Yes, it was probably stupid of the crew to leave Elend alone with Tindwyl. I pushed this situation a little bit farther than, perhaps, is plausible. However, you have to remember how the Terris people are regarded by those in Luthadel. Terrismen are, in general, such kind and loyal servants that it’s hard for Elend and the others to feel distrust for one.
I was very pleased with this scene when I wrote it. I’d known from the beginning that I wanted to bring another strong female character into this book, as well as give Elend a mentor for kingship. Tindwyl fills both of those roles remarkably well. She also gives us another look at Terris culture–it’s always difficult in a book like this to distinguish the cultures from the people. If you have only one Terrisman in a book, then he doesn’t just represent himself–he represents all of his people. And so, unless you show another side of that culture, the person and where they come from become the same thing.
This is the first twinge of distrust between Vin and Elend. She doesn’t tell him about seeing the Mist Spirit again.
It’s a small thing, I admit, but for me–as a writer–it was intended as a dangerous first step. Vin’s ability to trust is still fragile. And, if she thinks that Elend will mock her or disregard her, she’d rather keep it in.