Before we start, let's go over the list of the scars in the book, or at least the ones that are relevant to this conversation.
Fitz: scar from the arthoplethura on his chest
Keefe: scar from Dimitar's sword thing across his stomach
Dex: thumbprint burn scar on his torso somewhere
Biana: broken-glass-mirror scars across her back, left side, left leg, left side of her face, and left arm
Sophie: star-shaped bruise/scar on her hand, a larger one on her thigh
Where to start?
Actually, let's start out simply: Biana, the "pretty" character, is the only one with clearly visible scars. Except for the one on Sophie's hand, all the aforementioned scars are covered up by, y'know, clothing, and Sophie wears gloves all the time. Meanwhile, Biana couldn't cover up all her scars unless she wore a turtleneck and a ski cap. And am I the only one who's noticed that we don't have any canon art of Biana with scars? Even L*ura's art of Alvar's trial, post-Nightfall, doesn't show her scars on her face. And setting aside the serious stigma of giving a character scars to make them "less beautiful" (because that is both not how beauty works and also Biana's scars are comparatively much tamer than they could be and in my opinion are kind of a cool pattern) why is Biana the only one who gets easily visible scars? And how come we don't get to see Biana's journey beyond some wardrobe changes and one somewhat cliched line? As someone who cares about her appearance, accepting the fact that she'll never look the same had to have been complicated and drawn-out and involved a lot of interesting development that we didn't get to see.
Next up? Burn scars. (If you're easily grossed out, skip this part.)
Dex has a burn scar on his torso -- the book describes it as raised and puckered and the size/shape of a thumbprint, which means it's probably a hypertrophic scar(feel free to google that, but don't look at the images unless you have a strong stomach), and it's purportedly there because Elwin couldn't heal it in time.
So what about Wylie? How come he has no scarring from when the Neverseen t/rt/red him for an extended period of time? Because it was clearly really bad. From Lodestar, in case you've forgotten:
The giant welts and blisters marring Wylie's arms and legs were too huge and red and violent to be ignored.
And they were shaped like hands.
Wylie also mentions an "itchy tingle" while he's talking to Sophie and Fitz, which to me sounds like they were rather deep (although keep in mind I'm not a doctor). And I'll say it again: his burns were on his arms and legs, which are common places for hypertrophic scars (they're often over joints) or contracture scars (since the arms and legs are places that do a lot of movement).
So why doesn't Wylie have any scars? True, the Neverseen did hold Dex longer than they did Wylie, which could account for some of it, but Wylie's burns were deeper and needed more treatment, not just because there were so many, but because he also suffered electrical burns/trauma (from the force field) and was drugged, which would not only need to be cleared from his system but also from the wounds to prevent infection.
So why the frick does Wylie have no scars? i t m a k e s n o s e n s e
And last but not least: let's talk about why Fitz, Keefe, and Sophie have such easily hidden scars.
If you read those names and thought, love triangle!!!!!!, congrats, you're... not far off. To start with, these are our three most prominent characters (yes, because of the love triangle, but also for other reasons) and they tend to have more near-death experiences than the other characters, as the most prominent three. Also, Fitz and Keefe are supposed to be objectively handsome, and again, as stigmatizing as it is to assume beauty is decreased by the presence of scars, that is the assumption of at least the fictional elf world if not also the majority of real-life people. Sophie, on the other hand, is our main character, and a lot of main characters tend to have easily hidden scars, sort of a "Hey, look at me, I look like your standard person on the outside, but there are several strange and potentially traumatic things simmering just below the surface!" I also think it's interesting that her scar on her hand is so small -- I mean, Fitz, Keefe, and Biana's scars are all pretty big, and are a pretty huge deal. Meanwhile, Sophie's comparative scar is a little star-shaped bruise-y thing, which is kind of inconsequential compared to those.
And as a parting thought, let's look at these scars compared to their emotional journeys, because this rant isn't long enough as-is...
Dex: originally the scar was a real grounder for Sophie, but now it's never even talked about, and he's probably the only one that really realizes what he went through for her
Keefe: long, painful, and rough, draws a lot of attention when it happens but is quickly passed over when the next crisis appears
Fitz: one single impalement, but it spread quickly and left something messy that most people are reluctant to deal with despite the fact that it probably needs some TLC
Biana: big, world-changing, and probably triggers an entire upheaval of her identity and values, but does anyone really notice? noOoOoOoOo
Sophie: the small stuff gets a lot of attention, while the larger and much more serious stuff just kind of chills behind the scenes until someone remembers, "oh yeah, she has some problems that could use some addressing"
Anyway, this concludes my rant on scars.
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