Zane Venture

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Zane Venture
Zane portrait.png
House Venture
Parents Straff
Siblings Elend
Died 1023 FE
Abilities Mistborn, Hemalurgist
Aliases The Watcher
Birthplace Luthadel
Ethnicity Noble
World Scadrial
Universe Cosmere
Featured In Mistborn Era 1

Zane Venture was a Mistborn on the planet of Scadrial. He was the illegitimate son of Straff Venture and the half-brother to Elend Venture.

Appearance and Personality[edit]

Zane shares certain phenotypic characteristics with his family such as brown curly hair, which he tends to keep shorter than his brother. He has a wiry build with a narrow face and is of medium height. He often wears all black and, despite being a Mistborn, does not wear a mistcloak.[1] Zane had a difficult childhood, as Straff kept his existence secret due to his illegitimacy. Because of a combination of his harsh upbringing and Ruin's influence upon him, Zane has an unstable personality, and engages in dysregulated behavior such as self-harm.

Zane has a Hemalurgic spike he placed himself, presumably under Ruin's influence;[2] however, a consequence of this spike is that Ruin can speak with Zane, and often tells him to kill everyone around him, leading Zane to believe he is insane. Zane refuses to let his insanity control him and he resists following Ruin's orders, calling him God when thinking about the voice in his head, but otherwise ignoring it.[3]

Without Ruin's influence, Zane would have been less crazy but more ruthless, much like his father,[4] and would have been more similar to Kelsier.[5]

Attributes and Abilities[edit]

Zane is a powerful Mistborn, the strongest Vin has met since Kelsier. This is, in part, thanks to a steel Hemalurgic spike in his heart, which grants him great precision when using Allomantic steel.[6] He was one of the few Mistborn in the Final Empire who had access to duralumin.


At some point after he Snapped, Zane obtained, and stabbed himself with, a Hemalurgic spike.[7][8]

First known as The Watcher, Zane was later identified by Vin when he came to the city with a message from Straff.

During their conversation outside of Straff's tent, Vin came to believe that Zane had Snapped in the Pits of Hathsin due to scars seen on his arms. However, this was actually just due to his habit of self-harm to block out Ruin's voice and make his father uncomfortable.[9]

Fighting Vin

Straff, suspicious of his son, believed that Zane was constantly attempting to assassinate him. Whenever Straff thought he had been poisoned by his son, he sought help from his former mistress, Amaranta, who provided him with an antidote.[3] Unfortunately for Straff, Zane and Amaranta were lovers and the woman was working with Zane to convince Straff he had been poisoned, while instead providing him with an addictive substance masked as an antidote.[10] Zane capitalized on the substance's withdrawal effects to convince Straff he was repeatedly being poisoned. Eventually, Straff attempted to have Zane killed in his sleep. Zane, however, had hired a man in the camp to signal if someone was approaching his tent, and managed to escape. He then left Straff's camp to seek out Vin and take her away from Luthadel.

Wanting Vin to himself, Zane attempted to convince her that she did not belong in Elend’s world, and instead should run away with him. As an attempt to sway her, he sent several of Straff’s Allomancers to attack Vin and Elend during an assembly meeting meant to determine the future leadership in Luthadel, reminding her of just how efficiently she could kill and capitalizing on her insecurity about deserving to be with Elend. Zane later approached Vin regarding the attack and told her that Cett had been behind the assassination attempt. Zane offered to help Vin get revenge and the two descended upon the portion of Cett's army that was housed in Keep Hasting, killing roughly a third of the enemy soldiers. Vin hesitated when presented with the opportunity to kill Cett, prompting Zane to try and kill the man instead. Vin persuaded him otherwise, leaving Cett alive.

Zane visited Vin one last time to try and persuade Vin to leave with him, promising they could go wherever she wanted. Conflicted, Vin began to follow Zane before deciding that leaving was the wrong choice, realizing that the chief difference between Zane and Elend was that the latter trusted her. She attempted to voice her concerns to Zane; however, he became filled with rage and attacked her, using atium to give himself an advantage. Several times throughout their fight, Zane repeated that Vin was supposed to save him, presumably from his insanity and Ruin’s voice. In the end, Vin used Zane's reactions to her atium shadow to give herself two atium shadows, changing her attack based on Zane's counteraction to her own shadow, and stabbed him in the neck, killing him.[11] As he died, Ruin revealed to Zane that he had never been insane.



I thought, maybe, if you could fight and see just how powerful you were, you’d shake yourself free of Elend’s grip.


Zane is intrigued by Vin from the start, as she is the only one the voice in his head doesn’t tell him to kill. This leads him to think that she's supposed to save him, although it was actually because Ruin didn't want to risk Zane actually listening to him and killing the Shard's most instrumental pawn.[11] He watches Vin from afar, and helps her slightly during a fight with a group of Allomancer assassins.[13] Though they are on different sides of the conflict, Zane and Vin often duel in the mists together, engaging in chases and other games. Though they fight, they don’t actually try to kill each other.[14] During these outings, Zane routinely tells Vin how she’s being used by Elend.[15] When he tries to get Vin to run away with him, she refuses. Zane attacks her, seriously this time, and Vin kills him despite his atium.[11]


A man shouldn't kill his own father.


Zane's relationship with his father is somewhat antagonistic. Although Zane completes missions that Straff sends him on, he also commonly cuts himself in front of the man to make him uncomfortable--but he also does it in order to block out Ruin's telling him to kill Straff, as he believes that a man shouldn't kill his father.[16] Furthermore, he believes Ruin's voice to be an indicator of his own insanity, and therefore wouldn't trust himself to be in Straff's place. Despite this, he doesn't stop one of Straff's serving girls from attempting to poison the man, and he lets him assume that Zane poisoned him whenever Straff experiences the withdrawal symptoms of Black Frayn.[3]


Amaranta is Zane’s lover, while also being a mistress to Straff Venture. She is a skilled herbalist, and gave Zane the idea to use Black Frayn on Straff. During her affair with Zane, he would often cut her in the same way he cut himself, but he made her feel desirable again. Zane then became distant, and Amaranta blamed Straff.


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