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Tindwyl

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Tindwyl
Tindwyl portrait.png
by Laura MacMahon
Died c 1024 FE
Abilities Feruchemist
Aliases Mother of Terris
Profession Keeper
Groups Synod, Kelsier's crew
Nationality Terris
World Scadrial
Featured In Mistborn Era 1

Tindwyl is a Keeper of Terris and a member of the Synod. She is well-known and respected among the Terris people. She spent much of her life in the Lord Ruler's breeding program, and had over twenty children, around fifteen of which were girls.[1] A year after the Collapse she travels to Luthadel at Sazed's wish in order to train Elend Venture in leadership. She quickly becomes a member of Elend's inner circle. After this, she and Sazed study the rubbing he made of Kwaan's inscription, and during this time they become romantically involved. She dies during the Siege of Luthadel, slain by Koloss.

Appearance and Personality[edit]

Tindwyl is tall[2] and lean[3]. She is about fifty years old.[2] Her face is rectangular,[2] with square features.[4] Her eyes are described as beautiful, and her graying auburn hair is straight,[5] waist-length, and sometimes braided.[3] Her earlobes are elongated by her many earrings, which alternate in color.[6] Tindwyl wears the colorful robes of the Terris people[7], or a colorful skirt and blouse[4], as well as some rings made of Feruchemical metals.[8] She is always dressed neatly, with perfect posture,[4] making her always appear put-together.[5]

Tindwyl is highly knowledgeable and intelligent. Like all Keepers, she has a love of learning.[9] Her area of focus is the biographies of great men of the past — generals, kings, and emperors, most of whom have been forgotten under the Lord Ruler's reign.[10] When she is absorbed in a task, she is single-minded in her dedication towards it, staying awake for over a week while she and Sazed study the rubbing he made at the Conventical of Seran.[1]

She is commanding and confident,[5] ordering around the members of Kelsier’s crew on more than one occasion,[2][7][11] much to their surprise as they had come to expect more subservient attitudes from Terris people.[2][7] While she can come across as severe and cold, there is much more to her.[5] She is very straightforward and practical, able to set aside her feelings in order to work as a Terris breeder at the behest of the Synod, but she still harbors resentment towards them for this.[9] She is also compassionate, sympathising with Allrianne’s desire to shop, and chastising Vin’s judgemental attitude.[11] Tindwyl is a romantic at heart, telling Elend exceptions can be made for love,[4] and later implying the same to Sazed,[9] despite her otherwise strict rules. She stays in Luthadel with Sazed even though her responsibilities as a Keeper dictate that she should offer knowledge to the armies besieging the city,[9] and later, in spite of the fact that the city is about to fall to the Koloss.[12]

She is also very perceptive and quick to see the truth of people, and adept at giving them what they need — in tutoring Elend, she is firm and harsh; with Vin she is kind and tries to help her see and accept herself.[11] Due to her perceptiveness, while studying the rubbing she is also able to pick out the inconsistency in Kwaan’s narrative, which has been tampered with by Ruin.[6] Her understanding of people also helps her to achieve things through indirect means. She masterfully gets Elend to do things and admit things to her on more than one occasion, such as getting him to accept being referred to by an honorific, and getting him to express the sincerity of his love for Vin.[4]

Tindwyl sees religion as something of scholarly value and of benefit to society, but is not herself a believer. She is also not fond of prophecies and other forms of foretelling, or of superstition.[1]

History[edit]

Terris Mother[edit]

Tindwyl was a Terris mother — a part of the Lord Ruler’s breeding program. While the goal of this program was to breed Feruchemy out of the Terris population, the Synod managed to get Tindwyl a place in it with the hope that she would pass on Feruchemy to future generations. During her years in the breeding program she was repeatedly raped by different men until she became pregnant. Tindwyl had her first child at fourteen, and had over twenty children in total. Due to the fertility drugs she was given she often had multiple births.

She was also unable to receive any formal training in Feruchemy during this time. She was given a few copperminds, from which she was able to study biographies.[13]

Keeper[edit]

Tindwyl joined the Keepers when she was around forty, and unable to bear more children.[13] Sazed was the one to recite the collection of knowledge of the Keepers to her. This process took months, during which they got to know each other very well.[14] Over the next ten years Tindwyl rose to prominence among the Terris people,[7] becoming a senior Keeper[15] and member of the Synod.[13]

Time in Luthadel[edit]

First Meetings[edit]

After the Collapse Tindwyl received a message from Sazed, detailing the situation of Elend Venture. Although he did not explicitly ask her to go to Luthadel and train him, she went anyway.[2]

Tindwyl first appeared at an Assembly meeting in Luthadel, and was noticed by Vin who pointed her out to Elend.[3]

A few days later, she was caught by Demoux, apparently listening in on Elend's meeting with the crew. Elend recognized her from the Assembly hall. She demanded a private audience with him, to which Dockson and Ham were immediately opposed. She pointed out that Elend was in no danger as Vin was outside. He agreed to speak with her alone, after guessing that she was a Keeper, here at the request of Sazed.[2] Once they were alone, she snapped her bonds. Alarmed, Elend called for Vin, and Tindwyl told him that she had actually left to do her rounds — which was why she let herself be caught by Demoux.

She circled Elend, studying him, then began correcting his posture and manner of speaking, telling him to be more commanding. Elend, bewildered, demanded to know what was going on, which finally met her approval. She introduced herself to him as a Keeper of Terris, and harshly commented upon his slovenly appearance and indirect manner of speaking. Elend tried to excuse himself, until she remarked that his people thought he was a fool, what with how the Assembly ignored his authority, how the skaa didn't have faith in him and how his friends assumed he would have nothing to add to discussions. He had good ideas, but lacked leadership skills.

I have studied the lives of generals, kings, and emperors whose names you have never heard. Understanding theories of politics and leadership, Elend Venture, is not the same as understanding the lives of men who lived such principles.
—Tindwyl on her area of expertise[10]

Elend countered that he spent the last year studying as much as he could on leadership and governance, to which Tindwyl responded that he should have spent that time being seen by his people and learning to be a ruler.

She then offered to teach him to be a better ruler, revealing that her area of expertise as a Keeper was in the biographies of great men of the past. Elend accepted her instruction. Vin then arrived, and demanded to know what Tindwyl was doing there. Tindwyl remarked on her directness, in contrast to how long it took Elend to ask her that same question. She made to leave, and Elend asked whether there was anything he should start practicing. Tindwyl told him to stop saying 'um'. Ham reentered the room, and Elend asked him to see that Tindwyl was given accommodations in the palace.[10]

Instructing Elend[edit]

Some days later, Tindwyl arrived at the city wall and ordered Clubs to send Elend down from there. She and Elend went to his study, where a seamstress and her assistants were waiting. She had had new clothing made for Elend — a white, militaristic uniform, to reflect that he was at war. After he tried it on, an assistant tried to cut his hair, which he refused — however when he saw his reflection in the suit, he changed his mind, to Tindwyl's satisfaction. She also had him wear a silver circlet as a symbol of authority. Once the seamstresses were dismissed, he thanked her, under the impression that this was all she planned to do.

Tindwyl informed him they had only just begun, and that he was still a fool. She told him that he needed to work on the way he walked, his speech patterns, and how to fight, pointing out his reliance on Vin to handle all fighting for him. She intended on having him train in private with a dueling master. She concluded by telling him that he could perhaps learn to be a king, but until then would have to fake it.

A good king is one who is trusted by his people — and one who deserves that trust.
—Tindwyl on kings[7]
Demoux then interrupted them, bringing news of a messenger from Straff Venture. He told Elend he liked the new uniform, before leaving. Tindwyl was pleased by this. They began to discuss what made a good king, to which Tindwyl

responded that trust did.[7]

Not long after, Tindwyl observed the proceedings during a crew meeting in Elend's study to discuss his plan to meet Straff. Afterward, Elend asked Tindwyl's opinion on how he handled it, to which she responded that he was an embarrassment.

Elend protested, and they went on to discuss the way kings should lead, with Tindwyl arguing that as king he didn't need the permission of his followers, and Elend being of the opinion that a king should lead 'by the consent of his people'. Tindwyl disagreed, countering that a king should be strong, accepting counsel but making decisions on his own, implying that the crew didn't respect him, and noting that the they called him by name or nicknames rather than his honorific, 'Your Majesty'. He pointed out that Tindwyl didn't call him by this either, and told her she should from now on. She seemed pleased by this, then gave him a little more advice about his comportment.

They then went on to discuss leadership, and the responsibility Elend bore as king. Tindwyl advised him not to feel guilty when things went wrong, but simply try his best to make things better. When he asked what he should do if he could never make things better, Tindwyl responded that he should then remove himself from the position, preferably by suicide. When Elend asked if he should just kill himself, Tindwyl clarified that she was trying to get him to take pride in himself. Exasperated, he pointed out how she constantly disparaged his leadership abilities, and voiced his insecurities about how Kelsier would have made a better king. Tindwyl put a stop to this immediately, encouraged him to accept his place as king and his strengths, and concluded the topic by advising him to not question himself.

We must make allowances for the occasional exception.
—Tindwyl on love[4]

Tindwyl then shifted the topic to Vin — specifically, why Elend had not married her yet. The skaa, valuing monogamy, wanted the match to be official. Elend admitted that while he wanted to marry Vin, she had refused. Tindwyl suggested that perhaps Vin wasn't the right sort of woman for him, which immediately drew his ire and he jumped to her defense. Tindwyl was pleased by this, admitting that she had been testing him to see whether he truly loved Vin. She acknowledged that his affection for Vin could cause trouble in the future, but that it wasn't a reason to give her up, surprising Elend.

They began discussing Elend's dueling lessons, but were interrupted by Demoux, bearing news of Allrianne's arrival.[4]

Sazed's Return[edit]

When Sazed arrived at Luthadel bringing news of Jastes Lekal's army not long after, Tindwyl waited for him in his chambers so that they could speak privately. Sazed noted that she responded to his request to aid Elend, and she in return observed that he had ignored her own request. After a brief discussion of Elend, she expressed her disappointment in Sazed for returning to the Central Dominance despite the instructions given to him by the Synod to teach in the Eastern Dominance. Sazed, however, was adamant about remaining in the city as he had a 'greater work' to see through, much to Tindwyl's exasperation. She realised he was still looking into his theory that something was wrong with the mists, and an argument ensued — Tindwyl believing he had created an issue where there was none; Sazed maintaining his stance on returning to the city. He pointed out that while he could be wrong, the last time he had disobeyed the Synod's orders it had ended in the Collapse. Tindwyl seemed annoyed by this, expressing her confusion at how he should have been a leader among the Terris but was instead a rebel. She made to leave, but when she passed by him she took his hand in hers. They looked at each other for a moment, before she shook her head and left.[5]

Dress Shopping[edit]

The following morning, Tindwyl arrived in Vin’s rooms. Vin, who had been warned of an intruder’s entry by TenSoon (then disguised as OreSeur), was waiting for her with knives at the ready. She demanded to know the purpose of Tindwyl’s visit, to which she responded that she had come to take Vin shopping — Vin and Elend were meeting Straff the following night, and she would need a suitable dress. When Vin bristled at being ordered around, Tindwyl reassured her that it was Vin’s choice whether she wanted to come or not. Vin deliberated, but ultimately agreed.

Tindwyl had also invited Allrianne, and commandeered the services of Spook to act as packman. During the carriage ride on their way to Kenton Street, Tindwyl observed Vin and Allrianne’s interactions. When Allrianne asked Tindwyl if they would be safe, she assured her that they would be, looking at Vin.

Vin, Tindwyl and Mare by cycloalkane

Upon arriving at their destination, Tindwyl surveyed the area before leading them to a dressmaker’s shop. Allrianne and Spook went ahead, and Tindwyl remarked upon her eagerness to Vin, noting how she must not have had an opportunity to shop in weeks. Vin, unsympathetic, expressed her annoyance at this. Tindwyl chastised her, pointing out that judging Allrianne for her flippancy was akin to others judging Vin herself for her simplicity. Vin protested that she liked when people judged her, for then they didn’t expect anything from her. Tindwyl, ever-perceptive, gestured to the shop, where gowns and dresses were on display, and asked whether Vin didn’t miss it all in that case. As they went on into the shop, Tindwyl remarked that she had heard Vin enjoyed noble society, and dressing as a woman. She asked if her refusal to do so now meant she didn’t like it after all, to which Vin admitted that she had stopped wearing dresses because she had, on the contrary, liked them too much. Over the course of their conversation, Vin admitted to Tindwyl how she felt at odds with herself, unable to consolidate the person she had pretended to be as Valette with the other sides of herself. Tindwyl then brought up Elend, and why they had not yet married. Vin voiced her insecurities, confessing how she believed herself to be wrong for him, because he should marry someone who could be a queen and not just a bodyguard — someone like Allrianne. Tindwyl gently reassured her that Elend had fallen in love with Vin, and loved her as she was. When Vin protested that Elend had loved her fake persona, Tindwyl pointed out that after discovering her true self, he was still with her. She explained to Vin how people had more to them than was immediately apparent, encouraging her to see and accept herself as Elend did. Vin asked if Tindwyl was trying to turn her into a queen for Elend, to which she responded that she was simply trying to help Vin become herself, before pushing her to try on a few dresses.

When Vin tried on the first gown, Tindwyl and the dressmaker both complimented her gracefulness. Vin, suspicious, quietly questioned why Tindwyl was pretending to be nice to her when she was harsh with Elend. Tindwyl responded that Elend could use some harshness, having grown up in luxury; Vin, on the other hand, had had enough of harsh treatment.

When the dressmaker approached again to decide on colors, Tindwyl strongly protested against Vin’s desire for a black gown, or even a gray one. They eventually settled upon a royal blue color, and Tindwyl gave a list of modifications for the dressmaker to implement that would make the gown easier for Vin to manoeuvre and hide weapons in.

Spook then arrived, notifying them that the members of the fledgling Church of the Survivor had found them out and were outside the shop. Tindwyl watched Vin’s reaction as she tried to hide, and then escape. Tindwyl advised her to go and talk to them instead, pointing out that they needed hope. When Vin protested that she could only give them false hope, and encourage their deification of her, Allrianne objected, noting that Vin’s shifty behaviour was what built up her reputation — talking to the skaa would show them that she was a normal person. Vin expressed how distressed she felt by the idea of people worshipping her as they did Kelsier, and how she wanted to be left alone. Tindwyl gently but firmly told Vin that as the killer of the Lord Ruler, protégé of Kelsier and consort of the new king, she didn’t have that option. Encouraged by Tindwyl, Allrianne and Vin went out to speak with the people, and Vin reassured them of their safety. Upon returning to the shop, Tindwyl nodded in approval. Vin, on the other hand, was very distressed as she felt she had lied to them. Tindwyl said that she had merely been optimistic, but it didn’t console Vin. Tindwyl told her to just leave the city if she thought their predicament was so hopeless. When Vin protested that she hadn’t meant it that way, Tindwyl exasperatedly told her to make a decision on whether she did or didn’t believe in the city, going on to shake her head at Vin and Elend’s indecisiveness. Vin pointed out that Tindwyl had said she wouldn’t be harsh with her, to which Tindwyl responded that she had difficulty with that at times. They then moved on to finish Allrianne’s fitting.[11]

A King Deposed[edit]

When the Assembly invoked the charter’s no-confidence clause, deposing Elend, Tindwyl sternly expressed her anger with him for including a clause in the law he himself wrote that allowed such a thing to happen. She strongly reprimanded him, though he maintained his stance that he had done the right thing by including it in the law. At the crew meeting held to decide their next step, Tindwyl refused to accept that he was no longer king and backed Clubs’s suggestion of enforcing martial law in order to maintain his throne. When Tindwyl again chastised him and called him a fool, Elend finally snapped, telling her to stop calling him foolish. Tindwyl ceased protesting at sat down once again. Elend detailed his plan for dealing with the situation lawfully. Tindwyl pointed out that there was nothing wrong with securing his throne during turbulent times, but Elend was adamant not to enforce his rule on the people of Luthadel if they didn’t want him. Tindwyl found this sentiment naive, but Elend remained firm. When Tindwyl asked what he would do if he could not regain his throne through lawful means, he responded that he accept this, and carry on helping the kingdom in whatever way he could. Elend went on to explain the legalities of his removal, and the ways in which his throne could be restored. Tindwyl skeptically asked him if this was the time for a legal battle, what with the the two armies besieging them and the Koloss army on its way to do the same. Elend pointed out that it was highly likely his being deposed had been orchestrated by one of the enemy armies as he was the only one stopping the Assembly from giving Luthadel up.

As Elend began going through his law books, he asked whether Sazed had been summoned. Spook said that he had not been able to wake him, and Tindwyl called this an ‘issue of the Keepers’, assuming the crew had no knowledge of Feruchemy. When it was revealed that Sazed has explained it to them, she was highly displeased. She then went on to note that Sazed could not be of any assistance to them in this anyway, since as a travelling Keeper he was not to take sides in politics. When Breeze noted that overthrowing the Lord Ruler had been political, Tindwyl, annoyed, told the crew that if they were truly Sazed’s friends they would not encourage him to break his vows. Breeze wondered if she was simply put-out that the Synod couldn’t punish Sazed’s rule-breaking, and attempted to Soothe her. Tindwyl was unruffled, telling him that he would find no success in trying to push on her emotions, and he gave up.

After the meeting, Tindwyl stayed behind to speak with Elend privately. She apologized for her disrespect, much to his surprise, admitting that she tended to treat people like children. Elend accepted her apology, and she noted that he had learnt from her instruction quickly. Elend said that he had had to, though, as it turned out, not fast enough for the Assembly. Tindwyl quietly asked him how it had come to this, seeing as Elend himself had given the Assemblymen their power. He responded that he had ignored their wishes. Tindwyl noted that they should also take stock of his successes — earlier that night, he and Vin had met Straff, and intimidated him into not attacking Luthadel. Elend recounted this, but he was more concerned that he may have somehow offended Vin, as she had been acting strangely on their way back to the city. He anxiously told her of his worries about their relationship, and what Vin thought of him. When Tindwyl told him that Vin did not think herself worthy of him, Elend was astonished — he thought himself unworthy of her, and assumed Vin thought the same. Tindwyl commented that he understood very little of young women, going on to voice Vin’s insecurities, many of which were due to the difficult life she had led. When Elend asked how certain she was about this, Tindwyl assured him that after having raised plenty of daughters she knew what she was talking about. Elend was surprised to learn she had children. However she quickly moved the topic along, concluding that he had to decide how much he would be distracted by his relationship with Vin. When Elend asked why she thought him distracted, she pointed out that she had asked how the meeting with his father had gone, and he instead had spoken about his anxiety over Vin. At Elend’s hesitation, Tindwyl asked him which he would choose: Vin’s love, or the people of Luthadel. Elend refused to answer, but Tindwyl warned that it was a question many kings were faced with. He disagreed, adamant that he could do both, and protested that it was only a hypothetical dilemma. Tindwyl did not press the matter, but warned him that he may already be facing such a dilemma, before leaving.[16]

Tindwyl was among Elend’s entourage at the Assembly meeting following his removal from office, and had helped him to prepare his speech. This speech was crafted to reinforce his link to Kelsier by putting a spotlight on Vin. Seated in the audience, Ham asked Vin whether she was comfortable with this. When she assented half-heartedly, Tindwyl elaborated on Elend’s rationale, explaining that in his speech he implied that their new government was founded by Kelsier in the hope that this would stop people from trying to tamper with it. Afterward, when Elend does not try to persuade the Assembly to restore his place as monarch as he was supposed to do in his speech, Tindwyl frowns and does not seem to think this is a good choice.[17]

Cett's Gamble[edit]

Ashweather Cett’s arrival in the city and his subsequent election as a candidate for the throne sparked Elend’s desire to find information on the man, as well as possible ways of preventing his appointment as king. Later, in Elend’s study, Tindwyl observed him, Noorden, Ham and Sazed as they combed through various texts. However, participating in the research seemed to be too much in the territory of politics for her. As they discussed Cett and his potential reign, Elend commented that they should have just gone along with the crew’s initial plan of handing the city over to Cett, rather than his own idea of playing Cett and Straff against each other, as it seemed the people wanted Cett as king. Sazed, however, said that it was not Elend’s duty to do as the people wanted. Elend noted that he sounded like Tindwyl. Sazed observed that Tindwyl was one of the wisest people he knew. As they continued their study of the law, Sazed sighed that he could find no loopholes, pointing out that he or another of the crew would have made a note of them if they had seen any when Elend had given them the laws to proofread. This caught Tindwyl’s attention, and she asks Sazed whether he had read the law before it had been formalized. Sazed seems embarrassed by this, and Elend responds for him, confirming that he had. Tindwyl is displeased by this. Elend, annoyed by this, told Tindwyl that he would not stand for her insulting Sazed, even indirectly. She apologized to Elend, but he argues that she should apologize not to him but to Sazed, or she should leave. She chose the latter, leaving the room wordlessly.[18]

A man can only stumble for so long before he either falls or stands up straight.
—Tindwyl about Elend[8]

Tindwyl went to see Vin before she and Elend departed for their dinner with Cett a week later. She complimented her gown, telling her she looked beautiful. Vin hesitantly accepted the compliment, but pointed out that she had no jewelry anymore. Tindwyl brushed this aside, telling Vin she had no need of it. Vin brought up the topic of Elend, observing that Tindwyl’s lessons with him were growing less frequent. Tindwyl told her that Elend was close to no longer needing her instruction, although when Vin asked if this meant he was close to being like the men from Tindwyl’s biographies, Tindwyl laughed and disagreed, clarifying that in the future Elend would have to learn on his own, as much of good leadership came from experience. When Vin quietly remarked on how changed he was, Tindwyl agreed with her — but also, that she thought Elend was already on this path, and likely would have turned out this way even without her instruction. Vin, gazing at her reflection at the pretty gown, said that this was what she had to become, for Elend. Tindwyl agreed, but added that it was also for Vin herself, remarking that this was where Vin had been headed before her attention had been drawn by other things. Vin turned to Tindwyl, asking whether she would be accompanying them; Tindwyl said no, then pushed Vin to go and join Elend.[8]

Last Lesson[edit]

Tindwyl gave Elend his final lesson a few days after this.[9][19]

A Night of Study[edit]

That night,[19][9] Tindwyl found Sazed at the warehouse where the newly arrived refugees were being housed. She had wondered whether Sazed had truly cared for the people of the empire — in her opinion, if he cared he would have done as the Synod had told him rather than returning to Luthadel; seeing him with the refugees proved to her that he did care.[19] Sazed, however, felt that he did not care as much as he should. Tindwyl disagreed, and expressed how much he confused her. Noticing his exhaustion, she inquired after his bronzemind. Sazed admitted that he had used up all his wakefulness in his haste to return to Luthadel. Sighing, Tindwyl finally asked him to show her what he had discovered that had caused him to run across two Dominances back to the city.[20]

They returned to his rooms, and spent the whole night studying the rubbing of Kwaan's inscription Sazed had made at the Conventical of Seran, and various texts from their copperminds. Towards morning, Tindwyl found a reference to the Deepness in the biography of King Wednegon. As the pair discussed the Deepness, Sazed brought up Vin’s theory that it was the mist. Tindwyl agreed with this interpretation, as did he — something that disquieted him, for he did not wish it to be true. Tindwyl appeared puzzled that he had defied the Synod for something he had hoped was untrue, to which he explained how catastrophic the return of the Deepness could be, and how while he wished it would not come to pass he had to look into it for himself to see. While Tindwyl agreed that the discovery of the rubbing was remarkable, she did not think the Deepness posed much of a threat. Sazed persisted that the mists could be growing stronger, and that by killing the Lord Ruler they may have inadvertently killed whatever had been holding them back previously. Tindwyl brushed this away, citing that they had no proof of daytime mists and only theories on the mists killing people. Sazed backed down, admitting that this was true.

This exasperated Tindwyl; she questioned why he never defended himself. When he answered that he had no defense, Tindwyl argued that this could not be the case. She talked about how he always apologized for his behavior and sought forgiveness, and yet never changed. She noted that had he been more vocal and offered defenses for his actions, he could have been leading the Synod. She called him ‘the most contrite rebel’ she had ever known. When Sazed still offered no defense, she went on, pointing out that he had been right about the Lord Ruler — if he had tried to convince the Synod, they may have agreed. Sazed, however, disagreed, telling her that he was not like the men from her biographies — or even really a man. Tindwyl refuted that he was a better man, though she had never been able to understand why.

Sometimes, people only seem determined upon one course because they have been offered no other options.
—Tindwyl to Sazed[9]

After a moment of silence, she told him that she would be leaving that day — she would offer knowledge to the armies besieging Luthadel, as she had to Elend, though she doubted that they would listen to her as Elend had. When Sazed offered no objection to her leaving, she noted that he again refused to argue. Sazed asked what the point would be, for she had made up her mind already. Tindwyl implied that she would be amenable to staying; Sazed, confused, asked about her duties as a Keeper. Tindwyl admitted that while her duties were important, ‘occasional exceptions’ could be allowed — a direct reflection of what she had told Elend before, about love. She went on to say his rubbing could perhaps benefit from further study. The deeper meaning to her words — that she wanted to be with Sazed — was made apparent to him, and he ruefully told her that he could not be what she wished, for he thought himself to not be a man. Tindwyl brushed this aside, telling him that she had had enough of men, and childbearing. She admitted that she partially resented the Terris people for what they had put her through in the breeding program, and wished for some distance from them. She went on further, confessing that she had often been frustrated at the Synod’s lack of initiative and passiveness. Only he, Sazed, had pushed for change.

I only ever saw one man pushing the Synod toward active measures. While they planned how to keep themselves hidden, one man wanted to attack. While they decided the best ways to foil the Breeders, one man wanted to plot the downfall of the Final Empire. When I rejoined my people, I found that man still fighting. Alone. Condemned for fraternizing with thieves and rebels, he quietly accepted his punishment. [...] That man went on to free us all.
—Tindwyl, about Sazed[9]

Taking his hand, Tindwyl explained that the men she had read about in her biographies were men who brought about change rather than planned how to hide — men like Sazed. Anxious and apprehensive, she quietly asked him to give her an excuse to remain in Luthadel with him. Sazed asked her to stay. She agreed, and they resumed their study.[9]

Kwaan's Inscription[edit]

During their time studying the rubbing, they discussed its key points as well as what they knew of Kwaan, Alendi and Rashek. As Sazed read Kwaan’s words out to Tindwyl, she noted that some things did not make sense — for example, why, if Kwaan feared the Deepness, did he try to stop Alendi’s quest to defeat it? They discussed further what Kwaan’s motives and reasonings were for asking Rashek to kill Alendi. Tindwyl felt that there was something wrong, though she couldn’t quite put her finger on it. They decided to analyse the rubbing further. As they did, she pointed out the inconsistency of Kwaan fearing Alendi would take the Well’s power for himself. Sazed, too, saw her problem: when Kwaan knew the temperaments of both Alendi and Rashek, why had he done what he did? As they went on, she also pointed out that it made little sense for him to fear that Alendi wouldn’t give the power up, and then to send the hateful Rashek to kill him — orchestrating Rashek’s taking of the power for himself. Sazed argued that perhaps it was just clearer to them in hindsight, but Tindwyl was unconvinced, certain that something was wrong. They puzzled over it further, but she decided that she needed more context on Kwaan’s life before they could draw a conclusion. Sazed suggested a break, but she disagreed, saying that they had not time — both of them sensed the city’s imminent doom, to either the Koloss army or the human ones.

Tindwyl feared that Luthadel’s fall would be more brutal than the crew anticipated; Sazed conceded that they were optimists. Tindwyl, however, told him that this would be worse than the revolution which had led to the Collapse, for she had studied these things and knew how they played out. Sazed agreed with her, and they returned to their work.

You lost the throne because you wouldn't command your armies to secure the city, because you insisted on giving the Assembly too much freedom, and because you don't employ assassins or other forms of pressure. In short, Elend Venture, you lost the throne because you are a good man.
—Tindwyl to Elend[6]

Shortly after, Elend called upon them. Tindwyl asked him why he was disturbing them, harshly bringing up his incompetence as a means of testing to see whether he had reverted to his old self upon losing the crown, for she had heard reports of his moping. Elend, seeing her ploy, assured her that he had not lost his self-respect; she was satisfied by this. He then took a seat, asking for advice. When Tindwyl noted that she had already perhaps given him too much of her aid, for as he was a political figure it made her seem as though she were taking sides, Elend pointed out that he was no longer king. Content with this, Tindwyl allowed him to ask his question.

Elend explained what had been on his mind: that during the vote for king, he had had an opportunity to lie, which would have secured his place on the throne. Instead he had told the truth, and lost the throne to Penrod. Tindwyl was unsurprised by this, as Elend had expected. He went on to ask whether what he had done was foolish. Tindwyl found it so, but argued that it wasn’t specifically that which lead to his losing the throne; rather, it was because he refused to do anything dishonorable to secure his place. Elend asked whether it was possible to both follow his conscience and be a good king, to which neither Tindwyl nor Sazed had an answer. Elend posed his question to Sazed about whether he should have lied; Sazed disagreed, saying that Elend had been true to himself. Tindwyl liked Elend’s ideals, but worried that his losing the throne could end badly for Luthadel’s people. However, Sazed maintained Elend had done the right thing and believed the rest was up to providence — or rather, God. Elend, skeptical, expressed his view on God being simply a tool of the obligators. As they discussed religion further, Elend noted the inconsistency of all the different religions Sazed preached and how they couldn’t all possibly be real. Tindwyl, returning to the original topic, told Elend that while she didn’t agree with his decisions, he had done what he thought was right, which was commendable. When Elend asked Tindwyl what he should do next, however, she had no answer.He then asked what the men in her biographies would have done. She again had no answer as according to her they would not have found themselves in his situation to begin with. Elend debated about whether a title was all there was to being king, before seeming to realize something and abruptly leaving. Slightly confused, Tindwyl allowed Sazed to guide her attention back to their studies.[6]

Tindwyl and Sazed while studying by Kelley Harris

The day after Vin’s attack on Cett’s army, Tindwyl and Sazed were still studying the rubbing and looking for the context they desired. Tindwyl found a quotation of the Hero of Ages prophecy, having used the rubbing as a means of translating different names for the Hero, and she wrote it out for Sazed. While the quote she found did not tell them anything new, the careful wording used in prophecies was something to consider. Sazed, noting her discomfort at the prophecy, did not expect such a reaction from her considering what they were studying. Tindwyl, not being a believer, told him that while she collected knowledge, she thought religion was untrue. The discussed further, Sazed expressing his opinion that religions were expressions of hope. Tindwyl pointed out that the religions of the past had not saved the people from the Lord Ruler. She saw the value of religion from an academic standpoint, but could not believe it to be true. She then realized that Sazed believed Vin to be the Hero of Ages, which she found to be too big a coincidence to be plausible. Her rationale for studying the Deepness and the Hero was that since the Deepness had been defeated in the past, they could look to history to see how to defeat it again by studying the myths and legends by which the story had survived. Deciding this was something they could not agree on, they returned to their research.

Discussing Vin’s assault on Cett and his subsequent withdrawal from the city, Tindwyl hoped this improve Luthadel’s situation. Sazed was less certain, stressing that they had to be finished with their research by that night. However, as Tindwyl went through their writings she noticed a sheet of paper from which the bottom right corner had been torn off. The paper had been a transcription of the rubbing, and the tear removed the last sentence or so. In confusion, Tindwyl pulled out another copy of the rubbing from their papers. This sheet, too, was missing the same sentence. They were both at a loss as to how this could have happened, since neither of them had left their papers unattended. Laying the papers atop each other, they saw that the tears were precisely identical.

Frantically they searched through all of their papers for copies of the rubbing, and found that in each of them were missing the exact same sentence. Tindwyl feared for the real rubbing he had made, and Sazed unlocked the trunk he had stored it in to check. Sure enough, the same sentence had been torn off even this.

The pair of them were at a loss as to how this could have happened, and yet also surprised that whoever had done it had known so little of Feruchemy — they both had the transcription stored in their copperminds. As they tried to understand what this could mean, they were interrupted by Vin’s arrival.

Startled, they both began tapping strength, but stopped when they realized it was her. Tindwyl gathered the papers as Sazed asked Vin whether she had noticed anyone hanging around the room. Vin answered that she hadn’t, but promised to keep an eye out for anyone, before asking to speak privately with Sazed. Tindwyl ostensibly went to arrange for lunch so that they could have their privacy, but really just waited outside the door, listening in as Vin asked Sazed for advice about love.

When Vin left, Sazed opened the door to find Tindwyl waiting outside. Entering, she remarked she would feel much safer if the city’s Mistborn wasn’t a temperamental teenager. Sazed assured her of Vin’s stability, but Tindwyl informed him that after having raised some fifteen daughters, she could say with certainty that no teenage girl was stable. Sazed noted that it was good Vin had not heard her eavesdropping, for she was normally paranoid about it. Tindwyl remarked that this was because Vin had a soft spot for Terris people, likely because of Sazed himself, before noting that Vin seemed to put great stock in his advice. She went on, telling him that she thought the advice he had given her was wise, and that he would have made a good father.

They made to return to their work, but were interrupted once again — this time by Elend. He, too, wanted Sazed’s advice, promptly dismissing Tindwyl. Annoyed, she left the room again — this time actually going to make lunch arrangements. However she returned before the conversation was over and waited again outside the door. When Elend was through, he called that she could return. In surprise, she asked him how he knew she was outside, to which he responded that she was ‘as bad as Vin’. He bade them a good day, then withdrew.

Sazed complimented how well Tindwyl had taught him as they watched him leave; she grumbled that she had perhaps done too fine a job, before admitting ruefully that she thought if the Assembly had not deposed him, she thought he would have been able to fix the predicament Luthadel had found itself in. At last, they returned to their work.[1]

Battle of Luthadel and Death[edit]

The morning after Vin and Elend’s marriage, as they prepared to make their way to Terris to find the Well, Tindwyl angrily told Elend how foolish he was being by abandoning Luthadel and its people.

Elend, however, was set on his course. He was certain he could protect the people better this way. Tindwyl, incredulous, reprimanded him, telling him that he was their king and should be with them. Elend angrily pointed out that the people of Luthadel had rejected him, and that he was their king no longer.

Tindwyl, shaking her head, expressed her skepticism at his and Vin’s course — Vin wanted to go to Terris, to the Well, because she believed herself to be the Hero of Ages and that she would find a power that would transform her into a divinity. She went on, deducing that Vin was trying to follow in Kelsier’s footsteps. Elend defended her, telling Tindwyl that he supported her wishes. Tindwyl asked scathingly whether he supported Vin’s madness. Elend angrily commanded her to stop speaking about Vin that way, his tone making Tindwyl flinch. He told Tindwyl that he trusted Vin.

Tindwyl implored him once again to see reason — she felt certain that Elend held no more belief in prophecies and religions than she did. Elend, however, maintained that he believed in Vin, and whatever held value to her held value to him. They would go north, and release the power at the Well of Ascension.

Tindwyl finally gave up, her parting words to him harsh — she told him he would be remembered as a coward by his people. Elend commanded her to leave, and she did, stopping only to point out the package she had brought with her — the document she and Sazed had written, about the Hero of Ages, the Deepness, and Kwaan’s inscription. She informed him Sazed would have them deliver it to the Keeper Synod in Tathingdwen, bade him enjoy his exile, and left.[21]

After this, Tindwyl helped Dockson prepare Luthadel for the imminent battle. Although as a Keeper she wasn't supposed to interfere with politics (and would not have helped if it were Straff's army that were attacking), she was prepared to fight against the Koloss if it meant protecting the people.[22] During this time, she was also looking for Sazed. As she, Dockson and other functionaries studied Marsh’s map of Luthadel in the Venture ballroom, Sazed found her. She beckoned him to come when she saw him so that Dockson could detail their plan of having some of their own people stationed at each of the city gates, should they be needed.

Dockson entreated Sazed to help them, knowing Sazed did not like fighting. Tindwyl noted, however, that he was preparing for battle, observing the rings that he was storing Feruchemical attributes into. Sazed asked what Tindwyl’s own role was in this was, and she explained that Dockson had asked her advice due to her knowledge of military history. Sazed nodded, then agreed to help Dockson, though he warned against breaking the chain of command, to which Dockson agreed.

Then, he asked to speak privately with Tindwyl. Once they stepped away, Tindwyl noted that he was storing a lot of attributes. She asked whether he didn’t have metalminds he had stored previously, to which he responded that he had none besides strength, weight, and an array of tinminds. He asked her why she had stayed in Luthadel, saying there was no place for her in the city. She countered that there was no place for him, either. Sazed refused to abandon his friends, to which she asked why he had made their leaders leave in that case. When Sazed explained he wanted them to live, Tindwyl told him that as leaders, they had to accept responsibility for their power and that the people of Luthadel would die feeling betrayed. Sazed tried to protest, but she angrily told him that even the crew expected to be saved — saved by Vin — despite the odds. Sazed repeated his sentiment that he had wanted them to live, rather than wasting their lives in a hopeless battle. Tindwyl angrily disagreed, telling him it was hope, not stubbornness, that kept her alive while she was with the Breeders.

Hope is never wasted.
—Tindwyl[12]

Sazed asked her if it was hope or stubbornness that kept her in Luthadel now, to which she responded that it was neither. They embraced, and Tindwyl asked Sazed whether he knew why she loved him. When he responded that he didn’t, she told him: she loved his strength of will, his willingness to appease others and yet his firmness in the face of what he knew to be right. She spoke in past-tense, though, as she told him she didn’t think his friends understood his goodness. He confessed that he was afraid he hadn’t done enough to save them. She responded that it was enough to save Vin, Elend and Spook. She still thought he was wrong to have sent them away, but that he was right, too. Still in each other’s arms, the warning drums from the city walls began to beat.[12]

Tindwyl made her way to the walltop, Sazed behind her, to meet the rest of the crew. Clubs told them that the alarm was raised by one of his scouts, because the Koloss were working themselves into a blood frenzy and were fighting each other. Sazed, hopeful, wondered if this meant they would fight and kill each other instead of attacking. Tindwyl, however, told him that this was how they prepared for battle.

As they watched, the Koloss began to charge the city. As the crew scattered, Dockson charged Tindwyl with Tin Gate. This, along with Pewter Gate, were the first places the Koloss attacked. Some hours into the battle, Tin Gate fell. While the time of Tindwyl’s death was unclear, she had been leading her soldiers to Keep Venture when she had been killed. Her body was recovered by Sazed, who mourned over her.[23]

Legacy[edit]

In Northern Scadrial, Tindwyl is remembered as one of the Preservers and is given the epithet "Mother of Terris."[24] In Elendel, Tindwyl Promenade in the Fourth Octant is named for her.[25]

Attributes and Abilities[edit]

Feruchemy[edit]

See Also: Feruchemy

Tindwyl is a full Feruchemist, meaning she has the ability to store attributes in every Feruchemical metal and tap them when required.

Scholarship[edit]

As a Keeper, Tindwyl's vast reserves of knowledge serve her in many ways. She acts as advisor to Elend during her time in Luthadel, training him in leadership -- her area of interest as a Keeper are the biographies of great men of the past. When she and Sazed study the rubbing, she also puts her skills as a scholar to use as they research the Deepness and the Hero of Ages, as well as other texts from that time.

Relationships[edit]

Sazed[edit]

Do you know why I love you, Sazed? [...] Because you never give in. Other men are strong like bricks — firm, unyielding, but if you pound on them long enough, they crack. You. . .you're strong like the wind. Always there, so willing to bend, but never apologetic for the times when you must be firm. I don't think any of your friends understand what a power they had in you.
—Tindwyl to Sazed[12]

Tindwyl and Sazed have known each other for years. He was the one to present her with the knowledge of the Keepers, a process involving hours spent in each other's company for months on end, with Sazed reciting things to her while she memorized them. It is likely that Sazed began developing feelings for her during this time.[14] She has conflicting feelings towards Sazed, both admiring him[12] and growing frustrated by his rebellious actions.[5] Despite this, after the Collapse she heeds his message and comes to Luthadel, ostensibly to train Elend -- though she also both wished and dreaded to find Sazed there.[14] However, upon his arrival in the city she is disappointed in him for not obeying the Synod's orders.[5]

After her training of Elend is concluded, she finally asks Sazed to show her the rubbing, and they spend a night studying it together.[20] The following morning, when she had planned to leave Luthadel, she confesses her admiration for him, before taking his hand and asking him to give her an excuse to stay in the city with him. Shocked, he asks her to remain in the city, and she agrees. This is the beginning of their romantic relationship.[20] Even though their time together is dominated by their studies, they grow ever closer. When given the chance to leave Luthadel before the battle, Tindwyl refuses, choosing instead to remain with Sazed. They have an argument on the day of the Battle of Luthadel, as Tindwyl is angry at him for sending Vin and Elend, the city's only hope of survival, away. However, it is soon resolved. They embrace and she tells him why she loves him, and that she understands his decision. Immediately after, the wall alarms go off -- the battle is beginning.[12]

Their relationship ends with Tindwyl's death during the battle. Sazed searches for her body long into the night, finding it near morning and grieving over her loss.[23]

Elend[edit]

Your king is a humble scholar and thinker, but he has the will of a warrior. He is a man who has the nerve to fight, and I think—perhaps—you have yet to see the best of him.
—Tindwyl about Elend[11]

Tindwyl comes to Luthadel to mentor Elend, and the two spend a lot of time together as she teaches him. While her behavior toward him can be harsh, she has a high opinion of him, calling him a 'fine man'.[9] After he is deposed, she refuses to accept that he is no longer king and still calls him by his honorific, 'Your Majesty'. She helps him as he tries to get his throne back, and when he is unable to, continues to offer him counsel when asked.[6] Despite their closeness, however, their final parting ends on a bitter note as Tindwyl is upset with him for leaving Luthadel and its people, and she dies shortly after.

Vin[edit]

You are so much more than you are willing to accept, child. Why look at only one side of yourself, when your Elend sees so much more?
—Tindwyl to Vin[11]

Tindwyl expresses an interest in Vin from their first meeting. During their trip to the dressmaker’s shop, she is able to speak privately with her and in doing so comes to understand Vin better. She takes it upon herself to try and help her, as Vin struggles with balancing the skaa and noble parts of herself. While she finds her to be somewhat unstable,[1] Tindwyl does come to care for her. She agrees with her theory about the Deepness being the mists — however, she does not believe that Vin is the Hero of Ages. Their parting is not on the best of terms — Tindwyl thinks she is foolish for believing herself to be the Hero and leaving Luthadel right before the battle, and by time Vin returns Tindwyl has been killed.

The Synod[edit]

Tindwyl is somewhat resentful towards the Synod for the things she had to endure in the Breeding program. While she is a member of their order and fulfills her obligations dutifully, she was also often exasperated by their unwillingness to take any action against the Lord Ruler before the Collapse. When given the opportunity to remain in Luthadel with Sazed under the guise of studying the rubbing with him, she takes it.[9]

Development[edit]

Tindwyl came about from Brandon's desire to have another 'strong female character' in the Mistborn books. He also wanted a mentor-figure for Elend in the Well of Ascension, and she fit this role. Additionally, she gives some more insight into the Terris people.[26] Her realism and resoluteness is something the crew needs, and she voices many of Brandon's own worries.[27]

Quotes[edit]

A man can only lead when others accept him as their leader, and he has only as much authority as his subjects give to him. All of the brilliant ideas in the world cannot save your kingdom if no one will listen to them.
—Tindwyl to Elend during their first meeting[10]
The men I read about, Sazed, [...] these were not men who sat and planned the best ways to hide. They fought; they sought victory. Sometimes, they were reckless—and other men called them fools. Yet, when the dice were cast and the bodies counted, they were men who changed things.
—Tindwyl to Sazed[9]
If you perpetuate the dreams of the past, then you stifle your own dreams of the future.
—Tindwyl[1]

Trivia[edit]

  • Despite having become Harmony, Sazed has not yet learned to reach where Tindwyl is and so they are still separated.[28]
  • At least one of Tindwyl's daughters survived the Catacendre, though we do not know yet whether Sazed met them after his Ascension.[29]

Notes[edit]

  1. a b c d e f The Well of Ascension chapter 45 #
  2. a b c d e f g The Well of Ascension chapter 13 #
  3. a b c The Well of Ascension chapter 10 #
  4. a b c d e f g The Well of Ascension chapter 20 #
  5. a b c d e f g The Well of Ascension chapter 23 #
  6. a b c d e The Well of Ascension chapter 41 #
  7. a b c d e f The Well of Ascension chapter 16 #
  8. a b c The Well of Ascension chapter 35 #
  9. a b c d e f g h i j k l The Well of Ascension chapter 37 #
  10. a b c d The Well of Ascension chapter 14 #
  11. a b c d e f The Well of Ascension chapter 25 #
  12. a b c d e f The Well of Ascension chapter 50 #
  13. a b c The Well of Ascension chapter 30 #
  14. a b c Well of Ascension Annotation Chapter 37
    Brandon's website - June 26, 2008#
  15. The Well of Ascension chapter 56 #
  16. The Well of Ascension chapter 28 #
  17. The Well of Ascension chapter 31 #
  18. The Well of Ascension chapter 34 #
  19. a b c Well of Ascension Annotation Chapter 36
    Brandon's website - June 7, 2008#
  20. a b c The Well of Ascension chapter 36 #
  21. The Well of Ascension chapter 49 #
  22. Well of Ascension Annotation Chapter 51
    Brandon's website - Dec. 10, 2008#
  23. a b The Well of Ascension chapter 54 #
  24. The Bands of Mourning chapter 13 #
  25. Map of Elendel
  26. Well of Ascension Annotation Chapter 14
    Brandon's website - Dec. 1, 2007#
  27. Well of Ascension Annotation Chapter 30
    Brandon's website - April 17, 2008#
  28. B&N Book Club Q&A
    Arcanum - 2009-07-08#
  29. #SandersonChat Twitter Q&A with Audible.com
    Arcanum - Feb. 4, 2016# - old
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