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The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
#2 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Forty-Nine

Elend and Vin Ride out of Luthadel, Allrianne Joins Them

And Tindwyl and Elend end on a sour note. I guess that's appropriate.

Allrianne is one I'd been wanting to add a shade of depth to for a while, and I saw my chance here. We'll get a viewpoint from her in a short time–just a short one, and it won't do much except maybe give her a little rounding out.

You can thank Isaac (aka Nethermore, the guy who did the internal art for the Mistborn books) for naming the gates in the city. He was the one who, when doing the city map, realized that it would be cool if the eight gates were named after the eight basic metals. It made so much sense; I'm surprised I didn't think of it.

Vin and Elend do manage to escape the city, as they had hoped. My big worry here is that readers will be frustrated that I'm sending the two main characters away for the big battle. My big hope, however, is that readers will take this as a sign that nasty things are coming for the city. I think this chapter here leads to some real potential for tension in the siege itself.

Atop the wall, as the team watches Vin and Elend leave, we get another exchange talking about Sazed and his belief in a lot of different religions. I hope I didn't lay it on too thick; I just wanted to show some character dynamics as he talks to other characters. You can also note here that Ham is back to calling Elend "El." (Against Elend's request earlier in the book.) Ham started that up a while ago, actually. He's not the best at following orders.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#4 Copy


What's the population of the shardworld's we've seen so far (even in very general terms, like one's much bigger than the others or something)?

Brandon Sanderson

Scadrial is certainly the least populated of the major shard worlds. Then Nalthis, I'd guess, followed by Roshar, and finally Sel--which likely has the largest population. I would have to look closely to see which is bigger between those last two.


Does a population of about 100 million during The Final Empire (with 1-2 million in Luthadel), and around 15 million during Alloy of Law (with about 5 million in Elendel) seem right?

Brandon Sanderson

Have to RAFO this for now, for reasons I can't explain without giving spoilers.


How about as far as Elend/Wax knows, at the beginning of their respective series?

Brandon Sanderson

Then those numbers, if they're off, are at least close.


Interesting that Sel has such a large population, given that the actual numbers of soldiers shown seem to be quite small.

Brandon Sanderson

Let's just say that Opelon has an inflated opinion of its own size in relation to the rest of the world.

Footnote: The RAFO about the Scadrian population may be due to the existence of the Southerners, which had not been revealed as of this time.
Email to Nepene - Re: Population of the Final Empire ()
#5 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Blast. I've got that in my records somewhere. It's been a while, now. Off the top of my head, I believe Luthadel was the biggest city with around two million. (Peter might have a better read on this.) I was shooting for 1920 London, but with a slightly better flow of food in because of the imperial structure an absolute monarch offers. It was the biggest city by a long shot, though. Others would have trouble topping 100k. Probably a 25%/75% split urban rural, weighted on rural, through the entire empire. Scope is relatively small. Smaller than the US. Bigger than Korea. If you email [email protected], he might have the actual scale.


/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#6 Copy


There seems to be a certain parallel between the naming of Elendel and Luthadel. If the former is named after Elend, is the latter named after somebody called Lutha? Luthad? Who is (was?) that?

Brandon Sanderson

Good Question! Yes, there is a person this city is named after. But I'm not ready to give specifics.

Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
#7 Copy

Brandon Sanderson


I haven't actually seen the map yet. I'm curious to see how it turns out. . . .

The person doing it is Isaac Stewart, a guy in one of my writing groups. He's a man of many talents, and works as an animator. He was very excited about Mistborn, and when I mentioned he could do the map, he was enthusiastic. I've heard a lot of what he's talked about with the book–doing a map that is based on old Victorian-era maps of London and Paris. We'll see what he comes up with!

EDIT: Now I've seen the maps!

Wow, Isaac did a wonderful job with these. One of the things I asked for was a round world map, and he really stepped up. I love the embellishments around the border and the illuminated manuscript type feel for it.

The city map is probably more important to the story. Oddly, I didn't actually do one of these when I was writing the novel. In fact, I only had a very basic sketch for the world map. That meant, of course, that when I sat down with one of the later drafts, some things were inconsistent. It also meant that a lot of things on the map weren't named, such as the gates.

I owe a lot to Isaac on this one. His intricate map is very detailed–each of those slums was hand-drawn with the insane twisting of all the little streets. He was the one who named the gates, building eight of them and naming them after the basic Allomantic metals. All and all, he did a fantastic job.