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The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
#2 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Vin Goes to Kredik Shaw

Originally, the Well of Ascension WAS in the mountains. That's the big reason for the rewrite of the ending. This section of the book felt TOO disjointed with the rest of the novel, and I felt that I needed to move the Well to Luthadel. That way, the fight for the city meant something–and I didn't have to send Vin out, have her come back, then send her north yet again.

It works far better this way. Of course, I had to do some major rewriting–and I had to explain why the Well isn't in the mountains. But, in this case, fixing one thing gave me motivation for fixing something else. I had worried about how easy it was to find the Well, and how difficult it would be to take Vin and Elend into the mountains to find it. All very awkward. Both the history and the current story work much better when I decided to have the Lord Ruler have moved the Well down and put his city on top of it.

Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide ()
#3 Copy


Does the Well of Ascension still exist in the new world? Or is it no longer necessary? I assumed that Preservation collected there like Ruin collects in the Pits of Hathsin, so if Atium keeps forming then the well should keep filling...

Brandon Sanderson

The Well (and the small wells in the Pits) is no more. For now at least.

Skyward Houston signing ()
#4 Copy


Can you explain how the Well of Ascension worked? How it actually held him and why releasing the power released Ruin?

Brandon Sanderson

That is the sort of thing that I can't explain in a brief amount of time, but hit me with an email, all right? Say that I promised to answer this, keep pushing me and eventually we'll get an answer written out for that one.

Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
#5 Copy


I have some more in-depth questions that might be RAFO'd. For fans who want to know what I'm talking about, go here. Here they are:

Who is Hoid in Well of Ascension? We (TWG) have found some candidates:

Wolfhound merchantTerris person that Elend meets after Vin went back to LuthadelTeur or old Jed (the two Skaa in the first Sazed chapter)Crazy cannibal Skaa (I doubt it though)

We already know it isn't the man who discovered duralumin, or the Skaa leader outside the dress shop, or the old Skaa who waits with the Holy First Witness when the Koloss attack.

I think those were all of the characters that we found as candidates.

Brandon Sanderson

People are really close to this one, and I noticed that later in this thread, you or someone else mentioned the footprints in the deleted scene.

Hoid's appearance in Mistborn: Well of Ascension is a little unlike the others. When the scene at the Well was moved in revision, one of Hoid's major influences on the book had to go (for various reasons). Left in the book is only one little hint, really. A character notices something odd about someone, but doesn't dwell on it. You can probably find the line if you look very closely.

Let me say this. Hoid got wrapped up in things he didn't expect to be involved in, and they dominated much of his time during the events of Mistborn: Well of Ascension. He spent most of the book in a different place from most of the viewpoint characters. He's only near them for a very short time, and he's deeply in disguise. I couldn't include his name, as he'd never have used the name "Hoid" for himself there, because it wouldn't have been right for the disguise. He'd have used another pseudonym. (He didn't, by the way, mention one.)

I've probably said too much already. Now, perhaps what people should asking me is this: "What has Hoid been up to in all of these books?" Or, maybe they shouldn't ask me, as I wouldn't be likely to answer. (There are clues in the novels, however.) No, he's not just hanging out. Yes, I know what he's been doing. Will I write his scenes some day? Maybe. We'll see. There may be short stories posted on my website.

General Reddit 2016 ()
#6 Copy


Still not sure what the multiple mist spirits were that warded off Marsh in the deleted version of the ending - I've heard speculation they were somehow kandra (justifying the mistwraith name). Do you remember what was going on there?

By the way, the knife leras is carrying around. Would people call that a shard blade ;)?

Brandon Sanderson

What a nice, heaping pile of RAFOs you have there, Phantine.

Shadows of Self San Francisco signing ()
#7 Copy


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.


Have we met any of those three yet?

Brandon Sanderson

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

Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
#8 Copy


So, Brandon. Hoid. I remember you saying at the Idaho Falls signing last year that he was in Well of Ascension. We, your dedicated fans who like scouring books searching for obscure characters who have any possibility of being the mysterious Hoid, have yet to find him. Peter sent us on a hunt for him (Hoid, not Peter...) in the deleted scenes, and we found his boot-print.

Now, I think he broke the pottery there too—the one holding the lerasium—and since there's broken pottery in the actual version, I think he may have snuck into the cavern and broken it as well. If so, is this Hoid's part in Well of Ascension? This trace of him? I commend you if it is. It is clever, making us think it was a person, when in fact it's just something he did.

Brandon Sanderson

You are on the right track, but wrong on one point. Hoid does appear in the book.

I had originally toyed with making his touch on the novel more obscure, but decided that I wanted to be consistent with the other novels by actually having him appear. Once I realized I'd probably cut the scene with the footprint, I decided I needed this actual appearance even more badly.

Fortunately, I knew what Hoid had been up to all this time, and had placed him in a position where several characters could run into him. In Well of Ascension, Hoid believed (as Vin did) that the Well was in the North, even though it was not. He spent much of the book pursuing this idea.

Through events, however, he discovered he was wrong. He made the realization after Vin did, but only because of a chance meeting. (This is recorded in the books. Let's just say he was listening in when someone implied that the Well was in Luthadel.)

He hurried to Luthadel, and was in the town, skulking about in the last parts of the novel. He isn't seen here, though he does still infiltrate the Well. (Hoid is quite proficient at manipulating Shadesmar for his own ends.)

The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
#11 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Forty-Four - Part One

Subtlety with the Power

The Lord Ruler created koloss, kandra, and Inquisitors during his time holding the power. This took some practice and experimentation, however. As has been explained, holding the power granted some intuitive understanding of how to use it. For instance, he knew how to make Hemalurgic creatures—but he wasn't practiced enough with the specifics at first to know exactly what he wanted to make or what the results of his experimentations would be.

In a similar way, he knew that he could move a planet—and did. With practice, he could have figured out how to shove the planet the right way to place it correctly in orbit. Unfortunately, you can't really experiment with moving a planet around without causing a whole lot of damage.

And so, he could do something as subtle as create three new races—and, with that practice in biology, redesign the world's plants and animals slightly—but could be so far off in the way he shoved the planet about the first time.

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
#13 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

*reading a personalization request* Name a Shard not--


Preservation... from the alternate [Well of Ascension] ending.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh! Oh, oh, oh, oh! What do you mean by that?


I thought that those four were-- the four mist-people--

Brandon Sanderson

Oh the four mist-people that's-- Oh... *sighs* I gotta RAFO that, right?


Well it's not canon technically.

Brandon Sanderson

No it's not canon... Okay I just have to dig back deep... But there's stuff--



Brandon Sanderson

There's a star, just remember the star.


"Endowment was there*"

Orem signing ()
#14 Copy

Mason Wheeler

After another thousand years will the Well of Ascension to fill up again, or did Harmony do away with that?

Brandon Sanderson

One would not expect the Well of Ascension to fill again. People in-world assume it will not, and they have legitimate reasons to think that.

Forbidden Planet Interview ()
#15 Copy


If the Lord Ruler was able to enter the Well of Ascension a second time, what would he have done with its power?

Brandon Sanderson

He probably would have tried to fix and tweak a few of the problems that were happening, but he had learned not to do too much. So I would say: minor tweaks, and perhaps some power solidification things, and stuff like that. He would not, probably, have been able to fix things as well as he wanted to. It probably would have gone more poorly than he implies that it would have gone.