Thu
May 26 2011 2:45pm

Rothfuss Reread: The Name of the Wind, Part 6: Going Somewhere

Welcome to Part 6 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, please do not read below the cut unless you have read both books. It’s also not going to make any sense unless you have.

This post covers chapters 30-35 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.

We left our hero woken up again from his three year “sleep” or fugue after his parents were killed, woken by the mysterious Skarpi, probably by the use of his Name. And we left him reading Logic and Rhetoric in his rooftop hideaway. And how does Rhetoric and Logic start? With Ben telling Kvothe to make him proud at the University, of course, which is what he’s aiming towards from the start this week.

So this is what I didn’t like when I didn’t understand it—K was hanging around helplessly in Tarbean as a victim all this time, doing nothing, and then suddenly, snap, he was transformed back into his brilliant whole self. Now I know (thanks again Susan) that it’s all magic, it makes so much more sense. I think we should bear in mind any time we hear anything that sounds like psychology, that it may well be magic instead.

 

So Chapter 30 is called The Broken Binding, and this refers to the name of a bookshop, and I guess clever people who were paying attention would realise that it also refers to the binding that’s been keeping K muted all this time. Kvothe goes to the bookshop and pawns Logic and Rhetoric for two talents, and steals three pens and a bottle of ink. He realises he only has five days to get to the University. We also learn that months have forty days, which means they contain four ten day spans within them.

 

Chapter 31 is The Nature of Nobility. While Rothfuss puts a lot of things in here that are cool and fun, they’re never only there to be cool fun flourishes. I love this, where Kvothe has a bath and pretends to be a naked noble’s son to get some clean new clothes. It’s clever and funny, and the purpose it serves is to tell us that the sons of nobles are a destructive force of nature to be endured and not fought against. It’s setting us up for Ambrose. And of course there’s the nice little bit of byplay with the innkeeper at the end—Kvothe would like to have a nice inn like that, of course he would. And he will.

 

Chapter 32 is Coppers, Cobblers and Crowds. Kvothe is clean and in new clothes and he feels uncomfortable walking through the crowds and dodges into a store to avoid a guard who wasn’t going to bother him. The store is a cobblers, where he acquires a pair of good but used shoes free—but he leaves some money behind to pay for them because it feels like the right thing to do. He leaves two copper jots, which is enough for a caravan trip to Imre. The new shoes would have been a talent. The clothes cost a talent less two jots. I haven’t figured out the money, has anyone?

And then K joins a caravan for Imre and entirely by chance he meets Denna. And he doesn’t do this foreshadowing stressing thing he has done with significant events, he just records the meeting as if it’s of no more significance than the nice cobbler. Cealdish guy, wife, pretty dark haired girl, worker... as smooth as that. And he doesn’t describe her except to say that she’s about a year older than him—so, sixteen or so—and dark haired and beautiful, wearing men’s clothes for travelling. And then Kvothe goes off to say goodbye to Trapis, who treats him exactly the same, though the other kids don’t recognise him.

 

Chapter 33 is A Sea of Stars. It starts with the journey beginning, with Kvothe having bought a cloak and a travelsack for what the players in my role-playing game write down on their character sheets as unspecified “supplies.” Needle and thread, salt, spare clothes, a tinderbox, dried apple—travel essentials. (Does he need a tinderbox?) This is his second cloak with lots of pockets—Shandi made him the first one. He does go through them. I like the way he likes them. It’s obviously a reaction to Taborlin’s cloak of no particular colour, but he also has all these sensible grown-up reasons—they make him look good, they have the little pockets, you can hide things under them. It’s as if he has to make excuses for this fashion choice. I find it endearing.

So they set off, Kvothe is happy to be on the move, he is Edema Ruh. Then he exchanges a few words with Denna: seven words. “I was wondering what you’re doing here.”

Then they have an odd conversation. It is objectively a very odd conversation. Denna tries to get Kvothe to guess about her and acts as if she doesn’t know where she’s going—she’s “been wrong before.” She twists the ring on her finger, silver with a flash of blue—the same ring Kvothe goes to all the trouble to get back in WMF. And then she asks where he’s going and he says, and she asks him how it feels to know where you’re going.

I think there is a magic thing going on with Kvothe and Denna, where they are in some ways following the same path and in some ways mirrors, and where the way they can’t find each other when they’re looking. Now when I first read NW I thought Kvothe was just being a teenage oaf, but now it’s clear it’s more than that. I mean he is being an idiot in not seeing that she likes him, but I’m sure there’s something going on with the whole relationship. I’m also sure the ring is magical and significant, but I have no idea why.

Just looking at this chapter, Denna is on the road to Anilin, with a caravan. She’s sixteen and beautiful and alone. Where has she come from, why is she going, who is she—all complete blanks. I wonder how much she knows about him? She knows where he’s going, but has he told her where he has come from and what has happened? I don’t think so.

They spend a couple of days in what K describes as “slow courtship” which culminates in sitting on a fallen greystone that extends out into a lake, in a sea of stars, talking. He wants to touch her and ask her something and doesn’t because he has nothing to offer.

K describes his feelings for her in very conventional terms. I mean usually he’s very inventive with language, but not when he’s talking about how he feels about Denna, he’s tongue-tied.

Oh, and I don’t think this is the same pool with waystones where he goes when he is mad in the forest. There are two waystones here, and it’s too close to the inn, surely. The inn is on the road. The Chandrian ambush wouldn’t have been near the inn. It’s not impossible, but I don’t think so.

And I just realised when I wrote “mad in the forest” that “mad in the forest” is an Arthurian trope, it’s what Lancelot does and Merlin and I used it in The King’s Name, it’s a thing. But it generally connects with prophecy—but if he is playing Names?

 

Chapter 34 is Yet to Learn. And we begin the pattern that is to be repeated over and over. Kvothe gets a bit of Denna, and then she takes up with another man who means nothing to her. Kvothe means something, but it’s the other man who gets her attention, who gives her things. Kvothe is jealous. Then it cycles, he gets her, etc.

Josn is a traveller who joins them at the inn. He flirts with Denna. Kvothe sulks. Josn has a lute. And when Kvothe sees it, he claims that “I can honestly say that I was still not really myself.” But I think he’s lying and he knows it, making an excuse for why he played somebody else’s instrument. But what he’s saying is that he played a Name on the lute—three years Waterside at Tarbean—and it finished the process of coming back to himself that Skarpi started. And then he goes off alone and cries, but K says out of the distance of storytelling and the frame that he didn’t know what sorrow was.

 

Chapter 35 is A Parting of Ways. The caravan reaches Imre, Kvothe gets some money back and realises he doesn’t know Cealdish customs and isn’t as world-wise as he had thought. Then Denna invites him to stay with them and go to Anilin, and he declines, even though he knows (though he is wrong) that he’ll never see her again. He chooses the University—the possibility of the University. He chooses the possibility of knowledge over the possibility of love.

And we’ll start next week with the admission to the University.

 

But first—comments from last week! There’s a whole lot of great stuff in last week’s comments, go read them all. I want to pull together a couple of things.

TyranAmiros rexamines the theory of Imre as “Amyr-re” and suggests that instead it might be MT. The geography really doesn’t work, as MT is in the mountains. However, C12VT points out that Imre/University are at one end of the Great Stone Road, and maybe MT is at the other, mountain, end. And AnotherAndrew suggests that in that case, maybe I/U, being twin cities, are the remains of the twin cities of Murella and Murilla, which kind of sound like “Imre”? The Underthing could be part of the ruins. But Thistlepong points out that Denna’s letter is addressed to Belanay, (and TyranAmiros confirms that Kvothe’s letter to Ambrose in WMF also has this) which makes it seem that Imre must have been Belen—though I don’t know how the name could have done that. I suppose it could have been refounded by the Amyr as Amyr-re.

And TyranAmiros suggests that since we know one of the cities wasn’t destroyed, maybe that was Tinusa, and maybe that is now Tinue and that’s why people are always asking how the road there is, especially if the road is the Great Stone Road and it was the only city left. I love this.

The other really cool thing from last week is C12VT’s comparison between the Lay of Sir Savien, with its complicated harmonies and melodies and duet, with the actual work we are reading, that is also doing these kinds of tricks, but in textual form. I think this gets this week’s insight award of a bottle of strawberry wine, deliverable by passing tinker.


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.

104 comments
Steven Halter
1. stevenhalter
@Jo: This week, as soon as I saw chapter 30, The Broken Binding, I thought, that yeah that adds another confirmation to our idea that K was under some sort of geas while he was in Tarbean and that is now broken. Seems completely obvious in retrospect, but I must admit that I didn't see it at all the first time through. Cool.
Steven Halter
2. stevenhalter
At the end of chapter 34 the narrative switches to the frame mode 3rd person. It starts:

And that is how Kvothe spent his last night before he came to the University ...


I thought this was an interesting break. K is refering to Kvothe in the third person here. In the backstory he is using first person. It seemed like an odd little shift instead of going fully into the Interlude portion of the frame story.
Is this because, by playing naming music, he is now completely Kvothe again. Perhaps Skarpi just mostly broke him out of the binding. Kvot (mostly Kvothe) had to complete the transformation through the magic of his music.
Rob Munnelly
4. RobMRobM
Jo - do I get a jot of wine for suggesting that someone look into possible Sir Savien connections, a suggestion taken up with creativity from C12VT?

Re Denna - Denna is obviously a noble's daughter, so the ring could just be one of the remaining valuables she took with her when she left home (for whatever reason). But how about this theory - could the ring have been a wedding ring? Perhaps someone from Yll (who taught her the knots she uses in her hair as disclosed in WMF) promised to marry her and eloped with her but then abandoned her? She knows her family will not take kindly to her "marriage," especially after its failure, and is heading back to Analin to try to reconcile with them. In a later part of NW, she said to Kvothe she anticipated that the visit would not go well and it did not go well. This would make a lot of sense re her character - noble born but cast out on her own; very interested in love from Kvothe but knowing he can't support her financially or, alternatively, be an appropriate marriage that would allow her to reconcile with her family.

Rob
Hello There
5. praxisproces
Huge point about The Broken Binding, I hadn't been sure about this magic-in-Tarben thing but that seems to clinch it. I've always loved the cloak thing, both because it does show Kvothe in one of his sweeter, more vulnerable modes - justifying his own flair for the dramatic - but also because it's such an illustration of Pat's genius with appropriating and subverting genre tropes; what other character in speculative fiction bothers to explain why he wears his distinctive cool clothing, much less uses that clothing to expose the embarrassingly human part of his personality? Love it so much.

The line about how he'd like to have his own inn someday was heartbreaking even on the first read. On this readthrough it's even more intense, knowing as we do how the fulfillment of that dream actually represents the destruction (apparently) of Kvothe's entire life.

The seven-word phenomenon is obviously one of the best tricks Pat pulls throughout. One point though: Kvothe, the tale-teller, characterizes how he feels about Denna in restrained and almost clunky language, while Kvothe the character when speaking to Denna demonstrates what I think are consistently the most beautiful passages in the saga, as in WMF when he unforgettably says "You are my bright penny by the roadside. You are worth more than salt or the moon on a long night of walking. You are sweet wine in my mouth, a song in my throat, and laughter in my heart." I think the gap between young-Kvothe's rhetorical extravagance and narrator-Kvothe's more measured diction - though he waxes and wanes in the grandeur of the language he employs, which itself is fascinating - provides one of the best textual indications of exactly how far Kote is from the Kvothe he's describing. This is a guy who's lost his words and his music. Just tears you up inside.

I will say one of the very few things I don't like about the story is Kvothe's inability to recognize that Denna feels something more than casual friendship for him at the beginning. It's the only bit that feels inauthentic; a young man is always obsessed over any hint that the object of his affection reciprocates and is far more likely to inflate than ignore.

So I had this thought about the ring: is it possible that Denna is telling Kvothe something very far from the truth about that whole episode? What if the ring reveals something about Denna's past that she's trying to conceal, and Ambrose realized this and was holding it hostage? Do we know anything about those colors? That would explain a couple things about that whole sequence. I can't believe the ring appears all the way back here, though, what an artist Pat is, everything is so economical.

Bets on Trapis returning in some significant role in Doors of Stone? I say 100%.
Matt P
6. Matt P
"The new shoes would have been a talent. The clothes cost a talent less two jots. I haven’t figured out the money, has anyone?"

I seem to remember that in WMF, ten jots equaled a talent, but I can't remember where and I don't have the book on hand. However, in NoW(Pg 553), when the innkeeper treating Denna asked for half a talent, Kvothe gave him five jots.

I am certain that there are hundred drabs in a talent because of the question Kvothe is asked the first time he's tested at the university(if you have 50 talents and the moneychangers take four percent each time, how much do you end up with?) and pretty sure that there are ten drabs in a jot.

"And TyranAmiros suggests that since we know one of the cities wasn’t destroyed, maybe that was Tinusa, and maybe that is now Tinue and that’s why people are always asking how the road there is, especially if the road is the Great Stone Road and it was the only city left. I love this."
In Hespe's story about Jax, she said that he did go to Tinue and just like Rome, all roads lead to Tinue. So, Tinue seemingly existed in the time of the creation war. But if Belen was rebuilt, why couldn't Tinue be rebuilt as well?
Matt P
7. Robert Sparling
The Map puts Yll as a large island nation to the southwest of the Commonwealth. Tarbean being a major port, it's possible that Denna arrived recently by ship. It lends credence to the theory that Denna is from Yll, and would dovetail with her Yllish knotmaking in her hair. She was trying to write "beautiful" into her braid, if I remember correctly, in WMF, and that makes me wonder; is she doing that because she's trying to make something true by writing it down? We know she'd heard tell of Kvothe's rakish behavior after coming back to University with his newfound charisma/sexual skills, and was probably trying to make herself seem more beautiful, maybe to trip him. She seemed very upset when he was able to read it.

Until I went back and read the comments from last entry, it had never occurred to me that Bredon could be her patron. If that's the case, he's actively training Kvothe for a specific purpose. Teaching him tak for the elloquence of gameplay; keeping Denna in Trebon so Kvothe could find her would be another test, of sorts. She's composing a song about Lanre that directly opposes Kvothe's understanding of events, for her patron. Another test, of his resolve, or maybe an attempt to cause a rift between them that would allow Kvothe to so easily leave on his hunting adventure, where he happens to come across a Chandrian...

It begs the question of why, and also how. There are rumors about Bredon being some kind of pagan. I think it more likely he's an Amyr. He seems to keep pointing Kvothe at the Chandrian, perhaps baiting them, hoping to catch them while they hunt for Kvothe.
Rob Munnelly
8. RobMRobM
@7 - characters in different parts of the world seem to have different accents, and if D had come from Yll it no doubt would have been remarked on in text. That was why I postulated that instead of her coming from Yll, she actually lived within the Commonwealth (from Analin, her destination on this trip) but was seduced by/eloped with someone from Yll, probably a romantic who taught traditional Yllish braiding skills, who later was unwilling or unable to marry her.

It certainly could make sense for the break up to have occurred in Yll itself, with Tarbean as the nearest port. The only problem with that theory is that in a later chapter Deoch from the Eolian told Kvothe he knew D from more than a year ago, and did not mention that she was permanently attached to someone. So perhaps she was dumped on her trip south before Imre, and had started trying to make her way.
Dave West
9. Jhirrad
Hey all. Sorry I missed out on the discussion last week. Work can kill. Anyways, this week's post makes me happy, because we get to talk about one of my favorite subjects in this series: Denna. I've been waiting for this to get into the discussion.

@Rob @4: I'm not so sure that Denna is "obviously a noble's daughter". She seems more like someone that has spent time around nobility, though not a part of it. Possibly an illegitimate child of a noble through a member of the staff that was kept in the household? Maybe a merchant's child? Clearly she has exposure to the upper echelons of society, but I don't believe that she was really part of it herself. She's a little too rough around the edges even while being refined.

And I'm not so sure that her age is what we assume it to be. Based on the commentary, we believe her to be around 16, but is it just me or does this seem off to anyone else? A few things come to mind. First, based on the other characters we interact with, 16 in this world seems to roughly correspond with 16 in our modern world, not medieval. A 16 year old on their own is commented on, as Kvothe is often enough. A beautiful 16 year old girl...I feel like that would draw even more comment and more risk also. I'm also disconcerted with her timeline and how it ages her. Deoch (the innkeep at the Eolian) mentions during Kvothe's first year of studying at the University that she has been coming and going for quite some time (sorry, I don't have my books handy to cite the exact words). She also seems very good at working men in her way (and no, I'm not saying anything against her here, just making a point). She is very...practiced at it. Much more so than someone 16 years old who could have, at the most, been out on her own for what, less than 2 years?

Finally, her name. We have the obvious and blunt correlation between Denna and denner resin. She sweet, completely addictive, and ultimately destructive, at least for Kvothe. Because remember, Denna is her name to him. She has other names to other people. We know that names are incredibly important. Why is hers so shrouded in mystery? There is clearly something more to it than what we've seen thus far. I'm not sure what exactly it is, but understanding that names are the central element of magic in this world, it's clearly important.
Rob Munnelly
10. RobMRobM
@9 - can someone with access to the books or an online word search check something else. Unless my mind is going (definitely a possibility), I believe early in NW there is an exchange between Kvothe and Bast where something is quoted in Temic, and the term "denna" is in the quote. I also believe, subject to same qualification, that the quote is about "glamour" magic. My mind sometimes jumps to the theory that someone put a spell on D to enhance her natural looks.
Steven Halter
11. stevenhalter
RobMRobM: There is:

Kote swallowed and changed languages. “Aroi te denna-leyan!”
“Oh come now,” Bast reproached, his smile falling away. “That’s just insulting.”

This sentence occurs when K is (seemingly) playfully telling Bast to leave him alone. This line isn't Temic. The Temic line, same section is:
“Tehus antausa eha!”
Matt P
12. jmd
I love how often the 7 word phrase comes up. It is one of the questions Elodin asks, usually the first thing Kvothe says to Denna after a while has 7 words and you also have to parse the poetry in the second book, as most of it is in iambic pentameter if not frank rhyme.
Dave West
13. Jhirrad
To follow up @11, and give that quote some more context (the bold is straight from the text),

"Begone demon!" Kote said, switching to a thickly accented Temic halfway through a mouthful of stew.

"Tehus antausa eha!"

Bast burst into startled laughter and made an obsene gesture with one hand.

Kote swallowed and changed languages. “Aroi te denna-leyan!”

“Oh come now,” Bast reproached, his smile falling away. “That’s just insulting.”

"By earth and stone I abjure you!" Kote dipped his fingers into the cup by his side and flicked droplet casually in Bast's direction. "Glamour be banished!"

Not sure the translation, and someone asked Pat about it in one of his Q&A sessions on the blog, but didn't get an answer. My reading is that it's simply another word for demon based on the full reading of the section.
Rob Munnelly
14. RobMRobM
Excellent. This is why you guys get the big bucks (or at least strawberry wine). So Denna could mean demon - or do you think it could mean glamour? Certainly not clear from context but interesting either way. Call me cynical (or hopeful), but I can't believe Rothfuss made the "denna" reference accidentally here.
Dave West
15. Jhirrad
I don't believe for a second that Rothfuss wastes any words. He is a very tight author. So clearly it is there for a reason. As I read that passage again I start to wonder more about what that means. Bast was smiling until he said that and then he wasn't. It clearly is something at least mildly offensive. Maybe it is the Name for demons as a species?
Matt P
16. Susan Loyal
It's perhaps worth noting that in "Coppers, Cobblers, and Crowds" the newly clean and clothed Kvothe feels that someone is watching him, someone is following him. He gives us a psychological explanation, with which he seems satisfied: he's not used to walking with the crowd and it feels odd to him. Right. This is exactly the sort of psychological explanation we've had before, which has always been placed to distract us from important details. I'm not buying it this time. Someone is watching Kvothe. Someone is following him. The question is: who?

shalter @2: That stopped me, too. Suddenly we're all "listen to me as I tell the tale of Kvothe in the highest diction I can muster." The image is peculiar, too. The last sentence in first person is: "I left them sitting by the fire and walked toward the wagons." That reverses his walk through the wagons toward his parents' fire, around which the Chandrian were sitting. Then in third person: "As he lay down, behind him was a circle of fire, and before him lay shadow like a mantle, gathered." "Shadow like a mantle," like the shadow around Haliax? His first encounter with the Chandrian is "behind" him in so many ways. And then "His eyes were open, that much is certain, but who among us can say they know what he was seeing?" Well, that would be YOU, oh Kvothe the Narrator, unless you've forgotten. This may just be a rhetorical flourish, but rhetorical flourishes, like psychological explanations, are suspect in this text. Methinks this betokens, but I don't know what.

And Jo, "mad in the woods" is indeed an Arthurian trope (and you've used it!), and that makes we wonder if the other bit of NW that makes me squirm (other than Tarbean) isn't something I should look at closely--Kvothe's mad flight on horseback into an expedition into the woods with Denna. Next time I read that, I'm going to be looking for echoes of Tristan and Iseult in the forrest of Morrois. And while I'm about it, I guess I should check every time they meet to see if they ever drink anything out of the same vessel, because you've convinced me 3000% that these two are under some kind of spell.
Steven Halter
17. stevenhalter
In chapter 88 (with the possesed mercenary). The mercenary says:

“Te varaiyn aroi Seathaloi vei mela,” he said in a deep voice



and then:

“Te-tauren sciyrloet? Amauen.”



So the Te and aroi are fae words of some sort. It seems reasonable that the sentence:

“Aroi te denna-leyan!”



is also a Fae dialect. This raises the interesting question of what denna means in Fae and why "Denna" is calling herself a Fae word.
Jotham Parsons
18. jotham.parsons
I'm also sure that "denna" isn't dropped into that mysterious phrase at random. Notice that we learn for a similar aside (Kilvin's proverb in NotW ch. 67) that "Kote" very appropriately means "disaster" in a a language that seems to be Tema (at least "seven" is "chan" in the same proverb).
Dave West
19. Jhirrad
Bast's reaction made me think it was a fae word. Maybe "bastard"? We've discussed Bast's parentage before but it could be tied in that.
Steven Halter
20. stevenhalter
One problem with the money is that we're dealing with a couple of different currencies that are mostly able to be used. Kvothe mentions:

I’d made a point of spending all my carefully hoarded Commonwealth coin, keeping my hard Cealdish currency for my trip. Pennies spent well enough here in Tarbean, but Cealdish money was solid no matter where in the four corners you found yourself.

Rob Munnelly
21. RobMRobM
OK, so now the possibility exists that Denna might have been seduced and abandoned by one of the Fae, and took the name ironically. Wouldn't that be an interesting twist. The Cth-thing comment about how Denna would feel with him cavorting with Felurian would grow extra teeth.


Really crazy theory that can't possibly be true but offered for entertainment purposes only: maybe Denna is Bast's mother, as time runs in different directions in Fae. Seduced, carried off to Fae, has baby, returns ... what the heck happens then?
Andrew Mason
22. AnotherAndrew
Is anyone else annoyed by Rothfuss's use of 'talent'? The ancient Greek talent wasn't a coin; it was a weight, a very considerable weight, which no one would be carrying around in their pocket. It could be used as a monetary unit, as a talent of silver had a recognised value, but that's rather in the way that a 'million' is a monetary unit now.

It should also be mentioned that silver pennies, copper pennies and iron pennies have different values - 'penny' apparently means a coin of a specific size or weight, rather than a fixed value.

RobMRobM@21: We learn later that Bast has met Denna, but Kvothe did not initially remember this - you would think he would remember Bast meeting his mother.
Steven Halter
23. stevenhalter
RobMRobM:I almost like the crazy theory. But, in chapter 57, Bast mentions that he has seen her (Denna) once and that she had perfect ears but a crooked nose.
It doesn't really sound like he is speaking of his mother. Of course he might not know, but the general tone and Kote's reaction didn't make it sound likely.
Now, as to whether Denna has spent some time in Fae, that is a question that bears some thought and searching.
Maiane Bakroeva
24. Isilel
Kvothe was just being a teenage oaf

Actually, he is doing amazingly well for somebody who missed all the relationship and almost all human interaction experiences between ages 12 and 15. Of course he couldn't recognize Denna's liking for him! And Denna being Denna, well, it is still not clear what she felt/feels for him, IMHO.

Susan Loyal @16:

Somebody watching Kvothe? Very likely indeed. I actually used to think that it might have been Denna - but then, I also used to think that she was a full-fledged Amyr, which she is clearly not, from what we have learned in WMF.

I am also not sure that Denna was of or even from around the nobility. The choices for self-betterment that she laid out for that girl in Severn felt like something she herself had experienced. Also, her explanation of the confidence trick with the pawnshops ditto. IMHO, somebody had pygmalioned her out of a confidence trickster/occasional whore she had to become when she first ran away from home.

When I first read these chapters, my feelings were mixed: on the one hand, I was glad that Kvothe bounced back and was finally moving to University, but on the other, his immediate brilliance and resourcefulness just underscored the manipulativeness of the Tarbean streetkid episode to me.
And the fact that he was under a geas, while providing a better explanation, still doesn't make the episode more palatable for me. It was just such an obvious sympathy grab...
Rob Munnelly
25. RobMRobM
@22 - recall that talent has been used in literature in a punning sense to mean both money and ability (see Milton's On his Blindness*). Perhaps PR is making a similar connection.

*
When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg'd with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
"Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?"
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: "God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o'er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait."
Rob Munnelly
26. RobMRobM
@22-23. Ah well. To quote the great bard, "another one bites the dust."
Matt P
27. Susan Loyal
@13 and @17 "Aroi te denna-leyan."

"Aroi te" sounds much like "Avaunt thee" (begone with you), so maybe "leyan," which sounds something like "leman" (lover, or more often mistress) means something close to that, too. "Begone with you denna-lover." It doesn't close in much on "denna," except that "denna" would have to be a bad thing to love.
Dave West
28. Jhirrad
I'll throw a crazier theory out there for speculation/consideration: What if Denna is one of the Seven? Again, this is just a wild, crazy, speculative load of jargon, but, let's look at some clues.

1) She hides her name assiduously;
2) She seems to almost magically appear and disappear;
3) She has a seemingly magical hold on Kvothe.

Consider simultaneously the following:
In our discussions, we've noted the more humanizing aspects to the Chandrian that Rothfuss has put forth. They aren't simply the demonic boogiemen that we initially saw. As the story has progessed, so too has their depth. We recognize that maybe they aren't evil in the conventional sense of the word. Or, maybe they are in fact keeping tabs on Kvothe and doing so through Denna. Also, we know that they aren't a concensus group. Haliax leads them, but they go off on their own when they want to. Maybe Denna is doing that here. And we all presume that Kvothe went through some horrible trauma regarding Denna. What if he discovered she was one of the Chandrian and killed her? She is THE love of his life. Wouldn't that break him quite severely? Possibly even causing the birth of Kote from Kvothe?

Again, it's a wild and crazy theory, just something that's bounced around my head, but there it is.
Rob Munnelly
29. RobMRobM
Isilel - Denna seems way too educated in literature and songs to be a member of the middle class, IMO. And once a noble woman is cast out of her house in this sort of culture, what options does she possess - work with her hands in some sort of trade (she offered that to the girl in WMF and not of interest to Denna); or sell her body (also as offered to the girl); or live by her wits or talents, either through music (as Denna has done to some extent) or perhaps as a con artist (as Denna apparently has done in part). Denna sounds like a combination of all of the non-trade options, to one extent or another.

Rob
Matt P
30. Rodime
Yeah, I'm leaning towards a Denna-as-an-agent-of-the-chandrian, if not full fledged herself.

She's just got way too much access to strange things. And if you consider that the chandrian may not actually be evil (just portrayed that way by the evil church), then it makes even more sense.
Matt P
31. Susan Loyal
@28 In chapter Seventy-two of NW, Denna herself quotes a verse of the Chandrian rhyme that I don't recall ever hearing before.

"Denna grew paler as she realized what I was implying. She nodded and chanted the chorus softly to herself:

See a woman pale as snow?
Silent come and silent go.
What's their plan? What's their plan?
Chandrian. Chandrian."

It seems very odd that she would call attention to herself that way, if she is the woman "pale as snow." But you certainly can't say she doesn't come and go silently.

I'm not quite convinced that she's one of the seven, but there's certainly some link.
Matt P
32. Susan Loyal
Oh, heck. In that same scene, Kvothe tells her that there's something fae about her. And the moon keeps getting mentioned when he remembers being with her.
C Smith
33. C12VT
@4 RobMRobM - I'll share mine with you, as soon as that tinker shows up...

Re: currency. I did some research on the currency and think I have it basically figured out. There's Cealdish currency, which is accepted all over the Four Corners: 1 gold mark = ten silver talents, 1 silver talent = 10 copper jots, 1 jot = 10 iron drabs (see Kvothe's lesson with Ben in chapter 11, also chapter 71 when he is dickering with the horse trader).

Then there's Commonwealth currency. As far as I could find, only three denominations are mentioned, and confusingly they are all called pennies. The most valuable is the silver penny (I think the "hard penny" is the same as this). One silver penny is worth ten copper pennies or fifty iron pennies (NW, chapter 22). As part of admissions (WMF, chapter 9), Kvothe is asked how many pennies he could break out of a talent; he says 351.5 iron pennies (with the changer taking 4%), which gives us a rough idea of the exchange rate between Commonwealth and Cealdish currency.

Then there's Vintish coin - gold royals, silver nobles, bits, pennies, halfpennies, and shims. Based on what Kvothe says when he opens the chest of gold royals (WMF, chapter 93), one royal is worth eighty bits, and "over two hundred royals" is worth "more than five hundred silver talents", so about 2.5 talents per royal. Based on a few others examples of coin exchange, I think a silver noble is about 1/5 of a royal, but I'm not sure, and I don't know how much pennies or shims are worth - except that shims are really not worth much.

Modeg has its own currency to, but the only specific mention we have of it is a strelum, which Kvothe finds in his purse but can't remember where he got it from.
Steven Halter
35. stevenhalter
In Skarpi's story, ch28 when Tehlu steps forward to recruit the angels, one of the angels is " fair Geisa" the first woman to know the unwanted touch of man. Could there be some relation to Denna in that story?
Angels are listed as generally unseen but we don't really know their attributes.
Dylan Thurston
36. dthurston
I agree there's something fae and related to the moon about Denna, but I think it's a real stretch to make her one of the Chandrian. Are the Chandrian even fae at all?

There's also something fae about Kvothe, of course, notably with his eyes. Compare Bast's eyes.

Another wild thought: Perhaps Denna in these chapters is different (in some sense) from the D that appears later? They look the same, obviously, but Kvothe is said to "know" (not "think") he will never see her again; she doesn't seem to remember Kvothe at first, she later says something like "it's been a long time since I've been Denna"; and so forth.
Dylan Thurston
37. dthurston
Susan Loyal @27: Very interesting conjectures on the etymology. If your guesses are right, one obvious choice for the meaning of "denna" would be denner resin, so "denna-leyan" is a dennerling.

But also remember how complicated the fae language was said to be in WMF.
Rob Munnelly
38. RobMRobM
I saw someone on another site noted that there are a ton of moon references when Denna is around. Worth a looksee for those with the books.
Matt P
39. Susan Loyal
@37. No doubt. But people who make up languages have to start somewhere, and Middle English with its French component would be a logical choice for Rothfuss. Fae seems to be spelled like a romance language.
Jo Walton
40. bluejo
Great catch on "denna-leyan".

I'm trying to keep an eye out for all moon references -- I really think it's worth noting every time it shows up. But I am sure I've missed some already.
Matt P
41. Stargazer
You know, there's one way to reconcile both the "there's something fae about her" and "she seems older than 16" issues at the same time...

We have no idea if humans age while in Fae; it seems plausible that they may not from the agelessness of Felurian and Bast along with the general time slippage. My guess is that both K (in the frame story) and Denna (in the narrative) are both subjectively many years older than they are physically. The question then is, are there Fae cities where one can learn the fine art of the con artist, and how to manipulate men? Imagine a young Denna falling through a moon gate into a sprawling and alien fae city, and having to learn how to survive there by hook or by crook. Could be worse than Tarbean, leaving her traumatized once she somehow escapes yet drawn to search for a way back?
Matt P
42. Susan Loyal
bluejo @40 Every one, eh? Okay. In the chapter "A Sea of Stars," when Kvothe and Denna sit on the fallen greystone by the water, he describes the stars reflected in the surface of the pond--just stars "as above, so below." There's no mention of the moon, except that Denna's skin was "more luminous than the moon." Then when Kvothe remembers the night in the next chapter, mid-sulk about Josn, he is "remembering the way Denna had looked last night with the moon reflecting off the water behind her." Stars only in the scene itself, moon only in the memory of the scene. If it were anyone but Rothfuss, I'd say it was a continuity error.

There are a lot of pale blue stones in the world, but that ring of hers might be a moonstone. Does anyone remember whether the stone in the ring is ever identified?

Stargazer @41. I like the idea that Denna may have been in Faerie.
Steven Halter
43. stevenhalter
As near as I can tell, the word denna isn't used except for the once in the phrase "denna-leyan". Otherwise it is always used as her name. The thing I noticed while searching is that the name Denna is used a lot.
Matt P
44. Stargazer
I was just speculating before in my post at @41, but now I'm convinced. Prompted by dthurson @36, I found this in Ch. 65, "Spark":

"I remember your name, Denna." It sounded good to say it to her. "Why did you take a new one? Or was Denna just the name that you were wearing on the road to Anilin?"
"Denna," she said softly. "I'd almost forgotten her. She was a silly girl."
"She was like a flower unfolding."
"I stopped being Denna a long time ago, it seems." She rubbed her bare arms and looked around as if she was suddenly uneasy that someone might find us here.

That is a profoundly odd conversation for a meeting that happened less than a year ago by Kvothe's chronology. And see too their first encounter in the Eolian, at the start of Ch. 58, "Names for Beginning":


It was Denna, the young woman I had met in Roent's caravan so long ago.
Come to think of it, it had only been half a year. Not so long when you're listening to a story, but half a year is a great long while to live through, especially if you are young. And we were both of us very young.

The months had changed her. Where before she had been pretty, now she was lovely as well. Perhaps that difference was only that she wasn't wearing the road clothes I had met her in, but a long dress instead. But it was Denna without a doubt. I even recognized the ring on her finger, silver set with a pale blue stone.
Since we parted ways, I had kept foolish, fond thoughts of Denna hidden in a secret corner of my heart. I had thought of making the trip to Anilin and tracking her down, of meeting her by chance on the road again, of her coming to find me at the University. But deep down I knew these thoughts for nothing more than childish daydreams. I knew the truth: I would never see her again.
But here she was, and I was entirely unprepared. Would she even remember me, the awkward boy she had known for a few days so long ago?

If there's not a significant time slip in Denna's chronology between the caravan and the Eolian, I will eat my hat. "Perhaps" the difference is just a dress? Ha! I wouldn't bet a jot. (Regardless of what one's worth!)


The only thing that gives me the slightest hesitancy about this is the end of the second to last paragraph quoted: "I knew the truth: I would never see her again." Is K telling us that caravan-Denna and Eolian-Denna are actually different people (i.e. she's some kind of changeling or is possessed or something odd like that), or can we read that as a statement about the same person but in a fundamentally different state, akin to the Kvote/Kote distinction?

One further puzzle, though: this places her use of the name "Denna" prior to her period elsewhen, which makes it harder to explain how it could be a fae word, and whether she knows what it means when she assumes the name.


(Incidentally, I missed reading last week's post until this evening. Susan, your explanation of Kvothe's time in Tarbean hit me like a bolt of lightning. In retrospect as I look at the text now it's blindingly clear. Oh, what a genius at hiding things in plain sight Rothfuss is!)
Dylan Thurston
45. dthurston
I reread NW last night, and there are indeed a lot of really juicy moon references coming up. My favorite is in Chapter 53, when Auri gives Kvothe a key that is said to unlock the moon (!). On first read I assumed this was delusional, but now it seems like hiding secrets in plain sight...
thistle pong
46. thistlepong
@3.dthurston:
A span is eleven days. Span are noted in ones, twos, threes, fives, sixes, and sevens; never eights or fours. That along with Trapis’s story and Kvothe’s near burnout suggests a month of four span, give or take a few days.

According to a poster at Westeros, the German publication has an index listing 8 months of 44 days each which also places Shuden as the second day of the week, not the fifth, where it would need to be for Mourning to be the 44th day of Caitelyn.

At first I thought the disagreement/error was odd, but the time between Kvothe’s eleventh birthday, the murder of Greyfallow’s Men, and his arrival in Tarbean doesn’t really add up either. It’s the difference between the truth and a good story. Possibly a nod to his impoverished mental state. Or even a bit of intentional errata to call to the reader, much like Midnight’s Children.

@4.RobMRobM
Denna's braids appear in earnest after Denna winters in Yll in WMF. That's not a lot of time but Kvothe appears to learn to read them from a dusty old book in less. Everything indicates she's as sharp as he is.
This might be intersting to you. Deoch and Stanchion are Yllish, ethnically if not politically. Viari, Lorren's giller, mistakes Kvothe for Yllish. Kvothe believes Josn may be singing in Yllish on the road to Imre.

@33.C12VT
Thanks for compiling all that. You're a superhero.

@42.SusanLoyal
The stone is identified on Ambrose's receipt as blue smokestone, which we don't have. I've been imagining a moonstone. But it could be made up, like bassal and malium and lacillium... Incidentally that receipt also has the stone set in white gold, not silver.

Finally, I wanted to add somethng to the theory you put forth and the good folks here (notably ArtfulMagpie, CorwinOfAmber, and ryanreich) helped develop. I came to it after another Westeros poster asked why Kvothe heard fire when Exal Dal demonstrated his ability to name it, but heard cyaerbasalien when Elodin spoke the name of stone.

There seems to be a pattern to learning names revealed by what one hears. With no knowledge one hears nothing; Kvothe sees Abenthy's mouth move when he calls the wind, both times, but no sound. With some knowledge, one here's something, the mind filling in what it doesn't understand - the magic word; fire in Exal Dal's classroom. Approaching understanding, or understaning fully, one hears the name; aerlevsedi in Kilvin's workshop. The latter's reinforced because Sim thinks he hears the word wind.

At the end of c28, where ryanreich suggests Skarpi names Kvothe, there's this:



Since he wasn't looking at me when he spoke, there was a moment of confusion.

Or, those present heard nothing or some unintelligible gibberish when Kvothe heard his own name. I'm no longer sure he changes his own name, but he'd have to know it to even try.

We're given to understand from the ring rhyme ar the beginning of WMF that Kvothe learns several names, including wind, fire, and stone. So, cyaerbasalien fits as well. It's also pretty impressive that he hears Haliax name Ferula; and it foreshadows him being able to name Felurian in the ideal environment of Faen.
Dylan Thurston
47. dthurston
On the subject of time: There's a clear continuity problem about months in at least my edition of NW (US paperback): at the end of chapter 30, it is said to be the 38th and then the 35th (of an unnamed month) within a few lines. I think I saw someplace else establishing months have exactly 40 days, but I'm not sure where.

Note that 44*8 = 352, which would leave a year just about the length we're used to.

Have there been sufficient clues to establish the moon's period in the narrative? (In the frame story, we still don't know whether there's still a moon at all, right?)

On names (thistlepong@44): Nice summary (and I agree about the aerlevsedi case), but I don't think it makes sense that Kvothe would know enough about stone to be able to hear its Name when Elodin says cyaerbasalien (NW chapter 46). He eventually learns the names of both fire and stone, but still hears only 'fire' when Elxa Dal says it, later in the narrative. Is it really 'stone' that Elodin says at this point? A few lines earlier, Elodin says simply 'BREAK', although that's not a noun.
thistle pong
48. thistlepong
@47.dthurston:
Oh, right, now I remember the confirmation for months of four span (44 days.) Kvothe is admitted to the University on Cendling - the 43rd of Caitelyn - at the end of chapter 36.

From Exal Dal's third question in Kvothe's first admissions interview: the synodic period of the moon is 72 1/3 days, gove or take a bit. The Yllish Calendar is Lunar. The Aturan Calendar (and thus everyone else's) is not.

There is absolutely a moon in the frame. Example: the night of Day 2, when Chronicler taps at his window, Bast's axe gleams in the moonlight.



Claire de Trafford
49. Booksnhorses
I hope that there is something special about Denna - whether she is the moon, an Amyr, a Chandrian, a Fae or what - as I find her very difficult to relate to as a character at the moment. She is supposed to be young but is extremely knowledgeable about many subjects, and has been coming and going for a while. She is also working (presumably working I should say) as a courtesan to support herself but has the amazing ability to pick up and discard protectors without any real ramification to herself. Is this part of her talent? To leave people happy so they make difficulties when she resurfaces? Even Ambrose could be said to have been thinking he was doing Denna a favour when he took the ring off for cleaning. Was there any hint that Denna was less attractive/clever/careful when the ring was missing? I can't remember.
Matt P
50. Herelle
@jo
re Imre/Belenay, Belenay seems to be the University side, Imre is just the town on the other side.
Then he exchanges a few words with Denna: seven words. “I was wondering what you’re doing here.” Are those really only seven words? I don´t want to bicker, I´m just curious.

@2 shalter
At the end of chapter 34 the narrative switches to the frame mode 3rd person.
I think that´s again one of those moments too intimate to share, when Kvothe pulls back and doesn´t reveal himself. Like the death of his parents, when Denna sings him a song that´s only for him, there were more of them I can´t remember now.

@7 Robert Sparling
re Denna being from Yll, knotmaking
I had the impression Denna learned about the knots in WMF, she didn´t before. Denna has some projects (Lanres song, Yllish) on her own. Probably with the help of her patron. Remember her asking Kvothe, Simmon and Willem in the Eolian about writing something down which comes true? She figured out how. When she has the braid in her hair saying "lovely" Kvothe reads it and says "Lovely". He thinks, he is just reading an ancient language, but Denna says "Well that´s really the point, isn´t it." She practically admits that she made the braid so her hair would look lovely through the spell. Kvothe doesn´t realize it! She unbraids it because she is embarassed, Kvothe and the reader is led to think that she is only embarressed because it´s like a sign saying "look how beautiful I am" but I think she is embarrassed because she actually feels caught trying to make herself even more lovely for Kvothe.

As a side note: When I think about Bredon being Dennas patron I even feel more convinced that he is not the bad guy the Chteah described. Bredon was described as a very helpful and clever person. There is something behind this "Why would I want to win anything than a beautiful game?", though.

@8 RobMRobM
characters in different parts of the world seem to have different accents, and if D had come from Yll it no doubt would have been remarked on in text.
I have no idea where Denna is from, but Yll was razed to the ground by the Aturan empire. There are not many people who speak Yllish anymore or even read the knots. Deoch said his grandmother could still speak Yllish. Also Yll is not the whole island (anymore). On the map there is a border cutting the island in half and another peninsula is cut off in the southeast.

re rings and naming:
There are so many rings mentioned in the story and not only the heirloom type, it´s kind of distracting. Once the smith´s apprentice (I don´t know which book) tells a story about Kvothe and he is supposed to have rings on all his fingers, some of them unseen. When Fela masters the name of stone, Elodin asks her to make a ring of stone, which she successfully does and wears as a mark of distinction. When Kvothe talks to Elodin after calling the wind for the, what, 5th ?, time helping Denna to breathe, Elodin tries to joke about Kvohte having made his ring of wind. Kvothe rises to the bait but turns it making Elodin unsure actually how far he has mastered the name of the wind. The rings Kvothe in the story was wearing probably refer to the mastery of the names.

In chapter 32 the Tahl are mentioned the first time, referring to a saying (boys grow upward, girls grow up). They are a people living over the Stormwal mountains. Somewhere there was something about them being magical somehow, singers or something? Does anyone remember? And Penthe or Vashet says she would go to them if she caught a sexual related disease. I expect Kvothe will get to the Tahl in book 3.

@24 Iselel
I am also not sure that Denna was of or even from around the nobility. The choices for self-betterment that she laid out for that girl in Severn felt like something she herself had experienced.
Yes, I think Kvothe and Denna have something in common there. They are both clever, educated (Kvothe more than Denna), musical but rootless and fell on hard times. When Kvothe plays on the lute on the way to Imre it affects Denna most of all, she cries in quiet hopeless sobs. That might be because of her musicality and character, but I think it makes her remember her own hard times. She must have spent times on the street as well, the way she knew the signs on pawnshops and so on.
Rob Munnelly
51. RobMRobM
Herell - in one of Kvothe's discussions with Sim and Will, Kvothe picks the Tahlwald as the one place in the world he's like to see. I don't recall the chapter or even which book it is in. Sorry.

All - I'm enjoying the Denna/Fae speculation. How's this for an explanation of events. Denna is a young woman of muscial and book talent in her home town of Analin (I think a noble but others appear to disagree - not important), goes into the woods on a moonfilled night, and is seduced by a male Fae. (In this sense, she is the mirror image of Kvothe.) She is able to go home (the male Fae is no Felurian to try to steal his women forever) and her family casts her out for running off somewhere, presumably with some man, without proprieties. She either won't try to explain the Fae angle or she tried and they didn't believe her. She adopts the ironic Fae-influence name of Denna (perhaps because her family called her out for acting like a demon) then travels around living by her wits for a time, by music and flirtation and the occasional con game (at which point Deoch meets her around the bars and music places of Imre), but she is not sufficiently successful to earn a living. She decides to try to go home for a reconciliation, at which point she meets Kvothe - so she is mostly but not entirely innocent and appears to him as a very pretty girl. She heads home to Analin, is rejected by her family (as expected), and is now fully on her own. She crosses the line beyond flirtation with men but is desperate to return to an "honest" living as a musician with a monied patron. Having begun to fully use her sexual power with men, she appears truly beautiful to Kvothe. Her desperation leads to her coming into the sway of her abusive patron, probably Bredon, who is probably one of the Chandrian or an Amyr, who has some long term goal for using her we haven't figured out yet (perhaps as a sword against Kvothe, perhaps for some larger picture goal).

And the wackiest part of the above is that the Fae who seduced her in the beginning is Bast - who, as we know from the books so far, will sleep with anything that moves.

Discuss.

Rob
Steven Halter
52. stevenhalter
RobMRobM:I think Denna's story will be something like that (details may vary). For example, Denna could be connected (related?/used by?) to the Lackless family and find out (stumble through?) the door into Fae that is on (held by them?) their estates. In Fae, she learns something of traveling in and out of Fae through the Gray Stones. While in Fae she is set upon the path to intersect with Kvothe by Amyr (Fae?, Angels, ...).
Kvothe finds the door into Fae that the Lackless hold and it is in this journey that he finds Bast and Bast meets Denna for the first and only time. Denna continues to report to Master Ash (an Amyr?) on what Kvothe is doing.
The rough points, Denna is in contact with the Fae and/or Amyr are (I think) becoming pretty clear. It's all those pesky little details that need ironed out yet.
Matt P
53. Herelle
I really agree that Kvothe will get back to the Lacklesses, but right now I can´t see how. Meluan has certainly made clear that she despises all Ruh and Kvothe is too proud to go to her just to get kicked at again. Yet somehow he has to get around to find out the secret of the Lackless box.
Oh, and Denna doesn´t report on Kvothe! She is rather fierce about that. She tells Kvothe in WMF that her patron doesn´t know about him, because Kvothe is hers alone. She sounded very possessive there. But I had this sinking feeling when they argued about her song that maybe because of her confusion about the facts Kvothe claimed to know she will actually break her silence and talk about Kvothe and his knowledge of Lanre, which might somehow lead to severe consequences for Kvothe.
C Smith
54. C12VT
If Denna did go into Fae, her estrangement from her family wouldn't necessarily have to be from scandal, etc. - time passes differently, and she could have emerged years later (looking no older). Her family could have died or moved in the meantime, or might not believe she is really herself due to the age discrepancy. It would explain her comment about noone speaking Yllish anymore, if she had personally known a time that was different.
Matt P
55. Herelle
@54 C12VT
True, I like that theory. That could be an explanation for her drifting, not knowing what she was doing here and not feeling connected. Plus, there was a lot foreshadowing about aging differently, though in the end Kvothe just came back three days later. We didn´t see it the other way around yet, time in the human world passing a lot faster than in the Fae.
Somewhere in the book Denna was also described as having eyes that looked older than she appeared to be.
Steven Halter
56. stevenhalter
Herelle@53:That's a good point on Denna not reporting on Kvothe. She did seem emphatic in that instance. Of course, she could be being used without her knowledge (or rememberance.) If Mr. ash knows her true name he can probably get whatever knowledge he wants--if he is unscrupulous.
Rob Munnelly
57. RobMRobM
@50 - I believe it is somewhere in NW, but there is a scene where a person who works for the Archives by travelling the world collecting manuscripts, etc., sees Kvothe and talks to him in Yllish - which Kvothe can't figure out. So there is at least one (beyond Dal) who speak the language. I don't have the books but I thought the speech had a strange accent, so I'm having trouble believing Denna came from there without Kvothe or someone else noting something different about her speech patterns.
Matt P
58. Susan Loyal
Stargazer @44. If you are forced to eat your hat, please save a slice for me, because you've convinced me entirely. (Just the dress? I don't think so!) thistlepong @46. Thanks for identifying the stone in the ring. "Smokestone" seems to have more to do with the "ash" imagery than with the moon, then. dthurston @45. Yes. Oh, yes. It sounds entirely fanciful, doesn't it?
Matt P
59. Zoë L.
Jumping in on the re-read party, here! I've been lurking for a while and figured it was time to come out and play.

No deep insights from me at the moment, but the concept of a connection between Denna and the Fae has me very intrigued. Could she possibly have some sort of direct connection to Felurian? Gotta dig out my copy of Name of the Wind and follow along properly, now. I've only read both books once (and not before this year, either---discovered Rothfuss in February) but I love the idea of digging more deeply into the story.
Matt P
60. Matt P
@33 "Then there's Vintish coin - gold royals, silver nobles, bits, pennies, halfpennies, and shims. Based on what Kvothe says when he opens the chest of gold royals (WMF, chapter 93), one royal is worth eighty bits, and "over two hundred royals" is worth "more than five hundred silver talents", so about 2.5 talents per royal. " If I could add something, we also know that 13 jots(a talent plus 3 jots) equals 2 nobles, 6 bits, two pennies and 4 shims (NoW Pg 434). Or 13 jots equal 166 bits, 2 pennies and 4 shims. I'd say a jot is certainly worth between 12 and 13 bits. If I had to guess, I'd say a jot is worth 12.8 bits. So that: 166.4 bits = 166 bits + 2 pennies + 4 shims .4 bits = 2 pennies + 4 shims 1 bit = 5 pennies + 10 shims. And then given how Rothfuss usually uses a base ten system, maybe a bit = six pennies and 10 shims = a penny.
Matt P
61. Matt P
That didn't come out very clear. @33 "Then there's Vintish coin - gold royals, silver nobles, bits, pennies, halfpennies, and shims. Based on what Kvothe says when he opens the chest of gold royals (WMF, chapter 93), one royal is worth eighty bits, and "over two hundred royals" is worth "more than five hundred silver talents", so about 2.5 talents per royal. " If I could add something, we also know that 13 jots(a talent plus 3 jots) equals 2 nobles, 6 bits, two pennies and 4 shims (NoW Pg 434). Or 13 jots equal 166 bits, 2 pennies and 4 shims. I'd say a jot is certainly worth between 12 and 13 bits. If I had to guess, I'd say a jot is worth 12.8 bits. So that: 166.4 bits = 166 bits + 2 pennies + 4 shims .4 bits = 2 pennies + 4 shims 1 bit = 5 pennies + 10 shims. And then given how Rothfuss usually uses a base ten system, maybe a bit = six pennies and 10 shims = a penny. The 12.8 bits to a jot is totally a guess... but it does work out very nicely.
Matt P
62. ArtfulMagpie
Okay, so in reading all of the comments on all of the re-reads, I was realizing just how little I really remembered about some of the finer points of the book...it having been a while since I read it. SO, I started re-reading it last night, and I found a little something:

I'm partway through K's time in Tarbean, right in the middle of the Midwinter revelry. K is in the rich part of town, and he's just watched two men masked as demons play tricks on two upstanding folks. When they do, the woman yells, "Tehus! Tehus! Tehus antausa eha!"

Which, of course, is the exact phrase being discussed above, the one that amused Bast when K used it in the inn.

And after the woman yells that at the demons, the text reads:

"At the sound of Tehlu's name the two red-masked figures cowered, then turned and ran off down the street."

So, basically, "Tehus" is an archaic word for Tehlu...like saying "Jesu" instead of Jesus, I suppose. And the entire phrase banishes demons...which is, I suppose, why Bast was so amused, because it's basically a religious ritual phrase and, one guesses, not effective against Fae. *wink* But perhaps the next sentence, the one which seems to be said IN Fae, has power to it? And that's why it does not amuse Bast quite so much?
Matt P
63. AO
@ #59 Zoë L.

I've heard one theory that could connect Denna to Felurian. We know that Felurian was in/of the city of Murella. Murella had a twin city of Murilla. Some have extrapolated that that means that Felurian has a twin as well. They then claim it possible that Denna could be that twin.

I don't know that I believe that a relationship might go that far, if there even is a relationship between them at all, but it's hard for me to say, as I think that we get a lot of very mixed signals about Denna. At times she really does seem like a smart young girl, very knowledgeable in some ways, but much less so in others. But there are also clearly clues that there could be a lot more to her. As well, of all of the ways that Kvothe is an unreliable narrator, it stands to reason that he is most so with her. Bast even remarks on that specifically in the present.
Justin Levitt
64. TyranAmiros
35 @ Shaler:

Rereading Skarpi's second story of Lanre, I came to the same connectionb between Denna and "Fair Geisa". Thinking about it, I really like it--we know Denna shares the "hundreds of suitors" with Geisa, and we also know that she knows quite a bit of obscure things, from Yllish knots to Daeonica. It would also make sense why she never gives anyone her real name.

This theory raises a lot of interesting possibilities about what her deal might be. For example, maybe she keeps turning up near Kvothe on purpose--to watch over him because of his interest in the Chandrian and the Amyr. I've often wondered if her version of the story of Lanre is in fact intentional, a way to remind Haliax of what he once was and what he could be. Or, conversely, a way of drawing out the Chandrian for a confrontation.
Matt P
65. Questionable
@63 Re: Bast commenting on Kvothe giving unreliable descriptions of Denna.

I always took this to be because her glamours didn't work on Bast (perhaps since he is fae). So it is not so much Kvothe unreliably embellishing a story as Denna possessing unreliable beauty.
Matt P
66. AO
@65 Questionable

That's a good point too. If she is of fae then it absolutely stands to reason that she would be using her abilities to alter people's perceptions of her appearance.

Though I do have to say that I'm not sure that I came away with that impression from their dialogue, but at the same time that could just be me, or it could have been Bast not having wanted to spoil the story. I'm also reminded of the conversation that he has towards the end of WMF (Chapter 149) with Fela and Sim, wherein Fela lists off how she perceives the way that Kvothe interacts with the opposite sex. She speaks on how he looks at women, and I came away with the impression that he wouldn't notice or care about what other people might view as imperfections. So that even if Denna's nose did appear crooked, or whatnot, then it would still appear as beautiful to Kvothe's perceptions. Especially so if he really does love her, or has loved her, by the time that he gets to the present in the framing sequence.

But none of that disproves your theory, you could certainly be right.
Matt P
67. BrazilianVitor
I'm quite sure Denna's patron is actually Cinder. A lot of elements point to that:

1 - The Cthaeh passage depicts Master Ash as a sadistic person, which is a key component of Cinder's personality

2 - The sympathetic version of Lanre's story presented by Denna's was inspired by his patron, which could suggest a Chandrian's effort of rewriting that narrative

3 - Denna's is inexplicably drawn to every place the Chandrian appear. This happens in Trebon and also in Vintas, where Cinder is playing the role of a highroad man

4 - Last but not least, the Vulgar Latin word for Ash is cinisîa, which originated, for instance, the word cinza(ash in Portuguese) and ceniza(ash in Spanish), and is rather akin to the word Cinder. I figure this should be one more of those instances where Kvothe unadvertedly gives a correct name to something, just like in the painted horse episode.

Please, forgive any misspellings or odd colocations.
Matt P
68. BrazilianVitor
Also, the names Cyphus, Ferule and Asnea are reminiscent of Latin, although I cannot point out what they mean. Stercus is an actual Latin word and also very similar to the modern Portuguese word esterco, wich means animal dung or a vile person..
Thus, I think we have a Latin-Chandrian connection to give support to the etymological connection between Cinder and Ash.
Matt P
69. Herelle
I can´t make myself believe that Denna would stay with someone as evil and sinister as Cinder. When Kvothe asks her if their secret sign at the Trebon site was blue flame she said that was too sinister even for Mr. Ash. I think the Chteah is intentionally misleading Kvothe. Denna is maybe not the victim of physical abuse but training some kind of fighting. How else did she overcome the guy who molested the girl in Severen?

There are several hints that point to Bredon: house colors ash grey and charcoal, white hair, age (Cinder is young, isn´t he?), Denna is gone at the same time as Bredon, Denna talks about dancing with her patron, while Bredon tells Kvohte that he is learning to dance. Bredons wolf head walking stick is mentioned several times, somehow I expect it to be some telltale sign at some later time.
Steven Halter
70. stevenhalter
The Ash = Cinder connection seems a little too obvious to me. Probably misdirection.
Matt P
71. BrazilianVitor
It might be a misdirection. Still, it would be a nice way of setting the stage for sth bad to happen to Denna in DoS, which I presume will happen.

As to the blue flame issue, I gather each Chandrian would hold different signs...? Hence, the blue flame would be ascribed to Cyphus, while Ferula/Cinder would only be dark-eyed. In the Eld passage, the highroad man who turns out to be Cinder did not seem to have dark eyes(at least Kvothe does not notice that), so it might be possible that he is somehow able to mask that trait.

Moreover, the whole secretiveness of Master Ash would be warranted, should he be one of the Chandrian.
Matt P
72. piapiapiano
I think I've discovered something in an upcoming chapter and I'm afraid I'm just too excited about it to wait until Jo gets there. Sorry.

Lorren doesn't know or doesn't care that Kvothe was researching the Chandrian. He mildly rebukes Kvothe for asking about childish things in the Archives, but he only tells him about the Amyr, which was Kvothe's second request. And he only draws Kvothe aside after Kvothe writes in his second request (the first had been about the Chandrian). Kvothe is simply assuming he's being told off for both requests.

Most tellingly, Rothfuss makes a point of mentioning that the Amyr request was only one line, and at the end of the chapter Lorren crosses out Kvothe's "single line of text".

Not sure what the significance of this is, though...
Justin Levitt
73. TyranAmiros
@ 68:

All of the Chandrians' names as given by the Adem (except perhaps Alaxel/Haliax) could have Greco-Roman origins.
Cyphus could come from Greek "cyph-" meaning "bent, hunched" (maybe related to the expression "bent penny"?).
Stercus, as you noted, means "dung, manure".
Usnea is a type of fungus.
Ferule is probably from Latin "feru-" meaning "wild, untamed"
Dalcenti is Italian for "of the hundred(s)"--maybe a play on the idea of "decimate"
Alenta could be from Latin "lente-" meaning "slow, sluggish" or the Spanish "alentar", "to breathe, to encourage".
For Haliax/Alaxel, I keep thinking of Ajax, from the Trojan War cycles, this one is more tentative.
Matt P
74. Matt P
"I haven’t figured out the money, has anyone?"

I was thinking a bit more about how Vintish currency worked. It seems that there are Royals, Nobles, Rounds, Bits, Reels, Pennies and Shims.

If we focus on the Royals, Rounds and Bits then we know that there are 80 Bits in a Royal. A Bit itself is a silver piece split into eighths(WMF PG 410) , eight of which make up a Round.

In Spanish Currency, there is a coin called "a piece of eight." or a coin made up of eight Bits. Eighty of these Bits made up a Doubloon(at one point in Spanish History). Note that in Spanish Currency and in Vintish Currency that the value of a Bit seems to be the same.

Also in Spanish Currency, a Bit is the name of a coin. The value itself is called a Reale. Basically, a Bit is worth exactly one Reale.

For example in American money, a quarter is twenty-five cents. So, I could tell you that you owed me a quarter(the name of a coin) or twenty-five cents(the value of a coin). The fact that when Kvothe sells his rumors to a bookbinder for six reels(WMF Pg 928), there seems to be another connection from Vintish Currency to Spanish Currency.

I think that Vintish Currency is based on Spanish Currency.
Matt P
75. Ellynne
I'm sure this has probably been pointed out plenty of times, but the discussion of maps and names just sort of clicked it for me - Newarre - Nowhere. Seems like the obvious place for Kote if not for Kvothe.
Steven Halter
76. stevenhalter
TyranAmiros@64:Yes, I think there is something there. It is, at least, an interesting detail and seems like something likely to get revisited.
C Smith
77. C12VT
@74: Great observation!

It's hard to pin down exact values for sure. We basically have three data points: the scene with the chest of gold, where we learn that over 200 royals = over 500 talents and one royal = eighty bits; the scene on page 434 of NW tells us that 1.3 talents = 2 nobles, 6 bits, two pennies and 4 shims; and the scene in chapter 140 of WMF (my ebook doesn't give page numbers, sorry) where Kvothe is counting up how much money he has before leaving Vintas tells us that “two gold royals, four silver nobles, eight and a half pennies" and a strelum is "slightly less than eight talents".

I think it would be plausible that the currency works something like this: 1 royal = 5 nobles = 10 rounds = 80 bits. Other options are possible, but these numbers are tidy and work with the above three data points.

The only thing I could find that gives a clue as to the relative value of the Vintish penny is the scene at the inn in Crosson (WMF chapter 87). Tempi says he gets 2 or 3 jots a day for guarding a caravan. One of the angry locals says that the locals get a penny or maybe two a day and complains that Tempi shouldn't get twenty pennies a day - so three jots may be equal to about twenty pennies, or 6.7 pennies a jot. We know that one royal is about 2.5 talents; if 25 jots = 80 bits, then one jot = 3.2 bits (approximately). So it appears that one bit is most likely worth two pennies. One problem with this theory is that Kvothe wouldn't say "2 nobles, 6 bits, two pennies and 4 shims" if two pennies = a bit; he would just say 2 nobles and 7 bits. So maybe it's more like 3 or 4 pennies per bit. Or the man in Crosson could be talking about Commonwealth pennies (a Commonwealth copper penny would fit these numbers - I calculate about 7 copper pennies to the jot). But it would make more sense for them to be talking about Vintish coin, since they are not in the Commonwealth. This would make Vintish pennies worth nearly the same as Commonwealth pennies - or maybe there is no "Vintish penny", only Commonwealth pennies that are far from home.
Matt P
78. Matt P
@77

One more thing I just realized. In Spanish Currency, the doubloon got its name because it had a double portrait of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella (or royals) on it.

I have two more relevant data points. I don't have the book or notes on me, so no page numbers.

When Kvothe first sees Scarpi in NoW, he notes that he saw two iron ha'pennies, nine shims and one drabs or slightly more than 3 iron pennies total. Hopefully, presuming that two iron ha'pennies do equal a single iron ha'penny, that means that 1 drab + 9 shims >= 2 Commonwealth Iron Pennies. It's before Scarpi tells the story.

When Kvothe buys back Denna's ring in WMF, he's charged 45 pennies(copper) and he gives the jeweler 1 talent and 6 jots(160 drabs). This implies that there's 1.42 Drabs in two commonwealth iron pennies. Combined with the previous, it implies that 9 shims is slightly greater than .42 drabs. So a shim is about .05 drabs.

"or maybe there is no "Vintish penny", only Commonwealth pennies that are far from home."

Kvothe gave the tinker(right after the Maer sends him to the Eld) two Vintish ha'pennies instead of a copper penny. That implies to me that there is a Vintish penny.

"One of the angry locals says that the locals get a penny or maybe two a day and complains that Tempi shouldn't get twenty pennies a day"

If I remember correctly, later in that story Tam(the angry local) asks whether Tempi can beat twenty of them in a fight. When Tempi says he can only match four or five, Tam says to Tempi "Even if that was true, which I doubt, you'd still be worth only four or five pennies not twenty." That implies to me that a Vintish Iron Penny is about equal to a drab.

Conveniently in Spanish Currency, there is a coin worth(depending on what source you use) about 1/32 of a reale/bit. If so, I'd expect a coin worth about 1/256 of a royal to exist which is about the value of a drab.

This next part is complete conjecture, and I wouldn't be surprised if my math has an error, but suppose the following is true.

Say that there is a Vintish Iron Penny and furthermore that there are 247.6 iron pennies in a royal. Let us further suppose that Vintish Pennies work in the same way as Commonwealth Pennies, i.e there are 5 iron pennies in a copper and 50 in a silver.

If so, then two Vintish Copper Pennies would be worth 10.1 Drabs and two Vintish Silver Pennies would be worth 100.1 Drabs. In that case, the value of a Vintish Silver Penny would be approximately equal to what you believe a Silver Noble is worth. I propose that a Silver Noble is the same thing as a Vintish Silver Penny.

If 130 Drabs equals 100.97 Drabs + 18.75 Drabs + 10.01 Drabs + 4 Shims, then 4 Shims equal roughly .183 drabs or a Shim equals about .046 Drabs.

Mathematically, the above works. But it's a lot of conjecture and doesn't really make sense.

My other theory is that there is a different conversion rate to convert Cealdish money into Commonwealth money than there is to convert Cealdish money into Vintish money. After all, Rothfuss discusses the difference between official and unofficial conversion rates. I like this theory better than the one above.
Ashley Fox
79. A Fox
Having reread both books (inspired by this reread...) I have decided Rothfuss is pretty damn keen on misdirection.

Denna doesnt matter. Not really. She's K's love interest, presents a reflection of him. They share many similar qualities/experiances. I no longer believe she is an Yllish princess. She wants power (to make things true) so learns the knots whilst wintering in Yll. I do not think Anilin has anything to do with her. (But remember the guys who tried to kill K saying they'd missed him there, as he didnt travel that far with the caravan. Before he had met Ambrose or any of his adult emenies...so Scarpis enemies? Or hired by Chandrian? How did they get his hair?)
Auri is the one. At the very begining when K is introdusing 'her', the girl they have heard of, he describes her as being very wild and likely to starttle, whilst this could be applied to Denna, its more applicable to Auri, also we meet Auri first. And oddly Ive been rather suspecting that AURI is fey, or a least as knowledge/experiance. She is, afterall, very insulted when Elodin offers a single Cinas fruit.

On the map Tinue is labeled 'The Free City' so i had always assumed it was the city that did not fall/betrayed. Also Tinue has always been under the power of the Lackless/Loecles. Then (at the begining of an action chp) we get a snippit from a book...

"...More telling is misfortune that comes within:how can a family thrive when the eldest heir forsakes all family duty?....It seems testament to the strength of their blood so much for so long. Indeed if not for the burning of Caluptena....."

From this we learn that the eldest Lackless child doesn NOT bear children. EVER. Yet Netalia bears K...

The Lacless Box Meluan shows us is a false trail. That box isnt the box all the fuss is about. Oh by the way anyone else notice it was made from the wood of a sword-tree? Lemons. Interesting.

(What do Ademre and Yll have in common? Not being (completly subsumed by the Aruran Empire/ Followers of Tehlu, Church and Amyr). Oh and the Amyr burning down a city/ Caluptena burning is mentioned several times. As is Vashets poet king of the small kingdoms, who is not Ambrose.)

The Lacless box is a womb.

There is quite an amusing snippit near the end of WMF;

"I continued my usual classess....then added chemistry, herbology and comparative female anatomy.
My curiosity had been pricked by my encounter with the Lockless box.."
Steven Halter
80. stevenhalter
A Fox@79: The full sentence is:

My curiosity had been pricked by my encounter with the Lockless box, and I attempted to learn something about Yllish story knots.


Kvothe had thought the box was patterned with Yllish story knot carvings. So, I don't think his "study" of comparative female anatomy is prompted by the box but rather by being a teenage male.
thistle pong
81. thistlepong
@79. A Fox:
Fascinating stuff.

I have one correction. The Loeclos Box is made from rhinna wood - the Cthaeh's tree.

The tree - It was a sweet smell. It was like smoke and spice and leather and lemon.
The box - What's more, it seemed to be a spicewood. It smelled faintly of... something almost like lemon.
Ashley Fox
82. A Fox
Oh dear. I know the whole sentance. It has a quite obvious meaning (Not so tawdry as 'being a teenage male' but linking to the Adems' belifs on reproduction, as all in the list relates to his adventures).Yet it also has a hidden one. Hints, clues, and false trails are scattered through out these books and I belive this is one of them. I also believe that Rothfuss cackled evily when he added it. And what of the other evidence?

It really would be quite funny if K was the answer to the riddle.

Also note; Alchemy. Sim makes it abundantly clear K knows nothing of Alchemy, yet Kote is teaching Bast, Tintum, and as the paraphenalia in the basement.

Whilst i'm at it; I dont belive K has lost his abilities. Naming, sympathy or Lethani. He is the consumate actor. Mostly. Ive noticed in the frame text he is called Kvothe, Kote and the inkeeper. Sometimes all in the same paragraph. Kvothe always when he is telling his story. The inkeeper seems to be used as a transition, when he is suddenly called back to 'duty' or locals walk in, and Kote when he is fully in his role;powerless, just a man with an inn. As the frame story goes go Kvothe is used more and more. Kote is a character that he has created as cover, and punishment. Perhaps of the Lethani. Though re loss of power, Kvothe is certainly out of practise when it comes to Adem fighting.
Steven Halter
83. stevenhalter
A Fox@82: Oh, yes it could certainly be misdirection (and I think that the text abounds with those), but I think it might be a double misdirection. I think you're right that his Adem experience is another reason for him to be studying female anatomy -- "Now how would that work?" thought Kvothe.

As to the other evidence, I agree that Auri is key in some way. Whether her keyness makes Denna a complete red herring or not, I'm not quite convinced on that point. I think that both Auri and Denna will have key places.
Ian B
84. Greyfalconway
@ A Fox

I always kind of discrdit Auri even though she seems important, just since I think I remember Rothfuss saying he added Auri in the last draft of NotW before print, along with the draccus, and supposdly the whol story was complete before NotW was printed, so I assume she's not intregal to the main mystery/story. I'm not sure if my memory is wrong though. After coming across that fact(?) I always assumed she was just there to demonstrate how students can go mad, and give some character development to Kvothe, as well as making the secret archives entrance more plausible, but maybe you're right! lol, Rothfuss certainly is awesome with his misdirection
Matt P
85. Iguess
You guys go into a lot of detail here. I'm not going to assume I know as much about the books as you do. I've only read the books once each. BUT I'd like to voice some things that might interest you.
I think lady lackless might turn out to be kvothe's aunt. In book one his mother seems to get quite upset when he sings about the lady lackless, (p, 77) also the lackless woman hates the edema cause her sister ran off with a troupe???
Second i think Denna will turn out to be more than a love interest. She might be the one that links Kvothe to the truth about the chandrian. remember her sponsor keeps putting her in places the chandrian pitch up at, also he encourages her to write a song that has to do with them, he even helps her with research on the matter. I think her sponsor is looking for the chandrian just like Kvothe, only he has more information on them.

Later all
Steven Halter
86. stevenhalter
I was thinking some more about Kvothe's claim to be taking a class called "comparative female anatomy". This class is either problematic or highly revealing--maybe both.
My first take was that it wasn't a class at all. It was simply Kvothe's term for watching girls. This follows along fairly well from his statement that he has free time now.
Then, A Fox mentioned that it might relate to the Adem. This relation could be taken in two manners. 1) Kvothe is woefully ignorant of actual reproduction and wanted to investigate the Adem claim of parthenogenesis. It seems a tad unlikely that he is that ignorant if the Adem aren't telling the truth. 2) The Adem are truthful and do really procreate as they explained. Thus, there are distinct sets of female (human) anatomy to examine comparatively.
Quite a lot of detail that could be extrapolated from a three word title.
Jo Walton
87. bluejo
Shalter: We haven't seen any reproduction, we don't know how long gestation is, we don't know if the Adem are right or not. I think they may be sometimes right -- there may be comparative female anatomy, the women of this world may be able to reproduce EITHER by parthenogesis or sexually with men. Or some of them might. And I think this may relate to the moon -- no really. Whether or not in reality our 28 day ovulation is moon-related, it's something that was believed, and therefore fair game for fantasy. Maybe if you have sex when the moon is in our world, you can conceive a baby with a father, and maybe when the moon is dark women can concieve on their own. And in Fae, the reverse?

I find this really cool and I want it to be true.
Steven Halter
88. stevenhalter
Jo:Exactly. I am finding it increasingly interesting how much possible depth and interrelatedness there is in this story. On a first read, it is very easy to think "Oh, how naive of the Adem" (as Kvothe does.) Then, when you look just a bit closer, we start to see linkages and possibilities for really cool differences fromn the usual, like maybe the Adem are really right--at least sometimes or for them.
Matt P
89. mochabean
I agree that Kvothe is the answer to the riddle. Someone pointed out earlier that "the riddle raveling" could be "little raveling" and that just feels right to me.
Matt P
90. Kvothe The Arcane
In respects to the Auri being less important or not very important, in a interview with Pat, he states that she was not originally in the books, but now plays a important and big role.

As for the Kvothe Riddle, I agree that it is more likely he is atleast part of the answer (Maybe the who riddle raveling refers to the fact you need Edema and Lackless blood?)
Matt P
91. ryan7273
Among the things that Auri has given Kvothe are a key that unlocks the moon, a coin that will keep him safe at night, and a candle she made herself and put happy dreams into. Taborlin had key, coin, and candle for tools. Are the ones that Auri gives to Kvothe going to become important? There seems to be much time spent on them giving things to each other.
Matt P
92. Coreyartus
I wonder if Denna isn't the moon itself, betrayed by Iax. she demonstrates her ultimate disregard to the the false words men express, never really trusting any of them. She is a spurned lover, obviously. This might allude to her ambiguous age and her beauty relative to whoever is talking about her.

Every time we see her, the moon is present. We never see her when the moon isn't around. She comes and goes.

Her ring reminds us of the moon.

Perhaps, in her desperation, she is looking for a way to return to her whole state. She seeks out connected men, men whom she thinks has power, men she wants to trust but not entirely. Men who may say they can help her (like her patron) but may have ulterior motives of their own. Perhaps she is with a Chandrian patron because he has expressed that he can help her get back to what she was before Iax stole a piece of her heart and put it in a box. Her attraction to Kvothe is part of that--the one man who can ultimately help her (as the heir to the Lachless/Lockless lineage)--and neither of them know it.

He seems to want to watch her, to give her everthing, to keep her, yet knows once she "belongs to him alone" she will become something less than she is... He is a latter-generation Iax, and she is the ever searching celestial body searching for completeness that she can never have...
Karen Fox
93. thepupxpert
re Denna - I think her patron is Cinder and I think she has been given her song to directly contradict what everyone else is saying about the Chandrian. Cinder is using her like a tool to keep tabs on Kvothe. Also, I don't think she's been a courtesan, I think she's walking a very thin line between flirting as a means to receive gifts from her gentlemen friends and actually having sex with them. When you are familiar with someone sexually there's always that underlying tension, a look, the way you touch each other; I didn't get the impression that any of her gentlemen friends knew her in that way. In fact, I think that's the reason why she leaves them is because they are pressing the issue. The few times where Kvothe made what she presumed to be untoward advances to her, she stiffened up immediately and pulled away. That doesn't seem to me to be the way a courtesan would act.
Matt P
94. dramatekcv
One point about the money: We've also seen one example of Modegan currency. K has a "single Modegan strelum" (WMF), in the scene where he's counting ahead of exiting Alveron's estate. In NW, our first introduction to Sovoy is a complaint of "My tuition was sixty-eight strehlaum.". I think we can reasonably infer that strehlaum = plural of strelum, and that, given the context of his count, a strelum is more or less the Modegan equivalent of a talent.

For anyone who was wondering what 4C currency translates to in our world...

I think our best best is looking at NW as K shops in Tarbean (p.219 to start). Here's what we know the cost of, that we can reasonably draw equivalencies to in our world:

A decent breakfast: 5 iron pennies (Commonwealth)
A set of clothes (shirt and pants), described as "plain, but well made": 1T2J full retail; 1T "noble" price; 8J final selling price.
A pair of new shoes: 1T2J to 1T.

So from this here's what we can gather:

A decent breakfast along the lines of what K lists (eggs, ham, toast, milk) is probably going to run about $8.00-$9.00, U.S. currency. So an iron penny is roughly $1.60-$1.80, call it $1.75 to split the difference.

More useful to us (useful equaling mentioned more, in this case) is determining the approximate value of Cealdish coin.

A "plain, well-made" set of shirt and pants can probably parallel a pair of jeans and a button-down shirt or blouse. If an average pair of jeans is about $30.00 and a shirt/blouse is about $30.00 also, then you're looking at $60.00 retail for the set. $60.00 can also get you a relatively decent pair of shoes. So let's say that 1T2J is equal to about $60.00.

The reductions that the tailor makes can confirm this. 12 jots equivalent to $60.00 means that each jot is worth $5. Cover to get into the Eolian is also one jot; a $5 cover makes sense given the context.

Reducing from 1T2J to 1T even is a reduction from 12 J to 10J, or 17%. 10%-15% off is a relatively common sale price in our world, so it's reasonable to assume that a tailor could do this and still make a profit. In our currency (as posited), this is reducing the price to $50.00 from $60.00. The final sale price is 8 jots, or $40.00, and another 17% reduction; this would most likely be at or close to cost.

Other backup:
-The Bloodless sells for 8 talents. A talent is $50.00; $400.00 for a Bloodless is a *lot* of money, but within the same cost realm as, say, a
good car-alarm or home security system. A $5 jot would make Kilvin's proposed price $1250.

-The arguments above about K's purchases would still work if a jot was valued at $10 instead of $5: shirt and pants would cost $120, etc. However, I think the price of the Bloodless puts the value of a jot closer to $5. A $10 jot would mean that a Bloodless, even at K's price, would sell at $800, and Kilvin's price would have been $2500.

-A jot equaling $5 would put a drab (10 drabs to a jot) at 50 cents. Two drabs are enough to buy a dose of nahlrout; $1.00 wouldn't buy much, but could purchase a small amount of most common herbs at a wholeseller.

-The student betting and bargaining (NW, p. 375, and 432-435) implies that the value of a jot is on the lower end, closer to $5 than $10. Venturing into the realms of opinion here, but valuing 5 days to study at $50 (which is described as a "fair" price, p. 433) seems more realistic and more within the realms of student-feasible than $100. Both of these scenes seem relatively casual with the amount of money being bandied about.

That's my two cents (or four-hundreths of a drab).
Matt P
95. Marian, the son of Marian
Hello Jo

"Denna tries to get Kvothe to guess about her and acts as if she doesn’t know where she’s going—she’s “been wrong before.” She twists the ring on her finger, silver with a flash of blue—the same ring Kvothe goes to all the trouble to get back in WMF"........ "I’m also sure the ring is magical and significant, but I have no idea why."

In the last few weeks I have been re-reading and comparing your words and theories with the book and other kvoth-fans, and it´s been an enormous joy, to be captured in a story, in a book like this...
so thanks for your enthusiasm and effective attitude to this systematic analyse of Kvothe´s story...

and now to one thing, that strucked me, as I read your words above - actually, I never believed, that - although there is some magic around Denna (the magic you feel around a Woman only), her ring might be connected in some way with magic at all.. it could be a ring, that shows she has a right to inherit... but no magic.
Until now..
It may be stupid, but was Denna ever interested in magic before she has "lost" the ring? My answer is nope, not according to the story, I guess.
Page 135 - Kvothe watching Denna and Ambrose entering a Caffé,
page 147 - Denna wants to find out something about magic - how it works (perhaps a magic, she can learn - now, that she hasn´t got a magic device of her own).
Page 159 - Denna explaining, her ring is at the moment in the hands of a certain young "gentleman" - Ambrose.
so, unless there is something else, this could be a significant detail, saying pro magic in the ring (and Denna´s helplessness without it, without the magic). She is used now to bind knots in your hair, that make of her, what she wants.
Patrick´s story ends exactly at the moment, when Denna gets the ring from Kvothe and we have no chance to discover, if she´s going to continue with her new habit of binding knots, or if the ring will do alone...
any thoughts?
Steven Halter
96. stevenhalter
Marian@95:That's quite interesting. I like that the ring dates map to when Denna begins asking about magic.
Matt P
97. DangerZone
Only thing I'd note additionally here is, there are two Waystones next to each other? Does that happen anywhere else in the books (maybe when they first meet the draccus near Trebon?).

Also, one is standing upright and the other laying flat, which we were told happens sometimes from age. However, Arliden's rhyme indicates that there may be a more meaningful distinction. The rhyme identifies Standing stones, Laystone, and Greystone. Just a thought.
Matt P
98. locallyunscene
My crazy Denna theory is that she is actually Lyra, and a fourth power in the story, although a hidden/subdued one. When Lanre brought her back he also cursed her with immortality/reincarantion. Most of her power and ability is sleeping and only some of it leaks out in the form of Fae-ness and abset-minded yllish spells.

Truthfully though, I find the normal girl trying to get by with a little borrowed magic more likely.
A M
99. manifolded
@73 Tyran, since you mention Spanish terms, I can add that Férula is a polysemic Spanish word. Among their meanings, Ferula (no accent) is a plant and a kind of scepter, and Férula is something to flagellate, a whip (seems apt for sadist Cinder!); and more specifically refers to something used to physically punish bad students in the (distant I hope) past. Denna and his patron...?

There are also some curious things to learn from the Spanish translation. Some names are changed, since they're "bad" words in Spanish: Menda (loosely could be 'dude') becomes Mend. There is another one I don't remember right now :( . Fela remains, although 'felar' is sometimes used in jest for 'to perform a fella...'. 'Blac of Drossen Tor' becomes 'Nagra de Vessten Tor'. I see this as simply being Blac for black and Nagra for Negra (black). Why Vessten instead of Drossen, which is totally neutral (to me) in Spanish, I cannot guess.

But the most interesting to me is the translation of 'folly' the sword. I would translate this usually as 'locura'. But it's translated as 'delirio', which is more close to 'delirium' IMHO. 'It would be folly' is more commonly translated as 'sería una locura', since delirio has other connotations. So there must be a reason for this translation, specially since translators have a secret forum to consult with Pat. I should check all uses of 'folly' in the Spanish editions...
Steven Halter
100. stevenhalter
manifolded@99:That's very interesting. Does anyone with editions in other languages note that the word folly associated with the sword has been translated more like delirium than the usual connotations of folly?
Matt P
101. jorgybear
Denna and Kvothe “are in some ways following the same path and in some ways mirrors, and where the way they can’t find each other when they’re looking.” Kvothe is at the university to find the truth about the Amyr and the Chandrian. Denna’s mission (since she met “Ash” anyway) is to COVER UP this same truth, as evidenced by her song about Lanre in WMF.
Matt P
102. Togasa
Concerning Abenthy's inscription in Kvothes copy of Rhetoric and Logic: I always thought Bens reminder to "Remember your fathers song. Beware of folly" was strange. Looking back on it now, I think both Ben and Kvothe heard the whole song at some point and the Kvothe of the current frame is leaving it out, or it was blocked from his memory by someone at the time his parents were killed (see theories regarding this above).

This is further supported by the "dreams" Kvothe has his first night in the woods. He has a dream where he hears the song by a greystone with Ben in attendance. He later says that it never happened as part of the narration, but now I am not so sure.

Part of me wonders if whatever scared the Chandrian away from the troupe then put some sort of charm on Kvothe to get him to forget about the song, perhaps to protect him from the Chandrian who wanted to stop the songs spread. If he can't remember hearing it, he can't repeat it (and I fully believe it was the names that Arliden found and put in the song that brought the Chandrian down on them). Perhaps at some point the memory comes back..

Concerning Skarpis stories: One thing is clear to me, Skarpi's 2nd story sets up that there are at least three main factions envolved in whatever is happening behind the scenes. Tehlu and his angels, the Amyr led be Selitos, and the Chandrian led by Haliax.

Skarpi doesn't get to finish his 2nd story, but I am guessing he will get the chance in DoS. I believe that Skarpi is either Amyr (friends in the church), Rauch (he talks about Tehlu in a friendly manner as if he knew him)... I don't think he is associated with Tehlu.

I definetly think he names Kvothe to wake him up (never even noticed this until reading the forum here) and I think he will turn out to be a major source of info to our young Kvothe.
Matt P
103. Moreth
Thinking of denner resin and Denna:
Me to myself: Why would anyone call themselves 'heroin'???... ooooh, now I get it!
Not that 'heroine' is necessarily the meaning of Denna. I suspect it's just a little joke by the author.
Matt P
104. rhymeswithtequila
Tinue is an actual city in the frame story (the tinker with the caravan has limes from Tinue); possibly why Chronicler was confused when Kote asks about the road to Tinue.

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