Knight of Iron

The Lord Ruler was so powerful.... so why wasn't he?

24 posts in this topic

First note: It's been a little while since I've read the first Mistborn book.

I've been thinking about this for a little while now as I've been thinking of Compounding and how powerful it is to have practically infinite stores of all attributes (though the Lord Ruler apparently didn't know about others).

What I don't understand is how he was defeated. How did Vin have enough power to pull the bracers out of the Lord Ruler? How did the mists just give her enough power to Pull with such incredible strength to yank out such heavily invested metalminds?

What is "age" that atium stores, and why is it that without it, the Lord Ruler was helpless? Did he never store anything else? Could he not have tapped pewter, or gold, or steel, or even zinc?

And there are too many ways he could have just instantly killed Vin. I don't understand.

Thanks

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42 minutes ago, Knight of Iron said:

What I don't understand is how he was defeated. How did Vin have enough power to pull the bracers out of the Lord Ruler? How did the mists just give her enough power to Pull with such incredible strength to yank out such heavily invested metalminds?

 

The mists are Preservation, who is looking for someone to take the power and ascend. The times Vin uses the mists is when she doesn’t have the earring in, which is hemalurgic and of Ruin. The mists are the actual power of a Shard, while tLR's power is mostly just some very strong allomancy and feruchemy compounding at this point.

 

Age was so important for him to store because he was so old. Without compounding age he was too old for any human to continue living, which is why he aged incredibly quickly once the bracers were pulled away. He did store other things (probably anyways, I’m not sure if that's cannon. The other powers we see from him are purely allomantic) and we do see him using allomancy on Vin to Push on her.

Edited by Ghanderflaffle
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You are completely correct that if he took the fight seriously he could have ended Vin instantly. But he didn't take the fight seriously. He was so confident in his abilities and immortality that he didn't see a reason to really fight. Basically, imagine there's an ant walking across your floor and you try to crush it. You're not going to fight an ant like you fight a person, where you have to keep up your guard and anticipate what they're going to do and figure out the best way to strike back. Now imagine that ant in less than a second grew to human size and punched you in the stomach. You probably wouldn't be in a circumstance to anticipate and guard against that, even if you probably could have had you been expecting it. That's what happened with the Lord Ruler. A little nothing that was no threat to him became actually capable of hurting him for a brief moment while he was unprepared, and in the end only that moment mattered. The fact that if he had been prepared, and say been tapping speed, is ultimately pointless because he saw no need to do that just to deal with a simple mistborn.

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I have comment which seems minor, but is pretty important - the bracers store youth, not age. It being reversed matters.

If you could store age, it would be easy to live as long as you want - just keep storing your age to stay young. Then if you lose the bracers, then fine, you've lost the age you've stored, who cares, you didn't want it anyway. But the bracers store the reverse - youth. So to stay young, the Lord Ruler has to constantly compound Atium to generate more youth, store it in his bracers, and then tap it. Since he was over 1000 years old at that point, he constantly has to compound, store, and tap A LOT of youth, and if he ever *stops* doing that, he'd quickly start catching up to his actual age. No amount of pewter can keep a 1000-year-old man alive!

 

As to why Vin could have enough power to push even super-invested bracers - when she wasn't wearing the earring, she could directly use the power of the mists, Preservation's investiture directly. That was pretty powerful.

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7 hours ago, Ghanderflaffle said:

Age was so important for him to store because he was so old. Without compounding age he was too old for any human to continue living, which is why he aged incredibly quickly once the bracers were pulled away. He did store other things (probably anyways, I’m not sure if that's cannon. The other powers we see from him are purely allomantic) and we do see him using allomancy on Vin to Push on her.

There's no rule in life that says how many years you have been alive means you should be dead. It's just that old age leads to the human body breaking down and getting deadly disease. "Old age" is not a cause of death. So another thing I'm wondering is what exactly is atium storing. Does it store the healing potential of your body, which is a major factor of old age? Does it also store how strong/weak your bones are, and how wrinkly your skin is? Wrinkly skin is due to decreased production of natural oils in your body, so the body's healing potential could be it.

10 minutes ago, ftl said:

I have comment which seems minor, but is pretty important - the bracers store youth, not age. It being reversed matters.

This would make sense with what I have said, that "youth" that atium stores is actually the healing potential of the body, including increased productions of natural oils and immune system cells and such.

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37 minutes ago, Knight of Iron said:

There's no rule in life that says how many years you have been alive means you should be dead. It's just that old age leads to the human body breaking down and getting deadly disease. "Old age" is not a cause of death. So another thing I'm wondering is what exactly is atium storing. Does it store the healing potential of your body, which is a major factor of old age? Does it also store how strong/weak your bones are, and how wrinkly your skin is? Wrinkly skin is due to decreased production of natural oils in your body, so the body's healing potential could be it.

Why couldn't it just store age? It's magic, after all.

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5 minutes ago, Nameless said:

Why couldn't it just store age? It's magic, after all.

Age is 

Edited by Knight of Iron
accidentally pressed enter :/ one sec
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Just now, Knight of Iron said:

Age is 

Age is what?

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46 minutes ago, Knight of Iron said:

There's no rule in life that says how many years you have been alive means you should be dead. It's just that old age leads to the human body breaking down and getting deadly disease. "Old age" is not a cause of death. So another thing I'm wondering is what exactly is atium storing. Does it store the healing potential of your body, which is a major factor of old age? Does it also store how strong/weak your bones are, and how wrinkly your skin is? Wrinkly skin is due to decreased production of natural oils in your body, so the body's healing potential could be it.

This would make sense with what I have said, that "youth" that atium stores is actually the healing potential of the body, including increased productions of natural oils and immune system cells and such.

I can find the exact textual explanation in a few hours.

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Just now, Nameless said:

Age is what?

Let me try that again, I accidentally sent it.

Age is "the length of time that a person has lived or a thing has existed." The Lord Ruler has existed for 1000 years. If he was actually storing age, then that would be to say that he didn't exist for 980 years or whatever. This is what I mean, what is actually being stored. 

But I do see perhaps a simpler way to look at it, storing time's effects on your body. That makes the most sense to me, now.

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Health and youthfulness do seem to be separate attributes in the Cosmere, rather than one being a component/product of the other.

And, yeah, Vin was able to beat the Lord Ruler because what she did to beat him (drawing in the mists to power herself up and Pull off his atium bracers) was, as far as he knew, impossible, so he never thought to defend against it.

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3 hours ago, Knight of Iron said:

There's no rule in life that says how many years you have been alive means you should be dead. It's just that old age leads to the human body breaking down and getting deadly disease. "Old age" is not a cause of death. So another thing I'm wondering is what exactly is atium storing. Does it store the healing potential of your body, which is a major factor of old age? Does it also store how strong/weak your bones are, and how wrinkly your skin is? Wrinkly skin is due to decreased production of natural oils in your body, so the body's healing potential could be it.

This would make sense with what I have said, that "youth" that atium stores is actually the healing potential of the body, including increased productions of natural oils and immune system cells and such.

He was still alive until she stabbed him...

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12 minutes ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

He was still alive until she stabbed him...

Yes. I was responding to a statement I partially misunderstood, “Without compounding age he was too old for any human to continue living.”

He still could live forever if he could circumnavigate the diseases and weaknesses of the mortal body, and he obviously didn’t instantly get heart disease when his bracers were pulled out.

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4 hours ago, ftl said:

I have comment which seems minor, but is pretty important - the bracers store youth, not age. It being reversed matters.

If you could store age, it would be easy to live as long as you want - just keep storing your age to stay young. Then if you lose the bracers, then fine, you've lost the age you've stored, who cares, you didn't want it anyway. But the bracers store the reverse - youth. So to stay young, the Lord Ruler has to constantly compound Atium to generate more youth, store it in his bracers, and then tap it. Since he was over 1000 years old at that point, he constantly has to compound, store, and tap A LOT of youth, and if he ever *stops* doing that, he'd quickly start catching up to his actual age. No amount of pewter can keep a 1000-year-old man alive!

 

As to why Vin could have enough power to push even super-invested bracers - when she wasn't wearing the earring, she could directly use the power of the mists, Preservation's investiture directly. That was pretty powerful.

We're actually not sure how invested his Atium bracers would be. Unlike the other metals, he does have a slight difficulty getting a constant supply. The bands could've been difficult to push, but not impossible. They could've been half full. Doesn't change much, but I prefer that not being assisted by god. It's the fact they were in his skin that was the impressive feat.

 

1 hour ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

He was still alive until she stabbed him...

 

1 hour ago, Knight of Iron said:

Yes. I was responding to a statement I partially misunderstood, “Without compounding age he was too old for any human to continue living.”

He still could live forever if he could circumnavigate the diseases and weaknesses of the mortal body, and he obviously didn’t instantly get heart disease when his bracers were pulled out.

That potentially what he was doing. he still had all his other metal minds on him; he could've been tapping health and other attributes to keep him alive a bit longer. Once they ran out, he would've probably died from his body being too weak to support him, the heart can get too weak to pump blood even without heart disease

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Atium just stores youth. That's all it's explained as. TLR is thousands of years old, which led to his body trying to catch up to that age when he loses the metalminds. A normal person could never live that long, therefore his body had given out on him. (That and Vin stabbed him through the chest with a spear)

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This might be a separate topic, but this thread reminded me of how underwhelmed I felt about the Lord Ruler on my first read of TFE. It wasn't until going through it again after seeing the impact of his death, the way he was still worshipped, and how difficult it was to defeat Miles that it really came into perspective just how powerful Rashek was.The casual way Kel approached the plan for defeating him, the way a crew of criminals went along with it, and the fact that Elend and his friends believed they could apply pressure on him by presenting a united front made it seem like the Lord Ruler was a challenge, but manageable. It wasn't until the climax that he seemed godlike. Then he died,  which lessened the impact.

I really wish we had gotten a show of his power much sooner just to heighten the stakes. Like maybe instead of that plantation segment, we could have gotten one of those impressive healing moments he used to stay alive. Or maybe he could have been the one doing the killing during the fountain scene. Something to raise the stakes.

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18 minutes ago, Winter Wolf said:

I really wish we had gotten a show of his power much sooner just to heighten the stakes. Like maybe instead of that plantation segment, we could have gotten one of those impressive healing moments he used to stay alive. Or maybe he could have been the one doing the killing during the fountain scene. Something to raise the stakes.

I agree i would love a more 'all-out' Rashek. Doesn't even need to be in TFE, just a scene during the first century of his decimating an army would be GREAT.

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4 hours ago, Winter Wolf said:

This might be a separate topic, but this thread reminded me of how underwhelmed I felt about the Lord Ruler on my first read of TFE. It wasn't until going through it again after seeing the impact of his death, the way he was still worshipped, and how difficult it was to defeat Miles that it really came into perspective just how powerful Rashek was.The casual way Kel approached the plan for defeating him, the way a crew of criminals went along with it, and the fact that Elend and his friends believed they could apply pressure on him by presenting a united front made it seem like the Lord Ruler was a challenge, but manageable. It wasn't until the climax that he seemed godlike. Then he died,  which lessened the impact.

I really wish we had gotten a show of his power much sooner just to heighten the stakes. Like maybe instead of that plantation segment, we could have gotten one of those impressive healing moments he used to stay alive. Or maybe he could have been the one doing the killing during the fountain scene. Something to raise the stakes.

 

4 hours ago, Aspiring Writer said:

I agree i would love a more 'all-out' Rashek. Doesn't even need to be in TFE, just a scene during the first century of his decimating an army would be GREAT.

One of the important plot elements is that Rashek has grown complacent and lazy. If he was the kind of man who would act, then the characters would never have had a chance.

I also suspect Brandon wants to keep the Fullborn going full out thing for Era 3. And I further suspect that Fullborn are so badly overpowered that they have to limit how much of their powers they use on a regular basis.

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5 hours ago, Aspiring Writer said:

I agree i would love a more 'all-out' Rashek. Doesn't even need to be in TFE, just a scene during the first century of his decimating an army would be GREAT.

I would love to see it too. A Rashek prequel novel would be amazing. It would also give further context to things Brandon has mentioned about him. Like the whole children issue.

But I was specifying TFE because I never felt the main crew was in that much danger since they were treating the mission so matter of factly. If we had gotten a prologue chapter from the POV of someone Rashek was conquering during his first century, that would have created a level of dread for what the characters were getting themselves into. 

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3 minutes ago, Winter Wolf said:

I would love to see it too. A Rashek prequel novel would be amazing. It would also give further context to things Brandon has mentioned about him. Like the whole children issue.

But I was specifying TFE because I never felt the main crew was in that much danger since they were treating the mission so matter of factly. If we had gotten a prologue chapter from the POV of someone Rashek was conquering during his first century, that would have created a level of dread for what the characters were getting themselves into. 

Agreed. There should’ve been a “Show, don’t tell” about the power of the LR

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2 hours ago, Knight of Iron said:

Agreed. There should’ve been a “Show, don’t tell” about the power of the LR

I have a sneaking suspicion that Brandon is saving the show for Era 3.

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Even if he's saving that for future books, the issue in TFE remains imo. Though I wasn't suggesting that Rashek should have necessarily displayed the full force of his power or even more power than he did during the climax. I just feel that he should have been shown to the readers as exceptionally dangerous long before the day he died. Mentions of it weren't enough.

3 hours ago, Knight of Iron said:

Agreed. There should’ve been a “Show, don’t tell” about the power of the LR

Exactly. Telling us what he survived wasn't enough, especially since the characters themselves never witnessed it. 

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1 hour ago, Winter Wolf said:

Even if he's saving that for future books, the issue in TFE remains imo. Though I wasn't suggesting that Rashek should have necessarily displayed the full force of his power or even more power than he did during the climax. I just feel that he should have been shown to the readers as exceptionally dangerous long before the day he died. Mentions of it weren't enough.

Exactly. Telling us what he survived wasn't enough, especially since the characters themselves never witnessed it. 

I think TLR himself was never really the real enemy of the book though. The enemy was the empire itself and the system it enforced. THAT was what Kelsier’s death was for - to free the Skaa from their society’s shackles. To give them a reason to rise up. Killing TLR was just the icing on the cake that was destroying the empire.

And if you view the empire as the enemy, its power is quite evident.

Edited by Kingsdaughter613
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Rashek is the empire and the empire couldn't be destroyed without destroying him. He's the one insisting on keeping the skaa down. Even if we take the agents of the empire into account, Kelsier distracts and loses the inquisitors twice before killing one while a barely trained Vin is rescued from another when Sazed hits one with a rock. They aren't as menacing as they could be even though we'retold that they are.

For me, the whole mission felt like it was perfectly achievable and then it was achieved. That's just my perspective. I just felt that the stakes weren't depicted as high enough. But again JMO :)

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