Thu
Jul 7 2011 2:32pm

Rothfuss Reread: The Name of the Wind, Part 12: I Know What it is to Have Secrets

The Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussWelcome to part 12 of my deliriously detailed re-read of Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles. This week’s post covers chapters 71-76 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. These posts are full of spoilers and the general assumption that you’ve read all of both books — don’t venture beyond the cut unless this is the case.

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.

 

This week we’re starting with Chapter 71, Strange Attraction. And the strange attraction is the magnet, the “Loden stone” but of course it’s also D.

The last chapter ended with Kvothe negotiating and making a demand to Devi, and this one starts “Three minutes later I was in a livery stable.” It’s really quite insane that he goes rushing off after the Chandrian this way. He was shaken up, yes, and he wants to know about them, but he’s risking literally everything borrowing this money and abandoning the University mid-term. This whole episode is very odd. He’s literally prepared to ride the horse to death — and then he could never repay the money he’d borrowed.

Anyway, a livery stable. Kvothe acts like a jerk. The dealer wants to spend time selling, Kvothe wants a horse quickly, Kvothe demands fast service. He acts, as he says, like a lunatic or the son of a noble. He threatens to kill and eat the dealer. Does this strike anyone else as excessive? It obviously doesn’t strike the dealer as excessive as he tries to cheat him anyway, but I’m very uncomfortable with this.

The horse is brought, and Kvothe stops acting like a lunatic and Names him — he’s fumbling around with names that the horse might like and tries to say “twilight” in Siaru and actually says “One sock” without knowing it. Keth-Selhan. And he says it when he’s looking at his hooves! And later we find that the horse does have one white sock, and the dealer wants the price for a completely black horse, but comes down because he thinks Kvothe has seen through it.

This has to be magic Naming, but he never thinks of that. I suppose it might just be a weird coincidence, but — the hoof! — I think it’s evidence, as with Auri, that Kvothe does have Naming talent. “I kept speaking without giving any mind to what I said...” Spinning leaf? And “giving any mind” is an odd expression — maybe more natural to an American, but it seems slightly archaic to me, drawing attention to the sleeping mind rather than saying “attention.”

Then there’s the journey — a lovely piece of writing. I don’t know enough about horses and long journeys to know if it’s accurate, but it feels authoritative about warming the horse up and so on. They cross a stream and go through a little town and then another smelly stream with solvents and so on from a mine or a tannery, and then they find a tinker.

This is only the second tinker we’ve seen, though we’ve heard them mentioned often enough. This tinker has a lot of stuff and two donkeys, and he needs help. He tells Kvothe he’s only half a mile from Trebon. “Never on my most desperate day would I lie to a tinker,” Kvothe says, when they’re dickering over the horse.

Everything the tinker offers is something Kvothe needs and doesn’t know he needs, for the adventure he’s about to have. The magnet, obviously, and also the blanket, the rope, and the fruit wine. Kvothe bargains for a shirt instead, but it’s the rope he needs and the tinker knows it.

Trebon is setting up for a harvest festival and they have straw shamble-men which Kvothe recognises as a sign they are a backwater. I’m seeing these as like scarecrows that are burned like guys. The Tehlin church is stone with a huge real iron wheel on the side — mining community, civic pride more than piety.  This is all setting up for later, very well done, nobody would guess it wasn’t just scenery — he seems as if he’s telling you something about Trebon, which you want to know, but he’s really setting you up so that he can do the draccus/wheel scene. Beautiful.

I want to say something about the Tehlin Church here, and Tehlu. I am very pleased that Tehlu is real. There’s a standard thing in fantasy where you have a church that’s analogous to medieval Christianity, because the world is similar to medieval Europe, and it turns out to be false, with older gods being real, and the church corrupt and so on and not magic. This church is corrupt and unpleasant but Tehlu is just as real as the other stuff we’re hearing about. I appreciate that.

Kvothe goes into the inn and asks about the wedding, saying he’s worried about his cousin, and he’s told there’s one survivor upstairs, and he goes up and it’s D. The coincidence is staggering — what was she doing there? She was last seen weeks ago in Imre, leaving him the note he didn’t get. But she was at the wedding, and she’s ready to get out of the inn.

Kvothe lies and says he’s come to rescue her, and when she calls him on it and he admits it, she says “Anyone can make a trip after they get the news, it takes a special sort of man to show up when he doesn’t know there’s trouble.”

 

Chapter 72 is Borroril, which doesn’t need unpacking by the department of Imaginary Linguistics as Rothfuss is kind enough to do it for us — Barrow Hill, not any kind of “rill” or stream. But there is a stream towards the end of the chapter.

They get out of the inn, Kvothe pays for D. She’s scathing about having been asked questions, so of course he doesn’t ask her any even though he’s dying to know! They she says one of her most characteristic things “I leave where I’m not welcome. Everything else I can make up along the way.” That’s how she lives, and again it’s a very typical masculine fantasy of femininity.

They head out to the farm — she wants her things, and of course he’s been going there all day. They get a ride on a cart and Kvothe moons over D as usual. “Lovely as the moon. Not flawless, perhaps, but perfect.”

He apologises for not getting her note, and not making lunch, and she says she met a patron while she was waiting. He is at first relieved — relieved it was a patron not a lover.

We heard him mentioned by Deoch, and now this. He’s older. He’s obsessed with privacy — he wouldn’t give her his real name for more than a span and even now she doesn’t know if the name he’s given her is real. She knows he’s a gentleman by his clothes and bearing. (I suddenly remember a pair of penniless adventurers in Dickens who marry each other for their pretended fortunes!) Then she trips and he steadies her and she keeps her hand on his arm and he overthinks whether it means anything. Yes, he’s fifteen. He doesn’t want to be one of the men who annoys her. I roll my eyes in his general direction.

So, Denna’s patron — he got a woman to offer her money for information, it was a test. Another time men threatened her and she guesses that was another test. I already don’t like him. There’s no indication that he’s anything but the kind of patron Kvothe wants, except his weirdness. They make up a name for him, Master Ash, from a leaf (leaves again!) that blows into Kvothe’s mouth. But there’s ash in the air of the other kind too. And it was Master Ash who got D to attend the wedding. Why? Again, why? And thirdly, why?

So, she went, as a musician. He wasn’t there. He has a secret way of signalling her — this is just so creepy! He signalled her, she went off, he left her for a little while and at that point the wedding was utterly destroyed.

I assumed the first time I read this that he was one of the Chandrian, probably Cinder — who has white hair and also, cinders/ashes. If he isn’t, if he’s Bredon or someone else, then not only why, but how did he know?

  1. Why did Master Ash want Denna at the wedding?
  2. How did he know to get her away for the attack?

I think he must have known the attack was coming, which means he must have known about the pot. He must have had some reason to want her there, which remains utterly incomprehensible to me, but not to have her hurt, hence the luring away. He asked her about the people there. He wasn’t with her when the attack began.

She asks Kvothe why he’s there, and he lies about the University sending him, quite plausibly, but she sees through him. Then he says he doesn’t want to lie but he worries about what she’d think of the truth, and she doesn’t ask more. This is a major missed opportunity for an honest conversation on both sides, I think. Because if he’d just explained, then she might have been able to. “I know what it’s like to have secrets.” This is my least favourite bit of the book. I loathe this as a trope. He says seven words “Looks like I’m destined to be loveless” and she says they’re seven words, and he still doesn’t get it.  Gah.

Moving swiftly on, blue fire, and she lies about nobody attacking her, and her injuries aren’t congruent with her having run into a tree.

They look at the wrecked farm. 26 people dead with knife and sword. Rotted wood, as with the troupe, rusted pump. She’s surprised when he makes magical fire with sympathy. Then he quotes the Chandrian song and she adds lines, though he doesn’t comment which suggests he knew them already. She grew paler, he says “as she realised what I was implying” but it could be for any reason. Then she says she does believe it, and then they wander about for a while and go down to the river. At the river, Kvothe goes meta and says he knows the shape of story of two young lovers meeting at the river and this isn’t that.

 

Chapter 73 is Pegs, which are actually pigs with an accent.

The accent is the pig-keeper’s accent, and actually it’s odd when you think about it. It’s a “deep valley” accent, anywhere civilized you don’t hear it, only away from the roads. There are different languages, but within Aturan, accents are vanishing? Odd, you’d expect them to be developing, the way they do in reality. They may have travel but they don’t have TV. Anyway, the accent is written out phonetically and it’s horrible to read. They chat, Kvothe fakes the accent, they buy and eat a pig. The herder tells them that the Mauthen farm was built on a barrow hill, and that when they built it they found bones and stones and a mysterious heirloom. Also, he saw blue fire two nights ago to the north. They go back to the farm, Kvothe decides it was a hillfort and there was something there. It wasn’t a barrow, barrows are Vintish.

 

Chapter 74 is Waystone.

On top of the highest hill where they plan to spend the night are three waystones arranged as a henge, and two fallen flat on the ground.

And here we have a domestic scene with D — they make a fire and dinner. Stew... and actually it would be reasonable to complain about it here. Not good travel food. D likes the food and regrets the strawberry wine he didn’t buy from the tinker. She says he should have known better than to ignore a tinker’s advice. Then they see flashes of blue light. Kvothe checks it isn’t Master Ash’s way of signalling, and she says that would be too sinister even for him.

D sleeps first, and then wakes with her breathing stopping and her eyes darting around. This isn’t a normal way to wake up even from a nightmare. Then Kvothe sleeps, and she wakes him because something is coming. They climb up onto the top of the greystone, and the something is a dragon.

 

Chapter 75 is Interlude — Obedience.

We’re back in the Waystone Inn, and the frame story, but just for a moment. K wants Chronicler to say there are no such things as dragons, and he won’t, because that would be interrupting. He says there are few things as nauseating as pure obedience. Of course, he wants him to say it because he wrote The Mating Habits of the Common Draccus. And of course he wants us all to know it was a draccus, and that this isn’t the kind of story with dragons but the much more interesting kind of story with drug-addicted giant lizards. And he wants to remind us we’re listening to a story, and the kind of story where people interrupt. I wonder how much of an influence The Princess Bride was on this? And even more than the book, the movie. “You’re very clever, now shut up.” “She does not get eaten by eels at this time.”

 

Chapter 76 is The Mating Habits of the Common Draccus. Of course it is.

Denna says it’s a dragon, and Kvothe explains what it really is. D’s swearing is interesting “Tehlu hold and over-roll us.” Haven’t heard that before. Might be evidence about where she comes from — in reality people’s swearing in moments of stress tends to revert to early cultural conditioning. Religious and Tehlin, anyway. So he explains it’s a herbivore, they giggle, it goes to sleep in their fire and they go to sleep on top of the stone.

And Kvothe gives her his cloak and watches her with no idea of the tragedies the following day will bring, so let’s leave him brooding on them and start from the next day next week.

 

Last week’s comments were excellent as usual.

Lots of great linguistics stuff, speculation about Auri, and about whether Ambrose really hired the ruffians. (Kvothe doesn’t seem to question that in the frame time, but I don’t think there’s enough evidence either way.)

Shalter and Jhirrad and others are thinking of putting together a Department of Imaginary Linguistics wiki. If they do, I shall link to it in future posts.

Adem man-mothers and parthenogenesis

Arra said:

I’m also waiting to find out that K isn’t really a Ruh. He mentions way too many times that he’s Ruh down to the marrow of his bones, and I think he’s up for a rude awakening. His mother is the Lockless heir, but his father is actually a fae. Don’t know if that means Bast is his father or if Bast is the demon he tricked to get his heart’s desire?

and SusieBlu:

In WMF the Adema have a different view on procreation. Kvothe’s explaination to man-mothers is the child looks like the parents well in his case he doesn’t look like his parents. So this may be evidence supporting the Adem’s theory.

And GBrell:

With regards to the man-mothers, I really can’t believe that PR would include parthenogenesis in the story. Not only would it be experimentally testable (not every culture is as sexually free as the Adem and the entire population of noble’s daughters - who presumably should be maidens prior to marriage - would provide an obvious grounds for experimentation), but it means that bloodlines are purely matrilineal, which means that Kvothe wouldn’t actually be a Lackless since Vintas has patrilineal descent of names (unless they pulled a Targaryen and had incestuous marriages for five thousand years). Since red hair is recessive, this doesn’t need to be so complicated.

If it’s occasional though, people would just have a scandal with their virgin daughters.

And this is me:

I was talking to my geneticist husband about parthenogenesis, and we came up with some ideas. Parthenogenesis as it exists is always a female producing another female. And there can be both — plants that really do this — that reproduce sexually sometimes and parthenogenetically other times. If women could conceive alone when the moon is in certain positions, and sexually when it is in other positions (half each), and if sexual births were 50/50 male/female and parthenogenetic births were all female, you’d end up with a population which was 65% female. And I think this is what we see with the Adem! Think how many of them were female, all the significant ones!

And then Kvothe, if he’s not the son of a god, and if he’s all miraculous Lackless parthenogenic male, destined to open the box and let out all that bad stuff?

Oh, another thought — maybe it’s Pandora’s box, and maybe what’s still locked in the triple locked box is hope, which will be the eucatostrophic ending of DT.

I’d love that.

Lambson said:

Thoughts on the Adem parthenogenesis theory...

1. Adem women are fighters (probably all of them are, at least when they are young).
2. Adem women seem to all be in excellent physical condition for fighting - let’s say at 10% body-fat (or less).
3. Women need 17% body-fat to ovulate (which is somewhat necessary for having children).

This would explain why none of them have children while they are away (as is claimed), since they only leave as mercenaries (and while they are ripped like professional gymnasts). Adem women probably would not achieve the necessary body weight to have children until they settle down (or, as the women might believe, “decide to have a baby”). With their social practices, this would almost immediatly produce offspring.

Also, the fact that they believe mothers decide when to have children makes their views of social interaction make much more sense (from their perspective, at least).

That is my theory, at least.

I’m not at all convinced — they menstruate, and that’s the issue. They’re not anorexic, they’re just in great condition. Female athletes have no trouble having kids.

Herewiss13 disagrees with the idea:

I’m sorry to burst the bubble, but we primarily see women Adem because most of the men are away as mercenaries (as are some women, but proportionately, more men are just away). IMO, Moon-phase parthogenesis would just be a little too skiffy, even for the sort of rational-fantasy Rothfuss is writing. I think it’s more a matter of illustrating cultural blindness. The Adem are sooo cool and wise and rational and deadly and civilized, not like barbarians...but they don’t do music and they aren’t clued into human reproduction, so they aren’t supermen.

I think there’s no evidence at all that proportionately more men are away as mercenaries. I’ll be looking out for gender now I’ve thought of this. I think it’s quite reasonable that they’re 65% female.


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.

141 comments
Katy Maziarz
1. ArtfulMagpie
"Everything the tinker offers is something Kvothe needs and doesn’t know he needs, for the adventure he’s about to have. The magnet, obviously, and also the blanket, the rope, and the fruit wine. Kvothe bargains for a shirt instead, but it’s the rope he needs and the tinker knows it."

This struck me very strongly. Tinkers are SUCH an important part of the story-world, in so many ways. Everyone knows that you are always polite to tinkers and you always at least consider buying what they offer...it seems to be deeply ingrained into every culture we've seen so far, including the Adem! But why? And yes, the tinker clearly knew exactly what Kvothe was going to need. How? How did he know it? Is this one of those mysterious "knacks" that have only been mentioned once so far...in terms of the fellow in Kvothe's troop who always threw a winning roll at dice, I think it was...? A sort of minor magical talent? Do people with a knack for foresight become tinkers? Or is there more to it? Remember, in the mercenary's story of Jax falling in love with the moon, it was a tinker who basically set Jax on his quest...and when Jax was rude to him and didn't let the tinker keep his hat, the tinker refused to help. But the tinker inherited the "broken house at the end of the broken road." Myr Tariniel, I suspect? Are tinkers Knowers? Or Shapers? Or something else altogether?
Katy Maziarz
2. ArtfulMagpie
"I think there’s no evidence at all that proportionately more men are away as mercenaries. I’ll be looking out for gender now I’ve thought of this. I think it’s quite reasonable that they’re 65% female."

Yeah, we really don't know how many of the Adem mercenaries out in the world are male vs. female. Remember, when Kvothe first meets Carceret and the other Adem in her group, right after Tempi has begun teaching him, he doesn't realize at first that three of the four in the group are women....
Sim Tambem
3. Daedos
“Looks like I’m destined to be loveless”

Kvothe. Love-less. Interesting choice of words.

@1 I'd side with your knack theory. It sounds a lot like 'rolling sevens'.

Do we know where Tinkers come from? Do they come from all over the place, or just one demographic?
Sim Tambem
4. Daedos
"I’m not at all convinced — they menstruate, and that’s the issue. They’re not anorexic, they’re just in great condition. Female athletes have no trouble having kids."

From sportsmedicine.about.com

"Amenorrhea in athletes, sometimes called exercise-associated amenorrhea, occurs when a woman doesn't have a regular period either because she exercises too much, eats too few calories or both. In order to have regular periods women need to consume a certain number of calories and maintain around 16 percent body fat or more. If a woman has too little body fat the ovaries stop producing estrogen and the woman stops menstruating."

I think the difference here is whether or not we are talking about average atheletes, or professionals. I can't say definitively how much body fat a female sword-wielding mercenary has, but professional athletes (possibly just males) are said to have (on average) around 7-8% body fat. I can cite several basketball players who have been closer to 4%.
E M
5. herewiss13
in re: gender ratio.

I guess it's just a matter of how you are looking at it. Given that the Adem have a normal gender ratio, then, according the demographics of the school/town, men must be missing (and, IIRC, we really don't see _any_ men who aren't old/maimed or in training). The most plausible explanation is that the men are all out earning money as mercenaries.

The alternative is to say: given that Jo's theory about moon-phase parthogensis is true, based upon the Adem's reproductive beliefs, then there are fewer men born than women and the demographics of the town/school are as one would expect.

Occam's razor would suggest that the Adem are just not-correct in this instance (as moon-phase parthogensis requires a lot more explanation), and while fantasy novels will throw a wrench at Occam from time to time, I'm having trouble seeing this as one of those times. It's just simpler to say "the men are elsewhere." especially when lots of Adem have already been established as being elsewhere.

One other thought on the subject:

Why the Adem? If they are related to the Edema Ruh (as has been suggested), what's the point of change? We know the Adem's theory can't be universally true because A) the Arcanum's medicos would probably have noticed (not to mention everyone else) and B) the demographic ratio would be very different and I don't believe we have any real evidence of that.
Steven Halter
6. stevenhalter
The Tinkers we have met (and heard of) do seem to have some magical ability. Whether this is a small inate ability or something larger is a very interesting point. The range could be somewhere between it is a small inate ability and mostly they are just travelling merchants to they have a large ability and knowledge and turn up at the right places and times for a reason. For example, they could (speculation) be a branch of the Amyr (or other secret society) dedicated to moving things in the right direction.
Katy Maziarz
7. ArtfulMagpie
"...and, IIRC, we really don't see _any_ men who aren't old/maimed or in training"

Just to point this out...the same point could be made about female Adem. Those we meet are mostly either old, instructors, or in training themselves. And, there is the point that just because there aren't very many male Adem we the readers meet as named characters doesn't really mean they aren't around. I mean, Tempi was theoretically in town the entire time Kvothe was being trained, but managed to stay out of Kvothe's sight. It's very possible that the fully-trained mercenaries who don't happen to be out in the world just live in a different part of town from those still in training....


Anyway. I am not sure I have an actual opinion either way on either the gender ratio thing or the possible parthenogenesis thing. There are points on each side....
Sim Tambem
8. Daedos
@6 Do we have any indication that they are working at "moving things in the right direction"? Maybe they have some connection to the Ctheah (unlikely). There is the story of Jax...maybe the Tinker knew exactly what he was doing.

Or maybe we're reading too far into it.

@7 I think you have it right. Kvothe is pretty observant (and he mentions right away that there is a weighted ratio of men to women at the University), but he never mentions anything about it while with the Adem.
Arra
9. Arra
Speaking of knacks, I've been thinking that Iax/Jax and D. have a knack for being unlucky. In the story, we're told that Jax was an unlucky boy either from being cursed or having a demon riding his shadow. And D. mentions in the 2nd book that she ruins everything and she can't do anything right. I wonder if that means Iax and D. are related in some way.
Katy Maziarz
10. ArtfulMagpie
"Or maybe we're reading too far into it."

Possibly. Possibly not. One thing that strikes me is that every culture seems to have the exact same superstitions/traditions regarding tinkers. The only other thing we've encountered that is said to be so similar or identical across cultures is the body of lore about the Chandrian.... Could be coincidence. Could be something else.
E M
11. herewiss13
@10

Could be having the same traditions regarding tinkers because the tinkers themselves go across all boundries. They carry their own supersitions with them (and aren't they all good traditions for the Tinkers themselves? :-P)

Come to think of it: the Edema Ruh's reputation is pretty universal too, isn't it? Albeit in a more negative sense.
Arra
12. arra
Another thing that strikes me as odd is why the Chandrians let K. live. I know that they were interrupted, possibly by the Sithe, but why were they hanging around after the killing anyway? And Haliax doesn't seem to want to kill K., he just asks Cinder to send him to the soft and painless blanket of his sleep. So unless by 'sleep' he meant 'death', then they meant for K. to live. Was that just a plot device to actually have a story or did K. living fit into the Chandrian's purpose somehow?
lake sidey
13. lakesidey
I wonder if the Tinkers are some kind of "anti-Chteah" - they can see the future but are (for unknown reasons) prevented from influencing it much directly and are hence minimalistic in behaviour. But they are among those who try to get things back on track (which is why the Chtaeh hasn't yet managed to totally mess up things). I'm think Lu-Tze from Terry Pratchett (or perhaps the Second Foundation), only with more active evil opposition.

Unrelated: given all the "lockless, loveless" variants happening, I wonder if Kvothe should also take the name "lawless" at some point (or perhaps he has, I can't remember?) - it would be much of a piece with the pattern, and fairly fitting in many ways.

~lakesidey
Steven Halter
14. stevenhalter
@8:

@6 Do we have any indication that they are working at "moving things in the right direction"?


I meant the "right" direction from their standpoint. Perhaps clearer would be that they are consciously manipulating events towards some outcome that they desire.
Dave West
15. Jhirrad
I have to admit, this is one of my least favorite parts of either books thus far. And after a few re-reads, if there's ever a part that I feel inclined to skim, it's this. The entire Trebon section felt like it moved incredibly slowly to me, and I didn't feel like we got anything great in it. There's some obvious pieces on the Chandrian, simply confirming a lot of what we know. We get some speculation on Denna and her connection to the them, along with information on her patron. It almost seemed like PR felt the need to add some 'action' for the sake of adding action.

The one thing that I picked up from Jo's commentary is how Denna swears. I agree that the way in which a person swears tends to give an indication of their origins. As part of the Department of Imaginary Linguistics project which Shalter and I are working on, I'm also taking note of the various ways we find "God" (for lack of a better term) invoked. One persons invocation of a deity is often seen as swearing, and many swear words have roots in that.
TW Grace
16. TWGrace
“I kept speaking without giving any mind to what I said...” Spinning leaf? And “giving any mind” is an odd expression — maybe more natural to an American, but it seems slightly archaic to me, drawing attention to the sleeping mind rather than saying “attention.”

Sounds a lot like he was in, or trying to be in, a state of Mushin no Shin. The Mind of no Mind.
Andrew Mason
17. AnotherAndrew
I'm also taking note of the various ways we find "God" (for lack of a better term) invoked.

Talking of which, it struck me that the Cealdish horse-dealer does in fact refer to God, by that name. Apparently God took some time over choosing a horse. Have we heard 'God' before? Tehlu's followers call him Tehlu, even when referring to the time before his incarnation; and the creator-figure in the Lanre story is called Aleph.
Arra
18. suzannef
How do the Yllish swear?
Skip Ives
19. Skip
As someone who remembers being a clueless 15 year-old, those passages with D struck me as painfully true.

On the subject of Kvothe’s red hair, are we to take anything from Viari (Lorren’s giller and suspected Amyr) thinking Kvothe was Yllish? They follow the lunar calendar. The Yllish knot-writing seems to be set up for some kind of reveal in Day 3. Kvothe is learning it, and D reads it too (WMF, chapter 152). It is also notable that he heard the name of the wind while reading Yllish history. The language seems to emphasize the interaction of anything on everything else, which sounds a lot like the act of naming things. The Chancellor was teaching Kvothe Yllish, but became too sick to teach. Last but not least the Yll were almost completely wiped out by the Aturan Empire and the Amyr.

One other thought on the Amyr and the Chandrian. We think of the Amyr as the “good guys” because the Chandrian want to end it all. But what if the Amyr are not so much the good guys as the sane guys. Iax stole the moon and he was a namer and possibly Amyr as well. The Amyr may have sparked the creation war (just think of that name) and killed off any namer powerful enough to heal the rift that the war caused.
Dave West
20. Jhirrad
We've definitely heard God before. I found the word "God" used twice in Chapter 1 of NoW.

"Graham tried to ease him into a chair. "Mother of God. Sit down, Carter.'"

"'Scrael?', Jake broke in. 'Blackened body of God, Kote. You've seen these things before?'"
Hugh Arai
21. HArai
@Jo: I agree 15-year old boys missing clues can be frustrating, but there's nothing saying the girl can't be clearer when he doesn't get the hint is there? "I love you Kvothe, how about it?" Seven words even! :)

Personal example: I attended a high school reunion a few years ago and while talking to old friends, one of the women mentioned that she
had a crush on me at the time, all of her friends knew, she'd even asked my friends if I liked her and I'd never clued in. I replied that I'd been under the impression she was interested in one of my friends instead of me. No way, it was definitely me. "So why didn't you ask me if I liked you?" They started to answer, stopped, thought about it and said "I don't know". So it's not all the guy!
Sim Tambem
22. Daedos
Does anyone remember Kvothe returning to Severin after his sabbatical with the Adem - he stopped by the inn (or whatever it was) where Denna had been staying, and tells the innkeeper he's looking for a girl with yeah-long hair (or something to that affect).

The innkeeper says, "You and all the other wolves..."

Could this be a vague nod to Bredon being Lord Ash?

Just a thought.
Arra
23. AO
Chapter 72-73 stood out for me as it was yet another mention of the "grey stone" that appears either subtly or overtly throughout the book, and there were some hints given as to their possible importance.

The Mauthen farm near Trebon where the family was massacred? "The foundation and the lower walls were solid grey stone". Why do we know that that was that important? Well, the pig herder Schiem that they later met made mention of how those specific stones were found in the ground with the Chandrian vase and how Mauthen thought it important to make sure that they were incorporated into the house. Schiem thought it very odd and bad luck to use stones from a barrow, but Mauthen seemed strangely determined, and even went looking for more.
Sim Tambem
24. Daedos
I think the idea that there are specific groups that have a consistent reputation no matter who you ask is interesting. Especially since the only group we really know is the Edema Ruh, and their reputation is almost completely undeserved.

Is there a reference to someone from Yll talking about tinkers?
Lenny Bailes
25. lennyb
I'm all the way through the first two books, now. The crucial spoiler I thought I might have absorbed -- that Denna will be revealed as an avatar or still-living incarnation of Lanre's wife, Lyra, was apparently only thread-speculation. (I'm temporarily now filing that idea alongside the one of Denna as a time-traveling, Severian-like person, who's constantly slipping back and forth between different time eras.)

Someone here mentioned that Rothfuss characterizes Kvothe and Denna as being "just two teenagers" in comments made on his writing process. Right now, I'm still content to think about Denna as "Gypsy Lou," (Gypsy Lu?) -- as elusive and as uncatchable as the moon, and possessed of a wry sense of humor and powerful emotional affect that she carries through the restless life she seems forced to lead .

I'm open to the idea that Denna might be "a piece of the Moon" trapped and somehow incarnated as a human being. It seems that, so far, we have nothing other than the poetic narrative descriptions of Denna's effect on Kvothe in their meetings to confirm that idea. It's easier for me to imagine Auri as a long-lived (or time travelling Whovian) avatar of a greater power. The many descriptions of Auri's golden hair make her seem more like an avatar of the Sun than the Moon. Her whimsy is more Moon-like, for Thurberesque values of the Moon . Her home in the Underthing has some metaphoric suggestion of either the Sun or the Moon hiding in the ocean when the other heavenly body is in the ascendent.

If reincarnation turns out to be real in Kvothe's world, then Denna as someone who was Lyra in a previous lifetime might point toward Mr. Ash's true identity being one of the Chandrian.

"Death is unreal, that's the way I feel
There's more to be revealed.
Lovers and friends meet again and again
On the dear old battlefield."
-- Incredible String Band

It's difficult for me to believe that Mr. Ash is Bredon, based on the Bredon we see through Kvothe's eyes. I don't see any hint in Kvothe's recollections that suggests Bredon as the kind of man who would impose the conditions and requests on Denna that we know her Patron imposes. (All we have through Kvothe to complicate Bredon's congenial, moral character is gossip linking Bredon to some incidents of pagan debauchery.)

It may be one point of the narrative to lull us into accepting Kvothe's perceptions of things as close to objective truth only to confound us later on, when we see that Denna's perceptions of people and events may actually be more accurate than Kvothe's. Maybe she's right about the side of Lanre she wants to sing about, and the Creation War is more complicated than we currently think it is.

I'm sure it's not intended, but I can't help associating "Mr. Ash" with the Mr. Ash in Gene Wolfe's New Sun novels. That Mr. Ash is an astronomer dwelling in a cold mansion, which exists a failed timeline where Severian fails to renew the Sun.

I'm still trying to decide what I believe about Kvothe's combat with the two soldiers toward the end of the second book. My first reading of the text is that Kvothe is genuinely surprised when his two-handed "Break Lion" fails to work, rather than that Kvothe deliberately allows himself to be beaten in order to protect his identity as Kote.

I have some thoughts (wholly subjective) on the segment of the story where Kvothe visits Adem. To me, it's almost as if Rothfuss's descriptions and examples of the Ademre language are a kind of meta-commentary on the narrative style and intent in the rest of the story. The Adem chapters seem almost like a deconstruction of the way Kvothe's adventures in the rest of the book are presented to the reader.
C Smith
26. C12VT
@25: I hadn't thought of the Adem language in that light before. Nice.
Arra
27. Lurking Canadian
Jo, I'm not sure I understand what you mean about Tehlu being real, and therefore Tehlin religion stands out as a "valid" analog to the Catholic Church. Tehlu appears to have been a historical figure, but most likely he was one of the Amyr, or an "angel" or a key figure on one side or the other of the Creation War. Is there any reason to believe that Tehlin theology (virgin birth, whacking people over the head with the book of the path, dying on the wheel to banish Encanis, etc) has any basis in reality? I get the impression it's all hooey that has at most a tangential relationship to what actually happened (the number seven shows up in both cases).

Doubly suspicious if the Amyr, who are obsessed with hiding the truth about themselves, were part of the Church. They had all kinds of time to monkey with the theology to hide the truth, and probably did.

As for fantasy analogs...There is a similarity to the Church of the Elenes from David Eddings, in which the Elene God turns out to be not the One True God, but rather just one of the many Gods of Styricum who has good PR despite being apparently kind of lazy.

Also, I can't be the only one bemused by this "It's not a dragon! It's just a draccus!" business that Kvothe tries to sell. It's a GIANT, FIRE-BREATHING LIZARD. It's a dragon.

Hippopotami are also vegetarians. That doesn't make them safe to be around either.

ETA: freaking kaptcha koan has UPSIDE DOWN TEXT. How am I supposed to type that, great anti-spam swami?
Arra
28. chrispin
I fell like the "I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings" should refer to this section. The "sleeping barrow kings" are the Chandrian who come after the barrow is opened. When they leave, they go back to "sleeping", although they still affect those who are left behind. K helps Nina by giving her the charm so she feels safe and D by helping her get out of town. It's just not a story that's told in the inns.

Jhirrad @15 - I read PR did write this section at the advice of his editors to add some action.
Arra
29. Arra
@25 I'm not convinced that Bredon is Mr. Ash either.
For one, Mr. Ash's behavior doesn't match what Bredon's. Bredon doesn't seem physically violent or cruel. He seems indifferent about winning or losing and is after a 'beautiful game'. He's definitely a player, I'm just not convinced he's Mr. Ash.
For another, D mentions that Mr Ash is quite a dancer and Bredon says that he is learning how to dance. Unless that's a misdirection, they aren't the same person.

I definitely think that Bredon is more than he seems and is probably one of the old namers or shapers. He mentions that when he was young he was something of a power but now he has no machination to advance.

I wonder if he's the 7th person that remembered the Lethani and didn't betray a city. Is that why there's still Bredon's beer? What's his connection anyway with the Bredon beer?

Bredon's defense: Any maneuver when I get out of a tight corner by being uncommonly clever.

Beautiful game: The point is to be bold. To be dangerous. Be Elegant. Any man that's half awake can spot a trap that's laid for him. But to stride in boldly with a plan to turn it on its ear, that is a marvelous thing. To set a trap and know someone will come in wary, ready with a trick of their own, then beat them. That is twice marvelous.

Is K playing a beautiful game and setting a trap?
Arra
30. Lurking Canadian
Is K playing a beautiful game and setting a trap?

I love this idea. There's something fishy in the fact that K is telling Chronicler all this stuff he swore most solemnly never to reveal. He must have something up his sleeve that makes him think he's NOT actually revealing any of this stuff.
Arra
31. AO
I'm among those that have speculated that the frame story is not at all what it seems. K is Edema Ruh to to the very marrow of his bones, and the Ruh are the greatest actors in all of the world. :)
Lenny Bailes
32. lennyb
#29: Bredon's and Denna's comments on dancing make me want to lean back toward the possibility of his being her Patron.

It could be that Bredon is just being modest about his dancing ability. Denna may be a better judge of both that and the sensibility of her Patron's actions than what Kvothe tells us about them. We have a tendency to want to accept Kvothe's opinions about things as readers of/listeners to his story. Rothfuss may want to remind us of this from time to time with the philosophical remarks on the nature of storytelling that come from both Kvothe and other characters.
Arra
33. Susan Loyal
It’s really quite insane that he goes rushing off after the Chandrian this way. He was shaken up, yes, and he wants to know about them, but he’s risking literally everything borrowing this money and abandoning the University mid-term.

The insanity of this mad dash into the countryside, abandoning all his careful finances, much discussed not long ago, and risking his University career, only to end up in a lengthy digression that I can't help calling "camping with Denna," bothered me enormously on both my first and second reading of the book. In fact, it was my least favorite section of NW, second only to Tarbean (and we know what happened with that disaffection!). It has echoes of the Arthurian "going mad and racing off into the woods" motif, but they are, frankly, very very faint. (Offering to kill and eat the dealer is, indeed, so far over the top that it lends itself to this "running mad" interpretation.) The winds of Tarbean are around a bit, however.

In Signs, when K wakes up in the inn after spending most of the night throwing his hair and blood around to deflect his pursuers, he says:

"My hard-won instincts from Tarbean were urging me to run. Leave this place."

The attempt on his life (if that's truly what it was) has shucked him out of his comfortable "University Kvothe" identity and thrown him, at least partially, back into "Tarbean K." Then he hears about the blue fire, and he's off to the races.

There's one other clear reference to Tarbean. When Denna wakes him because the draccus is coming, he says "I woke from a dim dream of moving through a crowded street." And the last time we saw him moving through a crowded street, he was obsessed with the feeling that he was being watched.

I'm truly bugged by how conveniently everything fits together. He's thrown into "Tarbean K" by an attack, he hears about the signs of the Chandrian, he throws away his fiscal care and borrows a ridiculous sum of money (and we don't ever see the end of the negotiation for the twenty talents), he buys just the right horse for just the right sum, rides the horse nigh to dropping, pulls up by a tinker who just happens to need to buy a horse and just happens to have Loden stone (surely not a usual item in a tinker's pack), finds that the sole survivor of the wedding is Denna, comes upon a pig drover who just happens to know that whole history of Barrow Hill and the wedding couple, and finds a draccus, about which he has just been reading in a book he borrowed from Devi. Either this is a long lesson in how to spell "coincidence" or it's the biggest setup imaginable.

Is it possible that one hand lies behind the attack, getting Denna to the wedding, the "gossip" in the inn that K overhears, and possibly even the placement of the "tinker" on the road? (My tinfoil hat tendencies make me wonder if the "tinker" and "Master Ash" aren't more closely related than they seem.)

As an aside, perhaps relevant to arra @12, Denna puts forward the theory that the Chandrian showed up at the wedding in order to perform a "clean sweep" of everyone who had knowledge of the "heirloom." Kvothe at once accepts the theory.

"I was remembering what had happened to my own troupe. Someone's parents have been singing entirely the wrong sort of songs. But they hadn't just killed my parents. They killed everyone who had been close enough to hear even a part of the song."

That sounds so pleasantly convincing, yet it's so obviously wrong. Kvothe is alive. The Chandrian didn't come while Abenthy was with the troupe, and he helped with the writing of the song. Unless they chased him down separately, he's still alive. Denna was at the wedding, but was drawn outside by her "patron-to-be," and so survived. The patron himself, though certainly nowhere to be found in these chapters, later appears to have survived. So "clean sweep," while a convincing-sounding theory, is just plain untrue, yet Kvothe goes for it whole hog. And this, I think, is for me the moment when I begin to wonder whether we aren't getting something about the Chandrian entirely wrong.

And, Jo, that "stew" does seem pretty bogus. Roasted meat and raw root vegetables seem unlikely to produce a pleasant texture, especially since K omits any mention of liquid in the pot.

Thanks, as always, for a delightful reading.
Arra
34. AO
"It’s really quite insane that he goes rushing off after the Chandrian this way."

It made sense to me. Few people alive seem to believe that they're real or have ever seen them. Kvothe might have gone the rest of his life never seeing them, or sign of them, again. Therefore, this represented what could have been his only chance to gain knowledge that might help him to track them down. That would seem quite important and worth the risk.

At the same time, Kvothe seems confident in his ability to make situations work out to his benefit. Time after time in the books he leaps before he looks and turns audacious actions into positive outcomes.

For example, Kvothe needed to win his pipes at the Eolian. That wasn't a lark, therefore it was folly (excuse the pun) to sing the most challenging of songs (Sir Savien) and doubly so to gamble on an unmet partner leaping in to sing the part of Aloine. And yet he did so.

Kvothe is a gambler. Perhaps much of that is due to a sense of indestructibility common amongst young men, but there are countless examples of both his tendency to gamble and his acting without (or with little) thought to the consequences. His action here, as much as we or may not agree with it personally, seems very consistent with his character.
Jo Walton
35. bluejo
Susan Loyal: People don't often make pork stew. But leftover roasted lamb or chicken plus raw vegetables (and stock and barley and herbs) is how I usually make stew.

Otherwise, I am in complete agreement with you here.
Arra
36. AO
"Anyway, a livery stable. Kvothe acts like a jerk. The dealer wants to spend time selling, Kvothe wants a horse quickly, Kvothe demands fast service. He acts, as he says, like a lunatic or the son of a noble. He threatens to kill and eat the dealer. Does this strike anyone else as excessive? It obviously doesn’t strike the dealer as excessive as he tries to cheat him anyway, but I’m very uncomfortable with this."

I respect your take here, but this also made complete sense to me and did not strike me as excessive. Kvothe is desperate and determined to get on the road asap. Imagine if you were rushing to save someone's life or stop a murder. Kvothe seems to classify this quest in those terms. So how much sense would it make for him to negotiate for half an hour, an hour, or longer?

The horse seller is clearly described as a life long hard core wheeler-dealer bargainer. The only way to make things clear, to get through to someone in that firm of a mind set, is for Kvothe to make things VERY clear. And that's what he did. Perhaps such things are just more common among men, or some men. But while I have never threatened to kill anyone, I absolutely have had situations where I have had to go overboard in order to make sure that my point made it through to someone who seemed oblivious to, or not to care about, more moderate social cues. If you need to get something done then it doesn't usually matter to you whether or not the person to whom you are speaking is going to think less of you, curse you, or complain about you. What matters is the end result, especially in a case like this where there is no physical violence, only rude and offensive language.
Arra
37. AO
"That’s how she lives, and again it’s a very typical masculine fantasy of femininity."

Obviously we have debated Rothfuss' decision to create Denna as the sort of character that you would describe thusly. However, I feel that we can't argue that she is this sort of character Therefore, I view every bit of dialogue and act that reinforces this perception as simply his portraying her with consistent characterization. And for that I am pleased. If she were to suddenly appear with a different personality, no matter how much some people might prefer that she have a different personality, then it wouldn't seem to me to be at all realistic.
Arra
38. AO
Speaking of Denna, I noticed that in WMF there was a 2nd instance where she went by a non-D name in the 6th paragraph of Chapter 68:

"He called her Alora, and so did I for the rest of the day."

I don't know that it means anything, but as many have commented that she almost exclusively goes by "D" names, then I wanted to point that out.
Arra
39. AO
"This is a major missed opportunity for an honest conversation on both sides, I think. Because if he’d just explained, then she might have been able to. “I know what it’s like to have secrets.”

Yeah, but at this age I think that the least realistic thing in the world would be for two young people attracted to each other to have an honest conversation. At that age women are mysterious and unfathomable, and there's a huge fear of rejection, possibly even moreseo when everyone you've ever loved has died. Don't get me wrong, I'd have loved to have seen an honest conversation too, but once again such would strike me as hugely unrealistic.
Arra
40. AO
When Denna was at the river, did anyone else notice that it was (I think) the first of several times throughout both books that she was playing with her hair? I don't know if she was still learning Yllish knots or just creating them/changing them during those scenes, but it was clear to me that something notable was going on with her hair.
Arra
41. chrispin
It sounds like Denna's patron is working with the Chandrian. He put Denna in the wedding to scout out the numbers for them then got out before the attack. D doesn't need to be killed by the Chandrian since she can still be of use in the future.

Abenthy could also be working with the Chandrian. He made sure the Chandrian's names were in the song and left. Maybe when he found out Kvothe lived he sent the thieves with the dowsing compass. I like this much more than Ambrose sending the thieves. The more conspiracy theories the better. Ambrose's plum-bob lady had no problem finding Kvothe by just showing up at Ankers. If the thieves came from him, Ambrose could have just told them to find K at Ankers. No need for reckless use of magic. Abenthy, however, doesn't know where K has gone to so would have to use other means.
Arra
42. AO
@ 25 lennyb,

There's lots of evidence to suggest that Mr Ash = Bredon. Whether or not he is also one of, or working for, the Chandrian is less solid. But here's quite a few points to suggest the first connection (I found this on the Westeros Board, originally posted March 7th by "Rogue Sock"):

-Denna explained that he had dealings with the Maer, and that with the circles Kvothe has been in, he has already likely met him.
-Bredon enjoys playing games, Mr. Ashe thinks of beating Denna as a "game", the twisted sick bastard.
-Mr. Ashe and Bredon both have a cane.
-Mr. Ashe and Bredon both have white hair.
-Bredon told Kvothe he just took up dancing, Denna said Mr. Ashe is a surprising good dancer.
-The rumors of his Bredon's "rituals in the woods" goes along nicely with Mr. Ashe being at the wedding.
-Why spend such a large amount of time on a character that does not have a backstory given, if not to signify such a betraying and dramatic revelation.

As far as Bredon not being "the kind of man who would impose the conditions and requests on Denna that we know her Patron imposes" then I would have to quite disagree. I am always cognizant of the following when people speculate as to what Bredon may or may not be capable of:

"Bredon set his stones ruthlessly, not a breath of hesitation between his moves. He tore me apart as easily as you rip a sheet of paper ion half.
The game was over so quickly it left me breathless.
'Again,' Bredon said, a note of command in his voice I'd never heard before.
I tried to rally, but the next game was worse. I felt like a puppy fighting a wolf. No, I was a mouse at the mercy of an owl. There was not even a pretense of a fight. All I could do was run.
But I couldn't run fast enough. This game was over sooner than the last.
'Again,' he demanded.
And we played again. This time, I was not even a living thing. Bredon was calm and dispassionate as a butcher with a boning knife. The game lasted about the length of time it takes to gut and bone a chicken".

And so I absolutely believe that Bredon is capable of ruthlessly doing to Denna what we know Mr Ash has done to her.
Arra
43. Mouette
About the Peg accent -

This sounded perfectly reasonable and realistic to me (not the accent itself, but the urban/rural difference). I've spent most of my life in states where the accent of people in urban settings - from small towns to cities - is noticeably distinct from the accents of those who grew up in the extremely rural areas (hick towns, the country, tiny, tiny towns, etc).

Both in Utah and in Texas, if you hear someone speak who grew up in those very rural areas, in most cases you can immediately hear the difference in pronunciations. Even if they're professionals who have spent the last fifty years of their life in a major city, the accent lingers. I can't tell you if someone grew up in Dallas or Salt Lake by their speech, but if they're from Vernal, Utah, or the expansive place known as West Texas? Absooolutely.


So the concept of there being distinctly different accents for rural and city areas was something I accepted at face value, because I've experienced it day in and out. Maybe this is more common in places like the western US, where you have vast areas of sparse population and a few scattered population-dense cities? I can easily imagine that there isn't such a difference, or much less of one, on the East Coast.
Rob Munnelly
44. RobMRobM
At a really base and obvious level, given the evolution and alterations of names in these books, could Amyr be a corruption of Namer? I.e., are the Amyr the descendants of the original Namers?
Arra
45. mochabean
As always, love the reread and all the astute observations it generates. In addition to all that meat and potatotes (stew!) I love the little things, the frosting, that I only notice on second reading. The extravagant, over-the-top threat Kvothe makes when buying the horse was just fun to read -- we see another far more menacing version at the end of the book when Bast threatens Chronicler. And the "peg" herder's accent reminded me so much of Mole-speech from the Redwall books (which I've been reading out loud to my kids) that I am convinced it is not accidental.
Arra
46. Matt P
@33

"So "clean sweep," while a convincing-sounding theory, is just plain untrue, yet Kvothe goes for it whole hog."

It's more then that. When Kvothe's whole troupe is killed, it was done presumably by Cinder against Haliax's wishes. If Kvothe has done nothing wrong, then presumably the troupe has done nothing wrong either. Haliax states that by slaughtering all of those people, Cinder is forgetting their purpose. I suspect Haliax didn't want the whole troupe to be killed.

Not to mention that Veraina wasn't killed either.

@42
"And so I absolutely believe that Bredon is capable of ruthlessly doing to Denna what we know Mr Ash has done to her."

I used to play Diplomacy. Ruthlessly lying to people so that you can betray them is one aspect of that game. I assure you, just because I can lie to friends in Diplomacy without any qualms doesn't mean that I could lash them.
thistle pong
47. thistlepong
(apologies if this is fragmented, I lost the initial post and had to retype it)

@bluejo
Accents within Aturan are more nuanced in the audiobook versions.  Even within Vintas, folk from the northen farrel sound notably different from folk in the southern.  Accents are mentioned in the books, but never spelled out like in these chapters.

(As an aside, Denna’s lack of breath and confused eye movements upon waking are consistent with hypnopompic sleep paralysis, which is unpleasant.)

Regarding Vintic succession, there’s plenty of evidence that it’s not solely patrilineal.  Meluan and Samista stand in line for the throne along with the entire royal and (deceased) Surthen families.  Baron Jakis’s wife is dead, and Ambrose is their firstborn.  The peerage relevant to the story ends there.  Anyway, they at least allow for matrilineal succession.

The people of the Shald believe in “all manner of Cealdish sky spirits,” when they’re not Tehlin.  Given the information we have about Tehlu & Pals, this may be a difference only of calling names.

I have a feeling that Tinkers descend from an ancient tradition hinted at by “The Boy Who Loved the Moon.”  The Tinker likely represents the old knowers, if not Aleph himself.  Jax leaves him with the broken house (or the Four Corners) and says it will be up to him to mend it.  Tinkers do a lot of repair work; and on Pat’s map they’re indicators of safe roads and civilization.  They have traditional garb, practices, and rituals.  During Kvothe’s last exam in WMF the Mender Heresies are mentioned.  Given the Menda/Mender similarity, this can be read as an analog for something like the Arian heresy, but it might stretch back further.  Tinkers may have been Menders a thousand years ago, before the Tehlin Church. When Kvothe talks about Aturans killing anyone they found living on the road 400 years ago, he’s concerned with the Ruh.  But this describes Tinkers as well.  If they existed before the Empire, it would help explain their broad dispersal and universal familiarity among cultures.
Sim Tambem
48. Daedos
I felt like a puppy fighting a wolf. No, I was a mouse at the mercy of an owl.

I love how deliberate PR is with his word choice. He gets both wolf and owl in there. Aside from the occurrence I mentioned before, do we see wolf or owl anywhere else in the series (someone with a 'Ctrl.+F' command available to them)?
Steven Halter
49. stevenhalter
Susan Loyal@33:Comparing the Trebon section to the
Tarbean is quite interesting. We were dissatisfied with the
Tarbean section until we had enough information to figure out K was under some sort of geas that Skarpi seemed to break.
I wonder if the abruptness of his actions can also be the result of some sort of geas.
There are a couple of possibilities for this.
In order to throw his attackers off his trail, Kvothe casts his hair and blood to the wind and water. He doesn't seem to purposely use any magic when he does this, but it could be that the result of doing these two actions makes him more ammenable to dislocation. The mention of the events in Trebon then just cascade with this effect.
Another possibility (or in conjunction with the previous) is that the hired thugs were not hired to kill him but rather to get some of his blood. They do this. Someone (Master Ash being the obvious) then used that blood to make Kvothe want to travel. At the beginning of Chapter 70 (Signs), Kvothe noptes:

I didn’t know exactly where I was, only that I wasn’t where I should be, and that something was wrong. I was hiding. Someone was after me.


On a first reading, I thought that this easily ascribable to his awakening in a different place thatn normal. It could be the effects of a spell making him amenable to travelling.
The same someone could also have caused the rumour of the blue fire to find its way to Kvothe via the overheard conversation. If this someone has some form of foresight (probably more limited than the Cthaeh) then the manipulation of events into the seeming chain of coincidences could be explained.
Chapter 71 is named Strange Attraction. This references his relationship with Denna and the loden-stone but also references all of the events that draw him pell mell to Trebon--the series of "coincidences" leading him to learn of the events in Trebon and then his mad dash.
Arra
50. suzannef
@40 AO:

Yes, Denna is always playing with her hair, braiding and unbraiding it. In fact, somewhere early in WMF she is "unraveling" it. This seems important to me, given that she is revealed to be fluent in Yllish knot language.

I think knots are going to be as important as locks. And we know the two are connected through the Lackless box, which has faint Yllish knot writing on the top.

K has learned knots four times so far: with Ben on the wagon, with Laclith when he's mad in the woods, on the ship on the way home from Vintas, and with the Chancellor at the University. On the ship home, "they tried to teach me sailor's knots, but I didn't have a knack for them, though I proved to be a dab hand at untying them."

There's a key connection here. In the story of Jax and the moon, when Jax meets the hermit, he asks for help untying the knot on the tinker's second pack. The hermit talks to the knot.


The hermit closed his eyes for a moment, listening. Then he opened his eyes and frowned at Jax. "The knot says you tore at it. Pricked it with a knife. Bit it with your teeth."

Jax was surprised. "I did," he admitted. "I told you, I tried everything to get it open."

"Hardly everything," the hermit said scornfully. He lifted the pack until the knotted cord was in front of his face. "I'm terribly sorry, " he said, "but would you open up?" He paused. "Yes. I apologize. He won't do it again."

The knot unraveled and the hermit opened the pack.



I think this knot naming skill, and this unraveling, may be part of K's gifts.

(And a question for the linguistics department: do you think "unraveling" might have something to do with the pejorative "ravel" for the Ruh?)
Sim Tambem
51. Daedos
@47 - Yours is the best theory I've heard so far concerning tinkers. They certainly do seem to know more than they let on, at any rate. And the implication in the church's decree does seem like it could have been a way to deal with them indirectly.

If Jax left the broken house to the tinker to fix - specifically telling him it was his job to fix it - why didn't Jax just fix it himself? This could be another tie-in to the Shapers not being willing to deal with the world as it was, and instead searched out and created a new one (the unfolding house).

There is definitely more to the story than has been confirmed.

Also, hippopotamuses are dragons.
Arra
52. chrispin
The section where K yells at the horsetrader reminded me of Eloden yelling at the Haven keeper Timothy for locking Whin's door (ride you like a pink pony). In both cases the threats are excessive and immediately dismissed since they will never be followed through. It seems both K and Eloden are working with less inhibitions than normal people and saying whatever comes to their sick minds.

Following Susan@33 & shalter@49 - After he's attacked, K goes to the university to spread his hair and gets drawn into spinning leaf. "How long had I been sitting there, motionless, watching the wind?" Then he does his crazy run until, as Jo suggests, he snaps out of it when he goes back into spinning leaf to name the horse. K could have been in sleeping mind from when he watched the leaves until he named the horse. The things they learn at the university drive people crazy. Being in sleeping mind could have made him lose his inhibitions and act insane.

Though I can't stand D, I love how she shows up Kvothe here. She sees though all his lies and solves his problems, or would have if he'd brought the rope. K's always going on how good an actor he is, how he can fake courtly manners, how good he is at lying. In reality he doesn't seem to be good at any of those things just no one calls him on it.

Jo- Your man-mother theory is fabulous, and it explains the virginal birth of Tehlu. It's all connected.
Arra
53. 12stargazers
to AO @ 37.

I'm of the opinion that D is a mirror/chamelian. She mimicks whoever she is around for survival's sake. Basically, she tells guys what they want to hear as long as they give her want she needs. I saw a little of this in D's past patron who got upset at her for taking on a male student of her own. She changes the nuances of her self-presentation as often as she changes her name.

D's comment to K about "never staying where I'm not wanted and making up the rest as I go along" is also true for K up until he lost his family. Some of it is even true post orphaning.

If K were truly interested in learning the name of the wind and doing magic for magic's sake, he'd play by the rules and not try to bend them as much as he does. He'd grieve, heal and get on with things. As it is, the sole reason K is at the University it to find a way of getting revenge on the Chandrian for killing his family. I'm also reminded of the old saying, in our reality, that anyone seeking vengeance must first dig two graves. Or in this case, eight, if we're to translate our truism into K's reality -- which very poetically illustrated with "the cut flower sound of something waiting to die" in the framing pieces. My take on the King Killer Chronicales is that it's a classic revenge tale writ large. All that remains to be seen is if getting Kote to tell Kvothe's story will save K. (I'm assuming K got revenege, otherwise the word "Kingkiller" wouldn't be used in regards to the series.)

...but I digress....

Because D keeps reflecting Kvothe back to K, Kote is starting to develop, one brick at a time. Where Kvothe gets things right by "wild ass guessing" at names and naming, Kote can't because Kote is the kind of person who gives D what she says she wants -- security and acceptance in the form of a patron and monetary support. What I think D needs is K as he was before the Chandrian. Free, creative, supportive and loyal -- and the kind of guy who would take the girl and run, just like his father.

Right now, K is a natural nomad torn from his typical life and forced into an unnatural state. K has gone from circular and seasonal to linear and single goaled. D is reflecting the real K (Kvothe) back to K -- here again and gone again only to return again and always with a new tale to be had.
Andrew Mason
54. AnotherAndrew
Arra@12:
And Haliax doesn't seem to want to kill K., he just asks Cinder to send him to the soft and painless blanket of his sleep. So unless by 'sleep' he meant 'death', then they meant for K. to live.

Well, when we discussed this at the time a lot of people thought it did mean 'death', and although I disagreed then, I'm coming round to the view that this is right. So Haliax was saying 'Don't torture him, just kill him,' and he would then have been killed if the angels, or whoever, hadn't turned up at that moment.

lennyb@25:
I'm sure it's not intended, but I can't help associating "Mr. Ash" with the Mr. Ash in Gene Wolfe's New Sun novels. That Mr. Ash is an astronomer dwelling in a cold mansion, which exists a failed timeline where Severian fails to renew the Sun.

This struck me too. I'm not sure it's not intended - while the name 'Ash' turns up all over the place, this is specifically Master Ash, which seems too close for coincidence. I have an idea that there are references to quite a lot of notable works of fantasy hidden (or not hidden) in the text - not deep clues, just gentle tributes.

Lurking Canadian@27:
Is there any reason to believe that Tehlin theology (virgin birth, whacking people over the head with the book of the path, dying on the wheel to banish Encanis, etc) has any basis in reality? I get the impression it's all hooey that has at most a tangential relationship to what actually happened (the number seven shows up in both cases).

Well, something must have happened to prompt the growth of the Tehlin church, given that there are other angels who aren't worshipped. I think the story that emerges from Skarpi's and Trapis's accounts if we put them together is something like this: Tehlu started out as a regular person (whatever that meant at the time); Aleph made him into an angel; later he was incarnated and fought demons in that form, giving rise to the church. So the underlying truth is a bit like the Arian view of Jesus - he was a preexisting 'divine' being, but not God - while the church takes a more Nicene view, though without the complication of the Trinity.

On the swearing issue, I've noticed Denna says both 'gods' and 'Lord', suggesting a mixed religious background. 'Lord' may mean Tehlu, but who are these gods?
Arra
55. arra
@54 I think Gods are the old strong namers/shapers (like Aleph). Remember K says that he's met Gods at the beginning of his story and I think he means he met some of the old namers/shapers. Tiny Gods are probably the less powerful or secondary players.

With regards to Abenthy, I always found this phrasing odd when Abenthy leaves the troupe:
'As you can see, I don't hink anyone could have built a better snare for Ben if they had tried.'
Was there really a plan to make sure Ab. leaves so he won't be in the way of the Chandrian. Could he have stopped them or interrupted them in some way? I don't think he's working with the Chandrians though.
Dave West
56. Jhirrad
We're getting a lot of comments on the whole "God" and "Gods" and "Tehlu" issue it seems. Please note that as I am compiling the data for our Department of Imaginary Linguistics wiki, I'm also taking note (Kindle app has changed my life) of places where the deity is invoked. I've seen the phrase "Blackened body of God" a couple of times as an example. As part of that, I'm also trying to find examples of people swearing, in whatever language they are swearing in, as I feel as though it might help provide some of our linguistic insight.

All that said, if you find concrete data within the text regarding this, please send it my way to add to the wiki. Thanks!
Sim Tambem
57. Daedos
@56 "Tehlu started out as a regular person (whatever that meant at the time); Aleph made him into an angel; later he was incarnated and fought demons in that form, giving rise to the church."

I'm pretty sure the text implies that angels and 'regular people' are fundamentally different. Is it Felurian that says 'There were never any human Amyr' (paraphrasing)?
I'm still of the opinion that "angels" and "demons" refer to different beings from the Faen realm (good ones and bad ones, respectively), and the terms were either introduced as a sort of propaganda by the Tehlin church, or through honest ignorance by the common people.
Arra
58. Elaine Gallagher
"That’s how she lives, and again it’s a very typical masculine fantasy of femininity."

I have to say that I have known more than one person just like that. Denna seems to me to be a quite accurate portrayal of a very attractive woman with next to no self-esteem, or who is in some other way quite badly damaged. This kind of person, if you put them under any kind of pressure they will slip away, in Denna's case, or either attack or run or both in my examples' case. Actually Denna shows a lot more self-awareness in the Bechdel scene than I observed in real life.

The way that Denna keeps saying 'yes' in various ways and then flinching when Kvothe seems to be taking her up on her invitation also seems to me like a person who has been badly hurt in the past. She may genuinely love Kvothe and want him, but not be able to bring herself to let him near her. I see this as being an indication that she may be an avatar of the Moon, who was about to give Jax her body in the story and was imprisoned and broken instead.

Now this kind of person may annoy you, as Denna seems to. She actually may cause a lot of harm to the people around her, especially to those who are infatuated or otherwise caught up with her, which I believe we're going to see in the finale of the story. She may also come across as being a fantasy girl to some kinds of men; the kind who don't want any kind of commitment or relationship. The kind of man Fela describes Kvothe to be, in fact.

That said, I don't think she's a 'masculine fantasy' in the sense of being an unrealistic depiction of a person on the male author's part. If I'm misreading your comment, I apologise.

There's some smugness about her on Kvothe's part, along the lines of "She's Always a Woman to Me," but if there's masculine fantasising in the story I think it's the way that Kvothe, while still a teenager, seduces the ultimate Mrs Robinson in Felurian. At least his acquisition of a sword hasn't made him king of the world, as in other teenage wish-fulfilment fantasies I could rant about.
Arra
59. Matt P
@56 "Blackened body of God"

Don't know if this is useful or whether it's already been said and I just don't remember/know, but in Travis's story, didn't Tehlu die by burning? If so, wouldn't that imply that when a character states "Blackened body of God", he's talking about Tehlu after he was burnt to a crisp? Sort of like how "Zounds" was used as a curse a few hundred years ago. After all, in WMF, the scout prayed to Tehlu.

In contrast, I'd point out that when Kvothe starts to tell his story to Chronicler, he states "In the beginning, when Aleph span the world out of the void and named all things or alternatively found that all things were already named." The only other time when Aleph is referred to as a God is when it's done by Scarpi and he's arrested for heresy.

There is a real old testament/new testament thing going on here.
George Brell
60. gbrell
If women could conceive alone when the moon is in certain positions, and sexually when it is in other positions (half each), and if sexual births were 50/50 male/female and parthenogenetic births were all female, you’d end up with a population which was 65% female. And I think this is what we see with the Adem! Think how many of them were female, all the significant ones!

Inferring that because we see a majority of women in Ademic society there is a greater proportion of women is a logical fallacy. We might as well say that Vintas is predominately male because an overwhelmingly higher proportion of male characters are mentioned.

The closest accounting we have from Kvothe occurs in large social gatherings. At his first lunch, he states, “There were more women that I’d expected, and more young children.” This doesn’t mean that there were fundamentally more women, just more than he expected. Considering his constant at this point is probably the University Mess (to which he directly compares the Adem hall a page earlier), where the population is massively disproportionate towards men, there would be more women. Also, I don’t think he’s implying that young children outnumber the adults, which would be the corollary to the outnumbering interpretation.

While watching Shehyn fight, there are “thirty people or so.” He identifies himself, Vashet, a “teacher” (sex indeterminate), a “student” (“younger woman”), “three red-shirted men,” a “man and woman,” Shehyn, “two boys,” “two red-shirted mercenaries” (sex indeterminate), “a tall man in his reds,” “two red-shirted mercenaries” (sex indeterminate, likely different from previous), “a man bloodied his opponent’s nose,” “ women ,” “a thin whip of a woman,” and Penthe. Assuming that they are all different persons, that is 22 people (not including Kvothe); of which 9 are women, 8 are men and 5 are indeterminate.

Of the workers in the village, we see a male smithy (p. 774), an apothecary (id.) who is female (p. 811), a tailor (pg. 774), a “garrulous old man who spun silk thread” (p. 786), “twin sisters who make candles” (id.), a “woodcutter” (id.), Naden (“Two-fingers”) and Daeln, a man (p. 811). Four men, three women and two indeterminate.

The fact that woman are in dominant roles in the society could also account for his bias in naming characters (the same way that Vintish men dominate the narrative in Vintas). This could be because of their greater skill for fighting, the Aethe/Rethe story (establishing the female as the origin of the Lethani), or as a consequence of their reproductive beliefs. It could also be unique to the Latantha or the particular school in Haert.

Even assuming that the female majority is true, I don’t know how we get to any concrete numbers regarding proportion of the population or how parthenogenesis would affect that proportion without too many speculative assumptions. We don’t know how many days during the synodic period of the moon (72 and a 1/3 per Kvothe) they’d be fertile, what their probability or conception would be, how it compares to their general rate of fertility, etc.

Addendum: Female athletes do usually have to change their lifestyles to have children. Marathoners, for example, often have to gain a significant amount of weight and reduce their training load to have children. Extremely fit martial artists or gymnasts likely would have similar problems.

We also know frighteningly little of Ademic social structures. We know they are a somewhat polyamorous society, where sex is viewed as intimate (although less so than teacher-student), but not necessarily tied to monogamy or love. This is also consistent with the fact that only mother-daughter relationships are mentioned, possibly implying that there is no concept of fatherhood even in a social context. With that said, nothing specifically indicates that families don’t include hetero pairings (although nothing seems to hold for it either…). Vashet even specifies, “A woman might sing to her man,” implying the existence of pair-bonding.

Also, are the Adem human or a different species? Because this discussion only makes sense if we are talking about them in a vacuum. We don’t believe that the majority of persons have this “ability.”

Finally, what do we make of Penthe’s assertion that, “Sometimes a woman ripens. . . . That is why more women ripen in the fall, like fruit. That is why more women ripen here in Haert, where it is better to have a child.” Is there something attached to the seasons (as well as the moon) or to the location? Occam’s razor suggests that this is cultural blindness without more facts or information.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
61. tnh
Lambson @57, would you consider using italics instead of boldface?
Sim Tambem
62. Daedos
@61 I would be happy to. Out of curiosity...why? I'm somewhat new to this sort of forum.

@60 Thanks for the corroboration.
Arra
63. Lurking Canadian
I will be surprised if the Adem theory of parthogenesis turns out to be true. We humans had to discover how babies were made. The knowledge is not instinctive, even if the desire (usually) is.

The easiest way for early humans to figure out babies had something to do with sex is that women who haven't had sex don't have babies, whereas women who have had sex sometimes do. There are no Adem women who don't have sex, so it's not hard to figure out why they don't make the connection. I suspect that among Adem mercenary women working in the world, having babies goes from rare (when at home) to NEVER (because they never sleep with filthy barbarians). Body fat could explain their (apparently low) fertility. Maybe there's something in the water in the mountains that lowers sperm counts, too.

Note that Kvothe's teacher's "poet king" had an equally wrong understanding of how babies are made: the old "men plant seed in fertile soil" thing. I think this is just a cute bit of cultural misunderstanding.

I mean, I won't be shocked if it turns out to be real, but I don't expect it. I also don't think it helps explain Tehlu. If women were reproducing asexually all over the place, virgin birth wouldn't be anything memorable. In order for Tehlu's birth to be a miracle, it has to be exceptional.
Arra
64. suzannef
Elaine Gallagher @58

Felurian as "the ultimate Mrs. Robinson"--well put!
Arra
65. Woodchuck
Getting ahead a little bit here but since it has been mentioned in this thread...

Anyone besides me think that the Chancellor was poisoned to stop him from teaching Kvothe Yllish? Someone afraid that he might learn something important that they don't want known? Like, perhaps, the Yllish on the box?

Or may be it is just me.
Lenny Bailes
66. lennyb
#42: The thing about Bredon turning out to be Denna's Patron is that, if he is, I will have difficulty with the notion that Denna's Patron is one of the bad guys.

What comes across to me from all that Kvothe tells us of Bredon is that Bredon is a considerate gentleman and a scholar -- his ability to play a ruthless game of Tak, notwithstanding. I can't believe, at this point in the story, that Bredon's idea of a "beautiful game" would include the notion of sadistically toying with Denna, just for the fun of it.

My subjective impressions about Bredon, so far, tell me that he's one of the good guys. He may be capable of tough and ruthless behavior, but he wouldn't choose to act that way in the service of evil. (Amyr are also capable of ruthless behavior.)

If Bredon does turn out to be Mr. Ash, it will be easier for me to believe that Rothfuss is just skillfully presenting Kvothe's point of view on things to us to lure us into buying into that point of view. We see Mr. Ash as a bastard through Kvothe's eyes -- but maybe he's really not a bastard. (Denna doesn't think he is.)

It seems more likely to me that if Bredon is Mr. Ash, then Mr. Ash is an opponent of the Chandrian -- and we don't clearly understand his actions, yet.

Another thing -- taking in events from Kvothe's point of view, we're led to feel, so far, that the Chandrian are the ultimate evil in his world and that the Amyr are good guys fighting in opposition to the Chandrian. But what if that view of good vs. evil is skewed by Kvothe's personal experience? Maybe the whole thing of the battle between the Chandrian and the Amyr will eventually be revealed as a big, complicated mess?

Just subjectively and impulsively, I'd have an easier time with broader revelations that blur the distinction between good and evil in the story than I would with the revelation of Bredon as a cruel and twisted sadist. If Bredon is revealed to be a villain with a dark sadistic nature, then I've really misread Patrick Rothfuss's subtext in the story so far (setting aside Jim Macdonald's belief that authorial subtext does not actually exist) .

#54: I wonder about the influence of Joanna Russ on the chapters of the story that describe the Ademyr. (Is this right, or should they be referred to as "The Adem?") I feel the ghosts of Janet and Jael from The Female Man in Vashet and Carceret.
Arra
67. BigD55
So I don't know if anyone has brought this up, and if they have, I apologize, but I remembered seeing something about Kvothe at some point needing to exchange Caesura for the sword he currently has mounted in The Waystone. But it could simply be that since Kvothe promised to arrange having it returned to the Adem after his death, and he faked his own death, that he sent the sword back in order to make sure the Adem believe him dead as well. Just a thought. And again I apologize if this has been said already.
Arra
68. arra
The description of Folly is somewhat similar to Cinder's sword.
Folly: dully grey-white, dark handle. When the light touched the sword there were no beginnings to be seen. In fact, the light the sword reflected was dull, burnished, and ages old
Cinder's sword: silver. pale and elegant. His eyes were like his sword, and neither one reflected the light of the fire or setting sun.
Arra
69. SusieBlu
In regards to Chapter 74 Waystone.

Back in Chapter 14 Name of the Wind we are first introduced to way/lay/greystones with this poem as an explanation.

"Like a drawstone even in our sleep
Standing stone by old road is the way
To lead you ever deeper into the Fae
Laystone as you lay in hill or dell
Greystone leads to something something 'ell" (last line being forgot)

and add this poem

"Whatever the season
That I'm on the road
I look for a reason
Loden or laystone
To lay down my load."

First we are being set up for the loden-stone from the tinker. The tinker corrects Kvothe that it is a Trebon stone and has been no where close to Loden. So where is Loden? Its not on any map and if drawstones are commonly known as Loden-stone there has to be a large deposit of magnetite or some type of magnetic metal near it.

Second most of the waystones we see are single stones. We aren't given any information if they hold a greater meaning. In Chapter Eighteen we see a double circle of arches and more of a explaination of why people stop from Kvothe's father and Ben in a dream. "Tradition mostly. Some people say they mark old roads-safe roads. Sometimes roads to safe places, sometimes safe roads leading into danger. But there is power in them. Only a fool would deny that." K's sleeping mind may know more then just naming.

In Chapter 74 we find five stones: two laying on their side and three forming an arch. What if these arches are the lockless doors? My first read through I figured they were a door into the Fae based on the adove mentioned but Kvothe's later adventures didn't prove that there is more than more way into the Fae.


A question for the lingistics department: What does lhinsatva mean in Cealdish.

Also K uses the term God's body as a curse as well.
Katy Maziarz
70. ArtfulMagpie
"First we are being set up for the loden-stone from the tinker. The tinker corrects Kvothe that it is a Trebon stone and has been no where close to Loden. So where is Loden? Its not on any map and if drawstones are commonly known as Loden-stone there has to be a large deposit of magnetite or some type of magnetic metal near it."

I took that as kind of a bad joke, the kind you'd just sort of groan at rather than laugh. If it's a joke, that means Loden isn't actually a place...and that's the joke. Ha. Ha. Ha. *groan* In our world, magnetic ore is also known as lodestone, after all. And here's an interesting thing...I just looked up the etymology of the word "lodestone." Apparently, "lode" comes from an Old English (Old English, again!) word that means "way" or "course" and the magnetic ore was given that name because it was used in compasses...it was a stone that pointed the way. A Way Stone. Coincidence? Not likely.
Arra
71. chrispin
I'd have an easier time with broader revelations that blur the distinction between good and evil in the story than I would with the revelation of Bredon as a cruel and twisted sadist

@66lennyb- I can understand your affection for Bredon. I like him, too. But Denna's patron is never said to be a cruel and twisted sadist. K only thinks he is. Denna's patron hit her to save her from the villagers. Denna has bruises in Vintas just like K had bruises with the Adem. The Cthaeh says "He beats her, you know. Her patron...Sometimes in a temper, but mostly it’s a game to him." This could also describe Vashet's dealings with K, or Celean's. Celean beat K in 3 out of 4 bouts. D's patron could be teaching her martial arts and having her write the Lanre song for the greater good. He could be beating her at tak. Her patron could also be working with the Chandrian because he believes their side is right. As you said, we don't know the Chandrian's motivation. Bredon could be her patron and still be a good guy, at least in his own eyes.

If women were reproducing asexually all over the place, virgin birth wouldn't be anything memorable.

@63LurkingCanadian- What I love about Jo's theory of sexual and asexual reproduction is it would be extremely hard to prove. As you say, all Adem have sex. And as Jo said, some percent of their children would be produced sexually. Just as environmental factors come into play in sexual reproduction (affecting bodyfat, ease of becoming pregnant, frequency of sex), these factors could also play a role in asexual reproduction. Penthe says women are more likely to become pregnant in the fall and in Haert. Probably the rates of both sexual and asexual reproduction go up at these times because of the favorable environmental conditions.

Just as all Adem have sex, outside of Adem the women also seem to be pretty free sexually (e.g. servers at the Pennysworth, everyone in Newarre, anyone who goes out with K, everyone from Modeg). There would only be a small window of time before women started having sex when a virgin birth would be possible. Asexual reproduction doesn't happen every month, so if women start having sex at a farely young age, it would be hard to notice. Most women, even if she had an asexual child, would probably have had sex at least once and could identify a possible father. If the woman hadn't had sex, would anyone believe she was still a virgin? K wouldn't.

The Tehlu virgin birth is memorable since it's the only socially accepted story of a more common condition. Asexual births also happen to other women, but the births are not recognized as such. If the woman does know there is no way her husband is the father of this child, she keeps quiet about it, or else the woman is not believed.

This could also tie in with Denna. There was a theory earlier how she was exiled from her family. Maybe she had an asexual child but her family didn't believe she never had sex, so they kicked her out and she had to become an escort to support herself. When she leaves town, she's visiting her child. That would throw K. I could see him dropping Denna fast if there was a child involved.
Arra
72. chrispin
lambson@48 I love how deliberate PR is with his word choice. He gets both wolf and owlin there. Aside from the occurrence I mentioned before, do we see wolf or owl anywhere else in the series

I just happened to be doing an owl search, and it is interesting.

Many people are described as owls, especially their eyes. In NW : Trapis' baby (chapter 23), Alden Whin (46), Sim (54). And there's a mother owl in the underthing (87)
In WMF: As you mention, Bredon is described as an owl more than anyone (57,137), but also Tempi (93), Felurian describing K (102), Sim describing K (149). And there's an owl sound outside the Waystone Inn in the epilogue.

For wolves, in NW: K and Ben (11), Manet (37,40), Hemme (39) and D describing K (73)
In WMF: Wil and Sim (18), K (30), Bredon and his cane (57,65,140), Fae (99), K & D's suitors (138), and there's an Adem move "15 Wolves" (110).

Marten: "A wolf looks like a dog, but it's not. A dog is... domesticated" (84)
Since Bredon takes the wolf as his sigil, I take this as support that Bredon is not the "gentle"man he seems, and is possibly not a man.
K: "Men and Fae are as different as dogs and wolves" (99)

It was surprising that Manet is described as a wolf more than once. He's also not as benign as he seems.
Arra
73. AO
@ 46 Matt P,

"I used to play Diplomacy. Ruthlessly lying to people so that you can betray them is one aspect of that game. I assure you, just because I can lie to friends in Diplomacy without any qualms doesn't mean that I could lash them."

I'll take you at your word, but I honestly don't see that your experience translates here in a way that is comparable. I feel certain that there are people who can lie to friends in Diplomacy and then turn around and lash them. Absolutely not everyone, but there must be those who could. Based on my readings, Bredon would certainly be one who could do this. We may have to agree to disagree about this, but I know that I'm quite convinced of this.

Even moreso given that Rothfuss has said that he isn't including much of anything in these books that isn't important in some way(s). The demonstration by Bredon says to me that he can absolutely be ruthless when necessary, but that it really isn't his preferred modus operandi. Why else would Pat have given Bredon so much time, and written this, but that it was important later on (or to figuring out his identity)?
Arra
74. AO
@ 47 thistlpong,

I really liked your analysis and speculation on the Tinkers. I don't have anything to add, but still wanted to say thanks.
Arra
75. AO
@ 48 lambson,

"He gets both wolf and owl in there."

Thanks very much for making that connection. I remembered *something* about wolves when I transcribed that passage, but as I was quite tired I didn't make the effort to look upthread. I'm glad that I was able to support your post #22 and so this is yet more potential proof that Ash = Bredon.
Arra
76. AO
@ 50 suzannef,

Your analysis made for great reading! I had only made the connection between Denna and her manipulation of her hair, but had not given thought to many of your insights. The example that your provide shows the importance of listening. Based on what we know, I'm guessing that that will be Listening, with a capital "L". I'm pretty sure that it's already been guessed that Listener = El'the and learning Listening sounds like a great way for Kvothe to be able to unravel the Yllish knot on the Lackless Box.
Arra
77. AO
@ 51 lambson,

"why didn't Jax just fix it himself? This could be another tie-in to the Shapers not being willing to deal with the world as it was, and instead searched out and created a new one (the unfolding house)."

Good question. A random thought occurred to me while reading it: Is it possible that Shapers *can't* (or at least really don't want to) fix things? Either due to their temperment or the limitations/nature of the magic that they use? That would match with the impression that I had of Jax's personality and might help to explain how things became so bad as to lead into the Creation War.
Arra
78. AO
@ 52 chrispin,

"Though I can't stand D, I love how she shows up Kvothe here. She sees though all his lies and solves his problems, or would have if he'd brought the rope. K's always going on how good an actor he is, how he can fake courtly manners, how good he is at lying. In reality he doesn't seem to be good at any of those things just no one calls him on it."

That definitely seems a good observation, though I am wondering if it is also possible that D sees through Kvothe because of her own talents, whether natural or learned. She definitely seems exceptional in some ways, one in particular being her study of people. If she really has been a con/grifter as seems so probable, then I would imagine that she has had much experience seeing through lies.
Arra
79. AO
@ 53 12stargazers,

Definitely an interesting viewpoint. I can absolutely buy that D mirrors back to people for her own survival, whether that's learned or magic idk, but it seems true for all of those who don't know her well.

I don't know that I buy that Kvothe is at the University solely for the purpose of finding a means for his revenge. That's the impression that we get at times, such as in his last conversation with Shehyn, but I recall that it seemed his dream before he ever met them. And he really seems to me to enjoy the place on it's own merits, as well as for all of the friends that he has found there. I also think that his bending (and breaking) the rules owes something to his personality, age, and ability to defy them. He often has succeeded in endeavors that wiser men would never have attempted. That is part of his appeal and also represents the danger that he poses.

I also am assuming that Kvothe has had his revenge, at least against Cinder, at this point. Some things in the frame story seem to suggest it, though it's also possible that the frame is bigger than we generally think and that revenge might still be had in the present.

As for the rest of what you bring up, I'm going to give it some more thought. I don't know whether I'll agree with you on everything, but I agree that it seems worth some consideration.
Arra
80. AO
@ 55 & 68 arra,

"Was there really a plan to make sure Ab. leaves so he won't be in the way of the Chandrian."

"The description of Folly is somewhat similar to Cinder's sword."

Wow. Both of those possibilities struck me as plausible and interesting. I've definitely suspected that Cinder is dead in the present, but never considered comparing the two swords, as one of the means of proof. Thanks for doing so!
Arra
81. AO
@ 57 lambson,

"Is it Felurian that says 'There were never any human Amyr' (paraphrasing)?"

Yup.
Arra
82. AO
@ 58 Elaine Gallagher,

I very much enjoyed your post.

I've definitely known women like that too. I agree that she shows quite a bit of self-awareness, but one or two of the women I have known have done so also. It definitely explains her behavior, anger at Kvothe, and attempts to push him away. The fact that she knows that he loves her (at least on some levels) must sometimes confuse her mightily and drive her crazy.

"She may also come across as being a fantasy girl to some kinds of men; the kind who don't want any kind of commitment or relationship. The kind of man Fela describes Kvothe to be, in fact."

For stereotypical men I would agree. For Kvothe? I'm not as sure. Kvothe had everyone he ever loved die (or leave in regards to Ben). He found out the hard way that people could be incredibly brutal. It makes total sense that he wouldn't want to chance falling in love again. Yet at the same time, the desire to be loved and understood is incredibly powerful.

I think that D seems a perfect girl to K because he sees the similarities between them, and because he needs to move just as slowly as she does (which is *very* different than not wanting a commitment). Taking months or years before a first kiss, sex, or a declaration of love might seem insane to "normal" people, but for someone like Kvothe? It makes a lot more sense. We certainly know that he's not attracted to her because of the stereotypical, i.e. how "easy" she will be to love and leave.

"if there's masculine fantasising in the story I think it's the way that Kvothe, while still a teenager, seduces the ultimate Mrs Robinson in Felurian."

Whatever Kvothe's talents and actions, I do think it important to remember that Felurian was the one who called to him, as she has so many others through the years. He bested her, but with magic, not sex. I do know that that sequence is a problem for many, and expect that it will make for some interesting conversation when we get there.
Arra
83. AO
@ 65 Woodchuck,

"Anyone besides me think that the Chancellor was poisoned to stop him from teaching Kvothe Yllish?"

Possibly. I wondered briefly about that, and definitely wished that we had had a bit more text on that. I then forgot about it, but now that you mention it, Kvothe had just come from a situation (the Maer) where someone important was being slowly poisoned for unknown reasons. Hm, this does seem quite possible and I wonder if/when Kvothe might see the parallel?
Arra
84. AO
@ 66 lennyb,

I have met enough "gentlemen" and "scholars" and heroes in their own eyes to know that such people can be anything underneath. Some can be sadistic and hide it well, or they can easily justify their actions, or they can find such actions distasteful but necessary when "needed". That of course isn't proof that Bredon is such, but at the same time, I don't believe that we can rule it out either. He's clearly intelligent, I think that he could hide the more unsavory parts of his nature quite well if needed.

As for whether or not Ash is a bastard? You could be right, or partially so, but I do take to heart what the Cthaeh said. We know that it doesn't lie. Perhaps it neglected to provide other evidence that would soften our impressions of Ash (i.e. "it's okay that he beats women because..."), but my guess is that at best Ash is far from good. Perhaps he is not evil, or the things he does seemingly have some good justifications, but I would be willing to bet that wherever the truth lies, he is far from simply "good". I could be wrong, or somewhat so, but for now I'm pretty well convinced of my interpretation.

"It seems more likely to me that if Bredon is Mr. Ash, then Mr. Ash is an opponent of the Chandrian -- and we don't clearly understand his actions, yet."

That could be. I have seen evidence both to suggest that he is, and is not, with them (directly or affiliated). But I'm not ready to take a firm position yet either way.

"Maybe the whole thing of the battle between the Chandrian and the Amyr will eventually be revealed as a big, complicated mess? "

I still remain open to this possibility. I think that we have enough to know that the Chandrian aren't a swell and wonderful group that just gets bad p/r. But it still seems as if the true story could be more nuanced then we've yet understood.

"If Bredon is revealed to be a villain with a dark sadistic nature, then I've really misread Patrick Rothfuss's subtext in the story so far"

What if he's a protagonist "with a dark sadistic nature"? That would certainly elicit some comments. Afaic, I really don't believe that he will be "white", but could be some sort of a shade of grey. We shall see.
Arra
85. AO
@ 72 chrispin,

Thanks for the research! Definitely some interesting tidbits there (including some to wonder about).
Arra
86. Arra
Tiny Gods, it's going to be a long wait till the next book.
Katy Maziarz
87. ArtfulMagpie
"Anyone besides me think that the Chancellor was poisoned to stop him from teaching Kvothe Yllish?"

My theory was that Master Hemme poisoned him in order to become Chancellor himself. Of course, that doesn't leave out the theory that ending Kvothe's Yllish lessons was a goal. If Hemme is an actual Villain with a capital V in the story, as opposed to just a sort of not-nice fellow, he could have all kinds of goals, frustrating Kvothe being just one of them. In fact, isn't Ambrose said to be close with Hemme? What if the whole thing with Ambrose tricking Kvothe into bringing flame into the Archives wasn't just cruel mischief, but a concerted plan to keep him away from information about the Amyr and the Chandrian, with Ambrose acting as Hemme's agent? Hmmmm...you know what they say...just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't all out to get you...!
Arra
88. DEL
Great comments from everyone this week!

It is some much fun examining an unfinished story for clues to how it will all turn out.

Tinkers- I tend towards the idea that tinkers have a version of a knack, wherein they match their stock with the future needs of their customers. I don't think they have some vision of the future, rather they flow with what feels right. For some reason I associate this feeling with Spinning Leaf and the Lethani. For Kvothe to not listen fully to the Tinkers in NotW and WMF seems to be the normal response of an adolescent worried about money.

Bredon- PR has sketched us a third hand description of Master Ash. Either an aged Cinder or Bredon himself are the only characters we meet who conform to the physical description, and since Cinder is a warrior and Bredon is a noble I'm going with the idea that Master Ash is Bredon. I think Bredon is the one who sends the "assasins" after Kvothe, first in Tarbean, then mistakenly in Analin, finally finding him in Imre. I don't think Bredon has this knowledge from D, who claims that K is her secret from her patron. Bredon is tracking down the Signs of the Chandrian, and K was untrackable until Skarpi released him from his mindstate(however that worked). I think it is an open question still whether Brendon knows the yound lad he plays tak with is the same survivor of the Chandrians he searched for the year before. I'll revisit the topic later when I feel I have a a better grasp of the point of changing the Lanre Story.

D- The problem of the Yllish knots. There is some textually evidence that D has knowledge of Yllish knots during the second meeting in the Eolian..."The months had changed her. Where before she had been pretty, now she was lovely as well."(p. 303) Recall in WMF that D knots the Yllish word lovely in her hair and K notices. D is also intensely interested in the properties of magic, especially sympathy, seemingly due the the mechanism her patron uses to contact and track her. D's abilities with semi-magical things like knots, music, and maybe even sympathy lend a bit more credence to my idea that K and D's duet somehow entangled the Name of the Moon with D. I don't think D is thousands of years old, just that her life reflected the life of the Moon in the story so closely that their stories and names mingle. If K can lose part of his name.. why can't someone else gain part of anothers?
Ian B
89. Greyfalconway
I skipped from @29 to comment this time, so sorry if its been theorized about lol.

I'm not sure the Ctheah tree was being entirely clear about Mr Ash, it mentioned Denna lying on the ground after being beaten with a cane (if I'm recalling correctly, its been a few months) but since the Ctheah is a malicious devious force I just assumed it was because she was training to fight or some such, like she had a hissy fit about him going easy on her or perhaps started bragging about being so good during it and so he schooled her, which is sort of a parrallel to Bredon with Kvothe and the chess-like game (tak?) possibly pointing towards Ash and Bredon being the same.

I also had a strange thought that maybe Bredon is Kvothes father or grandfather, since he used to be a power in the court, and a man that married Netalia Lockless would be pretty powerful indeed I would assume, and it would be a reason he's not as much of a power anymore. Also he speaks of being clever and such, a trait Kvothe has in spades (I wouldn't think anything of a line like that in another book, since its pretty common, but with Rothfuss's sleight of hand you never know). And the Edema Ruh aren't necessarily blood, anyone that joins up is considered family, so Kvothe could still be Edema Ruh to his bones.

Just loose connections I felt like sharing, now back to the rest of the comments =]
Ian B
90. Greyfalconway
@37

More and more I see Denna as a very slightly less traumatized Kvothe, learning skills she thinks she needs to get her goal like he does. If Kvothe hadn't had Abenthy in his troupe back in the day, he would probably be alot more like her, learning from mysterious patrons and such instead of getting into the University so young
Arra
91. FrankO
With regard to Denna being beaten by her patron: consider the source(s). PR (a professional liar, to use a Charles Stross term), and the Ctheah (a professional trouble maker, at best). Bredon beat K unmercifully also.

Frank.
Arra
92. DEL
Rampant Speculation- I have a suspicion that D and K's early life experiences were founded from similar tradgedies. Where Kvothe saw the Chandrians as the architects of his suffering, Denna's tradgedy was caused by the Amyr. They each are searching for answers, getting tangled up in the differeing sides of a long running schism. If the Amyr are the villians in D's world, wouldn't that give credence to her version of the Lanre story?

I keep coming back to Bast's arguement about the Glamor of Seeming, if enough people believe something to be the truth... does it make it true in the world where names have such an important fundamental part? The battle over the Lanre story is a battle over the truth of the world.
Andrew Mason
93. AnotherAndrew
lambson@57: Many imponderables here (Is Felurian right? What is the relation between Amyr and angels? etc.) but I would point out one thing; I carefully didn't say 'human'. I'm not sure anyone was exactly human in Lanre's time. From Skarpi's story, it certainly looks as though the people whom Aleph recruited to be winged avengers ('angels' for short) were people of whatever sort was nromal at the time, until he transformed them - but that is not to say they were anything that would seem normal now.
Arra
94. DEL
@93 - We have a genesis for the angels and Amyr. After the razing of MT there are three groups meeting with Aleph: Angels who may punish only those trangressions they may see, and invisibilty to go with the job, Amyr who may punish and solve trangressions before or after they happen without actually seeing the transgressions, and a third unnamed group that isn't defined and may be the the forerunner of the Fae and humans.
Ashley Fox
95. A Fox
ahem...Singers! (Angels is a superstitous name, as is Demons relating to Fae. coming from the Tehlin church). They have 'wings' and 'sang songs of power'. No mention of the word angel. Not so much old and new testament as pagan and christian. This worlds history is more founded in England/Europe than America. (oh third group were Ruarch who were afraid of matters of the great, who quite possible became the comon populance. Fae were locked in Faen at this point)

@Thistlepong. re Tinkers, completely agree, have posted similar ideas myself, though not with the menders angle. For me its the way Tinkers are presented/act much like the hermit in Jax's story. Ive always thought of them as some sort of secret order of Teccam, and knowers. The Tinker in this section has 'a knowing smile'

Oh. The chapter 'Lanre Turned' the title seems applied to the fact that he is turned into haliax, but what if it also meant he turned coat? Changed sides in the war. Supporting my earlier theories.

Lhinsatva? I took this to mean,do you understand? Wasnt there some chat over Lhin (when Wil called Sim/K it? In the Eolian? I cant find it.) Possibly, If lhinsatva does mean something like understand, lhin could be someone who understands, or knows. A knower.

I found K's behaviour leaving/in stable perfectly acceptable. Its very much in keeping with his chracter. He is always making threats/insults (uh, Ambrose). He has a wiked tongue. It is also shows his sense of humour, the insult is ridiculous, the behaviour is ridiculous, and he knows it. "deadly serious look" He knows this will work, as it worked before with the tailor. An act he is comfortable with (....D...). The fact that he has rushed off is also unsurprising, these people slaughted his family. He has never really dealt with that. The 'dealing' and finding the Chandrian are closely linked, and in some ways K cannot properly grow up until he has. (His emotional outburst whilst Auri holds him indicates this). Also he fruitless searches about them would have meant his frustration building up. K does not have patience.

Oh on Tehlu. First lock/less. And Ludis. Here with the horses name, we see some of the set up of language.( It seems from the text that Ceald is not quite as tehlinised as the commonwealth, the Sirau tongue is likely to be less influenced by tema et al, more like the original language, a root with fae and runes, possibly Yllish. Kinda like Scotland, Ireland, Wales) Lu-dis. Dis is associated with death, underworld and all that. Lu-dis could be deathless, as the moon cannot die. Making lu fit less (or, er, more) , rather than first. Of course first death also works, though syncs less with the seeming narrative we have.

Im in the Bredon is Ash camp. Also his behaviour seems consistant. Bredon IS powerful in the maer's court. Very powerful. The less powerful you are in that court the more weight you put onto the rings game, the more weight onto your own name. The fact that he doesnt shows that he is in a very comfortable position. Likely not far below the Maer himself. Sociopaths learn how to put on a social mask, kinda like a beatufiful game right? Though Im not yet sure of his morality. The bruise of Ds head indicates that he knew he had to knock her out to stop her from following him back to the farm, to stop her seeing the chandrian. To protect her.

IMO the talk of patrons and violence, and some ideas of perspective at the end of WMF point to the fact that the next book is going to turn Ks perspective inside out, he is going to grow up a bit, teenagers have a tendancy to look at the world witth an absolute surety, when you grow up you see a lot more possibilities. K's time with Felurian/Adem got him through the last of his teenage kicks, now he's going to start becoming an adult.
Arra
96. LAJG
I'm thinking that there are parallels to Kvothe's story and the story of Jax (at one point Dedan actually says "doesn't that sound just a little too familiar?" although he wasn't referring to K, of course), but with differences.

You could say that K lived on a broken road, they both have no parents and are unlucky, they both grow up clever and sly, they both chase the moon (or a moon-metaphore), they both meet a tinker who has a piece of iron from the sky...

However, K knows better than to be rude to a tinker, and is willing to listen and learn, and realizes that he can't possess D.

Is history perhaps being repeated, but correcting itself?

@ 54: I have an idea that there are references to quite a lot of notable works of fantasy hidden (or not hidden) in the text - not deep clues, just gentle tributes.

I got the impression that the "pegs" episode was a David Eddings reference.
Arra
97. Herelle
I can´t find time enough to write much about all the little things I marked while rereading but I follow the discussion. Just a thought about Denna, the assassins and Anilin:

I always thought, Denna was the victim in the attempted murder in Anilin. She is running and changing her name because she is threatened (besides all the other reasons already mentioned). That´s also why she said something about expected trouble in Anilin.

And I have to mention that the finder and Kvothe´s way to deal with the threat was actually the only major fault in both books that really bothered me. Kvothe took some of his hair and spread it with the wind. Hm. Every person with hair looses quite an amount every day and leaves it everywhere. It doesn´t decompose that quickly. If the functional principle of the finder depends on quantity then just a few strands could never outweigh Kvothes hair that´s still on his head. If a finder points everywhere a few strands of the person´s hair are, it points in many directions and is of no use.
C Smith
98. C12VT
@87: I, too, found the Chancellor's sudden illness suspicious. And I think Ambrose is a good suspect here. We know he has used poison in the past. As a friend of Hemme, having Hemme become chancellor would benefit him; and as a side benefit, possibly harm Kvothe. Hemme himself wouldn't necessarily have to be in on it.

I actually think Ambrose (or his father) may be a possible suspect in the poisoning of the Maer. The Maer is higher up the line of succession than Ambrose - and people between Ambrose and the throne have been dropping like flies (I find the family that was lost at sea to be especially suspicious, given that Devi claims there is a link between the Jakis family and piracy).

@97: I had assumed that Kvothe did something more than just let some hairs float away - like some sort of sympathetic binding to make those particular hairs more of a "draw" on the compass.

Re: more Adem babies born in the fall. It's actually the case that more babies are born in the fall (in the US at least). See
http://anybirthday.com/ (scroll down to the bottom).
Sim Tambem
99. Daedos
Wow, step away for a weekend and all sorts of interesting stuff pops up.

@66 - I like the idea that the Ctheah is misleading us about Denna's Patron. Maybe Denna is trying to learn how to fight, and her Patron is teaching her. A woman with her (supposed) background might have a strong desire to be able to defend herself. If she wants it bad enough, she'd be more than willing to sustain injuries for it. Just like Kvothe is willing to take beatings to stay in the University.
At least this would make the Ash = Bredon theory more palatable to me (I like Bredon, too, and think he is probably Faen or something).

@72 - Thanks for the owl/wold search; that brings up some interesting new questions about Manet (who, about which, some of us already have suspicions). There were a lot more owl references than I remembered.

@68 - This is an interesting theory. I like it, but I don't think the swords sound the same. Silver and Gray are two very different things (although I find it odd that Cinder's sword wasn't reflective, since reflectivity is one of the principle differences between silver and gray).

@67 - Thank you! I think this explains why his sword is different. It makes perfect sense that he would have had his sword returned to the Adem(yr) as part of faking his demise. I think he figured out how to make the metal himself, though, and just made himself a new one. He is awful clever.

@98 - I still want to know why the Maer's Arcanist was trying to poison him. I think your idea is the best we've heard yet (Ambrose's father arranged it, somehow), but I don't think Ambrose had anything to do with the Chancellor's sickness. It just doesn't feel right... (how's that for an argument?)
Arra
100. suzannef
DEL @88: Nice catch on Denna's "loveliness."

I'm going to go back through and see if we can correlate changes in K's attitude toward D with her hair braiding.

She's so surprised, too, when K is able to read "lovely" in her hair, and not just because she'd been found out but because of how he read the knots--she says "You're supposed to read them with your fingers." (WMF, 963.) Not sure what to make of this yet.
George Brell
101. gbrell
@98: It's actually the case that more babies are born in the fall (in the US at least).

Perhaps because people likely have more sex in the winter (when there's nothing else to do), which would result in more babies born in the fall. Of course, Penthe says "ripen," not "birth," so that would imply greater conception in the summer/early autumn (more births in spring), assuming that "ripen" refers to a lost period or another more visible sign of pregnancy.

@67/68/99:

I don't think Folly is Cinder's sword, the name alone being one too self-effacing for him to bestow on his weapon.

Whether he returned Caesura or not seems less interesting to me than where he got Folly, particularly since it's not the copper sword I would've expected (Taborlin's).
Katy Maziarz
102. ArtfulMagpie
#101 I don't think Folly is Cinder's sword, the name alone being one too self-effacing for him to bestow on his weapon.

Whether he returned Caesura or not seems less interesting to me than
where he got Folly, particularly since it's not the copper sword I
would've expected (Taborlin's).


Well, I'm not sure what I think about where he got the sword. But keep in mind that he re-Named Saicere almost immediately. Nothing would stop him from doing the same for Cinder's sword, as well. So just because Cinder might not call his sword Folly doesn't mean Kvothe wouldn't Name the sword Folly...

And we don't really KNOW that the sword isn't copper. With alchemy, there is a combination of things that, when mixed with water, becomes flammable....something Kvothe refuses to believe at first. Water, flammable? Might there not, therefore, be some alchemical process or other that takes copper (with all of its anti-Naming properties, whatever they may be!) and turns it into a flat grey metal that resists the ravages of time and, mayhap, has some other magical properties? Perhaps Taborlin's sword was remembered as copper because that is what it started as, but the metal-working or alchemical process that transformed copper into a metal that is proof against time and magic was lost along the way...

Of course, all of that is the purest of speculation with little to no textual support. But fun to consider, all the same!
Sim Tambem
103. Daedos
@102 Perhaps Taborlin's sword was remembered as copper because that is whatit started as, but the metal-working or alchemical process thattransformed copper into a metal that is proof against time and magic waslost along the way...

If Folly is, in fact, copper (I'm still not ready to jump into that wagon yet, although I am intrigued as to the purpose/qualities of a copepr sword), then why would the Adem have so many other magical copper swords? And would that make Taborlin a member of the Adem (another connection to Kvothe)?
Regardless of whether or not Folly is copper, it seems obvious enough -
based on its description (flawless, flat-gray) - that it is the same type of 'ageless' blade as Caesura and its sister blades. So, my question is: Why do the Adem have so many "magic" swords? Even Kilvin only has a few similar ancient marvels, and he is in the position we would expect the owner of such devices to be. The Adem aren't. This leads me to wonder how they are connected to the creators of such things, and if they retain any hidden knowledge of them. Remember, we already know they have a resident Namer in Haert.
Katy Maziarz
104. ArtfulMagpie
#103 So, my question is: Why do the Adem have so many "magic" swords?

Probably because they have just always had them. Remember, they, as a people, were cast out of their ancestral lands...where ever those may have been...presumably taking important items of property with them. And since those swords, particularly, have a long tradition of being passed from hand to hand with the entire lineage remembered, I would assume they would be the kind of thing you take with you on your travels, lol. I'm guessing that swords made from that metal were much more common in the distant past, before the Adem were exiled, and due to a combination of factors including a deep sense of tradition and cultural identity, the Adem were the only group to really cherish and preserve their blades.

Kilvin, on the other hand, is basically forced to go dumpster-diving through history, trying to find what few treasures he can dig up from other peoples' trash-heaps, ha. I wonder what marvels he could find in his own backyard if he were to venture into Auri's Underthing, hmm?
thistle pong
105. thistlepong
The timeless swords are the most obvious bit of evidence that suggests the Adem are connected to the ruach who couldn't be bothered with great matters. Saicere itself was forged centuries before Drossen Tor and saw action in the greatest battle of the Creation War. Tehlu & Pals - who sang songs of power and wore their power like stars on there brows (see also: Kvothe v. Felurian) - didn't really need weapons after the power up.

@71 chrispin:



He could be beating her at tak.

+1 creativity, +1 insight, +1 perspective. I read through the passage a couple times. Chances are there's some violence involved, but welts the size of your thumb only bruise to the bone at hard points: shins, outer forearm, ribs, the skull. On the upper arm or leg that'd be deep tissue damage with extensive expression over a large area. Where the bones are closer to the surface you'd bruise just blocking a cane or drop unconscious from quick subtle pressure to the head.

@A Fox
If "The Boy Who Loved the Moon," is roughly accurate, then the hermit sits in the position of the Cthaeh, whom, according to Bast, Iax spoke to before stealing the moon. The tinker provides the tools and the hermit provides the misunderstood advice. It's not proof, but is is the structure of the story.
Arra
106. Sweetheart From Hell
@102 ArtfulMagpie: "So just because Cinder might not call his sword Folly doesn't mean Kvothe wouldn't Name the sword Folly..."

I just have a thought about Folly as the name of K's sword, because "Folly" seems like quite a bad name. But how do we know that Folly is the name/Name of it, and not something K chose to engrave above it as a reminder/reprimand of past "follies"? In that way, he is punishing himself by seeing that every day, making sure he never forgets.

Does mounting his old sword like that sound like something Kote would do without reason? I've been thinking about this for a while, I'd love to hear what you people say!
Arra
107. Woodchuck
@98 My theory is that, assuming the purpose was to stop Kvothe's Yllish lessons (perhaps to prevent him learing enough to open the box), the Chancellor was poisoned by Loren. The Amyr have erasing all references to them and if they are involved in what is locked in the box or have an interest in preventing whatever is inside from being let out then they would have the motive to silence the Chancellor.

Not sure if it is related but the description of the Chancellor's illness says something like "it was burning out his mind". That is, it is destroying the Chancellor's knowledge. His knowledge of Yllish?
thistle pong
108. thistlepong
Mounting Folly certainly doesn't seem whimsical. The mounting board cost a small fortune and he commissioned it four months ago. Hanging the sword immediately preceded the first real foot traffic for the Waystone and in a way catalyzed the events of the frame.
Arra
109. Ico Fan
Is the iron wheel in the church the same one from the story of Lanre (or at least a symbol of it)?
Sim Tambem
110. Daedos
@109 - Not the same one, but definitely a representation of it. It is a religious symbol for the church (Chronicler wears a small one on a chord around his neck).
George Brell
111. gbrell
An argument for why Newarre is in western Vintas (and associated corollaries):

The location of Kvothe’s hiding place Newarre is one of the ongoing questions in the series (Thanks a lot, stupid map!). Its location was discussed in some of the earliest threads with most people pointing out the obvious homonymic pun that Newarre is “Nowhere,” but the only real suggestion I saw given for its location was that Newarre is in the western Commonwealth.

I think this is wrong and I will elaborate why, instead, Newarre is most likely in western Vintas, probably on the southern border of the Eld.
The first piece of evidence we have is Kvothe/Kote’s admission that the Scrael come from the east and his surprise that they’ve “made it this far west yet.” He “thought the mountains –“ presumably would have stopped them or slowed them down.

Looking at the map, we see that the only significant mountain ranges that could have held them back are the Stormwal mountains in the far east and possibly the Eastern Cealdish range. Mountains in the Commonwealth are on the western shore (and Newarre is clearly not a port community) and none in Yll appear to run north-south.

C12VT in Thread 1 pointed out this suggests a far western location, but I think that’s a slight overreaction. More likely is the idea that he’s decently west of a mountain range (or that the mountain range is westerly), rather than on the other side of the continent.

This leaves us with three countries that border a sizable mountain range: Ceald, Modeg and Vintas.

We can rule out Ceald because a) no one appears to be speaking Siaru (unless they all are and Kvothe isn’t mentioning it) and b) “grown Cealdish men don’t give away money. . . . They don’t even buy things if they can help it” (NotW, 223). This isn’t behavior we’ve noticed in Newarre. Also, I haven’t noticed any descriptions of the “ruddy complexion and dark hair and eyes” that characterizes a full-blooded Ceald (NotW, 226).

Here are the arguments for why it’s Vintas:

The smith’s prentice states that the “king’s coin” is not “a silver noble” but “a whole gold royal” (WMF, 18). The soldiers who attack Kvothe learns of his apparent wealth by asking to break a gold coin, a “whole royal.” (WMF, 891). This is confirmed to be Vintish coin when Kvothe discusses having “two gold royals, four silver nobles …” after being dismissed by the Maer (WMF, 927). We know that “beer is three shims and a private room costs copper,” but that doesn’t provide us with much as “shim” appears to be used generically to mean a small amount of money (NotW, 44).

Chronicler carries a “whole silver talent … in a jar of ink,” but he travels extensively and, as he noted, it’s more a “luck piece” (NotW, 20-21).

Next, Bast has on his shelf “ings of horn and leather and woven grass” (WMF, 985). Coincidentally, those are the exact three examples used by Bredon to describe how the common folk (presumably of Vintas) use rings. “A young lover might give a ring of new green grass to someone he was courting. A ring of leather promises service … A ring of horn shows enmity … Profound and lasting enmity” (WMF, 444). *Aside: Wonderful speculation as to who owes Bast service and who holds a vendetta against him.

Now why I believe Newarre is on the Southern edge of the Eld.

This is going to be accomplished by a curious triangulation.

First, Kvothe, when he first meets Chronicler at the Inn, asks him, “How is the road to Tinue?” We know this is an idiomatic expression (NotW, 273), but Chronicler reaction is confusion, followed by “I wasn’t heading to Tinue.” This implies that they are currently somewhere close enough to Tinue for that expression to be literally askable.

Second, when Kvothe fakes having a bum knee in the beginning of NotW, he mentions that he got the “wound” “on my way through the Eld three summers ago. … It’s what made me give up the good life on the road” (NotW, 29). Counterpoint: the farmer that gives Kvothe a ride to Tarbean mentions “this side of the Eld” as an idiomatic expression, so the giant forest is well known.

Third, when Abenthy is talking to Arliden and Netalia, he asks them what the village-folk are afraid of. In Vintas, they reply “Fae” and “Draugar,” neither of which we’ve seen mentioned by the villagers in Newarre. They are scared of demons, however, much like the people of Trebon. According to Arliden, people in Atur are scared in demons.
So we’re looking for somewhere that’s in Vintas, near Atur, Tinue and the Eld, which gives us a small jutting of land south of the Eld, bordering the Small Kingdoms, but quite close to the Aturan Empire. It also is fairly west of the Stormwal Mountains.

A counterpoint: When talking about the bleeders, Chronicler mentions that his father hates them as much as the common folk, which would imply that he’s Vintish. This is never really suggested, but never disproven. Also, note that while there is rampant speculation that Lochees is related to “Lack-keys” and “Loeclos,” they aren’t mentioned in Caduceus’ list of family splits.

A fun corollary that could be support: It’s fairly common to assume that Kvothe kills Ambrose, who has ascended to the throne of Vintas. If this is the cause of the current civil war with the Penitent King fighting rebels (NotW, 16), as Kvothe somewhat implies (“I’m responsible for everyone who dies in this stupid war” (WMF, 23)). This also explains why the common people would refer to him as Kingkiller (and why his ransom would “a thousand royals and a duchy ” (WMF, 20).

Taken together, I feel fairly certain that Newarre is in Vintas and has attempted to place its location. Comments?

*We still don’t know who Princess Ariel is yet (but I think we can assume she’s the one he saves from Barrow Kings, which is a somewhat accurate portrayal of Draguar per Wikipedia).

*Next task. Figuring out the days and months and year timeline in this world. Then figuring out distances. We don’t have a great handle on distances in this world. We have lots of anecdotal evidence, but no clear metric (nor the guarantee that the map is “to scale”). We can use a couple of these to try and guess at a distance. Riding constantly (Kvothe suggests using a post letter which would allow the rider to exchange tired horses for fresh ones), Kvothe says it would take three span to travel from the University to Severen overland. Severen is presumably on the Western coast of Vintas, since it’s a harbor city. This also makes sense considering it was supposed to take about a dozen days to reach it by sea (ultimately took sixteen, which Kvothe discusses as less than two span). *All from WMF, 365-67.
C Smith
112. C12VT
@111: Wow. You have totally convinced me - Newarre must be in Vintas. Which does make me wonder: If K killed the king of Vintas, why would he hide himself somewhere in Vintas? It would make more sense for him to hide in the Commonwealth, or maybe the Aturan Empire or Yll. Either he had reasons for sticking close by, or the king he killed was not the king of Vintas (in which case it was not Ambrose). Does the fact that the reward being offered is in Vintish coin mean anything?

Re: distances. Kvothe tells Devi it is "A thousand miles with some to spare" from Imre to Severen (WMF, p. 360).
thistle pong
113. thistlepong
We have the days/months/year:
single day/11 day span/4 span month/8 month year
1/11/44/352

1000+/-100 miles in 28-33 days is more than reasonable, considering the time he made from Imre to Trebon.

Is Severen a harbor city? Kvothe speaks of traveling up the Arand River to Severen after passing Junpui. Presumably its dock is on that river? But the only river marked on the map leading from the Centhe Sea into Vintas runs right through the middle of the Small Kingdoms.
C Smith
114. C12VT
Another distance: Imre to Tarbean is 40 miles (WMF, p. 960). So from that we can derive an approximate scale for the map, assuming it is drawn to scale.

@113: Maybe the Arand River forms the border between Vintas and the Small Kingdoms. We wouldn't necessarily be able to tell there was a river there on the map with the border obscuring it.
George Brell
115. gbrell
@112: Nice catch with the distance.

My logic would go as follows.

You (Kvothe) are well known in the Imre-University area. People of a variety of social statuses have likely seen you perform at the Eolian/Anker’s and Kvothe himself notes that “hen went to Imre, people would point at me and whisper to each other. notoriety spread until it was impossible for to casually cross the river… .” (WMF, 960).

Stories are told about you across the land.

You have just killed the presumptive King of Vintas in Imre (NotW,
28).

Should you stay somewhere where many people know your face or go to the opposite end of the continent? You’re much closer to the country whose King you killed (the last place they'd expect you to be, much like how Caudicus hid “not ten miles from ”), but no one likely knows your face.

@113: Excellent catch with the Arrand river.

I was confused because we know there are docks: “I spent the next several hours on the docks and found a ship leaving the next day for Junpui.” (WMF, 928)

But his description of the city does not include a harbor, I think I assumed it.

Note that Ambrose’s father rules the Pirate Isles (WMF, 938), which are “some miles to the south” of Severen (WMF, 368). But curiously not on the map (and nothing that could qualify as Isles either).
My best guess is that the Pirate Isles are off the map to the south and that Severen lies on the river that the Tinker leading the Pack Mule is pointing at with his foot. No idea why it’s so much darker than the other rivers. (Or it could be the other river just south of that).
Re: the dates. That fits in my mind.

Saves me having to ctrl+F every instance of span in NotW.

@114: Another possbility.
Jo Walton
116. bluejo
GBrell: That's amazing. I'm really impressed.

As I've already written tomorrow's post, the Department of Imaginary Geography is promoting you to E'lir right away.
Arra
117. greyhood
@69 "Like a drawstone even in our sleep
Standing stone by old road is the way
To lead you ever deeper into the Fae
Laystone as you lay in hill or dell
Greystone leads to something something 'ell" (last line being forgot)

I don't have my book with me... 'something something' is a quote from the book, right? If so, 'Myr Tariniel' fits. (9 syllables, ends in 'ell'.) ANd wasn't there some speculation that the old road ends there?
Arra
118. greyhood
Yes, the Chancellor had to be poisoned to keep Kvothe from learning Yllish. There HAS to be something ancient and significant recorded on those spools of Yllish knots in the back room of the archive.Perhaps it's a treasure trove of info about the Amyr and Chandrian that was overlooked because no one can read them?

Also, there's some clue that they're not supposed to be read with the eyes but by feeling them. It's essentially Braille. I'm trying to think of references to blindness and things like that. Selitos? One eye but now he can see? Haliax - in shadow? No conclusion - groping in the dark.
Arra
120. SusieBlu
@117
Yes, you are correct in all counts. Myr Tariniel does fits.

There was speculations in parts 4, 5, 6, and 7 on the Great Stone Road with Tinue being a beginning/endpoint and the University and Imre being at the other end. There was speculations that Myr Tariniel still exists but was renamed.

Sim Tambem
121. Daedos
@120 - or buried under a currently known structure...at the end of the Great Stone Road.

The underthing seems to be rather enormous.
Katy Maziarz
122. ArtfulMagpie
At one point in the frame story, the man telling Kvothe stories in Kote's taproom refers to Imre as "Amary." Amary. Amyr. Myr Tariniel. Perhaps? I'm completely convinced that the University and Imre sit on the remains of ONE of the old great cities...the Underthing seems to prove that. I'm almost convinced that city was once Myr Tariniel, and the Archives itself is built over or around something very important...something locked behind the 4-plate door....something that dates back to the Creation Wars....
Sim Tambem
123. Daedos
@122 - That has been my take on it, as well. What I don't understand is why no one goes into the underthing. With a university filled with curious minds looking for answers and hidden knowledge, it just doesn't make sense. At least some of the Masters must know about it. They must know more than we know they know, if you know what I mean.
Dave West
124. Jhirrad
@122 - I think you're reading too much into that. When I was reading that section again recently, my impression was simply one of the accent of a country bumpkin (remember that the frame story is in the middle of Newarre) and that Cob, being this old curmudgeon of a storyteller who never gets the story right, he just has an abominously hideous accent.
Alf Bishai
125. greyhood
The fact that Auri 'doesn't like telling' is nicely masked as the idiosyncrasy of a strange, damaged young woman. She obviously has A LOT to tell.
Katy Maziarz
126. ArtfulMagpie
"When I was reading that section again recently, my impression was simply one of the accent of a country bumpkin (remember that the frame story is in the middle of Newarre) and that Cob, being this old curmudgeon of a storyteller who never gets the story right, he just has an abominously hideous accent."

Well, um, of course it's an accent! And part of it is probably just Cob having the name wrong because the stories get mangled as they travel from person to person. But my point is just that "Imre" is similar enough in sound to come out as "Amary" when you either have an accent or have the name slightly wrong. I really don't think there are a lot of coincidences in thess books. If Imre sounds like Amary, and the Amyr were named for Myr Tariniel, it seems obvious to me that there is likely SOME connection....
Arra
127. Sojka
Re: the owl/wolf thing: Auri's exact quote in NotW ch. 87 is "...owls make poor heroes."

"And a mother owl has moved in. Made her nest right in the middle of the Grey Twelve, bold as brass. ...Owls are wise. They are careful and patient. Wisdom precludes boldness. ...That is why owls make poor heroes. ...She is fearless. She has a face like a wicked moon."

This makes me wonder about the Grey Twelve. It isn't spelled gray, so it's specifically a proper name. Who else is gray/Grey? And when else do we see twelve?
Dave West
128. Jhirrad
@126 - Here's the thing. PR is clever. Very, very, clever. And when I read that, even after our discussions on the matter, all it did was send up red flags for me. It seems way too easy a conclusion to draw. I think that Rothfuss is much more subtle, and he could be using that simply as a red herring. We are already finding so many instances where he twists what we "know", that seeing something that blatant just seems a little unlike him.
Dave West
129. Jhirrad
@127 in re gray v. grey - The spelling doesn't necessarily make it a proper noun. Gray is the common American spelling of the color, while grey is the British spelling of it.

I ran a search through both books on my Kindle app, and find that PR never uses the gray spelling. In fact, the only time that combination of letters comes up is in talking about "the Grayden boys" in WMF. However, he uses grey for the color grey all the time. That's just PR's perogative on it.
Arra
130. Susan Loyal
@bluejo re stew recipes. Interesting. I was about to say that I never put leftover meat in stew (both beef and lamb versions start with raw meat that's seared and added back to the sweated vegetables used to deglaze the pan--way too fiddly for a campfire), but of course I do--every time I make jambalaya. There's a lot of pork stew in the world, but a surprising percentage of pork stew recipes seem to have Portuguese roots--like vindaloo, which is the most common form of pork stew in my kitchen. I'm still unconvinced by K's culinary chances with throwing veggies and roasted pork into one pot at the same time (especially since he doesn't mention liquid--I'm assuming there was water). But if you say that works, I trust you, based on the food in Lifelode.
Arra
131. Sojka
@129. Jhirrad - You're the best salesperson Kindle could have!

Anyway, I'm also wondering if Auri's owl comment is related to K comparing Brendon to one. And if the owl in the epilogue signals a change in K's tactics. The best authors speak to what in the Kingkillerverse would be called our sleeping minds.
Arra
132. Sojka
Or if, assuming the Denna ~ Moon theory is correct, could it be foreshadowing her character?
Anthony Pero
133. anthonypero
Probably no one will see this this late in the thread, but I'd like to point out that if Kvothe is "Naming" Master Ash in this scene, he's probably naming him after the Ash Tree, not the Ash in the sky. Remember, to this point, K's naming ability works subconciously. A leave blows into his mouth, he says, Master Ash, D says, why not maple, K says tastes like ash to me, then notices all the ash in the air. It's a joke, and a pun, but invariably in the text, the naming is not the obvious choice.

So, if that's true, then D's patron is being connected with a tree, not with ashes/Cinder. Is Bredon in any way connected with a tree that we know? Or is this refering to the CTH?
Arra
134. FBlackguard
This section shows us how Kvothe's naming ability works twice - his sleeping mind tells him a name and his waking mind rationalizes it, poorly. The two examples here are the horse's name, which he he tells himself incorrectly has something to do with "night", and Master Ashe's name, which his sleeping mind started to tell him as he guessed names for Denna: "Federick the Flippant. Frank. Feran. Forue. Fordale…." getting perilously close to Ferule until it (or something) had to force him to shut up for his own good: "the wind forced a leaf straight into my mouth, causing me to choke" after which he chose the safer name Ash by rationalizing that that was the type of leaf (though it was probably actually an Elm, as Denna pointed out.
Arra
135. FBlackguard
... the same naming behavior happened with Auri as well - Kvothe rationalized that the name meant "sunny" in Siaru, but really it was his sleeping mind telling him the correct name.
Arra
136. futureminime
This view is based on Bredon being Ash and not Bredon being Cinder being Ash (Like K is an innkeeper, except with a few thousand years more experience). Either way I think Bredon has to be something else to explain why noone in the court knows more about him or his title, I think everyone has just grown up with him there and know he is higher in rank and it would be rude to ask.

ANYWAY

If Master Ash = Amyr then it would make sense that he was there looking for the pots. If the Chandrian are looking for things that relate to them it would make sense that they would travel there and stop them getting the vase.

I propose that the 7 can travel to the fae as a way of moving around. I think Cinder moved in his army (we see them later in WMF) to pillage the wedding. Ash being Amyr would beat D "for the greater good" because it really WOULD look suspicous if she got away uninjured, and he runs through the fae while they look for history.

Oh and I think the sponsorship has something to do with him training a Singer from D and that Ash might be the angel K kills to get his hearst desire, D.
Arra
138. paradia
@134 - I was going to say the same thing about Kvothe almost Naming Mr. Ash Ferule. I don't think there is any doubt in my mind that Mr Ash = Cinder. Further evidence... in the next couple of chapters we have fires being referred to as 'ash and cinder'. There aren't any other reference to 'ash and cinder' in the books prior to this despite fires being described a couple of other times (usually just ash, sometimes ash and coals).

I think people are looking too hard when they try to make Master Ash = Bredon
Kate Hunter
139. KateH
Mr. Ash = Cinder seems quite a stretch for me. I think it's more likely that he's no one we've been introduced to thus far, and his identity will be revealed in book 3. The biggest tipoff to me that he's not Cinder is that he's so cagey about giving her any name at all. Why would Cinder care if Denna knows a name for him? Any name at all? First off,
I can't see Cinder worried about protecting an identity few people even believe in. The Chandrian are considered bedtime tales by almost everyone. A normal person with a fixed name who walks around and is seen daily by many people might worry about their face and their name being connected and known for the wrong reasons or to the wrong people. Very few people ever see the Chandrian, so this would hardly be an issue for Cinder. Secondly, Cinder is supernatural and has plenty of ways of simply disappearing if need be. So again, why go to any effort to protect his identity? Thirdly, anyone who's been around as long as Cinder would be an old hand at lying. He'd simply make up a name for her to use. End of issue. Being "sinister," testing her loyalty and having secret signals is weird - no argument. Even weirder is arranging for her to be at the wedding, and later encouraging her to write lyrics that upturn the Lanre/Selitos story. But that doesn't get me anywhere near to Ash = Cinder.

Personally, I loved the deep valley accent. The way I read it, there's not one solitary "deep valley accent," but many different ones. That's just how K's mother described the different ones they came across.
Kate Hunter
140. KateH
Forgot to ask: Why didn't the pig man notice D's fresh bruises and bandaged arm? These are meant to be pretty noticeable on her face. K & D spent enough time with pig man for him to remark them. Is this just something PR didn't want to dwell on? Seems odd to me.
Arra
141. Joe R
The thing about the Adem being 65% female could be also beacuse the women are the only ones that can teach. So women would probably come back to teach the younger Adem but the men who cannot teach stay out in the world.
Arra
142. KKC>KFC
This might have been discussed in the mighty re-read and comments. I haven't been able to find reference to it, but there's a LOT. First time poster, so please go easy on me.

I'm in my 500th re-read, it seems. The only thing that popped out as a new insight for me in Name of the Wind:

Has it been discussed that Abenthy's wagon has writing that says:
"ABENTHY: ARCANIST EXTRAORDINARY. Scribe. Dowser. Chemist. Dentist. Rare Goods. All Alements Tended. Lost Items Found {my personal emphasis goes on this next one...} Anything Mended. No Horoscopes. No Love Potions. No Malefaction."

Anything Mended.

Abenthy also says something interesting when confronted by the town's mayor, the first time we meet him: "You're not a tinker..." and more mayor comments... to which Abenthy says "I'm a tinker and a peddler, and I'm more than both".

Is good ole Ben a Mender? If so, so what?

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