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Young Bard posted a topic in General Brandon DiscussionPlease note: I consider Sanderson to be one of my favourite authors. What I'm about to say here I consider a minor irk, in the same way that I've seen complaints about people 'raising an eyebrow' too often. I'll still be waiting eagerly for Brandon's next book. Also, please note that there are spoilers for Mistborn, the Stormlight Archives, the Reckoners, and most Sanderson novels in this post. One thing I've been thinking about recently is this: If there were one thing I disliked about Sanderson's writings, what would it be? In the end, I've settled on one slight theme that I politically disagree with. Some of you might actually disagree with me and my political views, which is perfectly OK. Some of you might have a different take on how I see things, which is also OK. But, if I were to point at one thing about Sanderson's writings, and say "I disagree with that.", I would talk about the theme of redemption. Throughout Sandersons novels, there are many examples of the theme of "Once a villain, always a villain." And, usually, the resolution of the story ends with murdering the 'bad guy'. The only exception to the rule that I can see is when you have an Unreliable Narrator, and we don't see the full picture, or else there are external influences in causing the character to be evil, while deep down, they're pure of heart after all. But, in real life, people can and do change. If you do something wrong, that doesn't automatically make you a horrible person, irredeemably, for the rest of your life. In fact, it is partly through are mistakes that we learn, develop and adapt to become better. This is one of the reasons I personally strongly oppose the death penalty. I genuinely believe that virtually anyone can change, to become better people than whoever they were before when they committed the crime. But, I don't see this in Sanderson's works. You almost never get a genuinely remorseful villain who wishes that they hadn't done something horrible. For example, the Lord Ruler and Sadeas, when confronted about the horrible things they'd done, respond in a similar way. "I did what I had to do", or else actually provoke the people confronting them. Shortly afterwards, both of them get murdered. Now, imagine how we, the readers, would have reacted differently if The Lord Ruler had been remorseful. If The Lord Ruler, quietly, had turned back to look out the window, silently thinking of all those he'd murdered, all those who were now dead because of him. Then, he looks back at Vin, with deep, haunted eyes, and talked of how he'd tried to do the best thing, the only thing, he thought possible. Would you, the reader, still have sympathized with Vin when she tore Alendi's bracers off and stabbed him through with a spear? But, Sanderson didn't do this. And, so, we cheer Vin on as she throws off the yolk of oppression that the Lord Ruler has kept the skaa under for the past 1000 years. The same story goes for most 'villain' deaths in Sanderson's canon. Whether or not it's intentional, this enforces the message that nobody who has done something for a purely selfish reason in the past can ever work past their flaw in their nature, or become a better person in the future. A few of you may ask me about the Reckoners, in which Prof, after briefly becoming and Epic, overcomes his evil side to join David and the Reckoners once again. However, in this case, his evil side never actually belonged to him, but instead was forced upon him by Larcener. If it hadn't been for that, he would never have become evil. So, if I were asked what issue I had with Sanderson's works, that is what I'd say. I, personally, believe that no matter what one's done in the past, one can move beyond that. Alfred Nobel created the Nobel Peace Prize because he was so horrified at the damage and carnage he'd created by inventing dynamite. Oppenheimer, too, helped to create the Atomic Bomb, and only later did he regret what he'd done after seeing the carnage of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, quoting from a Hindu text: "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." In this way, people learn from their mistakes and regrets, to become their better selves, something I feel is lacking in Sanderson's works.