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General Reddit 2021 ()
#4 Copy

Rayborne

From what we know, the Ghostbloods want a way to move investiture offworld. Could Thaidakar/Kelsier's reason for doing that be so that he can find a way to go offworld, given that he's Connected to Scadrial in (I assume) the same way investiture is Connected to a planet? Put in a more generalized way, is a cognitive shadow just investiture with a person's mind imprint, and if so would it be possible to move it (and the shadow themselves) offworld assuming the Ghostbloods find a way to do it?

Brandon Sanderson

Wow! Great question. RAFO!

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#5 Copy

L0lbert

My question is however, is Kelsier influenced by Ruin in some way? Does he have any metal in him? The parts that got me thinking is how he is the one who suggested to Vin that she should keep her earrings in. Futhermore he has a strong urge to kill and destroy, though that is mainly limited to nobility and it is meant to help overthrow the empire. Lasltly there was someone in the last book (I'm afraid I can't remember who right now) who said that Lord Penrod (who at the time was contolled by Ruin) used housewars to destroy the city, which is the exact thing Kelsier did also. I'm sorry if my answer has an obvious answer, or if I've overlooked something, but these points got me to strongly belive that Kelsier was influenced by Ruin.

Brandon Sanderson

No metal in Kelsier, though good question. However, he was trained by a man touched by Ruin, and has a certain natural inclination toward destruction and killing. That's all him.

I've said before that Kelsier, in another story or time, might have become something far more terrible. That's what makes him interesting to me as a character.

Shardcast Interview ()
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Weiry Writer

Kelsier and Thaidakar. At what point did you decide Kelsier would be part of The Stormlight Archive?

Brandon Sanderson

Thaidakar isn't; his minions are! Pretty early on, there's a whole lot of Kelsier in Era 3 and as soon as I decided that when I outlined the original nine books as I was working on the original Mistborn trilogy I knew that there needed to be some more of him influencing the world/universe at large. He is a really fun character to write because he does not fit in boxes very well. He does like meddling. There are a lot of things I want to do with Era 3. 

One of my big concerns when I was building the outline with Kelsier, when I was building the outline for all 9 books before I added the Wax and Wayne books, back in 2004 when I was doing a lot of the big outlining for the cosmere - Emily's got to dig out that paper I once wrote out for her - I guess that would have been 2004 to 2006, because I got married in 2006, and it was 2007 where I drew that thing out for her. No actually it was summer 2006, because I didn't have my laptop with me which I wasn't allowed at the family reunion, so I instead had a notebook, because if I'm not allowed my laptop, I will have a notebook, and that's why we have a physical copy of this thing.

But when I was doing all that one of my big concerns was how to make sure people kept interested in Mistborn while I was potentially spending years and years away from it, at that point in the outline I was going to write Dragonsteel before Stormlight. And I started trying to do that in 2007, either way we're talking 5 to 10 years away from Mistborn at that point. How can I make sure that this stuff-? So I outlined Secret History that I could release in the meantime, and a potential Secret History follow-up. That I've mentioned before that I don't know if I'll ever write. It wasn't until 2010-2011, that I was like "why don't I write some short stories in this world to keep people focused on it?" And I tried one and it was bad, and I'm like "what if I just wrote a little novel?" I can do a little novel, right? And that's where Alloy of Law came from.

Technically speaking these are all solutions to the same problem, which is people can't forget about Scadrial it's really important. They can forget to an extent about Sel; it's still important, but it's not important on the level that Scadrial is gonna be. Scadrial has so many fingers in the technology of the future. So this was another method to make sure we had some Scadrian influence happening while I was in other worlds. Turns out we ended up getting ALL of them, we got Secret History, and The Alloy of Law, and the little fingers in The Stormlight Archive. But it was important to me that the fingers in The Stormlight Archive be through the frame of reference of The Stormlight Archive. 

Chaos

I definitely think Shallan learning about cosmere stuff is a good intro for Stormlight-only readers to get interested in the cosmere, kind of like Mistborn: Secret History is for Mistborn-only readers.

Brandon Sanderson

In Roshar if you learn, "Hey, there's more planets out there," and they see Roshar as something with a very valuable resource. That's enough of an intro to the cosmere to make it work in Roshar, and to make you prep for the future. That's why I did it the way I did. And also knowing people were more okay with this. But also I needed to get it in, I almost should have done it earlier. I saw people guessing that one by Words of Radiance. But by the time I was releasing Words of Radiance I was seeing fan theories that were like, "What if this."

Chaos

So like throwing darts on a dart board. "Ah, like this person's this other person."

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, it might be that. The whole philosophy of the Ghostbloods was suppose to dove-tail with Survivorism. Survival of the fittest type stuff very much. I'm hoping from the things they've read in that they were able to connect the philosophies rather than throwing darts at a dart board, but it could have been the dart board thing.

FeatherWriter

It's funny because we already recorded the Kelsier podcast, but it's gonna come out after this one. You've put me in a very weird situation, because loved the Ghostbloods. I guess I still love the Ghostbloods, I have a terrible villain crush on Mraize, he's one of my favorite characters and Kelsier drives me crazy. So finding out they are intrinsically linked I'm like "Noo! Kelsier is ruining my favorite thing." But it does make sense I have to admit.

Brandon Sanderson

It's okay. Mraize does not have to do what he's told, and Iyatil who - that's the other thing once I dropped Oathbringer, and this is a southern continent Scadrian running around, this is pretty obvious connection to Scadrial. I had to eventually canonize that. Iyatil is - 

Don't consider people in the Ghostbloods flunkies. That's not a very Ghostblood-ish philosophy.

Chaos

I guess that makes sense, they're all trying to backstab each other. Well no I guess not.

Brandon Sanderson

No, they're not allowed to backstab each other. [too many people talking at once] [Ghostbloods have]? specific rules, because they need them to be very strong specific rules. If you have an organization of people who are drawn to the way Kelsier works you need some really strong rules. [Hosts laugh] When he is just with his crew, his force of personality, and the people he individually picks you're not gonna have that problem. 

I always imagine-you can relate it to Tor Books, they're all assassins. When Tor really functioned well, back in the 90s, it's because Tom Doherty could keep a close eye on everything. And he liked his editors being a little bit in competition with each other. And he structured his organization so that if you picked an author who did well, you got bonuses, based on how well the authors did which is just a way of working that could really lead to an unhealthy office environment, if you think about it. But if you have Tom there making sure that that doesn't become the case, and if you have Harriet watching and making it a good incentive, not a bad incentive, then it all works really well and you have one of the strongest sci-fi publishers that's ever existed, because everybody was incentivised to find really good stuff. But they were corralled by Tom Doherty and kept it from becoming toxic. But now that Tom retired I think they're changing a lot of that, because its grown too big for one person to watch over.

And it's the same thing with Kelsier, in an immediate organization of Kelsier's you're gonna find a well bonded crew of people hand picked who are going to work together as a team, and you aren't going to have to worry about too much about backstabbing - less than average for the type of organization that they are. But if his structure is outside of his direct manipulation, the type of people who would be attracted to the organization he makes...

Chaos

...Are not gonna be nice.

Brandon Sanderson

...You're gonna have some problems. Mraize would not say that he's not nice. [hosts laughs] Mraize would just say that his niceness is an analogous threshold that does not intersect with the threshold of competence and capability of things he's trying to achieve, those things don't need to overlap in his life.

He'd say he's a very nice person. He was very nice to Shallan by his definition. [hosts laugh] He was very nice to Lift by his definition of things. Think of all the things he could have done with Lift, and what did he do? He gave her as a present to an ancient being who ruled the tower, who could properly take care of one such as Lift.

Chaos

Mraize is very nice.

FeatherWriter

You heard it here, it's canon. Mraize is nice.

Brandon Sanderson

Mraize is nice, and he also wanted to keep his fingers and he felt that was a better way to keep his fingers, was to make sure Lift was someone else's problem. He got what he wanted, which was being able to capture her, which was not that easy, he would say. So he deserves to have whatever reward, because it was quite a difficult enterprise on his part. She is not easy to capture.

You know those Scadrians gotta keep an eye on things, they like to meddle.

Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
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Questioner

Elend and Kelsier's relationship, what would it be like? I was thinking it would be, like, playful annoyed exasperation?

Brandon Sanderson

Kelsier would have really come around on Elend, is my instinct. Partially because Elend came around on Kelsier. If you read the later books, he really understands a little more. He's much more of a realist than he used to be. Which Kelsier would appreciate. I would imagine that Elend would be a little frustrated with Kelsier. But Kelsier would just start treating him like a minion, rather than someone to... And that's a sign of affection. If he orders you around, that's a sign of affection.

Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
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Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Fourteen - Part Two

I don't spend an awful lot of time here talking about the back-story with Mare and Kelsier. I'll get to more of it later. However, you know just about all you're going to know about their failed plan. Kelsier thought there was atium in this room. They tried to sneak in. They got caught.

In a way, Kelsier is indeed reliving his last days with Mare by trying to break into the room again. He's a Mistborn now, and he wants to accomplish now what he was defeated in earlier.

This chapter is also another example of the hard edge Kelsier has. He kills his enemies without any pause at all. In my opinion, it was the Pits that did this too him. He's been thought something so horrible that death just isn't as meaningful for him as it once was.

FanX Spring 2019 ()
#11 Copy

Questioner

Does Marsh know much about what Kelsier's doing during Arcanum Unbounded?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. 

Questioner

Okay. Anything else on that, or just a yes until further--

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. He knows. He's aware. 

Questioner

I'll read into it. It's probably on 17th Shard or something.

Brandon Sanderson

That's just me, that's not in there anywhere. He's aware, but he's - yeah, yeah. He wasn't aware of all the stuff like he is by now, though, that's what I'll say.

Leipzig Book Fair ()
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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.

Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
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Brandon Sanderson

One final note for this chapter. Bilg. I prefer him dead. (This is the guy Demoux fought at the end of the chapter, with Kelsier's help.)

In the original draft of the book, I had Kelsier–through Demoux–kill Bilg in the duel. I thought this was appropriate, and would be the sort of thing that Kelsier would do. In addition, I really wanted to emphasize the ruthless edge that Kelsier has. He is willing to do whatever he has to in order to see that his goals are achieved. It's that conflict–the happy, joking Kelsier mixed with the hard, ruthless rebel leader–that makes him interesting to me.

Joshua was the big complainer on this one. He felt that my books are too optimistic for something THIS harsh to be done by one of the main characters. He felt that readers wouldn't go along with it–indeed, it was one of the main points that my alpha readers brought up. Some liked it, others hated it. The scene did it's job.

Eventually, I went with Joshua's suggestion, however, and left Bilg alive. To me, this kind of castrates the scene. However, I suppose the most important elements still get across, and Kelsier gets to remain less tarnished a hero.

Still, I would have liked the death to remain, if only for the future books. I'll eventually post this scene as a deleted scene from the book.

General Reddit 2016 ()
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Phantine

Did you pre-write the Kelsier stuff for Secret History, or did you just outline the events ahead of time?

Brandon Sanderson

Kelsier was notes, though detailed ones. They might mostly worked out. I believe there was one "thought" a character has in HERO that I had written to be influenced by Kelsier, but turned out to be logistically impossible. I worked on Secret History itself on and off for years before finishing it last fall.

Phantine

Was that thought the one Sazed has in his fight with Marsh?

Those weren't coins, a voice seemed to whisper.

The bag Marsh shot at you. Those weren't coins.

Brandon Sanderson

Yup, that's it.

Moving the well, playing with where Kelsier was, and the physics of moving through perpendicularities between Realms all kind of combined to make what I had planned originally there not work. I tried fudging things so Kelsier could be there, and felt it was dishonest to the rules. So I didn't let him stray far enough from the Well to talk to Sazed there. Peter had thought for years that was Kelsier, I recall, and was sad we couldn't connect them.

Herowannabe

I don't suppose you'd be willing to share with us who the new, canonical voice in Sazed's head is?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm afraid I probably won't ever go into this. At some point, you risk twisting and turning too much. I have a canon answer in my head, but for readers, it will probably need to remain ambiguous--with "it was simply him coming up with it on his own" being a valid option.

JordanCon 2018 ()
#17 Copy

Argent

Because of Kelsier's status as a Cognitive Shadow we've been wondering what wonky things you can do with him being like that and so-- Hypothetically, purely hypothetically, could a Surgebinder, could somebody form a Nahel bond with him?

Brandon Sanderson

With Kelsier? We'll RAFO that. We will definitely RAFO that for now

Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
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Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Four - Part Two

The other big part of this chapter is, of course, the plan. This is where the story has been pushing up to this point. I worry that even still (despite several cuts) this section feels a little too much like an info-dump. I couldn't really get around that, since Kelsier is–essentially–dumping some information on the crew.

This is also where I begin to diverge from the "heist story" framework. I started with that concept to write the book, but as I proceeded with the plotting and the writing of the actual novel, I realized that the heist structure was simply too small to fill the larger concepts for the trilogy I was working on.

So, in rewrites, I came back and reworked this section to take to focus off stealing the Lord Ruler's money. The truth is, Kelsier wants to overthrow the government and get back at the Lord Ruler. The money isn't half as important to him. And, as the story progresses, you'll see that the crew spends most of its time on the army.

The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
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Brandon Sanderson

Elend comparing himself to Kelsier is a kind of theme for him in this book. I wanted Kelsier to leave a long, long shadow over these next two books.

A lot of people couldn't believe that I killed Kelsier, since he was such a ball of charisma, and the driving force for the first book. (A lot of others CAN believe it, but are rather annoyed at me for doing it.) However, I happen to like this book specifically because of Kelsier's absence.

He overshadowed everything when he was alive. Elend could never have developed as a character–and even Sazed and Vin would have had trouble–as long as Kelsier was there dominating everything. He was a character at the end of his arc–while the others are still only just beginning. It's so much more interesting if they have to do things without him.

Just part of Kelsier's arrogance, I guess. Both as a character in the book, and externally to it. He dominated so much that he had to go.

White Sand vol.1 release party ()
#23 Copy

Questioner

What did Leras do to Kel right when he died that made him stay? That prevented him from going on?

Brandon Sanderson

Right when he died?

Questioner

Right, because he starts to go-- slip into the Beyond, and then Leras keeps him there.

Brandon Sanderson

Read that again closely.

Questioner

He did something. He shoves him into the pool right?

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, yes. You just answered it.

Questioner

Okay, but I wasn't sure...

Brandon Sanderson

Okay.

Questioner

...if it was specifically what Leras did? Or if that's something only [Vessels] can do?

Brandon Sanderson

So it's the pool and not Leras that is important there.

Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
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Questioner

Regarding Hemalurgy and its basis in the Pits of Hathsin being Ruin’s body, my theory is that Kelsier gained his Mistborn powers from being in the Pits of Hathsin.

Brandon Sanderson

It’s a good theory. I’m not going to confirm or deny it. It is a very good theory.

Questioner

Do you just get all the small little bits and pieces from just the way people talk about him as the Survivor, so *inaudible* theory... Are we ever going to see it confirmed or denied?

Brandon Sanderson

It is possible that you will, but you will see...I’ve got somethings that I want to write about Kelsier.

Questioner

Please, that would be amazing.

Brandon Sanderson

You have not seen the last of that man, I want to write some stuff that happened.

General Reddit 2017 ()
#26 Copy

ExaltedHamster

I feel like The Lord Ruler from Mistborn would be a pretty good example of black/white philosophy. ( [Brandon] feel free to chime in here if you want). Kelsier from the same book feels pretty red/white to me.

Brandon Sanderson

I always viewed Kelsier as red-black, personally. He loves his friends, and his team, but is counter-authority in a big way. He's extremely selfish and violent, but is bleeding toward believing in something more important as the books begin.

sirgog

This is interesting, I thought of Kelsier as about as mono red as you can get.

Freedom and emotions - rage and love at various times - drive him.

Never altruism, never malice. Just passionate rage.

Brandon Sanderson

I can completely see that argument. However, Kelsier has a strong megalomaniac streak. He set up a religion to worship him. He spent most of his life as a thief, seeking to get ahead--and enrich himself.

His arc is, to an extent, learning to allow the red side of him dominate the black side--but I still see him as a mixture of both. And you can see the malice on occasion (like when he dumps the body of the nobleman he's killed.)

JordanCon 2021 ()
#27 Copy

Questioner

With regards to certain experiments, would it be fair to say Ishar and a certain Scadrian have similar goals? 

Brandon Sanderson

*hesitation noises* I don't know that I would say that 100%. The certain Scadrian you reference has been able to achieve the goals that he wants. Let's see if I can circumlocute this: there's a certain set of bones floating around that already has a Connection to this individual, which was useful in achieving what he wanted to do, which is not a luxury that Ishar has. 

Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
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Brandon Sanderson

Kelsier gets to have some last words in this chapter. He earned them, I think. I'm sorry to keep the truth of kandra from you so long, as I've said before. However, I needed to leave the explanation off so that the reader could experience the revelation with Vin here. Even if you'd already figured out what Renoux was, then I think this scene is more powerful by having the revelations happen like they did.

Anyway, Kelsier is among my personal favorite characters, if only for his depth. He is a complicated, multi-faceted man who managed to scam not only the entire empire, but his own crew at the same time. I felt I had to give him some last words, if only through a letter, so that the reader could bid him a proper farewell. In addition, I wanted him to pass that flower on to Vin–symbolically charging her with Mare's dream, now that Kelsier himself is dead.

The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
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Brandon Sanderson

Chapter One

Part One Title

The title of this section of the book is "The Legacy of the Survivor." If I recall correctly, part one of the first book was "The Survivor of Hathsin" and part one of book two was "The Heir of the Survivor."

Kelsier still overshadows these books. In this chapter particularly, I wanted to show an entire group of people doing essentially what he did in book one. Just as Kelsier faced down an Inquisitor, this band of soldiers is going to charge an army of koloss.

JordanCon 2016 ()
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Brandon Sanderson

*reading a personalization request* Did Kelsier fill copperminds for reasons other than to share knowledge? Did he want to forget certain memories?

*written* Yes. Yes.

Those may not be causally related. You asked two separate questions and got two separate answers.

Skyward San Francisco signing ()
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Questioner

Have we seen Kelsier outside of Mistborn yet, and will we see him outside of Mistborn?

Brandon Sanderson

No you have not. And RAFO, but realize, he is-- The way Investiture works, you would consider him similar to how you would consider a spren. It's gonna be hard for him to get off-world.

Questioner

It also means that he can still-- He gets kind of close, he gets really close--

Brandon Sanderson

I considered him still--

Questioner

Still on this side.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, but he got close to the line. But I would say he did not get off [Scadrial].

Questioner

So it's gonna be hard.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
#34 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Vin Soothes the Koloss

She does it by Soothing the koloss. I think this is probably the easiest of the twists in the book–after all, I showed her doing the exact same thing to a kandra, then told you that kandra and koloss were very similar. So this shouldn't have been too much of a logical leap. If Vin hadn't been exhausted and overworked here, she probably would have figured it out earlier.

I thought it important, by the way, to show her fighting without her powers–and to show that she's still good, even when she doesn't have pewter steel or iron. She's a dangerous person. The metals just make her VERY dangerous.

By the way, I used Kelsier's last words–obliquely–as the thing that pulled her out of her stupor when she fell to the lack of pewter. She's been burning it far too much for this entire book, and hopefully you're expecting her to have to pay for that at some point. She would have dropped unconscious if she hadn't thought of her friends.

Kelsier would have been proud. His last words to her had been a chastisement, since she hadn't been treating their friends as well as she should have. He insisted on rescuing Spook from the cages, rushing into an obvious trap despite the danger. Vin has done nearly the same thing in returning to Luthadel.

Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
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Brandon Sanderson

I hope you noticed the difference between the way Kelsier got into the room and the way Vin did it. She walked up to the guards at the front and talked them away, rather than killing them. She just strolled through the guard chamber–the place where she killed her first time–instead of attacking. Why attack? She's powerful enough that she can just slip through and escape.

For Kelsier, the killing was always part of the victory. Vin's more goal-oriented, perhaps. In addition, she doesn't like to kill. So, her way is to just slip by the men. Then, in the room, she doesn't get close to the Inquisitors–she takes them down with tricks. On the streets, she would have had to use very little to gain much. She needed to be extremely clever with the small advantages she had. She used Allomancy in small ways to great advantage. Now that she's more powerful, I think her cleverness and resourcefulness will lead her to be far more amazing an Allomancer than Kelsier was.

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

JoyBlu

Do you have a pronunciation guide anywhere?

Brandon Sanderson

So, we need to put one of these up. I put one up for Elantris. The trick with pronunciation guides is that, personally, I am kind of a believer in that I write a script where you are the director. You get the script I've provided, and then as you read the story, you are creating the actual final detail of how everything looks and osunds and stuff. And so, in your head, your version of the character names are canon to you, and there is no right pronunciation, really. I can give you the one that I thin is closest to how they would say it in-world, but I don't even always say them right. For instance, I just said Tashikk for the country in the Makabaki region when I was reading the Lift thing. But that's actually the Arab ق (IPA: /q/) sound, I can't even do it, it's the double-q. I can't say that. *Brandon tries to say taʃiq* Peter can do it, my editorial assistant, he's not here, but he can do it. I can't. I say them like an American. I say "KELsier" (ˈkɛlsiər). They say "kelsiEY" (ˈkɛlsiˌei). So, is my version right? My version is wrong, but it's right to me? So, yeah. But if there's a character name you want to know how I say it, I can tell you. Is there one specifically?

Questioner

Shallan?

Brandon Sanderson

I say shuLAWN (ʃəˈlɔn). But, again, none of us are actually Veden like her, so who knows how they say it? They would have some accent that would be something that I can't even do.

Questioner

What's Sazed? How do you say that?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, Saze? So, I say say-zed (seizɜd). But I say that, and that's how Kelsier says it. Sazed himself is from the Terris region, he's gonna have a slightly different pronunciation. I would say that say-zed is not how he says it. It's gonna be either sawzd (sɔzd) or, it's gonna be something softer like that. I just say it like Kelsier does. But he says it wrong, depending on your definition of wrong.

JordanCon 2016 ()
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Questioner

On that note, in Secret History, Kelsier's reading the symbols. Does he not-- I mean he is able to understand them...

Brandon Sanderson

Right, right. So, if you go look really closely at what happens with Kelsier before he's able to start reading the symbols and understand the language, you can relate it to things in the cosmere that I've talked about before for how he's able to do that.

The Great American Read: Other Worlds with Brandon Sanderson ()
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Questioner

Matrim Cauthon, Kelsier, and Vasher all decide they need to get together and run a heist on Hoid. How do they do it? Why? And what are they looking for? Assuming they know where his "hideout" is...

Brandon Sanderson

Mat has to be persuaded. He doesn't think this is worth it. Once he knows about Fortune, he'd be interested.

Kelsier wants to beat him to a pulp.

Vasher is very utilitarian about it, and agrees that having access to him would be smart, but dangerous.

Shadows of Self release party ()
#40 Copy

zas678

What would have happened if Kelsier and the crew had discovered Zane instead of Vin?

Brandon Sanderson

What if Kelsier discovered Zane instead of Vin? Ohohoho, no one's ever even asked me that. I haven't considered it. That would have been a bad combination. I could totally imagine that happening, though. Need to get Zane a little bit younger than he was in the series, but yeah bad combination.

Legion Release Party ()
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Podman36

So, in the scene where Kelsier has all the metal around him, and he's Pushing and Pulling on [parts of the metal that are] not center of mass, is that something more along the lines of savantism, or is it just Rule of Cool?

Brandon Sanderson

No no, that I was pushing toward... I wouldn't call Kelsier a savant, but I would say that there were certainly steps toward that, and it's something I actually wanted people who were really skilled with the magic to be able to do.

Podman36

So it's not Rule of Cool.

Brandon Sanderson

I would not call that one Rule of Cool, I would say that I want that to actually be part of the magic, that I wanted there to be some level, particularly in Pushing and Pulling, of skill that lets you deviate from the normal. And I've tried to show in other places that people who are really skilled can do some different things like that, particularly with Pushing and Pulling, both on emotions and on metals. So no, not Rule of Cool there, I do occasionally do Rule of Cool stuff, but I wouldn't call that one.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
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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.

FanX 2018 ()
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Questioner

Is there a reason Kaladin is always talking about the Survivor.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. The Survivor? No. You're trying to get me to slip up on something; no. He does not know Kelsier, nice try.

Questioner

But are they connected?

Brandon Sanderson

Only thematically.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#44 Copy

Ruro272

THIS JUST IN: KELSIER'S EYES ARE HAZEL.

I have a lot more tidbits and all of them more juicy than this, but this may be the single thing all weekend that actually added to the canon. As far as Peter and Brandon know, they never explicitly stated Kelsiers eye color, only that they were "dark", and Brandon thought about it and went with hazel.

Does it matter? Probably not lol. But the moment he said it Peter contacted the wiki writer to add it officially. Pretty cool to ask a simple question that Brandon graciously chose to answer and then add to the canon story

bschnebs

Since when is Hazel considered dark?

Peter Ahlstrom

It isn't. What we said is that Mistborn doesn't give anyone's eye color and only says Vin's eyes are dark. (Shan Elariel's eyes are also dark.) Kelsier's eyes will now be considered canonized as hazel, which is not dark.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
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Enfeathered

Assuming that the events of the first Mistborn book took place on Nalthis instead, and especially considering the circumstances of Kelsier's passing and the events afterwards, would he have Returned?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a very interesting question. Endowment can be somewhat...erratic. I don't know, honestly. I'd have to think about it.

Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
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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.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
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Questioner

Which of your characters do you think would win in a fight?

Brandon Sanderson

At what stage in their career?

Questioner

Not the Slivers.

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, so they don't count, the Shards of Adonalsium don't count… Does Kelsier have atium?

Questioner

Yes, atium exists.

Brandon Sanderson

A Mistborn burning atium is really hard to beat in any other way.

Questioner

So you think that Kelsier would beat Vin?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, Kelsier would beat Vin if he had atium and she didn't. If they both did? Vin has more raw talent, Kelsier has a lot more experience. So if you can pick Vin after she's had more experience she will give him a fair fight, but before that she will not.

Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
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Brandon Sanderson

Also, I think it was about time to establish firmly the relationship between Kelsier and Vin. She–if you haven't guessed–has a bit of a hero-worship crush going on with him. It will never be stated explicitly, but it's there, and kind of has to be there.

Kelsier, however, regards her like a protégé, and perhaps even a daughter. That's it. I apologize to those who were looking for a romance between the two. I realize that I'm breaking some laws of storytelling by introducing a female viewpoint in chapter one, then a male viewpoint in chapter two, and not having them get into any sort of romantic way. However, that's not what this book is about. Kelsier is not only much older than Vin, he really doesn't look for relationships any more. Not his focus in life right now.

I never intended there to be any romantic tension between the two of them. However, some of my alpha readers were hoping to find it–and found more than I anticipated. So, I added the lines here from Kelsier about wishing he had a daughter, just so I could make things clear.

YouTube Livestream 10 ()
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Dane Brown

Hypothetically, if Kelsier were to meet Kaladin, what would he say?

Brandon Sanderson

Probably "don't be so hard on yourself, kid." That would probably be what Kelsier says. He would do some version of "I've been there, don't be so hard on yourself. You can't fix it all." That's what my gut says.

Kelsier would really like Kaladin. He's the sort of person that Kelsier just... Kelsier loves to see and recognize the people who are just innately good and trying to do good. He's drawn to that because it's not something that is natural to him, if that makes any sense. He can recognize it, though. And it's one of those things that he kind of wants to preserve in the world. And he would really like Kaladin.

Adam Horne

Would Kaladin like Kelsier?

Brandon Sanderson

Probably not. But Kelsier would probably be just fine with that.