversation had gone exactly as he had expected it to occur.[80]

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[81]

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,[82][83] two friends of his that he had made at some unknown point in the past.[84] Rather than coming to Scadrial in response to some important event, Hoid initially came merely to congratulate his friends.[84] He came dressed all in black, appearing as a scruffy looking beggar and spoke to the couple soon after they arrived at the dinner.[85] 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[citation needed][86]. Hoid became employed as Waxillium Ladrian's new carriage driver.[87] By that point he had become friendly with Wayne, who liked him but did not know anything about Hoid's true identity.[88] When Wax headed to the precinct station to question Rian, Hoid drove the carriage and Wayne rode up front with him.[87] During the carriage ride, Hoid eavesdropped on Wax's conversation with Harmony about Bleeder's plans to disrupt the Elendel Basin.[89]

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 in surviving the aftereffects of the Catacendre.[90] He also spent some time in New Seran. Following Nazh's theft of Nicki Savage's tapestry showing a map of the city, Hoid asked her if she wanted to hear a story, but she declined his offer.[91][92] He has also come to the conclusion that he is the true owner of Kelesina Shores' mansion there,[93] for somewhat legitimate but unknown reasons.[94] He was apparently a regular intruder on the mansion grounds, to the irritation of the guards.[81] During this time, Hoid had the appearance of a beggar with long, unkempt fingernails and a ragged shirt. Hoid also appeared to be 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.[81] Hoid looked for an opportunity to pass on the unsealed metalmind to Wax, as he wanted to reveal Kelsier's resurrection and identity as the Sovereign.[95] He asked Wax for a few clips.[81] 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, forcing him to catch it in midair. A groundsman then noticed Hoid and tried to chase him off. Hoid laughed and escaped back into the bushes again. Hoid believes he is getting away with something here, and this time period is perhaps when Hoid is the happiest.[96](Phrase this better)

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,[62] hawk-like and arrow shaped. Hoid is tall and thin[56] and also has a sharp nose and jaw with delicate eyebrows.[62] He tends to cock his head to one side[46] and has keen blue eyes.[56] Hoid's hair is white, although he occasionally dyes it.[54] There is a particular reason for his hair being white, which will be revealed in the future.[97]

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.[63][46] If he was asked about whether he called himself a good man personality-wise, Hoid would reply with a "No".[98]

Hoid cannot easily kill people "because of certain things in his past."[99] Rock says he cannot hurt man because it is forbidden by other gods.[20] He also tells a young Shallan, "You needn't fear me. I'm terribly ineffective at hurting people. I blame my upbringing."[49] Hoid apologizes to Kelsier after beating him in a fight, stating he doesn't have the inclination to do real harm to him.[11] 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.[33] 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.[19][100] This is an involuntary trait.[101]

On Roshar as King Elhokar's Wit he appears to be in his mid-30's[102] 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.


The blade is not magically invested but has personal value to Hoid.[103] It is a symbol of office for the King's Wit, though Hoid "isn't even that good with a sword".[104]



Hoid initially met Kelsier in the disguise of an informant, so at first their relationship was of little import during Kelsier's life. Hoid was frustrated that Kelsier had destroyed the perpendicularity at the Pits of Hathsin, making his life harder. Their relationship became more relevant when Hoid encountered the Shadow of Kelsier trapped in the Well of Ascension. This meeting was the start of history of antagonism between the two men. Hoid and Kelsier have contrasting personalities and both have strong egos, meaning they often find themselves at odds.

Jasnah Kholin[edit]

Kholin Family[edit]





{/{theory}} Hoid does not yet have the abilities of every planet he's visited.[105] Some of his powers predate the Shattering, but none of them are gained through Hemalurgy.[106] 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.[107] Hoid has access to multiple Invested Arts, but not an incredibly large number.[99]

He is likely the most powerful non-Shard entity in the cosmere.[108] There are only a few things in the cosmere that are capable of hurting him, one of which is Nightblood, and he stays far away from all of them.[109] Hoid also has an unknown seon.[74][75]


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[49]

Hoid has access to an Invested Art known as Lightweaving that originates from Yolen prior to the Shattering of Adonalsium.[110] Lightweaving allows for the creation of optical and sonic illusions.[111] This Lightweaving was much less restrictive than the later Rosharan variant,[49] and did not require a spren or Stormlight to function.[110] Hoid sometimes makes use of this ability in his disguises[112] although he has several ways of changing how he looks[113] and he also makes uses of practical effects as well.[114] He may also make use of it in some of his storytelling,[115] such as the pictures of Derethil and the Wandersail Kaladin sees in the smoke when Hoid is telling him a story.[46]

Hoid's Yolish Lightweaving does not always seem to function perfectly on Roshar,[116] in fact he needs help from Shallan to fully craft an illusion.[70] His power is somehow limited, and he has trouble making some aspects of it work, even after multiple attempts.[116] 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[117] and may allow him to overcome this issue crafting illusions, although further impacts or resonances between the two are unknown.[118] 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.[116]


Hoid travels between various planets within the cosmere by making use of perpendicularities,[119] 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.[120] A knowledgeable person such as Hoid is able to transition from the Physical Realm to the Cognitive Realm.[119] 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.[121] Hoid is very proficient at traveling in Shadesmar.[122] 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.[11] Hoid is known to be aware of perpendicularities on Scadrial,[11] Sel,[123] and Roshar,[20] and likely knows of Nalthis's perpendicularity as well.[41][124] 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.[125] Later after he has developed his Radiant bond to Design, Hoid may fully slip into the Cognitive Realm using his abilities, but it is unknown if he has some other way to exit Shadesmar himself.[126]

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[68]

Hoid has lived for many more years than any mortal human would be able to live.[127] This immortality is known to have come from some remnant of the weapon the original sixteen Vessels constructed in an attempt to kill Adonalsium.[128] Additionally, Hoid has not actually experienced all those years,[129] instead making use of some time-dilation technique that may render him somehow unconscious or unaware.[130] However, Hoid does not have the ability to travel backwards in time.[131]

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.[132] He is able to regenerate any damaged body parts at will, including his head. This ability also would allow Hoid to repair Spiritual damage such as the Spiritual injury left when an attribute is stolen via a spike.[133] 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.[19] This healing factor makes it very difficult to kill Hoid,[99] although he is still at least somewhat vulnerable.[19] The name of the manifestation of Investiture responsible for Hoid's healing is unknown, but it is ancient,[100] 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.[128][citation needed]

[134] Is this relevant? (Shardblades don't scare him)


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,[135] which grants him a limited amount of foresight.[136] Hoid's Fortune ability gives him an innate knowledge of where and when he needs to be.[136] While this ability may grant him knowledge of what he is to do,[135][137] usually Hoid does not know why his ability has brought him to a specific place.[135] This ability may be related to a vow Hoid once swore that he would always be there when he was needed.[68] 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.[138] Hoid's fortune ability has let him know about instant noodles,[139] although he has had prior experience with them on Taldain.[140] (trivia?)


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.[141] While Hoid has learned naturally how to speak some foreign languages,[142] and is decent with languages, he desires to pass as a local oftentimes, which requires something beyond natural learning.[143] Generally he makes use of his Connection ability to communicate in foreign languages.[142] 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[141] or it may be said in an odd way.[144] 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,[145] such as coin[14] and bunny[146] on Roshar. As Hoid has demonstrated the ability to fluently speak foreign languages before the knowledge of unsealed metalminds became widespread,[26] it is unlikely that he is making use of Feruchemical duralumin to maniupulate Connection.

Metallic Arts[edit]

Hoid has also gained access to Allomancy,[147] by burning a bead of lerasium stolen from the Well of Ascension.[148][34] This grants him power equivalent to that of the ancient Allomancers.[149] It is uncertain how practiced he is with these powers, but he does make use of emotional Allomancy[150] on at least one occasion.[49] He also has access to atium.[151] It is unknown whether or not Hoid has access to Feruchemy.[152] However, he does have access to some unkeyed metalminds,[153] which would not be useful to him without Feruchemical abilities. The particular attributes are stored in these metalminds are unknown. Hoid does not make use of Hemalurgy, to gain access to the Metallic Arts or any other manifestation of Investiture.[107]


Perfect pitch makes this all so much easier than it once was....

—Hoid to Kaladin on making music[146]

As a Yolish man, Hoid was not himself born with any BioChromatic Breath.[154] However at some point Hoid has gained access to enough Biochromatic Breath to bring him to at least the Second Heightening.[146] This means Hoid has at least two-hundred Breaths, which grant him the ability to recognize other unsuppressed Breath auras and judge about how much breath another Awakener has, as well as perfect pitch.[155] That is not to say that Hoid may not have reached a higher Heightening, just that the second Heightening is his minimum power level.[156] 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 in some way that allowed it to walk.[19] 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.[157] Hoid's perfect pitch does aid him in tuning instruments and making music.[146]

Additionally, holding Breath has allowed Hoid to somehow outsource some of his memory to said Breath. After Odium's destruction of some of these Breaths in order to wipe his short-term memory, his level of Breath was reduced to just under the Second Heightening,resulting in a loss of perfect pitch.[80]


For years, I've had to make do with hints of illusions. Suggesting scenes. Leaving most to the imagination. Now, having the power to do more, I find it less satisfying.

—Hoid to Kaladin[72]

Hoid has bonded the Cryptic Design, which grants him access to Surgebinding.[158][citation needed] 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. [19] 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[46] and sand[41], literally.


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[41]

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.


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]


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.[165] Some believe that Hoid is a common root to both of these organizations, one of which, the Worldbringers, was very Realmatically aware.[166] There may be also a connection between the Worldsingers and the Dawnsingers, due to similarity of names.

Topaz Dawnshard?[edit]


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[62]

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)[62]

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[62]

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[46]

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[46]

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[46]

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[63]

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[63]

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]


  • 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.[167] He was on a planet trying to figure out how the magical system of the area worked.[168]
  • 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.[5]
  • Brandon may eventually write a parallel novel to the Mistborn series that chronicles what Hoid was up to behind the scenes.[169]
  • Hoid loves bacon.[170]
  • Hoid's parents were married, or at least he is not illegitimate.[11]
  • His favorite type of spren is a Cryptic.[171]
  • He has a good opinion of Khriss, and they have met at least once.[172]
  • Hoid has had a romantic interest in the past.[173] In fact, there were several.[174]
  • He is the happiest when "getting away with something". When asked in what published book that was, Brandon responded with The Bands of Mourning.[96]
  • Prior to the events Words of Radiance, Hoid has not been hugged in "a long time".[175]
“Your master teach you to be this judgmental?”

Sigzil stopped short.

“I’m sorry, Sig,” Kaladin said.

“No, he said the same thing about me. All the time, sir.”[176]


  1. a b c Words of Radiance chapter 67#
  2. 17th Shard Forum Q&A
    Arcanum - 2012-09-25#
  3. 17th Shard Forum Q&A
    Arcanum - 2012-09-26#
  4. The Alloy of Law Annotations
    Arcanum - 2014-03-14#
  5. a b The Alloy of Law Annotations
    Arcanum - 2014-03-14#
  6. Arcanum entry 590
    Missing Arcanum metadata, click to import.
  7. Arcanum entry 622
    Missing Arcanum metadata, click to import.
  8. {{{3}}}
    17th Shard forums - {{{date}}}# Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "17s-post-42472" defined multiple times with different content
  9. 17th Shard Forum Q&A
    Arcanum - 2012-09-25#
  10. {{{3}}}
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  11. a b c d e f g h i Mistborn: Secret History part 2 chapter 1#
  12. {{{3}}}
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  13. 17th Shard Forum Q&A
    Arcanum - 2012-09-26#
  14. a b Words of Radiance epilogue#
  15. Rhythm of War chapter 112#
  16. The Way of Kings chapter 23 epigraph#
  17. Leipzig Book Fair
    Arcanum - 2017-03-24#
  18. Oathbringer release party
    Arcanum - 2017-11-13#
  19. a b c d e f g h Oathbringer epilogue#
  20. a b c d e Words of Radiance chapter 46#
  21. 17th Shard Forum Q&A
    Arcanum - 2012-09-26#
  22. a b White Sand Volume 1 chapter 4#
  23. Skyward Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2018-11-16#
  24. White Sand Volume 3 chapter 6#
  25. Elantris chapter Postscript#
  26. a b Elantris chapter 58#
  27. Skyward Houston signing
    Arcanum - 2018-11-19#
  28. a b Deleted prologue from The Emperor's Soul
    Brandon's website - 2014-03-31#
  29. Arcanum Unbounded release party
    Arcanum - 2016-11-22#
  30. a b The Final Empire chapter 19#
  31. a b c The Hero of Ages chapter 27#
  32. a b Mistborn: Secret History Continuity Notes
    Arcanum - 2016-01-27#
  33. a b Supanova 2017 - Perth
    Arcanum - 2017-06-25#
  34. a b Idaho Falls signing
    Arcanum - 2018-12-29#
  35. Mistborn: Secret History part 2 chapter 2#
  36. Stuttgart signing
    Arcanum - 2019-05-17#
  37. a b The Well of Ascension chapter 56#
  38. Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A
    Arcanum - 2009-07-08#
  39. a b Mistborn: Secret History part 6 chapter 1#
  40. Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide
    Arcanum - 2008-10-15#
  41. a b c d e f g Warbreaker chapter 32#
  42. a b c d Rhythm of War chapter 99#
  43. a b Words of Radiance chapter 81#
  44. Rhythm of War chapter 15#
  45. Oathbringer chapter 97#
  46. a b c d e f g h i j k l The Way of Kings chapter 57#
  47. YouTube Spoiler Stream 4
    Arcanum - 2022-06-16#
  48. Dawnshard chapter 15#
  49. a b c d e f g h Words of Radiance chapter 45#
  50. The Way of Kings chapter 45#
  51. Arcanum Unbounded signing Hoboken
    Arcanum - 2016-12-03#
  52. Words of Radiance interlude I-9#
  53. Edgedancer chapter 12#
  54. a b c The Way of Kings interlude I-1#
  55. The Way of Kings chapter 26 epigraph#
  56. a b c d e f The Way of Kings chapter 12#
  57. The Way of Kings chapter 29#
  58. a b The Way of Kings chapter 22#
  59. The Way of Kings chapter 58#
  60. a b The Way of Kings chapter 15#
  61. Words of Radiance Omaha signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-13#
  62. a b c d e f g The Way of Kings chapter 54#
  63. a b c d e The Way of Kings epilogue#
  64. Words of Radiance interlude I-7#
  65. a b c Words of Radiance chapter 55#
  66. Oathbringer chapter 47#
  67. Oathbringer chapter 67#
  68. a b c Oathbringer chapter 68#
  69. Oathbringer chapter 72#
  70. a b c d e Oathbringer chapter 82#
  71. Oathbringer chapter 84#
  72. a b c d Rhythm of War chapter 80#
  73. a b Rhythm of War chapter 21#
  74. a b Rhythm of War chapter 78#
  75. a b c Rhythm of War chapter 115#
  76. Rhythm of War chapter 27#
  77. a b Rhythm of War chapter 50#
  78. Rhythm of War chapter 64#
  79. Rhythm of War chapter 116#
  80. a b Rhythm of War epilogue#
  81. a b c d The Bands of Mourning chapter 11#
  82. Salt Lake City Comic-Con FanX 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-01-31#
  83. Alloy of Law Seattle Signing
    Arcanum - 2011-11-11#
  84. a b /r/books AMA 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-07-14#
  85. The Alloy of Law chapter 4#
  86. Shadows of Self Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-12#
  87. a b Shadows of Self chapter 7#
  88. Shadows of Self Portland signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-10#
  89. Shadows of Self London UK signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-19#
  90. The Bands of Mourning epilogue#
  91. The New Ascendancy#
  92. Arcanum Unbounded release party
    Arcanum - 2016-11-22#
  93. Orem signing
    Arcanum - 2017-12-21#
  94. Oathbringer Houston signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-18#
  95. Arcanum Unbounded release party
    Arcanum - 2016-11-22#
  96. a b Paris signing
    Arcanum - 2016-10-22#
  97. English Reading Series at BYU 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-02-23#
  98. Arcanum Unbounded release party
    Arcanum - 2016-11-22#
  99. a b c Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014
    Arcanum - 2014-09-04#
  100. a b Oathbringer Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-21#
  101. Oathbringer London signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-28#
  102. Arcanum Unbounded release party
    Arcanum - 2016-11-22#
  103. 17th Shard Forum Q&A
    Arcanum - 2012-09-26#
  104. Firefight Phoenix signing
    Arcanum - 2015-01-21#
  105. Words of Radiance Scottsdale signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-14#
  106. Firefight San Francisco signing
    Arcanum - 2015-01-17#
  107. a b Minicon 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-04-02#
  108. Waygate Foundation Write-a-thon
    Arcanum - 2014-01-17#
  109. Skyward release party
    Arcanum - 2018-11-06#
  110. a b Orem signing
    Arcanum - 2017-12-21#
  111. Words of Radiance chapter ars#
  112. White Sand vol.1 release party
    Arcanum - 2016-06-28#
  113. Calamity Austin signing
    Arcanum - 2016-02-25#
  114. Oathbringer chapter 35 epigraph#
  115. Oathbringer release party
    Arcanum - 2017-11-13#
  116. a b c Emerald City Comic Con 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-03-01#
  117. Oathbringer Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-21#
  118. Oathbringer London signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-28#
  119. a b Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2016-12-06#
  120. Arcanum Unbounded - The Drominad System#
  121. /r/Stormlight_Archive
    Arcanum - 2013-03-14#
  122. Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A
    Arcanum - 2009-07-08#
  123. Elantris postscript#
  124. JordanCon 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-04-21#
  125. Emerald City Comic Con 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-03-01#
  126. Rhythm of War chapter 22#
  127. /r/fantasy AMA 2011
    Arcanum - 2011-08-31#
  128. a b Idaho Falls signing
    Arcanum - 2018-07-21#
  129. Calamity Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2016-02-22#
  130. /r/fantasy AMA 2013
    Arcanum - 2013-04-15#
  131. Firefight Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2015-02-20#
  132. 17th Shard Forum Q&A
    Arcanum - 2012-09-25#
  133. Calamity release party
    Arcanum - 2016-02-16#
  134. Prague Signing
    Arcanum - 2019-10-26#
  135. a b c Arcanum Unbounded Fort Collins signing
    Arcanum - 2016-11-29#
  136. a b Alloy of Law release party
    Arcanum - 2011-11-07#
  137. Calamity San Antonio signing
    Arcanum - 2016-02-26#
  138. Words of Radiance San Diego signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-04#
  139. Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing
    Arcanum - 2016-11-30#
  140. Oathbringer release party
    Arcanum - 2017-11-13#
  141. a b Stormlight Three Update #4
    Arcanum - 2016-09-10#
  142. a b General Reddit 2017
    Arcanum - 2017-12-18#
  143. JordanCon 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-04-23#
  144. /r/books AMA 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-07-20#
  145. Oathbringer release party
    Arcanum - 2017-11-13#
  146. a b c d Words of Radiance chapter 59#
  147. Calamity Austin signing
    Arcanum - 2016-02-25#
  148. Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2016-12-06#
  149. The Hero of Ages chapter 22 epigraph#
  150. Words of Radiance Washington, DC signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-20#
  151. Teen Author Boot Camp
    Arcanum - 2015-04-11#
  152. Teen Author Boot Camp
    Arcanum - 2015-04-11#
  153. Boskone 54
    Arcanum - 2017-02-17#
  154. Holiday signing
    Arcanum - 2015-12-12#
  155. Warbreaker epilogue#
  156. Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-06-11#
  157. /r/books AMA 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-06-06#
  158. FanX 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-09-08#
  159. Rhythm of War chapter 12#
  160. [[17s-post:337201|]]
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  161. {{{3}}}
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  162. Shadows of Self release party
    Arcanum - 2015-10-05#
  163. /r/brandonsanderson
    Arcanum - 2016-12-06#
  164. Oathbringer chapter 121#
  165. {{{3}}}
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  166. {{{3}}}
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  167. It's Here
    Brandon's website - 2010-8-31#
  168. {{{3}}}
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  169. {{{3}}}
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  170. Firefight signing Atlanta
    Arcanum - 2015-01-24#
  171. Oathbringer release party
    Arcanum - 2017-11-13#
  172. Arcanum Unbounded release party
    Arcanum - 2016-11-22#
  173. Paris signing
    Arcanum - 2016-10-22#
  174. General Signed Books 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-03-14#
  175. Firefight Atlanta signing
    Arcanum - 2015-01-24#
  176. Oathbringer chapter 35#

Cite error: <ref> tag with name "17s-post-24231" defined in <references> is not used in prior text. {/{partial}} {/{cosmere}} [/[Category: Feruchemists]] [/[Category: Allomancers]] [/[Category: Viewpoint characters]] [/[Category: Notable articles]]