The following is an author’s annotation that relates to a specific chapter of the book MISTBORN: THE FINAL EMPIRE. Note that the following is NOT the text of the actual chapter, but a companion to the chapter, revealing “behind the scenes” information. If you have not read the book up to—and including—this chapter, you risk serious spoilers! Please, if you haven’t read MISTBORN, go visit the sample chapters, or perhaps purchase the book via Amazon.
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Chapter Twenty Three (Note, this chapter actually does have some hidden material.)
Has it been too long since we’ve seen Elend? I think so. I wish I could have worked him into the story more earlier, then shown him a little more consistently. I promise that you’ll see more of him in the upcoming chapters, however.
He’s one of the major characters in not just this book, but the entire series, after all.
I like the obligator scene in this chapter, as it gives Vin a chance to realize just what the whole obligator system is about. Regular priests watch over the spiritual well-being of their people. The Lord Ruler doesn’t really care about that. So, his priests watch over the economics of his empire. Seems like something a living god would do.
Shan’s scene here is just another placeholder, I’m afraid. She just showed up to remind you that she’s still around, making Vin’s life more difficult.
Since I wanted to use her later as an antagonist, I had to make certain you didn’t forget who she was. It was important to me that I have another Mistborn in the book that Vin could fight, if only to show off a little of what Vin is capable of. And, of course, I like the fact that I can pull a nice reversal of expectation with Shan.
I really like the scene between Vin and Elend here. I think I wrote this one in the car, actually, while I was driving back from a vacation we went on in Palm Springs about two years back. My roommate—Micah DeMoux, the namesake for Captain Demoux—did all the driving on that trip so I could get some writing done. What a great guy. He deserves a character named after him.
One interesting aspect of the book that I haven’t mentioned yet comes with the metal of tin. Originally, tin wasn’t one of the Allomantic metals—I used silver instead. You see, I originally paired silver and pewter together, thinking that pewter had a significant amount of silver in it. Well, turns out that isn’t the case. (Remember, each set of paired metals is a metal and an alloy made from it.)
My false impression on the belief that pewter is a silver/lead alloy goes back to my childhood. I remember when I used to paint lead fantasy figures that I bought at the local hobby store. One of the employees told me that they would be going up in price because the manufacturers wanted the figures to be safer. They were going to cast them out of pewter instead of lead, because pewter is much less toxic. I asked what the difference between pewter and lead was, and the employee told me that pewter is has lead PLUS silver, and that’s why the figures cost more.
He meant tin, I guess. Either way, that’s stayed with me for quite a long time. I soundly resisted changing silver to tin during the first drafts of the book, even when I found out the truth. The problem is, I really liked the name “Silvereye” for those who burn silver/tin. It sounds far slicker than “Tineye.”
I eventually came around, however. Consistency in the magic system is more important than a single cool-sounding name. I blame Hobby Town in Lincoln Nebraska for my pains.