The following is commentary, written by Brandon, about one of the chapters of MISTBORN: THE HERO OF AGES. 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 of Brandon’s books. For those who have read some of MISTBORN 3, 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.
Sazed Visits the Pits of Hathsin
Sazed’s visit to the Pits is foreshadowing, as we’re going to make use of them as a setting later in the book and I wanted to establish what they looked like and what was going on there. It also, however, gave me a chance to frame Sazed’s conflicts a little bit more by showing what the other Terris people think of him. (There will be more of that in the next Sazed chapter.)
Sazed and Goradel Discuss the Skaa Farmers
The conversation between Sazed and Goradel in this chapter is an important one, as it shows the importance of a character’s perspective. Two men looking at the same scene see very different things.
Sazed, fighting depression and close to giving up, sees the skaa laboring and notes that nothing much has changed for them. They still have to work themselves near to death, and their lives are still gloomy.
Goradel, who spent his youth being despised by his family and their friends, is now a captain in Elend’s army—and is known among the skaa as one of the men instrumental in helping Vin kill the Lord Ruler. He’s become something of a local celebrity in some segments of Luthadel. He looks on these same working skaa and sees hope and victory.
As Sazed says in this chapter, being happy and optimistic isn’t simply a choice one can make—at least, not a lot of the time. However, I think it’s possible to find hope in very dark situations.