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Brandon Sanderson / Why HoA *had* to end the way it did *Spoilers*
« on: November 13, 2008, 07:04:58 PM »
To begin this thread, I would like to say that I really, really liked HoA on the first read-through, and that hasn't changed at all since then.  I found the ending satisfying emotionally, and although there were several questions I wanted answered, I agree with the decision to not put them in the book.

Because of this, I didn't think too deeply about Vin and Elend's deaths at the end.  I knew it had happened, and its a bit jarring to think of Mistborn without them, but it wasn't a major issue for me, especially with the afterlife alluded to  in the epilogue.  However, I have seen many other forum posts (and more than a couple of reviews) which were negative, and I strongly suspect that at least some of that comes from the ending (more than one referenced the ending in a non-spoilerish way as being 'bad' or 'disappointing' and I seriously doubt that it's Sazed's ascension they are referring to).  These posts got me thinking about their deaths, and I've come to some conclusions that I feel need to be expressed.

Vin and Elend were good people with high ideals who lived during very hard times.  I'm not completely certain where Vin got her ideals from, but she acted on them most of the time.  Elend largely got his ideals from books, but he also acted on them, especially in WoA, where he stepped down as king, willing to obey the rule of law.  Unfortunately, the hard times they lived in forced them to make hard decisions.

They got involved in wars.  Some of the things they did got people killed.  When they deliberately let the villagers stand out in the mists, people died from that.  When they let their troops stand in the mists, people died.  I think their decisions were the right ones, but they were still the people that made the decisions that directly lead to the death of innocents.  When Elend decided to keep the city from Straff, people died in the resulting battles, perhaps more than would have if he had let Straff take everything.

These examples go on and on.  I don't have much time left, but I know that we could multiply these examples by ten.  They spend a lot of time worrying about these decisions, which is good, but the fact remains that they made them.  The only thing I can think of that really didn't match up was when Vin slaughtered Cett's retinue.  And she knew it afterwards, and she was tricked into it.

Again, I think they made the right decisions for the most part.  I think that the decisions they made really were for the best, even if they didn't always work out for the best.  But I think that, in all honesty, it wasn't simply enough for them to say that they were sacrificing people's lives because it was for the best.  I think that for the sake of completeness, for the sake of integrity, for the sake of living above and beyond the here and now, that they had to show that they were sacrificing other people for the good of the rest.

This part is tricky because every way I think of saying it feels like understatement, but what better way could Brandon have of showing that they were really, honestly, deeply, truly sacrificing others only for the good of all, than to sacrifice themselves?  What I'm talking about here isn't something trite, like the cliched "redemption=death," but rather simple character consistency.  Which would you rather have as the main characters:  ones who let others die, knowing it is inevitable, but saving themselves despite the negative consequences, or ones who, when it really becomes necessary, go to the chopping block as willingly as the soldiers they already sent to their deaths?  We all know which category Vin and Elend belong in, not because they told us but because they showed us.  Thus the ending was a necessary part of their character arcs, not an unfortunate ending tacked on "just because."  It completed them, just like Kelsier's death completed him.

Thus I actually hope that Brandon does not bring them back.  It would seem like cheating, in some ways.  Many, many people died during the final days of the world.  Doubtless their loved ones would like to have them back as well.  It seems like special pleading to get the named characters back alive but leave everybody else to suffer alone, especially when we can give a name and a purpose to the being who would be responsible for the return.  I, personally, would like it if even Sazed couldn't bring them back from the dead, at least for the moment.

Anyway, that's my thoughts.  Any comments?  I'm certain at least a few people will disagree with me.

Brandon Sanderson / Was this deliberate foreshadowing? *spoilers*
« on: November 12, 2008, 06:53:41 PM »
Just this morning rereading FE, I came upon this little tidbit.  Vin is listening to Kelsier and Dox talk about the plan and came up with this little thought(page 85, paperback)

So, are they serious about the plan?  Or is this still a show for my sake?  The two men seemed so competent.  Yet, overthrowing the Final Empire?  They'd sooner stop the mists from flowing or the sun from rising. (Emphasis mine.)

and again on page 112,

And yet, the group regarded their list of "problems" with determination.  There was a grim mirth about them---as if they understood that they had a better chance of making the sun rise at night than they did of overthrowing the Final Empire.  Yet, they were still going to to try.

Anyway, if this was deliberate, then well done.  On the first read-through, these ideas sound like absolutely impossibilities.  No less than 5 years later, book time, Vin has done all of them and as a reader I didn't feel even a little bit cheated...

Brandon Sanderson / Prophecy in Mistborn?
« on: October 07, 2008, 04:03:08 AM »
A lot of the discussions in relationship to the Hero of Ages have centered around how much we can trust the prophecies. (Thanks to Ruin, not much.  But some.  But because we don't know which is which, most discussion has stalled.)  A lot of people have wondered where the prophecies came from and what they mean.  In WoA, it is even postulated that the prophecies mean nothing at all; that they are folk memories of how to defeat the Deepness.  (Admittedly this is said by Tindwyl , whom Brandon has said he disagrees with in the annotations.)  In this context, I want to provide evidence that some prophecies, at least, are real, within the Mistborn world.

This is the one relating to the eleventh metal.  The one Vin used to kill the Lord Ruler.

The thing about the myth Kelsier had about it, the one that claimed it was his weakness, was that it was only his weakness in a ridiculously narrow set of circumstances.  Malatium doesn't do anything at all to the people around the Mistborn burning it.  It only changes what the Mistborn sees; it gives hints as to who they are, but in most situations this seems like an utterly useless skill; you know who they are.  Who they could have been is even more useless.  Useless unless you had been studying Alendi's logbook closely.  Useless unless you had spent your spare time chatting with a Keeper.  Useless unless you were very, very lucky.

Thus the statement that the eleventh metal is his weakness is very odd, on it's face. I can only see two different ways it could be considered to be his weakness:

1) Ruin was already coordinating everything, including creating this prophecy and managing it so TLR could die.  This is possible.  The difficulty is that this seems a bit much for Ruin to swing on his own while he was trapped in the well.  He was manipulating things, though, so it can't be ruled out.

2) There was an actual prophecy, true and unchanged, that the eleventh metal would lead to TLR's death.  Somehow someone (something?) foresaw it.  This goes pretty clearly into the "self-fulfilling prophecy" bin, but I can live with that.


Brandon Sanderson / How much of the prophecies can we trust?
« on: July 11, 2008, 11:21:12 PM »
Hello everybody.  This is my first posting in this forum.  I've read most of the recent posts, though, and have skimmed through the archives.  In addition, I've read Mistborn 1 & 2 and all the annotations.  While reading through the threads, I couldn't help but wonder if anyone had set up a particular place to discuss what we know of the prophecies and which ones can be trusted.  I have some ideas on the subject, but was wondering if there was a thread already set up to discuss this.  I would hate to contribute to unnecessary rehashing.  I do believe there are some things we can know and some we can believe with a degree of uncertainty.

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