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The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
#1 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Ham helps Elend Sneak out of the City

It's tough to remember that Ham has a family. Part of the problem is that, to be honest, I forgot myself. I wrote them into this book during the revision process. I had the whole novel finished before I remembered that in book one, Ham had mentioned he had a family.

I like the tiny bit of rounding-out that the family gives him, however. He's the only married one on the crew, and that gives him different motivations. I didn't just want to cut it from book one (which I could have done, once I remembered after writing book two, since book one wasn't out yet.) But I wanted to keep it, so I had to write it into book two.

I eventually decided that I wouldn't show any scenes with his family, just like I hadn't in book one. It was easier, and it seemed to fit with their place in the novel.

The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
#2 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Anyway, I'm glad I was able to work Ham's penchant for logic puzzles back into the book. There hasn't been much room for Ham lately, and he hasn't had a chance to really shine since book one. We didn't get to see much of him during the Siege of Luthadel, nor do we get all that much from him throughout this book. He's always there, in the background, but never does anything very significant. He's just Ham—good natured, pleasant, and rather unmotivated. He's also the only family man on the crew, unless you count Cett with his two children.

The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
#3 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Ham, Elend, and Spook discuss Vin's attack on Cett

Ham mentions Vin exploding at the group. If you recall, this is the scene where Vin accuses the others of all being noblemen. She's mad at Kelsier for the way he treats Elend, but she also felt that the group didn't REALLY know what it was like to be skaa.

Ham never understood why she did this; he just saw an irrational young girl. And, in truth, a teenage girl's emotions can be rather volatile. However, I think her explosion was quite rational–as did Kelsier, who talked with her afterward and apologized.

The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
#4 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 Hero of Ages Annotations ()
#5 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Sixty-Five

Ham Says Not to Attack

And, what is this? A climax for Ham?

Hammond lovers, your faith has paid off. This is the best I could give him, but it seems to me like it works. All through the series, I've had him question and debate, and he rarely comes to any conclusions on moral issues.

But, here, he gives Elend advice at the exact right moment. And it's the right advice. Now, by saying that, I don't mean to say that attacking the city was the wrong thing to do. It was just the wrong thing for Elend to do.

He's a protector, not a conqueror. Taking a city for its own good would have destroyed him, as it violates his basic life principles. He should have turned around as he did, and karma—or, well, the author—rewards him for it.

The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
#6 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Fifteen


I've expressed before that I wish I could have done more with Ham. Of the main crew, he's the only one other than Clubs who never got even a token viewpoint in the series.

I just didn't have the time for everyone. Perhaps, as I write more and more, I'll get better at covering more ground with fewer pages. That will let me branch out into studying more of the lesser characters and rounding them out. However, for this series, I had to pick and choose carefully. Ham's story didn't have enough conflict, tension, or growth in it. So, I went with Spook and TenSoon instead.