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Significance of Steelhearts Ability To Turn Objects To Steel, Why?

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Now I have not read Steelheart since November but since I recruited a friend into Brandon's works (he started with Steelheart) I have been thinking a lot about the story and I was wondering about this power of Steelheart's. He can turn objects to steel and he turned the whole city to steel. What is the point of this power? Steelheart is super strong, fast, durable, OP, basically he is an evil version of Clark Kent aka Superman. He can do all of those things and look, he can also turn things to steel. Is it just me or does that power seem really random and pointless? Does it seem to really not fit in with Steelheart's other powers? Does it seem pointless to the story? Why would Brandon just put this detail into the story? This whole concept seems meaningless but this leads to my theory. I believe that Steelheart's ability to change things to steel will serve a great purpose in the two sequels, specifically Calamity the final book. I believe this detail actually will be very significant to the storyline because why else would Brandon just come up with the idea of this antagonist turning everything into steel? I don't know why he would do this although my guess is that perhaps he wasn't yet 100% evil when he did this (and similar to Lord Ruler from Mistborn, he knew something other people didn't). I think in his last moment of decency he turned the city to steel knowing it somehow would do something good or help protect something. Overall I do think Newcago being steel will have significance because it seems so random if it was just turned to steel for no reason. If I am correct, as I said my guess as to why Steelheart did this was some secret final good intention before he succumbed to corruption. Since I have not read Steelheart in a bit, please let me know if there are things I missed and it is explained why Steelheart made Newcago into steel.

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Nah it's because he wanted to make Newcago very very Coinshot-friendly.

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I think he did it to Demonstrate his Power.

 

Can you Imagine Vin Duralumin Pushing in Newcage? Allomancy Nuke!

Edited by The Only Joe
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Does that not seem random? Brandon could have literally made him do anything to demonstrate his power and he just landed on turning things to steel? I feel that there was some deeper purpose to it. It just seems very odd that Brandon while imagining this just thinks "okay so I'll give him super strength, speed and make him fly, oh yeah I'll also give him an ability to turn things to steel!" For something described so often it would seem odd for this detail to merely just be a detail.

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Its mostly that it would have been really impractical to turn the city into cheese.

 

 

On a sidenote, wonder how deep down he turned everything to steel, and given the size of that steelblock... I wonder if thats gonna play havoc with plate tectonics once theyv had a few centuries to buildup pressure... looots of earthshakes later on?

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Why turn the city to anything?

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I think Steelheart had that power because it would make for an awesome setting.

 

OK, so it's a bit meta, but that's how a lot of author's work.

 

That said, he may well work it into the rest of his Steelheart metaphysics.

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I think Steelheart had that power because it would make for an awesome setting.

 

OK, so it's a bit meta, but that's how a lot of author's work.

 

That said, he may well work it into the rest of his Steelheart metaphysics.

 

That's probably the reason. It doesn't really matter much beyond the setting being made out of steel. Though it did help show one of the rules of the setting, which is that Epic powers have funny interactions with organic and especially living material. Steelheart can't transmute living people into steel.

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Its mostly that it would have been really impractical to turn the city into cheese.

 

 

But…but…but then the Sears Tower could have become the Leaning Tower of Cheese-a! 

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All epics have their quirks, as David points out, no two epics have the exact same profile. Randomness seems to be built into the system.

 

On another note - during the Great Transfersion weren't all the objects that were touching fused together? So for the most part the entire city is one single, massively complicated, piece of metal? If so then if an Allomancer were to push or pull on any part of it would they not be pushing towards/away from wherever the centre of the city is?

If you were inside a room and burned your metals wouldn't you see only one colossal blue line leading to the centre of the city's gravity? If a piece were to break off it would register separately but possibly the massive blue line would overwhelm the sense of smaller ones.

 

Similarly would a Feruchemist be able to walk through the city barefoot and use it as a metal mind that can be filled or tapped from anywhere?

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That could get tiresome, though, as it's Steel - so to run on it, you would either need to shuffle, crawl, or speedwalk. On the other hand, I'm imagining a blur of speedwalking death moving at the speed of thought around Newcago. The oscillations of their hips create high-frequency soundwaves.

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All epics have their quirks, as David points out, no two epics have the exact same profile. Randomness seems to be built into the system.

 

On another note - during the Great Transfersion weren't all the objects that were touching fused together? So for the most part the entire city is one single, massively complicated, piece of metal? If so then if an Allomancer were to push or pull on any part of it would they not be pushing towards/away from wherever the centre of the city is?

If you were inside a room and burned your metals wouldn't you see only one colossal blue line leading to the centre of the city's gravity? If a piece were to break off it would register separately but possibly the massive blue line would overwhelm the sense of smaller ones.

 

Similarly would a Feruchemist be able to walk through the city barefoot and use it as a metal mind that can be filled or tapped from anywhere?

I think you can push on different parts of an object. Isn't that how Kelsier did his windmill trick during the TLR fight? (I could be wrong, though, since I haven't reread Mistborn in forever). But there would be only one giant blue line. As for Feruchemy, Swimmingly does have a point on the traction. You'd need some kind of strange shoe to run, where most of it is treads for grip and a bit is exposed to the ground. Of course, you'd only be able to tap intermittently as you push off the ground, which might look very strange.
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I had thought of the windmill trick but it did also say earlier that you can only push and pull on an object's centre of gravity. I'm not sure whether to judge this as a flub on Brandon's part (justified by rule of cool) or a misunderstanding on mine. The way I understand it though is that any piece of metal has just one blue line leading to it's centre of gravity. To be able to flip a metal bar there would have to be separate sections on either end to push and pull upon, the bars he used were ripped out of a cage (i think) so would have just been one simple piece with one line at it's centre.

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The way I understand it is that any object has a single blue line, but you can push or pull different parts of an object if you're skilled.

 

I also believe the steel-transmuting power was only because sanderson wanted to set the book into a city carved into steel like swiss cheese. and epic power was the most convenient way to turn a city to steel. If I understand correctly his writing mechanism, he first think of what would make a good story, and then seeks a way to make it happen.

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I need a flowchart with this:

What is awesome? -> WRITE IT -> What awesome does it make? -> WRITE IT

Warning: Do not overuse. May cause Michael Bayitis.

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Hmm.. possible things to turn a city into:

  • Cheese
  • Butter
  • Rainbow-trippy colored
  • Chocolate
  • Cake
  • Ice-cream
  • Panda bones

Compared to these things, I think steel sounds more awesome and intimidating (except for panda bones).

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I'm just imagining streets lined with vaguely disapproving skulls.

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Hmm.. possible things to turn a city into:

  • Cheese
  • Butter
  • Rainbow-trippy colored
  • Chocolate
  • Cake
  • Ice-cream
  • Panda bones

Compared to these things, I think steel sounds more awesome and intimidating (except for panda bones).

 

I think the cake one will make it into another short story….where the Reckoners enter a city ruled by an Epic who is also four.

 

(Note to Sanderson: You can use that idea. It's yours now.) 

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I think the cake one will make it into another short story….where the Reckoners enter a city ruled by an Epic who is also four.

He already did that in Elantris ;)

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He already did that in Elantris ;)

 

Yet another sign I need to get caught up on my Sanderson reading. :/

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I got the impression that he turned things to steel when he lost his temper, or cool, not something he consciously controlled. But it's been a while so I could be wrong.

But I agree it seems to be just another weird quirk that comes with being an Epic. And also has the added effect of creating an interesting setting and plot device.

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I wonder if it wasn't foreshadowing. Tia said that gifters were rare, but as we see with Prof and Conflux, gifters are the only Epics who can "use" their powers without any negative effects. Maybe Steelheart's ability to turn things into steel was a hint that he had some form of transference ability, that could have been turned into a gifting ability with training or whatnot. Maybe there are more gifters than previously thought? 

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Isn't just as simple as Steelheart is a kind of anti-superman, and superman was called the Man of Steel. Steelheart wasn't Steel, but could make just about anything the material.

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I wonder if it wasn't foreshadowing. Tia said that gifters were rare, but as we see with Prof and Conflux, gifters are the only Epics who can "use" their powers without any negative effects. Maybe Steelheart's ability to turn things into steel was a hint that he had some form of transference ability, that could have been turned into a gifting ability with training or whatnot. Maybe there are more gifters than previously thought? 

There are always negative effects of epics powers (at least what we have seen so far). Prof has said he has to spread out the gifting, otherwise what happens to him (going "bad" per say) would happen to the person he is giving the power to. 

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There are always negative effects of epics powers (at least what we have seen so far). Prof has said he has to spread out the gifting, otherwise what happens to him (going "bad" per say) would happen to the person he is giving the power to. 

True, but it's still a way out of the "always chaotic evil" clause that seems to come with Epic powers. 

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