The following is commentary, written by Brandon, about one of the chapters of MISTBORN: THE WELL OF ASCENSION. If you haven’t read this book, know that the following will contain major spoilers. We suggest reading the sample chapters from book one instead. You can also go to this book’s introduction or go to the main annotations page to access all annotations for all books. For those who have read some of MISTBORN 2, any spoilers for the ending of this book will be hidden, so as long as you’ve read up to this chapter, you should be all right.
Chapter Thirty Four
Elend and his scholars inspect the law
It was fun to write this scene with the scholars sitting around. I could show their different styles, with Ham browsing, Elend thinking about implications, Sazed reading very carefully line by line, and the obligator looking at the money trail. I added Noorden in because I wanted to do another nod toward the fact that obligators used to be a force in the world, and also because I wanted someone fresh in this scene–another character we could play with. We’ll see him again, but not until the next book.
Vin comes to tell Elend what she’s discovered.
The way Elend treats Vin in this chapter puts a few people on edge. If you’re in that group, realize that I want you to feel this. And, not just for plotting purposes. I just think it’s more realistic.
People get tired. People have trouble focusing. And people treat even those they love with indifference sometimes. This is particularly bad of people like myself–men who are quick to get focused on one project or another. I’ve done things just like this to my wife, unintentionally ignoring her because I am so tied up in my current project.
It’s not a good thing, but it IS natural and normal. Unfortunately, it prompts something very important: the return of Reen’s whispering voice in the back of Vin’s mind. She’s been free of him for a long time now, but I thought it appropriate to bring him back. After all, that voice–partially a representation of her subconscious–was a large part of her character in the first novel.
Zane attacks Vin, then reveals that he’s Elend’s brother.
The Zane scene represents a major turning point in his character as well. I see it as important how much he reveals to Vin here. He, like her, has trouble trusting–and even though he’s manipulating her, even though he’s aware of what he’s doing, having him tell her these things is a major breakthrough. At least, for Zane. Everything is a little twisted where he is concerned.
Having him fight her with atium was, also, an intentional attempt on my part to remind you how vulnerable she is without the metal. I’m not even sure I can get across how little a chance she had in defeating him.
Here I also mention Snapping here for the first time in this book. It’s an important world element that, unfortunately, I think a lot of people tend to forget.
It doesn’t really matter until book three, however, so I’m willing to let it slide in this book, giving only occasional reminders.