Author Topic: Prophecy in Mistborn?  (Read 3733 times)

happyman

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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.

Thoughts?
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Qarlin

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Re: Prophecy in Mistborn?
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2008, 05:08:26 AM »
We have reason to believe the prophecy about the 11th metal and TLR comes from the Kandra, since we know that Kelsier dealt with them, and Sazed, even with his metalminds, had never heard of it. So that kind of puts it in a different category from the other prophecies, which seem to be from Terris, although they do make references to Khellenium ones too.

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Re: Prophecy in Mistborn?
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2008, 05:45:50 AM »
I refuse to believe Ruin caused this prophecy. I've explained before that Ruin, as a force of chaos and destruction, does not have a "creative" quality to actually create such prophecies. Ruin didn't create the Terris Prophecies; if he had, then there would have been no need to manipulate them to suit his needs, because the prophecies would be made to suit his needs to begin with.

Besides, I am of the opinion Ruin had no power during the Lord Ruler's reign. It was the Lord Ruler doing something that prevented Ruin from spawning the mists which killed and manipulate the prophecies. The Lord Ruler halted Ruin from acting... if Ruin could act at all, it would be infinitesimally lesser in quantity than seen in MB2. The Steel Inquisitors were not controlled by Ruin during the Final Empire, so it is colossally unlikely Ruin had any power at all.

As for your case #2, I doubt it's likely that someone really "foretold" the Lord Ruler's downfall. It could just be some random Allomancer hobo who discovered malatium and not realizing that there weren't 16 metals, thought that this special, new metal which was separate from the main ten was important somehow. Combine that discovery with the longing to end the Lord Ruler's, it's not difficult to think that somebody just discovered malatium on accident and created this theory on a hope. This person wouldn't randomly tell people about this "prophecy", so that would mean Sazed would have never heard of it.

As a corollary, if the Allomancer Hobo had a distrust of people which prevented him from telling this theory to, say, Keepers, then the Allomancer Hobo must have trusted Kelsier (or Gemmel, Kelsier's mentor) to give it to him. And I believe the prophecy is rather vague because Kelsier didn't really know how to use it. If someone discovered malatium on accident as described above, I doubt he would know the deep intricacies of the metal, much less how the metal would defeat the Lord Ruler. It's a prophecy built on hope, not strategy.

(Note, I call him the Allomancer Hobo because he would need to be an Allomancer to ensure the metal was of Allomantic quality, and Hobo because it could be any random person who could have discovered it.)

Of course, it could be the kandra, but somehow that appears far less likely than this scenario.
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Qarlin

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Re: Prophecy in Mistborn?
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2008, 06:30:00 AM »
Prophecies are generally made by someone, like a "prophet." In this case, there was a time after the ascension before the Final Empire was in place, and someone who knew of TLR's origins, and yet also knew about allomancy, could have told someone (who was really a Kandra) about the metal, and how it revealed TLR's heritage, which would be the clue to how you defeat him. And this would make sense to them at that time because this was before knowledge of Feruchemy, Allomancy, and History were blotted out. And thus the legend could have started.

Do the Kandra have a written language? or is everything passed on by word of mouth?

Prometheus

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Re: Prophecy in Mistborn?
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2008, 05:26:28 PM »
I've never really thought that we could credit the 11th metal with having a role in killing the Lord Ruler. Technically it ends up giving her a vital clue and you could say that it was used to kill the Lord Ruler, but so many other things had to come together that it doesn't really make sense to me to say that the 11th metal was used to kill him.

The fact of the matter is that Vin tried using the 11th metal directly against the Lord Ruler and that attempt failed horribly.

I suppose this opinion might not make sense in a way. I'm saying that the 11th metal was used to kill the Lord Ruler but can't be credited with the accomplishment in some fashion. Perhaps I should rephrase...I think the prohpecy was bogus...something that Kelsier either made up or just wanted to believe. Given that belief, there's no reason to make a point out of saying that the 11th metal was involved more than pewter or steel or any other metal that Vin used. Perhaps the 11th metal helped kill the Lord Ruler but so many other things did as well that there isn't any reason to talk about it. The more fantastic and unexpected element was Vin pulling on the mists.

The origin of the Terris prophecies is an interesting question, but I'm not sure I can talk about that without getting my reading of Mistborn 3 alpha mixed up with the information that is available to the public, though, so I better not comment.
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happyman

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Re: Prophecy in Mistborn?
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2008, 06:39:23 PM »
Interesting.

It seems like everybody is saying that the 11th metal wasn't TLR's weakness and that somehow the prophecy was bogus (e.g. hope, not a glimpse of the future, a secret that became a legend).  Yet without the prophecy or the metal, Vin would never have guessed at TLR's secret and would never have tried to pull his bracelets off.  TLR died only because Vin burned the 11th metal at the last second and had all the information (from other sources) to make the necessary connections.  It just seems too pat, somehow.  Too targeted.  Everybody is arguing for a stunningly contrived set of coincidences or superhuman competence on the part of a random Allomancer or Kandra (seriously).  Given the fact that seeing into the future is a known skill in the mistborn world (atium) why does everybody find it so hard to accept?

Incidentally, I agree that Ruin probably couldn't have pulled off the entire prophecy on its own.  I just included that option for completeness; if I hadn't, someone else was bound to bring it up.  And I'm not completely certain that Ruin was completely blocked; Vin's mom and the unusually bloodthirsty steel inquisitors seem to have been outlets.
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Chaos

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Re: Prophecy in Mistborn?
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2008, 07:27:38 PM »
Well, I also had a theory once that the kandra gave Kelsier the 11th metal in order to overthrow the Lord Ruler and throw the world in chaos, so the humans would destroy themselves... That's a little more than the Allomancer Hobo theory.

Yeah, I don't know whether Ruin had power in during the Final Empire. Vin's mom (and Zane, perhaps) are the best evidence to support Ruin having some power, but I'd attribute bloodthirsty Inquisitors to the fact that those spikes hurt a lot. I think that would make them angry enough to be bloodthirsty.
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Re: Prophecy in Mistborn?
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2008, 07:45:52 PM »
I agree with Ruin's influence existing throughout history, just on a much smaller scale.  I made a post way back that called Vin's uncanny ability to figure out things that no one has known about for centuries as more than just skill or even dumb luck.  She was groomed to be the "Hero of Ages", at least Ruin's version of it.  When you look back on it, everything that happened to her was moving her towards the well.  The Inquisitors may not have been controlled by Ruin, but It could still have been putting thoughts in their heads like; The Inquisitors should run the Steel Ministry, not the humans.  This coup was necessary to allow Vin access to TLR.  Had it not been for Their need for her, the Inquisitors would have killed her on the spot.  An ageless enemy with nothing but time to plan could orchestrate such a feat.  It's power could grow in relation to the well, which would allow the timing to be just right.  Vin's mom could have been "told" to seduce the High Prelan, allowing a uniquely powerful Allomancer to be born.  Then, to make sure It could have some influence on her, Ruin made her mother sacrifice her other daughter to imbue Vin's earring with Hemallurgy.  It would have to be bronze, so Ruin could have the most influence possible, and so she could feel the well more.  (I find it no coincidence that the first spike Marsh pounds through the Keeper is the Bronze one).  As for how perfect the plans went, since Alendi failed to do what Ruin wanted, It obviously isn't perfect.  In fact, who knows how many times It tried and failed?
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Reaves

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Re: Prophecy in Mistborn?
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2008, 09:51:19 PM »
yes it absolutely seems like you would need to see the future to be able to prophecy that the 11th metal would help Vin kill TLR. Isn't that what a prophecy is though? A vision or foretelling of the future? Perhaps Duralumin combined with atium...or perhaps a feruchemical or hemalurgic trait we haven't seen yet.
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Re: Prophecy in Mistborn?
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2008, 09:55:57 PM »
yes it absolutely seems like you would need to see the future to be able to prophecy that the 11th metal would help Vin kill TLR. Isn't that what a prophecy is though? A vision or foretelling of the future? Perhaps Duralumin combined with atium...or perhaps a feruchemical or hemalurgic trait we haven't seen yet.

I don't know. I'm going to go with Allomancer Hobo until proven otherwise.
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Re: Prophecy in Mistborn?
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2008, 11:24:54 PM »
Here's a way out there theory. Kelsier received the scars on his arms by forcing them into crystal lined holes, searching for atium geodes created by mysterious drippings. Perhaps when this liquid is absorbed in his bloodstreem, it is a form of Hemalurgy, allowing him to see far into the future one time before burning up the liquid. He just happened to snap and have the ability to use Atium.

Not that I believe this theory, I just have a week to try to fit all of my musings into a big unified theory.
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Re: Prophecy in Mistborn?
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2008, 10:09:41 PM »
After skimming the topic, I can only come to one conclusion. Whoever gave Kelsier his bit of malatium must have known a lot. They knew the correct metal to alloy with atium, and exactly what percent of that metal to alloy as well. Then, on top of that, if they told Kelsier that the metal would help him kill The Lord Ruler, they must have known that The Lord Ruler was not who he was pretending to be, and had a knowledge of Feruchemy deep enough to surmise what Rashek was doing. That certainly narrows down the prospects a bit.
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SarahG

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Re: Prophecy in Mistborn?
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2008, 10:32:27 PM »
It seems to me that someone who knew all that and wanted TLR to be defeated could just have told Kelsier TLR's secret, and the whole plot would be reduced to a couple chapters.  Why would someone with all that knowledge hint around and make it a mystery?
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Re: Prophecy in Mistborn?
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2008, 11:51:33 PM »
Exactly, SarahG. No matter how contrived the Allomancer Hobo theory is, it does describe what we see in MB1. Sort of.
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happyman

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Re: Prophecy in Mistborn?
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2008, 07:51:12 PM »
Exactly, SarahG. No matter how contrived the Allomancer Hobo theory is, it does describe what we see in MB1. Sort of.

Maybe it wasn't a hobo.  Maybe it was someone in his inner circle who tried to betray him.  I assume that, when he was just getting started, he would have been less experienced and wouldn't have instantly seen the betrayal.  If true, then this would be the mother of all long-range plotting.  That it actually succeeded would simply be an amazing set of luck and coincidences, but at least the little parts make sense.  Why they didn't just tell people to go for the bracers, I will never know.
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