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Really dumb, basic newbie question after reading again.


Shahrizai

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I just read Mistborn again start to finish. 

 

One thing I keep thinking about is this: was the Lord Ruler such a cremhole (executing skaa publicly, including women and children) due to Ruin's influence on him? It feels like the end of the series really tries to justify a lot fo what he did and how he ruled/governed, and the general consensus seems to be "Well, he might actually have been kind of a good guy after all." But we know he's not/wasn't. 

Edited by Shahrizai
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Yeah... For all the good he did trying to keep the world alive, I really don't see how any of it would require such brutality, or even slavery at all. I think the characters go a bit easy on him because the world is ending, and they realize he had prepared for something like that to happen. Compared to saving the world from destruction, random executions aren't that bad. Still, I think they're too kind. He WAS a cremhole.

 

I think part of it was his own personality - he does seem pretty aggressive in Alendi's descriptions. But it's also implied (maybe even explicitly stated? Pretty sure there's a WoB at least) that at least some of his skin-piercing metalminds were hemalurgic spikes. Not sure how much he actually knew about what Ruin was doing to him.

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Yeah I have to agree that the Lord Ruler was a jerk. He went way too far. As powerful as he was he didn't need treat the skaa as he did. He also didn't need to treat the terris as he did because he could have just avoided handing out the lerasium beads and got people to join him because of his awesome power. This would have prevented another fullborn from being made as there wouldn't be any mistborn.

Edited by Hemalurgist
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Yeah I have to agree that the Lord Ruler was a jerk. He went way too far. As powerful as he was he didn't need treat the skaa as he did. He also didn't need to treat the terris as he did because he could have just avoided handing out the lerasium beads and got people to join him because of his awesome power. This would have prevented another fullborn from being made as there wouldn't be any mistborn.

He needed allomancers to exist to create Inquisitors with, in the end, and to provide a crushing advantage against the rest of the world.

He went too far, yes, but the reasoning is sound.

Edited by natc
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If he had even one hemalurgic spike, some leniency may be in order, and I've also seen a WoB somewhere saying he did. Let's see you go a thousand years with satan yammering in your ears day and night nonstop. TLR actually stopped sleeping at all because of it, I believe I saw this in the same WoB. So, 1000 years, no sleep, Ruin chatting you up day and night. Frankly, it's amazing he did as well as he had. He should by no means be forgiven, but with context, he should be understood.

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Well, he had to stop sleeping eventually regardless in hindsight, since I don't think one can tap or store while unconscious?

You can't store, but it might be like allomancy where you can tap to keep yourself alive even when unconscious.

As for the OP he did have a spike and Ruin did whisper to him a lot but I think it's still largely his personality that caused things to happen as they did. Koloss, Kandra and Inquisitors were all made and discovered when he was using the Well, before he was spiked, so the hints of it at least are certainly there.

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But wasn't he also fiercely racist regarding Alendi's people? Felt his own Terris people were the superior race and should be the ones ruling? Regardless what he did while in power, the person to begin with was not a nice man long before Ruin started whispering. 

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It's pretty clear he was a cremhole. A jerkface. An angry, bitter, racist punk who got a ton of power dumped in his lap.

For all that, he wasn't completely evil: he didn't want the world to end, and he wanted to keep humanity alive. So go him? 

 

And it's true he had Ruin in his head forever and a day. But that doesn't forgive his actions, up to and including spiking himself in the first place. 

 

Did he want the world to end? No. Did he do things in order to protect humanity? Sure. Does that excuse the unimaginable pile of evil he heaped on the world? Nope. Not at all. 

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Rashek was a jerk and other "not nice" things..but in the end this was meaningless.

 

In my own opinion also the "Ruin's Infuence" was a minor factor.

 

He build a system (the final empire) with the goal to fix his own mess and keep Ruin in the Well.

His own plan was quite all about control, He can't allow any exception:

- He needed ally and then loyal servant (he have to spread Allomancy and begin to use Hemalurgy) because also if he was such powerful, he was only a being and TFE is a large place.

- He after spreading the Allomancy, he can't allow that someone gain power similar to his own... The bloodline have to keep separated, he can't trust the words of some terris or nobles and therefore we have the Terris camp.

- The Skaa of course was needed...you can't make a system like TFE go without a low class (if everybody is a rich man, nobody is a rich man).

- Of course the further spreading of Allomancy was forbidden but Rashek can't simply trust the nobles with many pretty Skaa women and therefore every potential hybridation have to be killed to prior.....punishment ? death to both parents and the son.

- Many of the trouble of the Skaa popolation was made by the nobles itself, Rashek didn't care much of them (if there aren't problems).

- Rashek didn't consider the Nobles much more valuable than the Ska, He manage to left them kill each others just to not be a problem to him....Probably to Rashek the Nobles was just the same of the Terris camp, Allomancer factory (but without the Nobles knowledge).

- Rashek played a game 1000 years long, knowing that everyone he saw may be spiked and part of the Ruin's plan....With the doubt, every possible menace or "strange element" have to be removed/killed.... beacusa to Ruin without the ability to control directly people is very hard to remake a Spike and spike someone else.

 

In the end, Rashek was a jerk but I don't think he does what he does because of it. Probably other "better" people would take the same path of him.

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To add to what Yata said about nobles and skaa, I felt like I should give my two clips regarding the treatment of Terrismen in the Empire.

1)*Rambling alert*. You have been warned

The Lord Ruler Rashek sees his own race, especially the feruchemist population it once had, as the dominant people of the world. Now that's just racist obviously, I can't condone that, but imagine realizing in that transcendent moment of godhood that your beloved people are the single largest threat to your survival, and therefore the survival of the world itself? That you had no choice but to turn those people into formless monsters, and essentially subjugating the rest into slaves?

It must have been out of necessity that he did so; he sounded like the type who would want nothing more than for the Terris to dominate the world in all their glory. But he needed allies in his conquest, and all he had to offer to people was lerasium: allomancy. He cannot grant that leverage to the Terris. Out of obligation to the world he destroyed the very bloodline he held above all others with his own hands. And yet he insisted to the end to spare their lives as much as possible, even knowing (as Inquisitors with Bloodmaker spikes show) that feruchemy is actually still thriving. .

To save the world he became the very monster he always hated, like the Khlenni he rather prejudicially generalized together (Alendi was a decent guy okay?). Can you honestly say, at this point, that Rashek was acting out of anything less than what he felt was right?

Keeping the Terris people alive was actually biggest risk he ever allowed in his theocracy, I would say. Unexpectedly, what came of it was the Hero of Ages himself being born to the Terris as he always felt was their destiny, so we actually have to thank him for not being totally inhumane (though it came from racism for sure), because the world was saved for it.

2) A more general point written after that text wall above

When I think about it again, everything from the caverns, to the atium in the Trust and the kandra that protected it? The Inquisitors, one of whom broke free long enough to himself free Vin from Ruin's influence and let her Ascend? The Hero of Ages, born to the Terrismen he irrationally protected all these years, who bore knowledge of the original world because he sought to preserve the knowledge that escaped TLR's touch?

If you trace it back, Rashek was behind it all, intentionally or otherwise. He may have been an unforgivable tyrant, but in making himself the monster that he became he has done more for the world than any of its inhabitants would ever know. I can't forgive him, nobody can, but if he deserves our disdain and hatred he also deserves our gratitude.

Edited by natc
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To add to what Yata said about nobles and skaa, I felt like I should give my two clips regarding the treatment of Terrismen in the Empire.

1)*Rambling alert*. You have been warned

The Lord Ruler Rashek sees his own race, especially the feruchemist population it once had, as the dominant people of the world. Now that's just racist obviously, I can't condone that, but imagine realizing in that transcendent moment of godhood that your beloved people are the single largest threat to your survival, and therefore the survival of the world itself? That you had no choice but to turn those people into formless monsters, and essentially subjugating the rest into slaves?

It must have been out of necessity that he did so; he sounded like the type who would want nothing more than for the Terris to dominate the world in all their glory. But he needed allies in his conquest, and all he had to offer to people was lerasium: allomancy. He cannot grant that leverage to the Terris. Out of obligation to the world he destroyed the very bloodline he held above all others with his own hands. And yet he insisted to the end to spare their lives as much as possible, even knowing (as Inquisitors with Bloodmaker spikes show) that feruchemy is actually still thriving. .

To save the world he became the very monster he always hated, like the Khlenni he rather prejudicially generalized together (Alendi was a decent guy okay?). Can you honestly say, at this point, that Rashek was acting out of anything less than what he felt was right?

Keeping the Terris people alive was actually biggest risk he ever allowed in his theocracy, I would say. Unexpectedly, what came of it was the Hero of Ages himself being born to the Terris as he always felt was their destiny, so we actually have to thank him for not being totally inhumane (though it came from racism for sure), because the world was saved for it.

2) A more general point written after that text wall above

When I think about it again, everything from the caverns, to the atium in the Trust and the kandra that protected it? The Inquisitors, one of whom broke free long enough to himself free Vin from Ruin's influence and let her Ascend? The Hero of Ages, born to the Terrismen he irrationally protected all these years, who bore knowledge of the original world because he sought to preserve the knowledge that escaped TLR's touch?

If you trace it back, Rashek was behind it all, intentionally or otherwise. He may have been an unforgivable tyrant, but in making himself the monster that he became he has done more for the world than any of its inhabitants would ever know. I can't forgive him, nobody can, but if he deserves our disdain and hatred he also deserves our gratitude.

He didn't completely get rid of his bloodline. He turned those loyal to him into immortal servants that worshiped him. The other feruchemists he turned into mindless mistwraiths that could be "reprogrammed" to see him as their "father" and again worship him. So his master race did very much still exist, and in fact long outlived his detractors. The terris people he wiped out and subjugated are those that stood against him. Which for a racist I could very much see thinking "well if they can't see sense, then I will treat them like the dirt they so love to defend". 

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He also wiped out the feruchemy of said bloodline though. Which was kind of the basis for the racism in the first place.

The First Generation were more a "we were basically BFFs, I can at least offer you this much" sort of thing, and most of the rest were descendants and not originally human, so calling them Terris by blood after a whole jump of species is a bit questionable. Feruchemical blood would be nonexistent. Judging by his reaction to Marsh's betrayal what he cared about was primarily feruchemists, and Terris only by extension.

His master race lived on, but basically wasn't even that race anymore. He ought to be a bit miffed by that.

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He also wiped out the feruchemy of said bloodline though. Which was kind of the basis for the racism in the first place.

The First Generation were more a "we were basically BFFs, I can at least offer you this much" sort of thing, and most of the rest were descendants and not originally human, so calling them Terris by blood after a whole jump of species is a bit questionable. Feruchemical blood would be nonexistent. Judging by his reaction to Marsh's betrayal what he cared about was primarily feruchemists, and Terris only by extension.

His master race lived on, but basically wasn't even that race anymore. He ought to be a bit miffed by that.

If I recall correctly, one of his biggest miffs was that an outsider would be the hero in his own people's prophesy. This was he made it that he was the hero, and he would have his own people to laud and worship him as that hero for ages to come. 

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For anyone that wants it, here's the WoB on TLR's spikes
 

Dalenthas (15 October 2008)
Did the Lord Ruler have any Hemalurgic spikes in him? It would seem he'd need to for Ruin to influence him, but it wasn't mentioned. Or did his bracers work as spikes?

Brandon Sanderson (16 October 2008)
His arm bracers, which pierced his skin, were his spikes.
(source)

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If I recall correctly, one of his biggest miffs was that an outsider would be the hero in his own people's prophesy. This was he made it that he was the hero, and he would have his own people to laud and worship him as that hero for ages to come.

Well, it happened strangely, but his wish for a Terris Hero came true, and it's all his fault, so he should be happy about this I guess . . .

Having worshippers is always important really. Preferably ones weaker than you. I'm sure he feels some attachment to the kandra, but he surely laments how much feruchemical purity in the Terris people was lost by his actions. One large step closer to being . . . normal as a population. Especially since dormant mistings turn out to have been among the other races this entire time, just too weak to give rise to obvious powers to a feruchemist's extent. In "creating" the Mistborn he trampled on the unique superiority further.

Edited by natc
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  • 4 weeks later...

He needed allomancers to exist to create Inquisitors with, in the end, and to provide a crushing advantage against the rest of the world.

He went too far, yes, but the reasoning is sound.

 

Let's be honest here: he didn't need anything outside of himself to have a crushing advantage!

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Let's be honest here: he didn't need anything outside of himself to have a crushing advantage!

 

When he's present, he had a crushing advantage.  When he's not present, that advantage isn't present either.  "Present" being a word which here means "reachable by Steelrunning/Coinshotting/Pewter-dragging."  At some point in his conquest of the northern half of Scadrial, he would need allies to keep control of it all (assuming of course that the Final Empire was necessary in the first place, which it might not have been).  

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