- Complete Monster: Straff. All the other villains in the series have some sort of reason or excuse for their actions the Inquisitors and several other characters were mind-controlled, the Lord Ruler was genuinely trying to help the world, Zane was nuts, Ruin was a cosmic force of destruction, etc. Straff's just power-mad, and there doesn't seem to be anything he won't stoop to in order to get it.
- Crowning Moment of Awesome: The entire final section of Hero of Ages. Also Kelsier fighting an Inquisitor one-on-one.
- Vin beating Zane, a Mistborn who's actually more powerful than she is due to his Atium and hemalurgic spike by discovering the trick you can use to beat someone who can see the immediate future.
- In the same book, Elend singlehandedly kills a Koloss in one-on-one combat. It was a small one, but even a single Koloss is considered to be worth several dozen soldiers in battle.
- Also Sazed at the Battle of Luthadel, overcoming his uncertainty and getting dangerous on a whole mess of Koloss.
- Kelsier's death and the subsequent rebellion of Luthadel's entire skaa population.
- Crowning Moment of Funny: Several, especially conversations involving Vin's dry humor. Most notably when the chivalrous Elend enters Vin's private rooms.
Vin: Why did you knock?
- In the same book . . .
Oreseur: What about you? Are you a good person?
- "He ate my horse."
- From Hero Of Ages, Elend and Ham have just decided not to send a force of 40,000 Koloss to attack Fadrex City, which would likely have resulted in the deaths of most of the population
Ham smiled. "Cett's going to be furious."
- Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: Elend coming to rescue Vin at the end of the first book. Sure, this was before he took a level of badass and as a result she wound up saving him, but it was the thought that counted- especially since Vin spent most of the book thinking that people were inherently untrustworthy. He may not have saved Vin, but together with the Inquisitor's revelation about Reen he just may have saved her faith in humanity.
- High Octane Nightmare Fuel: Where to start? Inquisitors, kandra, and the rampant rape and murder of skaa women are just a few examples from the first book alone. Also, Hemalurgy in all its applications - the Kandra actually turn out to be its least scary manifestation.
- Magnificent Bastard: The Lord Ruler, in the way he manipulates the nobility and obligators and especially post-mortem when it becomes obvious all the plans he had in place for the event of his own death. Pity for him that Kelsier is is more magnificent than he is.
- Tear Jerker: Preservation's death. Sazed's annotations say that if Elend had stuck around for a few minutes after the final appearance of the mist spirit, he would have seen the corpse of the man that Preservation once was form out of the mists before being buried in ash.
- What Could Have Been: The trilogy was originally two separate works- Mistborn, which had the magic system, and Final Empire, which had the basic concept and setting. Sanderson, dissatisfied with both of them, put them together and came up with something he liked a lot more.
- Vin also went through several concepts. The original Vin was actually male, but got genderflipped when the character just wasn't gelling. The next concept had Vin already being the leader of her own crew when Kelsier recruited her- this was scrapped because the "weak person discovers her own power" aspect of Vin's arc looses a lot of punch if she's already starting from a position of comparative strength. The version immediately before the Vin who made it into the published trilogy was essentially her canonical self, but much more critical of the people around her, even doing a running mental commentary of everything her crewleader, Camon, was doing wrong in her first scene. This was cut because it made Camon look incompetent and Vin more than a little obnoxious.
- The Woobie: Vin, early on. She has some moments of it later, but by that point the fact that she's enough of a Badass to take on fake gods and a real one kind of offsets it...
- And Marsh. Seriously, with all the stuff that happens to him, Marsh needs a hug. Provided he doesn't stab you or something.