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Drawing by Isaac Stewart
Biographical information
Ethnicity Unknown
Nationality Unknown
Gender Male
Status Alive
Abilities Worldhopper, Allomancy, Feruchemy, Awakening, Lightweaving
Social Information
Title(s) King's Wit
Appears in Elantris, Mistborn, Warbreaker, The Way of Kings, The Alloy of Law, The Emperor's Soul, Words of Radiance, Shadows of Self

Hoid is King Elhokar's Wit and entertainer. He is a recurring mysterious character in Brandon Sanderson's Cosmere, whose real identity remains as yet unknown. He has abandoned his real name.[1]

It is virtually impossible to keep anything from Hoid/Wit. He knows useful, important things.[2]

The King's Wit was not a silly court fool such as one might find in other kingdoms. He was a sword, a tool maintained by the king. Insulting others was beneath the dignity [of] the king, so just as one used gloves when forced to handle something vile, the king retained a Wit so he didn't have to debase himself to the level of rudeness or offensiveness.[2]



Fan art by botanicaxu[1]

Physically, Hoid appears as a lighteyed, thin, tall man with dark black hair. He wears a sleek, black uniform and a silver sword at his waist.[2]

Wit is described as having a hawklike face: all lines and peaks, with a sharp nose and jaw, delicate eyebrows, and keen eyes.[1]

Hoid is described by his peers as having white hair, a clever tongue, and an arrowlike face. They note that he dyes his hair sometimes and often wears a disguise which makes his true appearance difficult to ascertain.[3]

As Wit, he is described as being tall and thin with deep onyx hair and blue eyes. However, he isn't really a lighteyes, though neither is he a darkeyes.[2]


He is equally at home being called Wit or Hoid, and his several appearances throughout the Cosmere indicate that he is a multi-talented entertainer and intelligent man. He shows his cleverness with words by insulting Brightlords at the King's Feasts.[4] He demonstrates his storytelling ability by presenting the tale of Derethil and the Wandersail to Kaladin.[5]


King's WitEdit


Fan art by botanicaxu[2]

Hoid is introduced as King Elhokar's Wit (court Jester); he plays the part of the king's weapon, tasked with insulting those that the King can't afford to personally offend.

He seems to be concerned about the future of Dalinar Kholin as he warns him that Sadeas is planning something at one of the King's feasts. Wit leaves the warcamps after this, first to visit Kaladin, then off to Kholinar.

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[5]

During the exchange between Hoid and Kaladin, Hoid reveals that Hoid is not actually his name, but the "name of someone he (Hoid) should have loved."[5] It is also during this exchange that he reveals that he is a thief of sorts, and that his name is something he stole. He has a relationship with Worldsingers,[6] is Sigzil's former master, and he uses words and stories to influence those around him.

While introducing himself to Kaladin, Hoid relates that he began life as a thought, a concept, words on a page ... and that this was something he stole, himself. He also reveals that at another time he was named for a rock (Shard?), a beautiful one that became worthless for his wearing it.

Talenel'Elin EncounterEdit

Taln vs wit

Talenel and Wit
Fan art by botanicaxu[3]

Hoid is present in the epilogue of The Way of Kings when Talenel’Elin (Talenelat in modern Alethkar) arrives in Kholinar. After Talenel’Elin falls, Wit remarks that the most important thing humanity values is "timeliness" and that he fears Talenel’Elin has arrived too late.[7]

Hoid seemed rather unimpressed by the arrival of Talenel’Elin and even referred to him as "friend." It is also interesting to note that Hoid just happened to be waiting at the spot that Talenel'Elin showed up.

Warning Book Spoiler: Significant plot details follow.

Jasnah EncounterEdit

Wit seemingly has an uncanny ability to appear when people least expect it, which makes him even that much better a character. In the Epilogue of Words of Radiance, when Jasnah "comes back from the dead," Wit says that she Elsecalled, which means that Wit knows more about the Radiants than he has previously led people to believe. He actually is waiting for her in the middle of the wilderness and is there to help her back to civilization upon her arrival.[8]


  • Worldhopping - Hoid is very good at manipulating Shadesmar. He can travel between worlds in the cosmere.
  • Lightweaving - an illusion magic that is similar to, but not quite the same as, the Illumination Surge used by the Lightweavers. It is believed that he used this power during his storytelling with Kaladin.
  • Allomancy - It has been long suspected that Hoid ate the bead of Lerasium he stole in The Well of Ascension. Plus, the scene in Shallan's flashbacks where he pours metal flakes into his drink, combined with confirmation that allomancy was used in Words of Radiance, seem to support this. "Shallan turned back to the newcomer. She caught, with a subtle movement, the man slipping something from his coat pocket and moving it up toward the drinks. A shock coursed through Shallan. she raised a hand. Poison - The newcomer covertly dumped the pouch's contents into his own drink, then raised it to his lips, gulping down the powder."[9]
  • Feruchemy - Brandon has stated that Hoid's ability to always know where he needs to be is connected to Feruchemy in some way. However, we don't know how he obtained this power, or if he is a full Feruchemist or a Ferring.
  • Awakening - We know Hoid was on Nalthis previous to The Stormlight Archive and his comments about perfect pitch seem to suggest that he has at least the Second Heightening.[10]
  • 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.[8]


Warning World Spoiler: Containing information related to the universe not published in the books


Hoid has 'been around forever', long before Adonalsium became the central plot of his story.[11] He's been alive since Dragonsteel. However, he may not have spent all of that time awake and alert.[12] So, he hasn't 'lived' all of those years, but has used some time dilation techniques. That said, he is far older (both in relative and real time) than a normal person can live.[13]

Hoid is constrained by magic like everyone else, but he is far more adept at using it. He is very good at using Shadesmar - the cognitive realm, connecting all the worlds in the Cosmere, particularly to travel between worlds within it.[14]

Sanderson has said he has an old short story from the early, early, early days where he's on a planet (from Dragonsteel) trying to figure out how the local magic system works.[citation needed]

Hoid has a 'bead of Lerasium', from the world Scadrial, a powerful magical metal that grants magical powers; and a 'Moon Scepter' from the world Sel.

Hoid does not hold a Shard.[15]


Hoid first appeared in Brandon's 6th book, Elantris; next in his 7th book, Dragonsteel, then in his 8th book, White Sand, and has appeared in every Cosmere novel.

  • In Elantris - Hoid is a figure within the Arelish underworld.
  • In Mistborn: The Final Empire - Hoid appears as an informant who poses in guise of a beggar in capital city of Luthadel.
  • In Mistborn: The Well of Ascension - Hoid spends most of the book looking for the Well in the Terris homeland in the north. He is present when the Inquisitors destroy it and leads the evacuation of the Terris people to Luthadel. On the way back he is the Terris leader that Elend and Spook meet as they chase after Vin when she realises where the Well is. Once Hoid realises this too, based on his conversation with Elend, he worldhops to the Well and steals a bead of Lerasium. The footprints that Vin sees leading up to the well are Hoid's and the smashed container is his doing. Hoid is not named in the book but is there to be picked out by description.
  • In Mistborn: The Hero of Ages - Hoid again appears as an informant, but at the last second Vin decides not to meet with him.
  • In The Emperor's Soul - Hoid is only referenced. Initially he was featured in the prologue speaking with the main character and setting some of the plot in motion, but it didn't fit and was cut before final revision. However, Hoid did want the Moon Scepter for more than getting Shai imprisoned at the beginning of the novella.[16] So ... ?
  • In Warbreaker - Hoid is summoned by Lightsong and also appears as a storyteller who performs for princess Siri. He uses a flute when telling a story of the first Returned to Siri and Lightsong. He lightweaves while using (the flute) so it may have some kind of investiture in it.[17]
  • In Mistborn: Alloy of Law - Hoid appears as scruffy-looking "beggar in black" at the wedding dinner, but is not named. The events happening here are not of deep interest to Hoid, unlike the events in the original trilogy, so he plays a much smaller role here.
  • In Words of Radiance, Rock reveals that he has previously encountered Hoid. This occurs during an instance when Kaladin goes out drinking with Bridge Four before meeting with Graves and Moash. As Rock is telling his story about the hot springs on top of his homeland, "The Peaks", he says that they are on top just water, but below something else, "Place of gods". Rock said further that he met Lunu'anaki, god of mischief and travel, who asked him what year it was. While he says that Lunu'anaki has white hair, he further mentions the angular face used to describe Hoid over and over.[18] (Speculatively, it is possible that the pool on the Peaks can possibly connect to Shadesmar or to another world in the Cosmere.)
  • In Dragonsteel (unfinished) - Hoid will play the part of protagonist and primary viewpoint. The plot will take place before all of the other books.
  • Liar of Partinel (unfinished) - The original Hoid is the recently deceased senior jesk and master Lightweaver. The Hoid featured in all other stories, called Midus here, stole the original Hoid's name, as mentioned above.



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