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Cocoa

Are atiumminds naturally unsealed? [discuss]

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Brandon Sanderson

So, I'm not sure I can explain it all in this, but one big change I wished I'd made from the start of Mistborn is making atium usable by all Allomancers. As I've gotten further in the cosmere, using a god metal as just for Mistborn has felt off.

So the lore change for the films will mean any Allomancer can use atium. This, in turn, lets House Venture have access to the LR's atium as a "Control the city" last resort. They keep a task force of allomancers for this purpose--which Ham can join, in anticipation of being able to steal it once Shan accesses it. (They don't know that House Venture is only given about a hundred beads of atium, not access to the full mythical cache, which will be reserved for the third movie.)

Makes the worldbuilding and storytelling more elegant, I've found, in the film. And it fits better with more "modern" cosmere fundamentals as have developed over the last decade. I think I'd make this change even if we moved to a television show and long form.

The Lord Ruler is still the "big bad" but Shan and the Inquisitors both get a little more screen time. (Actually, about the same as in the books--it's just that other parts are being trimmed, making them more front-and-center.)

Phantine

Based on that, you're also streamlining away the Sign of Sixteen if it gets a sequel? To be honest, that didn't really work for me in the novel anyway.

Brandon Sanderson

It's one of my least favorite parts of the trilogy. It (along with Vin drawing upon the mists in book one) are big changes I'm hoping to make to fix weaker sections of the continuity.

General Reddit 2020 (June 22, 2020)
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Xais56

Brandon has said that everyone ought to be able to burn Atium, like they can all burn Lerasium, and the fact that they can't was an oversight on his part that he would've done different in hindsight.

Maybe now he's had an in-universe reason to re-write the laws of allomancy it's back to his intended concept; Mistborn burn all 16 base metals, mistings burn one base metal, non-allomancers can only burn godmetal.

Peter Ahlstrom

My explanation for this is that Preservation somehow caused all naturally occurring atium to form as an alloy of atium and electrum. The atium Mistings were actually electrum Mistings.

Xais56

It's a very tidy solution, but it creates the maddening question of what does pure atium do?

Peter Ahlstrom

That answer has already been revealed canonically. RAFO.

LewsTherinTelescope

Is this proper canon (or as close as out-of-book statements come), or more Peter the fan theorizing?

Peter Ahlstrom

I’m not totally sure Brandon is happy with this explanation.

General Reddit 2021 (Nov. 2, 2021)

Taking this WoB and WoP together (and I'm sure a few others I can't track down), we can see that Brandon thinks all god metals should have been burnable by anyone in the way Lerasium was. The fact that Atium could only be burned by Mistborn or Oracles was a result of Cosmere rules not yet being fully fleshed out yet, and might retroactively be explained by a Shard tinkering with things at the time. Likewise, we know that both Atium and Lerasium work as spikes (for  given value of 'work,' in the case of Lerasium) in hemalurgy, as does Trellium.

So since we can see that god metals can apparently freely interface with Ruin's metallic art, and they at least should freely interface with Preservation's, what's to prevent them from freely interfacing with their shared metallic art? What's to prevent someone with the right Intent from storing their youth in an atium nugget, then drawing it back out again later?

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Normally Unsealed implies that the metalmind is also Unkeyed, though I think with the godmetals as per this theory, y'all mean an Unsealed but not Unkeyed. Anyone can use them, but the stored attribute can only be tapped by the person who stored it.

But, could be very interesting though, if Atium minds were truly Unsealed, meaning if anyone stored age in one, anyone else could tap it.

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13 hours ago, Honorless said:

Normally Unsealed implies that the metalmind is also Unkeyed, though I think with the godmetals as per this theory, y'all mean an Unsealed but not Unkeyed. Anyone can use them, but the stored attribute can only be tapped by the person who stored it.

But, could be very interesting though, if Atium minds were truly Unsealed, meaning if anyone stored age in one, anyone else could tap it.

Correct, unsealed it its base state but becomes keyed to a person's identity like a normal metalmind. But the big thing here is, I think someone could use 'blank' pieces of god metal as metalminds without being a feruchemist, once they knew such a thing was possible.

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On 11/24/2021 at 3:05 PM, Cocoa said:

Correct, unsealed it its base state but becomes keyed to a person's identity like a normal metalmind. But the big thing here is, I think someone could use 'blank' pieces of god metal as metalminds without being a feruchemist, once they knew such a thing was possible.

so what you're saying is, once their perception is "oh, this is a pure godmetal, so I should be able to interact with it", they can make their own, keyed Atiummind without being an Atium Ferring.

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I don't think this is possible, for the simple fact that it would allow literally anyone to become immortal with atium. I think that the "anyone can use it" thing only exists for allomancy, not feruchemy.

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18 hours ago, Ookla the unintelligible said:

I don't think this is possible, for the simple fact that it would allow literally anyone to become immortal with atium. I think that the "anyone can use it" thing only exists for allomancy, not feruchemy.

I think most people here wouldn't consider that too overpowered when compared with Lerasium (which allows literally anyone to become an insanely powerful Mistborn), but there's a big issue with how many people keep misquoting this WoB:

Brandon has never said "all people" should be able to use Atium. Only "all allomancers." The relevant WoP shows that maybe Peter understands it to mean "all people," though the fact that he doesn't correct the questioner's presuppositions could just be an oversight. So, a twinborn could potentially become immortal with enough pure Atium, but not just any ferring (or even full feruchemist), let alone any random House Lord/ Robber Barron who can afford to buy it.

In any case, I think Brandon's making a mistake by trying to retcon this. Allomancy was created by Leras, so it makes sense that it would have a stronger connection with him (and his godmetal) than Atium. Atium also seems to have a shorter gestation time relative to other godmetals (especially Lerasium), so it makes sense if its effects are mildly less powerful (in the periodic table of godmetals, Lerasium would be something hyper-dense like uranium, whereas Atium could be closer to gold or iron).

The big issue with this retcon, however, comes down to worldbuilding. Mistborn become a lot less uniquely threatening in Scadrial if literally any single Pewterarm thug with Atium could stand toe to toe with them (admittedly with a disadvantage, since they can't burn tin/iron/steel/brass/zinc). It also doesn't actually solve the disparity between Lerasium (which anyone can burn) and Atium (which only allomancers can burn). A lot of the mystery in Hero of Ages gets erased without the sign of sixteen, and Leras loses all relevance (which is a bit awkward after his intervention at the Well of Ascension). 

It just seems like he isn't particularly proud of his old work in Mistborn, so he's going to George Lucas it into something "better."

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If atium was actually an alloy then we don’t know what an atium mind does do we?

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