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Shadows of Self San Francisco signing ()
#1 Copy

Questioner

So alternate ending of Well of Ascension … *inaudible* three more spirits… *inaudible* if another Shard would show up [with the?] mist spirit, is that in [???]

Brandon Sanderson

That’s in *inaudible* There are things you don’t know about the mist spirit yet I am planning to reveal soon.

Questioner

Have we met any of those three yet?

Brandon Sanderson

For what I was planning there, yes, you have.

Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
#2 Copy

Argent

Is the mist spirit in Alendi's logbook the same spirit Vin sees?

Brandon Sanderson

No.

Kurkistan

Is it the same one Elend sees?

Brandon Sanderson

When? No. It is not the same one that Elend sees. There is a different mist spirit back then. Elend sees the same one Vin sees.

Kurkistan

And Alendi saw a different one?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. And originally my rules for what made a mist spirit were a little more lax than I eventually decided them to being.

Argent

But it still works…?

Brandon Sanderson

What is in the books, it still works and is canonized, and those are two different mist spirits. But if you find the deleted scenes—if you look at them—there are- I am exploring more with mist spirits and you’ll find out what that would have been.

The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
#3 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Fifty-Five

Elend Sees the Mist Spirit

Elend really does have a lot of faith in Vin, even if he doesn't worship her. He ascribes an almost supernatural power to her. And, I can kind of see why he would. In these books, Vin's almost less of a character and more a force. Like Ruin and Preservation, in a way.

Regardless, this chapter is about Elend giving up—then finding his hope again. I bring the mist spirit back here for a final appearance, but I wanted to be careful not to have it give too much information to Elend. Not because I don't want the information itself to get out, but because the mist spirit hasn't been a presence in this book, and so I haven't foreshadowed it enough. Therefore, if it simply showed up and gave a bunch of answers, I think that would feel cheap to the reader.

The mist spirit is, as the next epigraph explains, the remnants of Preservation's mind. I don't delve into it too much in this book, even the epigraphs, but Preservation's consciousness is indeed separate from his power. However, his consciousness itself has a limited power. And that is what he used to bind Ruin.

That did not weaken his power, which still protects the world. Instead, it cost him his mind, leaving behind only a faint shadow—like the mists' memory of Preservation, far removed from what he had once been.

That consciousness attached to Preservation—like the one attached to Ruin—is a part of Adonalsium, which will eventually be explained. Suffice it to say that in a pinch, Preservation could draw upon the power of his own mind and use it to imprison Ruin. This was why he was able to pull of the trick, as Ruin wasn't expecting it. He might have anticipated an attack using Preservation's power, but not his mind—not knowing what burning his own mind would do.

That is why Preservation's cage captured Ruin's own mind, but not his power.

The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
#4 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Fifty-Six

Elend in the Mists after Vin Leaves

I wanted to include a reference to mistwraiths in this book. They're a minor world element, but aspects of their origins are a piece of the puzzle that gets explained further. . .in book three.

The mists are indeed coming earlier in the day, and they are staying later in the mornings. They're getting stronger, you might say. Elend doesn't know this, but some of the very outer parts of the empire already have mists lingering almost to the afternoon. The answers to why are coming. . .in book three.

The mist spirit doesn't want Elend to go to Luthadel. And yes, it was using Allomancy on him. (Influencing his emotions, as it's done several places through this book.) It doesn't work very well. The thing doesn't have much of a mind remaining. The answer to why. . .yes, you guessed it. Book three.

As you can tell, I'm using this last section of the book to set up The Hero of Ages. I didn't want to do this–I wanted all three books to stand well on their own. However, the events in the third book are just too large to deal with in one novel, so they spilled over into the end of this one. I actually began foreshadowing a lot of these things in book one–they were just easier to hide then.

By the way, the scene where Elend stands there, looking into the darkness, hearing leaves rustle and thinking how frightening it is. . .well, that's a scene from my life. Nothing big, but one night I was just walking past a darkened backyard and I heard rustling like that. I stood for a while, looking into that darkness, realizing just how creepy it was to stand in shadowed light and stare into the void without knowing what was back there. I had to put that in a book.