Jun 2 2011 12:05pm

Rothfuss Reread: The Name of the Wind, Part 7: My Sympathetic Representation

Patrick Rothfuss Reread on Tor.comWelcome to part 7 of my intensely detailed re-read of Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles. This week’s post covers chapters 36-42 of The Name of the Wind, but also contains spoilers for the whole book and the whole of The Wise Man’s Fear — these discussions assume you’ve read all of both books in a slightly obsessive way. It wouldn’t make any sense unless you’d read them. But you could go and read them now. We’ll still be here when you come back.

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

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

We begin this week with Chapter Thirty Six, Less Talents, and Kvothe’s first admission to University. Those of us who read this title the first time and corrected it in our heads to “fewer talents” are in fact wrong.

The first time Kvothe crosses the bridge between Imre and the university, he describes it as a piece of:

ancient mammoth architecture scattered throughout the world, so old and so solidly built that they have become part of the landscape, and not a soul wondering who built them or why.

Who built it? And why? Is this the end of the Great Stone Road and a clue that our speculations last week about Belen and MT were on the right track? Or was it just the Arturan Empire, who seem sufficiently analogous to Rome than I feel safe attributing bridges to them?

The University, over the river from the actual city of Imre, has accreted a small city around it to serve its needs. Kvothe mentions the specialised nature of the place:

two glassblowers, four fully stocked apothecaries, two binderies, four booksellers, two brothels and a truly disproportionate number of taverns

I really like the level of thought about the specialist needs here, and also it reminds me of medieval Louvain.

The University itself is made up of “about fifteen” disparate buildings. Kvothe mentions Mews, shaped like a compass rose, Hallows, with the “typical” stained glass window of Teccam in the mouth of his cave, and Mains, cobbled together from smaller buildings. And of course, the Archives, looking like a greystone. Over the door it says Vorfelen Rhinata Morie. He doesn’t recognise the language and neither do I—he says it’s not Siaru, maybe Temic or Yllish. It doesn’t look like Temic—well, it doesn’t look like Tema, which looks like Latin, and it doesn’t look like Italian either. Could it be Faen? Some of you are very clever with imaginary languages, or it might be explained somewhere I didn’t notice—any ideas? Why would the inscription be in another language? Temic/Tema would imply a religious affiliation. What would Yllish imply?

Next question—why does the Archive have no windows? I mean yes, they have sympathy lamps, but... daylight is better. I suppose daylight, or anyway sunlight, can hurt books on a long timescale, but surely Tomes at least could have windows. There has to be an arcane reason for it. Also, magic air conditioning. Very useful.

And he goes in, isn’t allowed a peep at the books, and meets Wilem.

Then he goes to Admissions and impresses the pants off the instuctors and is let in for “less three talents”—they pay him three talents instead of charging him. To be admitted you need brains or money, the more of one, the less of the other. Interesting system.

When he’s talking about admissions he says “it would be easier for me to get a piece of the moon than that much money.” “Crying for the moon” is a real world proverb for wanting what you can’t have, but I wonder if it means more than that here, or rather something different—wanting what it would be hubris to have.

Most of Kvothe’s brilliance doesn’t need discussion, but when he’s asked the cause of the fall of the Aturan Empire that seems worth noticing as a piece of history.

Partly because Lord Nalto was an inept egomaniac. Partly because the church went into upheaval and denounced the Order Amyr who were a large part of the strength of Atur. Partly because the military was fighting three different wars of conquest at the same time, and high taxes fomented rebellion in lands already inside the Empire. ... They also debased their currency, undercut the universality of the iron law and antagonized the Adem. ... But of course it’s more complicated than that.

Lorren asked the question, and Lorren at this time is positively disposed towards Kvothe. It has been suggested that Lorren might be a secret Amyr, and if so then how interesting that he asks a question that will force Kvothe to mention them.

As a list of reasons for an empire to collapse, that does seem rather comprehensive. But it’s interesting that the Amyr are in there, isn’t it? Collapsing empires for the greater good, perhaps.

I love Kilvin asking a real question instead of a test question. I also love him wanting ever-burning lamps.

Elxa Dal’s third question, which causes Kvothe to look at him oddly because it is out of sync with the other two questions about sympathy, is “What is the synodic period?” Kvothe clarifies “Of the moon?” and gives the answer “Seventy-two and a third days.” This answer, which is apparently correct, causes Elxa Dal to smile.

Wikipedia defines “synodic period” in contrast to “sidereal period” thus:

The sidereal period is the temporal cycle that it takes an object to make one full orbit, relative to the stars. This is considered to be an object’s true orbital period.

The synodic period is the temporal interval that it takes for an object to reappear at the same point in relation to two other objects (linear nodes), e.g., when the Moon relative to the Sun as observed from Earth returns to the same illumination phase. The synodic period is the time that elapses between two successive conjunctions with the Sun-Earth line in the same linear order. The synodic period differs from the sidereal period due to the Earth’s orbiting around the Sun.

So it’s how long it takes to go from being in the same phase. Our moon’s synodic period is therefore 28 and a bit days, and theirs is 72 and a third. So there are seventy-two days between full moons, or between moonless nights. Isn’t that interesting? I don’t know if it’s useful, but it’s certainly interesting. Fantasy generally isn’t interested in having moon-phases different from Earth’s. Marion Zimmer Bradley has a forty day moon in Darkover, and consequently forty day menstruation periods. I wonder how that works here? I really seriously do, I’m not being silly, I want to know how it affects fertility.

Elodin asks about the seven words that can make a woman love you.

Lorren recognises the name of Arliden, and comes to talk about him. Kvothe doesn’t react well because he doesn’t understand that he is being given three talents. Kilvin is his official sponsor.

Chapter Thirty-Seven is Bright-Eyed. Lorren takes Kvothe to the Bursar, agrees that he’ll sell Kvothe back Ben’s book when Kvothe has the money, and then leaves Kvothe with Simmon. Throughout this Lorren has been expressionless and quiet.

The University terms are two months long. I was thinking that’s very short, but at 88 days it’s longer than the standard 10 week term of a medieval university—and Oxford and Cambridge now. Accommodation at the Mews is one talent for a bunk and three meals a day for the whole term—good value for money.

Sim introduces him to Manet and Wilem, who he has already met. They talk about tuition. Sovoy shows up, slumming because his tuition was so high, complaining they soak the nobles. Sim is nobility, but Sovoy is rude about Aturan nobility—“a paper duke bowing to a tin king.” But a duke’s son all the same. Sovoy is a Mondegan noble. Mondeg is north-east of Atur, between it and the Stonewal. So Sim and Sovoy are nobles but good people and this is all setting us up for Ambrose.

And Kvothe goes into the Archives again and meets Ambrose for the first time. Ambrose humiliates him just out of reflex, and Kvothe perversely reacts by being made comfortable by this—people being nice to him disconcerted him. We know what he will do to settle a grudge—Pike—and Ambrose gives him a grudge. And Ambrose is that force of nature a noble’s son, and Kvothe should know to leave him alone. But he doesn’t, he is spurred by pride. Oh dear.

Chapter Thirty-Eight is Sympathy in the Mains, a punning title because both those nouns have two meanings. Mains is “the oldest building” and like “an ambitious architectural breed of lichen.” It’s easy to get lost in. But he finds the hall, and it’s a lecture theatre.

I found this a bit disconcerting actually. I’d been picturing the University as Louvain, or as Cambridge, and then suddenly I imagined the lecture theatre as one of the 1970s ones in Lancaster. And Hemme behaves like the worst most annoying professor anyone ever saw, waiting for people to be late so he can be sarcastic at them, and attacking the class for wanting to learn what he’s there to teach. I wish I could say I found this implausible, but in fact it felt horribly familiar. Give me Haliax any day.

We do get a piece of information about Yll. The first boy to be late is told to write a report on a sympathy clock. To the second he says that Yllish tribes use the sun to tell the time and have no concept of punctuality. Using the sun to tell the time (sundials) doesn’t seem all that odd to me, but it implies that people outside Yll have had clocks for a long time. And the boy has to write a report on Yll’s lunar calendar as contrasted with the civilized Aturan calendar. Interesting to have a lunar calendar, isn’t it, with a 72 day periodicity and the moon actually in another world the rest of the time?

We learn a fact about gender—the ratio of men to women is ten to one. This is brilliantly enlightened and advanced of them, and I applaud them for it. I’m serious. It was the twentieth century before it was this good anywhere in our world. Also, Rothfuss later tells us they all have to live in one dorm, so the women they all know each other. And I think he keeps up the one in ten ratio pretty well.

After the lecture, he tries to tell Hemme he already knows the principles of sympathy, but Hemme brushes him off. He goes to the Archives, where he meets Fela. He can’t go into the Stacks, but he goes into Tomes. I’m not at all seeing this as a medieval library. He asks for books on the Chandrian and picks up Chronicler’s book on the Common Draccus. (We already discussed what this means about Chronicler’s age and education.) He gets given a children’s book of sickly sweet stories. He then requests things on the history, origins and practices of the Amyr. Before he can get given them, Lorren comes over and discourages him, saying he doesn’t want to be thought childish.

I always took this at face value before, but Piapiapiano noted last week that this might be significant. And it has been suggested here before that Lorren might be an Amyr, this seems sinister—it isn’t when he asks about the Chandrian he’s stopped, but about the Amyr, a perfectly respectable piece of history, only three hundred years old and not especially childish. It’s like asking first about Satan’s imps and then about the dissolution of the monasteries and being told monks are a childish interest. Definitely more to this!

Kvothe ends feeling as if he has disappointed Lorren. Do you think that might be because he didn’t tell the truth about why he was interested in them? Because if Lorren is an Amyr he may already know about the troupe and the Chandrian. Maybe.

Chapter Thirty-Nine is Enough Rope, and yes, enough rope to hang himself, but as Kvothe says once the noose is tied it will fit any neck. Horrible Hemme tries to humiliate Kvothe by getting him to give the lesson, and instead Kvothe humiliates him, gets applause, and burns Hemme’s foot. This is giving us another lesson in how sympathy works, it’s getting a well-deserved revenge on Hemme and I just love this chapter. It’s terrible long term policy for Kvothe, of course—this has consequences that last for as long time.

Chapter Forty is On the Horns, and this is where the first lot of consequences catch up with Kvothe. Hemme brings him up on a charge of malfeasance. He is at first terrified at the thought of being whipped and expelled, then goes into heart of stone and defends himself—he had permission, it wasn’t malfeasance. He is condemned instead for reckless use of sympathy—and so he’s to be whipped and admitted to the Arcanum. Elxa Dal, Kilvin and Arwyl are sympathetic—in the normal sense of the word. So is the Chancellor. Elodin is unpredictable.

Chapter Forty-One is Friend’s Blood. Kvothe walks around with Wilem, who is kindly keeping him company before the whipping. The meaning of “the road to Tinue” comes up. And Puppet is mentioned for the first time. Then Kvothe repays Wil’s friendship with lies—sending him to buy nahlrout and saying it’s to settle his stomach. Then Wil leaves and Kvothe is whipped, the nahlrout making the pain endurable and preventing bleeding. He takes off his shirt because he doesn’t want to ruin a perfectly good shirt. He’s glad it’s a single whip, he’s seen the six-strand whip in Tarbean.

Chapter Forty-Two is Bloodless. There’s not much in this chapter. Kvothe goes to the Medica and Arwyl asks him about the odd combination of nahlrout and no shirt, and he tells the truth—he needs to show he can’t be hurt. Mola comes in a stitches him, and Arwyl says he can come back and study in the Medica if he doesn’t split his stitches.

And we’ll stop there and continue with Kvothe’s next idiotic act with consequences next week.

Some great stuff in the comments to last week’s post, especially speculations about Denna. Great catch Shaltar on “denna-leyan” being a word in Fae.

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.

1. ArtfulMagpie
Oh, I had all sorts of thoughts on this section!

First off, yes, I looked up "synodic period" as well. I find it very interesting...since of course the the word "month" is related to the word "moon." In our calendar, a month isn't exactly the same as "a moon," but close. The synodic period of OUR moon is 29 d 12 h 44 min 2.9 s...or just over 29 days. The shortest month has 28 days (or 29 in leap years) and the longest months have 31 days. This all makes our calendar more accurate, to account for the synodic period and make everything come out neatly to 12 months in a year.

SO, given that, and given the question of the Yllish lunar calendar vs the "more accurate" Aturan calendar, I wonder if that means the same thing? Perhaps in Yll, a month is measured using the synodic periods full moon to full moon or new moon to new moon...but in the Aturan calendar they do some fancy footwork to make a year come out even, just like we do? Thus meaning each month is of a slightly different length, but aren't actually measured according to the phases of the moon the way the Yllish calendar is?

AND finally, does that mean that a month in the Aturan calendar is at least 72 days long, sometimes a little bit more? Because if so, a two-month long school term would actually be a very long term!

And on a completely different topic...did anyone else notice that Kvothe is never actually introduced to Ambrose? He goes into the Archives. He starts talking to Ambrose. He is referring to Ambrose solely as "he" and "him" and other generic terms, and then all of a sudden switches to "Ambrose." Then, later, when he's telling his friends about his encounter with Ambrose they start describing him, trying to ask if he's met who they think he's met, and he says something like, "Yes, Ambrose. That's him." But NO ONE EVER TELLS KVOTHE AMBROSE'S NAME. He just starts using it. Is this related to Kvothe's naming abilities, perhaps?

In addition, I've noticed that the Archives is compared to a greystone on multiple occasions. Significant? I think so!
Steven Halter
2. stevenhalter
If we take the planet that Kvothe is on to be about the same size and density as earth, then a moon with a 72 day period (if the
sidereal and synodic periods are about equal?) implies that it is quite a bit farther from the planet than our moon is.
If the whole 72 is the orbit, then the distance works out (I think) to about 733,000 km, also assuming a 24 hour day (Do we know that?)

If it is really orbiting Kvothe's planet for half the time and Fae for another half, so it really does each orbit in 36 days then it would be 462,000 km away. (Not quite sure how magical orbital dynamics come into play there.)
In either case, Kvothe's moon would be farther away and so either appear smaller than our moon or, be correspondingly larger in diameter than our moon.
This is assuming things like gravity and orbits are working the same and not in some odd magical fashion.
Ryan Reich
3. ryanreich
On the plot-irrelevant side of the admissions interview, there's also the terribly wrong answer (and possibly the wrong question) about triangles. If there is one thing that irks me about the depiction of academia in these books, its the clumsy handling of mathematics: the triangle problem is one example, Kvothe's dismissive explanation of the subject in WMF is another. Maybe those are the only two; it's mentioned a few times ("Manifold Maths" as a course was clever, I thought) but only to the same extent that poetry is. I know that Rothfuss knows poetry, and he represents it just about as shallowly, so perhaps I'm just exhibiting an educational bias here. But the triangle problem is still wrong.

Note that a 365-day year is exactly 5 "months" of 73 days. I forget whether the length of the year is ever mentioned; is it possibly only 360 days (5 months of 72)?

Artful Magpie @1: That thing with Ambrose's name also bugged me the first time (I flipped back through the whole chapter when I noticed it; it really just sprouts like a mushroom in one early paragraph). I thought it was just a rhetorical device, emphasizing how central Ambrose was to the story to the point that actually introducing him would be melodramatic. Sneaking up on him, as it were, in the same way that Kvothe sneaks up on the subject of Denna. Later, either Wilem or Simmon names him after he cons Kvothe at the Archives.
Beth Meacham
4. bam
Ever since Lorren recognized Arliden's name, I've been sure that he knows exactly who Kvothe is. At first, Lorren tries to take Kvothe under his wing, and I think that this would have been a very different story if Ambrose hadn't happened to him. Is Lorren an Amyr? There's a lot going for that theory.
5. Lurking Canadian
@3: I'm glad to see I'm not the only one nerdy enough to try to work out Kvothe's geometry problem and be baffled by his answer. Is it some kind of subtle hint that their inches or feet or degrees or triangles are different than ours? Maybe they live in a Lovecraftian horror world where the angles are all wrong!
6. ArtfulMagpie
@ryanreich Actually, no! No one ever tells Kvothe Ambrose's name. On page 321 of my copy (Chapter 43 The Flickering Way), here is the exchange:

"I couldn't afford a hand lamp," I said. "So the scriv at the desk gave me a candle instead."

"He didn't," Sim said. "No scriv would..."

"Hold on," Manet said. "Was this a dark-haired fellow? Well-dressed? Severe eyebrows?" He made an exaggerated scowl.

I nodded tiredly. "Ambrose. We met yesterday. Got off on the wrong foot."
And finally, does that mean that a month in the Aturan calendar is at least 72 days long, sometimes a little bit more? Because if so, a two-month long school term would actually be a very long term!

If it is, then a year would have to be commensurately long, I think. I'm pretty sure WMF makes it clear that there are four terms in a year. And since people's ages are given in years, and seem to correspond reasonably well to our years, that would mean they take way longer to grow up...

I tend to think it much more likely that months aren't actually correlated with the moon. Are they correlated with the way the moon should be, if it weren't being taken into Fae?

The combination of "the moon is taken away every month" with astronomical terms like "synodic period" is very weird to me. I can deal with moons being taken away if this is the kind of fantasyland where the sky is a painted backdrop, but then their astronomy shouldn't correspond to ours. If the moon is a giant lump of rock that literally disappears from the universe and then reappears every month, that's much stranger. (Has Rothfuss said anything about tides? When the moon disappears, does its gravitational influence also disappear, or not?)
8. Lurking Canadian
I think the world must be flat, and possibly resting on the back of a great turtle. I don't think you can construct an orbital model in which the moon is always full, as it was before the Creation War, if the moon is orbiting the Earth and the Earth is orbiting the sun. I'm not an astronomer, but that part only makes sense to me if orbital mechanics just don't apply.
9. ArtfulMagpie
@MJSS ARE there 4 terms in a year? I fully admit that I may have missed or forgotten a line that makes that clear. However, on page 328 of my copy, there is this exchange, while the friends are discussing which Master should be Kvothe's sponsor:

"You've got a long haul if you go through Medica," Wilem said. "Arwyl is stubborn as pig iron. There is no bending him." He made a gesture with his hand as if chopping something into sections while he spoke. "Six terms E'lir. Eight terms Re'lar. Ten terms El'the."

"At least," Simmon added. "Mola's been a Re'lar with him for almost three years now."

I tried to think of how I could come up with six years' worth of tuition. "I might not have the patience for that," I said.

Okay. So. 6 terms plus 8 terms plus 10 terms is 24 terms. Assuming when Kovthe says "6 years' worh of tuition" he is referring to spending 24 terms in the Medica, doesn't that work out to 2 2-month terms per year, or a total of 4 months in a year? Or has my math failed me? (Entirely possible....)
Ryan Reich
10. ryanreich
ArtfulMagpie@6: Wow, I always somehow parsed that as Manet saying "Dark-haired fellow? ... Ambrose!" Kvothe: "Yeah, we met yesterday". Now I agree with you: he figured out the name on his own.

Lurking Canadian @8: Perhaps it's like in Tolkien (the Silmarillion, more precisely) where the earth started out flat with Valinor in the West, and then became round with the sinking of Numenor. Alternatively, it's like the computer game World of Xeen (Might and Magic 4/5) where the world is flat and with independent civilizations on either side. In the ending, it is made round (is this really a spoiler?). Writing this is embarrassing....
11. Lurking Canadian
@9: If 24 terms is six years, then there are four terms in a year. If a term is two months, a month is four spans, and a span is eleven days that gets us 352 days in a year. Unfortunately, that means the moon's cycle is not an integer multiple of any of these, or even close to it, which makes you wonder why they invented months in the first place.
Justin Levitt
12. TyranAmiros
Has anyone else thought that Master Archivist is the perfect position for an Amyr? Particularly given what Kvothe believes about the Amyr culling references to them over time, you'd want someone in charge of big libraries.

Furthermore, what Fela tells us about the Classification Wars fits perfectly--what better opportunity is there for removing certain volumes than "losing" the relevant books during a change in ledgers? It's difficult to distinguish books that go missing metaphorically and physically, especially when the ledgers are burned.
13. MJSS
You could have an always-full moon if it shines with its own light, rather than reflected light. Or it could be something clever like in Rosemary Kirstein's Steerswoman books, where (rot13 for spoilers) gurl gnyx nobhg n "qvfnccrnerq zbba", ohg jung'f npghnyyl tbvat ba vf gung gurl jrag sebz n cynarg jvgu n zbba gb n cynarg jvgubhg (gubhtu gung frrzf gb or n ybg zber fpvrapr-svpgvbany guna jung Ebgushff vf tbvat sbe). Or I could just be overthinking this. :)

Aren't there gaps between terms as well? I can't remember how long they are, though...
14. ArtfulMagpie
Okay, duh. I effed up the math, just like I knew I would. Damnit, Jim, I'm a librarian not a mathematician! Lol. Ignore me. /embarrassed
15. mathie
ryanreich@3: Ambrose's name is used in that first scene:

'I heard laughter and turned to see that two men and a young woman had come in during his tirade. "God's body, Ambrose. What's got you started?"'

What's confusing is that this happens AFTER Kvothe already calls him Ambrose.

Lurking Canadian@5: I think that Rothfuss made an error in the answer, not in the problem. The correct answer is extremely close to 6 feet, 1 inch (not 6 inches as listed).
16. ArtfulMagpie
"Unfortunately, that means the moon's cycle is not an integer multiple of any of these, or even close to it, which makes you wonder why they
invented months in the first place."

Yes. Yes it does. Hmm. Perhaps the mis-match has something to do with the stealing of the moon? Perhaps a "moon" (the snyodic period) was once closer to 40-something days, but when Iax dragged it into Fae it lengthened, but they kept the old calendar for some reason.
17. Jon D
Suppose that at one point everyone used a lunar calendar. Then at its height the Aturan empire rationalized the calendar similar to what was tried during the French Revolution. But since it was a continent-spanning empire it succeeded and now everyone uses a 'standard' calendar which doesn't have very much to do with lunar cycles any more.
Chris Hawks
18. SaltManZ
Actually, someone else names Ambrose shortly after Kvothe first meets him:
I heard laughter and turned to see that two men and a young woman had come in during his tirade. "God's body, Ambrose. What's got you started?"
Granted, K the narrator has already been referring to Ambrose by name for a page (but only 4 instances; gotta love Google Books.) But there's no sign that Kvothe the character knows his name until the other student drops it.
Chris Hawks
19. SaltManZ
Also, if I've got my Law of Cosines right, the answer to the triangle problem should be a hair under 6' 1", correct?
20. ArtfulMagpie
"Granted, K the narrator has already been referring to Ambrose by name
for a page (but only 4 instances; gotta love Google Books.) But there's
no sign that Kvothe the character knows his name until the other student
drops it."

Hrm. Indeed. I'd missed that. But regardless...both Narrator K and Author Rothfuss tend to be very careful about how their stories are presented. It just seems very odd to me that Narrator K would be clumsy or thoughtless enough to begin referring to a character by name before Kvothe heard that name...unless it was a wee hint about naming abilities to come.
Steven Halter
21. stevenhalter
On the phrase:
Vorfelan Rhinata Morie

In chapter 13 of Wise Man's Fear Kvothe asks Wil what it means and :

Wil glanced up. “The desire for knowledge shapes a man,” he said. “Or something close to that

How close one wonders? And, Wil doesn't say what language it is and if he knows or this is just what he heard.

In The Name of the Wind, the possesed mercenary in chapter 88 asks (in a Fae dialect):

“Te aithiyn Seathaloi?” he demanded. “Te Rhintae?”

Rhintae is fairly similar to Rhinata.
Searching for Rhint, in chapter 124 of Wise Man's Fear (Of Names) we have:
“Rhinta?” I asked respectfully.

“A bad thing. A man who is more than a man, yet less than a man

“I have also heard them called the Chandrian,” I said.
Shehyn nodded. “I have heard this too. But Rhinta is a better word.”

So, Rhinata does seem to have something to do with man--although maybe bad man.
In chapter 81 of WMF we have Felurian's song:

Cae-Lanion Luhial
di mari Felanua
Kreata Tu ciar
tu alaran di
Dirella. Amauen.
Loesi an delan
tu nia vor ruhlan
Felurian thae.

This has the word Felanua and it seems like this could be a shared root with Vorfelan. There is no translation given, but it does seem likely that the inscription is some dialect of Fae.
This makes it pretty interesting that the Adem seem to be using some Fae root words.
22. ArtfulMagpie
So, hmm. If we assume "rhin" means "man," "rhinta" means something like "not-man." So the suffix -a would mean "not." Though there would be more to it than just "not," of course. Like how amoral basically means neither moral nor unmoral. Rhinta would therefore have similar distinctions in meaning. Not a man, but not NOT a man. Sort of. Hmm. I can see how that would describe the Chandrian well, since they seem to have been born in a time when humans and Fae were one people...making them not human exactly, but not exactly inhuman either.
23. ArtfulMagpie
Did I seriously just write "unmoral" up there? I think I need to go back to bed; my brain is completely misfiring today. IMmoral. IMmoral. *sigh*
Steven Halter
24. stevenhalter
SaltManZ@19:Yes, a bit under 6'1". So Kvothe gets that one wrong or there is something weird with their math.
Hmm, if there were 72 inches in a foot, it almost works. Not exactly, but almost.
25. Lurking Canadian
The thing that bothers me is that he says it's EXACTLY six feet, six inches. The answer is an irrational number, the square root of 37 feet if I remember correctly. It's not just an error of his arithmetic, it's a kind of fundamental point that he's missing. Even stranger is that, since he cheated on the test, he probably got that wrong answer from one of the masters.

I'm still thinking either Rothfuss isn't very good at trigonometry, or Kvothe lives in Lovecraftian horror land. I'm sure you could construct a manifold on which that triangle could be drawn. It wouldn't be a Euclidean space, but maybe sympathy would work there. :)
Steven Halter
26. stevenhalter
LurkingCanadian:That's true, if he is using cheating knowledge, then he is just parroting back some other student's (or master's) wrong answer. So either the answer is right and there is something odd with the math. Or Kvothe and Brandeur aren't very good at math. Or Brandeur knows that Kvothe is wrong and Kvothe answering like someone else's wrong answer that was accepted as right.
27. DominiqueG
I'm interested in the point made that the idea of the moon being gone some of the time and the field of astronomy don't go together. First of all, are we ever told that the moon is actually gone half the time? I originally pictured the moon issue as a somewhat clever fantasy explanation of why the moon has phases. As in, full moon=moon 100% in Kvothe's world, quarter-moon=75% pulled into Fae but still 25% in our world, moonless night=moon fully pulled into Fae. I could be wrong. This would mean that Elodin isn't asking an astronomical question at all (even though all readers would initially take it that way). It also explains the discrepancies others have noted about spans/terms/year divisions not fitting with months. Also makes the Yllish calendar Hemme mentions truly "uncivilized" (if civilized means scientific). It also makes his paper assignment to the late student even more humiliating since it's not just the boring math assignment we thought. On the other hand, it underscores the idea that the Yllish are more tied to the moon and central aspects of the story than other civilizations. And hmm... their country and culture were pretty much destroyed by Aturan invasion? Very convenient...

Anyways, yes, no real-world astronomy there.
28. George Brell
@the many people talking about the triangle problem

The correct answer (assuming (a) twelve inches to a foot and (b) 360 degrees to a circle) is a shade under 6'1". It's definitely not exact due to the point made that it's the square root of 37 feet.

It is possible that in Kvothe's world there could be more or less than 360 degrees in a circle, hence why radians are a more universal measure of angle. His answer would almost be exactly correct if his 60 degrees corresponded to our 68 degrees (a plausible argument to my mind since I can believe that sine/cosine tables would likely be memorized and may not be perfectly correct), but this appears to give a nonsensical result since it gives a total circle of ~317.65 degrees.

Why not use any one of the beautiful integer triangles like 3-4-5 or 5-12-13?

What's more fascinating, however, is that the two questions we're asking (synodic period and angle) are intertwined since the original measurement of degree was the believed 360-day year.

Also, @ryanreich, Rothfuss has made clear in his interviews that he loves poetry.
29. George Brell
Also, the version of the book you're reading matters.

I have two copies:

In one (First Hardcover Printing, Awful Romance Cover), the first mention of Ambrose's name is on 246, the page before one of the "two men and a young woman" say "God's body, Ambrose."

In the other (First Trade Paperback Printing, April 2009, Ctaeth Cover), those mentions have been changed to "he" and Ambrose's name is properly introduced.

Don't think this is the same as (or important like) Skarpi saying Kvothe's name.
30. Ellynne
I think we should assume a word that means "desire for knowledge," one that means "shapes," and one that means "man" or "something like that." It's possible that instead of "desire for knowledge" the term means something else that is usually translated that way in this expression. It might, for example, be a saying going back to a story. A scholar could be asked why he did something and said his desire for X shaped him. Examples might be "desire," "great desire," "desire of the mind," or "desire of the soul." I'm going to loosely settle on "driving passion" for now. Of the three, "Vorfelan" seems most likely to mean this, given the other examples we have. "Felan" could come from a word meaning "desire," "vor" modifies it in some way as a kind of desire or may intesify it, suggesting "great" or "driving." "Morie" could be the verb ("shapes"). But, if it's related to any words in our languages, "morie" suggests death and could be reference to humans/mortals. "Knowledge," "knowing ones," or "the wise" might also be possible (and link to the Chandrians murderous drive to hide knowledge - especially about themselves - from others). But, examining all four, the "better" word for Chandrian may refer to them as being/having been human. It may refer to them shaping events/people or to them being shaped (as they have apparently changed from whatever they once were, it could refer to that). However, the word "desire" may be closest. A question that gets hinted at in the books is "What do the Chandrian want?" Or, as Denna puts it, "What's their plan?" This is also disturbing because Kvothe, in the story he tells, is so strongly defined by his desires. When his parents and teacher discuss what he might become, we're pretty much told that the only determining factor isn't his abilities, it's what he WANTS to be. His driving desire turns out to be destroying the Chandrian. Denna, as his "addiction," is also a major, motivating factor in what he becomes/is becoming. Kote, on the other hand, is just as defined by his lack of desire. He's the cut flower waiting to die. But, this could mean that Kvothe's defining characteristic is actually the Chandrians' defining characteristic as well.
Steven Halter
31. stevenhalter
When Wil says that Vorfelan Rhinata Morie means something like “The desire for knowledge shapes a man” and if we tag Vorfelan with "desire for knowledge" and Rhinata with man, then Morie would correspond to shapes. I couldn't find a word anywhere that is used to signify a Shaper, but I wonder if we won't find that whatever that word for Shaper is, corresponds fairly closely to Morie.
Then the inscription might be more like "With knowledge a man can Shape".
Andrew Mason
32. AnotherAndrew
The University itself is made up of “about fifteen” disparate buildings. Kvothe mentions Mews, shaped like a compass rose, Hallows, with the “typical” stained glass window of Teccam in the mouth of his cave, and Mains, cobbled together from smaller buildings. And of course, the Archives, looking like a greystone. How many of the others can we identify? There's the Fishery, Medica, the building for the insane, whose name I forget. Is Mess separate from Mews? In any case it leaves a few unidentified ones. Marion Zimmer Bradley has a forty day moon in Darkover, and consequently forty day menstruation periods. I wonder how that works here? I really seriously do, I’m not being silly, I want to know how it affects fertility. Is the moon really connected to menstruation periods? I had understood that the (average) menstruation period was not exactly the same as the synodic month anyway. Why is Dal called 'Elxa' rather than 'Master'?
Andrew Mason
33. AnotherAndrew
My previous comment was neatly split up into paragraphs in the preview. Don't know what happened there.
Beth Meacham
34. bam
As for the length of terms and years, isn't there a span between terms?
35. Kvon
For most women (and even more animals) the menstrual cycle is not connected to the moon. It can be connected to the cycles of other women around them, through pheromones. But the correlation of 28 day average for both seems more chance than gravitational.

I vaguely recall a discussion with the Adem about fertility which probably mentioned menstruation (when Vashet says men play no part in fertilization).
36. Susan Loyal
shalter @21. Wow. I'll bet Rhinta and Rhinata are related. What a very odd word to find on the Archives. You have me all the way through to the "fela" root in "Felanua" and "Vorfelan." There I hesitate, because Fae looks so much like a romance language to me, and "Vorfelan Rhinata Morie" looks so very Germanic. (They may, of course, be related through that world's version of Proto-Indo-European.) "Verfallen" means "ruinous" as an adjective and "expire/lapse/decay/decline" as a verb in German. I can't quite shake that off. It casts an odd shadow over Wil's "The desire for knowledge shapes a man." If "Morie" meant something like "the desire or pursuit of knowledge" (or maybe even knowledge of a particular sort) and "Rhinata" meant "less-and-more-than-man" (like one of the Chandrian), and if "Vorfelan" meant anything at all like "Verfallen," then Wil's "shapes a man" needs a little modification. "A less-and-more-than-man declines/decays/falls (by means of (arcane)) knowledge?" (If only we knew case endings!) And would that mean that the Chandrian became less-and-more-than men because they pursued knowledge, or that knowledge pursued could bring them down? (I'm afraid that "translation" carries extrapolation and guessing past the limits of tolerance.) @12 An Amyr is starting to seem like the only appropriate Archivist for this Archive. bam @4. I think you're right that Lorren knows who Kvothe is once he hears Arliden's name. I wonder if "knowing who Kvothe is" has more to do with banning him from the Archives for that ridiculously long period than the incident with the candle does? (It makes a convenient excuse.)
37. Susan Loyal
Sorry. My comment was written before I read anything after comment #26. (It took a while!) And it had paragraphing in it. I don't know what happened there. Awful!

I do, however, think that Vorfelan is more likely to be the verb and Morie the noun (in whatever case).
Steven Halter
38. stevenhalter
Susan@36&37:That could be. I think the Rhinta and Rhinata corresponding to the man portion is pretty solid. Vorfelan and Felanua is more of a stretch. Not much to go on for Morie, so it could go either way also.
I do like the idea @31 that one of them incorporates the Shaper root and that folds into the meaning of the sentence somehow.
thistle pong
39. thistlepong
@bluejo, shalter, Ellyne, susanloyal:

There are actually four words with the rhin root.

Rhinata language unknown - meaning unknown
Rhintae Faen - old dialect - meaning unknown
Rhinta Ademic - old things in the shape of men; a man who is more than a man, yet less than a man
Rhinna Faen - the pale blue flowers blooming on the tree where Kvothe speaks to the Cthaeh; the panacea

From that, there's a possible link between Ademic and Faen, which isn't actually surprising. Shehyn says the residents of the empire "were what Ademre was before we became ourselves." An old link between Faen and Ciaru is also possible. The text shalter quoted includes:

Kreata Tu ciar

Tu is used exclusively in Ciaru in NW and only in Faen in WMF. It's notable that Wil both believes it's possible to go to Faen and is the only one of Kvothe's friends to accept his Felurian story without question.

We know Lanre spoke to the Cthaeh before betraying Myr Tariniel. We know Lanre was searching for a way to cure Lyra or call her back from death. We know the rhinna are regarded panacea. We know Lanre "sought knowledge where knowledge was better left alone, and gained it at a terrible price." We know Lanre was different when he came to MT: imbued with power, able to name, beyond the four doors, and possessed of a new name. I want to suggest Lanre ate a flower and it changed him.

I think rhinata is most likely the "shapes a man" portion of the phrase carved into the Archives. Rhintae is probably indicative or associative of rhinta. The shamble-man at the end of NW is probably looking for someone associated with the rhinta.
Steven Halter
40. stevenhalter
thistlepong:Rhinna is an interesting addition.
That's also a good catch on Wil believing the Felurian story. So maybe he has more direct experience than he has let on.
41. Susan Loyal
shalter @38. I like your idea, too. I shall try to shake off my conviction that Vorfalen is related to Verfallen, for which there is no evidence. (The only word in German that I can find which begins with "Mor" is the cognate of the English word "moraine," meaning a pile of glacial rubble, which unfortunately emphasizes my general sense that the sentence is talking about some kind of disintegration or downfall rather than a making or a shaping. It also greatly reminds me of a big pile of unsorted books, hence "knowledge." But that is nothing but rank inference. There's no evidence for it.) Finding "Rhinta" is just stunning!
42. Susan Loyal
thistlepong @39. Double wow.
Steven Halter
43. stevenhalter
Of course in fantasy, have been conditioned us to associate the Mor root with darkness. There is Mordor from LotR, Mordred & Morgaine from Arthur, and of course Mortis and all variants of death. So, Morie feels like it should be dark but we have no evidence at all for that.
As Susan Loyal mentions, "Verfallen" means "ruinous" as an adjective and "expire/lapse/decay/decline" as a verb in German."
And, from the Adem we have Rhinta associated with the Chandrian, so in our minds darkness again. So the connotation of "Vorfelan Rhinata Morie" is death death death.
So, it could be that the phrase could be read in various ways depending on the background of the reader. It is like a Name with layered meanings.
Death Death Death
Twisted desire shapes those more than and less than men
The desire for knowledge shapes a man
Knowledge of names shapes those who know

Knowledge is the root of all evil
And other derivations. I wonder if we'll get a exact rendering in book 3
in the intended language.
thistle pong
44. thistlepong
Who built it? And why? Is this the end of the Great Stone Road and a clue that our speculations last week about Belen and MT were on the right track? Or was it just the Arturan Empire, who seem sufficiently analogous to Rome than I feel safe attributing bridges to them?
Partly because Lord Nalto was an inept egomaniac. Partly because the church went into upheaval and denounced the Order Amyr who were a large part of the strength of Atur. Partly because the military was fighting three different wars of conquest at the same time, and high taxes fomented rebellion in lands already inside the Empire. ... They also debased their currency, undercut the universality of the iron law and antagonized the Adem. ... But of course it’s more complicated than that.

The map on Pat's website has a popup for the Great Stone Road that states records of the road precede the Empire, so you're probably on the right track.

Regarding the analogy to Rome, you're also right on track. Pat talked about it at a signing. He described Atur as Rome in the Middle Ages, done right. They controlled everything on the map except the Northwesten Shald, Northeastern Modeg, and Southern Yll. Presumably those are the three fronts Kvothe mentions. It also explains why folk speak Aturan from Hallowfell to Vintas.

Incidentally, Nalto shows up again while he's thinking about Hemme's question. He forgets the name of the final fallacy because Ben always referred to it as Nalt. While the fallacies he lists might not exactly line up, it's likely Nalt, as history's favorite whipping boy, is the straw-man.
Dylan Thurston
45. dthurston
@3 5 19 25 28: On the triangle problem: Different versions are apparently different. In the US paperback edition (April 2008), the answer is given as "six feet and almost an inch", which is correct. On the other hand, this version has the issues with Ambrose's name being used before Kvothe knows it.

(BTW, there's a tree on the cover, but I don't think it can be the Cthaeh tree: it's not nearly big enough. The US WMF cover has a different tree that looks much more like the text description of the Cthaeh.)
46. Halcyal
thistlepong et al. @ 39:

It may be a bit of a stretch (or not), but...

"Kowledge" + "less-and-more-than-man" + "I want to suggest Lanre ate a flower and it changed him" + Cthaeh (most evil thing ever and it lives in a very particular tree). Might we be looking at an elusive allusion to 'The Tree of Knowledge', eating from the fruits of that tree (in this case, possibly in multiple respects), and a type of 'fallen man'?
47. Susan Loyal
shalter @43. And of course there's Moria. "Too deep they delved and woke the nameless fear." But, as you pointed out, and I've copped to previously, no evidence. Nothing but a resonance.

Halcyal @46. Which ditto. (But it's a very neat idea.)

I vote that we default (temporarily) to Wil's translation with a BIG FAT question mark next to it, and consider what it means that there's any kind of a motto engraved on a building that looks like a whacking huge greystone (the kind of thing that you'd run outside and get next to in order to be safe from the Chandrian). Seriously, what gives with that? The description is repeated a couple of times. It must mean something. As Jo has said, it's a very odd way to build a building. Standing stones are usually in circles, but there is that rhyme that I keep going on about: "Stand alone. Standing stone." It's the answer to "Who to trust?" Does it apply in some way to the Archives, a "greystone" that "stands alone"?

I'm becoming more certain that Lorren has reasons for wanting to keep Kvothe out of the Archives.
Jo Walton
48. bluejo
Shalter, Susan, Thistlepong, Haleyal: Wow. I think you all deserve higher degrees in Imaginary Languages. That Morie=shapers, and the alternate possibility of translation as "he who has knowledge can Shape" is just awesome.

The triangle problem -- my brain turned off the way it always did in math classes. If it's been corrected in later editions, I think we can take it that it's a mistake. Ditto Ambrose's name.
C Smith
49. C12VT
I found another example of "morie" in the text - in chapter 5 of WMF, in the Eolian, "a lutist with a thick grey beard played a stirring version of "En Faeant Morie."" K doesn't say what language this is or what it means, but it could be Siaru - the word "en" appears when Kilvin is cursing, presumably in Siaru (WMF, chapter 21): ""Kist, crayle, en kote," he swore furiously."

There's also an example of "vorelan" - very close to "vorfelan" - when Kvothe meets Viari (chapter 61, NW). Viari greets Wilem in Siaru:

"Tetalia tu Kiaure edan A'siath,"he said in Siaru, clapping Wilem on the shoulder as he walked out from behind the desk. "Vorelan tua tetam."

I thoerize that Vorfelan Rhinata Morie is in some version of Siaru (ancient Shaldish?) - that's why it's Wilem who can offer a translation. Not modern Siaru, which Kvothe would know (though he's not entirely fluent in Siaru at this point), but some ancient dialect.
I could easily be wrong about this though...
Steven Halter
50. stevenhalter
Susan@47:Yeah, we pretty much have to use Wil's translation for now, with a big ? as you say.
having said that, I am wondering if part of the "or something like that" doesn't denote a warning of some sort.
If it is a warning, that kind of ties with why the building has no windows and only two doors (the main one and one on the roof).
Are the archives built like that just to keep light out? Or is it designed to aid in keeping something in--there is the four plate door also clearly keeping something sealed.
Steven Halter
51. stevenhalter
C12VT@49: Those are good sentences also. I wonder if Siaru and Adem share a common root with Fae language? In the Fae sections we seem to see Te used as an article where in the Siaru we see Tu.
52. ArtfulMagpie
I think it's very likely that many or all of the non-Aturan languages are directly related to the language of Fae, really. I'm thinking about the wide-spread Celtic tribes in France and the British Isles and how they shared a common background and heritage despite their geographical dispersion...and then the Roman Empire came in and took over left and right and the common languages become dialects of Latin. So probably Yllish and Siaru and Ademic (at least) have common roots with Fae. I also think that the Edema Ruh likely once had a distinct language of their own (related closely to Ademic, perhaps? Adem, Edema?) which has been lost over the centuries of traveling in Aturan lands. The words Edema Ruh do not seem to be Aturan.

(I also have this rather unsupported theory that the Adem and the Edema Ruh were once one people...but the Edema Ruh were originally a splinter group that believed in singing and they split off, becoming travelers, and both groups eventually forgot their common roots.)
thistle pong
53. thistlepong
Siaru uses Tu and Te both. (ex: when Kvothe purchases Keth- Sehlan)
54. ArtfulMagpie
I'm especially reminded of the Celts by the Yllish...given the knots, and all. :-)
55. dwndrgn
Kist, crayle, en kote

I have no idea why but I immediately imagined that the last word was 'iron' in this phrase. No back up or research or even reasoning goes with that. Though it also has the rhythm of 'bell, book and candle'.
56. ArtfulMagpie
I have no idea why but I immediately imagined that the last word was'iron' in this phrase. No back up or research or even reasoning goeswith that. Though it also has the rhythm of 'bell, book and candle'.

I think we determined from another quote that "kote" means "destruction." Given that "kist, crayle, en kote" is meant to be swearing, I could imagine it meaning something more like, "Blood, ash, and destruction!" or the like. You know. "Kist" and "crayle" both show up pretty frequently in WMF as swearwords, but only the one time I can find in conjunction with "kote."
57. Susan Loyal
@55, 56. The meaning we have for "kote" is "disaster," given in the translation of the saying Kilvin uses after the fire in the Fishery "Expect disaster every seven yeears."

C12VT @49. And if "Morie" is Old Siaru, then I think my wanting the inscription to be based on a Germanic language is wrong, and shalter's ideas are more likely. Good.

ArtfulMagpie @52 "I think it's very likely that many or all of the non-Aturan languages are directly related to the language of Fae." I'd agree with you in theory, except that I don't quite see Rothfuss as that systematic a linguist in practice. "I also have this rather unsupported theory that the Adem and the Edema Ruh were once one people." I'm not sure that's as unsupported as you think. It occurred to me briefly when I was reading WMF. I'll keep an eye out for the evidence trail when I reread. For now, I think you're probably right.

shalter @50. "I am wondering if part of the "or something like that" doesn't denote a warning of some sort." It's exactly the kind of thing Rothfuss does when he's saving something for later, isn't it? The door on the roof really gets me. "It keeps light out" also strikes me as one of those dubious explanations. I think you're on to something about its looking like a building used to confine or restrain.
58. GradingExamsNow
Jo--- Cambridge terms are 8 weeks long; I dont know about the other place. Quaint, ain't it.
59. ArtfulMagpie
DISASTER, not destruction. *facepalm* This is what I get for commenting on the thread while at work, without my copy to check for textual support. Argh.

But on the Adem/Edema Ruh thing...the idea came to me while reading WMF, too, so there may be something there...time for me to re-read WMF, I think! And keep copious notes! (It's like going back to school or something!)

I'm pretty convinced that there is something dangerous confined in the Archives. There are multiple instances of the building being compared to a greystone. The 4-plate door is compared to a greystone. Copper was used to restrain Elodin when he was in the Crockery. Four plates of copper on a door like a greystone which is buried in the bowels of a windowless building that is also like a greystone? There's something to it. It's not just a library; it might be a prison. I seem to remember several instances to being "set behind" or "sent behind" or "locked behind" the "doors of stone" in various of the stories told. Perhaps the 4-plate door is one of those "doors of stone?"

I also think greystones...also known as waystones, remember...could be gateways of some sort. Either one can pass from stone to stone, bypassing the miles between, if one knows how (using the name of stone, perhaps?) or one can travel to Fae. Perhaps the Great Stone Road was a bit more literal than we think? It's a road...of waystones.
60. Susan Loyal
ArtfulMagpie @59 "Perhaps the Great Stone Road was a bit more literal than we think? It's a road...of waystones." Entirely possible. Kate Elliott's Crown of Stars series uses them in that way.

It's curious that we have three terms for the same thing: waystones, greystones, standing stones. Rothfuss uses terms with enormous care, and he doesn't usually go in for "elegant variation." I wonder what that means? Might they have three functions?
61. ArtfulMagpie
"Entirely possible. Kate Elliott's Crown of Stars series uses them in that way."

As does Robin Hobb in the Farseer/Tawny Man books. :-)
Ashley Fox
62. A Fox
@39 et al

I do not think Lanre ate a flower, but rather went there to get one for Lyra, during her sickness (possible death), met the Ctheath, whom he spoke with, ultmately leading to his beliefs being turned on his head, the speech he gave Selitos, the loss of hope or worth of fighting. q's; fighting what? And who betrayed him/Lyra (possibly lead him to the Cteath)?

Archives/Lorren; It stands that there HAS to be an Amyr at the university. The have seemingly monitered everywhere/thing else, and seeing how the uni offers power and knowledge they simply could not leave it unchecked.

However i must point out that he knew of Arliden the bard. K remembers his father talking wistfully of a court lute. K's mother was the Lackless Heir (blood wise an almost queen). So i think its a safe assumption that Arliden was once a very famous court bard, giving him access to the nobility.

Have you noticed how the Artur Empire fell before it completely took over the Lackless lands? Perhaps the Amyr have a vested interest in seeing that family survive.
Steven Halter
63. stevenhalter
A Fox: I agree, that is my general thought on the sequence of events with Lanre also. Lyra was ill and so he sought a cure. The Cthaeh then corrupts his chain of thought.
thistle pong
64. thistlepong
@62.A Fox:
The Aturan Empire absorbed Vint (and with it the Lackless lands) 100 years before the Amyr were outlawed.
Ian B
65. Greyfalconway
Have you guys looked up Bastet (mythology) on Wikipedia? I haven't read the full thing (jumped straight here to comment) but it has bast and aleph and such in the article, maybe there are some clues? Lol hope I pointed out something awesome
Ashley Fox
66. A Fox
@64 most of Vint, i dont have the book handy, but somewhere in TWMF, whn K is the Maer's court it does say that the Lackless lands where divided during the Arturan Empire, but not competely conquered. This is over more than one passage. I think an area near the Eld/Tinue remained in their hands.
Ashley Fox
67. A Fox
ok I cant find the bit I was looking for! Could only find this;

"...the family was called Loeclos or Loklos, or Loeloes. They all translate to the same, Lockless. Spelling wasnt important n those days."

"What days were those?"...

....."...900 years ago, but i've seen other historians mention the Loeclos a 1000 years before the fall of Atur."


"Its generally accepted that there was some sort of falling out that splintered the family. Each piece took a seperate name...Atur they became the the south they became the Lacliths...Kaepcaen in Modeg...largest piece of the family here in Vintas, except Vintas did'nt exist back then."


"I've heard in the oldest parts of the Lackless lands, in the oldest part of their ancestral estate, there is a secret door."
thistle pong
68. thistlepong
A Fox, here's the timeline for the Lackless:

Indeed if not for the burning of Caluptena, we might possess records tracing the Lackless family back far enough for them to rival the royal line of Modeg in it's antiquity... (WMFc64)

1300 years ago - earliest known mention of the Loeclos
1000 years ago - foundation of the Aturan Empire, Loeclos power matches present day Alveron
900 years ago - the Lockless control parts of Vintas, Modeg, and the Small Kingdoms
600 years ago - a falling out splinters the Lockless, who take different names in different kingdoms, their power broken
400 years ago - Atur absorbs Vint
300 years ago - The Amyr are disbanded, Atur collapses (see OP)
Narrative - the Lackless are tenth in line to the throne until Meluan's Marriage to Alveron rockets her to around fifth.
Drunge Hays
69. bumblepants
Along the idea of Lorren/an Amyr at the University, what about Puppet? Could he be the Amyr (if there is one)? Being in the Archives fulltime would allow him to spend all his time removing anything unwanted from the Archives. And what is his relationship with Lorren? The name Puppet has to be significant. I wonder if his real job is guarding the 4-plate door or something of that nature.
Jo Walton
70. bluejo
"Lith" means a standing stone. Lack-lith could have as much meaning as Lack-key.

So they're lacking a lock, a key, a stone... all things in the rhyme.
Steven Halter
71. stevenhalter
Jo@70: I like that idea. Could each of the branches of the family (with different spellings) be lacking something different? One brach lacks a key but has the box. One has a key but lacks the box, ... And they might not even remember what it is they have and need.
72. Susan Loyal
Jo @70. Oh. My. Goodness. I'm gobsmacked again.

shalter @71. Kvothe is an (unacknowledged) member of the family, therefore unaffiliated with a branch. Does he then get to reunite the lock, the key, and the stone?
73. ArtfulMagpie
So perhaps the family "falling out" was a bit of theatre cooked up to cover the fact that they split up the family treasures to protect them from the Aturan Empire....
74. ArtfulMagpie
I'm reminded of the Lady Lockless song, one of the things under her black dress was "a ring that's not for wearing."

In WMF, Kvothe tells his friends the story of Sceop meeting the Edema Ruh at Faeriniel. Faeriniel, remember is the place "...where all roads in the world meet" and "...a place no man has ever found by searching. It is not a place you travel to, it is the place you pass through while on your way to somewhere else." It is described as having a series of clearings that people can camp in. But when Sceop comes to the fire of the Ruh family, who are camped in the center of Faeriniel, there is "...a circle of great grey stones." A circle of greystones in the center of the place where all the roads in the world meet...seems significant, yes?

But further...We have a place you can't travel to, a place you only pass through on your way elsewhere. "(...a road that's not for traveling" perhaps?) In the center of that road is a circle of greystones. A ring of them, if you will. But not the kind of ring you can wear....
Steven Halter
75. stevenhalter
Susan@72:That could very well be.

ArtfulMagpir@74:I like that reading too.
Jo Walton
76. bluejo
You know, the synodic period is when the moon gets back to being the same. If you knew about the moon, you'd at least have a startle reaction, so I'm pretty sure that's what's really being asked there -- "How much do you know about the Creation War?"
Ashley Fox
77. A Fox
lol, Vintas is still a country, look on the map. I like the idea of your timeline, but I rathe thought the Arturan empire fell more than 300 years ago. 300 years isnt that long, and from K's teenage narrative the various country's/world is very settled. Also i think we can safely say that the Lockless land used to be an almost empire.

IMO the Lockless were the 'nobles' or those in control of, the city that didnt fall/betrayed in the Creation war, the one whose name the Adem have forgotten. The 'Free city' of Tinue (modern). The riddle/items relics from that war/the creation of the fae world. As these are not mentioned in the story of the singers/amyr, I rather think that this is the last place where people knew the truth of what had happened, over the years this 'truth' has become stories and riddles etc. This is obviously somethin beyound knowledge, as the Lockless have clearly forgotten, even if they know the riddles are important enough to carry on. Ahem, blood, Kvothe the shouldnt have been born heir's son, ahem.

@73 I agree.

What i do find curious is how little we know of how hat war ended, if it did. Yes there is the on-going battle of the Chandrian/singers/amyr...but what of all the armies?? The creatures? Why did the fae all move into the newly created world?

Nice catch on the stone almost have me convinced (I had previously thought it was the ring K has in the frame, the unseen ring from the unknown name).

I wonder if Kaepcaen involves the modeg word for key?
Ashley Fox
78. A Fox
oh ive been meaning to put this outthere for ages.....the map.

On it are little clues to the story. 'The free city' of Tinue. The tinker, whose gifts are very important in the stories.

And the ship. whats with the ship?? There is a brief mention of raiders towards the end of WMF, but i have a suspicion it means more...
thistle pong
79. thistlepong
lol, Vintas is still a country, look on the map. I like the idea of your timeline, but I rathe thought the Arturan empire fell more than 300 years ago. (A Fox @77)

Not only is that incredibly rude, it evinces a lack of familiarity with the text. There's no need to speculate. Simply read carefully and place dates in order. Rothfuss allows us, as readers, to reconstruct the history of the Four Corners with numerous corroborated references.

Unfortunately, everyone also knew that there had been no Amyr in three hundred years. They had been disbanded when the Aturan Empire collapsed. (NWc29 - one mention among many)

I frowned and looked at the spine of the book. "How old is this? The Aturan Empire absorbed Vint over three hundred years ago.."
"Over four hundred years," she corrected. "So where do you put a travelogue that refers to a place that doesn't exist anymore?" (NWc90)

The rest is right there in the chapters you quoted; lying just outside your ellipses. Your theories about the Lackless vis-à-vis the Amyr or the Creation War may have merit. However, that's something folks will need to determine within the context provided by the story.
Ashley Fox
80. A Fox
There was no intention to be rude there. I enjoy reading your posts, as they are often insightful. I am familiar with the text, though of course not always correct. And if there is no need to speculate, what exactly are we all doing here?

I was writing on the thought that after the Arturan Empire fell, the territories that they had conquered where reclaimed. Vint became Vintas, with a Maer rather than king.

Vint-Vintas; what say the language boffins?
81. chrispin
Lackless from Loeclos/Loklos/Loeloes = Lockless
When Kvothe is learning his runes Teh = Lock

It's not said if this is a direct traslation or a word Kvothe just uses for his rhyme, but since Kvothe is good at meaningful guesses
Tehlu could also mean Lock less

Maybe Tehlu started the Lockless clan and was the original owner/guardian of the "ancient thing that dates back to the beginning of their line"
Ashley Fox
82. A Fox
@81 oooh. Completely missed than one!

Puts the dragon incident into a new light.
83. Herelle
@82 A Fox & @81chrispin
Ah, A Fox, could you please explain why the Tehlu / Lockless speculation puts the dragon incident into a new light? I don´t see the connection.
Steven Halter
85. stevenhalter
chrispin@81:Teh = lock is very interesting. I had forgotten that. Here is the table Kvothe provided:
Ule and doch are
Both for binding
Reh for seeking
Kel for finding
Gea key
Teh lock
Pesin water
Resin rock

I can't find any interesting names with Gea in them. That would have been nice.
86. ArtfulMagpie
#83, Herelle: Because what happened with the dragon is almost exactly what happened in the story of Tehlu vanquishing Encanis. Giant iron wheel, burned to a crisp, he's repeating what his ancestor did, if Tehlu does mean Lockless? :-)

#85: Thanks for posting those. Saves me a trip into the pages. Reh for seeking interests me. Reh is close to Ruh...and the Ruh are travelers. Perhaps they are/were seekers?
thistle pong
87. thistlepong
Back a few pages from the rhyme there are a couple more.

Aru - clay
Fehr - iron

Dunno if it's anything...
Fehr+Ule (iron+binding)
88. mochabean
@81-87 Keep wanting to just say "wow" and then one more post comes up so "wow" to you all. shivers. flaming spear.
Josh Miller
89. alphagold3
I've been reading this reread since it started but until I finished
my own reread of NW early this morning before work, I couldn't think of
things to say because I didn't have a clear and recent memory of the
book to say things accurately. Now I do so I have several comments to

Way back in the comments at @20: You
mentioned that maybe the Ambrose thing was a hint at naming abilities to
come and while I don't know about that in this case, it reminded me of
just after events in Trebon when Kvothe wakes up in the inn and sees
Nellie. He guessed her to be a Nellie/Nell before she even spoke and
then it turned out that was her actual name. That just stuck out to me
as a reread it this time.

@50 The archives actually
has more than 2 doors, the main one, the one on the roof, the secret
one that Kvothe enters by and possibly another secret entrance that
Manet is aware of. I can't imagine anyone other than Auri and Kvothe
going through the Underthing to find an entrance and Auri would know about it if they did so I figure it most likely to be a 4th entrance.

and others: I can't remember where and once I start my reread of WMF
later today or this week, I'll keep my eyes open for it but I too got
the strong feeling from WMF that at one point or another the Adem/Edema
were the same people who split. Of course it's possible that I could be
confusing them for the two groups who split in the Wheel of Time series
(can't remember their names).

@lots of people:
During this most recent reread, I wondered about how Lorren would know
Arliden too. Would it be possible for Arliden to have written to Lorren
or visited the University to speak with him about Lanre for the purposes
of researching for his song? Or what if Lorren had been one of those
traveling gillers who seek out new books to add to the Archives before
he became the Master Archivist? Do we know enough about him to know if
either option is possible?

@59 speaking of things
being locked behind doors of stone, I believe that in Skarpi's tale of
Lanre, the enemies that Lanre and Selitos were fighting were locked
behind doors of stone. Who/what are those enemies and if they are some
sort of Fae, could that be what's behind the four-plate door? Or am I
just reading too much into that.

@81 Speaking of
the possible Tehlu/Lockless connection reminded me of the curse that is
frequently used: "God's body". Since Tehlu is the generally accepted
"god" (though according to Skarpi/Kvothe Aleph is the god and Tehlu just
an angel-like being), could the curse be referring to the body of Tehlu
and is it possible that his "body" is part of the key, the lock, or
whatever is stored away? I definitely think this might be a bit of a
stretch but during this reread that particular curse always caught my
curiosity and combining it with Teh meaning lock kind of got me
wondering. Although now that I think of it, if Skarpi's story is true,
then Tehlu was turned into an invisible angel being and would have no
physical body. I don't know, just some speculation.

Lastly, speaking of Skarpi's story reminded me. During his second story he mentions that the Ruach who are
tranformed are given "Wings of fire and shadow. Wings of iron and glass.
Wings of stone and blood." and that caught my curiosity as well.
Considering the importance of fire and iron in the killing of Fae beings
and the relation of shadow to Haliax, it just had me wondering what, if
anything, those wings might mean to the Amyr/Fae/Chandrian (Haliax uses
his shadow to absorb the Chandrian before they all disappear). Either
that or I'm just over-thinking things again.
Steven Halter
90. stevenhalter
An amusing thought:
If Teh is lock, Tehlu could mean something like keeper of the lock. This could then be transformed to gatekeeper. This, of course, means that Tehlu is either Zuul or possibly Yog-Sothoth. ;-)
I kind of like the Yog-Sothoth direction since that would give us:
"Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate." This comes around to Kvothe being the answer to his own locked box.
91. ArtfulMagpie
A thought regarding Adem/Edema Ruh. So if "Rhinta," the Adem word for the Chandrian, means something like "not men," and we've determined "Rhint" likely is the base word for "man," that means that in Adem, the "-a" suffix means something like "not." Or more precisely, it means something like "both more than and less than."

So could "Edema" therefore come from "Adema," meaning "more than and less than Adem?" And if "Ruh" is related to "Reh," that would be "The seekers who are more than and less than Adem." Or the "not-Adem seekers." Or something. Hmm...
92. Kvothe The Arcane
As far as dates and spans go I believe this is how it works:

Days in a Span = 11
Days in a Month = 44
Days in a year = 352
Span in a Month = 4
Span in a year = 32
Months in a year = 8

We know there are 11 days in a span:


We know there are 8 months in a year:

thistle pong
93. thistlepong
That's what was related to me from the index in the German edition.

If that's the case, there are two contradictions in the Tarbean section. Trapis calls the seventh day Caenin. And there's time missing between Kvothe's visit to The Broken Binding and his arrival in Imre.
94. ArtfulMagpie
The names of the days interest me. Particularly the fact that the first seven days seem to follow a pattern different from the last four. They all end with either "-en" or "-in." (Caenin, as opposed to Chaen.) And then the last 4 days have "-ing" endings. Wouldn't be surprised if "-en" indicated the word "day."

Going to Trapis's story...when Tehlu pursues Encanis, it takes him 7 days to catch up to the demon. Then he spends the next 4 days killing him. On the 8th day (Felling) he strikes Encanis with the hammer--or he FELLS him. On the 9th day, Tehlu takes all the iron in the village and begins forging the great wheel. (In the story, they give him their iron willingly. In real life, perhaps he forced them? Reft their iron away?) On the 10th day, he ties Encanis to the wheel, and then later they kindle the great fire. (Cendling sounds like kindling, a bit, or French, "ash" is "cendre.") And on the 11th day, both Encanis and Tehlu die in the fire, and, presumably, are mourned. (One or both, depending on who we think is actually the good guy here.)

SO it seems possible, then, that there were originally only 7 days in a week. Then something changed...the moon was stolen, perhaps?...and four more days were added, with their names being drawn from the stories of what occured between Tehlu and Encanis/Haliax?
95. piapiapiano
WRT Kvothe and doors, locks, etc -- in chapter 90 of NotW K the narrator says "locked doors have never proved much of a hindrance to me. More's the pity."

Did he open the doors of stone in an improper way (ie. without a key) and is that how he caused the current war/problems?

@94: SO it seems possible, then, that there were originally only 7 days in a week.

Now I'm wondering if those 7 days are just numbers. So Luten is Day One, and perhaps Tehlu is One Lock?
96. ArtfulMagpie
#95 I was kind of assuming they were numbers, too, given that the seventh day is either Chaen or Caenin, and we already know chaen/chan means seven. Good catch on the possible translation for Tehlu. One lock, or maybe first lock?
97. piapiapiano
Oh that's much better! So the days would be 1st day, 2nd day, etc.
Ashley Fox
98. A Fox
Ooooh i just noticed something. In K's dream sequence after his parents are killed. He dreams of the woodsman who had traveled once with the troupe; called Laclith. He also dreams of the circle of waystones, which any fool can see have power in them. And knots are mentioned.

OK I reread Skarpi's stories, and in light of some of the connections we have made noticed a few things. Before Selitos pokes out his eye, he notices that on city did not fall, that not all hope is lost. We have summurised that this city is Tinue.

In the 2nd story, that of the creation of the singers, it seems clear that they have met in Tinue, that all survivors have gone there. All roads lead to Tinue. Selitos and Tehlu both address Aelph on an equal level. The implication of this is that he is lord of Tinue. First Lock. The oldest place of the Lackless lands, the place that never fell out of their hands.

Geisa;the first woman to know the unasked for touch of man. What if this means of men literally? As in human. Felurian remembers a time before humans existed. What if they were created.

What if the Ruarch (a people defined by a name rather than a place) were those newly made men.
99. Ellynne
The theory that the Yllish knots are some kind of Celtic knots makes more sense than the assumption I was working with, that they were some kind of quipu or khipu, Incan record keeping knots. Although there are some similarities - quipus were used for record keeping and may have been used to record stories, the few hundred that still exist are mostly stored in out of the way corners of museums and such - it was more like Arabic numerals (as far as anyone's figured it out), relying on a few, basic knots and place values. So, writing/knotting "beautiful" (if it can be done) would be like knotting your hair into hexadecimal code or something. To people who couldn't read it (which Denna assumed was everybody), it would look like a random mess. A Celtic knot system would be more like Chinese characters, with specific characters having specific meanings but also looking pretty in their own right.
100. kristopher
Reading comments from the last several segments of the re-read have been terribly enlightening.

but I've got a question about auri.

Auri doesn't interact with anyone but elodin and K.

Elodin, as master namer, is assumed to know the name of the wind.

auri seems to have some sort of supernatural attachment (or the key she gave k was a red herring)

is it possible that Auri isn't a cracked student, but is some sort of embodiment of the wind? she displays many of the same qualities of the wind (scattered, privy to secret places - the underthing, skittish when approached directly, knowledgable in some unexpected areas, prone to sitting on rooftops)

we haven't seen specific "elementals" as such, but there are enough supernaturals hanging about that something like that wouldn't be impossible. and if K is able to perceive the wind, his first affinity as a person, that might explain his rapid.

K also learns things from auri that he'd not be able to learn from elodin until late in WMF, because he thinks that elodin is teasing him/not teaching seriously. But Auri's non-sensical questions and answers remind me very much of the sorts of things that elodin teaches.


I'm not sure where I got the connection between auri and the wind,
101. Niki S
I'm guessing 94's guess that there were originally 7 days and 4 more were added is true, though I don't think it has anything to do with the moon-- I think the origin of the new 4 days is pretty clearly Tehlu vs Encanis. Trapis begins his story with "Losel drank every day of the week, including Mourning. No, wait- there wasn't any Mourning yet."
(Notice that he says *day of the week*, not *span*. Did they used to have weeks, and change the term when the days changed?

Though if I run a search, the word "week" comes up 5 times in NOTW.
"You haven't been this late in weeks" - Bast
"Smelling like a week-dead rat" - K's narration
"A week ago I would have jumped at the opportunity" - K's narration
"A few weeks during fall" - K's narration.

Maybe it's just something the copy-editor should have caught, then.)

In any case, Trapis ends his story by counting out how long Encanis ran for. 6 days and 6 cities destroyed, then the seventh survived on Caenin. He's specifically mentioned as having been caught on *Felling*-- but if Mourning didn't yet exist, I doubt Felling would have. So it makes sense that these last four days of Tehlu vs Encanis were added to the span then.
102. Chipmaker
I'm catching up late, but enjoying this forum immensely. Most of the theories I've been thinking of have already been offered here -- Lorren an Amyr, Denna able to read Yllish, a few others. So I have only two items to add.

If K is a Lackless, which seems clear, but is of a disowned line, it adds a new dimension to his "Kvothe the Bloodless" title.

The Beinecke Rare Book Library at Yale University has no windows (except on the first floor, where no books are stored). The main walls are made of translucent marble. (Archives is also externally reminiscent of the Aedificium in The Name of the Rose -- towering, no windows, looms.)
103. Michael K
Very late addition to these observations: Does anyone have an idea about why, as mentioned in On The Horns, Kvothe was able to hurt Hemme so much more than expected? Kilvin is sitting there calculating energy transferrence, knew about the wax+hair moppet and the brazier, and still wasn't satisfied with Hemme ending up blistered up to his knee.

Interesting to me is that Kilvin says "Not with hair and wax. Maybe blood and clay..." This makes it sound like a hint that Kvothe got such high energy transfer because the wax+hair moppet was much closer to Hemme's nature than one would expect. Is Hemme actually a regular flesh-and-blood human, or could he be something else masquerading as one?

Trapis's story mentions demons hiding inside people, or wearing their skin, for example. Would wax and hair be a better match for that than for a human?

Of course it's easy to dislike Hemme because he's so nasty to Our Hero. But this seems like evidence that there's something beyond that going on.
104. Coreyartus
@10 I think the world is a box. Denna, the betrayed and suffering moon, is trapped in it by Iax. Thus the name on the map: "Four Corners of Civilization"… It's the corners of her box… And I think this might have something to do with the Lockless Box as well, but not sure what...

Some other thoughts--

Knowledge shapes a man. Our dreams shape us. Children's stories hold truths. Singers. Rothfuss has given us ample examples of how a story can change, and has demonstrated Cob's vehemence when his versions of events are debated as falsehoods--for him it IS truth. And Rothfuss has given us various cultures that have built their identities around the truths in stories--the religious reverence for Tehlu and the 99 Stories of the Adem as examples. Then we have Denna's search for written magic…

Wild thought--what if this entire storytelling event between Kote and Chronicler is a complete setup? What if Kote is using Chronicler's skills to "write truth", shaping the truth behind Kvothe as a legendary figure, having the "truth" written as he tells the story? Thus empowering him to be what he needs to be? Is Kote simply a tool, "waiting to die" so Kvothe can come back as powerful as has now been written down? Honestly, no one in the framing story has actually seen any of the events Kvothe is attributed to doing--they've only heard about his reputation. Even Bast hasn't indicated he's actually seen anything Kvothe has supposedly done, and Chronicler has never met him. Only one person, the traveller who saw him perform at the Eolian has actually ever seen him outside of his Kote disguise, and then only performing not doing any "magic"... Did any of it actually happen? Are their stories simply rumor, cleverly generated seeds all leading to this particular event at the Waystone? Is it the act of writing it down that moves it beyond hearsay? Is that the danger behind the performers--their songs don't need to be written to be truths, merely passed down? Is their power in their ability to create legend and fabricate rumor or myth (perchance "Naming"?)-- while writing it down is making it real (i.e. "Shaping"?)

Is that why there are no written accounts of the Amyr? Because written details make them truths, akin to having proof beyond faith? And the more "real" the Amyr are, the less power they actually have? Is there a benefit to being a legend, not an artifact? And "unwriting them"--destroying that written evidence--makes them somehow unreal? Untrue? Non-existent?

Is this all why the Chandrian fear the "wrong kind of songs", and why Denna's song is in praise of Lanre?

We, as human beings, ascribe a certain credibility and validity to written words and songs and poetry over oral tradition. We perceive written communication as somehow more "authentic", and therefore "truthful." Is the struggle between the forces behind the Creation War really about reputation and perception? The less that is known, the less real and thus less "powerful" these forces are?
105. Coreyartus
And is this why Kote doesn't complete his own story--he needs Chronicler somehow to write it down for him? And why he tries to open the box in his room--hoping there is enough "truth" written down for him to do so, but discovering there isn't yet so he must continue a third day of transcription?
Ron Andrea
106. RonAndrea
Susan Loyal's suggestion, "I wonder if "knowing who Kvothe is" has more to do with banning him from the Archives for that ridiculously long period than the incident with the candle does? (It makes a convenient excuse.)", works for me.

The math problem: Why do we assume geometry in K's world is Euclidean? Eudlid's fifth theorum states "That, if a straight line falling on two straight lines make the interior angles on the same side less than two right angles, the two straight lines, if produced indefinitely, meet on that side on which are the angles less than the two right angles." But if the two lines are not parallel, a whole different set of rules (two sets, actually, depending on whether the surface is round or bell-shaped) may apply. Maybe.
Steven Halter
107. stevenhalter
@106:I suspect that it may not be Euclidean--I think I mentioned that somewhere. I worked through a couple common non-Euclidean approaches, but they didn't fit either. Then someone mentioned that in the case of the triangle question PR said he had made a mistake.
David Goldfarb
108. David_Goldfarb
Coming in very late here, having finally gotten around to reading WMF:

In the thread above there's some discussion of a root fela -- "Vorfelan" in the Archives...but I haven't seen anyone connect it to "Felanua" in Felurian's song, or to Felurian's name, which could be parsed as Fel(uri)an. If fela or felan is "desire", that's certainly an appropriate thing to make the name of this Faerie Queene.
109. Psyzygy
What a great section of the book! It is good to see K get his mojo back.

Agree that the inscription on the archives will be important, and that it will have a meaning apart from Wilem's later translation. This bit reminds me of the alien book "To Serve Man" in the old Twilight Zone episode.

Yes to the idea that the archive is keeping something _in_. People have mentioned it could be a prison ... but alphagold3 pointed out the ch. 26 bit about the doors of stone:

"Lanre fought the beast and killed it. Lanre brought victory to his side, but he bought it with his life. After the battle was finished and the enemy was set beyond the doors of stone ..."

This could be a description of death or something else, as people have pointed out.

On the death interpretation, we have seen at least a couple of descriptions of death as lying beyond a door. K's father's song, for example (ch. 15): "Some say he rose, through doors of death": maybe this was what Ben wanted K to remember?

And then there's the ch. 18 description of death as lying beyond one of the four doors of the mind: "Last is the door of death. The final resort. Nothing can hurt us after we are dead, or so we have been told." I think that "or so we have been told" is going to be important. Maybe K will die, have painful post-death adventures, and then come back?

People have pointed out that the Archives have more than one set of doors, but the main stone entrance is certainly emphasized: ch. 36, on K's first sight of the Archives: "No windows, no decorations, and only one set of great stone doors."

With all of this in mind, maybe the Archives aren't a prison but they contain and protect the entrance to the Underworld? (Lorren certainly seems like a plausible guy to handle this task.)

& re the beast Lanre fought: I agree with Jo that it was nifty that we got "dragons don't exist" early on. When I read of Lanre's fight I thought, well it would be cool if Lanre's beast was a real, impressive dragon and K had to fight it at some point ... but darn, it's clearly dead (& in fact Lanre made armor from its skin). But now wait! If the dragon is dead but K ventures into the Underworld ... or if he unlocks the door that lets Underworld creatures loose in this world ...
110. Psyzygy
A note on who Denna might be: in ch. 38, K requests the Chandrian book and gets this: "it was filled with sticky-sweet adventure stories meant to amuse children. You know the sort: brave orphans trick the Chandrian, win riches, marry princesses, and live happily ever after."

K is certainly a brave orphan. I do think he's going to get his HEA ... so does this mean Denna will prove to be a princess? (I saw in earlier comments that people speculated she might be an Yllish princess. I'm not sure what the evidence for that is, but I'll throw this in the pot. My contribution to the good stone soup here!)

People have suggested that both Lorren & Skarpi might be Amyr. If so, this passage (from ch. 38, where Lorren questions K's interest in the Chandrian and the Amyr) takes on added resonance:

"I was suddenly pointedly aware of the fact that I was standing in one of the cornerstones of civilization, talking to the Master Archivist of the University. It put things in a new perspective for me. The stories of an old man in some Dockside tavern suddenly seemed very far away and insignificant." Ha!

And a note on this:
"To be admitted you need brains or money, the more of one, the less of the other. Interesting system."

I agree! Interestingly, my undergraduate institution used to have a need-blind admissions policy. They reviewed all applications separately from financial information, decided which students to admit, and then prepared financial aid packages designed to allow each admitted student to attend.

Need-blind admissions were scaled back a while ago. Now they look at financial info, admit some students who would not get in otherwise, and charge them full (=superhigh) tuition. So we're moving in this direction ...
Andrew Mason
111. AnotherAndrew
Psyzygy: One of the things Kovthe says in introducing himself is 'I know what happened to Princess Arial'. Before now people have suggested that this may be Auri, but its being Denna certainly also seems possible.
112. Curtiss
Personally, I like the idea of Lorren being an Amyr. I don't have the book on me right now, but I though Kvothe learns somewhere in WMF that the Amyr, just like the Chandrian, are trying to erase all evidence of their existence from written memory. Having Lorren as an Amyr would allow them to greatly advance that goal. Just my take though.
Karen Fox
113. thepupxpert
@89 alpha - It's possible that Ben had already contacted Lorren at the University on Kvothe's behalf and named him as Kvothe son of Arliden. Since Kvothe was traveling with his family during the entire period they were writing the song he would know if he had visited the area where the University was. I think we'll find out way more about Ben in the third installment.
114. DangerZone
I had a couple of points in this section:

1) Referencing earlier comments on the nature of lunar calendars (and Hemme referring to the more civilized Aturan calendar).

Humans originally used a Lunar calendar. It's much more accurate, due to the incredible consistency with which the moon moves and the handy backdrop of stars that you can plot it's movement against. The sun in contrast is difficult to look at and floats in a reference-free sky. Months are a left-over vestige of our lunar calendar origins.

We switched to a solar calendar when we became an agriculturally based society. Knowing when to plant and when to harvest are incredibly important to farmers and consequently the solar year dominated, and the months are squished up to fit that year instead of the lunar cycle.

A lunar system is still handy for sailors though, as well as the stars for navigation. Really the nighttime sky in general is preferable. It seems reasonable to conclude that Yll, as a small island nation, never abandoned the lunar calendar for the solar cycle.

2) I can't believe this wasn't mentioned, maybe it comes up in the WMF conversations and I'm no linguist, but Rothfuss DID spend a lot of time on a small sequence between Wil and Kvothe. Specifically the definition of "Sheyem" a Siaru word that translates to balanced. Wil mimics a scale with his hands to indicate this.

Capital-J "Justice" Erlus, who arrested Skarpi a few chapters ago, wore a necklace of scales.

The old-woman in WMF who runs the Ademre School is named "Sheyen". I bet there's a connection there. At least it would indicate her name means Justice or Judge or something similar.

I like ArtfulMagpie's theory, @52, about the non-Aturan languages being rooted in Fae. This would help to support that a little bit.

It would also help draw some lines between the Ademre and Edema Ruh. It sort of plants the Ademre on the side of the Justices (Angels?) and Edema on the side of the Amyr. Maybe their split is related to an age-old tension between the Angels (who are now Justices) and the Amyr.

3) An interesting point, not sure how it fits. Maybe it's just Lorren trying to teach Kvothe some restraint but as the Masters are switching to his side it's Lorren who suggests that he be charged with reckless use of Sympathy. The tide was turning in Kvothe's favor and Lorren put a pretty hard stop to it.
115. BeththenextPat

States that a German print of NOTW has an index at the back.
I've been trying to pick just the names of the days in a span out of the contex, let alone bothering with the months, calendar, terms...but this cleared it all up!

High Mourning (the midwinter pagentry) is 7 days at the end of the year
4 terms per year
2 months per term
4 spans per month
11 days per span
359 days in a year.

It also says that the days of the week are:
1. Luten
2. Shuden
3. Theden
4. Feochen
5. Orden
6. Hepten
7. Caenin (though they spell it differently)
8. Felling
9. Reaving
10. Cendling
11. Mourning.

The first seven days are their corresponding numbers in Temic, and then the last 4 days are the process which Tehlu, who was not Menda, killed Encanis.

However, I wrote down the day "shuden" with a note saying "plus five equals cendling" because that's what Kvothe says when he's asking the clerk at the Broken Binding what the date is (45 of Caitelyn or something, assuming Caitelyn is a month and months only have 44 days...) and he says the day is Shuden, and Kvothe says that Abenthy told him admissions only go through Cendling, so he has five days to get to the University. This list would give him 7 entire days between Shuden ending and Cendling beginning.

Though I do think it's funny that Kvothe mentions people are more likely to be drunk on Hepten, being that it's the middle of the span. :D I used to Karaoke every Wednesday. lol
thistle pong
116. thistlepong

Most of that information comes from here and Westeros, but it's nice to see the Wiki(s) getting more accurate. Last time I looked the Cthaeh was a species of evil tree. (edit: Oh! JezDynamite did it.)

It's possible to get about half the days and months from the text and even order them properly. And there are enough clues to discern the 4 span month and 8 month year.

The Shuden/? confusion when he leaves Tarbean is a confirmed error. The Swedish translator took it to Pat's translators forum and he says it will be corrected in future versions.
117. BeththenextPat
Well I'm new to disecting my favorite novels :P It is nice to know that other people have already figured out the answers to my questions, just in case I'm to lazy to do the work myself. Since I'm reading NOTW for the fifth time now, I'm enjoying reading through all these blogs (and Pat's of course). It's like watching the special features on a DVD, but better :D
thistle pong
118. thistlepong

'Twas less of a "we already did that" and more of a "you're totally in the right place." Welcome and enjoy.
120. clcollins
@103: Thank you so much for asking about the burn incident! I'm afraid I've only recently discovered the outright enthusiasm of this series' fans but this is seriously one of the most nagging questions to me still at the end of WMF simply because no one ever questions or addresses it ever again in the books.
I don't know if there are better searches than what I've already done but I can't seem to find anyone asking Rothfuss anywhere either.
This blog is fantastic, BTW.
121. Dmack
I was just reading through chapter 40 again, and this strikes me as something incredibly important (p289). After roll call of the nine Masters:

"'And Master Linguist,' said the Chancellor. 'All eight...' He frowned. 'Sorry. Strike that. All nine masters are present.'"

So one of the Masters isn't actually a Master. There's no other reason Pat would put that in there that I can think of. Personally, I'm calling something's up with Elodin.
122. FalconGK81
@Dmack: I took it more like Elodin usually doesn't come to the meetings of the masters, so the Chancellor is in the habit of saying "All eight...", but then catches himself because Elodin is actually at this meeting, and thus corrects it to "All nine". Or perhaps there isn't always a Master Namer, so "All eight" is more common for him to say. Whatever the reason, I just took it to be an indication that Elodin being there is unusual (but not to imply that Elodin isn't a Master).
Kate Hunter
123. KateH
Okay, Elodin caught my attention in this and nearby portions of the book. What in the world is going on here? Elodin is smiling and friendly towards K when he's brought up on the horns. We know from later on that Elodin hates Hemme. He should be strongly antipathetic to Hemme, Hemme's charges, and what Hemme wants out of the situation. Yet, he doesn't even vote to set aside the discipline after Hemme's assininity is revealed. Why not?? Mere Elodin-style eccentricity? I'm not buying it.

Then, the next time we see Elodin, he tries pretty hard to provoke K over his Edema Ruh background. First off, how did Elodin know K was Edema Ruh? K hasn't been bandying this about the university very much. That Elodin knows this about K says to me that he's already been paying K some attention, that K has come to his notice for some reason. Elodin has been asking around or doing some research. And takes the opportunity to poke him and feel him out pretty thoroughly when K approaches him.

Did Elodin want K to be whipped for some reason? Did he find three lashes acceptable? Did he not want to tip his hand about being interested in K at that point? Did he want to see what stuff K was made of? Did he know something about K that K didn't know about himself at this point? A Master Namer might see things - fundamentally true things - about K that no one else could see or know, just by looking. What might those things be?
124. dragonorbital
The downfall of evil is knowledge? If somewhat abstracted from the individually extrapolated meanings
125. Fee
I am coming really late into this - only discovered the books four month ago and this reread last week. I love it! Possibly the reason PR is taking forever on the third volume is because he keeps reading posts like yours and thinking that bits are so awesome he just has to somehow get them into the story....?

@36 SLoyal and @37 Shalter on the words Rhinta / Rhinata: I had gotten to the conclusion that they meant Shapers / Shaping. The Chandrian were Shapers (as distinct from the knowers and the namers), and the Adem called them Rhinta.... then in the inscription on the Library we could be looking at the verb shaping - Rhinata? Just a thought. And when the body snatcher comes to the inn in the frame story he could be asking if Kvothe is becoming a shaper...? Just a thought.

Regarding how they got from the Ruach to the humans - in Skarpi's story of the creation war things got so bad that many of the Ruach "stopped naming their children" - I started thinking that the nameless children somehow grew up to be less then the Ruach and became the ancesters of the humans. Any thoughts?

And regarding the doors in the library, with the four plates, what if they hide the books on the Amyr and the Chandrian? The librarians love books, and if they are aware that certain books are being sought out and destroyed they might have constructed a safe place for them. And all the copper and stone could be to construct a room where the books can be kept without any trace of their contents coming to the attention of the Chandrian or the true Amyr who want them destroyed.
126. highwaycrossingfrog
I don't know if anyone is still reading these comments. I'm a latecomer to KKC. I was recommended them a week ago, read the books in 4 days, and I'm now re-reading them in conjunction with this excellent blog. So many fascinating theories! Anyway, I noticed a couple of things in C40, On the Horns, which I haven't seen discussed (unless they are picked up later). I don't have any theories to share, but rather I'm hoping someone else might pick them up and run with them.

Firstly, the votes for Kvothe's punishment and promotion. On the vote to suspend the more serious accusations, 4 masters raise their hands (The Chancellor, Elxa Dal, Kilvin, and Arwyl). The Chancellor says 4 and a half votes in favour. On the vote to promote him to the Arcanum, five masters raise their hands (The Chancellor, Elxa Dal, Kilvin, Arwyl and Elodin). The Chancellor says 5 and a half votes in favour. Who is/are these half votes from? Or am I simply missing something? Maybe Herma's vote carries extra weight because he's The Chancellor?

Secondly I noticed what seems to be another incidence of impossible dates/timeline. It is stated that "On the fourth of Caitelyn, Hemme called the masters together", presumably to formally state his grievances with Kvothe. This cannot be, since Kvothe was admitted to The University on the 43rd of Caitelyn (also potentially inaccurate, since he leaves Tarbean on the 35th believing he has only 5 days before admission ends. However, it is Shuden when he leaves, and admissions finish on Cendling, which is in fact 8 days away. Possibly an unintentional error. Has this been corrected in any other editions?) However, Herma then states later in the chapter "Three lashes to be served tomorrow, the third of Equis, at noon." Yet Equis is the month before Caitelyn! *sigh* Terrible editing, or a hint that our narrator is less than reliable?

Subscribe to this thread

Receive notification by email when a new comment is added. You must be a registered user to subscribe to threads.
Post a comment