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The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
#1 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

The Crew Discusses, sometimes angrily, what to do

This scene with the crew arguing is one of the most honest scenes we get in any of the books. Finally, they let their real emotions out. They're not always happy, and they don't always get along. Dox and Ham particularly tend to get on each other's nerves. They don't talk about it often, but the two of them have never gotten along. Which is why we don't often see them interacting together.

However, they're working together again by the end. What these men needed is a plan. If they don't have one, they fall into squabbling. If there's something they can focus on and work toward, they can keep going.

Sending Vin and Elend away is pretty daring of them. I think it makes sense, though. How much good can one person, even a Mistborn, do against an army?

The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
#2 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Clubs and Dockson die

And, speaking of Breeze, here we have Clubs's death scene, as seen by Breeze. So, in truth, Spook was prophetic when he said that Clubs had said good bye to him for good.

The simple truth is that felt I had too many characters in the books. I couldn't flesh them all out, and I really needed to get rid of a few. Clubs was, unfortunately, one of the casualties.

Of course, I didn't just kill him because I had too many characters cluttering the story. That was one of many reasons. I knew that I couldn't go through a siege without losing a few characters. It just wasn't realistic. The characters had dreaded this conflict too much, and they knew it was going to be dangerous–probably deadly–when the invasion came. I often say that I feel I can't protect my characters from the decisions they make. I did write in a little more power to some of Clubs' scenes in the book once it was certain that he would die here. The interactions between him and Sazed and him and Breeze in this novel were there partially because I knew he was going to die, and I wanted to give him some chances to participate in the story before going.

Dockson was the other one I decided to kill. In the initial draft, the scene with him dying ended with a koloss killing him from behind, without him looking at it.

My alpha readers complained profusely about this. So, at the request mainly of my friend Skar, I let Dockson grab a sword and charge before dying. Another send-off for Dockson is the comment he makes, noting that if the crew done things differently, turning on the nobility as he had wanted to in book one, he and the others would have been no better than beasts. It's his way of acknowledging that they'd done the right thing, and is a little bit of a redemption for him. He'd tried very hard to work with the noblemen, to make up for the atrocities he committed during younger years.

The final reason that I knew Dockson and Clubs had to die was because I wanted to REALLY make you think that Sazed was going to die too. If everything is working right in these chapters, you'll be sitting there, knowing that Vin is going to arrive in time. Yet, you'll question, you'll worry, and you'll begin to fret. You'll see Clubs drop, then Dockson die, in rapid succession. Then we come to Sazed, and he falls, out of metals, out of hope.

That's when I bring Vin in.

The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
#3 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Vin Tries to Determine if Dockson is the spy.

This Dockson scene is one of my favorites in the book. I'm a little bit sad that Dockson, like Ham, doesn't have much time for development in the series. In book one, he only got a single good scene–the one that Vin references here. During that scene, we really got a good look at his personality and his inner demons.

Those demons come up again in this scene, where we get to see the haunted worries of a man who has received what he wanted, but then come to realize that he shouldn't have wanted it so badly in the first place. He's a good character, Dockson is–but the only thing I can give him is one powerful scene per book. At least he gets one. Ham and Clubs don't even get that.

By the way, Vin calling Dockson boring is particularly ironic here because during our first introduction to Dockson in book one, he tells Kelsier that he'd 'Grown boring' over the last few years.