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We need to talk about the silver plating on Vin's earring! Somewhere between the moment Vin's mother drove this little bronze spike through Vin's sister into Vin's ear, and the moment we first see Vin in Book 1, this bronze earring became plated in "silver" (which must negate its Hemalurgic effects for reasons I'll explain) and then locked away inside of a box. Even ignoring the larger implications of Silver throughout the Cosmere, and isolating our attention only at Scadrial's magic system... We know that silver on Scadrial has no known Allomantic, Feruchemical, or (most importantly) Hemalurgic properties at all. If the earring were silver-plated before spiking through Vin's sister, then that silver would have nullified the spike's ability to behave as a hemalurgic spike and accept a hemalurgic charge. In contrast, if the earring was silver-plated after receiving a hemalurgic charge, then the silver would have blocked the earring's effects on the wearer (much like Nightblood's sheath blocks his power). If this bronze earring was plated in silver, then it's logical to infer that even if Vin wore it like that (fully silver-plated), then Ruin wouldn't have been able to reach her, nor would she have been able to tap into the extra seeker properties with which the spike was charged. Interestingly enough, that silver plating was notably wearing away throughout Vin's story. From Well of Ascension - Chapter 33: "Vin stood quietly. Absently, she pulled out her bronze earring—her mother’s earring—and worked it between her fingers, watching it reflect light. It had once been gilded with silver, but that had worn off in most places." From Hero of Ages – Chapter 54: "Silver. Useless, unburnable silver. Like lead, it was one of the metals that provided no Allomantic powers at all. “An unpopular metal indeed . . .” Yomen said, nodding to the side. A servant approached Vin, bearing something on a small platter. Her mother’s earring. It was a dull thing, Allomantically, made of bronze with some silver plating. Much of the silver had worn off years ago, and the brownish bronze showed through, making the earring look to be the cheap bauble it was. “Which is why,” Yomen continued, “I am so curious as to why you would bother with an ornament such as this. I have had it tested. Silver on the outside, bronze on the inside. Why those metals?" I figure that neither Reen nor Vin could've done this silver-plating to the bronze earring. They wouldn't have been concerned in the least with having it silver-plated while they were poor and had a hard enough time staying [relatively] safe and fed. I think someone who was cosmere-aware or, at the very least, was "Ruin-aware" was responsible for having the earring silver plated. I doubt Hoid would have done this, as well. My imagination says that he would have sooner destroyed or stolen the earring if he really wanted to interfere with Ruin's plans. Hoid wouldn't have preserved the earring so carefully. The fact that the earring was neutralized/silver-plated rather than destroyed... and the fact that it was placed in a box and that box was kept rather than disposed of... well, I would guess Preservation was behind this silver-plating. I think he did what he could to influence people and events around Vin to protect her while keeping in line with his own will to 'preserve' above all else. From Hero of Ages – Sazed's final Epigraph (just before the epilogue): "Vin was special. Preservation chose her from a very young age, as I have mentioned. I believe that he was grooming her to take his power... I believe that she must have drawn some of the mist into her when she was still a child, in those brief times when she wasn’t wearing the earring. Preservation had mostly gotten her to stop wearing it by the time Kelsier recruited her, though she put it back in for a moment before joining the crew. Then, she’d left it there at his suggestion." If the earring had been placed while Vin was an infant and left in her ear, then it's a safe assumption that Ruin would have had her entire lifetime to work his influence... if, of course, it hadn't been for the presumed efforts of Preservation to buy her as much time as he could. I asked Brandon Sanderson "Who was responsible for getting Vin's bronze earring plated in 'silver'?" and apparently that question was good enough to award me an RAFO card. :-) I will be framing it. Don't judge me. Who plated Vin's bronze earring in "silver"? When did they do it? Why? Is the plating on Vin's earring really silver (or just perceived to be Silver by the Scadrians)? ...is it the same metal as Nightblood's sheath? It seems to me that the silver plating on Vin's earring and Nightblood's famous "silver sheath" were essentially there to perform the same job. What do you think?
I was traveling back to MN from WI, and i stopped at a gas station and noticed they were selling audiobooks/graphic audio thingys. Just for fun I searched to see if they had any Sanderson novels, and they did! On the front of The Way of Kings graphic audio, it depicted Szeth unsheathing his honorblade. That made me think, do Honorblades have sheaths? Shardblades certainly don't.