I really like this conversation between Vin and Yomen—it’s one of the pivotal scenes in the Vin/Elend chapters. Not only is Yomen a decent man, but he’s got some sound reasons for doing what he does. He doesn’t kill Vin because he’s worried that doing so would upset the Lord Ruler’s plan. He listens to her, however, and I think he’s about as good a person as could have existed within the upper ranks of the obligators.
The interjection of Ruin walking around in the room at the same time adds some dynamic to the conversation, bouncing Vin’s—and the reader’s—attention back and forth between the two discussions. I wish I could have done more of this, since it was so interesting to write two conversations at once.
Regardless, Yomen isn’t spiked. Ruin tried several times, but never managed to pull it off. (I think I have an epigraph on this in the book.) In a way, Yomen is doing just what the Lord Ruler would have had him do—and, in the things he does, he’s helping frustrate Ruin. So he gets marks for being a faithful follower of his religion, if nothing else.
Vin As the Lord Ruler’s Heir
In this chapter, Vin says the same thing that TenSoon did—that she’s the heir of the Lord Ruler. To her, it’s a bad thing.
I worry that too many people in this series spend their time comparing themselves to either Kelsier or the Lord Ruler. However, I felt it was very natural for them to do so. This scene isn’t a character climax for Vin—this explanation that she’s the Lord Ruler’s heir doesn’t strike me as a deep and meaningful resolution of problems in her psyche. It’s just an interesting tidbit that came out under some duress.
I think it’s safe to say that this isn’t much of a spoiler, but I’ll hide it just in case. Readers have been predicting atium Mistings since book one, and I kept meaning to have Vin make the connection in this chapter. There was just too much going on, however, and I didn’t want to slow things down with this revelation. You’ll note that when I finally do confirm that he’s an atium misting, Elend—the character there at the time—doesn’t dwell on it for long. He realizes they should have figured it out, and they really should have. Narratively, it just never worked.