Search the most comprehensive database of interviews and book signings from Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson and the rest of Team Jordan.
2012-04-30: I had the great pleasure of speaking with Harriet McDougal Rigney about her life. She's an amazing talent and person and it will take you less than an hour to agree.
2012-04-24: Some thoughts I had during JordanCon4 and the upcoming conclusion of "The Wheel of Time."
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Marsh is alive. I changed this from when I talked to [Peter]. I realized some things about his use of Allomancy that would allow him to survive. Actually, he is immortal. He can pull off the same Allomancy/Feruchemy trick that the Lord Ruler did. (And he knows it too, since he was there when Sazed explained how it was done in Book One.) He's actually the only living person who actually knows this trick for certain. (Though there's a chance that Spook, Ham and Breeze heard about it from Vin and the others.) So yes, if there were another series, Marsh would make an appearance.
I thought that trick required atium and involved burning the atium. With all the atium gone and Sazed not making any more, it would therefore not be possible even for a full mistborn/feruchemist. Am I wrong, is Sazed providing atium specifically for Marsh to allow a friend and valuable servant to survive, or what?
Marsh has the bag of Atium that KanPaar sent to be sold, as well as several nuggets in his stomach. So, I guess 'immortal' is the wrong phrase. He's got the only remaining atium in the world and can keep himself around for a long, long while—but he WILL eventually run out. Unless Sazed does something.
I was happy when Elend finally burned duralumin with atium. I was holding my breath hoping that someone would eventually do it. However we didn't really get any info as to what Elend experienced. Does a duralumin-enhanced atium burn allow a person to see significantly farther into the future? If so, being that Elend's army was dying all around him did he get to see into the afterlife? Also if you could tell us what he saw that would be awesome. Did something he saw make him not want to avoid Marshes strike?
On a similar note if someone burned electrum with duralumin would they get to see significantly into their own future?
There is much here that I can't say, but I'll give as much as I can. Elend saw Preservation's ultimate plan, and Elend's own part in it. What he saw made him realize he didn't want to kill Marsh, and that his own death would actually help save the world. Like a master chess player, he suddenly saw and understand every possible move his enemy could make. He saw that Ruin was check-mated, because there was one thing that Ruin was not willing to do. Something that both Elend and Vin could do, if needed. And it's what they did.
So, in answer to your question, Elend stayed his hand. This is one of the reasons why I changed my mind and decided that Marsh had to live through the end of the book. Elend spared him; I needed to too.
The Kelsier-Marsh-Mare relationship was something that just kind of grew naturally as I was writing. When I started designing the characters for this book, I knew that I wanted Kelsier to have gone through something very traumatic. I settled on a time spent in the Lord Ruler's slave camps, then built his having a wife out of that.
Marsh's unspoken love for Mare wasn't something I originally intended. It actually worked into the story as I was writing this very chapter. I needed tension between Marsh and Kelsier for their relationship to work the way I wanted it to. However, Marsh' disapproval of Kelsier just wasn't enoughóespecially since Marsh himself had given up leadership of the skaa rebellion, proving that he himself wasn't as much of a hero as he wishes he was.
Mare provided the perfect explanation for their tension. It was something I could imply in just a few sentences, then gain a lot of weight of back-story.
In Well of Ascension, there are two strange "voice in the head" experiences. One of them is with Sazed and Marsh are fighting, and Sazed realizes that he can burn the metal rings that are now in his stomach. But the other one is with Elend, when a voice comes, and heís not sure where it comes from. It says something like "If you have a dagger, the only way to win is to go in for the kill"
That one, where it came from, is Ė I know what you are searching for, but itís actually just an old (something) from weapons training. Heís just dredging- heís not sure where it came from because he never thought he would need any of it, he thought he was just going to be a scholar. But his father did have him trained in weapons, so itís just instinct that he got from one of his old mentors in fighting.
So thereís nothing to see there, so no, heís not (something).
Okay. We were just wondering if it was Preservation, or Kelsier.
Nope. Unfortunately, no. I do that on occasion, but this time...
You were probably expecting Marsh's return—at least, you probably were when you read the chapter where he 'died.' Making Inquisitors via Hemalurgy requires killing other people (see book three for an explanation of the process) so there's a lot of mess involved.
Anyway, I planned for his return here. I wish, again, I could have done more with him. There was another whole book going on with him being watched by the Inquisitors—him thinking that he'd earned their suspicion when they were really just impressed with him and planning to make him one of them. That's how it usually works with Inquisitors—they grab a new recruit, usually an older one, and 'draft' him into their ranks before one of the other Cantons has a chance to corrupt him too much. So, they were looking to make another Inquisitor, and Marsh happened to be the most promising recruit training in Luthadel at the time.
He never understood how far his infiltration would take him, or what it would end up costing him. The payoff is that he figured out how to kill Inquisitors—they were all built to have a weakness, so that the Lord Ruler would have power over them if he needed it. Pull out the right spike, and they come tumbling down.
Marsh's plan to kill the Lord Ruler is a good one too. Unfortunately, the Lord Ruler's power doesn't come only from Hemalurgy, but from other things as well. If he'd pulled off the bracelets instead...
By the way, the mists getting pushed away from Vin and Kar here is a clue of some sorts. Inquisitors push away the mists, rather than attracting them, when they use their powers. I'll explain this in book three too.
Marsh was a tricky one to write in this book. Everybody loves him, for some reason, and they were really happy I didn't make him a bad guy at the end of book one. The more I put him into book two, the more readers tended to like him there as well.
However, I've got enough characters in this book that I couldn't really focus on Marsh as much as I would have needed to, so I backed off on him. You'll see some of him in the next few chapters, but then he fades into the background. Simple reasoning is that the book was long enough, even in the planning stages, that I knew I couldn't tackle Marsh and what was going on with him. Not yet, at least.
By the way, you probably remember form book one the way that Inquisitors see. They have such a subtle touch with Steel and Iron, and their lines, that they can see via the trace metals in everyone's bodies and in the objects around them.
The thing is, any Allomancer with access to iron or steel could learn to do this. Some have figured it out, in the past, but in current times, nobody—at least, nobody the heroes know—is aware of this. Except, of course, for Marsh.
And he chose not to share it.