Thu
Jun 23 2011 2:02pm

Rothfuss Reread: The Name of the Wind, Part 10: Like Wheat Before a Sickle-blade

Welcome to part 9 of my highly detailed re-read of Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles. This week’s post covers chapters 60-65 of The Name of the Wind, but also contains extensive spoilers for the whole book and the whole of The Wise Man’s Fear—these discussions assume you’ve read all of both books. It will fill you with spoilers if you read beyond the cut without reading both books first—this means you, Lenny! Read Wise Man’s Fear and discover why we care about the moon.

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. D=Denna

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

Denna and the Moon.

We’re going to start this week with Maltheos’s fascinating theory about Denna and the moon from last week’s comment thread:

Denna’s names all hover around Diana ( goddess of the hunt, and of course, the moon). Once again we get back to the moon. It also explains quite abit about how she drifts in and out of his life. ( I would be curious to see how long they are ever together consistently — and if it matches the full or the new moon) This may be me seeing something thats not there, but It just fits too well.

Additionally, the moon has already been pictured as a female, and has definitely been traped in an unpleasant relationship. Just a thought.

And later in the thread Dominiquex:

she is constantly shifting logistically/namingly/emotionally, constantly trying to rename herself (as one who had her name stolen from her might). She says (paraphrase) “I disappear sometimes. Without warning. Sometimes it’s all I can do.” She has extreme emotional reaction to the idea of a man trying to own/control her (as a woman trapped by a man as Ludis was might be). Also, in the break from the narrative at the Eolian where he tries to describe her, he says (again, paraphrasing) “She was beautiful, without flaw, to her core.” That is not something that generally seems too human of a description. And her flightiness is more forgiveable if she literally is as changeable as the moon.

JMD:

I think one of the things about Denna is that she does not know who she is yet. We know that she has escaped from some not so happy circumstances in the past (as when she was talking to the runaway girl) and she has learned to protect herself (carries a knife). So she always names herself similarly to keep track of herself. But there is also this idea of how changing your name changes who you are - exemplified by the Kote/Kvothe issue.

And DEL:

Kvothe almost always refers to D as Denna. He meets Denna on the road to Imre, but he meets D in the Eolian.

D is Aloine, and Lyra, and the Moon. She is the wildness that should never be tamed or gentled. She is partially trapped by a man who wants mastery and controll over her. He does not have her whole being, her whole name.

D has not settled on a name, or my not be able to access all of her true name. Kvothe sings part of her still free name, and makes a gift of it by leaving lying it open in his performance. He really does meet D for the first time, she didn’t have that part of her name before singing her part. She becomes more herself with this gift.

and more DEL:

References in the books to the Moon’s phase and the presence of D:

-The first appearance of Denna in WMF is a moonlit night

-In Severen-Low when Kvothe follows D she had been gone/missing for a least a span, when he finds her there is only a sliver of the moon showing.

And OK, you have convinced me, and most especially that last bit has convinced me. 

I have always had a problem with Denna, especially in NW, in that she just isn’t like a person, she doesn’t behave like a human being, her motivation makes no sense. And this kind of thing is a problem male writers often have when writing about love interests, they make them tantalising and mysterious and impossible to imagine why any sensible person would act that way. But if she is literally the moon, the personification of the moon—imagine being literally the moon and also a person who needs to eat and sleep out of the rain. Imagine spending part of each month in Fae and what this does to your employment prospects. Imagine being forced to travel. Imagine not having all of your name, and not aging normally and reimagining yourself. This suddenly makes her make perfect sense, and this has shaken her up in my head, the same as the Tarbean section.

So a bottle of strawberry wine for DEL and JMD and Maltheos and Dominquex, to be delivered by tinker. It’s for insights like this from you guys that I’m doing this re-read.

And a further thought—if D is the moon, and if Kvothe gave her part of her name and part of her possibility she didn’t have before, is that why she’s seeking a patron and agency now and not before?

And on to Chapter 60, Fortune.

I suppose in both senses, luck and money.

It’s admissions again, Kvothe’s trying to sell his slot since he can’t prepare anyway, and butts heads with Ambrose. What does Wil mean saying “Hammer and horn,” wearily? They bicker, Kvothe wins on points. His tuition is set at six talents. He goes to Imre to collect his lute, hoping to see D, but of course he never finds her when he’s looking for her. What he does find is Threpe, who wants him to call him Denn but who can’t become his patron because he already supports three musicians. He offers to help find him a patron. Kvothe asks about Denna, Threpe doesn’t know her. He asks Deoch, who says:

“I see her off and on. She travels, always here and gone again.”

and:

“Men fall before her like wheat before a sickle-blade.”

Sickles are traditionally associated with the moon, because of the new moon shape. I keep seeing more moon-evidence.

Then he goes to see Devi, paying just the interest and admires her book collection. She has Teccam, and the Mating Habits of the Commin Draccus. He can’t figure out if she’s being flirtatious or friendly, because he’s a fifteen year old idiot.

Then he goes to see Kilvin and pays the debt he has run up in materials. Kilvin asks where he got the money, and Kvothe tells him. Then Kilvin says “Music is a fine thing but metal lasts” and Kvothe mentally disagrees, “Metal rusts but music lasts forever” and then “Time will eventually prove one of us right.” Which is good, because if the world burns down, it won’t, metal and music will go up in flames together.

And then he finds an inn that will give him board and lodging and two talents a month to play three nights a week, now that he has his pipes. He feels immensely safer for having this financial security. After that he goes looking for D fourteen times without any sign of her.

Chapter 61 is Jackass, Jackass.

The title is of course the song Kvothe writes about Ambrose. And the chapter starts with Ambrose poisoning the nobility of Imre against Kvothe so he can’t get a patron. Then Threpe and Kvothe write the song: “a ribald little tune about a donkey that wanted to be an arcanist” “it was catchy and vulgar and mean-spirited.”

Then Kvothe meets Viari, one of Lorren’s gillers who acquires books from all over the world. He’s also a Ciridae I bet you—“pale scars that ran over his knuckles and up his arms.” Scars, not tattoos, now that they’re underground. I think this confirms Lorren’s Amyr-hood. He speaks Siaru to Wil and tries Yllish on Kvothe, guessing wrong because of the red hair, and then getting it right and saying “One family”, the Ruh greeting. He then dashes off. I’m sure he’s going to be significant. I also think he has the best job—that’s the job I’d want if I had to live in that world. Travelling around collecting books and having adventures!

(Are all Yllish people red-haired?)

Lorren reminds Kvothe of the Silent Doctor figure in Mondegan plays who signifies disaster in the next act. I wonder if he’s related to the Chteah? (Not Lorren, the Silent Doctor.) Lorren gives him Rhetoric and Logic back, but won’t let him back into the Archives until he has demonstrated patience and prudence. It occurs to me how much like Elodin refusing to teach him this is—he offers both of them excessively more than rational things, and they both decline until he has learned better sense.

Then Ambrose puts him on the horns for “conduct unbecoming” for writing the song. Kvothe gets ordered to make a public apology, and Ambrose gets told not to make such a fuss. Elodin sings some of the song, which is indeed catchy and vulgar.

Ambrose’s real revenge is buying the inn where he’s staying and persuading the other inns that Kvothe is bad news. Kvothe winds up at Ankers inn. Anker says fools like Ambrose think they could “Buy the sun out of the sky” and Kvothe says he could afford it “and the moon too if he wanted the matched set to use as bookends.” Anker gives him a room and board in exchange for playing four nights a week.

Then Kvothe’s public apology is a very insincere letter plus the lyrics and music posted up everywhere—and that was why “Ambrose tried to kill me.” This whole chapter is one after the other escalating their feud. Is it Ambrose or Kvothe who’s the jackass?

Chapterc 62 is Leaves.

This term, Kvothe studies Advanced Sympathy, works in the Medica and continues his apprenticeship in the Fishery. And it’s at the Fishery we start, with the arrival of the bone tar—and I like this scene because it’s so exactly like a chemistry lab with people behaving exactly the way they do. It’s set-up for the rescuing Fela scene—she’s mentioned as working in the Fishery for the first time here.

And that night he sees D at Ankers, and at first he doesn’t think it’s her. She asks him to take a walk, he gets the room singing Tinker Tanner and leaves with her. Tinker Tanner, which is mentioned fairly often, including in the frame, is here glossed as “the oldest song in the world.” Interesting.

Kvothe goes up the wall to put his lute away. They have some wordplay about gentlemen, and he asks her about Sovoy, and says “honour among thieves.” She looks him in the eye and says “steal me.” Two thoughts here. Firstly, how dumb can anybody be not to realise that this is a direct come on? Secondly, Kvothe is always talking about stealing the moon, and of course Iax did steal it. As they walk on, “the moon was shining, making the houses and shops around us seem and washed pale.” So a full moon then, I would guess?

They have a flirtatious conversation about what flower she is like, and he picks selas, which she claims not to know. Selas is often sought and seldom found, both shadow and light (moon) and we learn in WMF that it’s night-scented.

OK, another moon reference “she caught a piece of my smile and shone it back to me.” I really don’t think this can be other than deliberate.

And he reminds her of a willow. A willow? “Beyond all other trees the willow bends to the wind’s desire.”

They are talking very poetically, but not actually in rhyme. You could put line breaks in quite easily though.

When he’s thinking about kissing her (go on, idiot) he says “I resisted the pull of her” and then “the way the moonlight cast shadows across her face.”

“I had talked too much I had said too little.” I think that’s literally true.

So why is this chapter called “leaves”? Because it’s what she keeps doing? It’s flowers and branches they discuss. What did I miss?

Chapter 63 is Walking and Talking.

Kvothe meets Wil and Sim and they tease him about Denna while his lute drinks the sun. Wil can tell when he’s telling the truth—because he looks more sincere when he’s lying. They tell him to tell Denna how he feels—what sensible advice—but he won’t because she’s too special and what would she see in him and all that nonsense. He also tells them he has permission to start his journeyman project for Kilvin. He doesn’t walk in this chapter, though he talks about walking with D in the chapter before.

Chapter 64 is Nine in the Fire.

The title comes from something Kilvin says: “A moment in the mind is worth nine in the fire”—so another piece of advice in favour of thinking before acting.

It starts with Kvothe looking for D and not finding her. Deoch tells him it’s her nature to disappear.

Then Kvothe shows his journeyman lamp to Kilvin. Kilvin admires the workmanship but tells him the design—shining light in only one direction, like a burglar’s lamp—is unethical and it can’t be sold. They talk about Kvothe’s cleverness and showing off. Kilvin sees perfectly well that Kvothe is clever and needs to be wiser, but Kvothe can’t see it. Kilvin also doesn’t know about Kvothe’s financial straits, to be fair.

He asks Manet if there’s a secret way into the Archives, and Manet says there is but he won’t show him. “You’re young, you have all the time in the world, but if you get expelled that’s forever.” More good advice!

And Kvothe takes his lamp, which will let him sneak about, and the knowledge that there is a secret way into the Archives and he just has to find it, and leaves without having learned anything at all despite Kilvin and Manet both trying to hard to teach him.

Chapter 65 is Spark.

The spark is D.

Kvothe takes Wil and Sim to the Eolian, where they can drink for free on his credit made from people buying him drinks. He asks Wil to sneak him into the Archives, and Wil sensibly declines. Then D shows up, hugs Deoch and comes over to them. She’s dressed up, which she never has been before. She has changed again. He offers her a drink, and she says she was hoping that he’d buy her dinner if she can steal him from his friends. Always stealing each other. “She stood with a motion like a willow wand bending to the wind”—but it’s him who is supposed to be the willow?

They buy a bottle of strawberry wine and a loaf of dark bread and go for a picnic in a park. Kvothe mentions the seven words that can make a woman love you, and she asks if that’s why he talks so much, hoping to hit on them by accident. And then she shows that she does remember their first meeting by quoting the seven words he said then. And how can anybody be such a moron as to be told that he said the seven words that would make a woman love you without realising that she’s saying she loves him? Sheesh, points whizzing over your head much today Kvothe?

They talk about her name. She says she’d almost forgotten Denna—less than half a year ago. She says “She was a silly girl,” talking about herself in the third person or as if she’s a different person now. He says she was like a flower unfolding. He asks her what happened in Anilin, and she says “nothing pleasant, but nothing unexpected either.” Can anyone make anything of that? A routinely unpleasant thing?

Oh, we have moonlight. And they make a plan to meet at noon the next day, which of course he won’t make. And then Deoch warns him against her, saying women are like fires and she’s like a waterfall of spark—and Kvothe replies in proper verse, and let’s set it out like that, though it’s formatted exactly like ordinary conversation in the text:

Deoch, my heart is made
Of stronger stuff than glass.
When she strikes she’ll find
it strong as iron-bound brass
Or gold and adamant
together mixed.
Don’t think I’m unaware,
some startled deer to stand transfixed
By hunter’s horns. It’s she who should take care,
for when she strikes
My heart will make a sound
so beautiful and bright
That it can’t help but bring her back
to me in winged flight.

RushThatSpeaks says that he improvises verse about as well as people do it in real life, and that’s really a good way of putting it. It isn’t perfect, but it’s about as good as you’d expect from someone with his training extemporising.

And we’ll start next time from chapter 66 and the disaster in the Fishery and Ambrose trying to kill him.

More from last week

Flodros notes that Kvothe meets the first two of the three things a wise man fears in the first and second books, and suggests he might meet a moonless night in DT.

And there’s also great stuff on Auri and the Amyr.


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.

108 comments
Rob Munnelly
1. RobMRobM
"He asks her what happened in Anilin, and she says “nothing pleasant, but nothing unexpected either.” Can anyone make anything of that? A routinely unpleasant thing?"

I'm still of the theory that Denna was seduced by someone at home in Analin (either a conventional man from Yll (hence, she might have traveled down to Yll and got the boat back through Tarbean, the nearest port) or, more likely, someone from Fae), traveled around a bit living by her wits (no doubt in recovery after her experience) and then decided to go home and try to reconcile with her family. They, as expected, declined to reconcile with her and cast her out. So, not pleasant and wholly expected.

I'm still trying to decide whether Rothfuss will pull the big surprise and have Bast be her Fae lover. Also wondering whether she had a child while in Fae.

Query whether her experience in Fae somehow turned her into a moon analog or whether her moon-like presence attracted attention from Fae. I'm betting on the former but I can't figure out the mechanics.


Rob
ArtfulMagpie
2. ArtfulMagpie
Two things. Firstly, I do like the idea that Denna is the personification of the moon, but I am troubled by the fact that there is no rhyme or reason to the moon-phases in which Kvothe sees her. I actually paid attention to this, hoping for a pattern, and while it does seem that moon-imagery hovers around Denna whenever she is mentioned, it does not seem that she only appears at certain points in the moon's cycle between the worlds.

Secondly:
"And he reminds her of a willow. A willow? “Beyond all other trees the willow bends to the wind’s desire.

I thought, upon my own re-read, that this might tie in with the third meaning of Kvothe's Ademre name, the Broken Tree. What if he started out a willow, bending in the wind, but ended up breaking in the wind's battering?
ArtfulMagpie
3. ArtfulMagpie
Ok, a third thing.

"He asks her what happened in Anilin, and she says “nothing pleasant,but nothing unexpected either.” Can anyone make anything of that? A routinely unpleasant thing?"

I just assumed she was saying that what happened there was what happens to her everywhere she goes. She hooked up with some man, he became too demanding or too clingy orhowever you want to describe it and she had to leave. Unpleasant, but not unexpected. Her usual pattern. It's good while it lasts...until it isn't and she has to leave again, quick and quiet in the night.
E M
4. herewiss13
In re: #2: Definite breakage coming down the pike. It's probably been mentioned before, but there are a bunch of references in WMF (which I just re-read) to Ramston steel which is strong but brittle, and how Kvothe's alar is just like it. Definite foreshadowing there (a lot more obvious to me the 2nd time around).

In re: #3: that's exactly how I read it too. She's got a pattern going. Not a happy one, but a definite pattern...trying to break it probably plays into what breaks Kvothe.
Rob Munnelly
5. RobMRobM
@4 - very strongly agree with the Ramston steel - Kvothe set up. His alar is going to break -the question is how and why.

Rob
Steven Halter
6. stevenhalter
@Jo -- Leaves: The direct reference to leaves in the "Leaves" chapter is about the Selas flower:

It is a deep red flower that grows on a strong vine. Its leaves are dark and delicate.


Other than that, as you said, Denna always seems to be leaving.
Sim Tambem
7. Daedos
@1 I'm with you. I think PR intentionally imbues Denna with moon-esque qualities/attributes, but I doubt she is the moon. In WMF she meets Kvothe on a moonless night. Above Jo mentions them meeting with a full moon out. I agree that there is more to her than we have right now, but I think her relationship with Kvothe is just a parallel between Jax and the moon.

Nice call on the Ramston Steel thing. That's how we get Kote.

I have also noticed how often the moon comes up when Kvothe is describing things - "lovely as the moon" is used on more than one occasion and for more than one person. I think it is Kvothe that is somehow tied to the moon, and not Denna. He just cares about her a great deal, so comparisons abound. Maybe he is attracted to her because she is like the moon. He is, after all, a Lackless.

@2 Broken Tree - He said the third meaning of his name from the Adem proved to be "prophetic" in some ways. We haven't seen anything that might fit yet (it would have to happen after he received the name, so the lightning+giant tree=dead encampment doesn't count).
Jim Brannick
8. divisionerror
"Flodros notes that Kvothe meets the first two of the three things a wise man fears in the first and second books, and suggests he might meet a moonless night in DT."

With all the connections that have been pointed out between D and the moon, a moonless night, i.e. losing D, would certainly be something Kvothe would fear.
ArtfulMagpie
9. dwndrgn
I always thought the Broken Tree was a reference to his birth/family - a broken line of descent. But, if it is prophetic then this might not be true.
ArtfulMagpie
12. ArtfulMagpie
@9, 10: Well, since Kvothe doesn't yet know that he's the broken branch of the Lackless tree, his finding out in the future could make the name prophetic, in a sense....

I just sort of liked the poetic idea that he started out a willow, bending with the wind. Then something changed, he became rigid...and, like a too-rigid tree, broke. Or like a strong-but-brittle blade of Ramston steel. (And yes, I caught that reference, too.)
Mark McKibben
13. Manzabar
"Is it Ambrose or Kvothe who’s the jackass?"

Given Kvothe's actions during this chapter and as the chapter title is "Jackass, Jackass"; they're both being jackasses.
Steven Halter
14. stevenhalter
When Kvothe is showing his lamp to Kilvin, Kvothe mentions that:

“It’s more of a rheostat than a switch, really.”


This is quite interesting. A rheostat is a variable resistor and the word was coined in 1843 by Sir Charles Wheatstone. So, it is most definitely associated with electricity. Kvothe's usage of the word seems grammatically correct here in that it his switch is regulating the flow of whatever is powering his lamp.
I don't see any direct references to "electric" in the books. So, is this a case of Rothfuss just using a descriptive technical word that Kvothe really shouldn't know or is there more to it than that? Rothfuss seems to be generally pretty careful about this sort of thing.
Steven Halter
15. stevenhalter
On Kvothe's lamp, Kilvin's reaction seemed a bit odd. There are a lot of uses for a narrow beam of light other than just burglary. There are bullseye lanterns or just plain old flashlights.
E M
16. herewiss13
@14 I'm guessing it's a translation and ease-of use. Kvothe's world has technology. It's just Sympathy and Sygaldry based technology. In translation from the Greek, rheostat means (roughly) "device regulating a flowing stream". Kvothe probably used a very similar word derived from Old Aturan or Temic and it's been translated to English (along with everything else he says) to avoid unnecessary explanation and digression. Google "Moss Troll Problem"
ArtfulMagpie
17. DEL
@7. Lambson It is important to note that in the tale that Kvothe is telling us: he claims to meet D for the first time at the Eolian. The theory is that the duet they sing changes them both...and that is when D becomes more herself. Denna is the blossom waiting to unfurl, D is the blossom in bloom. The parrelels between Iax and Lanre in Kvothe's character is no accident.

I think the "Broken Tree" aspect has multiple meanings, referenceing both Kvothe's hidden identity as a Lackless(Lockless) heir...AND later on as a foreshadowing of the breaking of the Cthaeth.

The Lethani is a defense against the influence of the Cthaeth. We know that Cthaeth has the ability to see the future and can influence things to the most likely path of destruction, but the Lethani allows people to reach the point of doing what is right by the Lethani. Even on the path to destrcution there are paths that led back to a world free from the Cthaeth's influence.

In the framing story we have multiple evidence that the ill-made house of Jax(Fae) is open, with Faen encroching everywhere. The Creation War is ongoing. Was the point of the the Amyr(or Chandrians) to keep those doors closed? Cthaeth certainly shifted events to trap the moon and partially close off the doors to Fae(Iax), and to cause the war that led to the entrapment of the shapers that could re-open the doors between the worlds and free the moon.
ArtfulMagpie
18. jmd
How awesome to be quoted in the intro!! Thank you so much!

I haven't any great insight right now but something struck me as different in that I don't see a lot of astrology in these books. With the definite sciences and astronomy and noting the synodic period of the moon, I find it unusual that there is no reference to birth signs or constellations, houses or even seasons for personalities and birthdays. Are the only significant figures in the sky the sun, the moon and the light and shadows that they cast??
Steven Halter
19. stevenhalter
herewiss13:That is probably the reason. It just seems a bit odd and specific. He could have said regulator or restrictor or dimmer switch or something non-technical. "Rheostat" just seemed a tad specific.
The use of Rheostat actually got me thinking that it is a bit odd that they don't mention electricity at all (as electricity). They do have lightning in the world and that seems like something someone at the university would have researched.
The usual explanation would be that the use of magic could have slowed down any need to research into areas like that.
Sim Tambem
20. Daedos
Felurian calls Kvothe a "night walker, a moon follower..."

Is this in reference to his blood or his constant searching for Denna?

At least he isn't prone to trying to capture his moon, like his might-be-ancestor...
ArtfulMagpie
21. jmd
I also wonder if there is some relation to being a part of the moon, a facet of personality that Denna has that reminds me of the fallen star in Stardust (Neil Gaiman). And I know that Rothfuss is a Gaiman reader and fan.
ArtfulMagpie
22. John R. Ellis
I am now slapping myself repeatedly in the head for not getting the constant Moon references with Denna.

I caught the ones with Auri, but then again, Kvothe made those references deliberately.

My gosh, it's so obvious!
ArtfulMagpie
23. jmd
Oh! One more thing!

DEL @17 mentions the parallel between Lanre and Iax and Kvothe's personality. Denna writes the same song that Kvothe heard as a story from Skarpi in Tarbean and writes it from a completely opposite viewpoint, making Lanre the hero! And that difference and criticism of her song makes them fight terribly and be separated for months - while he goes on the mercenary trip and to the Adem and everything.
E M
24. herewiss13
@19: Sygaldry allowing you to circumvent the laws of thermodynamics and get light (or cold) by leaching it from the environment puts paid to a lot of early electrical research. Batteries and Leyden Jars are really clunky comparitively. Best stick with runes.

...come to think of it, given how much breakage of Thermodynamics that Sygaldry seems to allow, I'm surprised there isn't more advanced technology (I just re-read the scene with Anker's cool-box). The rarity and ethos of Arcanists is probably the reason. Anyone with a war-minded artificer would be exceedingly dangerous.

And if there is a Name for lightning, it all just gets more complicated still.
lake sidey
25. lakesidey
This idea of losing Denna/the moon reminds me of Paul Atreides' dreams of a moon falling (i.e. the death of Chani) in the Dune books....and how that incident effectively broke him as he stopped caring (and seeing the future) from that moment on. I wonder if a similar thing would happen to K and whether it would require D to die?

I also noticed the Ramston steel = brittle point. And talking of alar descriptors, I was also wondering, is there a difference between what all wise men fear "the sea in storm" and the description of Devi's alar - "like an ocean in storm"? Is the different wording deliberate?

(Also, Jo, if D is indeed a Yllish princess, as someone surmised, then all Yllish people are not red-haired. But that's still a guess...)

And (apropos of nothing) I loved Deoch's description of Denna...

~lakesidey
ArtfulMagpie
26. Lurking Canadian
Kvothe seems to use the word "galvanic" where we would say "electric". Their physics is essentially like ours except they can overcome entropy by thinking about it, which is a neat trick.
ArtfulMagpie
27. Foxed
@ 15

My guess is that it's the appearance of impropriety Kilvin wants to avoid. There are legitimate uses for alot of dangerous sympathetic and sygaldric tech they can make. But they don't want to scare the townsfolk with pitchforks.

So they make useful things that in no way could harm someone. And if something COULD be used for something illicit, then it doesn't get made.

@ Jo I see we have Manet teaching Kvothe. And he's teaching Kvothe to be patient and reasonable. Wait for Lorren to let him back in rather than sneak in and risk suspension. Does Manet work in the Archives? Does Manet work for Lorren, like the skiller who may be an Amyr?

I really like my idea last week that Manet is linked to Elodin, but... maybe Elodin just knows more about everyone by knowing more of their Name than other people, which is how he asks Kvothe the same question Manet does.

Maybe Manet is keeping an eye out among the students for possible Amyr recruits? He's been a student for freaking ever.
Steven Halter
28. stevenhalter
jmd@18:That's an interesting angle. When Fellurian is talking to Kvothe she mentions that:

... and at the end of all their work, each shaper wrought a star to fill their new and empty sky.”


So the implication is that the stars in Fae are wholly artificial and just hung there. Are the stars in Kvothe's world also just kind of "painted on" in a celestial sphere arrangement? There is no reference to planet or planets.
Steven Halter
29. stevenhalter
Lurking Canadian@26:Thanks! So, yes they do know about electric forces and just term them galvanic. That is also an interesting choice since galanic stems from Luigi Galvani. Rothfuss could have chosen galvanic as it kind of sounds like an older word than electric (the opposite is true). So, another interesting choice.
ArtfulMagpie
30. Nightsky
There's a similar thing in the His Dark Materials books: Lyra's world has electricity, but calls it something like "anbaric"--probably derived from the English word "amber" the way that "electricity" derived from the Greek word for "amber".
Chris Palmer
31. cmpalmer
"And this kind of thing is a problem male writers often have when writing
about love interests, they make them tantalising and mysterious and
impossible to imagine why any sensible person would act that way."

This is how I originally read most of K's comments about D. The complicated thing about it is that, even if Rothfuss doesn't have this problem about writing about love interests, it doesn't mean that K doesn't. It's supposed to be K's authorial voice we're reading.

Actually, his descriptions of his relationship with D resonated strongly with my memories of being 15 years old. With 20/20 hindsight, I understand how many signals I missed or misinterpreted. I cringe at all of the mistakes I made and now pretty much understand the inexplicable behaviors that drove me crazy as a teenage boy. In fact, the K and D story reminded me of a specific relationship I had with a girl in high school. So, in that sense, I think Rothfuss is dead on. My son is that age now and I see the same internal turmoil. Of course, telling him what I've learned doesn't help any because he doesn't believe me since I'm old :-)

Of course, if the novels were objective instead of subjective, you couldn't say the same thing since it would be Rothfuss describing her that way and not K.
Chris Palmer
32. cmpalmer
DEL @17, I also think that "The Broken Tree" refers, in part, prophetically to the Cthaeh. At least I hope it does in the sense that K can escape his fate. The 'family tree' association is also strong, though.

Strangely enough, I got the Diana/Deena relationship the first time I read the book, but even though I knew that Diana was associated with the moon, I was stuck more on the Hunter aspect (which doesn't fit as well, or maybe it does). I got the 'changeable as the moon' aspect of her personality, but I wasn't looking for specifics about the moon until I read WMF.
ArtfulMagpie
33. mochabean
On "Leaves" (and trees): When Kvothe "meets" (remeets) Denna at the Eolian, and they discuss what he can do to thank her for her joining in his song as Aloine, Sovoy warns him to be careful because "She'll have you off to bring her a leaf from the singing tree from the other side of the world" and Denna agrees "that might be a nice thing to have."

On reread, I first thought of Ctheah, and I still think that works well. As for the title of the chapter, in addition to the leaves of the Sela flower, leaves are his debt to Denna. Also --spinning leaves in the wind help him avoid blood tracking later. And then of course there is Spinning Leaf which helps him with the sword tree. Lots of Leaves floating through these books...
George Brell
34. gbrell
Couple random thoughts related to earlier sections I wasn't able to include.

Chapter 40:
On 263, it's written "Simmon could always make me smile, no matter what was going on." This is a weird conjugation considering at this point in the story he's known Simmon for only a couple days. Assuming it's correct, the most likely explanation is that this is being spoken by K in the frame, which implies that Simmon can no longer make him smile. Death?

Same page, the Chancellor slips when mentioning the number of Masters present. The obvious assumption is that Elodin is the master who usually skips out, but Rothfuss seems to delight in subverting obvious assumptions.

On page 269, why does Brandeur tell Hemme: "We should all take precautions. You know as well as --". Why should they take precautions (wearing a gram)? What has changed or is expected?

From Chapter 51, we know that the rune "Teh" translates as "lock." What does that make "Tehlu" translate as? I read someone conjecture that it means "first lock," but it wasn't clear where he was getting the "first" portion.

With regards to this selection of chapters, 15 year old boys are idiots. He is ridiculously thick and that makes him more realistic than most teenage characters I've read. Also, this is one of the times where K's admonishment about the clarity of storytelling applies; it's easy for us to see as we are only seeing the highlights.
ArtfulMagpie
35. ArtfulMagpie
"From Chapter 51, we know that the rune "Teh" translates as "lock." What does that make "Tehlu" translate as? I read someone conjecture that it means "first lock," but it wasn't clear where he was getting the"first" portion."

The first day of the span is Luten. Since the seventh day is given as either Chaen or Caenin and we know that Chan/Chaen means seven, it seemed likely that the first seven days in a span were named according to their number. Luten would then be first day or day one.
Steven Halter
36. stevenhalter
I'll second gbrell & cmpalmer that Kvothe's being an idiot about girls and missing signals at 15 makes him quite believable in my memories of what 15 was like.
Sam Mickel
37. Samadai
I have a thought on the Denna, moon, Kvothe angle. It has probably been covered, but I don't remember seeing it. What if Kvothes family is descended from the one who stole the moons name? Hence Kvothes attraction to Denna( if in fact she is some manifestation of the moon). I have seen the speculation that that is what is inside the locklesses box.

If one of the things to be afraid of is a moonless night, if he frees the moons name , the nights won't be moonless anymore, but he will have lost his love (the moon). What if because he has the box, but can't get it open to free her, that is how he caused the war. He really seems to want to get a box open in WMF. If the ones who want the moon free are fighting with whoever wants her kept locked up. I don't really know, but it is sure curious with the whole, moon, denna, Kvothe, Lockless box thing.

PS. I'll 4th that sentiment, 15 and an idiot sounds about right.
E M
38. herewiss13
@35: that is a beautiful bit of etymology. I keep getting more and more impressed with Rothfuss.

@34: In re: Wearing a gram = common-sense laboratory precautions when dealing with fledgling arcanists. Same as safety goggles.

...come to think of it, given what goes on in the Fishery, why aren't there safety glasses? Or have I just overlooked them?
Steven Halter
39. stevenhalter
If Lu is one or first (from Luten), I wonder if rather than Tehlu being First Lock, it could be Locked First. So, if Tehlu is first lock, it would imply that it represents the first lock that is locking things away (behind stone?). If it is "locked first", it could still mean the same but it could also mean that it was the first thing that was put behind a lock.
George Brell
40. gbrell
@35: Nice catch.

@39: I like this theory a lot. If Iax is locked behind the doors of stone, it's possible that someone else is locked behind the doors who was integral in trapping Iax. I always assumed the Encanis-Tehlu parallel was supposed to represent Haliax, but what if it goes further back and represented Iax (although this would void the story Skarpi is telling when he's interrupted which identifies Tehlu as post-Drossen Tor).

@38: In WMF when Kvothe is working with transporting agents, he implies that things like fume hoods and drenches exist, but so far we haven't seen safety goggles (although one assumes that twice-tough glass would serve).

The lack of attire standards (allowing loose, gauzy, and oh-so flammable clothing) is also a red-flag for a modern lab scientist. There does appear to be some sort of standard, however, as Kilvin "flips out" on Kvothe for not wearing shoes (although it turns into jest).
Ashley Fox
41. A Fox
K and Denna. Ive always read their relationship as a little narcissistic. They are reflections of one another in many ways. Elusive, D has mentioned never being able to find K when she looks, as we know all to well he has done. A lot. Both are mysterious, with dark pasts. Both are fragile when in comes to trusting in love. both seem to be willing to put aside the possibility of love for their own personal quests. Of these quests there are many parralels. Music, patrons, Lanre, the chandrian, amyr. They are both very attractive, D we see with many men. K also has women offering themselves left, right and centre. Even if he doesnt cotton on. A transferance of the 'willow' comment?

the discrepancy being power. K is all magical and what not. D has her yllish knots (which could actually prove the unlocking of the lockless box) but that is really all. does she have the potencial? Is it a matter of training? If the tree comment does relate to K's adem name then she is a seer at least. Of course if she is the moon perhaps her power is what was stolen.

Dennas perspective/Lanre; What if Lanre selitos etc were originally ON the side of Iax? What if the other side were fighting for their freedom? Fighting not to be locked away in fae. So when Lanre turned sides, embittered by the cruelty of the shapers, he became chandrian to destroy the world...the fae world. The amyr (the scariest figure on the urn) seek to make sure that the two worlds remain apart, the moon never freed. I had suspected for awhile that Lyra was the moon. That Iax stole her, used her power to seal off fae (mostly).

The moon is traditionally representive of female power, later with love/strong emotion. We have lots of stories of women (the moon) being seperated from their lover. D & K, Aloine & Savian, Lyra and Lanre, the moon and the world. it could also be argued that its the Amyr keping these lovers apart 9or those who were to become Amyr)

If Lyra, Denna & the moon are one...what does that bode for Haliax/Lanre? For K's mission & his relationship with D?

There is no evidence that Iax is a Lockless or that K is related to him. Arguably Amrose is the paralel of Iax.

Oh bloody hell. I was going to write something about anilin. Anilin has been bugging me for a long time. D went to Anilin, K did not. "I felt it, heavy and certain in the pit of my stomache. I would never see her again." What if he didnt. What if her body was taken over. "she was a silly girl" By a fae more sophisticated then the one in the frame. One who had an interest in Lanre, in infiltrating the Amyr, one who was perhaps part of the moon. Looking for a way out.

Originally I was just going to agree with the other posters, in that she had trouble with Josn, or that in her young naive way she took a bit of K's hair and nearly got killed by the assasins hunting him from Tarbean.(Which we will obviously hear more about in book 3 in relation to Skarpi and the church).
Ashley Fox
42. A Fox
sorry, double post....
Ashley Fox
43. A Fox
Okay i poked around a bit more. Denna changeling...meh.

Denna is cohorts with assains; yes. "she asked, brushing an errant strand of my hair" Intenional, or innocent?

Denna as moon. When D and K chat alone for the first time, the scene is set up as if she is literally the moon. The night is moonless and windless. "It was as if we were sitting amid a sea of stars" "Her skin was more luminous than the moon"

Also @whoever mentioned constellations, their star gaze and D tells K stories he (a Ruh) had never heard about them before. (knows the makers?)

A little earlier they name shapes in the clouds, D points out; a rose, a harp, a waterfall. These are significant. D's comments on roses. She later learns the harp. waterfall?
Jo Walton
44. bluejo
She is the waterfall of spark in Deoch's metaphor. The things she sees are all her.

Technical logistic point -- I'm going to have to do next week's post over the weekend, so if you want me to take notice of your awesome comments, make them soon.
Ashley Fox
45. A Fox
@44 duh. Let me just pour my brain back in my ear.

This reread and subsequent discussion is generally quite awesome. Huzzah!
ArtfulMagpie
46. lampwick
Yes, Kvothe is acting like a 15 year old, but -- he keeps doing it after he's no longer 15. It drove me crazy, actually. How old was he when he met Falurian?
Sim Tambem
47. Daedos
A note on Denna and her Patron. The Cthaeh gave Kvothe a lot of information about them (the beatings, etc.). Whatever it has planned has something to do with Denna's Patron and Kvothe.

If Bredon is Master Ash (as many believe) it might be interesting to note that he is one of only two people that are mentioned who know how to play tak. Felurian is the other. Does anyone else know how to play? Is it a Faen game?
ArtfulMagpie
48. ArtfulMagpie
"Yes, Kvothe is acting like a 15 year old, but -- he keeps doing it after he's no longer 15. It drove me crazy, actually. How old was he when he met Falurian?"

Um. 16. At 16, I think his ridiculous behavior can still be expected....
Sim Tambem
49. Daedos
@46 - He's barely 16 when he leaves the University. So, 16-1/2 at most.
Claire de Trafford
50. ClairedeT
Kvothe has no wisdom at this stage, what he has is cleverness. I think that this is a clear parallell with Iax who also had cleverness but no real understanding of consequences. Part of this can be explained by his age (I don't think that he is much older throughout the story that we've had so far, and is probably only in his 20s in the frame story?), but part of it is because he is used to relying on his intellect. He needs to become the willow - to bend not command the wind - and possibly his resisting this process has caused his issues in the frame story. D here is possibly trying to help him by giving him hints. Nonetheless some things become stronger by being reforged after breaking, or being mended after breaking, and growth can be a kind of breaking - breaking the mold of what you were for a different type of person. (Incidentally the willow metaphor is used by Patricia Kenneally for her heroine in the Copper Crown I think, the hero is an oak - strong but will break).

I love the Jackass song - wish we had more verses of it as it is extremely catchy. It's clear that both K and A are the jackasses; again K has no real wisdom here and WON'T learn it.

Liking the link between D and the moon as it would explain her more irritating aspects.
ArtfulMagpie
51. DEL
@41 A Fox - Great post elucidating the complexities of motivations for Lanre, Iax, Amyr and Chandrians. The struggles between the knowers and the shapers are the genesis of the present war. The betrayal of Lanre by Iax trapping/using Lyra is an amazing catch, I am stealing that insight. I had deleted a post making the connect between Iax and Haliax(Lanre) and your insight rounds that thought out extremely well.

So can some of the linguistic puzzle masters recall what Hal means in Temic/Tema?

A reconstructed timeline
-Aleph is the first(?) Knower and knows the name of of things upon the earth and sky.
-Shapers emerge and begin to create wonderous things.
-Dangerous things have been created and to placate the growing unease of the Knowers Iax and others create the Fae as a laboratory for their new ideas.
-The proto-people start to split between human and Faen.
-War of Creation starts.
-The tale of Lanre and Lyra happens. Iax speaks to the Cthaeh
5000 years ago-Lanre is betrayed by Iax, who does something to Lyra enabling him to trap the moon partially in Fae. Lanre searches the world for a way to free his love(pancea?), and he finds the Cthaeh instead.
-Lanre betrays Seitos and the world, becomes Haliax. Amyr and the Angels are created from the surviving Shapers/Knowers(maybe not them) End of the Creation war.
-Haliax/Encanis works to destroy the world(apparently) working with demon/Faen.
3000 years ago- Tehlu becomes a man, chases the demons from the world, and as hinted,locks away Iax and every other Shaper except Haliax. Lockless family given a series of artifacts relating to the internment of all the old shapers and demons.
- Time of Taborline the Great. The Lockless family splits, with each branch either losing or gaining one of the orginal artifacts. Stone, Key, Box, Candle(?)
-Kvothe's childhood-
2 years ago-Melding and/or Breaking open of the Fae to the world.(Kvothe's actions)
ArtfulMagpie
52. chrispin
I like how Will used "hammer and horn" as an expletive and then K used those same terms to describe Denna: "when she strikes" and "transfixed by hunter's horns."

For Will, "hammer and horn" is something you say when trouble (Ambrose) shows up. Deoch tries to tell K that Denna is trouble, but K doesn't hear.

I took "hammer and horns" as a reference to Tehlu who used a horn to gather demons and a hammer to create Encanis' wheel.
George Brell
53. gbrell
@50: If you haven't heard the fan-made version of "Jackass, Jackass," it's pretty good:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alf1lpsVnJw

I could be wrong, but the lyrics appear to match the snippets we see in WMF and since the fan song predates the publication, perhaps PR is giving it a blessing of "canon."

@52: Interesting thought, but I don't think Will is a Tehlin; he misquotes the Book of the Path and Simmon has to correct him in WMF when Kvothe unveils his gram.

If that is the origin, that means that Wil, a non-follower, is using a religious oath. Which is kind of like a Buddhist shouting "Christ!" as an expletive. This seems to lead to two interpretations. Either Tehlu's actions are so integral to culture (or so deeply ingrained) that they transcend later schisms and messianic events OR Wil picked it up as an idiomatic expression much like Kvothe references putting a spoon in one's own eye. The latter seems to satisfy Occam (though why does Wil say it and not Simm?), but the first has a more conspiracy-y bent.

Alternatively, I'd suggest that "hammer and horn" might have a fae relationship given that Wil has been shown to be very accepting of the fae in general. But "hammer" strikes me as iron-related (terrible pun, sorry), so I don't know how much water that can hold.
Steven Halter
54. stevenhalter
I was just rereading the story of Jax and noted that the name (probably incomplete) the moon says is hers is Ludis. This gives us another possible interpretation for Lu, a moon association. This also fits with the days of the week, the first day being Luten or Moon day (the same as Monday or Lundi or dies lunae.)
Then, Tehlu becomes Locked Moon or Lock on the Moon or some such variant. Which is very interesting.
Sim Tambem
55. Daedos
Maybe one who locks the moon (perhapse Tehlu is Iax), banishing "demons" to the Faen relm. He does seem to be a pivotal point in the world's history.

Note: I don't believe this, but it seemed necessary to mention the possibility.
E M
56. herewiss13
@54: Alternatively, it just means that Ludis means "One-Something"
Steven Halter
57. stevenhalter
@56:Right. Moon-Something or One-Something or Moon == One or multiple meanings.
I kind of like it meaning either Moon or One (or both) depending on context.
ArtfulMagpie
58. AO
"Kilvin also doesn’t know about Kvothe’s financial straits, to be fair."

He doesn't? My impression was that everyone at his initial admissions interview knew about Kvothe's poor financial situation. Hence their decision to grant him a negative tuition. Kvothe has had some time to try to improve that, but if I were Kilvin then there would be no way that I would assume that Kvothe suddenly was comfortable, or well off, in terms of money.
ArtfulMagpie
59. AO
On Kvothe being an idiot around girls:

I was extremely surprised by Jo's take here. In addition to what others have said about Kvothe being realistic for his age, I would also point to some other factors that imo made his mind-set even more realistic:

1) It didn't sound like Kvothe had much experience socializing with girls his own age while traveling with his troupe.

2) It really didn't sound like he picked up romantic experience directly after his family was murdered and he was wandering the wilderness.

3) It didn't seem like he had much experience with girls while living homeless on the streets of Tarbean either.

4) Kvothe just recently ended a long period where he was living at a subsistence level and at best deeply depressed, and at worst, suffering from the after effects of mind altering magic.

5) Kvothe is clearly gifted in several areas. How realistic would it be for him to be exceptional in this as well? Ime, there is a balance. Most people are all around competent and then people who are "gifted" in some ways make up for it by being lacking in others.

Kvothe being as he is, whether you want to define him as "normal" or "clueless" is essential for my buying him as a realistic character. I respect that others see things differently, but his depiction seems just about perfect to me.
ArtfulMagpie
60. AO
Speaking of realistic, I have to throw my support to Denna's characterization as well, especially given that we are seeing things through Kvothe's pov.

Kvothe hasn't had a wonderful and perfect upbringing, he has been "damaged". It seems entirely sensible to me that he would fall for a girl like Denna, either because he identified with something inside of her or because pursuing an unattainable girl like her was safer than going after someone he might actually catch (who then would be in a position to hurt him further).

And there absolutely are women like Denna out there. Those who will legitimately say things such as "I sabotage every relationship that I've ever been in", "I never let anyone get close to me", etc. I knew one 23 year old girl who, after finally breaking up with a long time boyfriend who was controlling and abusive, was crying and very distraught. I convinced her to let me hold her (in a completely non-sexual way) and it went on for quite a while. After it was over, she said that she felt better and thanked me, but she was very surprised that it had helped. She never let anyone get that close, she never hugged anyone in a friendly way. Most people would know that a hug from a friend can help you feel better, but not everyone does. Not everyone lets people get that close to them.

If you were raised in a reasonably well-adjusted way then the interactions of Kovthe and Denna might seem pretty strange or even unbelievable. And that's why there are plenty of stories out there or people who were raised "normally", such as The Brady Bunch and The Cosby Show. But that's not how Kvothe (and presumably Denna) were brought up. Imo they are realistic for what they have (or presumably have) gone through. Except that it would have been easy for Kvothe to be even more cynical and angry and to take that out on the people around him. That he is as "good" as he is is a testament to his strength of character.

Perhaps I am looking too much at my own life experiences and at those of people who I've met when evaluating the interactions of Kvothe & Denna. But based on my upbringing, this relationship is easily one of the most authentic and realistic that I've ever seen. If you feel differently then I wonder, is it really because the relationship itself is unrealistic or could it be that you just aren't willing to step too far outside of your own experiences and/or comfort zone?
ArtfulMagpie
61. Dominiquex
@59 - Completely my take as well.

Otherwise, thanks so much Jo for quoting me in the intro! Totally awesome! ;)
ArtfulMagpie
62. chrispin
I'm still dwelling on Kvothe getting his pipes from last week.

After the lute string broke, Kvothe went into Spinning Leaf: "Back to...Wind Turning a Leaf" After he started playing again "the audience sighed, stirred, and slowly fell back under the spell" Then the song ended "I heard the...applause. A roar like leaping flame," Two chapters before, "Burning", Elxa Dal says "The energy of all things belongs to the archanist. We command fire and fire obeys." Fire is only one form of energy. It seems that Kvothe can command the energy of his audience. Kvothe sings a sad song and the entire audience bursts into tears. He played colors to a blind man and commanded the man's senses to "see". The audience is like a flame. He commands their emotions and they obey. The Eolian is "A Place to Burn," a place where K can command people. (In my book chapter 52 is called Burning, but in Jo's it's called Burning Out.)

It seems that Kvothe's magic path started by Naming unconsciously using music and Spinning Leaf. Then he learns to consciously Name using Spinning Leaf without music. In book 3 maybe he learns to consciously Name using both Spinning Leaf and music. Once he learns to direct his Naming using music, what power will he have? Maybe this is another reason why there was no music in the framestory. Things went wrong when he Named while playing, and now he's afraid to play anymore.

Comments from this week:
The chapter could be called "Leaves" because K & D leave Anker's together. Also K leaves the classes that are dragging him down and concentrates on the important ones. I'm still confused why he takes observation in the Medica. He would be a horrible doctor and does not profess any interest in being employed in any healing profession. There wouldn't be enough money in it. I guess it's so he has a reason to know wilderness first aid.

I like how Lorren the Silent Doctor signals catastrophe in the next act, and then Denna show s up the next chapter. Run, Kvothe! We never do see Sovoy after she is done with him (although supposedly Sim spoke to him). I don't think any of her castoffs are heard from again.

Both Deoch (through his Yllish grandmother) and Stanchion (who speaks Yllish) are possibly Yllish, but only Stanchion is mentioned as having red hair. Losi at the Pennsworth had red hair but wasn't said to be Yllish. It seems not all Yllish have red hair and not all redheads are Yllish, but having red hair makes you look Yllish, so red hair is a defining characteristic of Yll. K's mother had dark hair (like Denna) and his mother said his father does not have red hair, although it’s open to interpretation (C12, Arliden- Did you happen to bed down with a some wondering God a dozen years ago? Laurien- He…stole me away. But he didn’t have red hair. Couldn’t be him). So if Arliden doesn’t have red hair, where does K get his from?

Thanks again Jo for an excellent post!
Beth Meacham
63. bam
Well, that's easy enough -- genetically, red hair is a recessive. Two dark-haired people who carry the recessive can produce a red-haired child.

The trait might pop up that way often enough that the red-haired children were said to be fathered by a god. Especially with a bunch of Yllish redheads running around keeping the gene in the gene-pool.
ArtfulMagpie
64. lampwick
@48, @49 -- Well, I put on my orthopedic pants and stand corrected. I guess he seemed older because so many things happened to him between this chapter and that one.

Incidently, this reread is interesting because I didn't read the book that closely (obviously), and I'm learning that I missed all kinds of things.
ArtfulMagpie
65. LAJG
@18: There are constellations mentioned in WMF ch.38: Ewan the hunter, the crucible, the young-again mother, the fire-tongued fox, and the broken tower. While I don't recall any astrology regarding them, I wonder if their names have some other significance (I have a couple of half-baked theories, but I need to think about them some more.)
ArtfulMagpie
66. Kiri
@43 and 44 The things Denna points out in the clouds aren't what she IS, but rather what men/others see her as: A rose (pretty much any man), a waterfall of sparks (Deoch) and then her lover who thinks she should play the harp, even though it doesn't suit her much. All not things she thinks she is. Interesting how much those perceptions seem to influence her.

Some great posts! Completely missed the "moon-follower" comment by Felurian!
pat purdy
67. night owl
Hi one and all, first time poster here, I waited until I finished WMF and caught up with the posts.

It is obvious that I would have never made a good detective in real life...It seems I need everything spelled out for me.
Thank heavens for all the wonderful observations, theories, conjectures and maybe's. I feel as if, I have stepped behind the curtain and into the 'know'.

I am trying to teach myself how to look as I read and humbly wonder If the key given by Auri, is the key mentioned at the end of WMF, as Kote tries to open his chest. I don't recall anywhere that it is among the stuff he carries around with him.
ArtfulMagpie
68. ArtfulMagpie
@ 65 "...Ewan the hunter, the crucible, the young-again mother, the fire-tongued fox, and the broken tower."

Hmm. The broken tower. Isn't that the image blazoned on the chests of the Amyr? A broken tower? I seem to recall that even the Ciridae painted on the Trebon pot had a crest like that. And in the story of Jax stealing the moon, Jax lived "in a broken house at the end of a broken road." Food for thought. Food for thought indeed.
ArtfulMagpie
69. LAJG
I think it's a burning tower (same difference?) . Which, from the drawing that the girl makes of that jar from Trebon, Kvothe at first thinks is a leaf. Hm... leaves again.
James Hogan
70. Sonofthunder
I've been waiting until I caught up in my own re-read until I joined in the discussion...so I finally read these chapters last night and am caught up!! Some of my favorite chapters are these and the ones previous(Kvothe winning his pipes and seeing Denna again) - such lovely writing by Rothfuss!

In regards to Kvothe's idiocy in interactions with girls, I also think this is not unrealistic. Good points by AO above. All the times he misses hints and blatant come-ons...well, I laugh every time, mostly because I remember being just as dense as he when I was his age. It really rounds out his character a bit more. This is part of the reason I found him becoming a "sex god" in WMF a bit disconcerting. But that's a discussion for another time.

And also in regard to Denna, I don't think she *is* the moon. The parallels are clear enough, but I think that's all the moon references remain. Parallels. Denna is just a woman(a mysterious one!), but Rothfuss has fun comparing her to the moon, like any good poet. My two bits!

Also per Denna, I don't find her too terribly unrealistic. Partly because we're seeing her through the eyes of a fifteen year old. And having been a fifteen year old boy, I can confirm that Kvothe's view of Denna correspond pretty well. I thought of women that way when I was that young as well! Mysterious, perfect, unobtainable...and confusing as anything. Of course, Denna has the same committment problems Kvothe has, which is why their slow circles are so maddening throughout the books. And Denna has her own issues(which we still aren't fully privy to). I think the third book will clear Denna up a lot, but as it stands, while Denna is a bit idealized in NotW, I just remember we're looking at a fifteen year old boy here...and I smile.
Jo Walton
71. bluejo
What everyone said about Kvothe being 15, and specifically what Sonofthunder just said:

And having been a fifteen year old boy, I can confirm that Kvothe's
view of Denna correspond pretty well. I thought of women that way when I was that young as well! Mysterious, perfect, unobtainable...and
confusing as anything.

Yes, of course you did. But they thought of you the same way. And from inside their own heads, what they did made sense. Kvothe sees Fela the same way, mysterious and beautiful and confusing, but we can see through him that Fela is a real person with sensible motivations. Or look at the barmaid who comes on to him in WMF and makes him blush -- mysterious, inexplicable, but also clearly a person. Rothfuss is really good at unreliable narrator and letting us see past that in various ways. My problem with D isn't the way Kvothe sees her but that she seems to be really like that. She's not a character misinterpreted, she's a set of cliches straight out of a teenage boy's imagination. It's exactly because of the way you saw girls that way when you were that age that I don't believe in her, because I was a girl when I was that age.

This is why the moon theory makes me happy, because it means she is a person with agency and not a young man's dream of a girl made real.
Ashley Fox
72. A Fox
A young man's dream of a girl made real-in some ways that is exactly what she is, intentonally. She becomes what these young men expect becuase thats what she does. She's an actress who assumes the role of 'lover' tailored to the man/boy she happens to be with. The names, the outfits.

As the story progresses we see glimpses of who she really is; during the dracus episode to some extent, the story of the stone, her song of Lanre, when K acts how she doesnt expect. Though I believe she herself is unsure.

K sees and reacts to these roles she plays, at first that is how we know her, hence her seeming a little false. It is. But K does see the real D under it all, as is his nature, even if he doesnt understand it on a cognitive level. So come what may the love is genuine.

D has not revealed her secrets to K, perhaps not to anybody, so we lack an understanding of her motivations of what drives her, so this can lead to an impression of lack of character depth. Yet K does exactly the same to D, but becuase of his POV we understand the why.

I think you can clearly see that there is a why with D, just not what that why is.

I see them as reflections of themselves. As with reflections whilst seemingly similar, they are often also opposites. Epitomised with the tale of Lanre.
ArtfulMagpie
73. ArtfulMagpie
"A young man's dream of a girl made real-in some ways that is exactly
what she is, intentonally. She becomes what these young men expect
becuase thats what she does. She's an actress who assumes the role of
'lover' tailored to the man/boy she happens to be with. The names, the
outfits."

I think that's a very good point. D DOES have a real self, a self behind all the falseness and pretense. But she very deliberately hides it. Kvothe thinks that he is a good actor, but D far outstrips him! Her entire life is built around becoming the right character for the moment. Everything she does is one big con-game. She finds men, becomes what they think they want, gets what she can, and then leaves. Of course her personality rings false....we almost never see anything but facade. Even the Denna she is for Kvothe is a character she plays. We do see some more of the real D in Tarbean after she's been drugged. She tells Kvothe about her lung weakness, for example. Her surprised reaction later on when Kvothe knows about that indicates that it isn't something she normally tells anyone.

She doesn't have to be the literal embodiment of the moon for there to be a good explanation of her somewhat hollow character....
Lenny Bailes
74. lennyb
Rothfuss is not the only author/musician/poet to try breathing flesh into this Inconstant Moon mystery woman archetype.

I'm on Chapter 47 of TWMF, now, and still attempting to maintain my spoiler Alar by browsing this thread only selectively. FWIW, I'm happy whether Denna is literally the moon, an avatar of the moon (like the Oyarsa of Malacandra), or only "like the moon" (as has been proclaimed in songs of varying quality that dwell on the singer's infatuation/fascination with a mysterious, physically-beautiful young woman who he doesn't really understand).

Ain't got Corrina
I can't be satisfied
Ain't Corrina
I can't be satisfied
Got the devil on my trail
And hell by my side.
I got a bird that whistles
I got a bird that sings
I got a bird that whistles
I got a bird that sings
But i ain't got Corrina
Life don't mean a thing.

That thing about having a hollow character.... In my own recollection, beautiful young mystery women who crush on Che Guevara, dress like gypsy girls, play musical instruments acquired under strange circumstances, and are there and gone between grad school, concert hopping, and urging Carlos Castenada to turn into a crow in the desert -- sometimes those wild moon-women grow up to become radio disc jockeys and members of astronomy clubs. You might see them in their sixties as Cal Berkeley alumni and donors to reforestation projects.

PS: The thing with pawning the necklace, and breaking in to steal the lute (for case fitting) does seem to me to be stretching things a bit, if Denna is only forced into her "hustler-grifter" persona out of economic necessity -- and she's actually quite kind and empathetic to her friends, as well as being a smart, pragmatic survivor. Or maybe all of her circumstances just drive her around the bend a bit.

I'll keep reading. I have taken one, possibly serious, spoiler hit from this discussion. (My spoiler Alar allows me to maintain the belief that it was just one more bit of fanciful speculation in the thread. But I've been warned.) I will probably skip over reading responses to the following bit of speculation until I finish TWMF.

The hit I've taken inspires me to utter something possibly silly: "Maybe Denna's patron is actually Haliax..."
Daniel Hoagland
75. danielrixy
For my part, I have trouble with Denna being the moon mostly because I can't imagine a plausible reason why she would be. I mean, sure, the shapers locked the moon away in Fae to stop the creation war, I buy that, but to go from there to "they made the moon into a flighty asthmatic grifter" is a bit of a stretch. Also, wouldn't she have to be incalculably old if she were the moon? 5000+ years since the creation of Fae at least, going by DEL's timeline up above.

I actually think it makes more sense for the moon's issues (shared between two worlds) to be a symptom of the creation of Fae rather than the cause.

As for Denna, I think Rothfuss' portrayal of her suffers a bit from the "amazing girl/manic pixie dream girl" trope, in that she seems to exist solely to provide our male character something to chase after. I agree with Jo that Denna lacks agency, but I do believe that some of that is the filter through which we are forced to see her. Kvothe is a kid, yes, and not very wise, and per Bast's thoughts on Denna in the frame story, I think we have to take a step back and see her as not that mysterious, not that beautiful (aside from the ears), not that inscrutably inspiring.

I guess the question I keep coming back to is, if we were reading a story told by Denna, would Kvothe come across as shallowly as she does in his story? I think yes, mostly because everyone is the hero of the story in their own head.

Still, it would be nice if she rescued him for a change...
Steven Halter
76. stevenhalter
I'm not yet convinced by the "Denna is litterally the moon" argument. I'm not utterly opposed to it--just not convinced.
It does seem that there is a relationship there (between Denna & the moon). I'm not sure if it is literal, metaphoric, influence driven, reflective, ...
The notion that Denna is too much like a 15 year olds stylized imagining of a girl is quite interesting. As Jo mentions, there are a number of girls that Kvothe meets who seem perfectly reasonable as full fledged people. One question would be is if Kvothe is filtering the story of Denna. Maybe her full actions are that of a real person and Kvothe is over-filtering them to present us with a lopsided character. Bast does recall that she wasn't as beautiful as Kvothe makes her out to be (just her ears.)
Sim Tambem
77. Daedos
I don't know that Kvothe (Kote) is filtering the story so much as we are experiencing the story through his filters. There is no way for us to understand someone that the story-teller doesn't understand. Somewhere between the Kvothe we see in the story and the Kote telling the story, K has grown up a little. Even though he admits that he didn't understand some things at the time, it is obvious he has come to understand them since. That is why we can understand characters like Fela from his story. Kote understands them. Kvothe didn't.
Maybe it is just that Kote still doesn't understand Denna.
Steven Halter
78. stevenhalter
lambson@77:Right--I don't think we have any indication that he is deliberately filtering the Denna view. He is telling us what he perceives (or perceived).
So, the Denna choices are:
She really acts like that either because she is the moon or a moon Avatar or very moon influenced, or under a geas of some sort, or is a very odd person, ..., or
She didn't really act that way but for some reason that is how Kvothe saw her as acting.
ArtfulMagpie
79. ArtfulMagpie
The more I think about it, the more I really do think that the reason D comes off as somewhat hollow is that she is the ultimate con-woman. Her whole life is just one con after another. She is very deliberately making herself into the ideal of the men around her, taking what she can, and leaving when the situation gets tight. Maybe she shows more of her true character to Kvothe, since he is different in a lot of ways from the other men in her life. Maybe she doesn't, and she's just presenting him with one more character, one more face.
ArtfulMagpie
80. Dominiquex
I guess the question I keep coming back to is, if we were reading a
story told by Denna, would Kvothe come across as shallowly as she does in his story?

That is why we can understand characters like Fela from his story. Kote understands them. Kvothe didn't. Maybe it is just that Kote still doesn't understand Denna.

I feel both of these are correct. Kote says in this frame-break just after meeting Denna in the Eolian when he's trying to describe her (paraphrasing). "How can I hope to describe her to you when I have never understood her in the least bit myself?". He still doesn't really understand her. I guess, for me, this obvious lack of understanding from the POV storyteller & creator of the filter is why I've never minded Denna's inconsistencies. We're obviously missing a huge piece of her personility, past, motivations & feelings.

I'm under the impression that Denna, for the sake of the story, cannot be known - not as in it being an impossibility, but in that it would be a violation that would break the story. If Kvothe understood her then, obvious things would be different. She is inextricably tied to whatever disaster leads to Kvothe becoming Kote. And my feeling is she will have something to do with Kote's future at the end of the book (not the end of his story). If he understood her now, then none of this would be possible. In some wya, his follies & struggles would not occur if he understood her. I don't think this is the best way to describe the feeling I get, but it's the best I can do.

As far as her being vs. incorporating aspects of the Moon, I obviously saw a lot of parallels there. But, as I originally said, I don't know if that's necessarily where PR will go. I, personally, am content to wait and see. But it does shed an interesting light on her character that is fun to explore. :)
C Smith
81. C12VT
@79: If that's the case - if Denna is the "ultimate conwoman" - then I wonder if hers is the betrayal K mentions when he gives his short version of the story of his life: "'I trouped, traveled, loved, lost, trusted and was betrayed.'" (NW, p. 50).

From the way that "betrayed" is emphasized, is has to be pretty key to K's story - if the betrayer isn't Denna, it has to be someone else K really trusted or cared about.
Sim Tambem
82. Daedos
Denna doesn't really know anything about Kvothe in the story's frame. She doesn't know about his history, his motivations, or his goals. Still, I think she sees him as being more mysterious / reserved than shallow.

Kvothe sees Denna in much the same way, as he knows just as little about her. I don't see her as shallow in the least. She just has her own way of getting what she wants. And that isn't money and jewelry; she could get those anywhere. She doesn't even hesitate to pawn off her wealth when she sees opportunities to help her friends.

When the two of them meet back up in Imre (after the whole Maer/Felurian/Bandits episode), Kvothe is looking for an opening to discuss her abusive patron. Then she asks him about his scars from being whipped. When he sees his own situation juxtaposed with hers he decides not to approach the subject. Kvothe is at the University seeking knowledge that will help him against the Chandrian. What does Denna want so bad from her patron that she is willing to receive beatings from him? She isn't a very confusing character - no more than Kvothe would be from her POV. She just hasn't revealed much of what she is up to. She wants something that only her abusive patron can give her, and I doubt very much it has anything to do with wealth, comfort, or recognition.
ArtfulMagpie
83. Matt P
I don't have a copy of WMF on me, so I can't give a page number, but I remember near the end, when Denna and Kvothe go to the waterfall, that Kvothe tells Denna to love him.

She looks at him with love like she wants to concede and then goes hard and says something like, "Oh no, I won't fall into that trap. I won't be one of the many."
I suppose it could be understood that Denna doesn't want to one of Kvothe's many loves, but I'm not sure what the trap could refer to. Maybe if Denna does have some relation to the moon, then she's referring to the trap that Iax sprung on the moon in Haspe's story.

If we're convinced that Denna does have some relationship with the moon, this tidbit could support it.
Ashley Fox
84. A Fox
Oh look a waterfall...could then the shapes Denna saw in the clouds actually refer to the development of her relationship with K? Mapping significant moments, to her. He picks Selas over Roses. He advises her to a lap harp which is more suited to her as a musician. At the waterfall their love for each other becomes clear, he doesnt push her, but she pushes him away;reveals a secret of her past.

For me this clearly shows that a change in their relationship is imminant.

Also, does this then evidence a sort of Knowing on Dennas part? Which incindently, if she was a Knower, would put her into opposition of Shapers. Iax and the separation of Faen and the 'real' world. Of the Amyr. Would put her on the same side as the Chandrian, Haliax/Lanre. Mmmmm
ArtfulMagpie
85. Soloce
I'm going to feel really stupid if this has been discussed ad nauseum, but has anyone seen this Wiki article on the book Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy? Just look at the first para of it:
"Smiley is a middle-aged, taciturn, perspicacious intelligence expert in forced retirement. He is recalled to hunt down a Soviet mole in the "Circus", the highest echelon of the Secret Intelligence Service. In keeping with le Carré's work, the narrative begins in medias res with the repatriation of a captured British spy. The background is supplied during the book through a series of flashbacks."
Story begins with someone retired, background given through flashbacks... Anyway, it may be nothing...
ArtfulMagpie
86. Matt P
I would say that Denna and Kvothe had one of their major fights over a song that Denna played on the harp. Another one could be at the waterfall. Seems to me that the shapes refer to the bad things that happen in the relationship between Denna and Kvothe. And it would indeed imply that she's also a namer.

Come to think of it, clouds are bad if you're the moon. They prevent you from being seen.
ArtfulMagpie
87. T. T.
Hi!! This is a bit random but... I just reread Te books, and I think Tema is literally Latin, not just its in-story equivilant. The phrase "For Greater Good" in Tema contains the word 'enim'. This word means 'for' in latin. While I haven't been able to lok up the other words (traveling) one looks like the varation of an adjective which would make the adgetive end in -er. So I am 99% sure this is latin.
ArtfulMagpie
88. T. T.
I just ran 'Ivare enim euge' through a online translator. This translator is by no means perfect, but it came out as:
Ivare (not found) in fact good
I think it is safe to say Tema = Latin
Steven Halter
89. stevenhalter
T.T. : That's a nice catch enim and euge are Latin. I think Tema is close to Latin. Ivare isn't a word in particular, but if we change it slightly to Avare (root for avarice) it becomes greedy. If the phrase is not For the Greater Good, but For the Good of Greed, it gives a different slant to the Amyr.
Rikka Cordin
90. Rikka
I figured ivare could be a shortened/syncopated form of something else in Latin, namely the word iuvare, meaning to help or aid.

http://www.omnidict.com/pages/Iuvre.html
ArtfulMagpie
91. 404
Hey,

The re-read link www.tor.com/blogs/2011/06/features/series/patrick-rothfuss-reread is 404'ing!

Cheers,
404.
P M
92. Psyzygy
"My problem with D isn't the way Kvothe sees her but that she seems to be really like that ... This is why the moon theory makes me happy, because it means she is a person with agency and not a young man's dream of a girl made real."

I agree totally, at this point in my reading (note: still haven't finished these two books). But I don't think she will turn out to be the moon itself ... I think she is just a character who doesn't work for me. I say "doesn't work" because I think she is supposed to fascinate the reader the same way she fascinates K. The comments here indicate that she does work for a lot of readers.

My response to Denna puts me in mind of Jake & Gus in Lonesome Dove. Jake is very attractive to women in the book, and the other cowboys can't figure out why. Gus, on the other hand, is fascinating and compelling to the reader (or at least to this reader) but not as attractive to women in the story. At this point, Denna for me is like Jake in the book. Why do PR's characters find her so interesting?
Steven Halter
93. stevenhalter
@92:Since you haven't finished, there are some key chapters you are currently missing. And we are all missing a whole key book at this point.
ArtfulMagpie
94. Arch
All of this talk of Denna and the moon and willow-trees seems very significant given the traditional associations of the willow as a lunar tree (apologies if someone has pointed this out already)

For some reason I seem to remember Ambrose as one of Denna's gentlemen (it has been a while since I read the books, so I could be wrong). In that light Kvothe's quip about how Ambrose could buy the moon (“and the moon too if he wanted the matched set to use as bookends.”) may well have been some very delicate foreshadowing by Pat.
ArtfulMagpie
95. Curtiss
Personally, I like the idea of Auri being the moon more than Denna. Auri seems to have a strange connection with the moon (doesn't like to come out when its full). And she's very hesitant to give Kvothe her name... idk. I think it fits better.
ArtfulMagpie
96. thomascantor
(Sorry to be a Kvothe-come-lately to the discussion, and if this is remarked on elsewhere...)

The seven words that would make a woman love you. Four times in a row at this point in their conversation, Denna says seven words: "Is that why you talk so much? Hoping to come on them by accident?... Don't go quiet on my account, Kvothe... I'd miss the sound of your voice." I seem to recall this happening elsewhere (though obviously not the first time, when she responds simply, "Liar.")

Speaking of numerology... seven cities, seven Chandrian...
ArtfulMagpie
97. dramatekcv
@62 and @63: I think Kvothe's red hair supports the idea that the carving on the Loeclos Box is a story knot. If the Lackless line has Yllish in it, the red hair could easily have become a recessive over the years, particularly after Yll was subjugated by the Aturan Empire (and thus no new genetic infusion).
ArtfulMagpie
98. cram9030
"I have always had a problem with Denna, especially in NW, in that she just isn’t like a person, she doesn’t behave like a human being, her motivation makes no sense."
@92 I am on the opposite side of the spectrum I think that Denna as a character is frighteningly realistic. I know in my experiences with depressed and abused people that they often do flee unpredicably and feel that they have no real idea who they are. As a result of being suppressed their whole life they are identified by the represion and have no intuition of who they as a person really are. In the modern world their fleeing might be to a room to lock the door or just as simple as turning off their computer and cell phone but I have no doubt that if the people I have meet could have actually physically fled they would have, and sometimes do. This is why Denna is such an interesting character to me because while it is true that her motives make no logical sense her actions seem to echo a person who has been hurt and is still in a great amount of pain. This is why everytime I read about a her being beat by her patron it breaks me up inside.

Not to shoot down the Denna is the moon theory but I feel that for the most part Denna is the example of in the real world an old man is just an old man. I tend to see her and Kvothe's interactions along the lines of two people who have been terribly hurt trying to avoid the pain again, with the real posibility that both of them might have some actual and real mental disality or personality disorder. So while I feel that Denna could end up being the moon or relating to the greater story my gut says that she is what she appears to be a hurt young woman who Kvothe has fallen madly in love with and has gotten involved with a bad group of people.
ArtfulMagpie
99. konaya
Not sure if this has been mentioned, but: In many languages, the first day of the week (Monday) is named after the Moon. ("Moon day") Could Luten, the first day in a span, be not "first day" but "moon day"? The moon being named Ludis supports that.

And, if that is the case, Tehlu would mean not "first lock", but "moon lock". With all the funny implications that brings.
ArtfulMagpie
100. futureminime
Why so harsh about K's love life?

With Devi he can’t figure out if she’s being flirtatious or friendly, because he’s a fifteen year old idiot. She's a smart, older more worldly woman (though I feel I should say girl from her age) and K is already offguard because he was expecting a surly man. Sure K is a fifteen year old idiot but he wasn't sure with Devi because SHE didn't want him to be, equal parts friendly and flirtatious to play with his mind.

Similarly with D, its not that K is oblivious to her advances, its that he doesn't want to be 'that guy', another one of her suitors. She is also this flirtatious enigma with all the men she hangs around. I think part of her attraction to him is both that he is talented but also his no pressure
dedication and friendship. That is something she has from noone else and K knows this. I'm sure its stated that he doesn't want to risk scaring her away. Sure at this stage he has no idea what he's doing romantically but he is a moon-crossed lover.

Realistically how does the story go if he calls her on it? Makes a move? D knows he can't support her and she still isn't ready to stay in one place while K needs to be at the university at this point learning. This is part of why she stays when her sponsor is beating her.
ArtfulMagpie
101. Saturn
I had a thought about Denna. If I am to go along with this moon theory, I might as well take it all the way. I would expect a moon-in-human-form to behave as the moon. The countless men attracted to her, and even though she pushes them away they try desprately o hang on. It sounds like the tide. The waves being pulled back and forth, back and forth... And if that is correct, and the endless stream of men are the tide to the moon, what does that make Kvothe to Denna?
ArtfulMagpie
102. Jenny C
Just going to throw in that I love the song Kvothe makes about Ambrose. Reminds me of something Alan Moore once said. Paraphrased: "A couple of hundred years back, if you got on a wizard's bad side, maybe he'd put a curse on you, so you'd go around thinking you had bad luck and every time you stepped in a horse apple you'd feel cursed. Big deal. If you pissed off a bard, he would put a satire on you. And if he was a good bard, he could utterly destroy you in the eyes of your community for twelve generations; literally drive you away from your home, your family and everyone you had ever known, drive you to move to the end of the world and drive you to your grave with the fear in your heart that at any point someone could recognize you and start singing."

That's the magic of music, and Kvothe is supposedly one of the most gifted and clever musicians in the world. I found it kind of disappointing that almost none of the above happens to Ambrose as a result of the song, but I can buy that in this world there's a level of money and influence where even satire can't damage your reputation irreversibly.
ArtfulMagpie
103. Jordan Colburn
I realize I'm about 2 years late on this thread, but I just wanted to throw it out there just how "real" artificing is. As an electrical engineer who's spent most of my master's studying semiconductor fabrication, the fishery is basically a low grade clean room (and makes me wonder what other details are less fantasy based then they seem at first glance). All the talk of doping the sympathy lamp with arsenic even holds up as Gallium Arsenic and Phosphorus can be used for red LEDs. Also, the Bone-Tar reminds me of HF, also used in the cleanroom and literally penetrates to your bones to bond with the calcium and can cause severe injuries and death. But it's liquid and looks like water in the cleanroom, so I think it might even be a littler scarier (but less flamable) than the bone-tar. (http://web.princeton.edu/sites/ehs/labsafetymanual/cheminfo/HFFactSheet.pdf)

It's these details along with the discussion on schematics that really set this book apart for me in terms of having magic and other knowledge follow a set and very plausible system. I do know that rothfuss started out as a chemical engineer so that does explain a lot of it and how similar sympathy is to thermodynamics.

Anyway, I've been loving the re-reads and comments and just thought I would stop by and offer my (very nerdy) two cents.
ArtfulMagpie
104. aGe
The D & K relationship hits so close to home for me. I feel like it is a great example of my teenage - mid 20s years of chasing girls that had no intention of being caught. It's by far the most realistic part of the book to me.

Anyways, I think the whole denner resin incident, and subsequently D's drug induced revelations are really important. It shows her true nature (later seen when she buys K the incredibly valuable/important lute case). I think it also points to her being human and not the moon. She clearly has had something horrible happen to her and/or is enduring something awful because she has to succeed in her goals.
ArtfulMagpie
105. jorgybear
“Are all Yllish people red-haired?” I heard Pat himself say on a YouTube video that Yll is supposed, in a way, to be that world’s version or Ireland, but he changed a few things so as not to make it so obvious a connection, so while I guess not everyone in Yll has read hair, red hair will make people think of Yll, the way red hair makes us think of Irish (I myself am Irish, but don’t have red hair).
“Is it Ambrose or Kvothe who’s the jackass?” Good point. I have nothing to add, I just love this point!
“So why is this chapter called “leaves”?” Leaves blow in the wind, and Denna picks up that Kvothe bends to the wind’s desire. That also appears to be what she does, the way she suddenly disappears, like the ever changing wind. Denna and Kvothe are the leaves. (What then is the wind? The political landscape? The events of the world around them? Perhaps they are each other’s wind, given credence by the line “She stood with a motion like a willow wand bending to the wind”).
ArtfulMagpie
106. Ryn
I love that this thread is still going after a few years!
There are several references to the idea that Kvothe will eventually break the Cthaeh to fulfill the Broken Tree part of his name. This doesn't seem to gel with Bast's reaction when he hears that K has talked to the Cthaeh. He initially goes into a tantrum to get K to admit that he made that up. Once he learns this is the truth he launches into an explanation of how evil the Cthaeh really is. If Kvothe had really destroyed the Cthaeh I don't think we'd get such a strong reaction. It would be more along the lines of "I never knew you interacted with that tree twice." or even "Now I understand better how things ended up shaking out."
ArtfulMagpie
107. fiddlersthree
One thing I noticed in my current read-through (and I don't have the text handy right now) is that, in chapter 65, Kvothe and D~ are discussing her name and what he should call her. After he calls her Denna, she says, "I stopped being Denna years ago, it seems," and then acts uncomfortable, as though afraid someone is going to find her.

I think Denna is on the run from something, but she doesn't really know what. Like Kvothe/Kote, she continually changes her name (and herself) in order to remain hidden.

So, right after Kvothe calls (Names?) her Denna (which makes her nervous), she "finds" her patron. Or does he find her? My theory is that Master Ash has been searching for Denna, and Kvothe using that name in so close a proximity to when she had previously used it was like ringing a bell for him. He comes to Imre, locates her, and becomes her "patron" to get control of her.

I'm not sure if she's Lyra, or the Moon, or both, but she is pretty though I'm leaning towards Lyra (what instrument does her patron select for her to play? the lyre...). She could also be one of the Chandrian herself. Consider the verse she says after Kvothe raises the possibility of the attack having been perpetrated by the Chandrian:

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

The first two verses could easily be applied to Denna herself. On its own, it isn't much, but combined with some other bits of evidence, it could be significant.
ArtfulMagpie
108. Coreyartus
I would note that Patrick Rothfus is no stranger to feminism. Given his experience, it seems to me that making Denna a female character we can understand easily and simply may be doing her an injustice. No one is so simple that anyone can so quickly summarize them, especially when trying to be understood by a young man--that is quite clearly the problem with most of our Epic Fantasy tropes. Which, cooincidentally, is also something Rothfuss is Very aware of, and has worked hard to shake up. The fact that we are all trying to articulate Denna's character into something we can easily understand is, in a way, what Kvothe is doing himself, and is, from a certain perspective, incredlibly naive and disrespectful of us to think Denna *can* be so crudely compartmentalized.

I think it's something to consider that Rothfuss has given us so much metaphor and allegory, and our instinct as fantasy readers is to is to look for symbolism that rationalizes and provides a hook for the way we *should* think of people. It is almost instinctual for us as readers of this kind of fiction to look for constructs that are used as icons that hearken back to a kind of *epic fantasy shorthand* that makes it easier for us to feel better about what we're reading--we understand it more for some reason. I would postulate that our confusion (and for some, disgruntlement at motivational understanding) might be part of Rothfuss's point...

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