Jun 9 2011 2:01pm

Rothfuss Reread: The Name of the Wind, Part 8: Your Hand Held the Fire

Patrick Rothfuss Reread on Tor.comWelcome to part 8 of my excessively detailed re-read of Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles. This week’s post covers chapters 43-50 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. There’s absolutely no point in going beyond the cut unless you have. But don’t worry if you haven’t, you can catch up.

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.


So, Chapter Forty-Three, The Flickering Way. This is the terrible chapter where Kvothe gets banned from the Archives. I can hardly bear to read it—and yet I read the troupe murder chapter quite calmly.

Ambrose is harassing Fela, Kvothe wants to defend her because she looks guilty and ashamed for not being able to stop him. He says it reminds him of things he saw on the streets of Tarbean.

Ambrose addressed Kvothe as “E’Lir,” meaning he knows that he’s been admitted to the Arcanum. Admittedly, probably everybody knows.

So same the humble thrush well knows its north” really is terrible poetry. Rothfuss is wonderful. It’s incredibly hard to do the things bad poetry does on purpose.

Kvothe attacks Ambrose for appalling poetry and sexual harassment, both of which he is actually guilty of. And at their last meeting Ambrose was really scornful and condescending. But going head on at him like this really is a bit excessive. Of course, the nahlrout is wearing off, and with it Kvothe’s judgement.

So Fela leaves, and Ambrose fleeces Kvothe a talent for the “stack fee” and then tricks him about the lamp and the candle. He goes into the stacks and even though the nahlrout is wearing off leaving him in pain he has a perfectly normal reaction to being in a library, surrounded by books—he feels happy and safe. The Archives are seven stories tall and also extend underground. He wonders how the air is sweet. So do I. He wanders around and finds the Four Plate door.

The Four Plate door is locked, and it has a lock, four keyholes, in the four copper plates. I’m convinced it’s hugely significant. There could be anything behind it, from losers in the Creation War to part of the moon—though I think that’s in the Lackless box. Kvothe compares it, significantly, to a greystone, and says it’s a door for staying closed, not a door for opening.

It says on it “Valaritas” which is definitely Tema, it’s absolutely formed as a Latin words, and it’s a noun form that describes the quality of something—a word that in English would end in -ness, or -itude. Romanitas is the quality of being Roman, dignitas is worthiness, vanitas is vanity. Valaritas means “possessing the quality of valar” whatever “valar” is, it reminds me of valour, and vlor in Anathem, and obviously the Valar in the Silmarillion. Come on, you scholars of imaginary languages, help me out here!

And then a scriv finds him, and he is taken to Lorren. Ambrose acts innocent, and Kvothe is banned from the Archives, And here we have the proverb about what wise men fear for the first time, with the anger of a quiet man very much applied to Lorren. (Who is totally an Amyr.) He says he doesn’t care for intentions, only actions.

Then Kvothe goes back to his friends, realising he has traded access to information for nothing but reputation. And they tell him there’s no stack fee, and he swears vengeance on Ambrose, whereupon they sensibly tell him to leave Ambrose alone—he’s high born, malicious, and powerful. Ambrose is that noble’s son who is a force of nature to be avoided, but Kvothe won’t avoid him. This is where we hear about his claim to the throne, too:

“Actually he’s sixteenth in the peerage,” Sim said, matter of factly. “You’ve got the royal family, the princes regent, Maer Alveron, Duchess Samista, Aculeus and Meluan Lackless...”

We don’t know, of course, how far through that sixteen Sim got before being shut up. We don’t know how many are in the royal family, or how many princes regent there may be. (In our world, “royal family” is a Victorian term and denotes a change in attitude to a power-stripped constitutional monarchy.) It’s also odd that there are multiple prince regents, unless it’s a term that means something like “elector” rather than meaning what prince regent means in our world—you only need a regent when the king or queen is incapable for reasons of age or incapacity. I suppose they could have a twelve year old king and his younger siblings, a number of regent brothers of his dead father, and then the others. I know nothing about Samista, but a lot about Maer Alveron and the Lacklesses.


Chapter Forty-Four is The Burning Glass. Kvothe goes to the Fishery, “Artificiery” and Kilvin shows him his attempts at ever-burning globes. I love the way this is done. Most fantasy is very bad at dealing with the way historical magic became science, but Rothfuss goes right at it with “I do not hope” and the mixture of magic and science at the Fishery, using sygaldry to make tech. It’s brilliant. And then in Ankers, first mention of this inn which will be so significant, Willem and Sovoy and Sim talk to Kvothe about finding a master to help him become Re’lar. He’s alienated Lorren, Hemme, and Brandeur, Medica is too slow, he knows no Alchemy, Kilvin is the obvious one, but he wants Elodin, he wants Names and real magic. Skarpi “hadn’t mentioned Arcanists, only Namers.” And the chapter ends with a repetition of his desire to find the name of the wind.


Chapter Forty-Five is Interlude: Some Tavern Tale. And we’re back in the frame, after a long time out of it, and it gave me whiplash. Why are we pulling back here? There isn’t strong emotion as there has been the other times. Just a moment to tell us that this is a told story and to stop us being too settled in Kvothe’s head? Or setting up something for the next bit?

Chronicler is writing, and Kvothe reflects on how these are the first stories ever told about him, and Chronicler says they’re still telling them at the University. This implies only that Chronicler has visited the University since. Bast asks why he didn’t look for Skarpi. Kvothe says because he wasn’t living in a story but in real life. The most interesting thing he says is that he made enemies at the University “more dangerous to me than any of the Chandrian.” That’s an interesting way of putting it: “any of the Chandrian.” As if he’s thinking of them separately. And enemies plural, not just Ambrose, Hemme as well perhaps? And more dangerous, really? If the Chandrian’s plan is to end existence itself?

But I like the idea that he had other things in his mind as well as revenge, and that revenge was more difficult than you’d think.

He says in the standard pattern of story he’d learn naming from a mad hermit in the woods, and then says he nearly had a mad hermit—meaning Elodin. And again, the chapter closes with his desire to learn the name of the wind. Setting us up. Right then.


Chapter Forty-Six is The Ever Changing Wind. Kvothe hassles Elodin and gets taken to the Crockery, the insane asylum maintained by the University for people driven mad by what they’re learning. He shows him Alder Whin, a giller driven mad, and the room where Elodin spent two years before escaping. The woman on the desk says they’re all especially mad at the moment because the moon is full. I took this as being one of those things—the word “lunatic” means somebody driven mad by the moon, after all. But it isn’t, they’re literally madder because the two worlds are closer and they could fall through.

Kvothe is treating the whole thing as if he’s in a story, and Elodin does too. He gives Kvothe three questions, and Kvothe is careful with them. He describes himself in the terms of the Taborlin story—locked up in a tower without coin, key, or candle. Then he breaks the wall by saying “break” to it, or what Kvothe hears as “break,” and then “Cyaerbasalien.” That’s Faen. I can tell the linguistic similarity. Kvothe is deeply impressed.

Then Elodin tells him to jump off a roof and Kvothe succumbs to peer pressure and jumps off, breaking some ribs and dislocating his shoulder. And after that he didn’t want to study with Elodin so much, so he became an Artificer.

The way this chapter is written, and after the jump to the frame just before it to contrast, it points up the contrast between the “story” expectations and the “real” ones, which is a fairly brave thing to do in the middle of a novel. And we are in the middle—there are ninety-two chapters, so we are at the half-way point.


Chapter Forty-Seven is Barbs. The first line made me laugh: “Apart from its rocky start, my first term went fairly smoothly.” It’s a synopsis of the term—cheating at cards to make money, artificing to make money, learning artificing and medicine, practicing Siaru with Wil. He also mentions spreading rumours about himself to get the benefit of his reputation. And he’s good friends with Wil and Sim and enemies with Ambrose. He doesn’t describe the individual instances of Ambrose insulting him and Kvothe turning the insult back and making Ambrose more angry, just says they happened. And he says he saw Ambrose as a puffed up clown and couldn’t imagine what harm he could do; he wasn’t brave, he was a fool.


Chapter Forty-Eight is Interlude: A silence of a different kind. Back to the frame, after only two chapters of story. And we’re in Bast’s head, and we learn that until a year ago Bast was afraid of nothing, but now he is afraid of silence. Presumably, the silence with which the book begins and ends, K’s silence, which is a presence and not an absence. He is afraid it is gathering when K is quiet for seventeen counted breaths—less than twenty seconds. And then Kvothe says he doesn’t know how to tell the next bit of story, and they have a quick meal break. (Somebody said the audiobook of NW is forty something hours, but it does feel plausibly like a day to me.)

And then Kvothe takes another run up at beginning—he says the story is lacking something, and Bast says “women” and he says “a woman.” And she is in the wings. But we have met Denna already, and without warning like this. We’re not going to get to her again this week anyway.

Kvothe says, in saying how hard it is to describe her—and he still hasn’t named her, in the frame—that he once sang colours for a blind man. That must have been a major act of Naming, don’t you think?


Chapter Forty-Nine is The Nature of Wild Things. He starts off my saying that you have to sneak up on wild things, and so he’s sneaking up on talking about her. And at first it’s nothing about her. The end of the term, Admissions, and he’s given a tuition of three and a bit talents. He almost has it, but he doesn’t want to borrow from a friend, and anyway he needs another talent for a bed in Mews. He tries a respectable moneylender and has no luck, so he goes to find one of the unrespectable kind, a gaelet, across the river, in Imre.


Chapter Fifty is Negotiations. It begins with a description of Imre, a town of the arts, benefitting from the University for sympathy lamps and good glass, near enough to Tarbean for commerce but not near enough for the smell. It goes on to say that Kvothe avoided Imre because hearing music without being able to participate was like having an addiction dangled in front of him—he describes a denner addict in Tarbean. All these denner mentions are setting us up for the addicted draccus, of course. He goes to Imre to find Devi, a gaelet who will lend to anyone.

So we’re expecting a desperate man, and instead we find a girl. Not the “she” he was warning us to expect, however.

I like Devi. She’s a dark shadow of Kvothe in some ways—a powerful sympathist thrown out of the University and going her own way, lending money to get power. In just the way he was saying Elodin was like a mad hermit in stories, Devi isn’t at all like people in stories. And she’s an independent woman who has taken her own path that isn’t any of the choices Denna lays out in the Bechdel scene in WMF. Gaelet isn’t perhaps the best or safest career, but it’s got nothing to do with sex.

Devi offers him four talents at 50% interest, and he has to give some blood as collateral so that she can find him. He refuses, then goes out and buys a lute and goes back and borrows the money. He doesn’t buy the lute for sensible reasons like making money playing it—though he does that later—he buys it because he’s addicted to music. He was at the point of borrowing the jots he needed from a friend and sleeping rough instead of taking the risk of giving his blood to Devi, but it was music made him do it.

And that’s where we’ll stop, to start next week with the second term, leaving the possibility of Denna hanging like fragrance in the air.

Last weeks comments were awesome.

Ryanreich and others dissected Kvothe’s answer about triangles, which was actually wrong, but has been corrected in later editions.

BAM and TyranAmiros think that Lorren is an Amyr. So do I.

The Department of Imaginary Linguistics is promoting to E’lir Shalter, Ellynne, Susan Loyal, Thistlepong, C12VT, and Haleyal for the detailed analysis of the phrase “Vorfelen Rhinata Morie.”

And Shalter gets this week’s strawberry wine (to be delivered by tinker) for finding Wil saying in WMF that it means “something like” “the desire for knowledge shapes a man” and proposes that it might actually mean “With knowledge a man can Shape.” I really, really like this.

Lacklesses, again.

It struck me that a lith means a standing stone, so perhaps the Lacliths are lacking a stone, the Lack-keys have no key, and all the things in the rhyme are listed in the names of the different branches of the family. Shalter suggested they might have (or be lacking) one thing each. Artful Magpie suggests that the “ring that’s not for wearing” could be the ring of greystones at Faeriniel, and that Faeriniel itself could be the “road that’s not for travelling.”

More generally on names, Chrispin suggested that from the meaning of the runes, “Tehlu” could mean Lockless. And Artful Magpie pointed out that what Kvothe does to the dragon is similar to what Tehlu does to Encanis.

And from looking at the runes, Thistlepong notices that Fehr=iron and Ule=binding, so Ferule or Ferula as Cinder’s real name could mean bound iron.

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.

Rob Munnelly
1. RobMRobM
Valar - isn't that strikingly similar to Alar, the mental control used in sympathy?
Rob Munnelly
2. RobMRobM
Lorren as a secret Amyr in the Archives is giving me flashbacks to Asimov's Foundation series, and where the Second Foundation is located. Same justification applies.
Rob Munnelly
3. RobMRobM
"...more dangerous than any of the Chandrian" appears to imply that K has met one or more of them again post-WMF and pre-framing story, and has a better sense of their respective threat levels to him. As of NW, there is no way he could make that statement.
4. ArtfulMagpie
I find it very significant the number of times the Archives or parts of the Archives (4-plate door) are compared to a greystone. Almost every time Kvothe describes the Archives, the word is used.

Also interesting is the use of four plates of copper on the door as compared to the use of copper in Elodin's cell...both of which are things meant not to be opened, of course. Does copper somehow disrupt or confuse Naming abilities?

And Lorren is totally an Amyr.
Chris Hawks
5. SaltManZ
I know it's probably been noted before, but reading the beginning of the Chapter 50 recap made me realize that Kvothe is a Denna addict...
thistle pong
6. thistlepong
We know copper is used for the sygaldry in Ambrose's window and Anker's fridge. Kvothe mentions that merely scratching it out can be dangerous and that a good artificer would put it facing inward so it couldn't be tampered with.

And we know Elodin was able to eliminate the stone around the copper mesh in Haven's wall. It may have special properties, but it doesn't absolutely prevent proximal naming.

Edit: Looking at that, I should clarify what I'm saying. The copper is there I'm both cases because it's covered with careful sygaldry to prevent the doors from opening. Copper itself must be difficult or impossible to name. I have no idea why, though.
Beth Meacham
7. bam
It occurs to me that Rothfuss's actual text indicates that "the woman" is actually Devi. Are we just being distracted by how much Kvothe is in love with Denna?

I can't defend that. Just putting it down as a marker.

Also, notice the things in the Lackless rhyme. The key, the ring, the candle. Watch out for what Auri gives Kvothe, and he saves.
8. ArtfulMagpie
"And we know Elodin was able to eliminate the stone around the copper
mesh in Haven's wall. It may have special properties, but it doesn't
absolutely prevent proximal naming."

Yes, indeed. But don't forget, the entire door to Elodin's cell was made of copper. They added a copper mesh to the wall only after he escaped the cell. Clearly, someone thinks that copper will be effective in some way. It might only be that Elodin doesn't know the name of copper and thus can't affect it the way he can stone. Or it might be something else altogether....

Also, I had been sort of assuming the copper was used for sygaldry in those instances because copper is relatively malleable, can be bent into shape easily, and would be easy to incise with the characters. But, again, maybe there is another reason for it.
Rob Munnelly
9. RobMRobM
@7. I had the same thought re Devi. For all we know, Auri could be the woman too.
Sim Tambem
10. Daedos
"Also, notice the things in the Lackless rhyme. The key, the ring, the
candle. Watch out for what Auri gives Kvothe, and he saves."

I noticed that, too. That key has to be significant. I'm thinking four-plate door. Also, the ring is mentioned later (when someone is talking about the ten rings Kvothe wears), along with the bone one the Maer's servant gives him.

@9 I would think the same about Auri, but (according to Rothfuss) Auri was an addition to the story after it was already written. That says a lot.
Pamela Adams
11. PamAdams
What, no mention of 'those who go a-ravin'?'
12. herewiss13
I love this re-read soooo much. I only wish I could contribute more.

I'm not sure copper is difficult to work with magically, per se. I think it's more about complicating the name. The name of metal is simple, as metal is simple. The name of rock is simple as rock is simple. The name of rock blended with metal is going to be a lot more complex as the substance is more complex and the comprehension of it becomes more difficult. Elemental vs. compound.
13. ArtfulMagpie
Regarding Denna vs Devi vs Auri being the mystery woman that K has to sneak up on in telling his story...someone had raised the possibility in an earlier re-read that we just THINK he means Denna, so I paid attention. It's in Chapter 53, so a bit beyond this part of the re-read, but K says, "The Eolian is where our long-sought player is waiting in the wings." And of course, the Eolian is where Kvothe re-encounters Denna on the night he earns his talent pipes...and she is the ONLY woman of import he encounters there on that night. So I do think Denna is the woman he's sneaking up on in telling the tale, not Devi or Auri.
Sim Tambem
14. Daedos
@13 I think it was only meant to be confusing for the first part of the book (as we are introduced to Devi and Auri before Denna). After he meets Denna it is obvious who he was talking about. He is enamored / obsessed (or addicted, if you'd like) from then on.
15. ArtfulMagpie
#14, well, no, we meet Denna well before Devi or Auri, since they meet on Kvothe's journey from Tarbean to Imre. It just isn't until their second meeting that she really becomes an important/semi-permanent player in his life. :-)
Steven Halter
16. stevenhalter
When Kvothe is describing the four plate door he mentions:

In spite of these notable lacks, the expanse of grey stone was undoubtedly a door. It simply was.

This seems a bit like Kvothe was sensing the name of the door. Its nature is doorness. Rather than say a sealing stone or other blockage. But, also he notes that "It was a door for staying closed."
Fela says about the door (WMF ch. 25):

“I had a dream about the door once,” she said. “Valaritas was the name of an old dead king. His tomb was behind the door.”

This goes along with the various mentions we have had of people who have been sealed behind stone.
(Thanks for the strawberry wine!)
Kristoff Bergenholm
17. Magentawolf
Kvothe getting banned from the archives was always one of the things that bothered me...

Didn't he just get into some semi-major trouble over using a candle a few chapters back, and now he does it again? Yes, he's under the effects of the nahlrout and being whipped, but I just think he should have a little more sense.
Hello There
18. praxisproces
On the copper question, I think this is a more important and fundamental point than some of the above commenters suggest. Even after Elodin figures out how the wall was altered, he doesn't destroy the copper web, only the stone around it. I think this makes it obvious that copper has no name, making it the one true obstacle to master Namers. Why copper should have this kind of immunity isn't clear, but if we trust PR's narrative economy (as we should), the fact that Elodin couldn't just Name away the copper web should be a pretty big signal. It can't just be some sort of clever complication, that wouldn't be worth the storytelling time devoted to it here.

Agree, Jo, on re-read the reference to the residents of the Rookery being wilder in response to the moon is just astounding. There are some immediate questions raised here about Elodin though that we shouldn't slide over. What happened to him that sent him to the Rookery? What happened to him that enabled him to escape? We know from WMF that he knows a great deal about Fae; how significant is it that Kvothe hears him speaking Faen when he Names away the wall?

I assumed on re-reading, knowing what we know now about Vintas, that "princes regent" means something more like "princes regnant", some kind of title of nobility separate from the throne. I assume it can't reflect membership in the royal family it would in a real-world European context, both because the royal family is enumerated separately and because succession to the throne obviously operates in some unclear non-dynastic fashion in Vintas, as we know that both the Maer and the Lacklessness aren't connections of the Calanthis dynasty yet still have some kind of a succession claim.

I think it is monumentally significant that Kvothe refers to "the woman", setting our expectations for Denna, and the next two women to appear are Devi and Auri. This thought hadn't crossed my mind at all until this point but perhaps we need to rethink Denna's place in this whole adventure. She's obviously the romantic lead, but either Auri or Devi must have a much more profound place in the greater story than I thought.

Kvothe's leap off the roof is one of my favorite moments in the saga. He thought he was in a story, and discovered - yet again - that his world isn't one in which things happen the way they're supposed to happen. This moment echoes all through NotW and WMF every time Kvothe deliberately does something to make himself seem grander or wryly reflects on just how unstorylike his adventure can be, as when he and Denna are bathing in the woods or when he puts on a show for the people of Trebon or when he uses sympathy to impress the team in the Eld. So clever and so beautiful.
Hello There
19. praxisproces
Oh! Also: the juxtaposition of Chapters 45 and 46, with Kvothe's reference to "enemies" at the University followed immediately by his first real encounter with the eccentricity and power of Elodin, raises the obvious question of what's going to happen to the relationship between these two. It would be an interesting echo of the Lanre/Selitos story if Elodin, the great Namer, ends up turning on Kvothe in some fashion and taking or changing his name to break his power and turn him into Kote. Particularly given the destabilization of what we know about the Creation War which was introduced by Denna's song in WMF; we might get an echo of the Lanre/Selitos story in Kvothe's life, but we don't know who would play which role or which role is the hero.
Steven Halter
20. stevenhalter
For Valaritas, since it does look "Latiny" there are a bunch of words (Valor, Valer, ...) that all have something to do with the notion of worth or value. So valaritas could be something like possesing the quality if worthiness.

As RobMRobM@1 mentioned, it is tempting to strip off the V and get Alar, but we haven't seen any indication of adding stray V's to the start of words does something to them.
21. Robert Sparling
I've been troubled recently while reading the re-reads, Jo.

Has anyone wondered about Taborlin the Great's purpose in the narrative? It seems like there is something we're missing because he is rarely mentioned by everyone taking great pains to dissect the novels, but in Text he's mentioned frequently, almost more than Will and Sim or Denna. We've seen his stories mentioned in reference to how they seem to stack up with Kvothe's experiences, but there's never a real explanation about Taborlin. He's a story that everyone in the human world knows (that no one in the Fae seems to know), but unlike Illien, Kvothe makes no mention of the history surrounding the character. Other than a few parables here and there, Taborlin has no history with the world that seems to know him. Even Kvothe's fictional self is grounded in the reality of the world he lives in.

I find this absence of information strikingly odd. Magic is real in this world, so someone of Taborlin's power would have been noticed, and we've established that the Church of Tehlu keeps historical records and has been for thousands of years. They aren't the only ones. Where does Taborlin fit into all of this? It seems too easy that he's simply a story that Kvothe uses for inspiration. Rothfuss putting this myth in front of us and giving it no information smacks of deeper meaning to me. Any thoughts from anyone else?
Steven Halter
22. stevenhalter
Robert Sparling:Taborlin is odd. Was he historical or fictional or a composite like Kvothe? So far, we don't have a lot of info by which to judge.

Going along with copper being in some fashion hard to name, it is interesting in the one tale of Taborlin, he has a copper sword.
Steven Halter
23. stevenhalter
Another interesting textual piece is that as near as I can tell, Taborlin is the only person to whom "the Great" title is applied. This also seems a bit odd. In our own history there are numerous kings who get that title.
Steven Halter
24. stevenhalter
The reaction of Lorren to the candle seemed a bit over the top. Sure, it's a building full of books and papers, but I would guess people used to use candles and lamps in libraries in our world all the time (since they didn't have anything else.)
I wonder if his (possible) secret Amyr status had something to do with his wanting to keep Kvothe out.
C Smith
25. C12VT
Re: imaginary linguistics - it occurred to me that if "caen" is a version of the word that means seven (as in caenin) then the Kaepcaen, the Modeg branch of the Lackless family, has "seven" in their name.

Re: Taborlin - as bam @7 observed, Auri gives Kvothe some interesting things. But I think her gifts have more to do with Taborlin than with the Lackless riddle - she gives him a key in chapter 53 of NW (page 386, or at least so my e-reader claims), a coin in chapter 68 of NW (page 507), and a candle in chapter 11 of WMF. The three objects associated with Taborlin, in the right order.

On the other hand, these aren't the only gifts she gives to Kvothe, and some of her other gifts (e.g. the ring) do seem to fit the Lackless rhyme better.
Ashley Fox
26. A Fox
I believe that copper acts as a barrier to Alar (or at least that which is the ability to name, an Advanced Alar)

'I waved a hand in front of me expecting the air to feel different, thicker. It did'nt

"Pretty irritating, huh?......I'm surprised you noticed, actually. Not many do"

"Even the name of the wind was hidden from him by the clever machinations of his captors."

K's reaction makes sense, as it has been stated many times that he has a very strong Alar. The copper does not work entirely alone, it must be covered in sygldy (facing inwards) as Elodin states "Sod me, they changed it" which prevents things like the windows breaking. But the disconnection with the Alar remains.

"As soon as I stepped onto the balcony the air no longer felt heavy and still"

"Two years...Able to see the wind, but not hear it"

Others have noted that the cyaerbasalien is a fae word. I rather think that it is fey magic. The copper and wards are not set to trap fae magic. (Which means that Tarbolin also knew fae magic. Note the Fae cannot abide Iron, Namers cannot abide copper, what do shapers fear? Or are the shapers and namers the same, except for a moal stance?)

The 4 plate door is obviously like the room in the Rookery, on a much older, grander scale.

(Oh and I also think the use of copper containing power may be how the ever burning lamps work. Well, Kilven? :D )

Also Whin says 'dont bring thunder'. This is part of a bizarre list, but considering K's Adem name, perhaps he is refering to K. Its seems that those who are 'mad' seem to be unable to stop 'hearing' names. K is undoubtedly powerful, perhaps his name sounds like thunder.

Re. Tarbolin. Imo his legend as been embellished in just the same way K's has, all Pats refs to real life being diff to the stories. Yet in all the stories there is a basis of truth. I need to find the story that mentions his sword, have a feeling we are overlooking something with that. his enemy? Honestly i wouldnt be surprised to find out a previous Lackless heir had a child, who set about on a similar quest to K's, and failed (or realised the foolishness of the task and stopped), what with all these paralells. Meh
Ashley Fox
27. A Fox
Oh I also think that the silence that surrounds K is a tanglible thing, possibly related to Spinning Leaf, certainly to the Adem and the heart of the Lethani; silence and stilness.
Steven Halter
28. stevenhalter
A Fox@27:That is interesting. What if the silence that surrounds Kote is like the heavy stillness in Elodin's asylum room?
29. ArtfulMagpie
The story mentioning Taborlin's copper sword is in WMF. It's one of the tales traded back and forth by the mercenaries...the same time period that gives us the very interesting tale of Jax/Iax stealing the moon and creating Fae.
Jo Walton
30. bluejo
Great thoughts on copper!

I think Taborlin the Great is the story-version against which expectations fall.

A. Fox -- great catch re Thunder/Maedre. Marvellous. I'd completely dismissed that as ravings.
thistle pong
31. thistlepong
Thanks should have been the first thing I typed. A member of the Arcanum should have more sense. I wanted to address your suspicions about cyaerbasalien.

Then he breaks the wall by saying “break” to it, or what Kvothe hears as “break,” and then “Cyaerbasalien.” That’s Faen. I can tell the linguistic similarity. Kvothe is deeply impressed.

We have exactly two words in Yllish: Cyae & Tsien

stopped walking when he saw me standing there. He cocked his head to the side a little, "Cyae tsien?"I didn't recognize the language. "I beg your pardon?""Oh, sorry," he said, speaking perfect Aturan. "You looked Yllish. The red hair fooled me." (NWc61)

We have no way of knowing what they mean, but the similarity is startling. I can see Faen and Yllish sharing characteristics, especially since Kvothe has trouble with both of them. Spanish has as many verb tenses. Bizarre forms of address abound. Consider the interesting bit:

All ownership was oddly dual: as if the Chancellor owned his socks, but at the same time the socks somehow also gained ownership of the Chancellor. This altered the use of both words in complex grammatical ways. As if the simple act of woning socks fundamentally changed the nature of a person. (itallics mine) (WMFc146)

A language with such specificity could conceivably attempt to describe the names of things. Elodin tells Kvothe that the older a word is, the closer it is to the Name of a thing. Later, in class, he notes just how old Yllish is:

“Not true,” Elodin said. “They used a system of woven knots.” He made a complex motion with his hands, as if braiding something. “And they were doing it long before we started scratching pictograms on the skins of sheep.” (WMFc15)

An additional bit of linguistic nerdery:

Cyaerbasalien - stone
Aerlevsedi - wind

Both contain "ae," or æ - ash. Which may mean nothing, but Denna's patron does take her to Yll.
Steven Halter
33. stevenhalter
The basal part of Cyaerbasalien evokes basalt so it sounds like stone.
34. Toohey
Shelter@20, I like your thoughts about Alar and Valar, but I was thinking of an earlier comment that mentioned Kvothe's name change to Kote just takes out a "V" and an "h". Maybe the letter "v" is significant...
35. herewiss13
In re: copper sword.

While the copper may be magically significant, it could also be a sign of age. Rothfuss has created a world with science, medicine and "real" history. It could be that the stories of Tamborlin are old enough that he couldn't have _had_ a sword of iron or steel (although, I definitely grant that a copper sword is a lot less useful than a bronze one).
Steven Halter
36. stevenhalter
Toohey@34:Well, that's an extremely good instance of a V being removed.!
Ashley Fox
37. A Fox
@30 :)

@31 which could concievably tie in nicely with K first learning to play Names. Music comes more naturally to him than language. As a baby he didnt have a first word, but a first note.

Ok, this is going to be a supposition, following the language roots and the stories we know. Before the creation war there were namers and shapers, the Fae. Who spoke what we know as Faen. Then there came man, likely created. (Or possibly a result of the creation of Faen, which sems to contain most of the 'magic' compared to k's reality, considering the whole world had an abundance of it. Perhaps those born after were born men) Who i believe are the Ruarch.

Some of the Ruarch were afraid and didnt want to be involved in matters of the great. What if they then settled, away from all that 'greatness' in what is modern Yll? They would be the first civilisation of men, their isolation from great events would mean their language wouldnt change that much. (those Ruarch who stood with the singers became the Ruh, those that stood with Selitos/the Amyr became Adem)
38. herewiss13
follow up: of course, for this hypothesis to hold any water, Tamborlin has to pre-date Telhu (who likes iron quite a bit). I'm away from my copy of WMF, so I don't know if there are any references that could be used for relative dating of the two tales.
thistle pong
39. thistlepong
you only need a regent when the king or queen is incapable for reasons of age or incapacity

You might need a backup regent if the heir is missing; someone to take over should something befall the first regent. What is the truth about Princess Ariel anyway? Vintic peerage probably looks like this:

King Roderic Calanthis
(Heir - underage/unavailable) Princess Ariel Calanthis?
Prince Regent (name unknown)
Prince Regent Alaitis (deceased)
Maershon Lerand Alveron
Duchess Samista
Aculeus Lackless
Meluan Lackless
Surthen patriarch (deceased)
Surthen matriarch (deceased)
Surthen heir (deceased)
(missing info)
(missing info)
Baron Jakis
Ambrose Jakis

All we know for certain is that the (missing info) folks are between Baron Jakis and the throne. Sim says "prince regents," so there must be at least two; but there could be four. They could also be Calanthises. The entire Surthen family was lost at sea, moving Jakis up three places. Meluan married upwards two places. So:

King Roderic Calanthis
(Heir - underage/unavailable)
Prince Regent (name unknown)
Maershon Lerand Alveron
Lady Meluan Lackless-Alveron
Duchess Samista
Aculeus Lackless
(missing info)
(missing info)
Baron Jakis
Ambrose Jakis
40. Lurking Canadian
I have two ill-formed ideas about Taborlin.

Idea #1: (Which I believe to be highly unlikely) Taborlin is Kvothe, either because of reincarnation or time travel. I think time travel is more likely. There is something funky about Kvothe's age in the frame story, the fact that he read Chronicler's book while at the University, but Chronicler remembered him as a legendary former student, the fact that he is freely telling Chronicler things (like his Adem name) that he had solemnly promised to keep secret. However, I don't think this is really likely, which brings us to idea#2:

Idea#2: Kvothe is part of Taborlin, because Taborlin was not a person. He's more like El-Ahrairah from Watership Down: a single character who absorbs all heroic tales of Naming.
thistle pong
41. thistlepong
@8: "They added a copper mesh to the wall only after he escaped the cell." (also @12, @18, and @26?)

The change to the wall of Elodin's cell was not the addition of copper.

"Have you ever been there?" Simmon asked. "It's built to keep arcanists locked up. All meshed stone. Wards on the doors and windows." (NWc44)

Two chapters before they visit Haven, we are shown that the copper in the walls is common knowledge among the E'lir. Master Elodin would not have been surprised.

Kvothe's ignorance during that scene is apparently one of the most effective pieces of misdirection so far. The reader experiences his confusion about copper doors and window frames and the occurence of verdigris. And forgets what s/he was just told.
Steven Halter
42. stevenhalter
Lurking Canadian@40:The tales of Taborlin do seem to be convergent to Kvothe's adventures--especially given time to age. Another time possibility is the tales somehow leaking back in time rather than Kvothe physically going back.
Another posibility is that Kvothe (being of Lackless blood) is somehow echoing or reenacting the exploits of Taborlin.
All of these are somewhat fringe cases, but aren't ruled out by anything either.
Steven Halter
43. stevenhalter
Hmm, Kvothe the Bloodless could be rephrased Kvothe Lackblood.
44. chrispin
The Crockery section is my favorite part. So many questions!

First, why does it exist? So a couple of students go crazy every term. Why don't they go home? I don't think the University houses them for the rest of their life for some altruistic purpose. Some may be in the Crockery, but Whin is a giller, no longer a student. I don't think he's the only archanist patient. The place can fit 500+, and to that Eloden says "We're ready." Eloden tells Kvothe "You don't know anything about the University. About the risks involved. You think this place is a faerie land, a playground. It's not."

Jo, you said "...they’re literally madder because the two worlds are closer and they could fall through." But it's moonless nights when mortals can get sucked into Fae. The full moon in the mortal world is when it's easier for Fae to travel. The residents are active when the moon is full, is it because they feel further from Fae?

Whin doesn't like his bed because "there are springs and slats. Nails" Are these made of iron? We've been told that people who return from Felurian go crazy. Do people who return from other parts of Fae also tend to go crazy?

Another question. Why is Eloden even at the University? He wasn't released from the Rookery, he escaped. He's on the Masters committee, but isn't expected to participate. He doesn't teach more than 7 students, less in the first book. What is he doing that's so important the University would support him? Does he, like Lorren, have gillers who are out in the world? Students who want to find the names of things quit for awhile and come back, so Eloden's gillers would already know names. What did Whin do when he "knew what he was getting into"? And what cracked Elodin in the first place?

Speculation - I think the residents of the rookery are mostly archanists who went into Fae and didn't quite make it out. Since there is not much magic in the mortal world, I think archanists who can name are going into Fae to shape. Fae was originally built by the shapers as a playground to create. I propose the University is trying to develop shaping to bring back the old ways and because they are in a conflict, possibly with the church. It could be about Fae: one side wants to keep Fae separate, while the other wants to break that barrier. Maybe they need all those beds because a large battle is expected.
45. AO
@ 4. ArtfulMagpie said:

"I find it very significant the number of times the Archives or parts of the Archives (4-plate door) are compared to a greystone. Almost every time Kvothe describes the Archives, the word is used".

I'm with you. Clearly the 4-plate door is of special significance, but there's no doubting that the many times that it's mentioned that the Archives are said to be of "grey stone" is important too.
46. AO
Jo Walton said :

"The most interesting thing he says is that he made enemies at the University “more dangerous to me than any of the Chandrian.” That’s an interesting way of putting it: “any of the Chandrian.” As if he’s thinking of them separately. And enemies plural, not just Ambrose, Hemme as well perhaps? And more dangerous, really? If the Chandrian’s plan is to end existence itself?"

That is quite intriguing in several ways. As far as “more dangerous" goes, my immediate impulse is to think of Denna. He might think that he truly met her during his time at the University, and I can certainly see her as being more dangerous to him personally than the Chandrian.

Whoever he is thinking of, I do believe that he is thinking on a personal/emotional level. The worst that the Chandrian would do is kill him, whereas making an enemy of one of the few people in the world who truly love him would hit him much harder on an emotional level, as seems to be the case in the present. (And maybe the fact that those friends know him so intimately could make them more dangerous in other ways too?)

Near the end of WMF, as Kvothe ends his story for the day, he made some comment about wanting to end on a happy note. I don't have the text handy, but I recall some sense that he indicated that it was one of the last happy times for him, that his life would soon take a dark turn. I can definitely see a split from some or all of his friends fitting the bill. I have seen it speculated that the most likely scenario that would drive him to where he appears to be now would be if he killed Sim, if that or something like it is what happens, then I could very much see some of the others then becoming his enemies (such as Fela).
47. cthulhu
Don't know if someone already proposed this theory: Elodin was put in a namer- and arcanist-proof room, subjected to this silence and learned something which allowed him to escape (and maybe open the Four Plate door too?). So he wasn't even crazy before or at least not crazier than after his escape, but just put himself there to learn this new thing. And maybe Kvothe renaming himself isn't about hiding, he just tries to do the same, perhaps in order to learn how to open that box.
48. Halcyal
Shalter @ 16:

“In spite of these notable lacks, the expanse of grey stone was undoubtedly a door. It simply was.”

This is an odd usage of the word “lacks”. One typically says that an object lacks things, not that it has lacks, if that object has things that it is without; or, if the sentence form of the quote is retained, then one says that the object has deficiencies or absences.

Given Rothfuss’ usual care with words, I’m inclined to suspect that this wording is intentional and, therefore, meaningful, either specifically referring back to the Lacklesses or referring back to the overarching “lack” theme/mystery, and all of the other things that have been discussed here in that respect, in which the Lackless and their kin are involved. In other words, the quoted line may be yet further evidence to support this form’s circulating theories.

thistlepong @ 31:

Concerning Yllish; concerning it’s strange ownership dualities that connote reciprocal “fundamental” changes between people/objects/presumably-nouns-in-general existing in paired/possessive relationships; and concerning the fact that “a language with such specificity could conceivably attempt to describe the names of things;” I personally think that these things fit together as a potentially interesting linguistic construct within the context of the story. We know that naming itself is a matter of great specificity. The name of the wind moving through an alpine tree may well be different than the name of the wind in a city street or beneath a stream-spanning bridge. The name of a human (or fae), in a similar vein, is far more complex than something like a stone because the human/fea is a far more complex entity than the stone. That set of mechanics, I’m inclined to think, would extend to almost any form of relationship, including togetherness, possession and so on. Thus, for example, even as a stain of red colour would belong to a piece of cloth (the cloth's red stain); so too would the piece of cloth be the medium upon which the red stain has come to show its colour (the red-stain's cloth canvas). The described functioning of Yllish, therefore, reinforced by the age of the language and the fact that elder words are thought to be closer to true names, would seem to suggest that Yllish is either directly, etymologically descended from naming words (and perhaps a naming tongue), or that it is at least informed by an awareness of the mechanics that underlie naming (from which the language has been shaped so as to conceptually and grammatically account for, or otherwise reflect, the mutually affecting nature of person/thing/noun relationships as they exist at the fundamental, naming-order level of the world). The potential dynamic seems linguistically interesting in any case, as I previously noted, supposing that it’s actually true.
Ashley Fox
49. A Fox
@41 yes it was.

"That wasnt there before" Elodin said apologetically....."It was much more dramatic before"

The addition of copper mesh may be known to some, to Sim , but it was changed becuase of Elodin. Elodin does not evince surprise at the mesh, but at BREAK not working, no doubt due to a 'half clever' added layer of sygldry.
thistle pong
50. thistlepong
@49. Mea culpa. I'm guilty of too narrow a focus there.

-Elodin trailed off, his head tilting to one side curiously. His eyes narrowed. "Sod me, they changed it," he said quietly to himself. "Huh." -

I concede the mesh is new. However, Elodin doesn't expect it. That doesn't make much sense in light of Sim knowing about it.

@26. I love "Don't bring thunder." I also like your speculations regarding the Ruach. I think maybe the ones who wanted to stay home and watch TV instead of getting wings became "men" as a result of that choice.

I suspect copper is effective against fae magic. Felurian notes that copper knives are one of humans' defenses against them. That may also be the reason Taborlin carried a copper sword.

@44. chrispin, Faen as a playground is wonderful catch! Another throw-away line that modifies a later bit, in this case Felurian's "place to do their work," in a meaningful way. Your questions and ConnorSullivan's about Elodin are interesting.

@48. Thanks for elaborating that.
51. Midesaka
Re: Taborlin's copper sword

There is a mention of "swords that never go dull" in relation to Taborlin. Also, in Marten's tale of Taborlin in WMF:

"Then Taborlin gathered up the rest of his things from the chest. He took out his key and coin and tucked them safe away. Lastly he brought out his copper sword, Skyaldrin, and belted--"

If we apply the normal tools, the copper sword is standing in for the candle. If A Fox@26's speculation about ever-burning lamps is correct, that could tie in.

The copper mesh in the walls of the Crockery makes me think of a Faraday cage; in this case, it seems to function as a barrier to magic rather than EM radiation.

Re: the four-plate door, note

Each copper plate had a hole in its center, and though they were not shaped in the conventional way, they were undoubtedly keyholes.

Perhaps the keys are not "keys" as we think of them, but are other objects...including coins and candles? Might this be another reason why Lorren is so angry that a candle was in the Archives? The scrivs get no more specific about his location than "near the southeast stairwell," but perhaps that's close enough to set off warning bells for Lorren?
52. Soloce
Just a quick note on the whole valor thing. Yes, it means worth, but in a couple of different ways. For instance, the Italian "Il vale la pena" means "It's worth the pain." Also, it's the origin of words like valour, as originally pointed out, as well as words like "equivalent."

But, if we do believe that either A)Lorren is an Amyr; or B)regardless, some Amyr went through and "cleansed" the library; this then can't relate to something Amyr-orientated?
C Smith
53. C12VT
@44 Chrispin: that's a great observation about the slats, springs and nails likely being iron.

Perhaps the "mad" students are kept near the university rather than going home because the university can help them in ways they couldn't find elsewhere. When Kvothe first calls the wind, he is dazed and out of it until Elodin whispers something in his ear (possibly his name).

Maybe Elodin, or another skilled namer, can help the people in Haven in the same way. That could explain both why Haven is so full, and why Elodin is treated as an important member of the university despite his eccentricity and the small number of students he teaches.
Sim Tambem
54. Daedos
@51 That reminds me, do you remember the description of the key Auri gave Kvothe?

@52 Portuguese has the same idiom. Valer translates as worth/value. I am going to assume the same goes for all Latin languages.

Chemically, copper isn't that unique. It shares a lot of properties with silver and gold (it is interesting that they are all valuable) - most notably its capacity to transfer heat/energy. But, if that was the reason for its value, then silver would work better. It's a better conductor. There must be something unique about copper in Rothfuss' world that doesn't apply in ours.
55. ArtfulMagpie
Regarding "Valaritas," I am reminded of the phrase "Ave et vale," used in a poem by Catullus and generally translated as "Hail and farewell." Vale here comes from the verb Valere, which literally means "to be strong" or "to be well." ("Vale" is the present singular imperative form...commanding someone to be well or be strong. Be strong = fare well...good bye. Right.)

So. Valaritas. The word could just mean something like "Strength." But it could also be a particular verb tense. I'm reminded somewhat of the Latin pluperfect. "You had been strong?" perhaps? Could even be a future tense. "You will be strong." Something. But I'm intrigued by the idea that it could be construed as "farewell" in some sense/on some level, as in "ave et vale."
Andrew Mason
56. AnotherAndrew
Just a few trivia:

Interestingly, the strip-cartoon version of NOTW
doesn't mention Kvothe's first meeting with Denna, but implies that he met her for the first time at the Aeolian. That seems to fit with the tendency K shows in a few places to treat that as where their story really starts.

I'm wondering about the name 'Alder Whin'. Since he's normally called just 'Whin', it rather suggests that 'Alder' is a title. What might it mean? (I had the same puzzle last week with 'Elxa Dal'.)

And why do the names of ra'nks at the Unive'rsity have that strange fa'ntasy apo'strophe in them, which Rothfuss manages to avoid elsewhere? How are we meant to pro'nounce it?
57. Midesaka
@54 Very little description of Auri's key:

She smiled and thrust her hand forward. Something gleamed in the moonlight. "A key," she said proudly, pressing it on me.

I took it. It had a pleasing weight in my hand. "It's very nice," I said. "What does it unlock?"

"The moon," she said, her expression grave.

58. ArtfulMagpie
"I'm wondering about the name 'Alder Whin'. Since he's normally called just 'Whin', it rather suggests that 'Alder' is a title. What might it
mean? (I had the same puzzle last week with 'Elxa Dal'.)"

I read that as one of two things: Either A) It's the same thing you get in our world where male friends refer to each other by their surname (this would be more the Alder Whin part, as it's clear that he and Elodin have a warm history together before the whole madness thing) and/or B) in the case of Elxa Dal, it seems possible that where he comes from (wherever that might be) names are given surname first personal name second, as is often the case in Asian countries in our world. If so, "Dal" IS his personal name, and "Elxa" is his family name.

Just pure speculation, though, with nothing from the text to back me.
Ciel F.
59. Shadaras
Riffing off @52's comment about valor and equivalence,

'valence' can also refer to emotionality. Ambi-valent -- having two emotions about a thing. Psychological term, but. Possibly useful.

@56 -- I pronounce them as slight pauses in the word. They might signify shortenings of longer (possibly Faen?) words. E'lir means 'see-er', Re'lar means 'speaker', El'the is no doubt related, and they might have originally have been Names (or something related), but then people shortened them to use as a title, since Names tend to be complex things.
60. ArtfulMagpie
"They might signify shortenings of longer (possibly Faen?) words. E'lir
means 'see-er', Re'lar means 'speaker', El'the is no doubt related,..."

I'm pretty convinced that El'the means listener. In the story Hespe the mercenary tells about Jax pursuing the moon, he meets an old man in the mountains who talks in depth about the virtues of listening, describing himself as a listener. It would definitely fit the pattern, and I think also fits the pattern of the path to wisdom in terms of becoming an Arcanist or Namer. First you are able to really SEE the world. Then you are able to SPEAK about what it is you see. And finally, you are able to LISTEN to what the world is telling you, and, therefore, truly understand it in a way you couldn't before. :-)
Andrew Mason
61. AnotherAndrew

in the case of Elxa Dal, it seems possible that where he comes from (wherever that might be) names are given surname first personal name second, as is often the case in Asian countries in our world. If so, "Dal" IS his personal name, and "Elxa" is his family name.

I'm fairly sure that 'Elxa' is a title, because the Chancellor addresses each of the other masters as 'Master X', but when he gets to Dal says 'Elxa Dal'.

More generally, this raises the question how common surnames are. They clearly aren't required or even treated as normal; when Kvothe is registered, he is asked to give his father's name, not his surname. The various branches of the Lackless family have surnames - who else has?
Ciel F.
62. Shadaras
@61 -- I might be forgetting someone, as I haven't reread the books lately, but I think the only surnames mentioned are noble families and those related to them. The commonfolk just have given (first) names.

Feel free to prove me wrong, though.
Sim Tambem
63. Daedos
@57 Thanks for that - I couldn't remember if more was said.

Valence is also a term used in chemistry (dealing with the "rings" of electrons surrounding the nucleus). Maybe it ties in with whatever it is that makes copper unique.


"E'lir means 'see-er', Re'lar means 'speaker', El'the is..."

...Shaper? Listener is also a good guess, but if we are looking at a ranking system that began with the original needs to see the nature of a thing before they can speak it, and it makes sense that they would need to speak it (know its name) before they could shape it. This ties in with Patrick Rothfuss' description of the shapers who created the Fae land. Maybe when Re'lar are ready they get sent through the Four-Plate Door to the Fae (gray-stones are also mentioned as being way-stones, or places linking the worlds), where they can become Shapers.

Far-fetched, maybe, but possible.
thistle pong
64. thistlepong
In the audiobooks they are:

The apostrophe is a quick pause, sometimes drawn out for emphasis. For example, E'lir varies a little with speaker and tone. Ben says Eee leer when he's condescending Kvothe.
Ciel F.
65. Shadaras
@ 60, 63

If El'the and Gil'the have the same suffix, their meanings might be connected, too. One could be listener (or hear-er) -- Gil'the? They go out into the world, after all -- and the other shaper. Or shaper and shaped, if the endings are the verbs and the prefixes the tense/direction and suchlike.

Or perhaps Gil'the is 'searcher'. That'd suit their wandering lifestyle. Then El'the might be 'finder' or some such thing? I'm not sure.

@61 Reading through more, I found this in ch46 "I'm holding you responsible for this, Timothy Generoy." (pg 309, in my copy). Elodin talking to a servant in the Crockery/Rookery. Implies that surnames are possible, just not generally mentioned except for noble lines (though 'Generoy' sorta makes me think of 'born of kings' or sommat like that, which is probably me readingtoo much into stuff). Might be because surnames refer to where a bloodline originated, or personal characteristics, among commonfolk? Not sure.

(I wish I had an electronic copy; it'd be so much easier to search then. And this is so much speculatory; 's fun, if likely way off.)
Sim Tambem
66. Daedos
@49 & 50

I could be way off here, but the "mesh" in the stone doesn't seem to be man-made. It is described as more of a web of natural copper veins. I'm sure the stone was chosen for that reason, but it seems like Sim wouldn't have known that. Maybe he was talking about something else?
Ian B
67. Greyfalconway
Halcyal @ 48

I really like that idea, with old yllish being true Names, or close. It makes sense considering Elodins statement too, about it being around long before the languages now, since people would have naturally started using the true names of things long before creating languages with only superficial meanings (if I made sense with that sentence to you guys lol)

That could explain Denna's braid working, and why a yllish knot would be on the lackless box (since all speaking a name is is our vocal cords thrumming waves through the air, maybe the knots are made in a way that when the air flows over them it makes very faintly the name of whatever they braided, like when wind 'howls' through the trees, or how wind instruments work.)

It would also make much more sense for the language of Naming to create a system of "writing" (yllish knots) that actually faintly speaks the names they mean.

Hope I made sense and contributed to this awesome conversation lol.
68. Susan Loyal
Just to throw a couple of things on the "Valaritas" fire:

Valerian root is used as a sedative and sleeping agent.

Another fantasist, with whom Rothfuss is no doubt familiar, uses the Tolkienian "Valar" slightly differently: "Valar Morghulis" shows up in Ice and Fire, meaning "all men must die." Since "Valar Dohaeris" is usually translated as "all men must live," "Valar" clearly means "all men" in Martin's usage. That might give "Valaritas" a meaning close to "humanity" or "representative of human nature."

Given Fela's dream of the dead king, I'd be inclined to think that someone rather important might be sleeping a long sleep behind that door. (Arthur! We've missed you, once and future . . . Taborlin?)

Robert Sparling @21: " mentioned frequently, almost more than Will and Sim or Denna." While I agree that Taborlin is important, it's worth noting that Taborlin the Great is mentioned exactly 14 times in NW, while Will (the least mentioned of the three you list) is mentioned a little over 100 times.

bam @7. Oh, yes. The "woman waiting in the wings" mentioned just before we meet Devi, from whom we then immediately look away, seems so much like the Rothfuss Purloined Letter trick, doesn't it? Everything left in plain view. Minimally, I'd say Devi is more important than she seems at this point. If we're betting, my money's still on Auri, but I wouldn't be totally surprised if Devi turns out to be the "first real lover" who calls Kvothe Dulator. (Relative to the "waiting in the wings" line showing up in the scene at the Eolian when Denna sings with Kvothe, that's a large crowd, and we don't see everyone in it. Auri has been turning up to hear Kvothe practice, and she's comfortable on rooftops and such. Devi could be in the audience, unremarked. I'd say we still have multiple contenders.)

I'm not discounting Lorren as one of Kvothe's enemies, either.
69. Halcyal
Midesaka @ 57:

Well that’s certainly rather blatant, given what we’ve come to know on the subjects of moon, key and lock, especially in addition to the observations made by Bam @ 7 and C12VT @ 25 that her small, seemingly materialistically trivial gifts corresponding to the items in both the Lackless rhyme and the Taborlin myths (where they even appear in correct order). Grand authorial accident seems unlikely here, as does mere (intentional) in-narrative coincidence. (The coincidence, in the latter case, is too subtly constructed within the narrative for it to have much useful effect on most readers and seems much too elaborate to be a simple throw-away, narrative ghost; again, especially since many readers will never even notice it.) This seems to suggest two reasonable possibilities for Auri in my mind. The first is that she understands what’s going on (in both the present and the past) far better than she is otherwise letting on, and is acting quite intentionally, either by giving Kvothe informational prods under the radar, or by giving him some truly significant little trinkets. The counter argument to this, as lambson @10 notes, is that Rothfuss has admitted that she was added to the story after he originally finished it. That would seem to suggest that she is not a part of the essential skeleton of the plot, although I’m not sure that that rules out the possibility that she might have been a very fundamental, book-evolving afterthought.

The second reasonable possibility for Auri is that she is touched by the fay (physically or metaphorically) in such a way that she is subconsciously sensitive to the harmonics of the things that have happened and that are happening across the land; that she has a certain omni-directional clairvoyance that has left her unconsciously attuned to the nuances of the world. Thus, when Kvothe asks her what the key unlocks, the whimsical turns of her mind settle immediately on something of significance: the moon. She is still, it should be noted, conveying significant information in this second scenario, just more in the manner of a lightning rod than in the manner of a knowing sage/manipulator working behind the scenes. The objects that she gives Kvothe may also still be significant, as it would make sense for her to be equally attuned to them as well, especially given the potential significance of the (let’s be honest) largely narratively glossed-over/unacknowledged curiosity that is the Underthing in which she likely found them, along with the library and the university above it (and all that we know and have guessed at in their regards).

As a final note regarding language usage and the key that Auri gives Kvothe, it may be useful to point out that there are certain things in the wording of that exchange that may be suggestive. First, the description of the key is oddly vague. It’s just enough to tell us that it is an object attributed as a key without providing anything else to descriptively identify it, effectively placing it under the reader’s nose without constraining what it actually is or otherwise calling attention to it. Second, whatever the case might be respecting Auri, we know that Kvothe most certainly is more sensitive to certain things. Thus, the fact that Auri’s vaguely defined key is described from Kvothe’s perspective with affirming language (“It had a pleasing weight in my hand”), may be another soft clue that the gift is not some mere scrounged doodad. Finally, the fact that Auri’s expression is grave when she states that the key unlocks the moon may also be telling. The manner of her response may be seen by young Kvothe (and, thus, by the reader) as simply a product of her mercurial personality—a tapestry of small oddities that the reader is progressively trained to accept as nothing more than her inherent peculiarity, and that thus makes for an excellent place to store secrets in plain sight—however, that manner of response could well be entirely appropriate. In other words, even as we are being encouraged to see (or better, to disregard) Auri as a creature of random flight and whimsy, wonderful, but insubstantial, she and her ostensible behavioural quirks may in fact be quite charged with validity and significance.

P.S. Greyfalconway @ 67: The concept seems like a bit of a speculative stretch to me at this point, at least given how little we actually have to go by on the subject. Still, a ‘written’ language that has been functionally crafted so as to physically whisper essential truth? I certainly like the idea, and there does seem to be a certain tone of suggestion in the books that the Yllish knot-script has more significance than has presently been revealed.
70. ArtfulMagpie
I have two mutually contradictory theories about Auri, ha.

Either A) She, like Alder Whin, was once a student of Naming who went a bit odd with the pressure. Unlike Alder Whin, she escaped being put into the Crockery and instead found her way into the Underthing, where she manages to survive with her wits and her training, most of which survived when she cracked up.

Or B) Is actually a lot older than she looks, and has lived in the Underthing since before this University was built atop it. This makes her either Fae, or one of the people who existed before the world split into human and Fae. She perhaps stayed behind to guard something left in ruins of the civilization that University built over?

Either way, I do firmly think that when she describes an object, she is being quite literally truthful. She seems to be a Namer or a Knower (in the sense used by Felurian to describe the split between the old knowers and the Shapers who came later) and isn't just being whimsical. If so, I think she might be training Kvothe just as surely as Elodin is training Kvothe...the different being, Kvothe doesn't question her and is therefore learning much more than he's learning from Elodin.
71. Emrys
In regards to the four palte door. In WMF when Felurian is telling Kvothe the story of the man who stole the moon:

Kvothe: What was his name?
Felurian:No calling of names here. I will not speak of that one. Though he is shut beyond the doors of stone.

This sounds just like the door in the archives. Also, as @57 pointed out, the key Auri gives Kvothe supposedly unlocks the moon. This would fit if the key were for the doors of stone.
72. Gizmit
I wonder if Meluan's older sister/Kvothe's possible mother was in the line of succession? If so, would that make Kvothe heir to the throne before Ambrose?
Steven Halter
73. stevenhalter
Gizmet@72:It is possible, but I don't think we have seen anything on what the effects of K's mother and father not being married might have on succession. If, indeed, they weren't married.
Ciel F.
74. Shadaras
@72, 73 -- Also, was K's mother/Meluan's sister disowned from the Lackless line? I don't have WMF with me, else I'd try and look it up. Someone else want to? Because I have some recollection of that, but I can't tell if it's true.
75. Mouette
Just a note on the whole Bredon/Master Ash theory...

I was rereading WMF and noticed that when Kvothe describes Bredon's clothing, the first time they meet, he says that Bredon's colors aren't even colors - they're black and ASH gray. He specifically uses 'ash' to describe the shade of gray Bredon is wearing.

I wanted to cry. I don't *want* it to be Bredon, dammit!
Claire de Trafford
76. Booksnhorses
Really just waving a hand to say hi to you all and your great theories as I haven't had anything to say for a while.

Was Auri involved with whatever sent Elodin cracked? I incline to the theory that she was a colleague (student, friend etc) of Elodin with naming skills who has sought refuge under the University. I look forward to finding out.

In our legends copper and bronze are associated with the Fae, and it is the rise of our use of iron that drives them away, so it is interesting that copper seems to retard the use of magic.
77. ArtfulMagpie
Another mention of copper, this one from WMF. When Kvothe is examining the Loeclos box, he says that he thinks the wood must have a lot of metal in it like roah wood does, and from the wood's color, he guesses iron and copper. So here we have another instance of copper surrounding something that is possibly dangerous....
Beth Meacham
78. bam
One of the things that Kvothe makes a big point of is that his parents were not married. So I'd have to say that they were not. And we know from Sim's list of the line of succession that Netalia is not there. And we know from Caduces's "history" that Netalia was disinherited when she ran off with Arlidan.

It occurs to me that if Meluan and the Maer have children, they will supplant the Jakis's in the line of succession to the throne of Vintas. But on the other hand, the whole "line of succession" thing is very murky.

I'm pretty sure that the key that unlocks the Moon does not open the four-plate door.
Drunge Hays
79. bumblepants
Seeing the brief bit about Ambrose's smug glee over moving up three places in the succession due to the three persons lost at sea, coupled with his numerous other string pullings (buying the inn just to evict Kvothe etc), I get the feeling either he or his father had a hand in that shipwreck. Especially since in WMF we also see him boasting about Kvothe's shipwreck in a "I did this" sort of way. I expect this is early foreshawdowing of Day 3 political movings that will result in the bone-tar hitting the fan and Kvothe and Ambrose getting tangled together with the Maer and then the titular king (whoever he may end up being) getting killed leading to the present war. All that to say, while Ambrose is a despicable person, he is strongly hinted at being a savy politician (those traits always run together don't they?) and we have probably not seen anything close to his nastiest deed yet.
80. Bakajin
'The most interesting thing he says is that he made enemies at the University “more dangerous to me than any of the Chandrian.”'

A couple of people have commented on this bit, but it seems to me no-one, Jo included, is reading the passage in it's most mundane meaning. To me, the key bit in Rothfuss' sentence is "to me." I don't think that Kvothe is saying the Ambrose or whomever is more dangerous than Haliax or Cinder, he's saying that Ambrose is more dangerous to him. Sure Haliax could brobably make Ambrose wet himself, but he doesn't know who Kvothe is and he doesn't care. Ambrose on the other hand is going to go out of his way to hurt Kvothe.
Sim Tambem
81. Daedos
@80 I agree. When Kvothe says he made enemies more context, it sounds like he is talking about the immediacy of his current situation. Sure, the Chandrian are more dangerous, just not to him and not at that time.

Also, does anyone remember the Cealdish guy working for Lorren in Acquisitions? He mistakes Kvothe for being Yllish before recognizing him as Rue. Something to do with having red hair (at the very least). Interesting support for someone's theory that the Rue and the Yllish were origionally the same group. Reminds me a lot of the Tinkers and the Aeil from The Wheel of Time.

@77 Nice catch on the copper-wood box.
82. imisseverything
On the room with the spools of Yllish knots in the archive:

I suspect these have records of the Amyr that nobody purged because no one can read Yllish anymore. In any case, they're going to say something important.
Ryan Reich
83. ryanreich
lambson @81: I'd say the Adem are more the Aiel to the Ruh's Tinkers, in multiple obvious ways: the fighting, the honor code, the nudity, the laconic manner (not the height or the hair, of course). I don't want to accept that Rothfuss is going to go that route, though.
Sim Tambem
84. Daedos
@83 Yeah, that would be a little too obvious. Still, how much do we really know about the Yllish people? Have we met many? Any? They are obviously one of the oldest societies we've seen in the story, and I seem to remember Arliden claiming that the Rue were telling stories long before...okay, I can't actually remember what else he said, but it made it sound like they were very old as well. Just a thought.

I know Modegans have long blood-lines, but we haven't gotten much more about them. Maybe we'll be surprised to see who the Rue really are. The original Singers? Maybe. We all remember Kvothe playing names on his lute after the Chandrian's attack. Maybe it's in his blood.

Also, his eyes are significant in some way. It's obvious. He is described as being a little fae around the edges even before his fling with Felurian. Maybe something to do with the Lackless line if not his Rue blood.
85. ArtfulMagpie
@lambson...sorry to be pedantic, but they are the RUH, not the RUE. :-)

I'm pretty convinced that the Edema Ruh and the Adem have some kind of connection. The names are almost the same. One group sings as a lifestyle; the other considers singing in public whorish. The Edema Ruh are travelers with no fixed homeland; the Adem were displaced from their home long ago and forced into lands no one else wanted. Perhaps both groups originated in Yll and were displaced by the Aturan Empire?

And the fact that Kvothe's red hair made the giller think he was Yllish seems to lend credence to my idea that the Yllish people are based in some way on the Celts, and that therefore their knots may be Celtic-ish....

And no, there haven't been any main characters who were Yllish yet, but I seem to recall some background a tavern maybe?...being described as Yllish....
Sim Tambem
86. Daedos
@85 Thanks for the correction. And I see where you're going with the Adem, but in my opinion that sounds like too much of a grab from Robert Jordan. Or is it just a kind of tribute (out of respect, maybe)? Plus, the Adem have pretty distinctive physical characteristics and they don't sound much like those of the Ruh. There might be something to your theory on the Yllish somehow paralleling the Celts, though.

Still, the fact that music is a taboo to the Adem has to be significant. I'm not sure what to think about it.
87. ArtfulMagpie
Hey, authors use similar plot points in different ways all the time. I'm just sayin'. I wouldn't be surprised if they ended up being related groups.

And as far as the Adem having distinctive physical traits not shared by the Edema Ruh...I don't see that as any sort of barrier to the theory. The two groups would have been distinct from one another for thousands of years, most likely. The Ruh travel all the time and intermarry with people they meet along the way, as evidenced by Netalia/Laurian, thus picking up physical traits from all over the map. The Adem are geographically and culturally insular, and most likely do not reproduce with outsiders quite as often, their particular sexual mores notwithstanding, thus leading to a more uniform physical appearance.
thistle pong
88. thistlepong
@85 (no main characters, but...)
Deoch and Stanchion are, at least, ethnically Yllish. They both speak Yllish and Deoch's grandmother read the knots. /shrug
Ryan Reich
89. ryanreich
Jo and others (starting with Bam @7) suggested that maybe Devi and Auri are ringers for "the woman" in this story. I feel like this alternative needs to be taken more seriously: Kvothe is pushing very hard in his narrative for us to believe that Denna is his one great love, but I don't see any evidence for it.

Lots of people here have already casually adopted the perspective that she is charming him with her Yllish knots and faerie glamour and whatnot, and something like this seems like it must be the case because she simply isn't that charming. She's distant and evasive and their interactions are always glib and clever but not at all romantic.

She's a mystery to him and he loves mysteries, but that's not the same love as (we think) he's talking about. The other women in this story have more: Auri, Fela, and Devi are all genuine friends; Denna is not his friend. Either she is using him or she is trying to hide from him.

Kvothe doesn't have normal romantic relations in these books. Denna is not a real love interest (either as she is written or, if Rothfuss is at all intelligent, and he is, as she is intended) and the Felurian encounter was, sexually, totally over the top. It's been suggested that his perception of Denna is tainted by her spells, but I wonder if the whole business is somehow...fabricated.

I don't have any answers here but it seems to me that the artificiality of his characterization of Denna is just as big a question as who the Yllish are or whether he was under a spell in Tarbean.
90. Herelle
@84 lambson
Maybe we'll be surprised to see who the Rue really are. ... We all remember Kvothe playing names on his lute after the Chandrian's attack. Maybe it's in his blood. ... Maybe something to do with the Lackless line if not his Rue blood.

I´m not entirely sure there is that much Ruh blood in Kvothe. There are hints that Kvothe might not be Arliden´s child if one of the Lackless theories holds, although that would really be a blow. Once in WMF there even was something like Kvothe being hit like a redheaded stepchild.
One the other hand the Edema Ruh are not (only) an ethnical group. They are travelling performancers with their own habits and ways (do they have any religion?) but they adopt people pretty easily into their groups. We have two examples: one of them is the story of the old man on the crossroads who ends with the Edema Ruh and the other is one of the bandits Kvothe kills in the Eld. I think he started as a mercenary and later was actually a member of the Edema group and betrayed them. Abenthy could probably have become one of the family too if he had chosen to do so.
The Edema Ruh remind me of the Roma people. I expect the origins of the Yllish, Adem and Edema Ruh to be and stay mostly unresolved mysteries inside the story.
Kvothe is pushing very hard in his narrative for us to believe that Denna is his one great love, but I don't see any evidence for it.
Kvothe is constantly looking for her, thinking of her, he is even talking about her and how he should approach her not only with Sim and Wil but also with Fela. He reacts embarressed, says how he doesnt want to scare her away (although that would fit Auri too) but also that he doesn´t want to cling to her like all the other men. His infatuation is pretty obvious throughout both books. Auri, Devi, Fela, Mola he treats like close friends.
The odd break between Denna on the way to Imre and the later Denna is irritating though.

Another thing I wonder about: Kvothe seems to be wealthy in the frame story. He seems to be spending his money like there is no end to his supply with no apparent income. (He doesn´t need the income from the inn, he regularly helps the less fortunate neighbors, he buys expensive things like the best ink and paper, even extraordinarily expensive ones like the roah mounting bord.) The last we know is that the Maer pays his tuition and the deal with the bursar is enough to make a living but not to make a fortune.

@chapter 43:
When Lorren tells Kvothe he doesn´t care for his intentions, his hand held the fire, it is oddly contrary to the Amyr (Lorren´s) motto (for the greater good).
Then the piece of Daeonica "vengeance is the business of a man" struck me as familiar. Isn´t there something in WMF when Kvothe butchers the whole camp in the Eld like that?

Who is Aculeus Lackless? Kvothes grandfather?

@chapter 46
What kind of tools are coin, key and candle supposed to be. Just random alliterations or do they have a function? How could they help Taborlin or Elodin to get out of a locked cell?

Something I noticed: In the window glass there were reddish (copper) streaks running through. After Elodin breaks the wall there is a green mesh, a tangled green web that broke easily or flaked away. So he didn´t just break the wall he caused it to oxidize (verdigris)? Which reminds me of the Chandrian who cause metal to rust.

@chapter 47
I always wonder what is a red herring and what a hint. In this chapter Kvothe tells how he started his own rumours in addition to the others, which he says were pure nonsense: he had demon blood, could see in the dark and so on. Demon blood?

Then Denna again: Singing colours to a blind man is easier than describing Denna? Is he just still love blind (Is he still in love - is she alive? He has a selas flower plant in his backyard.)? He could name Nell, the horse, his sword Caesura, Auri, even Felurian - but why is it so hard to grasp Dennas personality?
thistle pong
91. thistlepong

I agree with you that Auri and Devi deserve more serious consideration. Denna clearly has a central role in the story, but it needn't be as Kvothe's lover.

The most tender, moving moments in the books occur with Auri. Devi's a close second, with more fiery passion and discovery besides. They may be fingers, of course, but passing over them we'll miss, at least, important bits about Kvothe.
Ashley Fox
92. A Fox
Auri. I rather think that she is actually more powerful than K and Elodin. Yup I've said it. Elodin does not treat anyone with respect, except her. When we first meet her, K cannot open the iron grate, no metter how hard he tries. Seem s he should be stronger than some malnourished waif. So, she uses 'magic' to lock it/keep it closed.

When he is running from assasins she shows him how to put his blood/hair into bottles. Why does she know this? Who is she hiding from?

She quite possibly has an ever burning lamp. (The blueish green light she has).

She shares the same social mores as the Sithe. (Cinnas friut).

She is a Knower. A Namer. A Candlestick maker....ok sorry.

She compares K to the Amyr leaders, and to Tarbolin.

Devi. Devi the Demon. K's rumours of Demon blood. Red hair. Lets hope this doesnt go all Star Wars.

Reshi. Nund Reshi an infamous spiritual leader of the Kashmir region. Who disregarded ideas of creed and caste, and promoted the sanctity of living things inc plants/forests. Very early enviromentalist. Perhaps K, in Faen, had a hand in some sort of Revolotion iwthin the class structure, Sithe etc.

Quite awile ago now, so memory is vague and Google not very useful, i happened to be watching a documentary about the Grand canyon and the previous cultures that existed there. They found an Aftifact made of copper. It had been treated in a way that scientists could not fathom, so it appeared blue and was harder than iron. This fact as always stuck in my mind (and been used). A blue copper sword harder than iron sounds good to me.
93. Lexxa
RE: Jo Walton's comment in Chapter Forty-Eight Interlude: A silence of a different kind: The audio book of The Name of the Wind is just over 27 hours. I'm just sayin'.
94. Mouette
Elodin doesn't seem to expect the copper lining his cell... but why would he? If you have on your board of Masters a master who has cracked *before*, and who now is the master Namer, a position certainly more prone to making people crack than, say, master archivist, and he is or acts more than half crazy much of the time...

Why would you *ever* let him know what changes you made to the cell you keep prepared just in case he goes completely mad again? No one is housed in Elodin's old cell; he likes to come back and visit, but hasn't noticed the difference before he tried to break the wall again. Odd that Sim know about the copper, but *not* odd that Elodin doesn't, I think.
95. LAJG
@21 and others re Taborlin: I'm also curious now about Oren Velciter. He's been mentioned a few times as if he's a great hero, but I don't recall any specific stories about him. Since it appears that he is still alive, I wonder if we'll meet him.
Darius Bacon
96. Darius
So same the humble thrush well knows its north” really is terrible poetry, but you accidentally improved it: in the book it's “So same can the humble thrush well know its north”. I feel sorry for Ambrose right then -- this might be the first honest critique he's ever gotten.
97. SameerL
I know this is really late and I know this may not even get read by anyone, but I'm just now coming to this (great) re-read and am trying to catch up.

Regarding Lorren being an Amyr - isn't the whole thing about the Amyr being about "the greater good"? Wasn't the Duke Gibea an Amyr, but he dissected and tortured thousands of people for the sake of knowledge. To me, that's putting intentions over actions (future knowledge over inhumane torturing). But, Lorren states that he doesn't care for intentions, only actions. Isn't that a direct contradiction of what Gibea did and wouldn't it point away from Lorren being an Amyr?
Jo Walton
98. bluejo
Darius: Bad poetry really is terribly hard to do. I couldn't even type it! It's a terrific skill to write it on purpose.

SameerL: Very interesting point!
99. Shadow
pg. 196 NW "...and the enemy was set behind doors of stone." This is from the story of Lanre where he kills the beast and it is locked away behind the 4 plate door in the University I believe. The running title of book 3 "Doors of Stone."
100. images10dream
@97 Not that I think many people will read this, but this re-read is awesome. I just wanted to point out that the Amyr's motto "for the greater good" roughly fits with utilitarian moral thinking (Mill and Bentham); the action and motive is inconsequential as long as the consequences of the action promote the good for all. Is Lorren's statement that he cares not for intentions but only for actions contradictory to this kind of thinking? I think that his statement is not clear enough to draw the conclusion that he is opposed to the utilitarean thinking of the Amyr. He could mean that Kvothe's action (bringing the candle into the stacks) has potentially disasterous conseqences for the world (the potential loss of knowledge) and so Lorren doesn't care about Kvothe's intention. This interpretation would be consistent with the Amyr's credo. Alternativly, he could be thinking in absolutist terms, that carrying candles in libraries is always bad; however this seems far-fetched, as I can't think of a categorical reason why candle carrying would be bad. It seems likely that Lorren is an Amyr, and that Kvothe's carrying the candle into the stacks is against the greater good, leading Lorren to say that Kvothe's intentions have no bearing on the action.
101. Jokes
A couple things about the stone door I caught while I was reading. When Kvothe goes to Felurian, and he sees the tree, the Cthaeth (sp), it mentions to him the Maer. Sorry, I dont have the book in front of me, so I cant quote, but I remember the idea. The tree says that he is something along the lines of knocking on the Amyrs door, and then it laughs at the joke it made. Im fairly certain this is a clear illusion to the stone doors, one of which is in the Archives. Then later, Felurian refuses to say the name of the greatest of the namers who stole the moon away (Iax), and says that his name doesnt matter because he is trapped behind the stone doors. This second mention of a person being behind the stone doors solidified the idea in my head that the next book is going to be about Kvothe either opening the doors or finding out exactly what is behind those doors. My assumption would be that there are seven doors, each holding a different person specifically to the person, or maybe an entirely seperate world (such as where The Creation War occured?). Also, you mentioned how the ending of the word in latin works with the example Romanitas (sp). If this word works the same way Valaritas would be full of Valar, and Skarpi calls one of the cities Valear (sp) or something extremely similar. If he was just off on the name, that could be one of the seven cities from Skarpis story, or more specifically possibly the original Amyr following Selitos from that particular city? Sorry for my spelling mistakes guys, I dont have the books in front of me and I didnt check for spelling.
102. Psyzygy
Jo--so interesting that the banned-from-the-Archives chapter was hard for you to read! I didn't mind that chapter, and the troupe murder wasn't bad, but those yrs on the streets of Tarbean were brutal.

@44, @53: why are mad students kept in Haven at the University? I think this is because they'd be dangerous on the loose--and any harm they caused would rebound on the University and other arcanists. In K's malfeasance hearing, the Chancellor says ordinary folks used to hunt down and burn arcanists; that's one of the reasons the Uni has policies on the use of sympathy.

I can even imagine the University refusing to allow a mad ex-student to return to his family ... perhaps a reason for the luxurious accomodations in Haven.

And I love the Elodin section.
103. Silver
A thought on "Ferula".
When I read it now I think it is just the name of iron, given that Cinder's reaction is much the same as Bast's when Chronicler uses the iron binding against him. I doubt Haliax would risk using real "deep" names when another person is around
Darren James
104. b8amack
Does anyone else think "Cammar" the giller in the Fishery, is Silestos, Lord of Myr Tariniel?

"Cammar was hard to miss. The left side of his face was a web of scars that radiated out, leaving bald strips running through his black hair and beard. He wore a patch over the hollow of his left eye. He was a walking lesson about how dangerous work in the Fishery could be."

Everyone looks for the Chandrian in the story, but not the founder of the Amyr? If Lanre is still around, then I don't see why his old friend wouldn't be. (It might also explain why Kilvin will never successfully complete an ever-burning lamp.)

Probably reaching a bit, but that is an extravagant scar he has. And Silestos swore off becoming whatever Tehlu became in order to become Amyr. Somehow I don't think he would just pass away.
Steven Halter
105. stevenhalter
b8amack@104:That's an interesting idea. Selitos hiding out in the Fishery would be amusing. People would probably have noticed him hanging around for the last thousand years, so this would have just been a temp job as it were.
Darren James
106. b8amack
Well, one presumes that Selitos, he could easily go away and come back decades later to gill again.
107. DarrenJL
Also, when there was the fire in the fishery, and Kilvin is asking Kvothe how he broke the twice-tough glass of the drench, Kvothe imp-lies at first about using a piece of bar-iron.

Kilvin's response is that "not even broad-shouldered Cammar... with an anvil hammer" (not word-for-word sorry) could do such a thing, as though Cammar is the strongest person Kilvin could think of (and Kilvin is such a physically imposing man!)
108. A scientist
Ferrous metals are iron-containing. Ferric and ferrous are ionized states of iron found in metal salts. So yes, Cinder most certainly has to do with iron.
109. AU_Fan
Reading the quote where Sim is breaking down the royal line...

“Actually he’s sixteenth in the peerage,” Sim said, matter of factly. “You’ve got the royal family, the princes regent, Maer Alveron, Duchess Samista, Aculeus and Meluan Lackless...”
...made me start to wonder about something albeit far-fetched. If we believe that Kvothe is a member of the Lackless family through his mother, and we also believe that he has re-named himself or otherwise moved the essence of Kvothe behind one of the doors in his mind (the door of death?), could it be possible that the King he kills is in fact......... himself?

It is conceivable that the Lackless heir is close enough to the top of the list that the crown might fall to them during the time frame of this story. It would certainly fall to them before getting to Ambrose. It is also possible that the King everyone thinks he killed was the person just before him in succession, and that he didn't actually kill this person but was framed. So, Kingkiller could have multiple/hidden meaning. The surface meaning that actually isn't true, and the hidden meaning that is true when he "kills" Kvothe.

Like I said, pretty far-fetched, but I couldn't help mentioning it when it popped into my head.
110. KateH
So very late again, to the discussion. And so much of the book covered in this post. I'm doing my own obsessive re-read currently and had to come see what you made of Lorren's comments about K's candle in the stacks.

I was sort of with you all about Lorren being an Amyr, but his emphasis on actions rather than intentions directly challenges the Amyr theory. Think about it. The motto of the Amyr is: for the greater good. What's that about? Basically it can be, and apparently turned into (in the 4C world), a justification for committing horrible acts with good intentions. At the very least, "for the greater good" has an element of compromise built into it; one must make a decision about what the greater good consists of, and then try to act in some way that will serve this subjective idea. The *greater* good is not the greatest good, an absolute good, or good for everyone. It's a judgment call, and one easily corrupted by imperfect humans.

Lorren explicitly declares his allegiance to the very opposite of the Amyr's founding principle. Murder, theft, cheating - any crime might be done with "good intentions." But Lorren says it's actions that matter, and that all arcanists and men must learn to accept that.

Sorry. I was really liking the Lorren as Amyr thing, until this.
111. ARMed_Pirate
In Ch. 43, the Flickering Way, Sim mentions a girl named Tabetha, who just disappeared after saying Ambrose had promised to marry her.

The obvious assumption is that Ambrose (or his father) had her killed (or possibly shipped off somewhere). But is there any possibility Auri could (have) be(en) Tabetha?

I like Auri as an angel or ex-Amyr better, but still.

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