Spren come in many different varieties, each associated with and named for its own phenomenon.
- Angerspren Accompany a person experiencing a lot of anger. Appear as blood-red pools boiling up from the ground around an angry person's feet. To Veil, some look like the normal pools of blood; others look more like tar, pitch-black. When the bubbles in these pop, they show a burning red within, like embers.
- Anticipationspren Accompany nervous people, people who are waiting for something. Appear as red streamers growing from the ground, or connected by one side to such as a stone, and whipping in the wind around a person who is anticipating something. Rock is able to see the entire spren, most of it apparently staying underground, invisible to normal humans.
- Awespren Appear as a ring of blue smoke that bursts and spreads like a ripple from a stone dropped in a pond.
- Concentrationspren Appear as little ripples in the air, like a raindrop in a pond - only without the rain and without the pond.
- Exhaustionspren Appear alongside painspren among the wounded after a battle, specifically on the Shattered Plains. No physical description of them has yet been given. However, once they've been exhausted, they fade, the spren spinning away to search out more fresh sources of emotion. They puff like little jets of dust.
- Fearspren Are drawn to a person experiencing terror. Appear as small globs of a violet/purple goo wriggling in the air.
- Gloomspren Are long, and grey, like a tattered streamer of cloth in the wind. They wind around, fluttering. Kaladin had seen its like only once or twice before.
|“||"Why are they so rare?" Kaladin asked. "People feel gloomy all the time." "Who knows?" Syl said. "Some spren are common. Some are uncommon."||”|
- Gloryspren Appear " ... like tiny golden translucent globes of light ... attracted by ... accomplishment." Often seen around victorious participants of combat.
- Joyspren Appear as blue leaves that rise around a person, beginning at one's feet, then move up in a swirl before flaring out above as if in a blast of wind.
- Laughterspren Appear as little silver fish that zip through the air, this way and that, dancing in the air some ten feet up from where one stands.
- Painspren Appear as " ... small orange hands with overly long fingers ... " crawling around persons in agony. However, in Shadesmar the harmless painspren are known as grinders, which screech as they are drawn by strong emotions, and are extremely dangerous.
- Passionspren Appear as tiny flakes of crystalline snow around passionate people. May only be applied to a feeling of strong love.
- Shamespren Appear to be " ... shaped like white and red flower petals that [drift] on a wind." Shallan experiences them as dropping around her like a wave of pieces of broken glass.
- Shockspren Appear as pale, yellow triangles, breaking and reforming.
- Ashspren From Malata's conversation with Taravangian, it can be inferred that the Dustbringers bond with ashspren. Characteristic of ashspren are the desires to exact vengeance and break stuff.
- Cold/Heat/Gravity-Spren Mentioned so far only in Navani's Notebook, where she comments that they can be bound to gems to create cold/heat-producing fabrials. (It's likely that those are scholarly names for more commonly used names among the people).
- Cultivationspren, such as Wyndle and Maya, are sentient elements of the Shard, Cultivation. Each their bond with an Edgedancer grants a human the Surges of Abrasion and Progression. Unlike other sentient spren, they do not have cities in the Cognitive Realm. They are ruled by a counsel known as The Ring and call the Nightwatcher mother. Further, Wyndle insists that his kind are not very important and that they only moved to bond with humans because the Cryptics and the honorspren and 'everyone' were starting to move. That they jumped right into the sea of glass feet-first, but barely knew what they were doing.
|“||"Everyone who had any idea of how to accomplish all this died centuries ago."||”|
- Flamespren Appear as insect-like shapes dancing around the source of a flame (the flame draws them) and are made solely of congealed light. They continually change size, though their size becomes fixed if they are measured and the measurement recorded, yet they begin to change size again if the record is erased.
- Gravitationspren - Zen researched spren, sketching spren which appeared around heavy objects which she conjectured to be gravitationspren.
- Groundspren They pull everything downward.
- Lightspren Looks like a small ball of white fire that gives off little rings of light and trails a streak behind it like a comet.
- Rainspren Found in puddles, they glow with a faint blue light and are shaped like ankle-high melting candles with no flame. "They rarely [appear] except during the Weeping. They [are] said to be the souls of raindrops, glowing blue rods, seeming to melt but never growing smaller, a single blue eye at their tops."
- Riverspren Are eel-like and one of the largest spren.
- Starspren Appear like glowing insects, zipping around; tiny pinpricks of light, chasing after one another. They are a rare type of spren (likely only seen between moons when the sky is poorly lit).
- Stonespren Are a variety that inhabit stone. They are revered by the Shin.
- Stormspren Appear as smoky creatures moving about inside gemstones. They're a variety of Voidspren.
- Windspren Are " ... amorphous, vaguely translucent ... devious spirits who [have] a penchant for staying where they [aren't] wanted." They may appear as " ... a ribbon of light without form." They " ... often [play] pranks ... ." "They [are] impossible to tell apart." The larger among them can change shape and size. They " ... [can] mimic voices and expressions, but [don't] actually think." They can appear to whomever they choose. It's possible that what are thought to be windspren by many are, in actuality, lost honorspren. Windspren and honorspren are cousins to one another. Shallan wonders whether human imagination gave windspren their mischievous spark.
- Bindspren It is unsure whether they are either attracted to, create, or are created by the Lashing. Appear as " ... dark blue and shaped like little splashes of ink, clustering ... " around the site of a binding.
- Captivityspren Axies the Collector has postulated the existence of a spren attracted to those who have been imprisoned. However, despite the countless times he's been thrown into jail, he's yet to confirm their existence. These are the strange spren seen by Kaladin while imprisoned in Words of Radiance (i.e., " ... strange spren like taut wires crossing before him ... ").
- Chasmfiendspren Like small glowing arrows in schools. Individuals drift away and vanish like small plumes of smoke rising into the air. They dance around live chasmfiends, (and santhids and skyeels) and are a source of light.
- Creationspren Accompany a skillful act of creation, such as drawing or painting. They appear as finger-length, glowing faintly with silvery light, transforming perpetually, taking new shapes. "Usually the shapes were things they had seen recently. They [imitate] shapes exactly, but [move] them in strange ways." They aren't entirely substantial.
|“||Like other spren, they were always said to be around, but usually invisible. Sometimes you attracted them. Sometimes you didn't. With drawing, skill seemed to make a difference.||”|
|“||They don't do anything. They flit around and watch, admire. Most spren have a purpose. These are merely attracted by someone else's purpose.||”|
- Deathspren According to Lirin they hate water. They appear " ... as fist-sized and black, with many legs and deep red eyes that [glow], leaving trails of burning light. They [cluster] ... skittering this way and that. Their voices [are] whispers, scratchy sounds like paper being torn. Only the dying [are able to] see deathspren." Deathspren are considered a superstition by many and dying hallucinations may account for the seeing of them. However, during Kaladin's almost near-death experience, Syl warded away the encroaching deathspren.
- Decayspren Mentioned once by Syl as an offhand reference. Seen again by Shallan in Urithiru, described as being like "barnacles" on the refuse in the corridors.
- Highspren Mentioned once by Syl as an offhand reference; likely the spren with which Darkness is bonded. They value law above all else, including doing what is right. They are tied to the powers of the Skybreakers; each their bond with a Skybreaker grants a human the Surges of Gravitation and Division.
- Honorspren They are discerning. They bond things. "Spirit of oaths, promises, and nobility." Kaladin's spren, Syl, is an honorspren. They are tied to the powers of the Windrunners; each their bond with a Windrunner grants a human the Surges of Adhesion and Gravitation.
|“||The Honorblades are what we are based on, Kaladin. Honor gave these to men, and those men gained powers from them. Spren figured out what He'd done, and we imitated it. We're bits of his power ... .||”|
–Syl to Kaladin
- Hungerspren Appear as little brown specks with wings, floating around their host.
- Inkspren Appear as inky-black and sword-wielding. They are tied to the powers of the Elsecallers; each their bond with an Elsecaller grants a human the Surges of Transformation and Transportation. Ivory has been identified as an inkspren. The qualities in an individual to which inkspren are attracted are cleverness and intellect.
- Keenspren Wyndle claims that he once grew an entire garden for some keenspren.
- Liespren Appear as tall and willowy creatures with cloaks that split down the front and hang at the sides too stiffly, as if made of glass. They have large, floating symbols of twisted designs full of impossible angles and geometries instead of heads. They have been observed to give the power to Soulcast in exchange for truth. Pattern is a liespren; or a Cryptic, as he and his kin prefer to be called. Shallan sees them in her drawings. They bind to her by being told a powerful truth. Elhokar sees them in mirrors and perceives them as assassins. "They watch me. Always. Waiting. I see their faces in mirrors. Symbols, twisted, inhuman ... ." Cryptics are tied to the powers of the Lightweavers; each their bond with a Lightweaver grants a human the Surges of Illumination and Transformation. Even so, according to Syl, Cryptics are a revolting type of spren, but she doesn't think them to be evil.
|“||"Cryptics like to plan," Syl said slowly, as if recalling something long lost. "Yes ... I remember. They debate and watch and never do anything."||”|
–Syl to Kaladin
- Logicspren Are said to be attracted to great arguments and are described as appearing like tiny stormclouds.
- Musicspren Appear in the form of spinning translucent ribbons in the air where music is being played. They have been noted around the best music players at Elhokar's feasts. They also follow Ryshadium herds for unknown reasons.
- Rotspren Appear as tiny and red, like insects crawling over wounds. According to Lirin, they hate water. Lister's oil frightens them better than soap does. They are translucent and tend to cluster around the dead.
- Santhidspren Appear like arrows moving through the water around the creature. These spren are also seen around some chasmfiends and skyeels.
|“||"Those spren," Shallan whispered, so soft he could barely hear. "I’ve seen those . . ." They danced around the chasmfiend, and were the source of the light. They looked like small glowing arrows, and they surrounded the beast in schools, though occasionally one would drift away from the others and then vanish like a small plume of smoke rising into the air. "Skyeels," Shallan whispered. "They follow skyeels too."||”|
–Shallan to Kaladin
- Shadesmarspren Are stealthy, can sense one's anticipation from a great distance, and can be tentaclous.
- Truthwatcherspren Lean toward Cultivation. They afford their Surgebinders the Surge of Progression or Regrowth.
- Voidspren Are comprised of different varieties. All spren that are Splinters of Odium are referred to as Voidspren. Odiumspren and stormspren are specific types of Voidspren.
- Wisdomspren Nohadon said that the Nahel bond gave Alakavish (who was presumably bound to a wisdomspren) no more wisdom than a regular man.
|"Alespren"||Brown||Small bubbles that cling to nearby objects.||"Appear only when one is severely intoxicated." Potentially, " ... a drunken hallucination." Infrequent, they're studied by Axies.|
|"Dungspren"||Most likely do not exist. Told by Tien as a joke.|
|"Groundspren"||They pull things down.|
|"Hungerspren"||Brown||Like flies that flit around one's head, almost too small to see.|
|"Laughterspren"||Silver||Minnow-like spirits that dart through the air in circular patterns.|
|"Lifespren"||Green||Motes of swirling, green-glowing dust, or swarms of tiny translucent insects. Usually seen where there are lots of plants.||Dance in the air like whispermill seeds.|
|"Luckspren"||Dozens of these tiny spren accompany skyeels in a swarm.||Probably not their true name, though called so by sailors.|
|"Nightspren"||Monsters of the dark that are dreaded.|
It takes the shape of a large jet of water. The center is of the deepest blue, like the ocean depths, though the outer edges are a lighter shade. It has height of at least a hundred feet.
|It is named Cusicesh the Protector. The spren comes out of the water at the same time every day. It is an unknown kind of spren. It makes people feel drained after they see it.|
|"Starspren"||Tiny pinpricks of light chasing after one another, zipping around like distant, glowing insects.||They are rare.|
|Unknown||Silver||Tiny, near-invisible whisps of smoke, like a candle that had its flame just snuffed out.||They float out of a freshly killed chasmfiend's body. In a symbiotic relationship with the chasmfiend, they are part of what allow the creatures to grow to the size they do with an exoskeleton. (Along with a high-oxygen, lower-gravity world.)|
What about the pairing of spren? If honorspren are linked to windspren, it seems logical that highspren would be linked to gravityspren; the Dustbringers' major spren will be linked to the minor decayspren or possibly rotspren, etc.. What if the major spren (for lack of a better term, the bonding spren like Syl, Glys, Ivory, Pattern, and Wyndle) are actually linked to two minor spren - the ones that control the Surges for that Order? So Syl, an honorspren, would have a connection to windspren (Adhesion) and gravityspren (Gravitation); the highspren would connect to gravityspren (Gravitation) and decayspren (Division); Wyndle would have a connection to the spren for Friction (maybe heatspren?) and lifespren (Progression); Glys to lifespren (Progression) and creationspren (Illumination) ... . By this theory, it would perhaps take both windspren and gravityspren to form Kaladin’s plate. Although as yet unproven, it makes a certain amount of sense in that it provides a rationale for one type of spren (e.g., honorspren) to grant control of two Surges.
A. Depends on the spren!
Q. Are the intelligent spren like Syl the "seons of Roshar"?
A. What a clever question. Gold star for you.
- ↑ The Way of Kings, 15. The Decoy
- ↑ Oathbringer, Inter13.
- ↑ Oathbringer, 67. Mishim
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 The Way of Kings, 6. Bridge Four
- ↑ The Way of Kings, 26. Stillness
- ↑ Oathbringer, 3. Momentum
- ↑ Words of Radiance, 78. Contradictions
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Edgedancer, 13.
- ↑ The Way of Kings, 68. Eshonai
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Words of Radiance, Inter4.
- ↑ Words of Radiance, 75. True Glory
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 The Way of Kings, Prologue - To Kill
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 Oathbringer, 5. Hearthstone
- ↑ The Way of Kings, 12. Unity
- ↑ Edgedancer, 1.
- ↑ Words of Radiance, 28. Boots
- ↑ Edgedancer, 10.
- ↑ The Way of Kings, 1. Stormblessed
- ↑ Grinders
- ↑ The Way of Kings, 61. Right for Wrong
- ↑ Words of Radiance, Inter3.
- ↑ Oathbringer, 62. Research
- ↑ Oathbringer, 6. Four Lifetimes
- ↑ Oathbringer, 107. The First Step
- ↑ The Way of Kings, 55. An Emerald Broam
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 Edgedancer, 2.
- ↑ Words of Radiance, Inter9.
- ↑ 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 The Way of Kings, 7. Anything Reasonable
- ↑ Zen
- ↑ 30.0 30.1 The Way of Kings, 49. To Care
- ↑ Oathbringer, Inter11.
- ↑ The Way of Kings, 35. A Light by Which to See
- ↑ The Way of Kings, 44. The Weeping
- ↑ 34.0 34.1 34.2 The Way of Kings, 40. Eyes of Red and Blue
- ↑ 35.0 35.1 Words of Radiance, 81. The Last Day
- ↑ 36.0 36.1 36.2 The Way of Kings, 2. Honor is Dead
- ↑ The Way of Kings, 21. Why Men Lie
- ↑ Cousins
- ↑ 39.0 39.1 Words of Radiance, 1. Santhid
- ↑ Syl and Kaladin argued about it and it's being researched.
- ↑ The Way of Kings, 57. Wandersail
- ↑ The Way of Kings, Inter6.
- ↑ 43.0 43.1 43.2 Words of Radiance, 62. The One Who Killed Promises
- ↑ 44.0 44.1 Words of Radiance, 70. From A Nightmare
- ↑ Words of Radiance, 77. Trust
- ↑ 46.0 46.1 46.2 The Way of Kings, 10. Stories of Surgeons
- ↑ 47.0 47.1 The Way of Kings, 38. Envisager
- ↑ The Way of Kings, 17. A Bloody, Red Sunset
- ↑ Words of Radiance, 59. Fleet
- ↑ 50.0 50.1 The Way of Kings, 60. That Which We Cannot Have
- ↑ The Way of Kings, 67. Words
- ↑ Words of Radiance, 87. The Riddens
- ↑ Words of Radiance, Prologue - To Question
- ↑ Book signing, Fort Collins, CO, 11/29/16
- ↑ Edgedancer, 6.
- ↑ The Way of Kings, 29. Errorgance
- ↑ The Way of Kings, 58. The Journey
- ↑ Oathbringer, 108. Honor's Path
- ↑ Truthwatcherspren
- ↑ 60.0 60.1 60.2 60.3 The Way of Kings, Inter5.
- ↑ The Way of Kings, 37. Sides
- ↑ The Way of Kings, 4. The Shattered Plains
- ↑ Edgedancer, 12.
- ↑ Edgedancer, 4.
- ↑ Edgedancer, 8.
- ↑ 66.0 66.1 The Way of Kings, 3. City of Bells
- ↑ Shallan's sketchbook
- ↑ The Way of Kings, 42. Beggars and Barmaids
- ↑ "Smokespren"
- ↑ Words of Radiance, 86. Patterns Of Light
- ↑ Oathbringer, 120. The Spear That Would Not Break
- ↑ Nahel bond
- ↑ Intelligent spren