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Where does Marasi go from here? [Bands spoilers]


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Time for some good ol' fashioned character arc discussion.
I. Marasi the Visionary
Of all of Era 2's main good guys (Wax, Wayne, Marasi, Steris, MeLaan), Marasi is the most forward-looking, most likely to see the big picture and think long-term, most accepting (or even desirous) of change. This is especially apparent when comparing her with her one-time idol, Wax, which she conveniently does for us herself:

Waxillium sought justice. He had an open heart—he’d spared Wayne’s life all those years ago, after all—but in the end, he sought to uphold the law. That was shortsighted. Marasi wanted to create a world where law enforcement wouldn’t be needed.

Wax himself reflects on multiple occasions that he feels old-fashioned, a relic. In fact, in one of these reflections, he also compares himself and Marasi:

Marasi is always talking about things like that, he thought. How the lawkeeping of the future will be about statistics, not shotguns. He tried to imagine a world where murders were prevented by careful civic planning, and found himself unable to see it. People would always kill.

Even though Wax doesn't fully buy Marasi's idea, I think on some level he knows that his favorite way of improving the world, hunting down criminals one by one and administering justice with his own hand, is increasingly ineffective in modern Scadrial. I consider it his central character conflict, more important even than his grief over Lessie (both times). Tillaume, despite his eventual betrayal, had a good point when he tried to impress upon Wax the true importance of his duties as House Lord. Wax admits as much to himself later when praying, and even recognizes his own tendency to underestimate how important these things are:

The butler was right; many did rely on him. [...] The problem was, it was hard for Waxillium to feel like he was doing anything useful. Luncheons and ledgers, contracts and negotiations. He knew, logically, that all of it was important. But those, even his vote on the Senate, were all abstractions. No match for seeing a murderer jailed or a kidnapped child rescued.

As of Bands, not much has changed. Wax still has a need to be personally involved. It even leads to a short argument in New Seran when Marasi recognizes that Wax's obsession with Suit is at least partly due to pride, and calls him on his pettiness. I wouldn't go so far as to say Wax enjoys violence itself, but on some level he exults in the challenge, the hunt, the face-to-face confrontation. In this, Marasi is Wax's opposite. She has no problem improving the world through impersonal, abstract means; in fact, she prefers it, because it is more effective, even if it is not as flashy and obviously heroic as Wax's approach. This is evident from when she explained "broken windows theory" to Wax in Alloy, and even moreso from her thoughts when she does get personally involved:

A year and a half working with Waxillium hadn't made killing any easier. It was unnerving, and it was such a waste! If you had to shoot a man, society had already failed.

Wax's tendency to focus on dramatic outliers is also demonstrated by his attitude toward the Village. When he realizes that even a seemingly idyllic community cannot completely prevent violent crime, it causes him to question everything about that community:

What was the purpose, then, of everything they taught in here? If it couldn’t prevent men from acting like monsters?

Had Marasi been in his place, she probably would have focused on how to apply the principles of the Village to the rest of Elendel, using the big picture to effect change for the better. This is also apparent when she comes up with the idea to interview Kandra so as to learn from history.
She is also frequently the questioner of conventional wisdom, such as in Alloy when she points out that Elendel is actually more dangerous, statistically, than the Roughs, or when she informs characters (Wax included) that rough interrogation is actually very ineffective. In Shadows, she's the one who gets Aradel to see that acting against Governer Innate is justified. 
Interestingly, Marasi's visonary mindset is something she has in common with the Set—not that she'd ever condone their means of advancing society, or even agree with their definition of societal progress. Still, of the main five, she's the most likely to agree that sometimes greater societal good requires unpleasant things. The first quote in this post, where she thinks about creating a world where law enforcement wouldn't be needed, comes right on the heels of her considering that without the death of innocents, there would be no kandra, and that the Lord Ruler, despite his tyranny, was also (she thinks) responsible for saving all the southern Scadrians.
Last but not least, she is the one to connect the dots between Paalm's mystery spike and Trell, and take it upon herself to find out as much as possible about Trell.
Honestly, part of me considers Marasi's big-picture style of thinking so self-evident that I needn't have made such a case for it. But I don't think I've seen in brought up before, and it's not under the "Personality" section of her coppermind article, so there you go.
II. To Be Underestimated
I have adored Steris since her first appearance, and Bands has brought the fandom's appreciation of her to an all-time high. Thus it is ironic that for the first time in the series, I find Marasi's position in the story more compelling that Steris's. Though I suspect many will disagree, I would say that right now, Marasi is the most underestimated of the main five (both by readers and the other characters).
This is not to say the other character's don't value her; of course they do. Steris even rates her usefulness above Wayne's. Wayne himself readily admits that Marasi's straightforward method of acquiring the bank records in New Seran was a good idea. And Wax, of course, not only values her detective skills and marksmanship, he personally helps her find ways to use her Pulser ability (notably, he is the one who first realizes the potential of combining it with the "allomantic grenade").
But none of these things, not even her allomancy, are really Marasi's biggest asset. They are her skills; they are not her. They are not what makes her tick. What really defines Marasi is everything I mentioned in section one. She wants to change the world at the roots, and not with flashy, glamorous heroics, but with ideas—ideas that seem pretty dry to most people despite being practical—or maybe even because they are so practical. This is her true passion, and it is the aspect of her that her closest companions value the least.
III. Dreams

In that moment, she was the Ascendant Warrior. She held the fullness of what Waxillium had barely tasted his whole life. She could be him, eclipse him. She could bring justice to entire peoples. Holding it all within her, having it and measuring it, she finally admitted the truth to herself.

This isn’t what I want.

She would not let her childhood dreams hold sway over her any longer.

So what does Marasi want, and where does she go from here?
Of all the main characters, Marasi got the most ambiguous ending in Bands. Wax came to understand Harmony's role in Lessie's death, and is now happily married to Steris. Steris herself really came into her own in finding ways to user her skillset on these crazy adventures. Wayne moved on from Ranette, got over his gun complex at least a little bit, and has a budding relationship with MeLaan.
And Marasi? Well, she spent the entire book seemingly annoyed by or unable to relate to her companions, and the final scene showed her back where Shadows left off, doing solo research on Trell, determined, but still feeling very in the dark.

She'd grown up reading stories of the Roughs, of lawmen and villains. She'd dreamed of six-guns and stagecoaches.

This quote comes from a passage where Marasi is reflecting on how thrilling it is to be a constable. These are the childhood dreams that I believe the opening quote of this section are referring to. I'm not sure if Marasi will leave the constabulary for something else; it's possible, but since she's not actually a field constable and her current position gives her plenty of access to data she can analyze for trends, it's at least equally possible that she simply means she will avoid running around with Wax and focus on office work. It's pretty much a guarantee that Wax, Wayne, and Steris will be gallivanting off on some adventure in The Lost Metal, but I think this time Marasi might not go with them, or might do so only reluctantly, after being persuaded or given an exceptional reason.

There was a darkness to these men that the stories hadn’t conveyed. Marasi was glad for it, but she had stepped to that ledge, then turned back. Proud though she was of having fulfilled her mission for the kandra, she had decided that things would be different for her in the future.

I fully expect her research on Trell to be crucial, but I think she will probably serve a bigger role than that. Unfortunately, the above quote, the most definitive thought she has about her future plans, leaves open the possibility of just about anything.
The most likely thing I can come up with right now is that she might be dealing heavily with the southern Scadrians, an ambassador of sorts. This is mainly based on her rapport with Allik, her fascination with other societies, and her tendency to see the big picture. But ultimately, this is just a tentative hunch.
In any case, Marasi was important enough to come up in Harmony's conversation with Wax:

"Do be less harsh with Marasi Colms. You aren't my only agent in the affairs of men; I worked quite hard to maneuver Marasi into a position where she could do good in this city."

I highly doubt that refers to her job as a constable, or even briefly weilding the Bands. I think something enormous is in store for Marasi in The Lost Metal, and right now that's the part of the book I am most looking forward to.

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I would not be surprised if Marasi is the first character to join one of the world hopping organizations "on screen". Based on everything outlined above I think it will fit her character arc quite nicely if she became a world hopper.


I second this idea. Marasi is capable of handling "big" stuff; e.g. worldhopping. Her keen intellect and diverse skillset would definitely be welcome in one of the worldhopping organizations I am sure.

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I would not be surprised if Marasi is the first character to join one of the world hopping organizations "on screen". Based on everything outlined above I think it will fit her character arc quite nicely if she became a world hopper.


This is a GREAT idea and now I hope it happens.


I could also see her being "taken in" by Trell and (at least for a while) becoming an antagonist.  She has been well setup for it IMO


I think for this to happen there would have to be some big reveal where it turns out the Set/Trellists have much more sympathetic motives than it has seemed so far. Even with a rift developing between her and the other main characters, I think their callousness and apparent lust for power would repel her far more than their big-picture planning would attract her.


Edit: That said, I could see her deciding that whatever Wax is up to in TLM is not the right way to do things, that he's going too far or something, making more trouble than he's solving, and thus being an antagonist that way.

Edited by Jess
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