Thu
May 19 2011 3:06pm

Rothfuss Reread: The Name of the Wind, Part 5: Too Much Truth Confuses the Facts

Rothfuss Reread on Tor.comThis is part 5 of my insanely detailed re-read of Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles. These posts contain spoilers for both The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear, as well as well-founded guesses, speculation and wild wild theories. It would be unwise to read beyond the cut unless you have read both books—and also kind of confusing.

This post covers chapters 24-29 of The Name of the Wind.

Abbreviations: NW = The Name of the Wind. WMF = The Wise Man’s Fear. DT = Day Three, the forthcoming final volume. K = Kvothe or Kote when I can’t figure out what to call him and I’m feeling Kafkaesque. MT: Myr Tariniel.

Useful links: The Sleeping Under the Wagon post, in which there are lots of theories. The re-read index. The map.

This week we’re going to start with going back to last week’s section, on which there were many terrific comments.

First Susan Loyal’s awesome theory:

In Chapter 19, Fingers and Strings, Kvothe says: “Make no mistake. I was not myself. At least I was not the same person I had been a span of days before.” I just read over this as metaphorical, because it’s such common usage to describe trauma and grief. It may be literal. Kvothe lists the gates in the mind that protect the mind from extreme pain: the gate of sleep, the gate of forgetting, the gate of madness, the gate of death. (In Skarpi’s story, which we’ll get to next week, Haliax says these gates are closed to him.) Kvothe says repeatedly, from the beginning of his time in the woods to the point in Tarbean where Skarpi is arrested, that his mind is sleeping. He also refers (it seems somewhat inconsistently) to things that are locked behind the gate of forgetting. His parents’ death and the Chandrian seem to be behind the gate of forgetting most of the time. Sometimes the memories rise, however. And then you have his recounting his troupe’s role in the Midwinter celebrations as if his memory was completely unaffected. This seems to me like some of the inconsistencies in the Kote/Kvothe split. His geographical location is one of the things behind the gate of forgetting, or so he says when he decides to find lute strings.

This has made me change my mind entirely about the Tarbean section. He wasn’t himself. Just like in the frame, when he is Kote and not himself!

For me this resolves the inconsistencies. It also gives us a comparison. In Tarbean he didn’t do sympathy, he didn’t do music, and his memories were patchy. I think he could remember things but he mostly didn’t. And of course he skips over it, of course he didn’t do the things he could have done, of course it feels literary, because he wasn’t himself. Literally. He wasn’t who he was. He hadn’t shut his name or part of his name into a box, this was done by trauma. Or was it?

Shalter and others have been musing on what Haliax meant by “Send him to the soft and painless blanket of his sleep.” I had assumed that meant “Stop tormenting him and kill him quickly.” But it’s possible that instead it meant “put him in this state where he can’t remember.” He does sleep, and have that useful dream. He then doesn’t remember. He then snaps out of it when named by Skarpi.

And that makes me wonder whether in fact the whole murder of the troupe event didn’t happen when K was in the woods playing by coincidence, whether they cannot directly kill him for some reason, whether they waited until he was away, whether he is part of their purpose, whether they need him later.

We also had some conversation about the singers—not capitalised, my mistake. Artful Magpie suggested that Kvothe was playing Names on the lute, and that this might connect with what he did with Felurian’s name. Perhaps Naming is actually Singing. There’s no music taught at the University, it’s not taboo the way it is among the Adem, but it isn’t there. But perhaps the singers are those who can Name in song. I find this pretty convincing.

Okay, onwards!

 

Chapter 24 is called Shadows Themselves. It’s very short, and it summarises years of life in Tarbean. Kvothe says he learned begging and lockpicking, and he that nobody would help him, and he learned to be careful of denner addicts, sweet eaters with very white teeth.

Of course this is setting up the denner-addicted draccus later on, and it’s a nice realistic detail of low-life drug addiction. But I can’t believe that in a story so obsessed with names and naming that “denner” and “Denna” are only coincidentally related. It seems it may well be a foreshadowing of Denna as addiction. We haven’t heard Denna’s name in the text yet—she’s been mentioned in the frame, but not by name.

Then we get to the time when Kvothe hears a boy caught by a gang in an alley and doesn’t help him, which again brings us to the Bechdel scene in WMF when Denna does help a girl in an alley. Kvothe could have helped but had too much to lose—his hiding place, eight pennies, a blanket, Ben’s book and half a loaf of bread. So little, but he didn’t dare risk it.

 

In Chapter 25, Interlude: Eager for Reasons, we’re back to the frame story. Kvothe says that the incident with the boy, when he could have helped but didn’t, was part of what made him “the Kvothe they tell stories about.” He can’t remember how many beatings he’s had, how many bones he has broken, but he remembers the boy crying, bones mend but regret is forever. Kvothe said he had learned that nobody would help him, this is where he learns that he won’t help others but he wants to. By going out to the frame he’s telling us that this is significant.

And then Bast asks all the questions we’ve been wanting to ask—why did he stay in Tarbean, why didn’t he go to Ben? His answers never satisfied me—habit, survivor’s guilt. But then he says

“You must also remember that I was not in my right mind. Much of me was still in shock, sleeping if you will. I needed something, or someone, to wake me up.”

I think this is more evidence for Susan’s theory. “Sleeping if you will” connects to the sleeping mind and the lethani.

And at the end of this chapter he says it was Skarpi who woke him, and names Skarpi. And what we know about Skarpi up to now is that he is Chronicler’s colleague. So if he is in the state he was in then, perhaps Chronicler can do what Skarpi did? Which brings us to Skarpi.

 

Chapter 26 is called Lanre Turned, which makes me wonder. Turned?

Before we get to Lanre, we hear why Kvothe doesn’t want to go to the docks to hear a story, even though he longs for entertainment. What he did to Pike was petty and cruel, and he doesn’t seem to regret it. Okay, Pike broke his father’s lute and was a bully, but he was a child and very like Kvothe. Susan used the word “Dickensian” about the Tarbean sections last week, and I am reminded of Orwell’s comment on Dickens—that Dickens realises that a sensitive boy like David shouldn’t have to work in a factory, but he doesn’t realise that no boy should have to. Kvothe has compassion for the boy caught by the gang, but not for Pike, though Pike is a victim of the system just as much as Kvothe. Rothfuss sees it—he gives Pike the violets that Kvothe burns. Kvothe doesn’t.

Oh, and those who thought Kvothe should be killing people with sympathy and those who thought killing is too unpleasant? Kvothe tries to kill Pike with alcohol and a phosphorus match, which is just as horrible but doesn’t require magic. He’s definitely up to attempting murder. But most of his life Kvothe could have set alcohol on fire with a scribbled symbol—but not here, and not in the frame story. The more I think about his Kote-self and his Tarbean-self the more they seem similar.

At the end of this, he remembers Lanre and wants the story, and he realises that the pain of the loss of everything has become less sharp, in three years of Tarbean.

Skarpi is an old man with eyes like diamonds and the body of a scarecrow. We’ve wondered if he might be an Amyr, and therefore if Chronicler might too. I think that’s a good guess. But anyway, Skarpi is Chronicler’s colleague, he must also go around collecting stories and telling stories, and so what is he doing telling stories to kids in a downmarket tavern in Tarbean? Collecting stories? Looking for Kvothe to wake him up?

Let’s look at a couple of possibilities here. First, Kvothe is just this incredibly gifted guy who wanders about having things happen to him for coincidental reasons. Ben joins the troupe and teaches him sympathy. The Chandrian kill his family. He putters about in Tarbean. Skarpi wakes him up. He goes to University. Etc. Or how about Kvothe is really important in a way he doesn’t know, he’s the Lackless heir with all the right blood and he’s needed for something huge and moon-shaking. So the Chandrian kill the rest while he’s away and do something to him, and Skarpi comes to wake him once he’s old enough for University? Against this is the fact that he could have died a lot of times in Tarbean.

Anyway, there are a group of kids in the bar, they buy Skarpi a drink and he offers a story. K says “Lanre” and though others ask for others that’s the one he tells.

I think it’s worth a moment to look at what the others ask for. One of them is “Myr Tariniel”—which would also be Lanre and Selitos? And that’s odd, because when Denna does the Lanre song, the place has a different name, Miriniel or something?

Somebody wants a faerie story. A couple of people want stories of Oren Veliciter, who we know is still alive and was recently interviewed by Chronicler. The others are Lartam—about which I know zilch, and “Illien and the Bear.” Illien was the Edema Ruh hero who wrote all the best songs, I don’t know about the Bear.

Skarpi prefaces the Lanre story with, “The story of a man who lost his eye and gained a better sight”. Which isn’t Lanre!

We don’t know how authoritative Skarpi’s story is. But if these guys go around interviewing heroes and taking their stories like they’re doing right now, maybe we can trust it. Kvothe certainly seems to. On the other hand....

So, the story, for which we have had such a long build up. The city of Myr Tariniel “sat among the tall mountains of the world.” Where are there tall mountains? Off the map to the east?

Selitos was the most powerful namer in the world. The empire was called Ergen and the war was the Creation War, and “even history books that mentioned them as a doubtful rumour have crumbled into dust.” This doesn’t stop Kvothe looking once he gets into the Archives....

We don’t get any hint of reasons for the Creation War here. It had been going on for so long already. Eight cities were left, of hundreds. Apart from MT, they are Belen, Antas, Vaeret. Tinusa, Emlen, Murilla and Murella—which Felurian remembers. So some people alive then are alive now, despite how long ago it was. I doubt it’s just Felurian, Haliax, and the Chteah.

Okay, so Lanre and Lyra. Lanre’s a great fighter, Lyra is a great namer, they are married and defending the cities. Then came the Blac of Drossen Tor. Blac means battle, and it has to be significant that it’s “blac” or we wouldn’t have it, surely. Keep “blac” in mind? Great battle, okay, and you know, Skarpi hasn’t mentioned who the enemy are, and we’re just supposed to assume Lanre and Lyra and Selitos are the good guys and on the right side, but we really don’t know. More people died at the battle than are alive in the world today, an astonishing claim. Lanre fought a beast—a draccus? And he was killed, and Lyra brought him back to life by the power of naming.

And then Lanre shows up in Myr Tariniel amidst rumours that Lyra is dead. He’s wearing a suit of iron-scale armour made from the beast. He goes for a walk with Selitos, and binds him with names.

Selitos knew that in all the world there were only three people who could match his skill in names: Aleph, Iax and Lyra.

Aleph is the supposed world-making God, we know about Lyra, and this is the first mention of moon-stealing Iax.

MT falls. Lanre says he was counted a good man and he has done this, and that the dead are “Safe from the thousand evils of every day. Safe from an unjust fate.” Selitos says they are also safe from joy, and Lanre denies the possibility of joy. Lanre, called back from death, can be killed but will come back from death. His power is so strong that Selitos can’t kill it any more than he could “strike down the moon.” Lanre wants to destroy the world.

He says he’s no longer Lanre but Haliax, and “no door can bar my passing.” Four plate door? Kvothe’s mind doors? No sleep, no madness, no forgetfulness, no death. (This really is a horrible fate.)

Then Selitos sees that one city is left—we don’t know which! Lanre/Haliax says “I will sow salt lest bitter weeds grow.”

Then Selitos strikes out his own eye, and with the stone and the blood he curses Lanre/Haliax by his inner name—“May your face be always held in shadow” which is the shadow hame he has, and “Your own name will be turned against you, that you shall have no peace”. And this is the doom on Haliax and all who follow him—which I think we can reasonably conclude are the other Chandrian.

Then when the story is over Kvothe talks to Skarpi, mentioning his father twice. He asks if the story is true, and Skarpi says it really happened, more or less.

 

Chapter 27 is His Eyes Unveiled. Kvothe connects up the Chandrian and the story, and realises he needs to get revenge on them and it’s impossible. “I would have more luck trying to steal the moon.” I’m amazed that’s there, really, in plain sight like that and long before we know its significance. Wow. Also in this chapter “parts of my mind were still asleep.”

 

Chapter 28 is Tehlu’s Watchful Eye. Kvothe gets late to the storytelling and we get a fragment of story. Aleph—third mention—is asking for volunteer angels from the Ruach and sending them out to judge. Selitos declines, because he needs to fight the Chandrian, and he founds the Amyr, named after MT, and gets some volunteers for that. Tehlu and a pile of other people become angels and get wings. This clearly fits well onto the story of Tehlu Trapis told—Tehlu is an avenging judging angelic thing who fought Encanis without being God, and of course people are worshipping him as God.

If Tehlu is an “angel” and he binds Encanis who is Haliax and kills him on the wheel, and Haliax of course comes back? That could all be true.

And at that point, just when nobody expects the Tehlin Inquisition, in they come and denounce Skarpi for heresy and intimidate the innkeeper. Skarpi says they should have better things to do, “It’s not as if I expect you to bound off looking for Haliax and the Seven yourselves.” As if this was a possible thing, and a thing the Church should be doing—and maybe the Amyr used to do when the Church had them?

Skarpi laughs when the inquisitor says God should have mercy on his soul. He also says “Tehlu always said” as if he knew him. Is Skarpi one of the original Amyr? He looks really old.

And (here you go Robert!) then he says “You should run, Kvothe,” and goes on to say he has friends in the church, thus contributing more to the Amyr theory. But he names Kvothe without Kvothe having first volunteered his name. He is the first person to call Kvothe by name since his troupe were killed. How could he know the name? Well, potentially lots of ways, but perhaps he is Naming Kvothe, using his real name, and waking him up not metaphorically but literally and for real, bringing him from his sleeping mind where he has been protected from some things and shut away from some things, and snapping him awake. And this is what Elodin does in WMF when Kvothe is in a funk after speaking the Name of the Wind. He brings him back to himself by Naming him. It’s what you do.

I never liked this before, but now I do. I do hope Chronicler does this to him in DT!

 

And Chapter 29, confirming this interpretation, is called The Doors of My Mind. Kvothe runs to his hiding place and cries, not just for Skarpi but because he is awake. “For the first time in years I used one of the tricks Ben had taught me...”

Elodin says that Naming is like catching a ball, you can’t do it intellectually. It needs your sleeping mind. But sympathy needs your waking mind, your alar, all of that. So he is awake, he is integrated, and the first thing he does when he stops crying is use one of Ben’s tricks. Rothfuss is so clever! Kvothe spent the rest of the night opening the doors of his mind. He remembers magic and music and the Chandrian, he decides to find their enemies, and he reads Rhetoric and Logic.

I wonder if he still has it.

And we’ll start from 30 and his transformation back into awake and with all of his mind next time.


Jo Walton is a science fiction and fantasy writer. She’s published two poetry collections and nine novels, most recently Among Others, and if you liked this post you will like it. She reads a lot, and blogs about it here regularly. She comes from Wales but lives in Montreal where the food and books are more varied.

120 comments
Chris Palmer
1. cmpalmer
I'm probably going to mess up some details since I don't have the book handy, but I liked the idea that the people "promoted" to be Amyr and given wings were all people who had lost something. I can't remember the details of their stories, but he didn't pick the noblest or great warriors or anything, he picked people who had lost their families in horrible ways and/or had lost all of their money and possessions. This struck me as an admirable trait for new angels - they weren't aloof and high-and-mighty and they may burn for revenge, but would have sympathy for those suffering "collateral damage" in the wars.
Justin Levitt
2. TyranAmiros
Two comments:

First, I know I speculated that the University was founded by the Amyr (Imre=Amyr+re, anagolous to Ademre), but what if Imre and the University is actually the site or Myr Tariniel? I know the landscape doesn't seem to match, but I like the idea. This would help explain certain aspects such as Auri's Underthing--these would be the ruins of the old city--or why the Great Stone Road begins there.

Second, I wonder if Tinue was the city that survived (Tinusa-->Tinue). This would explain the idiom "How is the road to Tinue?" rather nicely: it would have been how the survivors of Lanre's devistation of the seven cities asked if there was danger lying ahead as they fled to the one remaining city.
Matt P
3. Matt P
It seems we have a trend of people who know Kvothe's name without asking him what it was. In NoW, it was Skarpi and in WMF, it was Bredon. I mean, the Maer liked Kvothe because he was so quiet and let no one know who he was or anything about him and Bredon comes to him with three rings with Kvothe's name on it. When we discussed Scarpi, it seems clear that Kvothe was overwhelmed and it's possible that he said his name and forgot. How did Bredon know so much about Kvothe?

Also, when Kvothe talked to Scarpi, Kvothe said something to the effect that he looked inside of him and knew things about him. If I remember correctly, Scarpi said he only knew one story and it happened in many places, one of them being in Dockside Tarbean. Could he have known Kvothe because he knew Kvothe was part of this story? Why else is someone as influential(high ranking friends in the church) as Scarpi reading stories to children anyway?

Why didn't Kvothe visit Scarpi when he went to Tarbean in WMF? He visited Trapis, his only other adult friend, and three others like the tailor(the one he bought clothes from), cobbler(the one who offered him free shoes) and an innkeeper who let him sleep at his hearth(who)?

If I had to guess, I'd say that Scarpi is a knower and he was reading stories because he knew he'd meet Kvothe.
Steven Halter
4. stevenhalter
I would say that Skarpi saying Kvothe's name without anyone telling it to him is pretty good proof that we are on the right track. Skarpi names him and he is reawakened.
C Smith
5. C12VT
I had a thought about Myr Tariniel. It's suggested that the Great Stone Road is very, very old - older than the Aturan Empire. On the map, the Road starts in Imre and ends in the Stormwal Mountains. I think Myr Tariniel is (or rather, was) at the end of that road.

Re: Scarpi and names: I noticed that Skarpi also calls the Tehlin justice by name (Erlus) even though he didn't introduce himself. It could be that they've met before... or it could be Skarpi's naming ability.
Steven Halter
6. stevenhalter
I had forgotten the phrase from Skarpi:

"Who would like to hear the story of a man who lost his eye and gained a better sight?"


We find out that this refers to Selitos from the subsequent tale. Then, in the second story we learn that Selitos founds the Amyr and that the Amyr is composed of the people who want proactive justice in opposition to Lanre and the Chandrian. The Amyr refuse to become angels.
The sacrifice of the eye in order to gain clarity of sight is reminiscent to me of Odin's removal of his eye in order to drink from Mimir's spring in order to gain wisdom. I'm not sure if there is anything more to it than the slight parallel.
Andrew Mason
7. AnotherAndrew
cmplamer: I thought of the Tinue/Tinusa thing as well, but about the University I had a different thought. Among the cities are the twin cities of Murilla and Murella. The University and Imre are twin cities. Are they built on the site of those two? We are told at one point that the University was founded among the ruins of an older university. I would agree with C12VT that Myr Tariniel was at the other end of the road (which is why the road is broken).

One question I have is just what led to Skarpi's arrest. At the moment he was arrested he was telling a heretical story, one which presents Tehlu as an angel rather than God. But the priests were already there; what alerted them? Is it a generally recognised fact that if someone tells the Lanre story at one session, he is likely to tell this one at the next? Or might the Chandrian or their agents be taking a part behind the scenes? I also wonder about the priest Kvothe saw on the intervening night, who reminded him of Haliax - he was asking questions outside an inn, though apparently not the inn Skarpi told stories in. Is there any connection?
Matt P
8. WebCudgel
I have to wonder... with the possible connections/similarities/metaphors between Denner and Denna... could there be some between Haliax and Iax? It almost makes the Hal- suffix sound equal to "not" as in they are complete opposites.

Also find "Ruach" and interesting word as it is "spirit" in the Hebrew language.
Matt P
9. Fiirvoen
What if this:
"Your own name will be turned against you, that you shall have no peace”. And this is the doom on Haliax and all who follow him—which I think we can reasonably conclude are the other Chandrian.
Is the key to why Kvothe's family is killed? The use of their names causes them pain? They could then use that pain to triangulate the whereabouts of the sayer/singer. This would explain why it takes them so long. This could mean that Haliax's statement to the rest of the Chandrian:

I am glad I decided to accompany you today. You are straying, indulging in whimsy. Some of you seem to have forgotten what it is we seek, what we wish to achieve.”


...is more about a plan to erase all knowledge of them from humanity to ease their suffering a bit. So, delighting in destruction too much might further the gossip and rumors. Perhaps, the stories told about them don't use the correct names anymore, so they're less of an issue, or maybe the fear they inspire makes those stores infrequent?
JOhn Johnson
10. smileyman
"and he reads Rhetoric and Logic. I wonder if he still has it."

Isn't this the book that he uses as collateral for his first loan with Devi?

I'm even more convinced that Kvothe is using his alar to hide as Kote, which is why he can't do any of the things that he used to. The discussion about Naming Kvothe to wake him out of his fugue in Tarbean is a direct line to his current disguise as Kote. Remember the alarm about changing Names? What if, instead of Kvothe using his alar to hide himself, he's actually re-Named himself Kote? That way he still has the memories of being Kvothe (thus being able to tell Chronicler his story), but the aura or personality of Kvothe isn't his.

It took the death of Kvothe's parents to send him to a fugue the first time. There's only one person whom he's close enough to now to send him into that kind of fugue again and that's Denna--particularly if he ends up being responsible for her death.

I think it fits better than my earlier theory of him using his alar to separate his mind.

Edit: @9
I think the Naming thing is more than just metaphorical. If Skarpi can wake Kvothe from his fugue by Naming him, and if Elodin can do the same after Kvothe first used the Name of the Wind, what can a person do who has unmatched skill in Naming do to another person by using their Name against them?

Can they "undo" that person? Can they kill them, or strip them of their powers by re-Naming them? I really think that Naming is the key to any attack that Kvothe wants to make against the Chandrian in the future and the key to why he is the way he is now.
Sim Tambem
11. Daedos
“It’s not as if I expect you to bound off looking for Haliax and the Seven yourselves.”

So, are there seven in all, or eight? I thought it was Haliax + 6.
C Smith
12. C12VT
@9: Good point about the "Your own name will be turned against you, that you shall have no peace” bit.

I wonder, though, if what the Chandrian "wish to achieve" is the destruction of the world. In Skarpi's story, Lanre tells Selitos, "I have only the hope of oblivion after everything is gone and the Aleu fall nameless from the sky." So maybe he wants to bring about that oblivion.

I also found it interesting when Selitos said: "Your name burns with the power in you. I can no more extinguish it than I could throw a stone and strike down the moon." Kind of a pre-echo of Kvothe's own thought about stealing the moon at the end of the next chapter.
Rob Munnelly
13. RobMRobM
"So if he is in the state he was in then, perhaps Chronicler can do what Skarpi did?" Once the story is over and K understands himself again, K will give himself his proper name. Recall that Kvothe is a namer. He has named the wind several times, appears to have named Felurian, and has done a lot of work to strengthen his sleeping mind.

The interesting question - who takes away his current name? I'm wondering whether someone gets access to his Adem secret name - which is supposed to be kept secret. Denna giving it up to her patron?

Rob
Ashley Fox
14. A Fox
A few things I read differently/have been (possibly missed).

Shadows themselves; K, as was the weeping boy, was sexually assualted. This was the way i read this first time around, The boy is held down. Skin. Riping cloth. A soft cry that ends in a choking sob. Doesnt necessarily make it true.

Pike; I beive that K understands exactly what the violets/ lock of hair represents. Thats why he chose to burn them, an eye for an eye. IMO he does understand, fully, but becuase he chooses not to become a bully etc he looses all respect for those who become corrupted by their experiances. And he is vengeful, very, very vengeful. But also note, he doesnt wait until Pike is alone, but with friends to put out the fire..

The Creation War. We have heard Aelph 'created' the world. We have heard from Felurian how the Shapers created the Fae world, and that the great cities she mentions were falling at this time. The things/people that fight aginst those we hear stories of have magic (creatures that are created like the scrael) and are not fae (iron scales). What if some unknown force got royally pissed at the Shapers creating another world and stealing the moon? ("People could hardly remember a time when the sky wasnt dark with the burning of towns" What if it was dark with no moon?)

Blac of Drossen Tor; Tor is another name for places such as stonehenge. Standing stones. Gateways to fae. Say where you may wanna go if your fighting a war to get the moon back from a newly created world..(also believe this may be in the Eld)

Iax, Lyra, Selitos, Aelph-I believe that they are not namers, or rather not just namers, I belive they are Shapers, closer to fae than not. Perhaps also Teccam.

Lanre; "death itself is an open doorway to my power" I find it curious that he says my power, not me. The story states he was human before, then was brought back from the dead by Lyra (imo via sympathetic laws, she used her own life to do so). then somehow got all this power. Any ideas? (the Cteath?longshotish) Also when hes fighting the dragon like creature "whose breath was a darkness that smothered men" Much alike to the darkness within Lanre that Selitos makes visable, Haliaxes shadows. Is this then the source of his power?

What/who are the Alue? Stars?

Chandrian-perhaps the leaders/2nd in command of the 7 cities that fell? It was stated that they all followed Lanre.

Demons...or angels?: The folk Aelph shapes into 'angels'. One is called Enlas which sounds quite similar to Encanis. What if over the course of time, and help by the church, history became corrupted. There are 7 other angels, what if their names (perhaps encouraged) became confused with the Chandrian. What if that pesky vase actually showed Selitos and the angels? One of whom is supposed to be a beautiful woman, like Geisa. This would explain the heresay. tbf none of them exactly seem friendly, or 'pure' as our modern perception of 'angels' may mislead us. Well there is Ordal i suppose, but she doesnt really sound like a normal mortal girl to me. (Also Denna as used the name Deah). They are not fae (iron in wings) perhaps shapers, or mortals. "The fire filled their mouthes and they sang songs of power" the singers.
Ashley Fox
15. A Fox
ok i cant sleep. Also have found connections between the Rookery, the 4 plate door in the Archieves, and possibly Kotes state. Share now or wait till the reread gets there? :D
Claire de Trafford
16. Booksnhorses
When I re-read this I thought that Skarpi, as well as naming and saving K, validated his quest for H and the Ch, by saying to the church guards, 'it's not as if I expect you to bound off', i.e. he wanted K to go instead.

Lots here to think about but nothing conclusive - there is obviously a much older city under the University, and the presence of the door in the Archives is also suggestive of great age - but I'm not sure that we have enough to do anything other than speculate if it is one of the original cities.

Aleph seems to be presented as a *person* / namer/ shaper here along with the others, not just as God, although one of fearsome power. Perhaps when he sang the world into being we are really being told about the mortal world, as distinguished from the fae realm created by the shapers.

Also, who deceived Lanre in the first place? 'Deceit and treachery brought me to it'. And who is Skarpi? Did Tehlu use to say that he knew nothing? (That sounds a bit Gandalf to me - wasn't he the lowest originally?).
Beth Friedman
18. carbonel
I think the use of "ruach" has to be significant -- it's Hebrew not only for "spirit," but also for "wind."
Matt P
19. mjj288
@16, regarding: “It’s not as if I expect you to bound off looking for Haliax and the Seven yourselves.”

I read it the same way. It was directed at Kvothe and part of reawakening him.
Dylan Thurston
20. dthurston
On where Lanre got the power: Lanre is said by Bast to have spoken to the Cthaeh, but I doubt he got power there; the Cthaeh seems to only give information. My take would be that the Cthaeh told Lanre truthfully where to find power to try to bring Lyra back, and that power then corrupted Lanre.
James Felling
21. Maltheos
Sides in the creation war appear to be Aleph, Selitos, Lanre(pre fall), his wife,Tehlu the people of the 8 cities. Based upon what is said the Oposing force appears to be Iax, Haliax, and based upon later legends Iax is definitely a namer. Thus Aleph et all are (apparently) shapers. Annother interesting note here -- all who spoke with the Cthaeh are apparently of the same faction -- is it possible that the Cthaeh is the secret patron of naming?
Ryan Reich
22. ryanreich
Maltheos @21: Not that I have any more information on Aleph than you, but based on Kvothe's opening line (Aleph naming everything or discovering their names) it seems like he is quite firmly a namer. Iax, on the other hand, is likely a shaper, because Felurian spoke of him as the person who went beyond all the shapers in his ambition: they just created the stars of Fae, but he stole the moon for it. Of course, a shaper has to use names in their work too, and well. The allegorical story of Jax stealing the moon seems to make the man in the cave a namer opposing Jax's intentions to achieve "mastery" (to use Kvothe's and Felurian's word), which was sought definitionally by shapers.

I've been wondering about the origin story of the Cthaeh, and I think you're right that it is a "patron" of naming. More precisely, I think that the Cthaeh's foreknowledge is a form of the sight Kvothe experiences at the sword tree when he sidesteps the wind, but vastly more potent. I wonder if the Cthaeh is the perfect namer, being able to see and understand all names but, perhaps, unable to speak them? Surely if it could Name, it would do a lot more damage.

Another thought about namers and shapers. Kvothe studies sygaldry, the art of shaping through sympathy. We know he will one day learn more effective ways of doing this, presumably using naming, since at the very least he creates his thrice-locked chest (made of roah, not Cthaeh-wood!). He does have, as I noted a few posts ago, issues with learning for its own sake, which is more or less what separates namers from shapers. It looks like Kvothe is going to become a shaper, and it's not going to work out for the world.
Matt P
23. Herelle
@blu Jo
That was an excellent post. The naming really makes sense for me now. At first I thought, Skarpi just gave Kvothe a little push by telling this story and thereby shaking him out of his purposeless state, reminding him of his past. I still wonder who knows more about Kvothes parents and who maybe investigated the murder of the whole troupe. They were well known and had a powerful patron. If there are still Amyr they might have found the site after Kvothe fled into the woods.
I always suspected Lorren to be one of the Amyr, he asks Kvothe if he was Arlidens, the troupers son, when they first meet. He keeps him from studying the Chandrian and the Amyr before Kvothe is banned and then he bans him for longer than anyone thought was justified. Then when Kvothe does some research on the Amyr in WMF he finds there is no real information about them and when Simmon suggests he should ask Lorren he thinks the last thing he wants to do is suggesting "his precious Archives had been slowly pruned over the last three hundred years." What if Lorren himself has pruned his archives?
As soon as I knew about the title of book 2 I assumed Lorren was involved, because of the three things a wise man fears, one of them the anger of a gentle man - for me that was Lorren.

This clearly fits well onto the story of Tehlu Trapis told—Tehlu is an avenging judging angelic thing who fought Encanis without being God, and of course people are worshipping him as God.
I take a part of this differently: In a way it is complementary, but Skarpi is telling the true story, at least more or less, and that is partly contradictory. The Tehlins think it is heresy to depict Tehlu as one of many and not the one or major god who shaped the world.

At the moment I´m well into WMF again and I wonder about the exclamtions now. In NotW it was mostly "merciful Tehlu" or something like that, in WMF it often is "tiny gods", or "Lord and Lady", I wonder what that means.

@7 Another Andrew
At the moment he was arrested he was telling a heretical story, one which presents Tehlu as an angel rather than God. But the priests were already there; what alerted them?
I suspect Skarpi was already known as a storyteller and maybe heretic. The church probably heard he was in town and sent some priest to catch him in the act.
@11 lambson
So, are there seven in all, or eight? I thought it was Haliax + 6.
Probably eight, in the beginning Kvothe is just mislead and we with him. There is this pot depicting the Chandrian in Trebon, there are 8 persons on it. I believe Kvothe is surprised when Nina shows up in Imre to give him her paintings when she tells him there were 8 on it. She painted three of them, Haliax, Cinder and a third one who looks like a Ciridae (Amyr) and she is more afraid of him than the others. Also Auri calls Kvothe her Ciridae when she meets him all bloody on the rooftops mentioning the lines of his blood running down his arms look like the tatoos of the Amyr. And there often is the phrase Haliax and his Chandrian, like Haliax is one plus his seven Chandrian.
Altogether I have the feeling the number seven often conceals the fact that there is actually one more everyone is neglecting.
@14 A Fox
K, as was the weeping boy, was sexually assualted.
Yes, I didn´t see this on my first reading, but I read it together with a bunch of people on a blog and one of them pointed this out. And now I think it is significant. Firstly Kvothe himself says if you want to know why he is the man he is today we have to look at that. And then there are several other incidents that caught my attention this time: When Denna is intoxicated Kvothe doesn´t take advantage of her and says expressly, none of the names you can call somebody who takes advantage of a woman in this state can ever be rightfully applied to him. Then when he is under the impact of the plum bob he says he can´t ravage Fela just like he can´t eat a stone, although all his moral inhibitions are gone. I guess at one point he will be accused of something like this falsely.

Can somebody remind me who were the Ruach? I know the part of Skarpis story, but what are they? Survivors of the eight cities?

About the Chandrians plan: What if they are not only erasing stories because it causes them pain when they are named, but also because someone can alter their story or the perception of other people, when they know "their secret"? We have some hints to that: Denna asks in WMF (p. 152) about magic stories ("A magic where you sort of wrote things down, and whatever you wrote became true? Then if someone saw the writing, even if they couldn´t read it, it would be true for them. They´d think a certain thing, or act a certain way depending on what the writing said.") There is also her Yllish braiding. Yllish is supposed to be really old, Elodin says they made their knots before anyone in the Commonwealth started scratching something onto a deerhide or something. Then there is the interlude with Chronicler in WMF, when he wants to coax Kvothe into telling about his learning Tema in a day and the trial. Kvothe makes up a story about the Chronicler, "and if he learns one of your secrets he can write whatever he wants about you in a book", "and whatever he writes down in his book comes true". Now I wonder if the story is not all made up, because Chronicler is probably more than we know now. Kvothe also mentiones Chronicler was a member of the high king´s court in Modeg and he fell in love with the kings daughter. Then Kvothe tells something about Chronicler not being able to control you if you have your name hidden away somewhere safe. The high kings name is written in a book of glass, hidden in a box of copper. And that box is locked away in a great iron chest where nobody can touch it. They might not only be hints about Chronicler but about Kvothe himself. Maybe it´s some elaborate game between Kvothe and Chronicler, if Kvothe knows more about Chronicler than we think.

Sorry, my posts tend to be too long.
Matt P
24. Speculations
Its sort of sweet where Rothfuss is original, and where he is borrowing/using other earlier writers and tropes.

Re Namers, and especially Shapers, and the history of the shapers that Felurian says, I get a strong whiff of Patricia McKillip, and her lyrical Riddlemaster trilogy.

Which is well worth homage!
Jo Walton
25. bluejo
Herelle: Don't apologise for being long, that's great.

I think with reference to K being the raped boy he explicitly says that it had happened to him the year before, and this time it was somebody else and he couldn't help him.

About his parents: First, who did the Chandrian hear coming and flee? Second, why didn't K or somebody tell Lord Greyfallows and why have we heard nothing from him since?

I was wondering about Lorren too, both things.

And I'm fascinated by the idea of there being eight. Kvothe sees "several" and does not count them.

TyranAmiros: MT is in the mountains. But there is the road -- I think it must be the other end. So maybe Another Andrew's twin cities idea? And I do like your Tinue suggestion. Wow.
Matt P
26. Matt P
About Selitos, it states that

"Selitos knew that in all the world there were only three people who could match his skill in names: Aleph, Iax and Lyra."

But earlier it says

"Just by looking at a thing Selitos could see its hidden name and UNDERSTAND it. In those days there were many who could do such things, but Selitos was the most powerful namer of anyone alive at that age. ... Such was the power of his sight that he could read the hearts of men like heavy lettered books."

I would note that these two quotes seem to be contradicting each other. We know that Aleph and Lyra at the very least are alive later in the story. How can Selitos be the best with names and fourth best with names at the same time?

Perhaps this is saying that Selitos was the strongest knower but only the fourth strongest shaper? In that case, the war wasn't between knowers and shapers like Feluran implied but between men and fae which is what Feluran warned Kvothe about.
When Kvothe talked to Scarpi, Kvothe said that he felt Scarpi looked at him like a book he could read. Seems there's a connection between Scarpi and Selitos.
Matt P
27. Herelle
@25
First, who did the Chandrian hear coming and flee?
I´m just guessing: Maybe the Angels from Skarpis story. They aren´t visible except to the most powerful. That would explain why Kvothe didn´t see anyone coming but suddenly had the feeling of being watched. It could also be one possible explanation for why the Chandrian didn´t have enough time to kill Kvothe.
Second, why didn't K or somebody tell Lord Greyfallows and why have we heard nothing from him since?
Exactly, and why didn´t Kvothe think of Lord Greyfallow when he was so desperatly looking for a patron? Kvothe was part of the troupe, there would be a good chance Greyfallow still considered himself Kvothes patron if he only knew Kvothe was still alive.
Gerd K
28. Kah-thurak
@Herelle / blujo
Kvothe's unwillingness to explain to anyone how his parents were killed and why he is still alive might well be a reason why he wouldnt got to Lord Grefallow. Additionally, how could he proove to anyone who he actually is?
Natasa Charlotte
29. Natasa
I'd like to point out something about the "sleeping mind" theory, which is totally awesome by the way.

I'm wondering if there are different kinds of "sleeping" -- the time when Kvothe was in Tarbean and the Kote part of himself can be examples of a true self being obscured or partly hidden away.

Then there's the times when Kvothe's sleeping mind wakens, and if I remember correctly (it's been 6 months since I read NotW so this might not be credible) the scene in Tarbean where the bullies broke Kvothe's lute was when he went berserk and tried to kill them -- which followed the waking of his sleeping mind.

Kind of contradictory on the sleeping part, right?

So my theory is that the two look like completely different stuff, and that when Haliax said "the soft blanket of his sleep" it was in fact a metaphor for a kind of long-term magic to obscure Kvothe's true nature and why Scarpi could recall it with his name. Meanwhile Kvothe's sleeping mind remains unaffected, which is why he was able to lash out at the bullies.

Ok, feel free to poke holes in my theory now. I really need to get to that reread.
Matt P
30. PoppaG
@26 - Perhaps there was a 4-way tie for most accomplished namer/ knower? The quote says that the others could "match" Selitos - not surpass him.
Matt P
31. Herelle
@28
I had the impression Kvothe doesn´t linger on parts of his story that are too intimate or painful (the sight of his killed parents, the only hidden mention of being sexually assaulted, when Denna sang to him, he said it was for him only). I marvel again at the skills of Mr. Rothfuss to show strong emotions by omitting part of the story.
But then again, yes, there might be another reason.
I´m sure he could have convinced Baron Greyfallow. The troupe had been there once or twice a year at least, Kvothes appearance is striking and memorable, he could have counted every member of the troupe and described them, played a part. But I guess he would have been asked how his troupe disappeared and how would he explain that? That´s the only reason I can see for Kvothe not approaching Lord Greyfallow. But why doesn´t he even think about it?
Rob Munnelly
32. RobMRobM
We don't even know where Greyfallow is located, do we? I had a thought that he might have known Kvothe's mom and had a tie to Vintas nobility .... but going there at least once per year suggests an Aturan noble/location.
Matt P
33. Herelle
@32
Now that I think about it - how could Arlidens troupe attain such a patron as Greyfallow? Ambrose made it near impossible for Kvothe. I expect the Lackless family could have made it just as complicated for Arliden and his troupe. Do you think they knew who Laurian/Netalia ran away with?
Maybe Lord Greyfallow even did her a favor and was powerful enough or far enough away from Vintas not to fear any repercussions?
Matt P
34. Herelle
Oh, I think we don´t know where Lord Greyfallow comes from, but we know it´s not from Vintas. Kvothe tells Threpe, when Threpe shows him the Maers letter, that he might have been in Vintas before but doesn´t know for sure because it might have been when he was too small to remember. But he does remember going to Lord Greyfallow.
Gerd K
35. Kah-thurak
@Herelle
I think it was not widely known, who Kvothe's mother really was and which Ruh troupe she joined. Otherwise, why should his father make a secret of it?
Also it is quite possible that Lord Greyfallow was patron to the troupe long before this happened.
Jo Walton
36. bluejo
But Kvothe isn't making any secret of being Edema Ruh and the son of Arliden when he goes to the University. I don't think he's hiding who he is when he's looking for a patron.
Steven Halter
37. stevenhalter
@Jo:

About his parents: First, who did the Chandrian hear coming and flee?
Second, why didn't K or somebody tell Lord Greyfallows and why have we heard nothing from him since?


On the first count, we don't have much evidence yet. Kvothe wanders about the camp after Haliax&Co. leave. He then goes a hundred yards down the road and falls asleep in his parent wagon. So, we don't really know if anyone else shows up at the camp or what they did if they do show up. All we know is that K awakens to a wagon on fire. We assume it is the candles K left burning that catch the wagon on fire, but we don't even know that for certain. So someone could have tampered with K while he slept.

I, also, think it is very interesting that we haven't heard of Baron Greyfallow after the troop is destroyed. Once Kvothe "recovers" himself, and is actively looking for a patron, that would seem like an obvious person to look to for aid.
Matt P
38. thistlepong
@30 PoppaG, 26.Matt P:
Selitos is the only one ever credited by name as the most powerful. We assume Felurianis talking about Iax because of Hespe's story. And we credit Aleph because of his apparent positions in the stories Jo mentions. Skarpi clearly has a pro-Selitos bias, though.

@2.TyranAmiros, 5.C12VT, 7.AnotherAndrew, 25.bluejo:
I took MT to be at the Stormwal end of The Great Stone Road and Belen at the University end. The letter Denna sends is addressed to Belenay-Barren.

@OP bluejo: Thanks for another great post.
This is another odd notion. We actually don't know with any certainty what's taking place in c28 "Tehlu's Watchful Eye." We come late to Skarpi's story and don't finish. That seems like the kind of detail that might be important.

There are some folks, even here, that read the scene and interpret the /angels/ (unsaid) as the newly created Amyr. Skarpi says, "Most of the Ruach hung back from Selitos, too. They were afraid, and they did not wish to become involved in great matters. Bit Tehlu stood forward..." Looked at from a staging perspective, Tehlu kneels beside Selitos before Aleph with the others assembling behind them. We know from Felurian that the stealing of the moon and the war were "before men. before fae." Perhaps it's the Ruach, who seen to be these people "before men. before fae," who accept the choice. They become, as some have suggested, the first humans, the Adem and the Ruh.

After Greyfallow's Men are killed, something drives the Chandrian away. In the scene, their motions resemble Cinder's in the bandit camp. He does so after Marten finishes hi prayer to Tehlu. We might infer that the incoming danger in both cases are the beings "gone from mortal sight." Given that Haliax names the Amyr as their primary opposition, it seems to make sense that these beings are the Amyr.
Matt P
39. Matt P
@30 PoppaG,
- In Feluran's story about Iax, in the very beginning, she seems to indicate that there's a major difference between knowing something and mastering something. I wouldn't want to mix them together. Also, when Iax talks to the Tinker, it's clear he doesn't know how to listen(to understand or know), he only knows how to command(he commands the moon to stay with him). That wrecklessness seems to be what causes the creation war.

@38 thistlepong-
I never considered that Skarpi would exaggerate Selitos's power. Why do you think that and how far do you think it goes?

Also, you brought up another point that's been confusing me about Felurian. She said that the stealing of the moon and war was "before man. before fae", but it seems that she existed before the war happened. After all, she ate a fruit on the city walls of murella.

I wonder whether she was born fae or whether she became fae as a result of this war sort of like how you argue that Tehlu and others become human as a result of the war. That could explain why the moral of the story was for a wise human to fear being brought into the fae world.
thistle pong
40. thistlepong
@39.Matt P:
I say pro-Selitos because there's another version, Denna's "The Seven Sorrows," that portrays him in a negative light and because both Skarpi's stories feature Selitos heroic. Jo put it like this:

Skarpi prefaces the Lanre story with, “The story of a man who lost his eye and gained a better sight”. Which isn’t Lanre!

Before the Creation War, before Faen, there was one world, and probably one race. My guess would be that being in Faen changes you; Kvothe comes out "a little fae around the edges." And the fae lose a good portion of their power in the mortal world, so it might be the place rather than the people. Felurian is older than Faen itself.
Matthew Knecht
41. mknecht01
@OP Jo: I really wanted to get to the description of Skarpi this week (which I did not recall specifically) and find out that he wore an eyepatch = Selitos. Ah well. But I totally agree that he's an original Amyr. It continues to boggle my mind how Rothfuss hides this stuff in plain sight, by making us look elsewhere at just the right moment.

@9 Fiirveni: The Chandrian must have some purpose beyond just reacting to people mentioning their name. Here's a thought that popped into my head randomly last week sometime: The Chandrian are somehow instrumental in keeping the Fae realm and the mortal realm separate. Kvothe takes his revenge on them somehow in DT, which interferes with this function, and now Fae creatures (scraeling, etc) are overrunning the mortal world through the now-wide-open gates.

@14 A Fox: About the Chandrian, I'm pretty sure there was something in the text of WMF supporting the idea that they were the betrayers of the six cities that fell to Lanre before he came to Myr Tariniel and Selitos. Or maybe that was a theory from the spoiler review comment thread.

@16 ClairedeT and others: The Underthing wouldn't necessarily have to be one of the destroyed cities - why not found the University in the city that survived? Buried now, of course, after 5000 years... although I do like the Tinue/Tinusa theory as well, which contradicts my thought. Also, the Belenay-Barren address on Denna's letter is suggestive here, from 38 thistlepong. And that address must be a clue to something... or it wouldn't be in there.

Also, excellent question about Lanre being deceived/betrayed. Perhaps he means by the Cthaeh, who, much like the genie in the bottle, gives knowledge/wishes which are true/literal but perhaps not in exactly the way the questioner/wisher expects. So the Cthaeh's advice on gaining the power to bring Lyra back was accurate... but now there are unforeseen consequences. Like, the total destruction of civilization as they knew it.

@22 ryanreich: I also read Iax to be a Shaper rather than a Namer - he wanted to do stuff rather than being content with just knowing stuff.

@23 Herelle: Lorren as Amyr puts his interactions with Kvothe in a whole new light - especially their first private meeting in the Archives, when Lorren chastises him for looking for fairy tales in such a public way. And the long banishment, and Elodin saying something to the effect of "how very traditional" at Lorren's "year and a day" plan for the restriction from the archives. Who else would be very traditional but someone who has been around for 5000 years? Or, if not an original Amyr, at least a member of a secret society which has apparently been around for 5000 years.

Re: number of Chandrian - don't we know that the name itself means "The Seven" or "Seven of Them"? And I think the Adem poem about them from WMF lists seven including Haliax? I thought the eighth figure on the urn was actually one of the Amyr, perhaps confronting the Chandrian. Another reason for the Chandrian to kill everyone in the wedding party that might have seen the urn - can't have folks finding out that maybe the Chandrian aren't the biggest baddest meanest nasties on the block...

Re: Denna and her magic of writing things down, immediately after that line of questioning in WMF, Kvothe notices Denna spending the rest of the chapter occasionally tracing designs with her fingers on tabletops, etc. Rothfuss diverts our attention from this by having her fidget with her fingers once or twice later on in the chapter and then Kvothe's realization that she's not wearing her ring, and the story about Ambrose taking it to have it repaired. (Rothfuss is stupendously amazingly good at this kind of sleight of hand in his storytelling, wow!) I think Denna was trying to cast some sort of spell on Kvothe (and perhaps succeeding). Does this have to do with the Yllish knots she ties in her hair later in the book, and he just doesn't know how to read the designs (drawn with her fingers) yet at this earlier point?

@26 Matt P: I took those details (about who is the best namer) to be simply little bits of puffery designed to build up the dramatic tension of what is essentially a 5000 year old mythological epic presumably passed down through an oral bard/minstrel tradition. The best namer is... whoever it needs to be right at this moment, to make the story more entertaining, and keep the bard lubricated.

@38 thistlepong: There were three divisions of the Ruach, weren't there? Those few (with Tehlu) who agreed to accept Aleph's conditions and became /angels/, those few who stood with Selitos because they did not want to give up their mission against the Chandrian (who became the Amyr as per Selitos's words in the story), and then the masses of Ruach who "hung back from Selitos, too" and did not want to be involved in great matters (who presumably became both humans and Faen). So the angelic beings (Tehlu and the others with him) and the Amyr (Selitos and those with him) seem to be two distinct groups.
Matt P
42. chrispin
So many great thoughts!

When Lanre damns himself he says he has hope for oblivion "after everything is gone" while Selitos uses the words "until the world ends." I took this as Selitos creating a loophole in Lanre's curse. Only one world (fae or mortal) has to be destroyed to get rid of Haliax instead of both of them as Lanre intended.

"Aleu fall nameless from the sky." The Aleu could be the stars that each shaper created in fae-world. Did they name them after themselves? When all the names of the stars are forgotten (shapers gone and fae destroyed?)

Kvothe's sword from the Adem fought at Drossen Tor. Finol (of the clear and shining eye, beloved of Dulcen) might have been there during the Creation War. It is an old sword.
Matthew Knecht
43. mknecht01
Another random thought: we don't have a clearly defined "evil" side. We're clearly meant to think of the Chandrian as "bad" and the Amyr as "good" in general, but the Amyr in particular have definitely been painted as a rather ruthless shade of "good", and there is starting to be some real ambiguity about the actions and motivations of the Chandrian as well. We've had two alternative points of view on Lanre and the Creation War - Skarpi's pro-Selitos and Denna's pro-Lanre. We've had sort-of-conflicting Faen vs. human perspectives on the creation war via Skarpi and Felurian. We've met "good Fae" and "bad Fae" and heard about more. And Kvothe, the protagonist, states or implies multiple times that he's not a hero, he's responsible for all of these bad things happening, all of the deaths in the frame story war, etc. So Rothfuss is busy tarnishing my established "good guy" identification too.

But what about whatever "turns" Lanre? (to the "Dark Side"?) He went looking for some way to bring Lyra back, and came back an über-nihilist. Oh, and inhumanly powerful. Is there something truly, classically evil lurking in the background which did this to him? Or is it simply that the power leaves him unable to die, sleep, dream and thus has driven him a tad bit insane?
Matt P
44. Susan Loyal
Sorry to come late to the party, but the dentist trumps even the Amyr:)

Just a couple of things. When Skarpi calls Kvothe by name, he says: "You should run, Kvothe. There's nothing to be gained by meddling with these sort of men. Head to the rooftops. Stay where they won't see you for a while." Not only does he somehow know Kvothe's name, he sends him to the rooftops 1)where K's been living, he thinks undetected; 2) where he (much) later hangs out with Auri and Elodin; 3) where he would be outside ("Run outside. Run and hide." What is it about that rhyme?). Whatever Skarpi means by "these sort of men" remains unclear at this point (bureaucrats? bullies? those who worship Tehlu?). The "they" in that last sentence seems to mean "these sort of men," but maybe it doesn't. "Where they won't see you for a while." So someone is looking for Kvothe? Someone who will miss him if he is on the rooftops? Has someone always been looking for Kvothe? What's their plan?

As to why Kvothe doesn't seek out Lord Greyfallow, it could be that K doesn't know where to find LG, but it could also be part of K's geographical location being behind the door of forgetting. If he doesn't know where in the woods he is, he can't know which way to walk to get to familiar territory.

As to why Lord Greyfallow doesn't look for him, well that's a horse of a different color. (Here comes the linguistic conspiracy theory.) Maybe "Lord Greyfallow" doesn't exist under that name, just like "Master Ash." Indeed, "Greyfallow" is a color name very like "Ash." "Fallow" most commonly means a condition of soil that is resting rather than producing, but the etymology goes back to High German "falo" pale, Latin "pallere" to pale, Greek "polios" grey. Lord Ash-colored and Master Greyish? Might they be the same person? Maybe there's a reason that Master Ash wants Denna to sing about Lanre and attend an occasion likely to draw the Chandrian, and maybe that's just because he's looking for Kvothe, who will inevitably be drawn by such things. "Lord Greyfallow" may be trying to draw Kvothe to him.

I'm deeply amused that Rothfuss throws us the line about stealing the moon before we can possibly know what to make of it, but the line that follows is almost funnier: "At least I know where to look for the moon at night." Not yet, K, not altogether. But you will. You will.
Steven Halter
45. stevenhalter
Susan Loyal@44:Baron Grayfallow was the name Kvothes father mentioned to the mayor of the town who didn't want to let them play. So, it seems to be his actual name (or title).
But, I do like the Ash/Grayfallow resonance.
Justin Levitt
46. TyranAmiros
Thistlepong@38: Good point about Belen/Belenay. It's not just Denna's letter, either. Both Kvothe's letter to Ambrose at the end of WMF and his story about the Beggar and the Edema Ruh mention Belenay as well.
Matt P
47. Susan Loyal
@shalter. Yes. That certainly seems to mean that "Greyfallow" is the name K's father knows his patron by. "Greyfallow" is the name K knows for the patron. There are some odd things about that scene when K's father talks to the mayor, however. The conversation has many of the rhetorical markers of a "con," the name "Baron Greyfallow" doesn't immediately have any effect on the mayor, and the ultimate effect of the writ isn't what K thinks it ought to be. There are explanations of all these things--vaguely unconvincing ones.

When Abenthy meets K, K says that the troupe is "Lord Greyfallow's Men," the next sentence is "The old man gave me an amused look." Now, that might have been because the boy was boasting, and it was cute. Or it might have meant that "Greyfallow" was a known pseudonym of a known important person, or it might have meant that "Lord Greyfallow" was a local version of "Lord John Smith," or perhaps yet something else.

Even if the child K knew everything, which we are led to doubt, and the narrator Kvothe is telling everything, which we are also led to doubt, the name "Lord" or "Baron Greyfallow" could be concealing an identity. (Possibly not from K's mother. How did this troupe of Edema Ruh wind up with a powerful patron, anyway?)
Steven Halter
48. stevenhalter
@Susan Loyal:Those are good points. The mayor's reaction was somewhat odd. Kvothe notes that the mayor took awhile to read the writ because of all the titles. I wonder if Kvothe had actually seen the writ or was just assuming there. The "writ" could be some more interesting document altogether.
Kvothe does note that they spent two span at Greyfallow's manor once a year and implies that he has seen his library and the Baron himself. But, is the Baron really the person Kvothe believes him to be? Good question.
Matt P
49. Susan Loyal
@shalter@48. And Kvothe saw sympathy lamps there, and felt that he'd learned quite enough manners on those visits, too. He certainly visited someone.

The writ produces an effect that just now, because of this conversation, makes me wonder if we've seen the result of written magic like that Herelle discusses @23. The mayor certainly didn't seem to know the name "Baron Greyfallow," and I'm not convinced that was just because he always answered to the local Squire.

I think you're completely right @37 that the fire in K's parents' wagon "caused by candles" could well have been caused by something else entirely (or additionally). K's causal explanations frequently seem too easy or too misleading.
Rob Munnelly
50. RobMRobM
Here's an interesting question. Where is Elodin? If K is having trouble with the frame stories and is out of sync with his true name (as we suspect), why isn't Elodin brought in to help? I now strongly suspect Elodin is going to buy the farm, as a result of Kvothe's actions, in the third book.
Steven Halter
51. stevenhalter
Susan Loyal@49: I am noticing that as we push at Kvothe's spoken story we start finding holes and inconsistencies. However, when you push at the songs/poetry we start seeing larger consistent parts of the story.
I wonder if K has also had parts of his memory "adjusted" in whatever process seems to have removed many of his skills. His wakeful mind is telling what he thinks to be the truth (and mostly is) but there are holes and patches. When he recites a poem or song, his sleeping mind is able to keep it true.
Matt P
52. Susan Loyal
shalter @51. I think you're right that the songs/rhymes always contain more than they at first appear to contain. I'm not sure whether Kvothe's story for Chronicler has unintended holes or whether he is skirting some parts of the story with great care (or some of each). But I'd be willing to bet that by the time we reach the end of volume three, we'll be able to reread NW and WMF with full knowledge of just what the narrator is doing in every instance, and why.
Rob Munnelly
53. RobMRobM
@51 - someone has to figure out the plot of Sir Savien and how it paralells Kvothe's life or someone around him. The fact that it is really hard to play can't be its only importance to the story.
Steven Halter
54. stevenhalter
@Susan Loyal:Yes, it will be interesting when vol3 arrives to see how close our theories are.
Matt P
55. AO
@ 23 Herelle,

Interesting observations about Chronicler. You say, "Maybe it´s some elaborate game between Kvothe and Chronicler, if Kvothe knows more about Chronicler than we think".

I firmly believe that there is a lot more going on in the "present" of the narration than we might assume. Chronicler could well be part of that, so could Bast. We know that Bast is trying to turn him back into Kvothe, but we only assume that it is because he cares about him. That could be an act on Bast's part, or the reality might be more nuanced.

Kvothe might know that he is being observed and the entire 'Kote" character *could* be a ruse to draw in his enemies and make them overconfident. Perhaps they want to make sure that he is Kote before attacking? Or perhaps they want a newly restored Kvothe who has all of the abilities, but no time to re-acclimate himself to them? If he is Kvothe *now*, then he could be making important preparations under the radar. He makes it clear more than once that The Ruh are the greatest actors in the world and he claims to be Edema Ruh to his very bones. And so the narration could be his greatest performance ever.
C Smith
56. C12VT
@53 RobMRobM: As far as I can figure out, the plot of Sir Savien is that he leaves Aloine for seven years so he can become an Amyr ("the greatest of the Amyr"). He spends "three years proving himself, three years training". And it's a tragedy: "love lost and found and lost again... cruel fate, and man's folly".

We get two definite verses of the song, one from Savien's part and one from Aloine's, when Kvothe is trying for his pipes. I suspect that the verses Kvothe overhears his parents singing to each other in Chapter 14 of NW (not the waystone song but the one before) may also be part of the song.

Then there's the structure of the song itself, the lute playing both melody and harmony, a vocal part that "ran against the timing of the lute" and two voices singing sometimes apart, sometimes in harmony. I could be reaching, but this description reminds me of the books as a whole - all the different stories twining together in different rhythms.

The only obvious parallel I can see between Sir Savien and K is the relationship: Sir Savien finding and losing Aloine, K finding and losing Denna (all the times he looks for her and can't find her, but maybe also a more tragic and final loss in DT). And of course it seems significant that Savien was with the Amyr, and that his quest to become an Amyr was what separated him from Aloine.

I would really, really like to hear the other verses of the song... not just to pick it apart for plot clues, but because I'm sure it would be beautiful.
Rob Munnelly
57. RobMRobM
It's late and I'm tired but did someone make the point that it appears to close for coincidence the connections between Skarpi and the old beggar that was welcomed by the Edema Ruh in Kvothe's story to Willem and Sim? That beggar had almost the same name (Scaepi? or something like that) and seemed to have the same physical description. I checked and the story said that the beggar stayed with the Ruh for many years before he left them - it did not say he got old and died. The clincher for me is Kvothe stating several times throughout the books that the Ruh know all of the stories to be told. Having Skarpi claim of knowing all the stories marks him as part of the Ruh family.

Even if true, and I believe it is, I'm not sure what it means for the story. Is he an Amyr? - probably not if the story is to be believed as he saw the Ciridae and wasn't one of them. Is he a namer? Maybe. Was he able to know Kvothe through Ruh connections rather than naming? Maybe. Etc.

Rob
Rob Munnelly
58. RobMRobM
@56. Thanks. I really like the thought that what Kvothe is ultimately doing is training to be an Amyr - even though it will cost him permanently. And I really like the thought that the multi-level counter-harmonies are meant to represent what Rothfuss is trying to achieve in these books. Very nice point.

Rob
Matt P
59. piapiapiano
shalter@51: When he recites a poem or song, his sleeping mind is
able to keep it true.

I've been wondering about his reliability as a narrator, and the use of scanning, rhyming dialogue here and there throughout his story.

In the frame I can only remember one instance, which is when he lists the alcohol available at his inn. He's a musician/songwriter at heart, and I can imagine him passing long, boring evenings in his empty inn thinking of mundane things like his supply of drinks and re-ordering it into something satisfyingly poetical and rhythmical. Maybe it's a habit, or maybe it's indicative of how his mind deals with subjects that he thinks about a lot.

So then I started wondering about the instances of rhyming dialogue in his narration. Maybe they too are subjects that he's thought about a lot. For example, he's probably thought an awful lot about his times with Felurian and Denna, so their conversations gradually (as months go by and his brain refines the memories) turn into these beautiful poetic exchanges.

Are there any other instances of people in his narration speaking in rhyme? Perhaps what they're saying (or who they are) is extremely significant to Kvothe (as opposed to just ordinarily significant within the context of the story).

Or maybe, as Shalter was suggesting, his sleeping mind is able to keep things true if they're stored as poetry. In which case the instances of rhyming dialogue are the points in the story that we can be sure are definitely true.

I hope that all made sense. :)
Steven Halter
60. stevenhalter
C12VT@56:I like the idea of the book mirroring the layered songs. There are also the names of things that have many layers. The name of the wind is a complex changing thing. The makers have to adapt along with it.
Rob Munnelly
61. RobMRobM
One nugget I just picked up: While Kvothe is going to the Aden, he has a discussion where he first though he and Tempi were speaking Aturan, but they actually were speaking Aden. Instead of saying "I was not speaking" he realized he actually was saying "Scoepi teyas." This suggests that "Scoepi" is Aden for speaking. This is quite similar to both the old beggar in Kvothe's story to Will and Sim ("Sceop") and Skopi from Tarabon. Assuming similarity in root words in this world, this may suggest that both characters were essentially named Speaker. This has particular resonance if we are also right that the Aden and Edema Ruh are related peoples.

One final point re Skopi - Skopi said that all stories shouldn't be completely truthful. Kvothe said several times that his father said precisely the same thing. This reinforces my point in an earlier post that Skopi likely is Sceop and spent time with the Ruh (thereby establishing the same saying). Furthermore, if we're correct that Sceop/Skopi is not human, he may have lived continuously over the several hundred years since the Sceop story took place - and may well have spent time with Kvothe's branch of the Ruh, such as with his father or even Kvothe himself. So he may not be a namer, just someone who actually knows Kvothe.

Rob
Matt P
62. Susan Loyal
C12VT @56. "three years proving himself" Like Kvothe's three years in Tarbean? I'd never noticed that parallel before.
Dylan Thurston
63. dthurston
Rob @61: Very interesting coincidence of names, although note that it's "Skarpi" and not "Skopi" in this section. A little bit farther from Sceop, but still perhaps the same name; that would be fascinating.

On the linguistics, "I was not speaking" is a non-trivial sentence. "Scoepa" (not "scoepi") could just as easily mean "not speaking", for instance.
Rob Munnelly
64. RobMRobM
@63. Good clarification but now I'm even more curious about Skarpi and the beggar.

I'm also very curious about the boy's Lackless rhyme from the bearbaiting troupe in WMF. Boy with the blood is now obvious. But candle without light - sympathetic use of wax? The other elements of the rhyme? Also interesting that the boy just heard it around someplace. Could that be Skarpi's strategy - bury important truths inside of stories so that they get circulated and heard by those who can understand what is required and take action?

Rob
Matt P
65. Herelle
Four little pieces I stumbled about:
1. Laclith is one of the names of the spread Lackless family in the south (p. 422 WMF). Laclith was also the name of the woodsman who taught Kvothe when he was still with the troupe and who he dreamed about right after he fled into the woods when his parents and troupe were killed.

2. Felurian is a / the Lady of Twilight (p. 542 WMF the story Dedan tells about Felurian). Bast is a/the ? prince of Twilight ("Bastas, son of Remmen, Prince of Twilight and the Telwyth Mael." p. 103 NotW). Someone here had pointed out that in the Fae Twilight actually is a place (good thought!). So Bast and Felurian are probably family. Kvothe promised to come back to her, too. Maybe then he met Bast?

3. I´m pretty convinced now that Bredon is Dennas patron. After Kvothe rescues Fela from the fire in the fishery in NotW he is late to his date with Denna. Deoch tells him that she waited an hour in the Eolian but eventually left with someone. This is how he describes him: "She´s been looking for a patron, and this fellow had that sort of look about him. White-haired, wealthy, you know the type."
When Bredon makes his entrance in WMF (p. 386) he is "an older man, a gentleman down to his bones", "His colors weren´t colors at all, merely ash grey and a dark charcoal . His hair and beard were pure white..." Having Kvothes ability in mind to inadvertantly choose the right names (Auri, Nina), I guess he came close with Master Ash. I don´t know what to think about the fact that it seems the wind had his part in this too. The wind swept the leaf in his mouth when he was counting off names, so he named him after the ash leaf. Denna reacted somewhat nonplussed and tried to divert Kvothe by suggesting the leaf was elm. And then Bredon is always gone when Denna is away from Severen too.

4. Then I was thinking about the significance of copper and iron. Somehow iron is always mentioned to be harmful to Fae. Copper on the other hand is in the walls of Elodins cell to keep him from breaking it. He manages to break the wall by naming but the copper net is still in place. Then there is the four plate copper door. In the story Marten tells about Taborlin he has a copper sword. Dedan makes fun of that and Marten doesn´t continue with his story (that is when Kvothe tells the story about the boy with a golden srew in his bellybutton). Must be an important fact, otherwise this short part of a story wouldn´t be in there.

@ 35, 36 We know Netalia/Laurian tries to keep quiet about her identity. Meluan knows she ran away with a troupe of Edema Ruh. How many Ruh troupes could there be at the same time in one place? I suspect that she and a few other actually know who Netalia ran away with. Arliden and his troupe probably performed for the Lackless family and on that occasion Netalia got to know Arliden. So Arlidens troupe never goes back to Vintas, that´s why Kvothe probably hasn´t been there before. In the other countries they just never mention who she is. Kvothe doesn´t know there is a secret to keep. He has no reason to hide his parentage other than sometimes because of the discrimination of the Ruh in general. When he tells Meluan he is one of the Edema Ruh he doesn´t tell who his father is, does he?
thistle pong
66. thistlepong
@65.Herelle re: 4
Just some additional bits... Felurian notes that copper knives are a defense against Fae in the motal world who would use humans for sport. The Amyr depicted in Nina's drawing has a copper shield. One of the three locks on Kvothe's chest is copper. The majority of warding sygaldry is done on copper. And Kvothe complains that Anker's refrigerator sygaldry should be an the unexposed face of the copper plate; implying that the door in Haven, the Four Plate Door, and the chest lock all have wards inside. That's reinforced by Sim in the conversation about Elodin's stay, "All meshed stone. Wards on the doors and windows."
Matt P
67. d24g0n
I like the idea of Chronicler writing truths. Maybe Kvothe knows this, and is taking advantage of this ability to get his true name back. Seeing how clever Kvothe is, he could also be using this opportunity to change a mistake he made, perhaps a mistake that lead to all of this trouble.
Matt P
68. Daniel P
I have been thinking about Kvothe attempting to open up the thrice-locked chest he keeps in his room. If, as multiple people have speculated, Kvothe has locked up part of himself or his name (the 'v' and 'h'?) in this chest, is it possible that, as Kvothe, he had the skill to lock it up, but now, as the reduced Kote, he does not have the skill to open it again? He asked Bast how he would open it, and we see Kvothe/Kote attempt to open it and fail. Originally it appeared as though he was giving Bast a test, but after his failed attempt at opening it, it seems more like he was asking hoping for more ideas that he could try. In other words, he wants to become Kvothe again, but no longer can. The key to opening the chest is locked inside the chest.
Gerd K
69. Kah-thurak
As some people have commented on the scenes where Kvothe mentions (indirectly) that he was sexually assaulted as a boy in Tarbean, I wanted to point out that there is a more detailed descprition of this in the scene in WMF when he fights for his sanity "against" Felurian. Actually it was this event in his youth that gave him the determination to resist Felurian.
Matt P
70. Matt P
@40 Thistlepong
If being in Fae or in the world changes you, than why hasn't Bast changed into a human? He's been with Kvothe for a year and change and still seems to be quite fae.

@41 mknecht01
When Denna and Kvothe fight before Kvothe is sent to capture the bandits, Rothfuss tells us that Denna undos and redos her braids.

As for the details, we both agree that Iax is a shaper and not a knower. In Hespe's story, it's clear that Iax doesn't know how to listen and therefore doesn't know the first thing about being a knower. He doesn't understand or care about the consequences of doing anything he does and that's why war breaks out(because you have these crazy irresponsible shapers just changing things without knowing what they are first and eventually they're going to screw something up). From Felurian's story, it's clear that Iax was a top-notch shaper.

In Skarpi's story, Lanre uses his ability in names to control Selitos(i.e only as a shaper). Selitos uses his ability in names to first understand Lanre(knower) and then control him(shaping). When it says that Selitos is the top namer, it's solely talking about understanding someone, which is the strength of a knower. It could just be fluffery, but it makes a lot of sense to me.

@43 mknecht01
We've also had Bast tell us that Lanre went to the Cthaeh before betraying Myr Tariniel as well as the Adem argue that Myr Tariniel was destroyed but seven traitors or the Chandrian/Rhinta. If that's not anti-Lanre, I don't know what is. Of course, the Mael that attacks the Waystone in NoW calls Kvothe a Rhintae and Chronicler tells Kvothe that there are rumors that he's a new member of the Chandrian.

@64 RobMRobM
The candle without light probably is the same candle that belongs to Lady Lackless's husband in NoW. I thought it meant that it's dark because Lady Lackless's husband is in the dark. We're certainly in the dark about her husband.
Matt P
71. Krysta Davis
This has been fascinating! Thank you, thank you, thank you! (I tell you three times.) Been re-reading, myself and had something smack me in the face; after the fire in the Fishery when Kvothe and Kilvin are talking, (end of chapter 67) Kilvin says 'Chan Vaen edan Kote' and then translates "Expect disaster every seven years". 'Kote' means "disaster'?
thistle pong
72. thistlepong
@70.Matt P
Fae lose power in the Corners. He can perform some illusions and a little grammarie; nothing like what Felurian and Kvothe deploy while in Faen.
Matthew Knecht
73. mknecht01
@72 thistlepong and @70 Matt P:

Bast to Chronicler, WMF Chapter 2:

Bast held the circle of holly out again, smiling shyly. "So this is for you. I've brought what grammarie I have to bear on it. So it will stay green and living longer than you'd think. I gathered the holly in the proper way and shaped it with my own hands. Sought, wrought, and moved to a purpose."

Doesn't sound like the degree of power that a full-fledged Prince of the Fae could wield on his home turf. Seems to line up with the theory about beings losing power in the world they are not native to.
Matthew Knecht
74. mknecht01
@52 Susan Loyal:
Re: being able to look back after DT and understand everything, I sure hope so!
Matt P
75. Matt P
@72 thistlepong

I would think that Feluran is far more powerful than Bast. I don't have my NoW on me, but I believe that Bast is a few hundred(250?) years old. Feluran is at least a few thousand.

And sure, Kvothe was able to call Feluran's name in Faen (although I would say it's because of the flashback of getting assulted rather than being in Fae), but aside from that he didn't have any special powers with the exception of the one time he was able to grab moonlight. Kvothe is someone who you wouldn't like when he's angry.

The shape changer who attacks the group at the Waystone was weaker than normal. But then again, if it was because he moved from Faen to the Human World, than Kvothe and Bast would know that.

@73 mknecht01

Seemed like the circle of holly did everything it was supposed to do.
Jo Walton
76. bluejo
I'm not at all sure there are still two worlds by the time of the frame story.
thistle pong
77. thistlepong
@76.bluejo
The moon is still moving. The night of chapter one is moonless. By the end of NW, Bast is creeping into Chronicler's room by moonlight.
Matt P
78. mjj288
Going along with losing powers in a non-native world, what if Kvothe spent such a long time in Fae, he forgot who he was? Then, possibly the Chandrian took what he lost and placed it in the chest so that he can't regain it?
Maiane Bakroeva
79. Isilel
Re: the sexual assault episode didn't we learn in WMF that (of course) Kvothe was too bad-ass to be raped, after all? That he went berserk and had killed one of the assailants by literally beating him into a pulp, and the rest were terrified and fled?

Very interesting stuff about Skarpi - who is still out and about as of time of the framing story, despite this run-in with the Church authorities. It seems almost certain that he woke up Kvothe by Naming him.

And yes, there are so many different possibilities and versions of the events surrounding Lanre's fall that in whatever direction Rotfuss takes it, it will be well foreshadowed.

Lanre's motivation for wanting to end the world is distressingly cliché though, if Skarpi's stories are to be believed. Hopefully, there is some twist to it.
Matt P
80. Fulluphigh
In thinking about what Selitos, Tehlu, and Aleph are (Gods, Angels, higher beings?), in WMF, when Kvothe is asking Felurian about the Amyr,


"...she merely laughed. "there were never any human amyr," she said, dismissing the idea out of hand. "those you speak of sound like children dressing in their parents' clothes."



Selitos became the first Amyr, and several follow him, but none of them were actually human. This implies that Aleph and Tehlu and the other angels weren't human as well. The Amyr in the order that belonged to the church would be just as Felurian phrased it, the church trying to emulate the actual Amyr.

So I guess the point is, Selitos, Lanre, Aleph ("The creator of the
world"), Tehlu and the angels, and all the actual Amyr, etc, weren't
actually men, even though they were the ones who fought in the creation war. So humans either came after, or were around at the same time, which now that I think about it, makes more sense. Perhaps these non-humans were actually simply so powerful, they became more than human. I think that makes the best sense. They become so powerful, they were no longer mearly human. These were the shapers / namers that created the fae, stole the moon, fought a terrible war (Not saying only they fought, just that some fought in it, at least on the one side we know of), became angels, amyr and the Chandrian. Its safe to assume there were other considerably less human beings at the time, such as Felurian herself. When she at the apple, was the Fae already around, and she had stepped out for a stroll? I thought the Fae hadn't been formed yet, but then realized it likely had to have, as it seems the most powerful of all the namers and shapers and knowers went to other callings at the end of the war, as Angels and Amyr, etc. I haven't gotten to the Iax story Felurian tells in my reread of WMF yet, so maybe it sheds more light on this. But I don't believe that all of the Fae are actually native to the Fae, with Felurian being an example of this.

Also, the unfolding house in Hespe's story is the actual Fae itself, correct? And Iax = Jax? Just double checking..
Matt P
81. Herelle
@ 80
I thought the creation of Fae was the last straw and actually triggered the war (war of creation - creation of Fae?)
When Fae was actually newly created who choose to live there? Shapers? Felurian seems to be older than Fae. Was her making the shead actually shaping?
Also, the unfolding house in Hespe's story is the actual Fae itself, correct? And Iax = Jax? Just double checking.
I thought so too. Especially the description of the rooms reminded me of Fae (different times of the day in the rooms). That the doors where locked but couldn´t be made tight, there are thousends of doors between Fae and the "real" world. On the other hand, what if it was the other way around? If Fae was older and Kvothes world was created by the Shapers? Fae seems to be wilder and more primordial. The shapers seemed to me like inventors.

How do the Chandrian and Lanre/Haliax fit into this.? They seem to be feared on both sides. Felurian as well as Bast don´t want to call their names, Felurian threatens Kvothe when he wants to ask about them.

I think Haliax is not Iax but maybe something along the lines of Hal - Iax = Anti - Iax or Son of - Iax or ...
Jo Walton
82. bluejo
Killer of Iax? Haven't heard anything about Iax since, have we?

I think there was the Creation War, and Lanre was on the same side as Selitos and they were both Namers. And I think it's reasonable to consider the divisions as "Original World" vs "New World". Then whatever happened to Lanre happened and he became Haliax, and Selitos set up the Amyr to oppose him and Aleph set up the angels (sithe?) to protect and judge, so the next round, the aftermath state, has all new opponents and sides. If there aren't demons and "demons" in Trapis's story mean Fae, and Tehlu was one of them, then maybe the angels were to protect people from Fae?
thistle pong
83. thistlepong
Felurian tells Kvothe that there was one world, and in it was Murella, and her on the walls eating. Then the shapers created Faen as a place to do their work, completing it when they each created a star for the new sky. The first and greatest of them reached across the worlds and pulled in the moon. The old name knowers declared war on Faen. (WMF c102)

It kind if seems like Faen won. It's still there. They still have incredible magic. Other than having limited access across the border and the pervasive animosity of the folk of the corners they're doing alright.
C Smith
84. C12VT
@82: When Felurian tells Kvothe the story of the moon being stolen, she says that the person who stole it was now "shut behind the doors of stone". In Skarpi's story, after Lanre kills the iron-scaled beast and the battle is over, the "enemy was set beyond the doors of stone". It's not totally clear whether shutting someone behind the doors of stone means that they are dead or just conquered and imprisoned, but certainly it seems to put them out of the action. So Iax does seem to be gone... and I think very few people would have had the power to do that to him.
thistle pong
85. thistlepong
@84: Pat's talked about being concerned with details. The one he mentions frequently is the difference between slim and slender. Looking at those two quotes, is it possible that the difference between set and shut is significant?
Matt P
86. Fulluphigh
@84 The doors of stone are mentioned again, whether by fellurian, or Ctheah, the Adem, or the child in the small 4-man troupe Kvothe meet on the way back from the forest, before he heads for Ademre. I don't have my book on me, and can't remember the details. But something struck me about the kids poem about the lackless, including something behind a door (of stone?). And it's noted that Iax (Or the one in Felurian's story, who I think it's safe to say is Iax) is still alive, just locked behind the stone doors.

@83 After having almost finished my reread, I'm agreeing with you on this timeline. Excepting for one thing, I don't think they fought the Fae themselves. Hmm, I believe we're missing a crucial detail about this.

Also, Felurian puts a specific date on the... creation war? Or maybe the creation of the Fae, I can't remember. And it might have been the Cthaeh =P I wish I hadn't been out of power for the last 2 days, or I had my book on me now. But I think it was either 3000 years ago, or 20,000, which is a huge difference, but one of those figures is correct, I think it was 3,000.

One last thing, Ctheah mentions how the Maer would lead Kvothe right to the doors of the Amyr. Then commented on how superbly Ironic that was. Is this something obvious? Like how he knew Kvothe would be forced from the Maer's service? Or something that hasn't come to pass in the story yet? He says quite literally, and the only thing I can think of now is the door in the childs rhyme about the Lackless, and the Maer being wed into that family now. Door of the Amyr, stone door, Lackless stone door, etc. Also in that rhyme, it mentions.... something about waiting for the blood? I think it mentioned the blood of the heir, or something along those lines. Maybe there is some sort of prophecy that Kvothe would be apart of? I'm not huge on that sort of thing, so I rather hope it's not quite like that, but it bears noting.
Matt P
87. Katamsu
there is something that crossed my:

If I understood this correctly Lenre wasn't a namer at first only his wife Lyra was. When Lenre died and came back, Lyra was gone and Lenre was a namer ... There must be some kind of connection. Might be that it was a mistake to get Lenre back in some way. Maybe Lyra died as there has to be some cost if you return someone from death. And this could have destroyed Lenre's spirit and turned him all evil. (or something similar)

And I just can't forget the Lockless rhyme, I am almost certain that the box mentioned in the rhyme is the box the Mear's wife posesses now.
And if I remember correctly the maers arcanist ( Cinder?) told Kvothe about the secret the Lackless family carries and the door that can't be opened, I think this was the door the Lackless rhyme was refering to.

Another thing that might be important: We still don't know why the Maer's arcanist tried to kill him as he never got to tell Kvothe.

And something else I have to say: The way Stones are probably protecting the people staying there from the Chandrian and other evil spirits, from the looks of it. That is probably why the troope stayed unharmed for so long.
Matt P
88. faek
Sorry to be (really) late to the party

@65. Herelle
As possibly brought up elsewhere, Kvothe is suggesting names starting with "Fe" and is closing in on Ferule when the wind plugs his mouth with a leaf. Perhaps the wind is "saving" him from calling Cinder out by his name?
Matt P
89. Coreyartus
Some random thoughts--

Regarding the "sleeping state" that Kvothe is in while at Tarbean as a boy--remember the song about Lady Lackless that gets Kvothe's mother upset with him? The line, "She's been dreaming but not sleeping" sticks with me… sis it possible that Kvothe's mother has had her Alar split like Kote/Kvothe's has been in the framing mechanism, and as happened to Kvothe in Tarbean? Could it be something "inherited" through the Lackless line? Could that be why Kvothe has been supposedly spied upon for years by the Amyr? Is he carrying, by virtue of his blood, something only he (as the Lackless heir) can actuate?

Regarding Denna's idea of writing becoming true--is that why Chronicler is there? To draw Kvothe's story from him? To break his self-induced "sleeping"? Is it possible that Chronicler is actually Denna's patron? And isn't it possible that Selitos the Namer-Extraordinaire, couldn't simply do exactly what Kvothe has done, actually "being" Scarpi, or maybe Denna's patron, or Baron Greyfallow, Braden, Ben, or even the Chronicler? Isn't it the perfect method of disguise? And, likewise, isn't it possible for all the Amyr to do the same thing and hide for centuries? Or the Chandrian themselves?

Ultimately, is anyone really who they seem to be? Was Arliden? Netalia? Murella? Loren? The Maer? Denna? The young poet Denna sold her emeralds for?

Also, isn't it interesting that Iax and Halliax sound similar? Isn't it interesting that Iax is pronounced "Jax" in the audiobook? And isn't it interesting that Jackis sounds so similar?
Steven Halter
90. stevenhalter
Coreyartus@89:The Iax/Jax/Haliax/Jackis similarities are indeed interesting. We've noted those before and there are a few theories. The Jackis line could be related to that side of things and the Haliax could be showing a linguistic similarity.
P M
91. Psyzygy
"just when nobody expects the Tehlin Inquisition": Ha! Good one.

Re K's behavior in Tarbean: I have problems with some but not all of this. As someone pointed out in an earlier comment, Tarbean doesn't seem to have a busking culture (ch. 26: "Entertainment was hard to come by on the streets. Occasionally some ragamuffin troupe would mum a play on a street corner or I'd hear a fiddler in a pub."), and K doesn't have an instrument or any way to get one.

His story of Hillside seems designed to show that he had no way to get in touch with anyone who had money and might respond to his need, intelligence, or talent.

I do find it surprising that he doesn't make any friends/band together with other beggar children for protection. If able-bodied children are in and out of Trapis's basement, that would be an opportunity to put something together in a safe environment. I think his not doing this is an instance of his general flight from humanity, but I don't find it totally convincing.

As far as not leaving Tarbean or somehow managing better, I took K's interlude explanation to Bast at face value. He was very young, and numb from shock over his parents' death (I don't find three years an unrealistically long time to be stuck in trauma, given the circumstances), possibly punishing himself out of survivor's guilt, etc.

The one thing I do find really odd is his not attempting sympathy at any point. Why couldn't he (as other people have pointed out) have gotten food and money through sympathy tricks? Certainly sympathy would have been a better way to attack Pike than the method he chose (which involved spending money on cheap liquor). It would have been easy enough for PR to give us a montage of K attempting sympathy, failing due to his inability to focus, and then giving up, but he doesn't. I'm not sure why. I also don't understand why Bast doesn't question this in the interlude. (He says, Why didn't you leave, why didn't you go to Abenthy, but never Why didn't you use sympathy to get some food.)

I love the point about Skarpi calling him "Kvothe" without being told the name, and this either being an instance of Naming or S's prior knowledge of K. Thanks for pointing this out! My guess is that this shows S calling him out of his psychologically traumatized state, but not out of anything more definite than that.
Matt P
92. kineta
Oh, this discussion is just so interesting! The ideas people have brought up about the University (and the Archives) are interesting. The idea of Lorren being one of the Amyr also interesting. Puts a spin on the bit with the candle - what with the two Lackless poems and the pottery shard containing candles. And what about Hemme, the Master Rhetorician, and the enmity between him and Elodin, or Hemme's immediate hostility toward Kvothe?

And in retrospect, it's interesting that the Master's table is crescent shaped and when called in front of them for trouble it's referred to as 'On the Horns'.

hmmm.
Matt P
93. Curtiss
I'm reading this as I'm rereading NotW. I like the level of analysis, but I'm frustrated at the confusion of facts from the book and at at the lack of direct quotation. Firstly, in one of the prior sections, when Jo talks about Ben's meeting with Kvothe's parents, she confuses Tema and Temic. On p. 82, Ben tells Kvothe's mother that the root of Chandrian, Chaen, is Temic and that Temic "predates Tema by about a thousand years." In that respect, Temic is to Tema as Latin is to Italian. Jo is not alone in fact confusion. I posted earlier about the sword Folly being Caesura, but I was informed that in WMF, Kvothe explicitly says it's not.

The second confusion of facts I've noticed so far is at the beginning of this part when Jo analyzes a comment. Neither she nor the commenter notices their confusion of accounts. When Kvothe is listening to Skarpi's first story, Lanre tells Selitos that "he is Haliax and no door can bar presence." The commenter says that the doors of the mind are closed to Haliax. This is in direct opposition to is what is said in the book. Take the quote on p. 180: "I am Haliax and no door can bar my passing no sweet escape of sleep, no blissful forgetfulness, even madness is beyond me. Death itself is an open doorway to my power."

The description of the doors of the mind we've had so far essentially says that for them to be useful, they must be able to close. After his parent's murder, Kvothe locks part of his mind behind the door of forgetting. If the door was always open, as Haliax notes in Skarpi's story, he would be unable to forget. Haliax is unable to shut the door of death and in response is unable to die.

A third confusion of facts is how Kvothe's mind is awaken. On this forum and in others, many people seem to think that Kvothe's mind was awakened by Skarpi. Skarpi only told a story that forced Kvothe to remember. On p. 193, Kvothe says he spends most of the night after Skarpi's second story "opening the doors of mind." Skarpi did not unlock Kvothe's mind from the door of forgetting. Kvothe did.

Finally, in regard to the "sleeping mind" conundrum, the "hibernating bear" described on p. 616 is different than the portion of Kvothe's mind he locks behind the door of forgetting. On p. 615, Elodin says "each of us has two minds: a waking mind and a sleeping mind." The waking mind is essentially consciousness. It is this mind that accesses the four doors mentioned by Kvothe. The door of sleep is completely independent of the "sleeping mind."

When Kvothe locks part of his mind behind the door of forgetting, he is locking away part of his waking mind behind another part of his waking mind. The part of his mind that allowed him to call the name of the wind was his sleeping mind. According to Elodin, the sleeping mind "is the part of us that dreams. It remembers everything. It gives us intuition." I would equate it to the Id. It reacts on impulse and, as far as we know, cannot access the four doors of grief avaiable to the waking mind.

I like these rereading guides because they've caused me to look more deeply at the book. I've read NotW twice before this and am still finding new details. One I found that was not mentioned here relates to what Bast is. We know he's Fae, but I do not think he's the same race as Felurian.

On p. 53 of NotW, Bast as described as being able to change either his physical shape or how people perceive him. After the fight with Bast, Chronicler stares at him, noting that Basts eyes had "shown themselves to be all one color, and his soft leather boots had been replaced with graceful cloven hooves."

Without Book 3, we still don't have much information about the Fae, but from the description in the frame, it appears there is more than one race in their realm. I may be incorrect and will know after reading WMF again, but I don't think Felurian has hooves. I will pay more attention to that part when I get there because it didn't really make sense to me the first time.

I do thank Jo for writing these, but I would like hypotheses to be backed by quotes from the books, that way, the facts won't be confused.
George Brell
94. gbrell
@93.Curtiss:

I'm reading this as I'm rereading NotW. I like the level of analysis,
but I'm frustrated at the confusion of facts from the book and at at the
lack of direct quotation.

There's a simple solution for that. Provide the quotes in a comment and identify which facts you think are confused. Your comment comes across, to me at least, as rather peevish.

Also, while I agree completely that accurate quotation and presentation is essential to good argument, you appear to have fallen victim to the same problem you're railing against.

A third confusion of facts is how Kvothe's mind is awaken. On this forum and in others, many people seem to think that Kvothe's mind was awakened by Skarpi. Skarpi only told a story that forced Kvothe to remember. On p. 193, Kvothe says he spends most of the night after
Skarpi's second story "opening the doors of mind." Skarpi did not
unlock Kvothe's mind from the door of forgetting. Kvothe did.

The popular belief (which I believe you're referring to) is that Skarpi awakened Kvothe, who then began to explore the previously locked doors. Many of us don't think the story had anything to do with it, though.

What we think did unlock Kvothe's mind is Skarpi calling his name (pg. 192), which Kvothe had never provided to him. In much the same way that Kvothe hears Elxa Dal saying the name of Fire as "Fire," the belief is that Skarpi actually "named" Kvothe to re-awaken a mind that had previously been under geis, either from his own forgetting (that occurred when he placed memories behind the second door, pg. 124) or from the Chandrian.

Finally, in regard to the "sleeping mind" conundrum, the "hibernating
bear" described on p. 616 is different than the portion of Kvothe's mind he locks behind the door of forgetting. On p. 615, Elodin says "each of us has two minds: a waking mind and a sleeping mind." The waking mind is essentially consciousness. It is this mind that accesses the four doors mentioned by Kvothe. The door of sleep is completely independent of the "sleeping mind."

I don't think that Jo is confusing the "door of sleep" and the "sleeping mind." What she is comparing is that Naming can affect portions of the mind: putting the "bear" back to sleep, for example. Even if we accept a direct comparison, I'd point out that in both situations, Kvothe's conscious mind appeared locked away. Sympathy was unavailable to him in both. He lost much of his reasoning abilities in the Tarbean section of the book and only regains them as a way to escape AFTER Skarpi's story. Elodin describes the sleeping mind using the example of catching a ball, so the obvious analogy is that it is the instinctive portion of the mind, the id./non-rational/desire-driven portion. And isn't that exactly how Kvothe lived in Tarbean? Not planning, simply reacting, until he found something that reminded him of his old life (Skarpi's Lanre story) and then was awakened.
Matt P
95. THomkell
@79 :
Re: sexual assault : the description of the fight is somewhat fuzzy, but there is clearly something that makes Pike and the others stop at the moment the lute breaks. even the narration stop for a while : When the narration retakes, the three assailants are stunned ! Pike explains it away with "the bastard bit me "- wich would be ok if only Pike is stunned- i think that in childrens fights there is aways a lot of biting going on, so Pike shouldn't be surprised by it : angry, yes , surprised ? And that doesn't even begin to explain that the other two are stunned also. He cannot have bitten all three of them, and at that moment there is cleary a pause in the fight.
And there is a parralel with the scene where Ambrose breaks the Lute and Kvothe calls the wind-- for me, Kvothe clearly does something while fighting Pike in this instance, perhaps even calling the wind for the first time - wich can explain that when he is with Felurian and calls the wind he thinks back at this episode.....

A thought about FElurian : i think she is clearly an primondial entity (like the CHetah) - associated with the Fae but quite different also , i think she is older than the FAE.....

Sorry for my bad english.
Matt P
96. Curtiss
I'm reading this as I'm rereading NotW. I like the level of analysis, but I'm frustrated at the confusion of facts from the book and at at the lack of direct quotation. Firstly, in one of the prior sections, when Jo talks about Ben's meeting with Kvothe's parents, she confuses Tema and Temic. On p. 82, Ben tells Kvothe's mother that the root of Chandrian, Chaen, is Temic and that Temic "predates Tema by about a thousand years." In that respect, Temic is to Tema as Latin is to Italian. Jo is not alone in fact confusion. I posted earlier about the sword Folly being Caesura, but I was informed that in WMF, Kvothe explicitly says it's not.

The second confusion of facts I've noticed so far is at the beginning of this part when Jo analyzes a comment. Neither she nor the commenter notices their confusion of accounts. When Kvothe is listening to Skarpi's first story, Lanre tells Selitos that "he is Haliax and no door can bar presence." The commenter says that the doors of the mind are closed to Haliax. This is in direct opposition to is what is said in the book. Take the quote on p. 180: "I am Haliax and no door can bar my passing no sweet escape of sleep, no blissful forgetfulness, even madness is beyond me. Death itself is an open doorway to my power."

The description of the doors of the mind we've had so far essentially says that for them to be useful, they must be able to close. After his parent's murder, Kvothe locks part of his mind behind the door of forgetting. If the door was always open, as Haliax notes in Skarpi's story, he would be unable to forget. Haliax is unable to shut the door of death and in response is unable to die.

A third confusion of facts is how Kvothe's mind is awaken. On this forum and in others, many people seem to think that Kvothe's mind was awakened by Skarpi. Skarpi only told a story that forced Kvothe to remember. On p. 193, Kvothe says he spends most of the night after Skarpi's second story "opening the doors of mind." Skarpi did not unlock Kvothe's mind from the door of forgetting. Kvothe did.

Finally, in regard to the "sleeping mind" conundrum, the "hibernating bear" described on p. 616 is different than the portion of Kvothe's mind he locks behind the door of forgetting. On p. 615, Elodin says "each of us has two minds: a waking mind and a sleeping mind." The waking mind is essentially consciousness. It is this mind that accesses the four doors mentioned by Kvothe. The door of sleep is completely independent of the "sleeping mind."

When Kvothe locks part of his mind behind the door of forgetting, he is locking away part of his waking mind behind another part of his waking mind. The part of his mind that allowed him to call the name of the wind was his sleeping mind. According to Elodin, the sleeping mind "is the part of us that dreams. It remembers everything. It gives us intuition." I would equate it to the Id. It reacts on impulse and, as far as we know, cannot access the four doors of grief avaiable to the waking mind.

I like these rereading guides because they've caused me to look more deeply at the book. I've read NotW twice before this and am still finding new details. One I found that was not mentioned here relates to what Bast is. We know he's Fae, but I do not think he's the same race as Felurian.

On p. 53 of NotW, Bast as described as being able to change either his physical shape or how people perceive him. After the fight with Bast, Chronicler stares at him, noting that Basts eyes had "shown themselves to be all one color, and his soft leather boots had been replaced with graceful cloven hooves."

Without Book 3, we still don't have much information about the Fae, but from the description in the frame, it appears there is more than one race in their realm. I may be incorrect and will know after reading WMF again, but I don't think Felurian has hooves. I will pay more attention to that part when I get there because it didn't really make sense to me the first time.

I do thank Jo for writing these, but I would like hypotheses to be backed by quotes from the books, that way, the facts won't be confused.
Steven Halter
98. stevenhalter
gbrell@94:Yes, it is Skarpi's speaking of Kvothe's name that we think does the trick of "awakening" Kvothe.
Matt P
99. Damax
It would seem to me (and maybe someone has posted this elsewhere, but I can't find it) clear that the Ruh are descendants of at least the purpose of the Ruach, singing "songs of power" and all that. Ruh and Ruach are Arabic and Hebrew (respectively) words that mean both Wind and Spirit.
Matt P
100. DangerZone
As before, great series.

I'm reading through the chapters of the book then read through each blog as well as the comments. I am trying to avoid re-hashing or duplicating anything that's already been discussed, but it IS a lot of info to consume so I apologize in advance if I do.

My thoughts:


1) They interrupt when Skarpi is getting to explaining what the Angels mission is, and how they're different from the Amyr. The Amyr refuse Aleph, in order to search out Haliax and his Chandrian. The Angels are set to "...punish or reward only what you yourself witness from this day forth." It seems resaonable to conclude that the Angels and Amyr might not get along very well, since they both view the other as having chosen wrongly. A 5000-year old family feud as it were.

Rothfuss uses that theme a lot. The moon torn between two lands, Fae and 4C split, the Ademre/Edema Ruh, Alar, etc... It would fit very nicely in his story to have two of the "good" agencies not working together very well, if not exactly at odds with one another.

Also, Skarpi mentions they "...mete out justice to the world..." and isn't it interesting that Erlus is a capital-J "Justice"?

The conversation between Erlus and Skarpi hints at this scene being one small fight in a much longer animosity between the two. Almost as if they in fact had an old feud between them.

1a) I also like those ideas because they would help explain Trapis' story a little as well. Tehlu killed Encanis/Haliax, but only for his past crimes. That he's going to be resurrected (as he must) doesn't bother Tehlu because the punishment had been doled out and Tehlu would only then care about any future crimes that he commits. In other words, it's irrelevant to Tehlu that Encanis/Haliax would be resurrected. Not his job, so to speak.

2) Aleu - They're in the sky and have names? So do the stars according to Chapter 1:

"Looking up, he saw a thousand stars glittering in the deep velvet of a night with no moon. He knew them all, their stories and their names. He knew hem in a familiar way, the way he knew his own hands."

I think there is a LOT in that paragraph. For one, when did he have the time to learn all of their names and stories? Secondly, with all of the discussion about Kote's hands....

I think if we're willing to anthrmorphize the Moon (and I'm on board with that) then we ought to consider the Stars/Aleu as well. I'll be keeping a close eye on Star references going forward.

3) More of a general note: I know you've talked about Kote's unreliability as a narrator but I think it must go beyond that to proactive deception. Kote has an agenda with his telling, and he's not going to let a few half-truths get in the way. More than once over the two books he talks about stories and their often wandering away from truth. Just counting this far:

In Chapter 6, the Chronicler says:

"But you of all people should realize how thin the line is between the truth and a compelling lie. Between history and an entertaining story...You know which will win, given time."

And it's this statement that seems to finally break Kote's resolve to keep his mouth shut. He knows that he's got to tell his own entertaining story to drown out the others. It doesn't have to be accurate though, because accuracy would be history and that wouldn't "win".

Then there's the business with Skarpi, and Kvothe saying the world "...could do with a little less truth..." and Skarpi lecturing him on the need for lies and to avoid "...too much truth..." when telling a story.

All of which leads me to believe that some parts, probably very largish parts, of Kvothe's story to Chronicler are probably outright lies. I wouldn't go so far as to say he's Kaiser Soze'ing the whole thing (too much seems publicly known about him) but I think that anything told to us in Kvothe's narrative, as opposed to the frame, has to be suspect. At the very least that would explain why he's so forthcoming about people and events that might otherwise start real trouble.
Loren Dearborn
101. LOREN
In reading this again I'm struck by the fact that Selitos only knows three others with the power to name on par with him and that Lanre isn't a namer. Then Lanre renames himself Haliax and I can't help but wonder what the connection is between Iax (Jax) and Haliax. Has Iax gained control over Lanre? Or become Lanre and the new name Haliax is reflecting that? How did Lanre get power, and great power at that, that he didn't have before?

A few other thoughts/questions:
Was Lanre's visit to the Cthaeh to get the flower panacea to try to cure Lyra's mysterious illness? Lanre says that he's responsible for her death, this the talk with the Cthaeh lead him to kill her somehow? If causing misery and strife were the Cthaeh's goal getting Lanre to kill Lyra would be a perfect way to acheive it...Ferulean did say "the things the Cthaeh says can leave men broken in their heads."

Another instance of saying-three-times: Lyra calls Lanre three times and on the third time he comes back to life.

The phrase "Our Lords love is stronger than death! Our lady called him back!" makes me wonder if "Lord and Lady" comes from this.
Matt P
102. kajsa_a
@88 that fits with my theory that Master Ash is actually Cinder, which is based on his secrecy, white hair, & presence at Tarbon
Matt P
103. Jonnymoon
In chapter 26 during Skarpi's story of Lanre he sets up the "climate" of the time by saying...
"In some places the despair was so great that mothers could not muster the hope to even name their children".
The first few times I read it I slid right past it thinking it was nothing more than Skarpi's attempt to underpin the overwhelming "mood" of the time.
After finding this reread and seeing all the clues and foreshadowing hidden in plain sight, as well as understanding that PR doesn't seem to casually insert random text (especially pertaining to certain subjects... the moon, Naming, etc.) I wonder now if these children born to these mothers that go "unnamed" might play a role in the overall grand scheme of the story.
Just a thought...
Steven Halter
104. stevenhalter
Jonnymoon@103:That's an interesting catch. If the mothers were really giving the children initial NAMES that raises all sorts of possible tangents. Did the children need the initial NAME or become something else? Good or bad? Were the mothers forcing the children into a NAME and thus actually enforcing totalitarianism of some sort?
Matt P
105. Jonnymoon
Those are good thoughts!
Honestly tho I'm not sure if I'm actually on to something or simply looking too hard for patterns and subplots within the story. Either way... it's fun.
If the unnamed (or possibly unNamed) children do play a role in the overall story I'm struggling to pin down that role.
Perhaps by being unnamed (unNamed) they are somehow outside the influence or even the notice of the Namers of the time. That would give them extraordinary latitude within the framework of history to further their agenda (whatever that may be).
Perhaps they're the Ruach that stood with Selitos in Skarpi's story that ultimately became the Amyr? Perhaps they're the Adem/Edema Ruh? Or the Singers or Sithe that Haliax spoke of? These are questions that I'll leave to greater minds than mine.
I simply cannot shake the feeling that the reference to unnamed children being born in a time when ALL these events took root, was nothing more than a random comment. Rothfuss has demonstrated very clearly that there is a method to his madness and often... it's right under our collective noses.
Ashley Fox
106. A Fox
That is interesting.

Could this account for the folk we see in present day? The loss of power, the distinctions between knowers (& deliniations) and fae (before faen).

If Naming someone encompasses all they are, and will be...aakens their sleeping mind and releases their potencial then this would be a great gift to a babe. And perhaps if this is done at such a young age the mind is malleable enough to cope with it.

If a child was not named, their mind asleep, their abilities muted....perhaps they would seem without power, or have their innate abilities pop out in odd manners...like knacks or something.

If that child then grew up and was introduced to training that awoke the sleeping mind, the perhaps they would come to know a name or two.

Is this why K is so powerful? Becuase his sleeping ind was awken at such a young age, when he was more malleable/adaptable?

Also, its worth noting that the Adem Name. They name K, when K asks after Tempi's name I believe there is some comparison to it being a small/call name. Do they Name their babies? Or at a later age?
Scott Weber
107. Schwebs
I’ve been wondering about some things that I haven’t been able to answer or find speculation about

(NTW) When Chronicler gets robbed, the soldier touches his amulet but not get zapped like Kvothe does when he touches Caudicus’. Why not?
(WMF) Brendon seems to exist outside of the court – not mentioned by anybody in the building, Maer, Stapes… yet he is important enough to be in the castle. Does he appear to anybody besides K?
(NTW) Early on when K pretends to banish Bast, the phrase he uses in a language that is not identied is “aloi te denna leyan”. Do we have any idea what this language is and what "denna" means in it?
(NTW) Denna is remarkably well versed, she knows stories/songs that K knows from early on. She has to have had a priviledged background of some sort, or been well coached to appeal to K.
(WMF) Denna is using the hair braid thing before K notices it being “lovely”. In Severin she has a braid that she brushes out. In between her asking the boys about magic and her appearance in Severin someone has taught her some knot/braid magic/superstition.
(Both Books)Denna often takes him away from where ever he is to go for a walk/talk. Their discussions frequently turn into rhyming couplets, and the encounters seem to follow a comforting pattern. Is this just the romance story inside the epic fantasy, or is it paralleling another story?
(WMF) I find it hard to believe that Cinder was leading a group of bandits. I know that the CTH, who Ferulian believes cannot lie, said it, but it seems a random way to capture either Denna or the Lockless box.
(NTW) Could the 6 who would not cross to Tehlu’s side be the 6 cities that burned?

These threads are like a masters class in lit and have made me appreciate the books so much more. Thanks.
thistle pong
108. thistlepong
Schwebs@107
(NTW) When Chronicler gets robbed, the soldier touches his amulet but not get zapped like Kvothe does when he touches Caudicus’. Why not?
It's not a gram. It's a Tehlin wheel. Pat confirmed this when Badai Jewelry released a replica.
(WMF) Brendon seems to exist outside of the court – not mentioned by anybody in the building, Maer, Stapes… yet he is important enough to be in the castle. Does he appear to anybody besides K?
He appears to the guards outside Kvothe's rooms. So he's not a phantom. Is that what you were asking?
(NTW) Early on when K pretends to banish Bast, the phrase he uses in a language that is not identied is “aloi te denna leyan”. Do we have any idea what this language is and what "denna" means in it?
stevenhalter and Jhirrad put together the most comprehensive look at the languages in The Kingkiller Chronicle here:

http://forum.tor.com/threads/818-The-Kingkiller-Imaginary-Linguistics-Thread

Aroi suggests it's Faen. Most of the speculation is that Denna makes it in there as a joke in order to be rude to Bast. To the best of my knowledge, nobody's really sure.
(NTW) Denna is remarkably well versed, she knows stories/songs that K knows from early on. She has to have had a priviledged background of some sort, or been well coached to appeal to K.
Yes, she does.
(WMF) Denna is using the hair braid thing before K notices it being “lovely”. In Severin she has a braid that she brushes out. In between her asking the boys about magic and her appearance in Severin someone has taught her some knot/braid magic/superstition.
The "lovely" braid is identified as Yllish knotwork in the text. Denna spends some time in the fist part of WMF in Yll.
(Both Books)Denna often takes him away from where ever he is to go for a walk/talk. Their discussions frequently turn into rhyming couplets, and the encounters seem to follow a comforting pattern. Is this just the romance story inside the epic fantasy, or is it paralleling another story?
This would be a tough question to sort out and I kind of hate you for asking it... in a friendly way. It's now another one of those things that I hope someone will get around to really analyzing.
(WMF) I find it hard to believe that Cinder was leading a group of bandits. I know that the CTH, who Ferulian believes cannot lie, said it, but it seems a random way to capture either Denna or the Lockless box.
From my perspective, it's least random if he's looking for Denna. Kote specultes that the Seven sort of triangulate the positions of the people who say their names. So, they're getting closer. It is kind of random to be leading some tax stealing bandits, though. Lots of folks have spent lots of time trying to reconcile that.
(NTW) Could the 6 who would not cross to Tehlu’s side be the 6 cities that burned?
Maybe?
Matt P
109. whoani
Okay, nobody's going to read this, but here goes:

The Lackless door is the stone door in the University. Iax is behind the door.

Meluan's box contains warding stones, similar to the one that Kilvin shows Kvothe. They are the keys to the University door, and require blood sympathy to work.

Kvothe is expelled when he opens the door and releases Iax. This start the war. Fae is opened and Faen begin attacking the earth.
Dave West
110. Jhirrad
whoani@109 - While it's not conclusively guaranteed, most people seem to agree that the bit of Kvothe being "expelled" from the University happened already, when he was expelled for malfeasance by having called the wind against Ambrose. Of course, he was brought back right away, but that seems to fit, especially as he is getting older now, and part of the line was always that he was expelled from the University at a younger age than most are even admitted.

What do you mean by blood sympathy? If you're talking about using ones own blood as a power source, that doesn't seem to fit with what we know about sympathy. The basic tenet is that things are inherently attracted to things which are similar. Which is why using ones blood as a power source is incredibly difficult, because it's just not similar enough to anything else.
Matt P
111. whoami
Kilvin specifically prevented Kvothe from doing some sygaldry because it requires blood and bone. This kind of sympathy is considered very dangerous, in part because it can be used to target specific people. There may be other reasons.

It's not about a power source. It's about a binding.
Matt P
112. whoami
Just to clarify, I don't know what the binding would be, but I thought of this because the Lackless poem mentions the son's blood. Along with the candle that is not lit, this could be blood sympathy of some kind.

My guess is that Iax is the founder of the Lackless line (it's *very* old), and Kvothe is is heir. Family blood may be needed to open the door, thus providing the blood binding.
Matt P
113. LittleTinker
I have read a few theories as to who Skarpi actually is/was/might be, but I can't settle on anything tangible.
I agree that in NW he awoke Kvothe by speaking his true name, which Kvothe heard as 'Kvothe' and that this set him on the path to find the chandrian.
It definitely seems that Skarpi and the Justice have some sort of history and I love the idea that Skarpi may have spent time with (as the beggar) or be of the edema rue - since he knows all stories.
But who IS he? I read his telling of the stories as though he was actually there at the formation of the angels and amyr. What do other people think?
Laura Taylor
114. Lauranimal
I had a thought about the theories that have been floated comparing Kvothe's time in Tarbean as being "asleep" and the type of sleep he is in as Kote.

1) I like the theories that speak of changing his name and becoming something different... but I think there may be more to it. If the 'v' and the 'h' are to be symbolic of aspects of Kvothe... how would you hide them away. They are no more tangeable than the aspects of Kvothe that they represent. (Unless, perhaps you turn them into to runes/sygaldry.)

But more to my point, in NW, chapter 10, "Alar and Several Stones", Ben teaches Kvothe an exercise/game called, "...Seek the Stone. The point of the game was to have one part of your mind hide an imaginary stone in an imaginary room. Then you had another, separate part of your mind try to find it."

Of course, we know this is about developing his Alar.

"I remember one time I looked for the stone for almost an hour before I consented to ask the other half of me where I'd hidden it, only to find I hadn't hidden the stone at all. I had merely been waiting to see how long I would look before giving up."

I think there is something of this method used to create Kote... or rather, to hide certain elements of Kvothe that leave only Kote.

I feel confident that Kote will find them again. At the end of WMF, after getting his ass thoroughly kicked and failing to unlock the "thrice locked chest" sitting at the foot of his bed, he can't sleep. He goes down to the bar-room of his inn....

"...His eyes were dark and distant, and he moved with the subtle certainty of a thief in the night. (oh really? gonna steal back your K and your H?) He made his way downstairs. There, behind the tightly shuttered windows, he lifted his hands like a dancer, shifted his weight, and slowly took one single perfect step..."

This speaks to me of him reclaiming the Path. He has often described Shehyn's mastery as such "... she took one single, perfect step and had her balance again." I think that Kote is beginning to practice his Ketan again, and through this he will come upon a way to reclaim the hidden pieces of Kvothe.


2) Regarding Baron Greyfallow; It's true that Kvothe never reached out to him from the time his Troup was Murdered, but take note, that toward the end of WMF, (end of chapter 144, "Sword and Shaed")...

"Count Threpe was overjoyed to find me alive and threw a reserrection party where I was proudly displayed to the local nobility. I had a suit of clothes tailored specifically for the event, and in a fit of nostalgia I chose to have them done in the colors my old troupe had worn: the green and grey of Baron Greyfallow's men."

This implies that these colors will be recognised. I'm thinking that not only will the Baron be in the picture again, but that he may have some revealing information about Kvothes family. I think Master Loren has some information too, in fact, about Arlidans geneology and / or history.

Also, I think Greyfallow is somewhere in the south... a little warmer, as that is where the Ruh troup spent part of it's winters.

3) As I was searching for one of the above quotes, I came across something that reminded me I was wondering about this, though it is no doubt something to speculate on in later chapters. After Kvothe has returned to the University, he visits Devi, who appears to be shocked that he is alive. Something in her reaction doesn't fit. I think she didn't invite him in because there was somebody there. And when they came back and the door was open, it's because that someone left and didn't have a key. This one is going to come back to haunt in a very big way!


OK... so that is my musings for now. It seems I have much more reading to do on these boards! So happy to have stumbled on them!
Matt P
115. Thatlarhall
Could it be possible that Lord Greyfallow is Bredon who is also Denna's patron? Talk about a beautiful game... Perhaps he put Arliden and Laurian to creating the song about the Chandrian? He also knew Kvothe's name correct?
Laura Taylor
116. Lauranimal
That thought had occurred to me as well! But I think Kvothe would remember him since he spent 2 span of every winter for some 10 years, at the man's house... and received personal gifts from him. I still think he will be important... and the discussion about how nobles often hold more than one position may apply to him as well. What is Greyfallow's other, perhaps more public noble persona?
Matt P
117. jorgybear
I always thought the denner/Denna link was to symbolise Kvothe’s addiction to her.
“perhaps Chronicler can do what Skarpi did?” This is Bast’s plan entirely. I believe Bast specifically tells Chronicler at the end of NW “Wake him up”.
“Skarpi is Chronicler’s colleague, he must also go around collecting stories and telling stories, and so what is he doing telling stories to kids in a downmarket tavern in Tarbean?” Perhaps Chronicler collects the stories, and Skarpi tells them.
“When Denna does the Lanre song, the place has a different name, Miriniel or something?” I think this is just Grimm’s law. Cobb refers to Kvothe’s trial in “Amrey”, when we know it happened in Imre.
“Haliax and the Seven” ??? Does this mean there are 7 Chandrian PLUS Haliax?
Matt P
118. south4thesummer
So here is my theory, crazy as it may be: Lanre was already denied entering all the doors of the mind by his previous trip to the afterlife, as well as his new knowledge of naming when he arrived at Myr Tyriniel. I believe he got some of this knowledge from the Cthaeh tree, "where nobody should go looking for it", according to Selitos. Essentially, he becomes a nihilist after Lyra dies and he realizes he is never getting her back. After speaking with the Cthaeh tree, he wants to destroy the world to end its suffering (Dark Willow, anyone?).
Before coming to the Myr Tyriniel, he went to the seven other cities left in the Empire and won over traitors to his cause. Lanre is a clever man, he knows he has to strike everywhere at once to win. These traitors are the Chandrian, whom I believe bound themselves to him in exchange for great power. I don't know why the seventh did not succeed, but we must remember that seven is a magically powerful number!
Selitos broke his bindings with hope, imploring Lanre to come over to his Existentialist way of thinking. This failed. So, using some sort of blood magic, he denied Lanre the pleasures of life, clouding him in shadow as black as his soul. I also believe he somehow managed to temporarily banish the Chandrian elsewhere (don't ask me!). Selitos is obviously an extremely powerful namer. Indeed, I believe that he, Lyra, and Aleph may have created the Fae with the power of their naming. The Singers?
After this, Selitos speaks to Aleph, who tells him that he should punish the Chandrian if they show up and cause trouble again. But Selitos is not satisfied, he'd rather act before they destroy anthing else. Selitos says that he will hunt Lanre with his faithful followers, and that they will call themselves the Amyr. Here is the crazy part: I think that he binds them to be reborn, or to never die, or to be born in times of great need. The imagery Rothfuss uses to describe what Selitos does to the Amyr, giving them "wings of flame" and making them burn up and disappear, reminds me of a phoenix. Also, Selitos wants to ensure the safety of the world FOREVER. Not just for a few lifetimes. I doubt a man with a mind as expansive as Selitos' would trust an order of ordinary men to last long enough. The thing I find most interesting about this scene is that the Amyr agreed to be bound to their purpose for an eternity: to seek the greater good no matter what the cost. We've definitely seen Kvothe go out of his way to do the greater good in the past.
Thoughts: Auri is definitely Ordal. And I think Kvothe might be the dark-eyed, angry one or Tehlu reborn. Denna might be fair Gisa, and Devi the cold, hard woman. I also think Tempi might be the one that "kills quickly, without tears." This would explain why Rothfuss spends so much time on fairly random characters: the people Kvothe becomes friends with at school, one of the men he travels with, and a moneylender. I also think it would explain Kvothe's strange attraction to Denna, which I believe MUST be magical.
I think Skarpi might be Selitos himself, although he has two eyes. I'm not sure. Anyone know what the names Selitos and Skarpi mean? He is described with quite a bit of sea imagery. Perhaps we should fear him in storm?
I'm not sure if any of this will even be in the third book, because it would appear that Kvothe doesn't know anything about himself. He's obviously a Lackless, but is absolutely clueless to the fact. And somehow he has a touch of the faen in him, even before he spends time with Felurian (my theory on this is that the Lackless household is descended from Iax, the crazy phucker that stole the moon).
How do you guys feel about this theory? If it is correct it would definitely mean that Rothfuss heavily borrowed from authors like Robert Jordan.
Matt P
119. Tropoje
I don't know if this was said but I think it's likely that Skarpi is an angel. At the beginning of the book when Chronicler mentions his ties with Skarpi Kvothe says to himself "Taken you under his wing has he?". Now this could be nothing or a clever insert by Rothfuss alluding to Skarpi being an angel.
Matt P
120. BoobShaper69
First post. Sorry if repeating/stealing ideas. This community is awesome.

So Kvothe binds a drab to chalk at the Eolian to show Denna magic ("...murmurs a binding"). Sim and Wil challenge the binding with their belief that the chalk and drab are not the same thing. This 2 on 1 Alar-off makes it harder for Kvothe to maintain binding.

Selitos binds Haliax to his inner name (“Your own name will be turned against you, that you shall have no peace”). The Chandrian challenge the binding with their belief that Lanre is not that man and was a hero. Ultimately if they can change enough minds, it's a world vs Selitos Alar-off in some sense, which makes it harder for Selitos to maintain his binding. This is why the Chandrian need to spread the word (Denna's song) and eliminate those who oppose that concept and try to get the world to associate them with "rainbows". This would go along with the overarching theme of "perception is reality", or if you think something strongly enough, it becomes true.

If Haliax can break the Selitos binding, he'll no longer be cursed by his inner name... but will still have issues with passing through any doors of grievance.

TIN FOIL TIME!
In the Battle of Drossen Tor, Lanre binds himself to the draccus-like creature, allows the draccus to kill it or kills himself, which results in both of their deaths (what a martyr stud). In binding himself though there's some magic nonsense that goes down, so when Lyra pulls him back to life he's actually a half enemy (Iax) and half Lanre (I saw someone mention the idea of Haliax = "salt of Iax")... meanwhile behind the doors of stone, a half enemy, half Lanre is awoken and steamed. Now Haliax is like "Dude I need to mend myself and get the rest of me behind those doors of stone... and in the meantime I need to break this lame binding Selitos dropped on my face."

Textual evidence is mostly that Lanre and the beast both die and Lanre's "cold", and then later he shows up in that "second-skin" black iron scale gear which could probably just be a figurative type thing for the storyteller to allude to his new situation.

Sooo yeah, I think Iax is behind the doors of stone and the Chandrian's plan is to get behind them so Iax can be restored in full.

Also, I have a Carrie Mathison corkboard in my room that is tracking the Chandrian.
Braden Perks
121. DaLefty837
In regards to the theory that Skarpi wakes K by naming him, I agree that its possible for Chronicler to do the same thing. We know Chronicler knows at least one name (Iron) and that he and Skarpi were acquainted. Aslo, I don't recall Chronicler addressing K as "Kvothe" to this point (thru WMF that is). If he in fact hasn't this would support the idea that in DT he Names Kvothe and awakens the parts of his mind that are asleep or locked away. Just a thought though...

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