- Alternative Character Interpretation:
- Adonalsium is a central figure of the series, but also the one the least is known about, resulting in copious amount of this. Is Was Once a Man in effect, or was Adonalsium simply sentient Investiture? Why did he need to be Shattered? Did he decide to abandon his creation, did he plan to destroy it, or perhaps he was already dying and final blow needed to be dealt? Did he know about future Vessels' plan to destroy him, and if so, did he approve? Is everything going according to his plan, or did the Cosmere go completely, irrevocably Off the Rails?
- Skai, AKA Dominion, gets his share. What was his relationship with Aona/Devotion? Was he evil and/or focused on global conquest, or was he benevolent?
- Bavadin/Autonomy. Is she working with or otherwise assisting Odium? Is she the mysterious force assaulting Scadrial? Did she aid the Splintering of Aona and Skai? If you take those questions to the forums, you'll get all possible combinations of answers.
- Actually, most of the Shards that we havent met face-to-face yet are steeped in mystery. What is about Mercy that worries Harmony? (Odds are its related to the battle on Threnody, but that itself is steeped in mystery). What does he mean by Whimsy not being very useful? Why isnt Invention returning Harmonys calls?
- Hoid. Just what are his goals in the Cosmere? Is he the unsung hero, a regretful antihero, or an outright villain? What does he plan to do? Just how did he get immortal and unable to harm living beings? Word of God is that Hoid was a Dawnshard at some point, which only raises further questions, most importantly HOW he gained it and lost it.
- Archive Panic: It's slowly shaping up to become this. Some people are scared off from starting The Stormlight Archive because of its anticipated length of 10 books with each book presumably being well over 1000 pages long, plus at least two novellas, and that's only one story of the Cosmere. If you count Mistborn as one book series, there are currently six novels and one novella released, but at least seven more novels to come, making the whole series at least 13 novels long, scattered over 4 eras of the planet's history, and that's not taking into account that Sanderson has expressed interest to squeeze another era in at some point. Then there are stand-alone books like Elantris and Warbreaker, both of which are planned to get sequels at some point (two of them for Elantris, at least one for Warbreaker), the graphic-novel trilogy White Sand (also expected to get a sequel at some point) and a whole bunch of novellas. The whole Cosmere sequence is expected to encompass at least 35 novels, not counting novellas or graphic-novels. As for now, it still is fairly easy to follow, but in some more years, things will probably look a lot less managable, especially considering Brandons impressive output.
- Ensemble Dark Horse:
- Hoid, the Cosmere's original darkhorse.
- Bavadin seems to be on track to become this, thanks to the fun habit of pretending to be different deities (of both genders) and forming entire pantheons made up only by different personas of her. The fandom has taken the idea and ran with it.
- Cultivation, due to being The Chessmaster and being heavily implied to be a DRAGON.
- Fanfic Fuel: There are still two Shards that remain unnamed, with almost nothing known about four other Shards, and there are millennia-long gaps between various books. Oh, and there's an entire city of worldhoppers out there, so fanfic authors can run wild.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: "Brandon Sanderson" is 16 letters long if you don't count the space. The Arc Number of the Cosmere makes his parents naming of him a riot.
- Memetic Bystander:
- Hoid was there for, or at least involved with, pretty much everything.
- Bavadin is quickly growing into this with the reveal that she's been pretending to be many different gods and that there are entire pantheons where every member is actually Bavadin. Everyone is Bavadin now!
- Memetic Mutation: According to Word of God, Hoid is very interested in Scadrial... because theyre this close to figuring out how to make instant noodles. Naturally, the fanbase has taken this and ran with it.
- Viewer Gender Confusion: The first mention of Bavadin was lacking gender-pronouns, and a stray Word of God pegged them as male. Come Arcanum Unbounded, two years later, and Bavadin is confirmed to be a woman, with Sanderson clarifying that some level of Ambiguous Gender Identity is going on.
YMMV / The Cosmere