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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: The Final Empire, Mistborn: The Well of Ascension, Mistborn: The Hero of Ages, Warbreaker, The Way of Kings,
The Alloy of Law, The Emperor's Soul, Words of Radiance, Shadows of Self, The Bands of Mourning

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]

Hoid is trying to accomplish something on Roshar, something that he thinks is the most important purpose he’s ever had; his "old friend" (i.e., Frost) remains unconvinced.[3][4]



Fan art by botanicaxu[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.[5]

Wit is described as appearing as a lighteyed, thin, tall man with dark black hair. He wears a sleek, black uniform and a silver sword at his waist. However, he isn't really a lighteyes, though neither is he a darkeyes.[2] Further, he is described as having a hawklike face: all lines and peaks, with a sharp nose and jaw, delicate eyebrows, and keen eyes.[1]

Further, Hoid is described as a man with a long white beard which seems to be bleached ... to obscure his true identity. He's not as old as he seems to be. Siri thinks that [6]


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.

Dalinar doesn't like Wit, but Adolin acknowledges that Wit was almost always good-natured with Renarin.[2]

Wit shows his cleverness with words by insulting Brightlords at the King's Feasts.[7] He demonstrates his storytelling ability by presenting the tale of Derethil and the Wandersail to Kaladin.[8]


Master StorytellerEdit

Hoid is employed by Lightsong as a storyteller to answer Siri's questions in Warbreaker. Lightsong introduces him to Siri who inquires of him the history of Hallandren and its God Kings.[9]

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 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[8]

During the exchange between Hoid and Kaladin, Hoid reveals that Hoid is not actually his name (originally Midius, then Cephandrius Maxtori), but the "name of someone he (Hoid) should have loved."[8] 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,[10] 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 ... 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.[11]

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.[12]


  • 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."[13]
  • 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.[14]
  • 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.[12]


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


Hoid is from a planet called Yolen, where it is believed that Adonalsium was Shattered into sixteen Shards. Hoid was there at the moment of the Shattering but has 'been around forever', long before Adonalsium became the central plot of his story.[15] He's been alive since Dragonsteel, but he has not spent all of that time awake and alert.[16] He uses his unique abilities to move forward through time, though it isn't known at what pace he can do so, and he has definitely not found a way to go back through time. Most common speculation is that Hoid has found a way to either put himself into stasis, or perhaps used some form of compounded effect to slide forward through time until he gets where he needs to be. He's found a way to cheat the space-time continuum by using some time dilation techniques. That said, he is far older (both in relative and real time) than a normal person can live.[17] In fact, he and the dragon, Frost, are the oldest living entities in the Cosmere.

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.[18]

Sanderson has said he has an old short story from the very early days where Hoid is on a planet 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.[19]

Cosmere AppearancesEdit

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 appears as a beggar whom Sarene trusts to bring weapons into New Elantris, but one who will only meet with her at night. Still, she knows that he and his men know where to deliver the boxes she gives them to deploy. He has managed to survive a decade on the streets of the city of Kae without being caught. Sarene has never seen his face, but assumes from his voice that he is an older man.[20] In the Tenth Anniversary Author's Definitive Edition of Elantris, Hoid is afforded the endnote of the novel in which he removes bandages from his body, having expected to have been transformed into a resurrected Elantrian. In his conversation with a seon, he expresses that beauty lies in the fact that there are secrets that remain unknown.[21]
  • In Mistborn: The Final Empire - Hoid appears as an informant who poses in guise of a beggar in the 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.[22]
  • 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.[23]
  • In Mistborn: The 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.
  • 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.[24] (Speculatively, it is possible that the pool on the Peaks can possibly connect to Shadesmar or to another world in the Cosmere.)
  • In Mistborn: Shadows of Self, Hoid appears as Wax's new coachman and is hailed by Wayne so that Wayne might ride on top of the carriage with him. He transports Wax and Wayne while Wax has his first extended conversation with Harmony.
  • In Mistborn: The Bands of Mourning, Hoid appears as a seemingly blind beggar who hurls a coin with exacting accuracy at Wax's head after Wax has tossed him a banknote, after Hoid had also given his name. When Wax approaches and asks Kelesina about the coin, she becomes nervous. In the epilogue, Wax discovers the coin is a coppermind that anyone can tap. It appears to be filled with memories of Kelsier's journey to southern Scadriel.
  • 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.


  • Hoid - The name of his master, which he assumed, after his master had been assassinated.[25]
  • Topaz - A name Hoid called himself in the original Dragonsteel.
  • Cephandrius Maxtori[26]
  • A storyteller in the Court of the Gods[27]
  • Roamer (by Galladon in the Purelake)[5]
  • The King's Wit[1]
  • Midius (Hoid's original name) - "After a rock".[8]
  • Imperial Fool of the Rose Empire[28]
  • Lunu'anaki (by Rock describing a meeting in the Horneater Peaks)[24]
  • Dust (by Zahel)[29]
  • Drifter (by Kelsier)[30]


  • The character 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.[31] He was on a planet trying to figure out how the magical system of the area worked.[32]
  • Brandon has stated that Hoid is his favorite character, but he couldn't say why without giving away spoilers.[33]
  • Brandon may eventually write a parallel novel to the Mistborn series that chronicles what Hoid was up to behind the scenes.[34]
  • Hoid loves bacon.[35]


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