Hey guys! It’s time for the last Inspiring Characters post of 2022! I had a bit of a hard time coming up with a character this time, but I finally settled on one of my favorite book characters: Vin from Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn! Vin went through a TON of character development (maybe I’ll do a Character Development post on her sometime), so I thought it would be appropriate to do a little analysis on her. I mean, she’s basically a different person by the of the series, and I don’t know about anyone else, but I was definitely inspired by her! Let’s talk about why she’s inspiring. MAJOR Spoiler Warnings!
Long Story Short
It’s been a long time since I’ve read the books, and there is a lot of information, so I’ll do my best here!
When we first meet Vin, she’s working for a thieving crew. She knows she has these weird abilities that make her a “good luck charm”, which is why the crew keeps her around. Somehow, things always go perfectly whenever she’s there. She doesn’t know how she does it, but she knows she’s the reason their plans always work out. It isn’t until she meets another thieving crew – until she meets the Mistborn Kelsier – that she realizes why she’s good luck. As it turns out, she’s Mistborn, too. She can manipulate emotions, move things with her mind, and a bunch of other things that made her valuable to her crew of thieves. But now, Kelsier wants her to come with him so she can be trained. He has a plan to change the world (by taking down their tyrant Lord Ruler), and he needs her help to do it.
For all of Vin’s powers, she’s still unconfident. shy, and dealing with massive amounts of trauma. Her mother was pretty much a psychopath, and after she died, her brother ended up leaving her, too. She was abused by the thieves she worked for, and eventually, she learned not to trust anyone. So Kelsier had a lot of work to do to bring her out of her shell. His plan required her to play the part of a noblewoman. As the plan played out, Vin had a hard time finding who she really was. Was she Vin, the scared little girl? Vin the Mistborn? Or, as she found herself falling in love, Vin the noblewoman?
Near the end of the first book, disaster strikes. Vin and Kelsier grow into a sort of father-daughter relationship, and Vin is finally letting her guard down a little. She knows she can trust Kelsier, and he won’t go away like everyone else did. But in a fight to save their friends, Kelsier has a showdown with the Lord Ruler, and Vin is forced to watch the only father she ever had die. Once again, the walls she built around herself go up.
But she intends to carry out Kelsier’s mission. At the end of the first book, Vin finds she’s more powerful than she realizes and kills the Lord Ruler. But her story isn’t even close to ending. because it turns out the Lord Ruler’s brutal ways should have been the least of their concern. The world is ending, and it turns out that the man they killed was the only person who could stop it from happening.
In the second book, an all-out war breaks out. Vin is more powerful than ever, especially with the man she fell in love with, Elend, on her side. But when she meets someone who turns out to be Elend’s half-brother, Zane, she isn’t sure who she wants- or what Zane wants. She grows dangerously close to Zane, only for him to betray her. This strengthens her resolve in what she needs to do next, so, after marrying Elend, she sets her sights on finding a hidden power; the Well of Ascension. After a battle that kills many of her friends, she finds out the Well was under the kingdom the entire time. When they reach the Well, Elend is mortally wounded, and she is faced with a choice: take the power in the Well for herself and save Elend, or let the power go. She thinks letting the power go is the right decision, but as soon as she does it she knows this isn’t the case. In fact, the power was not a something, but a someone. And now, it really is the end of the world. Luckily, she was able to save Elend by making him a full Mistborn.
In the final book, things are more intense that ever. Vin and her friends are trying desperately to stop the world from ending, but the power Vin let go from the Well, Ruin, is clever- perhaps to clever for them? It sees everything, and knows exactly what their thinking. Vin grapples with the guilt of knowing she is the reason Ruin is free to wreck the world. Though she is nothing like her old self, she still hasn’t found the confidence she needs to beat Ruin. She still has trouble knowing who she is.
Now that Elend is a Mistborn, and a powerful one at that, she begins to doubt her own abilities. Kelsier, along with many of the original characters, are gone. And with their forces stretched thin, it seems the only ending for them is defeat. But while the Vin from the past might have given up, this Vin, who has gone through so much hardship, does not. She presses on. There is a prophecy that a so called Hero of Ages will stop Ruin, and she begins to wonder if she is the one the prophecy speaks of. It seems likely…until we reach the end of the book.
An the final battle, when all seems lost, Vin gains the power of the Mist- something most of them had originally feared. It gives her power like Ruin’s, and the two face off. Even though she’s watching her friends dying, and even Elend, she doesn’t give in. She is able to defeat Ruin, and in turn, bring about the Hero of Ages (which ended up being her friend and mentor). Of course, this comes with a cost. Vin, even though she wins the fight, gives her life in doing so.
What Makes Vin So Inspiring
The character development here is honestly kind of astonishing. I mean, Vin goes from a shy, skittish girl to being second to the Hero of Ages. Like, reading the end of the third book blew me away, not just because of how good it was, but because I couldn’t even recognize this girl. In the first book, she was easily frightened, didn’t talk to anyone, let alone put her trust in anyone. It was like pulling teeth to get her to open up. She didn’t want to let anyone in. If someone told her she would eventually help save the world, I bet she would have laughed.
But in the last book, we have a true heroine. She’s powerful, yes, but she is also compassionate, reliable, and she knows who she is. She trusts her friends, and she stands beside them. Even when all hope was lost, she never gave in to despair. She put the well-being of the world above her own desires. I don’t know about you, but she was a paragon of a hero, even if she didn’t end up being the Hero of Ages.
Maybe you’ve built a wall around yourself, too. Maybe you’ve dealt with too much heartbreak, betrayals, and trauma to let anyone else in. I haven’t dealt with any major trauma in regards to betrayal, but I’ve had enough happen to me that I began to not trust anyway, and I closed myself off to many relationships. I know what it’s like to have my confidence stripped away. But Vin makes me want to be fearless. I can’t live with walls around myself. I know that no one can do that. We can’t live without having a purpose, a confidence in who God made us to be.
Vin is one of the many things that helped me break down my walls and build up my confidence little by little. Maybe she can inspire you to do the same
Greatest Moment –
Vin’s greatest moment is, hands down, when she takes the powers of the Mist and defeats Ruin (even though it made me ugly cry, haha!).
Greatest Quote –
“I bring a message from a friend. He is the one thing you can never kill. He is Hope. – Vin (The Final Empire)
Some Fast Facts About Vin –
– Vin is referenced multiple times throughout the next Mistborn series, Wax & Wayne. Wax & Wayne takes places hundreds of years after the first three books, and the events of this series is pretty much all legend by the second series. However, in Wax & Wayne, there is a statue of Vin int he city, and Wax owns a gun that is named after her as well (the Vindication).
– Aside from being referenced, she is also the point of many conversations as well. At one point, Wax meets Vin’s immortal friend, TenSoon, and he tells Wax what Vin was like. Bring on the nostalgia!
– Vin is sixteen at the beginning of the series.
– It is a major point in the story that Vin is considered to be very small. In fact, she is 5’4″. I don’t know how to feel about them calling her small throughout the series, because this happens to be my height…
That’s that! I had fun doing this one! Vin is one of my favorite characters int his book, and I felt she needed some time in the spotlight. But what do you think about her? Do you find her inspiring? Let me know in the comments!
And as always, God bless y’all and have a wonderful evening!
All media property of Brandon Sanderson.