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What is Kelsier?


Quiver

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Personally, I've always thought Miles had a great point in Alloy of Law, when he compared himself to Kelsier and how times had changed. Which leads to my general discussion question:

How do you guys view Kelsier? Is he a hero (or even THE hero and Big Good of the Mistborn series)? An anti-hero who coasts by on his charm, charisma and the fact he's opposed by people who are worse than him? Something in between?

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13 minutes ago, Ookla the Archer said:

How do you guys view Kelsier? Is he a hero (or even THE hero and Big Good of the Mistborn series)? An anti-hero who coasts by on his charm, charisma and the fact he's opposed by people who are worse than him? Something in between?

I believe Kelsier most fits the archetype of the Byronic hero, which is a dark, charismatic character who does "good" simply because it's the best option for them. Kelsier doesn't really want to kill TLR because TLR is a tyrant, rather, his motives are personal revenge for Mare's murder--which he blames on TLR--and greed. I really liked Kell's character, but I'm not going to pretend that he wasn't selfish. In a parallel universe he could have been an antagonist, and his actions/motives sometimes resemble those of an antagonist, but since Kelsier happened to be going up against TLR, the enemy of your enemy is your friend.

TL;DR: Kelsier is a selfish man whose motives just happen to place him in the role of a protagonist.

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I believe kelsier is a selfish man who whole rebellion was fuel by vengence. I also believe that while that may be true he did care for other people and felt smypathy and truely wanted to help them, but he would still manipulate them and use them in his own ends. He can feel guilt for the things he does to people as was shown when Vin was almost killed by the Inquistor, he just won't let that slow him down. He cared for his friends and in a way helped them in a way, by making them better people and give them dreams for better lives and inspiring to be more selfless, something which he could never do to himself. 

EDIT: Ultimately i believed Kelsier to be an Egotistical mastermind who carried a darkness in him that could drive to do terrible things, But he was also someone who knew compassion and when it gets down to it will do the right thing.

Edited by iceblade44
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2 hours ago, Ookla the Archer said:

Personally, I've always thought Miles had a great point in Alloy of Law, when he compared himself to Kelsier and how times had changed. Which leads to my general discussion question:

How do you guys view Kelsier? Is he a hero (or even THE hero and Big Good of the Mistborn series)? An anti-hero who coasts by on his charm, charisma and the fact he's opposed by people who are worse than him? Something in between?

The antihero is apt, but not entirely true. He definitely has the world's best interests at heart, but only because they align with his (admittedly ambiguous) goals.

1 hour ago, Assassin in Burgundy said:

I'd describe him as a self-righteous, cocky bastard. He doesn't care if he's going to live or die. Death smiles on us all. The only thing we can do is smile back. And he definitely does that. 

This is true.

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He's definitely not the classic anti hero. He has some shades of the Byronic hero, but ultimately I think he is an Unscrupulous hero. He's also a guile hero more than an action hero by nature. After Gemmel he could be both, but his nature is more inclined to guile.

He is an anti hero obviously, because an anti hero is a hero who lacks one or more of the qualities of the ideal hero. Incidentally, Vin is a classic anti hero since the defining trait of one is usually lack of confidence/self doubt.

Kelsier is a very 'real' character in many ways because his motivations are mixed. Does he want to help the Skaa? Yes, the eleventh metal makes that clear. He does care. Does he want revenge? Of course he does. Does he like the idea of becoming a god to the Skaa. Definitely. Does he want to die to accomplish the first two goals? No. It's why he tries not to think about it... Is he willing to die for the first two? Yes, he is. He'll avoid it if possible though.

Kell can be both selfish and selfless and, rather remarkably, can be both at once. It's a very human trait and that's why he feels so real to me as a character. He has performed at least one almost entirely unselfish act though; SH spoiler:

Spoiler

When Kelsier attempts to prevent Vin from using the Well. He knows that he is consigning himself to an eternity of imprisonment. He's not really gaining anything out of stopping her. He's doing it for her; he's doing it for their friends. Okay, so he does this by stabbing Elend, but the plan was for Vin to heal him... It's still one of his more selfless moments.

What is very interesting to me is that Kelsier starts FE as an unscrupulous hero but ends closer to a pragmatic one. I wonder if which he was when he went South.

So what is Kelsier? Flawed, selfish, yet capable of being much more than that. In other words, he's a very human character and therefore relatable. Kelsier seeks to be better than he is, but doesn't always succeed. And sometimes he backtracks. He's arrogant and egotistical, but doesn't actually like himself that much. 

So my opinion is that he is actually just very human. 

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