I am a newbie in the Mistborn series, I am reading the first book (The Final Empire) and I have 150-200 pages left. I am really confused about the concept of moving through air using "Steel Pushing and Iron Pulling". Now I know about the basic usage of steel and iron in the series, they are used to "detect other metal objects adjacent of the user, in this case a Misting or Mistborn."

In the book we see that blue threads come out of a Misting or Mistborn's heart and those threads stick to the metal objects - that's why metal coins were used heavily for movement.

Now are these threads like Spiderman's web? and how do the metals telekinetically stay in the air when the threads stick to them?

Sorry if it is a silly question!

  • 3
    I think you're misunderstanding the idea of those blue threads. They're not physical threads like spiderweb; they're more like laser beams, just a way for Mistings or Mistborn to see where metal is so that they can Push/Pull on it.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Mar 22, 2017 at 12:21
  • Ok, i get it ..... but you must be familiar with the coin technique, you would see that whenever they try to move they just throw the coins in the air and they start their pull and push on those coins and those coins stay in the air how is it possible!!!
    – Proloy
    Mar 22, 2017 at 12:26
  • @Proloy - I think that's the disconnect right there... they're not throwing coins in the air and swinging off of antigravity coins... they're throwing coins at the ground, and pushing off the coins once they're flat on the ground and not moving.
    – Radhil
    Mar 22, 2017 at 12:30
  • Ok, i think i got the idea, Thanks!!!
    – Proloy
    Mar 22, 2017 at 12:34

1 Answer 1


In short, physics.

The blue threads aren't much more than a mental cue that tells the Mistborn what metal is where, something visual that the reader can relate to. The blue threads themselves are not physical, don't stick to anything, are not seen by anyone else, and only exist in the mind of the Misting.

Ironpulls and Steelpushes are just magic force pushing or pulling on metal, with the body of the Mistborn acting as the source of the force. Physics does the rest. Metal stays in the air if a Misting is below it continues to push on it. A Misting can hover in the air if metal is below them on the ground and they continue to push on it - the force or momentum of the push is transferred to the Misting, since the metal can't move through the ground. Misting "flight" is basically a series of hover-jumps on this same principle, pushing against fixed metal at an angle to jump in a particular direction, and wouldn't work if there was no metal below them to push off of.

The analogy to Spider Man isn't far off - swinging around through the city - just in a reverse direction, as there are very few buildings in the city tall enough for a Misting to metal-pull on to sustain a long jump or flight. Thus the reliance on throwing coins at the ground and pushing off of them.


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