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The Letter is comprised of the epigraphs in The Way of Kings, from Chapter 12 through Chapter 28. It was written by Hoid and reveals some hints as to the history of the cosmere.


Old friend, I hope this missive finds you well. Though, as you are now essentially immortal, I would guess that wellness on your part is something of a given.[1]

I realize that you are probably still angry. That is pleasant to know. Much as your perpetual health, I have come to rely upon your dissatisfaction with me. It is one of the cosmere’s great constants, I should think.[2]

Let me first assure you that the element is quite safe. I have found a good home for it. I protect its safety like I protect my own skin, you might say.* [3]

You do not agree with my quest. I understand that, so much as it is possible to understand someone with whom I disagree so completely.[4]

Might I be quite frank? Before, you asked why I was so concerned. It is for the following reason:[5]

Ati was once a kind and generous man, and you saw what became of him. Rayse, on the other hand, was among the most loathsome, crafty, and dangerous individuals I had ever met.[6]

He holds the most frightening and terrible of all of the Shards. Ponder on that for a time, you old reptile, and tell me if your insistence on nonintervention holds firm. Because I assure you, Rayse will not be similarly inhibited.[7]

One need only look at the aftermath of his brief visit to Sel to see proof of what I say.[8]

In case you have turned a blind eye to that disaster, know that Aona and Skai are both dead, and that which they held has been Splintered. Presumably to prevent anyone from rising up to challenge Rayse.[9]

You have accused me of arrogance in my quest. You have accused me of perpetuating my grudge against Rayse and Bavadin. Both accusations are true.[10]

Neither point makes the things I have written to you here untrue.[11]

I am being chased. Your friends of the Seventeenth Shard, I suspect. I believe they’re still lost, following a false trail I left for them. They’ll be happier that way. I doubt they have any inkling what to do with me should they actually catch me.[12]

If anything I have said makes a glimmer of sense to you, I trust that you’ll call them off. Or maybe you could astound me and ask them to do something productive for once.[13]

For I have never been dedicated to a more important purpose, and the very pillars of the sky will shake with the results of our war here. I ask again. Support me. Do not stand aside and let disaster consume more lives. I’ve never begged you for something before, old friend. I do so now.[14]


* The element?

It has been confirmed by Brandon, through the husband of a reader (#46) on, that the recipient of the letter is a dragon.[15] The name of the dragon is Frost and he's the eldest character in the Cosmere amongst those which readers know, closely seconded by Hoid.[16]

The Second Letter, in Words of Radiance, is a reply from Frost to Hoid.[17]