Author Topic: Question: Mistborn - Final Empire  (Read 3201 times)

VegasDev

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Question: Mistborn - Final Empire
« on: December 28, 2007, 08:32:17 AM »
I am reading Mistborn 1 again (for the 6th time) and decided that rather than just pondering the text and continue reading as usual, I would voice my 'question' which may or may not have been answered previously. Please move or merge as necessary.

Quote
That night, Kelsier had Snapped, coming into his powers as a Mistborn. The next night, men had died.

Many Men.

I assume that since Kelsier was a prisoner in the Pits of Hathsin, outside of atium and minute traces in his own body, he would not have access to any allomantic metals. Unless he discussed allomancy at great length with Mare, he would have had to have been a very quick learner to take one day to master the confusing affects of atium. Even with the one second glimpse into the future, to take on 'many men' would have been a tall feat without the use of pewter, iron or steel.

Therefore, I am lead to believe that there may be much more to the story or a very simple answer, both of which Brandon could possibly divulge here or within a short prequel.

You may ask yourself "Where was his question? I didn't see a question mark anywhere in his post." and I would respond "It was in the last sentence."
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CUBAREY

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Re: Question: Mistborn - Final Empire
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2007, 01:15:31 PM »
Just my opinion, but even trace elements of pewter (found in the water) would be enough to strengthen someone enough to be able to kill quite a few guards caught by surprise especially is Kel's snapping consisted of  state similar to the "berserker frenzy" that some viking warriors were said to fall into.

Jhaeli

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Re: Question: Mistborn - Final Empire
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2007, 01:48:43 PM »
I found my answer by comparing his situation to Vin.

Let me explain.

Vin Snapped at a young age, before she remembers really, and so has been instinctly using her 'Luck' ever since through trace metals. She was using her 'Luck' fairly regularly as well, with beatings and keeping herself useful to the thieving crews. Consider that Kelsier was a full-grown man who had many years for his body to collect trace metals; granted, one's body doesn't necessarily 'store' them and it would steadily disappear too, but he wouldn't have been using it up like Vin.

I think you could logically say that he had enough trace metals in his system to cause a disturbance. He might have also burned instinctively to start too. He would have been a lot more educated about Mistborn than Vin.
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Bookstore Guy

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Re: Question: Mistborn - Final Empire
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2007, 05:28:41 PM »
I doubt he killed them all at once.  'Many Men' could have died by Kel hunting them down one at a time in the Pits.  In fact, Kel could have killed dozens before any alarm went up in a mining-setting.  He knew how to kill people before being thrown in the Pits, so the added trace metals in his system just made it easier. 
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Phaz

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Re: Question: Mistborn - Final Empire
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2007, 08:58:16 PM »
I always imagined that he simply used the one metal most accessible to him at the time.  Atium.

He would of known about it, since it seems like he has always been a part of one of the 'special' thieving crews that works with alomancers.  He would of known what it was he collecting, and there for sure would of been ample supply.  Maybe he found a bead, which would of been enough to kill a guard easy (guards were probably armed, and disarming one and killing them with a weapon would be easy with just atium).  Then moved on to wherever they were keeping the supply.

He also would of had to burn some of the 'trace' metals inside him.  Since he mentions when he goes back to the pits that he knew the last time he was there that burning metals near the crystals destroys them.  This is also alluded to by Straff since he mentions at one point that the pits haven't been as productive since something happened a few years ago.  Presumably, this was Kell breaking out of the pits, destroying some of the crystals in the process.

It also makes sense he would of taken some Atium with him, I think this is how he originally paid for Or''Seur.

Daarian

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Re: Question: Mistborn - Final Empire
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2007, 11:15:57 PM »
I'd say he could also probably find a few bits of metals around the place.. remember most of the metals were fairly common and could be burned even if they werent in the best state. It would have taken much to scrape a bit of metal from different items around the pits, like the dinnerware etc. And just because Atium was the primary purpose for the mine doesnt mean there werent bits of other metals in the mine.
""Don't talk to me about nobleman," Vin said. "And don't say things about people you don't know.  You're no skaa-- you're just nobleman without titles." - Quote from Mistborn

VegasDev

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Re: Question: Mistborn - Final Empire
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2007, 11:19:57 PM »
Like I stated, I have pondered this each time I read and came to similar conclusions as those listed.

However, considering he turned in a bead of atium the night he snapped and did not find the bead himself, instead being given one by Mare, I assume that finding another would be a stretch.

That means he either killed 'many men' using the trace metals in his body alone, or gained access to another atium geode. He might have been able to take one from another prisoner or even managed to break into the location holding the collected ones.

It is possible, I guess, that he had a lifetime to store up the trace metals in his body because he would have needed more than just a trace amount to defeat many men. Vin always had to use just a tiny bit of her metals or run out, expending them entirely when she was withstanding a beating.

He thought Vin was a quick study and seemed amazed that she was able to learn to use allomancy without direction over 15 years; having passing conversations with Mare and a handful of hours preparation hardly seems enough to allow Kelsier to ration his metals in an extended battle rather than flaring and using it all up against the first man he faced.

In the end, considering the way it emphasizes 'many men' leads one to believe that there is much more to the story than can be explained away simply by stating 'he stumbled upon some atium and using trace metals in his body allowed him to defeat many men'. Maybe it's just me.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2007, 11:23:12 PM by VegasDev »
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Bookstore Guy

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Re: Question: Mistborn - Final Empire
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2007, 03:46:25 AM »
it doesnt say anywhere that he killed everyone all at once.  I dont understand why it is hard to believe that a person who was already in prison for his deeds can't use the trace elements in his body to kill numerous people.  This wasnt like the end of Mr & Mrs Smith where they obliterate 50 guys shooting at them.  Think of how mines are usually set up - its typically not just one big room.  There are several off-shoots and tunnels.  Why is it hard to believe that Kel (a killer and revolutionary) could kill a numerous people in a path of destruction.  This isnt Kel vs. the Persian Army from "300".  Dont think about it so hard.
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VegasDev

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Re: Question: Mistborn - Final Empire
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2007, 08:39:44 AM »
First off I want to apologize in advance for my mood, I just got off my 8th 5 hour flight in the last 2 weeks and am sitting in a terminal with poor amenitites for the digital traveler. Stupid layovers. I would also like to preface my tantrum by once again asserting that I was really only musing about the story that surely exists, even if only in fantasy.

Kelsier would not have had much if any trace metals. You get trace metals from what you would ingest and being a prisoner he probably didn't even have access to metal utensils, more likely a stick and a flat stone or a community trough. We know he would not have a store of metal because either you burn the metals, expunge the metals through the digestive tract or you get sick. If it were just metal anywhere in your body, Allomancers would have earrings galore or metal balls embedded in their skin. So either he stumbled upon some metals, ate some rocks which might not even have one of the base metals or used what little trace metals he may have had in his stomach at the time which undoubtedly would not have lasted long at all.

Kelsier might not have had access to atium at all. It was hard to come by, considering that he got one from Mare because he had not found one. While there are valid explanations as to how he acquired atium, they would all be a little too convenient. If he took from another worker, you would wonder how the worker found one so soon after having to turn in their atium to live another week. If he stole it from storage, you would wonder why it was so easy to get; prisoners would just steal a couple and turn those in if they didn't find more. If he just dug up another in the pits, you would wonder why he went the whole week without finding one and then got one from Mare.

Even if he was able to find atium and the other metals, he was not prepared to use them and would most likely flared and burned them up in the first fight he came across. He didn't have years to train like Vin, he had hours.

If it were as easy as killing each guard one after another, why then would he not have escaped much earlier with Mare still alive? They left Mare alive when they put her in despite the fact that they knew she was an allomancer. They assumed she was only a Tineye, but she could have easily been a Mistborn too. The pits were more prison than mine, so they must have had things in place to make sure an allomancer was not able to leave easily even if they did find a source of metal. They probably forced allomancers to burn that one metal every day that wiped out the rest of their metals in their stomachs, much like they did when they captured Vin.

Needless to say, given all the facts, I find it difficult to believe that there isn't a much bigger story that could be told. Kelsier somehow found enough metals to defeat 'many men', which was emphasized in text. He escaped from a prison that held allomancers, so they must have some precautions in place to make it difficult for one man burning trace metals to escape. Sometime after escaping, he took Gemmel as a master to train him to use his allomantic abilities, which despite the fact that he possibly killed many men using said abilities, still needed to be pushed off the wall. And Vin who had years of self training, appeared to be a quick learner by Kelsier's estimation, even though Kelsier himself would have had hours.

Who knows, maybe I just like Kelsier too much, but to me it seems that there is alot of info that could almost be a prequel in and of itself.
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CUBAREY

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Re: Question: Mistborn - Final Empire
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2007, 10:34:31 AM »
Quote:

Kelsier would not have had much if any trace metals. You get trace metals from what you would ingest and being a prisoner he probably didn't even have access to metal utensils, more likely a stick and a flat stone or a community trough.

You can also find trace metals in water. And the pits being a typeof mine I would hazard to guess that the prisoners water supply was probably quite contaminated with trace metals.

badmrpotatohead

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Re: Question: Mistborn - Final Empire
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2007, 05:21:09 PM »
How about this...perhaps there were mistborn gaurds at the pits...using allomancy outside of the pits didnt destory the crystals, Kelsier had to go into them to destroy them later on...so, perhaps he had enough trace metals to kill off one of hte mistborn gaurds, catching him by surprise, and then taking his vials. Hed been around allomancers all his life, so he knew how everythign worked in theory...

Phaz

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Re: Question: Mistborn - Final Empire
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2007, 05:22:41 PM »
This thread does bring up some other interesting points.

I wonder how much Brandon works on back story for his novels.  From what I understand, authors like JKR and Jordan put a lot of effort into this kind of thing, and even if they didn't write more than a paragraph about an event that happened in the past, in their notebooks or minds they had the event in question fleshed out in detail.  Do pretty much all authors do that?

Also, I think this is one of the most interesting parts of the first book that is talked about, but left out.  I would love to see a Hope of Elantris style short from Brandon that describes this scene.  In fact, there isn't anything else that I can think of that I would want to see more (though the part with Vin and her Mother would be #2).


Phaz

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Re: Question: Mistborn - Final Empire
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2007, 05:24:12 PM »
How about this...perhaps there were mistborn gaurds at the pits...using allomancy outside of the pits didnt destory the crystals, Kelsier had to go into them to destroy them later on...so, perhaps he had enough trace metals to kill off one of hte mistborn gaurds, catching him by surprise, and then taking his vials. Hed been around allomancers all his life, so he knew how everythign worked in theory...

If that was the case, thenit would imply that  Straff would of had several mistborn at his disposal since he was in control of the pits.  From WoA it sounds like he kept Zane around because he didn't have other options.

Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: Question: Mistborn - Final Empire
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2007, 02:12:54 AM »
Kelsier also mentions a few times that he had someone who trained him (I forget the guy's name at the moment). There's clearly a story there as well.

But as for the current topic, one thing to keep in mind is that Kelsier lived and worked with allomancers for years, and must have had an intimate knowledge of what they were capable of (in order to accurately plan his escapades). Yes, having heard how to do something and doing it yourself skillfully are two different things, but I imagine that pewter, iron, and steel are metals you can learn the brute force basics of very quickly—it's the finesse that takes a lot of practice.
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badmrpotatohead

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Re: Question: Mistborn - Final Empire
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2007, 02:15:05 AM »

If that was the case, thenit would imply that  Straff would of had several mistborn at his disposal since he was in control of the pits.  From WoA it sounds like he kept Zane around because he didn't have other options.

True...but...perhaps the reason Straff didnt have anymore at his disposal was because Kelsier killed them all at the pits. :)