We know Vin removed one of Marsh's eye spikes just before she ascended.

Marsh watched limply as Vin fell to her knees. Shaking, she reached for one of his eye-spikes.

There was nothing he could do. He'd used up most of the healing in his metal-mind, and the rest would do him no good. Stored healing worked by way of speed. He could either heal himself a small amount very quickly, or wait and heal himself slowly, yet completely. Either way, he was dead as soon as Vin pulled those spikes free.

Finally, he thought with relief as she grabbed the first spike. Whatever I did . . . it worked. Somehow.

He felt Ruin's rage, felt his master realizing his mistake. In the end, Marsh had mattered. In the end, Marsh hadn't given up. He'd done Mare proud. Vin pulled the spike free. It hurt, of course—hurt far more than Marsh would have thought possible. He screamed—both in pain and in joy—as Vin reached for the other eye-spike.

And then, she hesitated. Marsh waited expectantly. She shook, then coughed, cringing. She gritted her teeth, reaching toward him. Her fingers touched the spike.

And then, Vin vanished.
The Hero of Ages - Chapter 73

(bold emphasis mine)

Despite being mentioned five times, there is no indication which spike (right or left) Vin pulled out.

The only other time this is mentioned in the book, it is also unclear which spike was removed.

Something moved behind him, and he spun, raising his blade, letting the atium lead him. Yet, he froze, uncertain. The creature behind him was no koloss. It stood in a black robe, one eye socket empty and bleeding, the other bearing a spike that had been crushed back into its skull. Elend could see straight into the empty eye socket, through the creature's head, and out the back.

The Hero of Ages - Chapter 80

If I recall correctly, Marsh had both spikes next time we see him (talking to Marasi in The Alloy of Law). So do we ever find out which spike was removed?

  • 1
    If he recovered it once he regained his mind (or just subbed in one that would work)... does it matter?
    – Radhil
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 15:47
  • Need it matter? In all seriousness though, I think it might. I'm exploring the possibility that The Sovereign is Marsh, but I can't figure out which spike Marsh lost. For all we know, Marsh ran around with a single spike until the day before he spoke to Marasi.
    – amflare
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 15:51
  • 1
    With respect to the vote to close - not enough available information, or "we don't know" is not the same as "opinion-based". It might at a stretch fit future works, but I don't really think that's valid either, unless the author admits there's a reason he hasn't clarified.
    – Radhil
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 16:00
  • Upvoting just to cancel out a downvote. The question is valid and has even been answered twice.
    – Kosmos
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 16:08
  • Valid as the question may be, it still doesn't seem relevant for anything to know if it was the left or the right eye specifically.
    – TARS
    Commented Jan 25, 2019 at 9:43

1 Answer 1


It was the Left spike.

In rereading my question, I realized we do have an identifying feature, the remaining spike is the one that got crushed in Well of Ascension.

Sazed turned, slamming the lamp into Marsh's face. The metal bent in his hand, and the force threw Marsh backward. The Inquisitor hit the marble wall, a spray of blood misting in the air. As Marsh slumped to the ground, Sazed could see that he'd driven one of the eye-spikes back into the front of the skull, crushing the bone around the socket.


Sazed skidded around Marsh to attack from behind. The spike in Marsh's right eye protruded several extra inches out the back of his skull, and it dribbled blood.
Well of Ascension - Chapter 58

(emphasis mine)

The Right spike was the one that was crushed, and since thats the spike Elend saw (and used to identify the inquisitor as Marsh) we know its not the one Vin pulled out. Therefore, Vin pulled out the Left spike.

  • Shows what I know. Heh.
    – Radhil
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 16:14

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