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Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
#151 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

The new Kelsier is something that this book needed. If he hadn't been forced to go through the guilt of nearly-losing Vin (a reminder to him of how one of his jobs lost him Mare) I don't think he would have had the solemnity and dedication to accomplish the things he does in the rest of the story.

He'll return more to his old, joking self as the next few chapters pass. However, he'll always remember what he nearly let happen to Vin, and it will become an important aspect of his character.

Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
#152 Copy

Melhay

Also, We just took for granted that Sazed is with Tindwyl now. Is that so?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, here's the thing. What Sazed is right now is something of a god in the classic Greek sense—a superpowered human being, elevated to a new stage of existence. Not GOD of all time and space. In a like manner, there are things that Sazed does not have power over. For instance, he couldn't bring Vin and Elend back.

Where Tindwyl exists is beyond space and time, in a place Sazed hasn't learned to touch yet. He might yet. If you want to add in your heads him working through that, feel free. But as it stands at the end of the book, he isn't yet with Tindwyl. (He is, however, with Kelsier—who refused to "Go toward the light" so to speak, and has been hanging around making trouble ever since he died. You can find hints of him in Mistborn 3 at the right moments.

Idaho Falls signing ()
#154 Copy

Questioner

Would Dalinar or Kaladin like Kelsier?

Brandon Sanderson

You know, I think they both would have their issues with Kelsier.

Questioner

'Cause he's more of a rogue.

Brandon Sanderson

It would really depend on what situation they were in. But I think Dalinar would not approve of his methods. And I think Kaladin would empathize with him, but at the end would not approve either. To Kaladin he would probably represent the things that Kaladin kind of wishes he would do, but is too moral to do. And that would be a dangerous thing for Kaladin.

Miscellaneous 2012 ()
#155 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

"Spoilers," Kelsier said.

"We'll put a warning at the top," Moiraine replied, settling down on the ledge, sparing not a glance for the plunge. "And don't change the topic. I believe that I would win, as you're actually a corpse."

"You're dead too," Kelsier said.

"I got better."

"You did?" Kelsier said, surprised.

"Book Thirteen."

"Damn. I got stuck in Book Ten."

"It's not as bad as people say," Moiraine replied. "Mat's sections are wonderful."

"Well," Kelsier said, "I don't think it matters if you came back. We could just say this is me from the middle of the first Mistborn book. Besides, I think I eventually got better myself."

"Doesn't count. You became a disembodied voice that may or may not have actually been speaking into the mind of a young boy who was probably insane."

"Yes," Kelsier said, "but my series has a long way to go yet. Who knows what could happen? I've heard that some very remarkable things can happen with spikes . . ."

Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing ()
#156 Copy

Question

We've had great topics and discussions about this. If all of your characters were in a death match, who would win?

Brandon Sanderson

Honest truth is Kelsier. This is because of most of the characters, Kelsier is the one that is ruthless enough to get what he wants. Others would not be as ruthless. Kelsier as a character is very interesting to me. My kind of pitch on him to myself was he would be the villain in most stories. Kelsier in a lot of stories being told, in a lot of books that I would write, he's the villain but in this world, at this time, it is what the world needs and he is the hero. That's why I say Kelsier.

Leipzig Book Fair ()
#157 Copy

Questioner

At the end of “Alloy of Law” Marsh tells Marasi he is giving the diary to Wax because “.. he does my brother's work”. At this time it was a reminder of Kelsier, but with Secret History and the third book out why does Marsh think we need someone to do his brother's work? Isn't Kelsier doing that himself?

Brandon Sanderson

Well. (laughs) Marsh is of multiple minds on what's happening with Kelsier at this time. When he's referencing his brother's work, he's specifically tells Marasi speaking to the lore of the Survivor. Like he's specifically talking to somebody, and he does believe this. He may not think that Kelsier is doing Kelsier's work anymore. But that depends on... You will see interaction between Marsh and Kelsier in the future.

/r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
#160 Copy

shardfan

Did you intend for the reader to almost believe Kelsier would come back to life... or was I just sort of crazy?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, I did. And whether he is completely gone or not is actually something I want to be more nebulous than many people think it is.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#162 Copy

mraize7

Can [Kelsier] and [Hoid] be friends or companions or allies?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, anything CAN happen--but for now, I'll let their interaction on screen speak for itself.

But feel free to imagine anything you would like, for yourself. It will be a while before I can get back to this particular interaction.

Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
#163 Copy

Questioner

Is there any specific relation between Kelsier and Kaladin, and the fact that Kelsier was killed with a spear and Kaladin used a spear. They seem like almost exact opposites.

Brandon Sanderson

Not really an intentional one, though I do intend their personalities to be opposed. I like how they are opposing philosophies as protagonists, but the spear thing is completely coincidental. They are very opposite styles of hero, the big pitch for myself was "Kelsier would the villain if he were in the wrong story." This is a guy where you could easily imagine that this guy could be the antagonist. He gets channeled towards good things and becomes the protagonist. There is no way Kaladin would ever be the antagonist, or if he did it would rip him apart, right. It's not in his nature.

Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
#165 Copy

Questioner

If Kelsier had been born on Roshar, would he have become a Knight Radiant and if so...?

Brandon Sanderson

I think there’s a possibility that some of the orders might want him, but it really depends on what period he was born in, and what he’s up to, because Kelsier's got this dark edge to him where he could go villain very easily, depending on what’s going on with him. *pause* That’s kind of how I view Kelsier’s defining attribute, if channeled correctly he’s a great force for good, but he’s like right on the line.

Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
#166 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Thirty-Five - Part One

If you couldn't tell, this is one of the climactic scenes I was writing toward.

I'll admit, I didn't have this exact twist down when I started the book. As I worked through the novel, I quickly began to realize that Kelsier had to have some master plan–something greater than he was letting on. That's just the way his personality is. Plus, I needed something that lent more weight to the book. Made it more than just the simple heist story that I'd originally conceived. (After all, a heist story could be told in far less than 200,000 words.)

Kelsier's real plan wasn’t firm for me until I wrote the scenes with him in the caves, influencing the soldiers. By then, of course, over half the book was written. So, I had to begin building Kelsier's true plan from there–and then do a rewrite to put it in from the beginning.

I had known from the beginning that Kelsier was going to die, and that he was going to gain such renown with the skaa (before his death) that the crew began to worry that he would turn into another Lord Ruler. Putting these two things together so that his growing reputation was part of his plan all along was the realization I needed to connect. Then, I could have the bang I wanted in the ending chapters, when the crew realized what Kelsier had been planning all along.

As surprises go, I think this is one of my better–but definitely not one of my best. It required keeping too much back from the reader when in Kelsier's viewpoint, and it required to much explanation after-the-fact to make it work. There's a much better surprise later on. Still, I'm pleased with the bang on this one–especially since I got to have such a beautiful scene with the crew standing atop the building, the mists coming alight around them, as if representing their own growing understanding of the job they'd always been part of.