Johnny Boy

Mistborn Chapter Headings

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Posted (edited)

Hey, everyone! I was just wondering if anyone knows if there's any significance in the chapter headings in Mistborn(the series). The metal symbols don't seem to correlate with anything going on in the chapter and the later chapters all have duralumin. 

Edited by Johnny Boy
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I believe they are used numerically to represent the chapter numbers.

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Posted (edited)

@18th Shard is correct. 
 

if you go look at the ars arcanum, the symbols are meant for both the metals and numbers

 

take chapter 18 of AoL for example

it has the symbol for Duralumin and the symbol for steel.

duralumin is the 16th metal listed on the Ars Arcanum and Steel is the Second.

16+2=18

 

 

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Edited by Eternal Khol
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1 hour ago, 18th Shard said:

I believe they are used numerically to represent the chapter numbers.

Ah, that's it. Thanks!

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Posted (edited)

The symbols of the steel alphabet represent metals, numbers, letters, and cardinal directions. In the era 2 books, it seems to be a very structured numbering system based on 17 symbols. 1-16 each represented by a symbol, with numbers greater than 16 represented by the 16 symbol and then a second symbol for the number being added to it. If you look at the dates on the newspapers, it gets even more complex because once you get past 16+16, you add a symbol before the 16 to show how many 16s there have been also. The 17th symbol seems to represent 0, but doesn't get incorporated into building larger numbers.

In era 1 books, it's a bit different. In my copies of The Final Empire (both the original and the 10th anniversary Dragonsteel), there are, besides the symbol for 0 in the prologue, which isn't repeated, 23 symbols, which get cycled through and then repeat starting on chapter 24. They are in a similar, but not-quite-the-same, order to the known numerical order the symbols are used in in era 2. So I'm not sure if they're intended as a direct numbering system there, or if they're just cycling through all the symbols they created.

Edited by datalaughing
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