Jun 16 2011 2:06pm

Rothfuss Reread: The Name of the Wind, Part 9: Not That I Would Encourage That Sort of Reckless Behaviour

Welcome to part 9 of my extremely detailed re-read of Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles. This week’s post covers chapters 51-59 of The Name of the Wind, but also contains extensive spoilers for the whole book and the whole of The Wise Man’s Fear—these discussions assume you’ve read all of both books. Not only would it spoil you for them if you read beyond the cut without reading all of both books, it would also confuse the heck out of you. But having said that, if you buy them now, you could have them both read before next week’s post. And if not, these posts are still going to be here—come to that, these posts are still going to be here when DT is published and all our speculations are lying exposed to the full glare of the sun like dry bones in the desert.

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

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

Chapter 51 is Tar and Tin, and it’s an account of how Kvothe learned sygaldry in seven days when it took normal people a whole term. There’s an explanation of sygaldry—writing runes on things, and how complicated it is. There’s the list of rules, including “teh= lock”—which is Chrispin’s clever catch from two weeks ago on Tehlu. Then there’s Kvothe’s Tom Lehrer method of learning them by setting them to music—along with the first intimation of Auri. He doesn’t meet her yet, but it’s clear she’s there in the inaccessable courtyard, listening to him practicing the lute.

Any thoughts on the other runes and their meanings?

Chapter 52 is Burning Out. The title has two meanings—the normal metaphorical one and also the literal burning of the candles in the duel.

Kvothe overdoes things, Sim and Wil get him to stop working at the Fishery so he can sleep, and because it’s his only paying job he asks them about the Eolian as an alternative way to make money. This chapter also contains a sympathy duel between Kvothe and another student called Fenton, explaining to us exactly how binder’s chills work, and reinforcing the whole thing with sources. I think at this point we understand sympathy well enough for what we need to understand later. Sim and Wil’s concern is a nice touch, cementing the friendship. And Kvothe taking risks to make money gambling on himself is the same cocky too-cleverness he has shown all along. The thought at the end that he has to learn the work in the Fishery properly and there aren’t any short cuts is the closest to a mature thought he has ever had.

Chapter 53 is Slow Circles, and he says the title refers to the slow circles in which he and Denna have always moved together. But we don’t get to Denna in this chapter....

I don’t think people’s speculations that Devi or Auri are the important woman hold up to examination at all. I’m not saying they might not be more important, or certainly more interesting, but to Kvothe “she” is Denna, as SaltManZ put it last week, Kvothe is a Denna-addict. And what he says is “the Eolian is where she was waiting.” And it’s one of his starts of the story, her voice twining with his. Sorry BAM, Ryanreich and RobMRobM, he really is making all this fuss about Denna. Oh well.

The chapter begins with a description of the Eolian and the talent pipe system. I’ve never heard of anything remotely like this in real life, has anyone?

Kvothe tells Sim he’s going to try for his pipes, getting some build up. And then we have Auri—not Kvothe meeting Auri, but Auri as an established fact to whom he is bringing bread. And when he tries to coax her up onto the roof he says “Not much moon tonight” as if to say that makes it safe.

Everything he says about her beyond the physical description is a guess. He guesses she’s no more than twenty, that she was a student who has gone shy and feral. These are only guesses. She could be anything, any age at all. All we know about her is that she is extremely odd and she lives under the University—and she has been there for long enough to know the place extremely well. I wouldn’t be surprised if she had been there since Belen fell, or alternatively if she turns out to be a lost student, or a colleague of Elodin’s, or the genius locus. She could be anything, and yet she has a lot of personality. I like her.

Kvothe chose the name he uses for her, Auri. Later this gets Elodin to decide to teach him. But he thinks of her as his little moon-fey. It’s interesting that he connects these two things with Auri, the moon and fey. I don’t think she is a fey—or rather I don’t think her first language is Faen. Kvothe at this point doesn’t believe in the Fey. The moon, however, she certainly is connected with in some way.

He says it has taken weeks to coax her out, but we see them with an established relationship, exchanging gifts. His to her is food stolen from dinner, but she gives him a key. The first couple of times I read this, knowing nothing about the moon, I read the conversation as whimsy, but now I don’t think so, I think she is serious.

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.

“That should be useful,” I said, looking it over.

“That’s what I thought,” she said. “That way if there’s a door in the moon you can open it.” She sat cross legged on the roof and grinned at me. “Not that I would encourage that sort of reckless behaviour.”

If it really is a key to the moon, why would she have it? Well, in Hespe’s story of Jax the moon is a woman and her name gets shut away. The Lockless box doesn’t have a keyhole, so the key can’t open that, but I wonder. If it’s one of the keys for the Four Plate door then she might have found it in the Underthing. But maybe it’s connected in some way to the moon and so is she and she knows Kvothe is also part of that same tangle, by inheritance and temperament?

When Kvothe gives her water and she asks what’s in it, he says he put in the part of the moon that isn’t in the sky tonight, and she says she already said the moon. Does Auri know about the moon? I think she definitely does, whatever the key might be.

Theories and speculations on Auri?

It has been mentioned in comments that Pat said extra-textually that Auri came to the story in a late draft, which just shows how writers shouldn’t say this kind of thing, because people read it as meaning something’s not important. Let me say that I have had some crucial ideas at the last minute. And the thing is that you can go back and put them in and nobody knows—unless you tell them.

Even if Auri has no purpose in the story Rothfuss first thought of, she has a purpose in the story as we have it, which is all that matters, she’s in the text to analyse. And maybe she’s the moon, and maybe she has the key to it, but the main thing she’s doing right now is showing us a nicer side of Kvothe. He’s much more human because he takes the trouble to coax her out and buy salt for her. Elodin teaches him because of her—maybe because he named her, but maybe not, maybe because Elodin sees him acting like a human being and not a feral child. Auri is one of the few people Kvothe cares about who he’s not trying to use. He does use her—he uses her to get into the Archives—but that’s not the significant thing in their friendship. She’s giving him bits of junk—even if they turn out to be magically valuable later, that’s what he thinks—and he’s giving her food he liked and could use himself.

Chapter 54 is A Place to Burn. The title refers to the Eolian, and the burning here is very metaphorical, meaning making music.

Sim and Wil and Kvothe walk to Imre, Wil notices Kvothe’s body language and Sim mentions Puppet. Kvothe asks about him and Sim says he can’t introduce them because Puppet spends his time in the Archives. Then they all spit for luck when crossing the bridge.

At the Eolian he offers to buy Deoch a drink without knowing he is one of the owners. Deoch says there’s something Fae about the edges about Kvothe—which there isn’t at this point unless he just means driven or there’s something we don’t know.

He talks to Stanchion and we are reminded how difficult a song Sir Savien is and that he’ll be singing with an unknown woman. Then Ambrose comes in and he decides to definitely play it out of pride. Then some other musicians play, including Count Threpe. And then he gets up nervous and loses his nervousness on stage.

“Sir Savien Trailard, greatest of the Amyr”?

And a woman joins in as Aloine, and then two verses from the end a string breaks and he goes into himself and the boy who played in the woods with six strings and finishes the song. And then he weeps, for Savien and Aloine.

We don’t know the story of the song, beyond Savien leaving Aloine and a very sad ending, but I very much like the suggestion that the structure parallels the structure of the story Rothfuss is telling.

Chapter 55 is Flame and Thunder. Everything but the broken tree, eh? If the Eolian is the place to burn, this is it. He holds the audience for that moment in silence before they burst into applause—and this is the whole chapter, one of the shortest in the book.

Chapter 56 is Patrons, Maids and Metheglin, and for once the title is reasonably self-explanatory. The broken string was broken by Ambrose by sympathy. Kvothe gets his pipes. The “patrons” are Wil and Sim, without whom Kvothe wouldn’t be there. The metheglin is what he’s given to drink. (I have had metheglin, and I don’t like it half as much as Kvothe does. I don’t like mead either. Nor Turkish Delight. Oh well.) Then Threpe gives him money, and people buy him drinks, and then he goes to look for “my Aloine,” and at last finds her, after thinking he shouldn’t hope for too much, and the chapter ends on the word “beautiful.”

Chapter 57 is Interlude — The Parts That Form Us. Back to the inn to emphasise how important this is, when we haven’t even got to it yet.

So K hesitates on describing her, and we have meta-description of how important she is and how hard to describe. And Bast says he saw her once, and K says he had forgotten.

And then we have more meta description. K says she was unlike anyone, she had a grace and a fire, and Bast points out that while she had wonderful ears (which seems to be his particular kink) she wasn’t a perfect beauty. But to K she was. She quite literally has “glamour,” magical attraction.

K says why bother trying, “If I ruin this as well it will be a small thing as far as the world is concerned.” This must be because he has ruined the world, because the state of the world as we see it in the frame is a direct consequence of his actions, or at least he thinks it is....

Then he describes her specifics in similes, naming her for the first time since the road trip. All he achieves is to make me think he is completely and utterly besotted by her, still and always. And I really do think it’s not a natural thing. It’s like human love, but it’s more and other, more extreme.

He breaks down and says:

“How can I make any sense of her for you when I have never understood the least piece of her myself?”

And that’s fair enough, because he clearly never has. His relationship with Denna is slow circles, finding without looking, looking without finding, missing each other, miscommunication, obsession, addiction and total incomprehension. I think it’s a geas.

And then he grumps at Chronicler for writing that down, and makes him rewrite just the metadescription. He says “to Kvothe at least” as if Kvothe is not him—and this isn’t like the high language pull back of the night before University, or maybe it is. I’m not sure what it is. Identity crisis for K?

Chapter 58 is Names for Beginning. We’re back into first person Kvothe normal narration. And after all this waffling about how incomparably indescribably lovely she was, he tells us she’s Denna from the caravan “so long ago.” It was two terms ago, less than half a year. Maybe that’s “so long ago” when you’re fifteen. He says so. Has she been in Fae in between? Who can tell.

She’s with Sovoy. He wonders if she remembers him, and despite the fact that she lights up when she sees him and is flirting heavily with him, he leaps to the conclusion that she doesn’t.

And he offers to do anything for her—what a terrible idea! Hasn’t he been listening to anything he’s been singing? He says he thinks of her as Felurian, but that might lead to confusion—well, yes! Considering! But this is, I think, the first mention of Felurian? And she refuses to give him her name so he doesn’t have power over her, and she does it in a flirty way but hey, she does it. And we were talking before about her shifting the name she uses, and could this really be why? When she gives her name, she says is is Dianne.

Denna’s names always start with D, I think, and they’re usually of a pattern—Dianne, Dineah—that fits around Denna. No idea why.

He leaves her because she’s with Sovoy and Sovoy is his friend. And although he’s been talking to her in a sophisticated way, he feels that he’s awkward in her presence, despite his triumph downstairs.

Chapter 59 is All This Knowing. He gets drunk and slips into third person again as they walk back. The University and Imre are Understanding and Art, “the strongest of the four corners of civilization.” I thought the four corners was a geographic term, but if it isn’t, what are the other two? The Lethani and Naming?

I’ll stop there as that’s the end of this Eolian episode.

Last week’s comment thread was excellent as usual, with much great stuff about Elodin and copper, but I don’t think there’s anything I especially want to pull out.

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.

andrew smith
1. sillyslovene
Finally broke down and got WMF, so now I can jump in from time to time with thoughts-

RE this portion- I think that it shouldn't be missed that the main connection between K and Auri is his music. It is what draws her out and what cements their friendship- while I think the gifts and the conversations, the connection with the moon, etc are all very important- the music is what brings them together.
It is also interesting that this also brings his music to the attention of others that might not think of it as important as per the divide between Imre and the University- i.e. Mola, and Elodin- and is shown to have profound impact on others, i.e. Sim.
Perhaps this sets up a very real connection between music and the moon as well. Perhaps music is the key to the third lock? It has been shown to somehow bind (i.e. with Felurian), and could be magically connected with things like the Iron and Copper as things that pull together and fit.
2. jmd
I think one of the things about Denna is that she does not know who she is yet. We know that she has escaped from some not so happy circumstances in the past (as when she was talking to the runaway girl) and she has learned to protect herself (carries a knife). So she always names herself similarly to keep track of herself. But there is also this idea of how changing your name changes who you are - exemplified by the Kote/Kvothe issue. So she may not be solid yet and these "use names" all dance around the same issue. Kvothe askes Elodin about that at one point and he gets alarmed at thinking she is changing names versus just changing what she is called.

She also does have glamour. It is interesting that he ends on "beautiful" when in the second book she has been doing the Yllish knots and that, IIRC, is the word she braids into her hair.
James Felling
3. Maltheos
I cannot believe I missed this Denna's names all hover around Diana ( goddess of the hunt, and of course, the moon). Once again we get back to the moon. It also explains quite abit about how she drifts in and out of his life. ( I would be curious to see how long they are ever together consistently -- and if it matches the full or the new moon) This may be me seeing something thats not there, but It just fits too well.

Additionally, the moon has already been pictured as a female, and has definitely been traped in an unpleasant relationship. Just a thought.
4. flodros
I've just finished re-reading WMF and I noticed something that i've never spotted before. In the chapter above they spit for luck over the bridge. Probably quite a common superstition I know. But in WMF, when Kvothe is leaving to go see the Maer he meets Elodin on (presumably) the same bridge. Before they part Elodin gets him to 'spit for luck'. Ok nothing weird, it's a common superstition, Elodin's not exactly....normal.

But earlier in WMF Kvothe is playing corners with Will and Sim (+1 other) but is distracted by denna so he plays badly. Will (maybe) says to Kvothe something like "you have 4 clubs in your hand and 3 clubs have been played. How many clubs does that leave?". A bit later, during admissions, Elodin asks Kvothe the exact same question.

I don't think it's random that Elodin brings both these things up; I think he mentions them to Kvothe for a reason - maybe to show how powerful he is and/or Kvothe could be. But how does Elodin know that these will be relevant to Kvothe? Is he spying on him? or is naming so powerful that you can actually see/know that amount of detail, where something so minor as a simple barb is discoverable to a namer?

Sorry for a bit of a wall of text there. I've never been great in getting my thoughts down in 20 words or less.
lake sidey
5. lakesidey
I always thought Auri was the reason why though (and certainly no quotes to back it up!). Am loving your re-read, just started my own and will be catching up in a week or so...but you (and all the wonderful commenters!) are finding details I'd never have noticed even after a second read...thanks all.

Jason German
6. naillin
On my first read through, Chapter 56 startled and, after some thought, pleased me with the way Kvothe was flirted with by the two guys in upper most 'lovers' tier.
James Golden
7. Treemaster
Doesn't Count Threpe ask Kvothe to call him "Denn" in this chapter? That made me think he may be far, far more significant than he appears. Not sure how, exactly. He is the one, though, in WMF who sets Kvothe up to go to see the Maer. And is excuse about already having 4 patrons really legit? I'm sure he could get Kvothe too if he really wanted.

There must be more to Threpe than meets the eye.
Sim Tambem
8. Daedos
@3 Interesting thought. Do we have any info on the moon phasing when we see Denna? Worth looking into.

@2 I think that conversation between Kvothe and Elodin (about a person changing their name) is at the heart of why Kvothe became Kote.

Stanchion is Yllish and his hair is also red (though much darker than Kvothe's). Probably a coincidence, but I thought it might be worth mentioning. I'd like to know more about Yllish history.

Not only does Manet ask Kvothe the question about cards, but he calls it a "primer" for admissions. That can't be a coincidence. Maybe we should be asking ourselves who Manet is and what connection he has to Elodin.
9. flodros
Also, in the comments on the past few posts there has been some discussion as to why Kvothe is in his current situation and how he 'started the war'.

The three things a wise man fears (i'm going from memory here so sorry if I get things wrong).

The rage of a gentle man
The sea in storm
a moonless night.

Kvothe experienced the rage of a gentle man in book 1 with lorren the master archivist.
The sea in storm both metaphorically and actually in book 2 (meta - matching wills with Devi, who describes her Alar as like the sea in storm and also actually when he is going to see the maer)

A moonless night is when you can accidently enter the Fae realm. When Kvothe met Felurian the moon was full and she came to his realm then enticed him back. I think in book 3 we will see Kvothe enter the Fea realm and this will somehow cause a war. I think that the 'rebels' that are mentioned as being the enemy are actually from the Fae realm.

Just though I'd put that out there so you guys can rip it to shreads.
Sim Tambem
10. Daedos
@9 The parallels between what a wise man fears and Kvothe's adventures are interesting (I had forgotten about the description of Devi's alar - thanks for the reminder). Also, we have evidence that Kote is much more aware of "demons" than Kvothe is in his story (so far). What are the scrael? Where did they come from? What is their plan? There is no mention of them or anything like them in Kvothe's timeline. Something probably did happen with the Fae, and it might have something to do with Felurian. After all, if he did go back to her (as he promised he would), then he left her again. That could have caused some serious trouble.
10. Susan Loyal
". . .the main thing doing right now is showing us a nicer side of Kvothe."

Yes, and providing an absolute contrast to Denna. Kvothe and Denna are always meeting, or seeking to meet, and their meetings always resemble first meetings (consistent with an infatuation or a spell). As Jo points out, we never see Kvothe meet Auri. They are in an established relationship by the time we're shown anything, and a curiously domestic relationship at that. He brings her food and worries about how to provide better clothes for her. In WMF, we see her comfort him when he cries and offer to let him live with her in the Underthing, because he'll be safe with her, if he ever needs safety. Even at this early stage, the relationship is based on an exchange of gifts. Kvothe with Auri is not showing off, not over-reaching. Kvothe with Denna is in full "display" and always seems on the verge of disaster. Minimally, we need Auri in order to see that Kvothe is not only nicer but capable of being genuine, of being himself without running after reputation, without striking a pose. By contrast, the circling of Kvothe and Denna seems more fragile, more fraught, and far less likely to produce the kind of relationship Kvothe observed between his parents. But we don't have to wonder whether K is capable of domestic intimacy, because we see that he is.

And both the women are associated with "fae" and the moon. I really, really want the other shoe to drop.

(I don't like mead or Turkish Delight, either, Jo. It was an awful disappointment. I do love hot buttered toast and toast with sardines, so tea with Tumnus works for me.)
11. ArtfulMagpie
For the most part, yes, Denna's names start with D. But when Kvothe meets up with her in Severen, she is calling herself Alora. I think that's the only time it's not a D-name....

The thing I find interesting about Auri (Well, ONE thing I find interesting about her!) is that Kvothe always associates her with the moon, saying she's his little moon-fae, etc...and the text associates her with the moon. The key, the fact that she doesn't like to come out on top of things when there's much moon, etc. BUT, and this must be significant, Kvothe tells Elodin that chose the name Auri because it means "sunny" and Auri herself is just so bright and sunny. So which is she? Sunny, or a moon-fae? Or is she both? Of course, WE know that the moon (our moon!) doesn't produce light; it merely reflects sunlight. So moonlight IS sunlight. Is this true in Kvothe's world as well, despite the unusual/magical behavior of the moon?

And yes, flodros, the thing about Elodin asking how many clubs caught me, too. Is one of Kvothe's friends spying on him? Is Elodin somehow able to follow him around unobserved? Or is this something magical in nature?

And jmd....the word that Denna knots into her hair is "lovely," not "beautiful."
12. Tarcanus
When it comes to Kvothe going back into Fae, I think it's a definite thing. I recall that Bast is from the Mael Fae, which is described by Felurian(I think) as being where the shapechangers and other not-so-nice fae reside. Perhaps on a moonless night, Kvothe finds himself pulled into the Mael where he winds up meeting Bast.
13. ArtfulMagpie
My thoughts on the scrael and the skindancer and the mysterious war are as follows: There was once only one world. Fae didn't exist until it was magically constructed by Iax and the other Shapers. The stealing of the moon was the last step. What if, somehow, Kvothe is responsible for UNDOING the making of Fae, thus unleashing all of its denizens upon the human world?

Either that, or he accidentally freed Iax...or one of the other dangerous Shapers...from behind the doors of stone and Iax is waging war on humanity...
14. Susan Loyal
ArtfulMagpie @11: Kvothe thinks that "Auri" means "Sunny", but Elodin asks "In what language?" and debunks Kvothe's answer. So maybe it means something else, because it's at that moment that Elodin invites Kvothe into his Naming class. "Aurum" is Latin for gold, which may or may not be significant.

Auri has some knowledge of or connection with the Amyr. In Chapter 24 of WMF, she calls Kvothe her Ciridae, puts her finger on his chest and says "Ivare enim euge." Subsequently, Kvothe determines that "Ivare enim euge" means "For the greater good"--the motto of the Amyr. Just as he discovers that and explains it to Sim, Lorren throws him out of the Archives again, suspended for five days.
Sim Tambem
15. Daedos
That would put the human world in a bit of a pickle. If that is the case, the moon would always be full (again), right? That's probably something we can verify from the Interludes.
16. Foxed
Interesting point about Manet priming Kvothe for Elodin's admission question!

Have we ever seen Manet and Elodin in the same room, hm?

I thought D was a Fae up until the Bechdel scene.

I like the idea that Kvothe merges the two worlds.

Before catching that Mael were another tribe of Fae, I thought perhaps Mael (mal) were the demons and Fae were the angels Kvothe faced in his mythos. I know, obviously, that the Chandrian and Amyr are more likely candidates. Nevertheless.
17. ArtfulMagpie
@Susan Loyal My reading of the "In what language?" question was not that Auri does NOT mean Sunny, but that it is a Name
(in the capital-letter sense of the word!) with a meaning of sun or sunny , and Elodin was testing whether or not Kvothe realized that he was Naming when he called her Auri...or if it was completely instinctive.
David Rodriguez
18. strakul
@13 I tend to think along the same lines. If it turns out to be true, it would be awesome. I wonder: will the story catch up to the present at the end of book 3? If so how will they fix the world?
Sim Tambem
19. Daedos
"'You look like an Amyr', she said. 'Kvothe is one of the Ciridae.'"

So, are the Ciridae the highest ranking Amyr? Can someone with a digital copy do a search to see where else we hear the term?

Also, when Kvothe asks Auri how she knows about the Amyr she runs away. Earlier Kvothe mentioned that she would run if he asked her 'personal' questions. Apparently the Amyr are in some way personal to Auri.

By the way, her response is "I don't like telling."
20. ArtfulMagpie
@lambson In the story Kvothe tells about the wanderer who becomes part of the Edeama Ruh family, he describes the Ciridae as being the most trusted members of the Amyr, given almost complete autonomy in their actions. If a Ciridae struck down any random person in the street, his actions would not be questioned by anyone either in the Church or the government. They are the ones with the red bloody tattoos on their hands and arms, and it was clearly a Ciridae on the pot in Trebon, based on the drawing that the young woman brings to Kvothe.

I also noticed, though I don't have a copy handy with textual references, that there are quite a few instances of Kvothe being wounded in some way and having blood running down his arms and between his fingers....
Kelly Lysaught
21. kcl3935
One of the many things that Kvothe has promised to explain is "the truth about Princess Ariel". It is rather far-fetched, but one of the things that has jumped into my mind recently is how close "Auri" sounds to "Ariel". Could it be possible that Auri is the Princess?
Beth Meacham
22. bam
@19 -- I don't think that asking about the Amyr is the personal question part. I think it's the "how do you know" that's personal. If someone asked Kvothe how he knew about the Chandrian, that would be an intensly personal question, and something that he might answer "I don't like telling."

Auri fascinates me. She appears to be young, yet she knows the Underthing really well. Elodin has been trying to befriend her for years. I wonder how many? I think that Elodin knows her "real" name, by the way. Her comment to him that "If your name is getting too heavy, you should have Kvothe give you a new one" has all kinds of overtones.
23. AO
"It has been mentioned in comments that Pat said extra-textually that Auri came to the story in a late draft, which just shows how writers shouldn’t say this kind of thing, because people read it as meaning something’s not important. Let me say that I have had some crucial ideas at the last minute. And the thing is that you can go back and put them in and nobody knows—unless you tell them."

I agree. Also, do we know what might have been taken out of the story? Just because she's been put in it might not mean that someone/something that accomplished something similar might not have been there before.
24. Matt_Reader
@19 Yes, the Ciridae are the "highest ranking Amyr.", from the Faerinial story. Which would make Sir Savien a Ciridae? (NW 398 "Savien Traliard, greatest of the Amyr.")

Speaking specifically to that interaction with Auri, it says, "'You are my Ciridae, and thus above reproach.' She reached out to touch the center of my chest with a finger. 'Ivare enim euge.'" The action seems ritualistic to me. (NW 280, Master Lorren, who is not suspicious at all, is the one who tells Kvothe "Ivare Enim Euge" roughly translates as 'for the greater good.' I'm inclined to take his rough translation as perhaps biased, especially if he's culling the Archives. Then again, Selitos (in Skarpi's story) promises to always strive for the greater good. It could be legit.)

Another mention is on the piece of pottery that was taken by the Chandrian from the farm, the girl draws what she remembers of the pottery. One of the figures Kvothe recognizes as a Ciridae and the girl calls it the scariest thing on the pottery. She described the Ciridae as, "He looked like he was ready to burn down the whole world." (Interesting that Lanre, in Selitos's story wanted to basically destroy the whole world as well.)

When Kvothe tells the story of Faeriniel, one of the camps he comes across has a Ciridae in it. The Amyr is riding to save the life of an innocent woman. @20 has more on this.

Kvothe's asks Felurian about the Amyr and the Ciridae, the stories she knew were all thousands of years old, she specifically says, "there were never any human amyr." (Not even Sir Savien? The Ruh don't tend to be wrong, or was Sir Savien not human...)

Previous commentator's have mentioned that when Kvothe goes walking under the sword tree in Adem and comes out, he cuts himself, blood comes down his hand, and the Adem hand-sign for willing is very similar to the description of Ciridae that we have seen.

No use of the word Ciridae in NW at all.

I hate to be nit-picky, but I seem to recall Devi being remarked as an the added character, not Auri. I could be wrong, but Devi seems more unnecessary then Auri. I really like @17 Artful Magpie's conjecture that Auri might be the Name of sunny, Kvothe thinks of a concept, and is able to articulate that concept with a Name. He thinks Auri the person is sunny, and therefore gives her the actual Name, Sunny. When I originally read it, I thought that Elodin knew what Auri actually meant (in whatever language), and it was a much more accurate description of who the person Auri was than just sunny. I like either explanation.
C Smith
25. C12VT
Auri's age: I had initially assumed (as I think we are meant to) that Auri was a student who went mad. But if Auri looks to be "certainly no more than twenty", as Kvothe says, she can't have enrolled at the university all that long ago. In chapter 44 (about page 330, if the page numbers in my ebook can be trusted) we learn that Elodin was the youngest to be admitted to the University, at age 14. And most students are older - seventeen or eighteen or more. Even if Auri was a prodigy like Elodin, that means at most six years (but probably more like three) for her to attend the university, learn the skills and knowledge she demonstrates, AND start living in the Underthing - and we know from Elodin's comment that she has lived there for years.

So I'd say the "certainly no more than twenty" line could be an indication that, at the least, she's not aging normally.
C Smith
26. C12VT
@ 24: You wrote:

Another mention is on the piece of pottery that was taken by the Chandrian from the farm, the girl draws what she remembers of the pottery. One of the figures Kvothe recognizes as a Ciridae and the girl calls it the scariest thing on the pottery. She described the Ciridae as, "He looked like he was ready to burn down the whole world." (Interesting that Lanre, in Selitos's story wanted to basically destroy the whole world as well.)

That made me think of a scene later in WMF, when Bast tells Chronicler that "the whole world is burning down". Might not mean anything, but interesting echo...
Chris Palmer
27. cmpalmer
If it's said of the Ciridae that no one can question their actions, presumably because if they strike someone down in the street, it is "for the greater good" and everyone is supposed to assume that the Ciridae who did it knew that the person was going to do something bad and they struck to prevent it. Then if Auri says Kvothe is a Ciridae, she might be telling the truth (as her other poetic mutterings may be absolute truth as well). If the story is in the "pawn of fate" model, everything Kvothe is doing, even the mistakes, could be for a greater good that even he doesn't understand yet. His free will could be an illusion.

Of course, the flip side of this is the Cthaeh. If Bast is right, once you've visited the Cthaeh, you still have the illusion of free will, but everything you do, even the good things, could be for a greater evil instead.

We know that in the frame story, K thinks he's screwed up the whole world. The ultimate truth of that may be whether he's truly one of the Ciridae or whether the curse of the Cthaeh controls his actions.
Hello There
28. praxisproces
To Jo: The "four corners" line in this chapter still throws me. I assumed from the beginning that it meant "the world," but this seems to suggest it refers to four very specific civilized virtues with concrete locations. Which is puzzling.

Also I agree, we shouldn't try to parse his decisionmaking. The most salient example of this, as I've said before, is that he had written the whole book (years and year ago, obviously, in a very different form) without the frame tale. Trying to imagine the book that way is impossible, and seriously calls into question what we can expect from the conclusion of Doors of Stone; but once you go down that road, obviously there's no stopping. I just try to trust him, he has yet to let us down.

@10. SusanLoyal as usual is staggeringly insightful. I think it's useful to remember that, though everything in these books is purposeful because they're profoundly lean and economical, not everything has to play a role in the Chandrian-Creation War-Kingkiller narrative. This is a story about Kvothe, ultimately, not about the world, and a great deal of what we see happen takes place either to force an evolution in his character or to showcase his character. It is moments like his conversations with Auri that help to counterbalance his mistakes and performative excess.

Separately, on Kvothe and the Ciridae: it's valuable to remember that the echoes we get around the Amyr are far from positive. The Duke of Gibea is a good example; if Denna's mentor is an Amyr (whether he's Bredon or not) that would be another. Monomania always seems to be a bad thing in the Four Corners world, the heroes are the most nuanced and the villains the most uncomplicated. (This, by the way, is one of the reasons why Lorren is so obviously an Amyr; no one but one of these freaks would keep the most brilliant student in the Arcanum out of the library for a year.) So the question isn't ultimately whether or not Kvothe will turn into a Ciridae, but whether or not the Ciridae are actually laudable. If the Amyr were originally (or exclusively) an organization of angels, it's hard to imagine them being merciful: divinities are always pretty single-minded. So for Auri to call Kvothe her Ciridae should raise our hackles at the very least.

It might also have some strong negative valence even inside the story. Everything's connected, we seem increasingly to be saying, and the Amyr (whether human or divine) seem to be pretty central to the larger narrative of the Creation War and so forth. Auri, it seems clear, is not just a cracked student running loose; she knows too much and her conversation is too fraught with meanings invisible to Kvothe. So if she is an immortal of some kind or at least a character in the bigger pageant which is only slowly revealing itself to Kvothe, the Amyr may be as problematic an institution to her as they seem to be from the outside. Perhaps she knew that Kvothe had it in him to do... whatever it is that he did.
29. Ki
Speculators on the Amyr may be interested by a February 2011 entry on Pat's blog where he posted artwork from a friend of his, Nathan Taylor, who "knows all kinds of things about the world that other people don’t. Nate knows all manner of secrets." The picture is a depiction of an Amyr--a Ciridae, judging by his bloody hands--walking away from a burning house, with a sword in one hand and a flaming torch in the other. Pat commented, "This is the perfect depiction of the Amyr. It fills me with a dark and terrible joy…."

Link here
30. jgtheok
Kvothe is anxious enough to claim to be a typical 15-year old, but seems to actively avoid most romantic prospects. Instead we get Denna/Dianne:
"To me she was not a person, or even a voice, she was just a part of the song that was burning out of me."
Would he have fallen madly in love with any woman who sang his mother's part in that song?

Rather reminds me of the various points where he references the caution he learned during his experiences in Tarbean - invariably to throw it to the wind.

Possibly related to the 'unnamed-Kvothe in Tarbean' hypothesis?
Perhaps 'Kvothe' is largely missing those years of his life, while some other fragment of his personality did the growing up? A lot of his reactions seem more appropriate to a 12-year old who never went through those experiences...
31. Dominiquex
@13: Fascinating. And I feel fairly probable.

@27: I don't know if that's where it's going, but a fantastic read on the issue nonetheless.

From 28: So the question isn't ultimately whether or not Kvothe will turn into a Ciridae, but whether or not the Ciridae are actually laudable. If theAmyr were originally (or exclusively) an organization of angels, it's hard to imagine them being merciful: divinities are always pretty
single-minded. This is definitely the feeling I've been getting from them. A Not Good feeling. Kvothe was so scarred by the Chandrian he's sure they're the ultimate evil and has yet to even try and examine the Amyr's worthfulness. Huge In Our Face(s) clue 1: Nina's reaction to seeing/dreaming/redrawing the Ciridae on the pot for Kvothe - out of the 8 images of the 7 most dark-and-hellbent-on-destroying-the-world-ever beings, it's the supposed good guy who scares her to her core. Clue 2: Denna's song. Not that she's a super reliable source, but it's a push in the This Is Not Black & White Like You Think Kvothe direction. ... Makes me think that maybe what Kvothe does to ruin the world by the time of the frame story is give the Amyr the upper hand, and only afterwards found out they were the wrong side. That could lead to the profound withdrawal from the world that we see him in at the Waystone. Whatever the Amyr are, we have definitely not gotten the Whole Story.

Other thing... The episode in WMF where Elodin quizzes Kvothe about Auri's name is a near echo of the experience Kvothe had in NotW with the black horse he named One-Sock when he thought he'd named him Shadow (or something). His sleeping mind has great Naming power, but his waking mind has an inaccurate translation of what he Names.

Finally, another thing that struck me is the connection many have made to Denna and the moon on this thread. I don't know if she really is The Moon (Ludis) - I don't get the feel of that plot path from Rothfuss - but the connection makes so much about her fascinating. Her names are generally formed around Diana-variants (excellent catch 3!), she is constantly shifting logistically/namingly/emotionally, constantly trying to rename herself (as one who had her name stolen from her might). She says (paraphrase) "I disappear sometimes. Without warning. Sometimes it's all I can do." She has extreme emotional reaction to the idea of a man trying to own/control her (as a woman trapped by a man as Ludis was might be). Also, in the break from the narrative at the Eolian where he tries to describe her, he says (again, paraphrasing) "She was beautiful, without flaw, to her core." That is not something that generally seems too human of a description. And her flightiness is more forgiveable if she literally is as changeable as the moon. Finally, after all this time, all the heartbreak she has caused him, and whatever her involvement was in the Kvothe-ruined-the-world event, he still remembers her without the anguish or bitterness we see him recall his time with his parents or negative Tarbean experiences with. His only negative emotions are how he cannot appropriately describe her. He still has selas flowers in his innyard. He does not give us any hint in the frame that he rues her betraying him, mourns her death, hopes that she's okay, or hopes to see her again - and this from a man who loves to foreshadow. No, he just remembers her fondly and regrets his lack of understanding of her. I definitely get the impression that, whether the moon or not, Denna is somewhere beyond Kvothe's/Kote's reach, and probably safe.
32. Jexral
Only a small point but this is the first mention of Felurian:

"I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life."

That was quoted from the website. I don't have the book right now, so I'm not sure which page it is on, but I know it is at the start of the real story.
33. LAJG
Is there a connection between "Auri' and "Laurian"? (Or did I just notice the similarity in names for personal reasons. And how does "Netalia" become "Laurian"? ) In WMF, after Kvothe is poisoned and is missing his mother, Auri comes to comfort him.

Someone's probably already said this, but since Lorren knows who Kvothe's father is, does he know who his mother is? Does he know how his parents died? And does he therefore have a hidden agenda for keeping Kvothe from the Archives, especially after finding out what he is trying to research?
34. Lurking Canadian
I suspect that the moon is completely missing from the world in the frame story. I've been trying to pay attention during the frame story chapters to see if there is any mention of the moon, but I've never noticed any. Also, the complete absence would mean that every night was a "night with no moon", something wise men ought to fear, which would kind of explain why the world sucks and there are demons tearing up the place.

If the growing suspicion is correct that Denna is the moon, in some sense, that would be thematically appropriate, since I'm pretty sure there's no Denna in the frame either.
35. DEL
Kvothe almost always refers to D as Denna. He meets Denna on the road to Imre, but he meets D in the Eolian.

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

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

If D is Lyra, how would Kvothe stop himself from being more like Lanre? By forgetting or locking away that part of his name?
36. Dominiquex
D is Aloine, and Lyra, and the Moon. She is the wildness that should never be tamed or gentled. She is partially trapped by a man who wants mastery and controll over her. He does not have her whole being, her whole name.

Love this DEL.
Erich Wade
37. erichtwade
Regarding Denna's name, I wondered during my last read-through if there is some connection between her and the oft-quoted play Daeonica. I no longer think that this is particularly supportable, but the play comes up often enough that I can't help but think it's important somehow.

I just looked through my copies for details on the play. While the play is mentioned numerous times -- even quoted at length thrice -- in NotW, it gets only two mentions in WMF, both trivial. (Once when he's searching for names of the Chandrian in the Archives and comments that many names are stolen from demons, either in the Book of the Path or plays such as Daeonica; the other time, he tells Denna of a noblewoman who purportedly lost her virginity during a performance.)

However, I realized something interesting about the three points at which Daeonica is quoted in NotW: all three have to do with the introduction of major characters in Kvothe's life.

Ben quotes the play's exorcism scene when Kvothe first meets him:
"Begone! Trouble me no longer! I will set fire to your blood and fill you with a fear like ice and iron! Leave this place clean of your foul presence. By the power of my name I command it to be so."
He goes on, but past that point he's just making it up.

Kvothe first publicly announces his enmity of Ambrose by quoting Tarsus from the fourth act:
"Upon him I will visit famine and a fire,
Till all around him desolation rings
And all the demons in the outer dark
Look on amazed and recognize
That vengeance is the business of a man."

And when he meets Denna in the Eolian -- a meeting which he seems to consider their first in many ways -- he quotes the third act, and she calls him on it:
"Felurian! What have I done? The adulation of my peers below has been a waste of hours. Could I recall the moments I have careless cast away, I could but hope to spend them in a wiser way, and warm myself in light that rivals light of day."

From what we know about the play, it seems that the main character is a man named Tarsus, who seems to have sold his soul and (presumably later) "burst out of hell." If we assume that he is the speaker in the quote from the third act, it's possible that the play involves Tarsus betraying or failing Felurian in some way, then trying to make it right; I suspect that the "light that rivals light of day" refers to moonlight in Fae.

I wonder if Daeonica is another eerily close parallel to Kvothe's life.
Jo Walton
38. bluejo
If D literally is the moon, always coming and going, always new again, missing part of her name, sometimes vanishing entirely, always being pulled into Fae and back, and simultaneously a real person who has to eat and really can't take a steady job and would like to be loved but cannot settle down either -- it makes sense of a lot.

Where is the moon when we see her? There's no moon on the night by the pool, we talked about that, starlight in reality, moonlight in Kvothe's memory. But that doesn't mean the moon is in Fae, it could be late-rising. (I would like a tide-table for Tarbean!) Kvothe says to Auri that there's not much moon, but that's weeks before he meets D in the Eolian -- we only know those things are both in the second term, which is 88 days long, and the moon has a synodic period of 72 days. When the boys walk back in such a symbolic manner, the stars are like diamonds and there's no moon mentioned. Maybe she is there when the moon isn't, maybe she is the dark of the moon?

Anyway, it casts a new light on learning things from her patron, because that would be a desire for agency.
39. Soloce
On the Auri name piece and Elodin calling him on it, I thought it was a bit fourth-wall. We have words like Aurora which exactly mean dawn, or as a second definition the Roman goddess of dawn. So I didn't really get what Elodin was getting at here unless they don't have that word in Kvotheland.

Not much else to say other than that there is a ridiculous amount of great analysis in the posts above. Almost seems like there could be some threads like Sleeping Under the Wagon dedicated to Moon research, and then related to Auri and Denna respectively; as well as a thread on the book's internal literature (Daeonica, the various songs) as parallels to K's life.
40. ArtfulMagpie
Okay...uh...this might be totally crazy....but what if Auri and Denna are BOTH the moon? Split in two? Wise, old beyond their years, but always missing some part of themselves?
Jo Walton
41. bluejo
Soloce: I think I'll do that when I finish NW -- we're more than half way through -- and before I start to do WMF. (The reason for this is not to give us more time to accumulate awesome theories but because of the way the indexing works.)
42. Herelle
@ 40 Artful Magpie
I primalily think of the Aurora as the polar light / northern light phenomenon. I didn´t realize there are so many references to greek mythology.

Auri sounds like aura, too. Actually Aura is a greek goddess too (apparently there was one for everything), she is the divine personification of the morning breeze. She is described just like Diana/Artemis as a virginal huntress. She is seduced / raped by Dionysos, is pregnant with twins, goes insane and tries to kill them. One, Iakchos is saved by Artemis / Diana. Iakchos sounds a lot like Iax, but I couldn´t find any further info about him.

Kvothe describes her hair as framing her face like a halo in a breeze.

So we have (morning) light, (morning) breeze, madness, and the similarity to Diana (huntress).

I like your thought of Denna and Auri being two aspects of the same thing. Denna has black hair, doesn´t she? I always pictured Auri´s long fine hair as silvery blond. It´s a little ying/yang, isn´t it?

Oh someone mentioned here how Elodin could know of some things he shouldn´t have known, I can´t find it in the comments above in a hurry. Elodin is listening to the wind, Auri tells this Kvothe (p. 387 paperback "Nobody sees me. Besides, he was busy listening to the wind. There was good wind for listening last night"). I always had the impression, the wind could tell him stuff.
43. ArtfulMagpie
@42 Herelle: Good catch on the "listening to the wind" thing. Now that you point it out, I'm sure that's what's going on. Elodin can listen to what the wind tells him. Of course he can. :-D
44. Mouette
Four Corners: Perhaps it's a simplistic reading, but I always took this as strictly metaphorical, not a literal location of four corners. When humans talk about building something intangible, we usually base it with four corners - most of our buildings are some variation of quadrangle. Without one of the corners, no building is complete.

Manet/Elodin: Reading too much into it, I think - though who knows, when DT comes out either we'll all have interpreted way too much, or far, far too little. Manet was mad at Kvothe for messing up in cards, he was being sarcastic - like if you asked a college student doing badly at poker what four plus four is to 'prepare for finals'.

That's not to say it's not significant - absolutely significant, but strictly on Elodin's side, I think. I took it to mean that Elodin was there that night at the Eolian. Which meant he would have heard the whole discussion of magic with Denna. A warning to Kvothe to be careful who he tells University secrets to? Or just Elodin being Elodin, being cryptic and mysterious because it's fun.
45. DEL
Bast, I believe, is the most dangerous enemy Kvothe has ever had. Through timeline hints he attaches himself to Kvothe/Kote about the time the floodgates of Fae are open to the world. Remember: Fae are not human and we forget that at our peril.

I think all the trouble in the framing story, the scaeling, the skin walker, the King's Men are a direct result of Bast trying to awaken Kvothe.

Kvothe is using his utmost abilities to keep Bast from going Twilight and destroying everything around him.

I also believe the Chadarians are attempting to break the power of naming and magic, and maybe even the idea of aristocracy. They are freedom fighters
46. DEL
References in the books to the Moon's phase and the presence of D:

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

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

I'll look for more Moonphase/D connections
47. amphibian
Discarding the exegisis, do you readers think that Auri wants a romantic relationship with Kvothe? She trusts him to an extent that no one else enjoys and brings him meaningful gifts all the time. Or is she wired too differently for that?

It has this "I'm in love with my best friend, and he's oblivious to it" air to me that I can't quite shake.
48. DEL
@amphibian - I agree!
Jo Walton
49. bluejo
DEL: The moon-connection in Severen seems really significant. And she's a wanderer like the moon, she is constantly moving.

No wonder she seemed so artificial.
50. DEL
The only moonless night where Kvothe and D meet is before she is D.

Kvothe and Denna speak on a dark star-filled night on a pond with two waystones in sight.

As an aside, Auri's first mention is at the break of dawn, with the first golden-light.
Lenny Bailes
51. lennyb
I'm coming in late on this. I picked up NW several weeks ago along with the latest Brust because of Jo's first several posts. (My reasoning was that anything she likes this much and spends so much time on must be worth checking out.)

I quickly devoured the first book, alternating between reading sections of it and reading parts of the discussion here. Then I picked up the second book in the library and am about 100 pages into it. Am I a glutton for spoilers?

Not really. I just make my eyes skip over anything in the discussion that looks like I'd be happier discovering it for myself in the text. I've always had a kind of anti-spoiler Alar that I use when reading reviews of things I haven't read or experienced directly:

"Nights with Felurian," no, that's later, wonder if it'll have any resonance of "Three Hearts and Three Lions" or be more like "Thomas the Rhymer," we'll see, in good time.

Learning combat skills in Adem?" OK. He doesn't have them yet, and has to eventually pick them up somewhere. Jo makes a point of talking about Kote's inability to fight, and there is the establishing scene of hanging the sword up in the Inn.

So this will obviously mean something when I get to it -- maybe intriguing like his experience in the Fishery/magic Metal Shop 101 (sygaldry: sigel, signal, heraldry). Folly? OK, skip over mentions of this in the discussion. It will probably be more fun to learn about Kvothe's sword (magic sword?) and how Kote winds up with this one, as the story unfolds.

Chteah, Cthaeh? This is a little trickier. Maybe I should have left it alone after seeing those names in the discussion thread. I didn't get it while reading the first volume. I read and reread the Skarpi and Trapis stories, and still couldn't figure it out. (Lanre apparently visited the Chteah/Cthaeh in his attempts to bring his wife back, before visiting Selitos.) I did some googling to figure out that the tree and the hooded figure are two separate entities and that it's the hooded figure (Cthaeh) who apparently spells corruption and doom (like Denethor looking into the Palentir). Kvothe is going to meet him later on? OK -- I'll skip any more on this, now that I understand a little bit about what the Chteah and Cthaeh represent.

Denna? Auri? OK. I feel like I get this part completely, as if it was written specifically for me. I believe Kote when he (or Pat?) says that this (the Woman) is what the book is all about. I also believe Bast when he leans on Chronicler, telling him that his entire purpose should be to make Kote remember the deep, wondrous aspect of being the Kvothe who can love and be a hero.

"My best friend says didna I warn you, Brighton Girls are like the Moon."

"Child of the moon, rub your rainy eyes
Oh, child of the moon
Give me a wide-awake crescent-shaped smile"

"Princess Lenore was awake, and she was glad to see the court jester, but her face was very pale and her voice very weak. "Have you brought the moon to me?" she asked.

Whoever/whatever origin and properties the story eventually attributes to them, for young Kvothe, Auri and Denna reflect different aspects of the Moon. Auri is gentle, playful, whimsical -- she brings out the Xingu in Kvothe. Denna is simultaneously a dream object of desire, and a real, sometimes approachable, beautiful young girl.

"If you get one girl, better get two
Case you run into Gypsy Lou."

She's that cute violin (OK, or harp) player you run into every once in awhile at the jam sessions that you cut your math classes to attend. Men in a Kvothe-like state of mind might easily work themselves up into writing "Ruby Tuesday" or "She's Like a Rainbow" to celebrate her. (I know that Pat may be far too young to have been affected by those songs the way geeks from my generation were. I'm not sure what the current equivalents would be, but I'm sure there must be some.) She's a bold object of desire, but the hero occasionally gets to see her as mortal and bring a bowl of chicken soup up to her flat when she's under the weather.

Auri is the one who's good for Kvothe, as far as I'm concerned. But sometimes Auri and Denna might simply be two sides of the same woman. Fela kind of reminds me of Jack a Roe.

Arguably, the whole story is a finely-crafted treatise about what goes on inside the heads of young would-be "musician-hero-lover" college students (who live in a fantasy kingdom where magic works instead of just reading about it). Or maybe I'm just projecting too much of my own adolescent, twenty-something mindset into it. If Kvothe is a Mary Sue/Gary Stu figure, he's certainly wrought well-enough that I don't mind it at all. I know that he's going to go through the ringer and face the consequences of the things he does. I'm looking forward to seeing how it affects him and what happens to the good, competent, kindly Kote we see in the frame story. (I'm hoping that Auri is still around somewhere to be his friend.)

Elodin .... Yelodim/Elohim? (Children/God in Hebrew)

Who would mouse and who would lion
Or who would be the tamer?
And who would hear directions clear
From the unnameable namer?
-- A Very Cellular Song, The Incredible String Band
52. ArtfulMagpie
@51 lennyb: You said:

"Chteah, Cthaeh? This is a little trickier. Maybe I should have left it
alone after seeing those names in the discussion thread. I didn't get
it while reading the first volume.

I read and reread the Skarpi and Trapis stories, and still couldn't
figure it out. (Lanre apparently visited the Chteah/Cthaeh in his
attempts to bring his wife back, before visiting Selitos.) I did some
googling to figure out that the tree and the hooded figure are two
separate entities and that it's the hooded figure (Cthaeh) who
apparently spells corruption and doom (like Denethor looking into the
Palentir). Kvothe is going to meet him later on? OK -- I'll skip any
more on this, now that I understand a little bit about what the Chteah
and Cthaeh represent."

Urm, there is no "Chteah" anywhere in either book. (I did a search for the word in digital copies of both books.) There is only the Cthaeh, which is NOT a hooded figure or a tree...but is something that LIVES IN a tree in Fae. (Only slightly spoilery, that, since you've already figured out there's a tree involved.) And Bast says that the image of the Cthaeh's tree is used as a symbol of destruction/doom in Fae art and/or plays. The hooded figure I think you're talking about is called Haliax, and he is the leader of the Chandrian. (The one with darkness and shadow surrounding him at all times, who was in charge when Kvothe encounters the Chandrian after his entire troupe has been killed...)
Lenny Bailes
53. lennyb
Oh. Thanks.

Yeah, I have some idea who Haliax/ Parallax /Witch King/ "Duke who roasts kittens" is from the first book.
Lenny Bailes
54. lennyb
Maybe "Duke who roasts kittens" is inapt, more attributable to Cinder.

In the Liavek stories, Will Shetterly details the adventures of a magician/hero (Trav?) who almost crumbles under the weight of magical power and immortality, but manages to redeem himself. Haliax reminds me of this character, but so far unredeemed. Don't know what will happen to him at the end.
Philbert de Zwart
55. philbert
I don't believe anymore that Devi and/or Auri (or Fela!) could be the 'she', as the books go along it gets clear enough that it is Dennar. but I do Bbelieve that PR intentionally played them up to cause confusion in the beginning who the 'she' was.
Ashley Fox
56. A Fox
I have a friend who lives in Ely (England) who noticed a sign in someones window. "We must name the moon". This amused me, so I thought I would share.
Ashley Fox
57. A Fox
During Elxa Dals class; "We were being trained how to fight". I think this part has great significance. From this and other, we can assume that they are fighting in the frame story. But this also reinforces the questions; who founded the university? To what purpose? Why is a (at the moment) passive but deadly army being trained? Who are 'they' afraid may attack?

Auri: Its sunset when we first hear her shuffle and clang, and full dark when we first meet her properly. Not dawn. Though golden light is mentioned in the first instance. She also has contact with iron so is not fae, or is very powerful fae (Bast could touch iron with just some discomfort when he wanted too). I still want t now what she is running from.

In the Eolin, to Sim; "you are as jittery as a teenage whore". This could seem like mere banter, but considering K's normol avoidence of the word whore (his father's advice) this stands out. And considering the upcoming of Denna, well....sleeping mind?

illien's fire. On numerous occaisions K is compared to all the great heroes, I dont suppose we can say he is a distant blood relative of them all! But it is nicely setting him up for a fall. Here with the term 'fire' and a place to 'burn' I believe we see how everyone, even those with weak sleeping minds see K as a potentcial Hero. Also Ambrose is only discribed as a "simmering coal". Les than K but ready to ignite.

Denna's voice is described as "burning silver" she also burns, and is moonlike. "nightingale"...the later K mentions "...had to cut my part from The Swineherd & The Nightingale becuase i wasnt in any shape to act" the silver comment is repeated 5 times in fact! + "like moonlight on riverstones" Now I dont buy nto Denna being the moon, bu I believe she is as the moon is to Iax: the thing that will make him happy, the object of greatest desire, a consuming obsession.

Fortelling, Bast. Threpe says "He doesnt know he can save the end of a broken song with a broken lute" IMO this fits the frame story very well.
58. Herelle
re Auri: If she was a former student and dropped out only recently, let´s say in the last 2 to 3 years as her assumed age suggests, then shouldn´t Mola know her? They knew Devi in WMF and said all the women knew each other because there are only so few.
Then there is this rumour about the isolated courtyard that is mentioned a few times and a ghost of a student - some story about Auri the students made up? That would mean she has been at the university for ages.

Oh, and Auri doesn´t call Elodin "master". She only says "I saw Elodin." and Kvothe asks "Master Elodin?" Maybe she never was a student at all?

re Stonebridge: There is a sentence about Stonebridge that bothered me. It is an ancient arch of GREY STONE and had more stories and legends surrounding it than any other University landmark. - I can´t remember any story about Stonebridge in the book, but we´ve heard about the windy courtyard (house of wind or something?), the crookery, the library, the underthing, the isolated courtyard....

re fae comments: Do I remember correctly that only redheads comment on Kvothe being "a little fae around the edges"? That´s Deoch and the waitress after the Felurian episode? Was she Yllish too? Where did Deoch get a set of golden pipes? Does he wear it only because the Eolian is his tavern and his rules or did he earn it somewhere else.

re Threpe: After Kvothe earns his pipes Threpe asks him how many years Savien spent with the Amyr? Why does he ask him about the Amyr? Like Lorren in the exam. Do they expect something in particular from Kvothe, is this like a test or code but Kvothe doesn´t realize it? And why spent Savien only a limited amount of time with the Amyr. I assumed it was a lifelong service, like a calling.

re Denna: There it is again, the ring on her finger, silver set with a pale blue stone. When Denna meets Kvothe in the Eolian the greeting on her part seemed as if she already knew him well. She ran straight into Kvothes arms. Why does she feel so familiar with him?

When Kvothe compliments Denna for her incredible ear (because she remembered all the lyrics of "Sir Savien") she answers "You are not the first man to say that.", it´s like a little joke for the readers, isn´t it? Because that´s what Bast found most remarkable about her and Chronicler made fun of it.
59. Kiri
Interestingly, when K says "At least to Kvothe she was", he has been called Kvothe, not Kote, the entire interlude in chapter 57. It seems an even odder phrasing for him to use when his mindset appears to be that of Kvothe completely at this time.
Steven Halter
60. stevenhalter
Catching up from vacation.
Re Auri as a name: While Aurum is gold in Latin, Auris is ear. Also, aur? is the genitive form for gold and aur? is the dative form for ear. So, Auri (in the right context) could mean either relate golden or ears or hearing.
So a loose multiple interpretation could be golden listener. I think this works pretty well as it is through her hearing of Kvothe's lute playing that Auri is coxed out of the underthing. Also, a Namer has to be able to listen well.
61. chrispin
Fabulous comments.

I always thought Auri was one of the angels from Skarpi's story. Since Auri is at the University, which as Jo says may be the site of ancient Belen, I took Auri to be Fair Geisa, who was raped.

As Herelle@42 mentions, Kvothe describes Auri's hair as a halo.

lambson@19 has a great point about Auri's knowledge of the Amyr, and how Auri ran off when the "personal" question of "how do you know?" came up. Auri knows about the Amyr, but thinking about them frightens her. In thistleprong's interpretation of Skarpi's story, the winged angels are the first Amyr. So Auri could be an original Amyr, and her trauma from the Creation War or events after left her cracked.

Herelle@42's story of the goddess Aura was a surprise to me. Aura being raped and going insane is an unexpected parallel to Auri=Geisa.

In the runes, Gea=key. Gea=Geisa=Auri=key? Auri is the key to Tehlu's missing lock? I had to look up Jo's use of gea above as a curse or spell. That does seem to fit Denna's pull on Kvothe more than Auri. If Auri has the capacity to cast geas, it doesn't seem she's put one on Kvothe.

From Skarpi's story, only the most powerful can see the angels/Amyr, "and only then with great difficulty and at great peril." Auri tells Kvothe "Nobody sees me." As far as we know, only Elodin, K and Mola have seen Auri. K must be pretty powerful to be able to see her so often when Elodin has such a hard time. Elodin did a complete about-face and let K into his class after he saw Kvothe with Auri. I thought like Jo and ArtfulMagpie@17 that it was because Kvothe had Named Auri, but it may be a combination of the Naming and the power he showed by seeing her at all. Kvothe had already named the wind, so it wasn't just naming that got him into the class.

bam@22 mentions Auri liking her new name because the old one was too heavy. This hints at trauma in her past. There was also mention (on the last post?) about how Kvothe is able to tame Auri with music. Kvothe's power and Naming are tied to his music. It seems that Auri's time with Kvothe/K's Naming/K's music are healing her. Kvothe says Auri reminds him of himself in Tarbean. Is Auri also "sleeping"? If she is Amyr, will bad things happen when she wakes up?

Many of these points could also refer to Denna. Kvothe called her forth using his powerful music-magic in the Eolian but only sees her after with great difficulty. Obviously, other people can see Denna. However, the angel Deah, who lost two husbands to the fighting and has a stone heart, sounds an awful lot like someone we know.

As ConnorSullivan@29 says, Lorren is also an Amyr, so he must be Tall Kirel in disguise. Looking up Auri's halo in the text, I saw someone else described as having halo hair: Bredon. Maybe he's Andan, whose face was a mask with burning eyes and whose name meant anger.

Hopefully Bredon is the angel that Kvothe kills and not Auri.

Nice one to erichtwad@37 for the Daeonica analysis and Herelle@58 and Shalter@60 for the ear catches.
62. iamarobot
I think Denna might be Kvothe's 1/2 sister. As in Star Wars with Luke and Leah, there is some overwhelming force keeping them from hooking up before they learn they are related, lol.

My reasoning starts with another theory I read on one of these fan comments that Kvothe's mother may have been married before marrying Kvothe's father. Also, Kvothe always comments on Denna's red lips. When seated at the Maire's state dinner next to who we assume is Kvothe's aunt, he comments on her familiar red lips but can't quite place the familiarity.
63. Dominiquex
When seated at the Maire's state dinner next to who we assume is Kvothe's aunt, he comments on her familiar red lips but can't quite place the familiarity.

I've always assumed that was Rothfuss' meta-speak hint that Meluan is Kvothe's mother's sister.
64. Herelle
@62,63 re Meluan and Netalia Lackless / Denna
Ugh, I never came up with that, but interesting.
We don´t really need the red lips as a hint for Kvothes mother, although I always thought it was the resemblance to his mother Kvothe sees in Meluan, too. There is the fact that she ran away with a Ruh and was nobility and Meluan, who is nobility has a sister who ran away with a Ruh, aside from a few other hints.
I don´t really remember Laurians lips being described at all, but true, Dennas lips are constantly described as being red without being painted red.
Chris Palmer
65. cmpalmer
@61 Chrispin: I like the idea of Auri being Geisa. At the very least, I think Auri is older than she appears to be. And I do get the 'she's been raped and/or abused' vibe from her.'
Grainne McGuire
66. helen79
A minor point:

Although it's a long time after the original post (the stable is long gone, never mind the horse), there is something else in these chapters that matches names.
At the Eolian he offers to buy Deoch a drink without knowing he is one of the owners. Deoch says there’s something Fae about the edges about Kvothe—which there isn’t at this point unless he just means driven or there’s something we don’t know.
Deoch is the Irish for drink. So it's very appropriate that the first thing Kvothe does is to offer to buy him a drink.
67. Psyzygy
@31--I like your comments on Denna! Thanks.
68. Cavalorn
@34, Lurking Canadian:
"I suspect that the moon is completely missing from the world in the
frame story. I've been trying to pay attention during the frame story
chapters to see if there is any mention of the moon, but I've never
noticed any. Also, the complete absence would mean that every night
was a "night with no moon", something wise men ought to fear, which
would kind of explain why the world sucks and there are demons tearing up the place."

Damn, you might actually be right about there being no moon in the "present" of Kote. In TNOTW, right after the guests have left after the incident with the dead scraeling, we get this passage when Kote briefly steps outside:

"He called himself Kote. He had chosen the name carefully when he came to this palce. He had taken a new name for most of the usual reasons, and for a few unusual reasons as well, not the least of which was the fact that names were important to him. Looking up, he saw a thousand stars glittering in the deep velvet of a night with no moon."

Holy cow!

(Of course, this could also mean that only on THAT peculiar night there was no moon. But this is almost at the very beginning of the story, before Chronicler arrives. We don't know that a night with no moon is a terrible thing that wise men are afraid of.)
George Brell
69. gbrell

Unfortunately for that theory, the moon is established in the frame in WMF.

From Chapter 151 - Locks:
"Metal gleamed faintly in the dim moonlight as he crouched, his body tense as a coiled spring."
70. Sylverbound
Slight correction to something you said at the end there. Denna's names don't always start with a D. There was one exception in Severen in WMF. I forget what the name was but it started with an A.

Also in response to once of the comments, Meluan looks familiar to Kvothe because she looks like his mom, her sister.
thistle pong
71. thistlepong
(and, oddly enough, at least according to the words used to describe them, Meluan looks more like Denna)
72. jorgybear
I had a thought when reading your bit about the key to the moon and the Lockless box. It occurred to me that just because the box doesn’t have a key hole, doesn’t mean it can’t be opened by a key. Perhaps inserting the 4 keys into the 4-plate door opens the Lockless box (or boxes)? Also, it just struck me that Four Corners of civilisation my link to the Four Plate Door.
“How can I make any sense of her for you when I have never understood the least piece of her myself?” proably a very small thing, but we know Kvothe will never know Denna’s True name, which is ironic as so far he doesn’t even know her correct given birth name.
“Denna’s names always start with D, and they’re usually of a pattern. No idea why.” I always assumed it was because the best lies are closest to the truth. I can’t remember what movie or TV show I saw where one character tells another how difficult it is to convincingly lie about your name. Whatever the reason, it must be the same reason Kvothe chose to name himself Kote.
@2 jmd. Wasn’t the word Denna braided into her hair “Lovely”
73. Jerenda
I personally cast my vote for Auri being an Amyr. Perhaps one of the extremely old Amyr, who is very pure and good as they were intially created to be, but has since fallen into madness (maybe had part of her Name locked away, or lost it entirely, or chosen that door of her own free will due to the sins of her fellow Amyr).

I also wonder if, because Auri makes that claim on Kvothe, that means you can become an Amyr. We don't really know what they are, but there are stories of how people became Chandarin. Presumably the same rules apply to their equal opposites.
74. KateH
Still working my way belatedly through these re-reads.

Did anyone else find it odd, the way K set up his speedy mastery of sygaldry? He said he managed it through being driven, brilliant and lucky. But there's really no clear indication of what he's talking about with the "lucky." He comes up with using music as a mnemonic, I guess when he sees some sygaldry when investigating noises Auri made. Using a mnemonic doesn't seem especially lucky to me, nor even hitting on the idea of using one. Clever, yes, but it seems like he would have hit upon the idea of a musical mnemonic on his own sooner or later. I don't understand what's so lucky about coming up with this, unless much is left unsaid/unwritten about his meeting with Auri - which is never actually covered in K's story. He goes from hearing her, but not seeing her, to being on familiar terms with her. Their early encounters are not discussed. Obviously, I think there's significance there that we're not privvy to.
75. Travis Pick
This section of Chapters for me was one of the most moving of the entire series so far. Up until this point, Kvothe is helpless. He has no money, he's gone to Devi for a loan he can't possibly hope to pay back. He isn't making anything in the Fishery yet, and he doesn't have his music.

All of a sudden he gets his music back and there is a bit of hope. He is whole again, and driven. Then he risks all of his money to try and win his pipes.

He choses the hardest song with no partner to sing with him out of spite because Ambrose is there. And then the string breaks.

With everything that happened up until then, so much was riding on that string. And then he pulls it off, wins his pipes, meets up with Denna again, and his life is changed. All in one perfect moment inside the Eolian.
76. MplsMarin
I think the title of chapter 53 "Slow Circles" has more significance than just the slow circles in which Kvothe and Denna move together. Perhaps Denna may somehow connected to the moon and Kvothe to the sun? "Slow Circles" could be referring to orbits.

Diana = Goddess of the moon (as noted by #3)

and of course Kvothe = Maedre, "the flame"

This could of course just be a metaphor, but there is a lot of backstory to the moon that seems to go well beyond the merely symbolic. Maybe the sun will play a role at some point too, and Kvothe will have a direct connection to it?
77. MplsMarin
Yeah, the more I think about it, despite all the emphasis on the moon, I think the sun will be revealed as the central element to the story in DT. I'm going to get on my kindle and search every passage about the sun and how it relates to Kvothe. Definitely poignant is Anker's quote about how Ambrose thinks he can "buy the sun from the sky" when he goes around threatening or bribing every inn in University / Imre to deny Kvothe.
78. MplsMarin
I should have thought this all through before posting, but I had another idea...

We know the moon is split between the two realms. Maybe Denna is the representation / emissary / avatar / personification (whatever the relationship happens to be) of the moon from the mortal realm, while Auri is the fae part of the moon. And Kvothe recounts that, "in my heart, I thought of her as my little moon-fey."

This would work, since Kvothe moves in "slow circles" with both of them (he invests a lot of time and caution Auri out of hiding and build her trust). Kvothe's relationship with both Denna and Auri are both established in the chapter, Slow Circles (orbits).

In chapter 11, Kvothe's mom "smiled like the sun". It strikes me as significant, though I don't have any particularly strong theories about it. Maybe something in the Lackless bloodline makes them stewards of the sun. I suppose we'll find out when Rothfuss finally shows us what's in the Lackless box and behind that door.

In WMF we find out that Auri means "sunny"... maybe sunny around Kvothe, like moonlight?

I'm also intrigued that Deoch thinks Kvothe is "a little fae around the edges"... I didn't think the sun existed in the Fae, but when I looked back at WMF to the chapter with the Cthae (104), Kvothe reaches it by walking dayward, and enjoys the feel of sunlight after all the time spent in Felurian's twilight glade.
79. DanielSess

I didn't read the entire thread, so I don't know if anyone addressed this already, but I think its odd that the first thing Manet says when Kvothe is introduced to him is "Tehlu anyway."
He says it again later when Kvothe asks if there is another way into the Archives, which there is, and which Manet knows about. He also is always pointing with pieces of bread (I don't consider that significant) and uses Tehlu's name later as well, as a swear, when he says "Merciful Tehlu."

Something strange is up with him.
80. MichaelGabriel
Theories of Sygaldry
(WMF+NotW Spoilers)
From what I gather there is not a lot of theories about Sygaldry out there so let me post a few of my own.
We know that he says there are 197 runes and there is mention of 3 more in later books. This makes it an even 200. He also list 10 of them.

I theorize that in an ancient language these might have been syllables. I think that adding in the proper way to each other could create new words. Tehlu and Ferule are good examples. Teh-lock, Lu-???.
Fer-???(Perhaps a shorted version of Fehr- Iron), Ule-Binding. Since the seventh day in a spand is called Chaen, and that is indicated to mean seven, perhaps Luten means one, first, or even less. If Lu can mean less then Tehlu would mean Lockless. Perhaps he is a decendant of Iax/Jax. Since it is hinted that he is the first Lockless.

As far as other known sygaldry we have bone, hair, blood, glass, wood, kinetic , heat, light, discriptors for thin, and discriptors for cylindrical.
Total that is 20 so far, I'm not sure if the first seven days in a span would work, but that may be a mathmatical system to start with. Also other words may prove to be Sygaldry.

Recently my roommates have visited a con and Rothfuss has reveal two clues about sygaldry. First he has written out all the language, but has yet to determine what each rune means. Second the language is set up similar to programing code in computers, using functions and varibles to give comands, and it can have conditions.

The Arrow Catch/ Bloodless.
In WMF kvothe tells Kilvin that each of the 8 sides are engraved with 18 runes. We can gather there is one of seeking, finding, or both. These help determine under what circumstances the program runs (Distance away or each perscribed variable). Then there needs to Varibles Metal (iron), Stone (Rock), Wood, and Obsidian (Glass). There also need to be a few more discriptors; Thin, Cylindrical, and Speed. They also need to be bound using Ule, Doch, or both, perhaps even others not know. Then the function comes which is to trigger the spring trap. Then another function that opposes the kinetic energy of the arrow with the kinetic force of the sprung trap. Then there is the mention that Kvothe inscribed the sample piece of obsidian inside the Catch with the runes for twice tough glass. So far that is 3-4 different circumstances and probably 2-3 runes for each. That puts us at 6-12 done. There are four varibles, with three discriptors. Then there is 2 functions and at least one more rune for twice tough glass. This brings us to 16-22. Seeing as it is stated to be 18 then the most logical is 4 circumstances with two runes each (one for binding, one for distance away). Since the others have been set this makes 18.
81. Squornshellous
@47 i always got an almost child-like vibe of Auri. Thinking of her as a romantic interest for K kind of skeeves me out.

I was thinking about the Lackless box and it occured to me that the key may not be the traditional blade and bow kind. A key also refers to a note or a cord in music. What if the key to the box is words or a song?
The faded engravings on the box could be the "key" to opening it. One would only need to read/sing it (if you could read Yllish, that is).

There's probably more to it then that (ie. magic). Regardless, Yllish seems the perfect language to write secret codes in.
82. jimmythefly
re: the key thing.

This is potentially very tricksy of Pat. Note that Kvothe only knows it is a "key" because Auri is the one who tells him it is a key. As a reader you immediately think of the little metal things we use to unlock doors, but it could be something totally different.

We know if fits in the hand, is shiny in moonlight, and has a pleasing weight in K's hand.

It could be a rock, a floppy disk, damn near anything. And of course could be a key in the way that a cipher has a key, or a map has a key, or a song has a key or any other sort of double meaning.
83. highwaycrossingfrog
Reading these comments, as always, is mind-blowing (re-reading the books for the second time interspersed with the relevant chapter discussions here). It's thrown up a couple of things that might bear further discussion. I think it hugely significant that we don't know Auri's real name. Clearly she has experienced some sort of emotional or mental trauma that might have led her to disassociate herself from it, but also it greatly suggests to me that Pat is deliberately withholding it because we would RECOGNISE it from one of the stories in the books. Since all we have to go on is the name Kvothe gives her and her physical appearance - and there has been some stellar detective work on both in this comments section - some possibilities are: an association with the sun due to Kvothe naming her for a word he believes means sunny, though this is contradicted by Elodin; an association with the moon, "moon-fey", her compulsion to avoid the moon; an association with the Amyr, possibly Geisa, as has also been proposed here; an association with the fae - she is stern when Elodin offers her a single Cinnas fruit in WMF, which according to the Felurian section is an insult to the Beladari fae. Her physical appearance seems to favour the first 3 of these, since her halo of fair hair suggests an angel, or perhaps a celestial orb.

Additionally, her need for a new name suggests her fundamental nature has been somehow changed so that her previous name no longer describes her.

@82 jimmythefly Awesome catch on the actual nature of the key Auri gives Kvothe. The only physical description we get is "something gleamed in the moonlight...It had a pleasing weight in my hand."

Dipping into The Slow Regard of Silent Things (slight SPOILERS), we get a little more association with Kvothe and the Ciridae, as Auri prepares to give him a statuette of a Ciridae. She also makes him a candle from laurel flowers, which may or may not be tied in to Threpe's mention of laurels in C56:

"You see, a laurel needs rain to grow. I can’t do much about that. But I can keep that rain off a few musician’s heads, can’t I?” A sly smile wound its way onto his face . “So God will tend the laurels and keep them wet . And I will tend the players and keep them dry. And wiser minds than mine will decide when to bring the two together."

Sorry for the essay! Too many thoughts colliding :)

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