Author Topic: The "Snapping" Thread  (Read 4005 times)

Phaz

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The "Snapping" Thread
« on: April 25, 2008, 09:00:30 PM »
I really like some of the discussions that have been ongoing in the other "theory" threads, so thought I'd start one on a topic that I find really interesting.  Snapping.

This is an interesting topic, because it is mentioned in the first two books, but there isn't a ton of emphasis placed on it (at least not in the first two books).  I think there are many interesting questions that come from the topic.

* Why does one need to Snap before they can use their powers?
* Do you gain your powers when you Snap, or do you always have them and Snapping just brings them out?
* What is the important part in the process of Snapping?  Is it physical trauma?  Emotional trauma?
* How traumatic does the Snapping have to be?

I know there are a few others I've had as well.  I'll post them when I think of them.

I think the second one is the most interesting.  Such as with Kell, was he always going to be a Mistborn if he Snapped? Or was it decided when he Snapped that he would be a Mistborn.   For instance, if he Snapped at an earlier time, would he of been something else, or maybe nothing at all. 

Also related to that, does how traumatic your Snap is determine what powers you have?  The only snapping stories we really know are Vin's and Kells.  They both had very traumatic experiences, and both became Mistborn.

That brings up another question with Kell as well.   He was a theif.  I also believe at least part of his younger life was spent on the streets.  We know he was a really really good theif, but I doubt he was perfect for as long as he was doing it.  It seems like at some point in his life he would of been beaten or caught or had something happen to him on the streets that would of Snapped him.

It doesn't seem like what Snaps you has to be all that traumatic, since we know that several noblemen are msitings/mistborn, and I can't imagine their lives were all that traumatic.

I look forward to reading other people's theories on this topic.

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Re: The "Snapping" Thread
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2008, 09:20:03 PM »
Excellent, Phaz. We definitely needed a topic on this.

Kelsier mentions that Allomantic power is latent before you Snapped. But, since he's the guy who told us that there's always another secret, I don't think he is the most objective on the subject.

There are interesting things to say about Kelsier, though. I would think getting originally caught by the Lord Ruler would be pretty traumatic. Instead, his powers waited until Mare died. Maybe that is because Mare essentially kept him going until she died, when he Snapped. Still, it seems that he could've Snapped many times during his time as a thief.

I think the trauma of the Snap is in direct relation with the powers you'll have. Just thinking from my Chemistry class today, which was about state changes. There's a thing called Heat of Vaporization (or Enthalpy of Vaporization), the energy it takes to move something from a liquid to a gas. Gases are very energetic compared to a liquid, so Vaporization energy is always very high for gases. Now, the Vaporization energy differs for different substances. A substance like salt (which has a boiling and melting point because the ionic bonds in them are very powerful) will have a far higher Vaporization energy than something like water.

So say for example, we have a "Trauma point" that is proportional to the amount of power you have as an Allomancer. More power requires more trauma.

Therefore, some noblemen mistings who were less powerful would need less traumatic experiences. I basically just restated what you just said, but with some nonsensical cross-referencing with chemistry.

Let's talk about Vin, too. Kelsier says there could've been many times Vin could've Snapped. Well, since she is so powerful, under this theory it would take a lot to get her to Snap. So, what point would she have Snapped? I think when her mother slays her sister. That seems traumatic enough.
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Phaz

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Re: The "Snapping" Thread
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2008, 09:47:40 PM »
Excellent, Phaz. We definitely needed a topic on this.

Kelsier mentions that Allomantic power is latent before you Snapped. But, since he's the guy who told us that there's always another secret, I don't think he is the most objective on the subject.

There are interesting things to say about Kelsier, though. I would think getting originally caught by the Lord Ruler would be pretty traumatic. Instead, his powers waited until Mare died. Maybe that is because Mare essentially kept him going until she died, when he Snapped. Still, it seems that he could've Snapped many times during his time as a thief.

I think the trauma of the Snap is in direct relation with the powers you'll have. Just thinking from my Chemistry class today, which was about state changes. There's a thing called Heat of Vaporization (or Enthalpy of Vaporization), the energy it takes to move something from a liquid to a gas. Gases are very energetic compared to a liquid, so Vaporization energy is always very high for gases. Now, the Vaporization energy differs for different substances. A substance like salt (which has a boiling and melting point because the ionic bonds in them are very powerful) will have a far higher Vaporization energy than something like water.

So say for example, we have a "Trauma point" that is proportional to the amount of power you have as an Allomancer. More power requires more trauma.

Therefore, some noblemen mistings who were less powerful would need less traumatic experiences. I basically just restated what you just said, but with some nonsensical cross-referencing with chemistry.

Let's talk about Vin, too. Kelsier says there could've been many times Vin could've Snapped. Well, since she is so powerful, under this theory it would take a lot to get her to Snap. So, what point would she have Snapped? I think when her mother slays her sister. That seems traumatic enough.

I think Vin and Kell are both strong arguments in support of that theory.   It does kind of make sense from the standpoint of Snapping being what unlocks your power.  If you are more powerful, you need something more traumatic to unlock it.

Interestingly enough, you could also use this as an argument against the theory that it was what Elend swallowed that made him an allomancer, and it was just that the experience Snapped him. 

Elend was the son of a very very powerful nobleman.  It's unlikely he experienced something as traumatic as him being stabbed at the Well at an earlier point in his life.  This could of very well been the tipping point for him.

I know that it's by far the more popular opinion that the bead is what made Elend a Mistborn, but this is just something to think about.

Also, I know that one of the strongest pieces of evidence about it being the bead that made him one was Vin saying "Now we know where the first Allomancers came from."  But that is a somewhat vague statement.  She could of very well been referring to the Well or to Ruin or the power she released or something other than the bead.  In addition, even if Vin was referring to the bead, it doesn't mean she was right about it.

Comatose

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Re: The "Snapping" Thread
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2008, 11:19:45 PM »
Elend di have a traumatic experience, Kelsier says he almost died in  a house reaid, I'm pretty sure the bead gave him the power.
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Phaz

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Re: The "Snapping" Thread
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2008, 11:21:28 PM »
Elend di have a traumatic experience, Kelsier says he almost died in  a house reaid, I'm pretty sure the bead gave him the power.

I don't remember that specifically but now that you mention it, it does sound vaguely familiar.

I think that's the great thing about discussing this stuff as a group, someone else can add things that we don't remember or never found significant.

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Re: The "Snapping" Thread
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2008, 11:23:34 PM »
Vin was hoping elend was a misting or mistborn so he could be of use, but kelsier assures her that he's not because he didn't snap or show any previously had abilities at that point.
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Phaz

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Re: The "Snapping" Thread
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2008, 11:34:43 PM »
Vin was hoping elend was a misting or mistborn so he could be of use, but kelsier assures her that he's not because he didn't snap or show any previously had abilities at that point.

I wonder how Kell knows this.

Kell also (if I remember correctly) implies that most noblemen that become Mistborn/Mistings seem to do so at a young age (he mentions something to vin about who she runs into having more training than her).  Is it just assumed that noblemen will Snap at some point in their youth?

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Re: The "Snapping" Thread
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2008, 11:53:18 PM »
No, the nobleman are very keen on learning if their kids are allomancers or not. In fact, it's mentioned several times that they have a tradition of allomantic "hazing" where they purposefully take their kids and beat the snot out of them at a really young age. Straff Venture had Elend properly brutalized, but nothing came of it.

I'm pretty darn sure that the bead of unknown metal at the Well is what made El an allomancer. Of course, he'd still have to "snap" to become one--and I'd say that being stabbed by the Mist Spirit and almost dying are pretty traumatic.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2008, 11:55:09 PM by Shrain »
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Vintage

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Re: The "Snapping" Thread
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2008, 12:27:04 AM »
I totally agree with Shrain and Comatose.

I believe also that the snapping has to be provoke by a life threatening action. Or more exactly, as it seems to be a common pictures with magics, that blood has to flow somehow.

As to the harder the trauma, I don't think so.

Quote
"The only Allomancers I had, I sent against you months ago," Cett said with a sigh. "They were all I ever had, my only hope of killing you. Even they weren't from my family. My whole line has been corrupted by skaa blood - Allrianne is the only Allomancer to be born to us for centuries."

After one thousand years, I trust Cett to know that Allomancy comes by blood now ( to the exception of Elend, of course ), and the purest the blood, the more powerful you are. Didn't Hammond say something like up to the 5th generation ? But yet, you have to have a first generation parent to get a mistborn ? I still do not have my MB1 back and I cant check that but it is said when Vin is still at Camon's hideout, the day following her first contact with Kelsier and Dockson.

In an attempt to answer your first question, I would suggest, that when one looses so much blood and gets so weak as to not have strength to fight back the Allomancy sleeping in them, then it can take control. Don't we see the same principle with certain type of medication, namely those used for chemo therapy. They destroy the body before they build back. Sometimes, it works perfectly well and provided you have a good base, you get the best result: a Mistborn. Someother time, when it works still perfectly well but you have a poorer base, you get the 2nd best result : a Misting. And someother time, it doesn't work at all and the person dies.

Comatose

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Re: The "Snapping" Thread
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2008, 01:50:59 AM »
It's really just genetics, like having blond hair.  If you are blond and you marry a brunette, your kids could still be blond, but if they all marry brunettes, and their children do as well, the chances of their children being blond decreases with each generation, the same I think, is true for allomancy and feruchemy.
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Re: The "Snapping" Thread
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2008, 05:26:49 AM »
I agree with Comatose (my exact thoughts as I was reading this, actually...), it has to be something genetically pre-determined, there is probably one allele pair to determine if you have the ability or not (having the ability would most likely be recessive), and another sequence of multiple genes with multiple allele possibilities that would determine the exact power the offspring had. I don't know what to make of the all or nothing phenomena... I'll have to ask my professor.

As for the occurrence of Snapping, it makes perfect sense, it's just like Channeling in the Wheel of Time (kinda), when something happens and you absolutely need it to save you, your mind delves deep into itself and pulls up whatever it can. Only difference is that being a Misting/born doesn't inevitably try to kill you.

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Re: The "Snapping" Thread
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2008, 05:36:30 AM »
Well, of course, when I said the trauma thing, I didn't mean that anyone could become Allomancers if they had enough trauma. That would be just silliness. You have to already have the Allomancy in your genes to make it work.
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Re: The "Snapping" Thread
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2008, 02:58:39 AM »
"Snapping," is really used in many stories with magic systems, people only discovering their abilities when endnagered or under deep emotional stress.  My only wonder is, how does one tell when one has snapped, obviously it's not very obvious, Vin can't remember when exaclty she snapped, she remembers always having her luck.
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Re: The "Snapping" Thread
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2008, 03:20:19 PM »
Most probably, Vin must have been very young when she did. Kelsier snapped when he was much older and he remembered perfectly. For noble kids, it could have been some members of the family telling them the story of it since it seems that it was also happening very young. Of course, it's easier to beat up a child when he is so young as not being able to defend him or herself. That is sick though. I cannot imagine a second beating up my child even if its to prove if he or she is a Misting or a Mistborn. Maybe TLR was giving incentive to nobles to get Misting of Mistborn and that is also why the family with the most Mistwhatever were living close to him.

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Re: The "Snapping" Thread
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2008, 09:17:03 PM »
Vintage, I agree with you on the fact that Vin would have snapped at a very young age. My guess is when her mother killed her sister and pierced her ear. As a young child, being soaked in your sister's blood and having a stud jammed through your ear would be pretty traumatizing. Of course, living on the streets, there would be a number of opportunities for her to snap.

I don't think that the Lord Ruler encouraged allomancy though. It was only sought after so the houses could use it against each other. Rather, I would guess that the Lord Ruler didn't care one way or the other, and they were just such an advantage in all the politicking going on that the nobles were desperate to find them. So, they resorted to beating children to find allomancers.
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