Jul 14 2011 2:00pm

Rothfuss Reread: The Name of the Wind, Part 13: We’re Going to Have to Kill It

Patrick Rothfuss RereadWelcome to part 13 of my excessively detailed re-read of Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles. This week’s post covers chapters 77-81 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.


We’re starting with Chapter 77: Bluffs. This has an even more obvious double meaning than most of Rothfuss’s chapter titles — the geological feature and the action. The geology is there, but who is bluffing? I don’t see a lot of it, not as much as usual. Kvothe is often bluffing, but not so much here.

Kvothe wakes up creaky and aching, and points for realism here, after all he did the day before and then sleeping on a rock, he really ought to be stiff. When Denna sees that his hands are skinned, she says “Your beautiful hands” but he does not take this as a hint that she finds him attractive because for a clever boy he’s as thick as a brick.

Denna recognises the loden-stone and says she knew a prat who used one as a paperweight. I wonder if this was one of her gentleman friends or whether it was perhaps her father. Nevertheless she plays with it. They don’t know how it works (“it’s a type of galvanic force”) and she speculates that if you found a brass loden-stone it would like brass, or copper and zinc since that’s what brass is made of. It’s easy to dismiss this as nonsense, but in this world it could be true. There could be magnets for things other than iron. That would be so cool! Then, of course, they test the scale the draccus shed, and it is organic iron.

Then they set off in the direction they saw the blue fire.

There’s a huge coincidence here, that the draccus and the Chandrian are in the exact same area at the same time, and that Kvothe and D are both there. I mean there really is no connection between the draccus, the denner, and the Chandrian and K and D, but there they all are. Kvothe wants it to be connected, he wants it to be about the Chandrian, but even he has to admit it isn’t.

D says a couple of times that she’s a city girl. That doesn’t fit with the moon theory.

They investigate and discover the denner grove, and the draccus eating trees and figure out that this is a drug operation. It’s not something you usually get at this tech level. Indeed, I can’t think of anywhere where drugs were illegal — Wikipedia says opium became illegal in China in 1729, and I can’t think of anything before that. Drug prohibition is a modern thing. Crossbows are illegal in the Four Corners too, but then they were illegal in medieval Europe, they were outlawed them for use against Christians in 1139.

Denna eats some denner, and although Kvothe gives her charcoal she gets some in her system and spends the rest of the day drugged. And she starts to babble. I think we can take her babbling to be true, or anyway unguarded D.

She babbles about Kvothe’s weird eyes, and she says “It’s my job to notice things about you.” Her job? What can this mean? And she assumes that when he says it’s lust because he’s close to a pretty girl that he’s lying. Neither of them have a shred of self-esteem, or sense either.

They decide to take the denner resin and sell it to an apothecary for legitimate medical uses, because they could both use the cash but they don’t want to be drug dealers.

D swears “Sweet angel Ordal above, I feel great!” Ordal is one of the angels/Singers in Skarpi’s story, the youngest, and female. What I meant last week about Tehlu being real is that we have this stuff which is real in the world, and Tehlu is part of it, the church, revolting as it is, isn’t worshiping something false, though they may be confused as to the significance of Tehlu. When Ben asks Kvothe whether he believes in God, Kvothe asks if he means Tehlu, there’s a confusion there which is analogous to the confusion in our world about the Persons of the Trinity. It seems here that Tehlu is as real as Ordal and Haliax.

Anyway, the significance of D’s Tehlin swearing is undercut by Kvothe swearing by Merciful Tehlu in the next paragraph when he realizes the draccus is addicted.

It’s interesting that Kvothe immediately feels responsible for sorting things out. The draccus knows there was a smell of people around the denner, so he’ll be off to hurt people, so Kvothe has to take care of it before that happens. There are people who would take the denner and run. They have enough for a pony — we know a really nice horse costs 20 talents, and she says enough to live on for a year.


Chapter 78 is Poison. D is poisoned, and poisoning the draccus, which so totally doesn’t work.

D thinks of an excellent way to kill it by luring it to jump off a cliff, but they don’t have any rope — should have bought some from the tinker! She also suggests that he kills it by magic, but even though he has a scale for a link he can’t think of any sympathy that would kill it, since it likes fire. (He could have tried freezing it? But even though I can think of several ways of killing a draccus by sympathy, I’m glad they thought of it and dismissed it, because I was thinking about it and I hate it when obvious things don’t cross people’s minds.)

All through this chapter it is drugged D who is having ideas and Kvothe is trudging about trying to do something and not getting anywhere. But poisoning it with the resin is his idea, as is getting her closer to civilization in case she really is poisoned.


Chapter 79 is Sweet Talk, which is another double meaning. It’s sweet talk in the normal sense, and also in the way drunk people say the drink is talking — is saying things because of the denner.

Indeed, she’s doing things because of the denner — bathing in the stream and singing racy songs and inviting Kvothe to join her. And of course he’s too much of a gentleman, even at fifteen and being Edema Ruh. Good for him.

The resin is worth between 50 and 100 talents — and that’s at a rate of 10 talents for a term at University or a really good lute, and 20 for an excellent horse. They give it more than half.

D gets lethargic and admits to being asthmatic. I feel genuinely sorry for her for the first time, as I am also asthmatic, and it’s an interesting flaw for a femme fatale. Kvothe listens to her heart and she asks if it’s saying anything, and when he says no she tells him to listen harder. Poor D. She’s asthmatic, she’s been poisoned, and she’s lumbered with the stupidest hero in the world, and for some reason it’s her job to notice things about him.

She says it’s “like a cottony dream but not as warm.” Now she has also just said that Kvothe’s face is like a kitchen, so she may not be making any sense at all. But I do wonder if “cottony dream” is a clue. No idea what it could mean, but it seems like a potentially significant detail. Anyone?

Now D volunteers that she had pneumonia when she was a baby and stopped breathing and died, and then came back to life and wonders about the significance of this. I wonder if she came back to life with a different spirit. Maybe the moon, Ludis. Maybe Lyra. I wonder how long ago this was, and where. I think we can trust this as information.

Now this is where she explicitly says that she loves him. “My seven words.” And he doesn’t notice. And she says he never pushed, and he could push more, just a little. And of course he’s right not to when she’s drugged, but he could remember and try another time. Well, he does notice that sitting with his arms around her is the most wonderful moment of his life.

Then she tells him that Master Ash hit her to make the story of her survival convincing. Now this isn’t the Chteah or anything, this is D’s word, when too drugged to lie, that he made her ask him to hit her. Yuck. And she says she needs him, who knows what she deserves, but he’s her only option. Then she falls asleep before Kvothe says he will protect her, and of course he doesn’t speak to her again for months.


Chapter 80 is Touching Iron. Now we know people touch iron to ward off evil, like touching wood, and we know they think it’s because of Tehlu and Encanis, but that it actually does hurt the Fae. But this chapter is directly about killing the draccus with the lodenstone, a very literal touching of iron.

The draccus eats six times the lethal dose of the resin without apparent harm. It puts out the fire and lies down. Then Kvothe sees the harvest festival fires in Trebon and prays that the draccus won’t notice them — to no avail. The draccus chases off to Trebon, Kvothe leaves D asleep and chases off after it.

He arrives after it has started to set the town on fire. He gets up onto the roof and makes a quick slapdash heat-eater and dims the fires. This piece shows how well we’ve come to understand the magic, because he does it quickly and describes it quickly, but it’s all clear and effective. Then he sets the tree on fire to draw the draccus, gets it eating the rest of the resin, and flattens it with the wheel and the lodenstone and another piece of sympathy. This isn’t calling Names, but it’s otherwise really Taborlin level magic, very impressive and clearly in the service of saving lives. Kvothe says in his introduction that he “burned down the town of Trebon” but in fact it wasn’t his fault and he did his best to protect it.


Chapter 81 is Pride.

This is very short. Kvothe looks down at the draccus, proud of killing it, then the roof he’s on collapses and he falls, clutches at the oak tree and continues to fall, and blacks out.

We’ll start from him waking up next week!


Last week’s comments

First, a note. I haven’t read Eddings or Jordan — or to be more specific, I have read the first book of each of them and didn’t like it enough to keep on and read the rest of the series. So if there are Eddings or Jordan references beyond Pawn of Prophecy or The Eye of the World, I’m totally going to miss them. I’m really really picky about fantasy.

Also, I’m really not interested in comments external to the text like “his editor told him to add more action.” I have Pat’s email address, people, I could just ask him everything and he’d probably tell me if I promised not to tell you! But what fun would that be? Let’s keep looking at it from an internal perspective, because that’s much more interesting. We have an unfinished story and the space it will be written into. K may be lying, or mistaken, or unreliable, but let’s assume that Rothfuss knows what he’s doing — either that or that he’s actually a room full of monkeys, okay?

But generally, last week’s comments are even more brilliant than usual!

Artful Magpie and Arra have some interesting speculation about knacks. We know people have knacks, there was that guy who always rolled sevens back in the Troupe. But we don’t hear much about it. But the Tinkers seem to have a knack for selling people what they will need, and Arra wonders is Iax and D have a knack for being unlucky. Shaltar wonders if the Tinkers are manipulating events towards something they want.

There’s also a lot of speculation about Master Ash. Arra doesn’t think Bredon is Master Ash but suggests:

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?

Is K doing this in the frame story, for Chronicler? Or generally, lurking in the inn in disguise? I do hope so! A bottle of strawberry wine for Arra, to be delivered by tinker.

There’s also a lot of interesting speculation about D and her self-esteem issues. DEL wonders if she might have gained part of the Moon’s name, which would be interesting.

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.

Steven Halter
1. stevenhalter
I also thought the denner being illegal was an interesting point. I think it points again that while parts of the society seem kind of
medieval, others seem more advanced. They know about galvanic forces but don't seem to know about things like steam engines or guns.
2. herewiss13
Just an interesting little observation: The dragon presumably breathe blue flame because it's generated by methane/natural gas from the breakdown of the digested trees. As one of the Chandrians' signs is decay/rust, perhaps their blue flame is also methane-related. Flames burn blue because the presence of the Chandrian degrades materials and releases gas from the environment.

I doubt it's going to be significant plot-wise, but given the science and chemistry throughout the novels, I wouldn't be surprised if this was an intentional link.
andrew smith
3. sillyslovene
To continue the discussion of Bredon, he's described with a 'halo' made from his white hair and his white beard in WMF. "Halo" is one of those interesting words that is only used a few times and as such is probably very important. AFAIK, there are only a few people that are described with a halo- Auri, Bredon, the Maer from WMF, but I can't remember who from NW. If one of you out there with a handy Ctrl-F could find all those, it might be interesting... There could possibly be something about dark halos also- such as with Haliax.
Anyway, from a certain standpoint this could be a good clue as to Bredon's true character (regardless of whether he is D's patron or not, going with that whole Kvothe thinks he knows who the good guys are, but might not really thing...) if he is placed in a similar light (see what I did there?) to Auri, etc.

There are a few more words like this that I think are significant thematically, I'll try and put a few up as I have the time...

Sim Tambem
4. Daedos
I had forgotten that Denna "died" as a child...that sounds like it could be significant. As JO said, it might have something to do either with her ever-changing name.
Lurking Canadian
5. Lurking Canadian
I love the bit where he kills the dragon. With a big frickin magnet. It's like a young geek's dream come true.

But this section also points to something that I (kind of) believe about Kvothe. I wonder if he isn't already an Amyr. Not in the sense of secretly belonging to some secret society or something, but because he seems to have this compulsion to Do Good.

He really isn't moral in the usual sense (thinks nothing of lying, stealing and cheating) but then sometimes he decides some bad thing is his responsibility and he has to fix it. He's nearly starving himself, but he feeds Auri. The dragon (not his dragon) is hopped up on goofballs (not his drug op), but he decides his his job to save Trebon (and feels guilty about the destruction it causes). When he saves the two girls in the next book, he makes sure to arrange marriages for them, then gives his horse to the one guy who broke his leg.

It's like he has this deep seated compulsion that always points him at The Right Thing, even though his conscious mind is kind of a scoundrel. In other words, he's already somebody who will break any law or rule in the service of The Greater Good. He's an Amyr. He just doesn't have the T-shirt yet.
Dave West
6. Jhirrad
One piece of this section which I find interesting, but surpisingly Rothfuss didn't go into any further detail on, was why the draccus doesn't die from what should have been a huge overdose of denner resin. To me the answer seems obvious and is given in the text clearly - the trees. Kvothe gives D ashes in order to counteract the effects of the denner resin she consumes, but it never seemed to occur to him that the constant munching of trees, and the prodigious amount of wood he was eating at the time, a lot of ash would be consumed, thus nullifying the effects of much of the denner.

It's interesting to me that Kvothe didn't seem to consider this (as far as we can see from the text) even though we understand this principle from his previous actions.
Rob Munnelly
7. RobMRobM
"D says a couple of times that she’s a city girl. That doesn’t fit with the moon theory."

I still think D is a City girl from Analin, who (given her adventurous nature) goes into the woods, transfers over to Fae, and is seduced while there. Family doesn't believe her, casts her out, and story rolls along. If there is a moon tie, expect that it would have occurred during her Fae period.

I also suspect that it will turn out that Bast is her seducer (given that he's the horniest guy in the entire book and she is a looker - even if Bast thinks she has a crooked nose or somesuch).

Great job, Jo. This is fun.

Dave West
8. Jhirrad
@5 - It's a fun point to explore. So often Kvothe does things simply because they seem like the right thing to do. He's acting "For the Greater Good" as it were.

I'm going to drift off now into a realm of pure speculation which has no current strong textual support. However, there are possible inferences, and enough grey in the text to make it conceivable, even if I'm wrong. :)

We don't know much about the concept of afterlife in this setting, so it gives room for speculation. What if this world is one of reincarnation? It is noted from the very beginning of the book that Kvothe is extremely mature and advanced for his age. And it seems to be more than what you get from a standard prodigy. It's not simply his ability to absorb information. After a short time with him, everyone comments on how he is simply more mature than you would expect for his age (something which is often NOT the case with intellectual prodigies, as they are lost in the world of their particular gift). Could he have the soul of an old Amyr? Or maybe Amyr are simply born, not made. However, a better idea just occurred to me...

The connection to the Amyr with Kvothe is clear. Look at his relationship with Lorren (who most all of us will agree is an Amyr, lhin?). What does Lorren require for Kvothe to regain admittance to the Archives? "'Demonstrate the patience and prudence which you have heretofore been lacking.'" NW Chapter 61. Could it be that Lorren sees the budding Amyr in Kvothe? This to me actually makes more sense. Especially since it's my belief that Lorren knows precisely what happened to Kvothe's troupe. Consider the following two items:
1) Something scares the Chandrian off before they can finish doing whatever they came for to Kvothe;
2) Lorren knows precisely who Kvothe's parents were. After his initial admission, when taking Kvothe to the bursar, he asks if Kvothe's father was Arliden the Bard.

It follows that if it was in fact the Amyr that drove the Chandrian away that night, that our Amyr Lorren would know that. His more stringent treatment of Kvothe and desire for him to show "patience and prudence" are his way to guiding Kvothe to eventually join his fight in the destruction of the Chandrian.
andrew smith
9. sillyslovene
@8 and continuing from the last post (#12)- RE the Masters and the Amyr-
We already have our suspicions about the Master Archivist, but in general, I think it is very safe to say the Masters in general know tons more that they are not letting on- from NW you have things like the advanced bindings, and Elodin saying that since Kvothe upgraded to Re'lar he can at least acknowledge that the Stone Door was there. The whole initiation process of the place seems to scream of hidden knowledge culminating somewhere... (speaking of which- has there been any indication of how many students make it to which levels? how many achieve Re'lar? El'the? Isn't there one beyond that?)

But there is plenty of other stuff going on that make it extremely likely that the Masters are onto and into things that the rest of us are just guessing at- in WMF during one of Kvothe's admission interviews (the one where Elodin asks the same question about cards that Manet asks him at the Eolion), Elodin demands of the other Masters if he should be asking questions that only a Namer can answer, then goes all magical, filling the entire room with his voice, and then asks "Where does the Moon go when it isn’t in the sky?" (not verbatim) All the Masters look suitably chastened by this- could be awkwardness because they think it is Elodin doing his weirdo thing, but can we really expect that out of all of the Masters, Elodin is the only one who knows anything about the reality of the world (meaning the reality of the Fae, the creation war, etc)? He's talked before about anciently there being a school inside a school- this is definitely still the case.

There are a few things that make me think that this knowledge/agenda/intent is more widespread than just the Archivist and/or Elodin. For one, what the poop is up with Manet and the Masters? I know this has been discussed before- the connection between Manet and Elodin because of the card question. But there is more going on with that dude. For starters, he knows more about the university than any other student. This could be chalked up to him just being around longer than anyone else. Honestly, he’s probably been E’lir longer than say Hemme has been a Master, or perhaps even at the University… But there are some problems there- The University has been guarding its reputation for the last few centuries, but is Kilvin the first of the Master Artificers to hide all the books with the ruins for things like bone, blood, etc? They must have been out of circulation for longer than he has been around. Yet, the book (or at least Kvothe) seems to say that Manet knows all of this stuff- advanced sygaldry, schema (i.e. for grammes, etc), a hidden way into the archives, and so on, but is wise enough not to share it (a strong connection to Lorren and what he is trying to teach K. How did Manet learn all this? In both NW and WMF Manet echoes almost precisely some of Lorren's advice)- yet he is still E’lir. Why hasn’t Kilvin or someone else sponsored him to Re’lar? There are no tests, etc for passing on. From what we’ve seen you are advanced when a Master thinks you deserve it, and the others concur. I also find it hard to believe that from the very moment Manet got to the University he was intent only with staying at the lowest rung of the ladder, especially when there is more knowledge/privilege associated with higher levels. This makes me think that Kilvin at least is in on whatever the Manet-Lorren/Manet-Elodin connection is. He must either be a plant (member of the Amyr watching for prospective students to bring in?) or someone in the same category as Auri and Puppet- people I think most of us are convinced are part of hidden groupings as well (angels, Amyr, etc).

How much farther does it spread? If there are three masters involved, I would say that Elxa Dal, and perhaps even Arwyl are involved as well. The split between all of them and Hemme/Brandeur makes me wonder if they are on the outs…
Lurking Canadian
10. dwndrgn
I love Lurking Canadian's post "he just doesn't have the T-shirt yet". Perfect.

I don't agree that the draccus is eating enough charcoal to counteract the denner - he is mostly eating whole trees pulled out of the ground fresh. Have you ever burned green wood? It takes a long time to get to charcoal from there. Either its chemical processes burn it off quickly enough to not make it an issue or there is some other natural reason for it to be able to ingest that much at one time.

What I don't get is why he couldn't have left a note of some sort for her when he left. A drawing in the dirt, anything! But I suppose it isn't of any importance.
Hello There
11. praxisproces
@9 sillyslovene: On Manet, (and sorry, Jo, this is not in-universe), but it's seemed to me throughout that Manet is PR writing himself into the story: a wild-bearded hyper-intelligent perpetual student. The advantage to this from a technical perspective is that Manet's long residence at the University makes an a believable mouthpiece for authorial exposition: as you say, Manet seems to know everything, and on some level that's believable (though your points about the timing are well-made) because we know he's been around forever. I think maybe we're seeing craftsmanship, not worldbuilding, in Manet's character. At least that's been my take from the beginning.
Hello There
12. praxisproces
@5 Lurking Canadian - I think that's right, Kvothe is at least a would-be Amyr from the beginning and circumstance makes him evolve increasingly in their image. As I've said before in the re-read, though, this is probably a bad thing. Which is for example why the Duke of Gibea conversation cropped up in WMF: to Kvothe, chopping up people for the sake of medicine is, while unpleasant, totally justifiable; to others, there's no excuse for such atrocities. The lines are clear between the do-gooders and everyone else. Leaving us to wonder what Good is going to end up making Kvothe do so much bad.
Lurking Canadian
13. Stefan Jones
Just finished reading A Wise Man's Fears, so I can finally start reading this thread.

When I first read (actually, listened to) TNOTW, I was sure that Denna would end up as a Denner addict . . . a fittingly tragic bohemian ending.

The whole trip to Trebon was a great little adventure, particularly the Denner harvesting operation.

* * *
Yeah, I think there a good chance that Lorren is an Amyr, or at least an enabler / fellow traveler.
Lurking Canadian
14. Susan Loyal
“It’s my job to notice things about you.” Her job?

There are several possibilities here. 1) K awakens from a dream of crowded streets, harkening back to the crowded streets of Tarbean where he felt watched, shortly before he met D for the first time. She may have been employed back then (by whom?) to keep an eye on him. 2) I've always felt that her mysterious patron, whom she meets when waiting for K, was angling for information about K, and the patron's involvement with D was at least partially to that end. That's a second possible way that she might be employed to watch K. 3) (Most likely, I think.) D arranges her financial life by providing a kind of escort service. (I'm not quite prepared to say that she's a mistress or courtesan. The level of service seems too hazy for those terms.) It is, literally, her job to watch the man she's with and notice things about him. Right now, she's with K.

Relative to the "cottony dream" and Kvothe's face being like a kitchen, there's a Renaissance revenge tragedy (I'm totally blanking on which one right now) that contains a famous simile about hell being like a great lord's kitchen that has no fire in it. (In the Middle Ages, hell was often depicted as cold rather than hot.) Rothfuss has an English degree. Kvothe's kitchen-face is "the perfect kitchen." "Everything matches and the sugar bowl is right where it should be." D speaks of order as the hallmark of the perfect kitchen (in which the "sugar bowl," an image connected with the various meanings of "sweet" that we have here, is placed appropriately, controlled). However, she's also cold, and kitchens--except for that great lord's--are usually warm. So, by roundabout extended analogy, K's face is anti-hell, it's heavenly. "Cottony dream" sounds like fluffy angelic clouds, hence also heavenly, at one level. At another level, I'd say this isn't the first time this lass has been drugged. If she was very ill as a small child, that would make sense. Otherwise, it gets more sinister.
Chris Palmer
15. cmpalmer
A while back I was saying that I thought K's actions may be for the greater good even if they appear to be random or destructive - like the opposite of the effect of talking to the Cthaeh. I said this may evidence of him being one of the Ciridae.

I couldn't back up my assertion at the time, but I found the quote I was looking for. It was in Chapter 3:

Kote was a long while in answering. "I tend to think too much, Bast. My greatest successes came from decisions I made when I stopped thinking and simply did what felt right. Even if there was no good explanation for what I did." He smiled wistfully. "Even if there were very good reasons for me not to do what I did."

Whether conscious or unconsious, I think K is following someone or something's larger plan. Did K know about the effect of the Cthaeh at this point? I wonder if that knowledge changes what he says in the paragraph above?
Jo Walton
16. bluejo
CMPalmer: I think K's talking about spinning leaf there.

Susan Loyal: Interesting catch on the sugar bowl and sweetness and no fire. I'm still mystified about her "job". Nothing feels quite right.
17. herewiss13
@14 & 16, in re: Her job...

I think it's just affectionate short-hand. I tell my wife: "It's my job to carry the heavy things." etc. Denna is sweet on Kvothe. As an infatuated person/someone in love, her "job" is to notice the other. Given how often she disappears, I can't really see it being official employment.
Chris Palmer
18. cmpalmer
blujo: Yes, but is there really a difference? In either case he's talking about making decisions that felt right even when there were many logical reasons not to do them. It's very Taoist.
Lurking Canadian
19. Foxed
I always thought D's "It's my job to know about you" was supposed to be a romance thing.

@ 5, Lurking Canadian: "It's like he has this deep seated compulsion that always points him at The Right Thing, even though his conscious mind is kind of a scoundrel. In other words, he's already somebody who will break any law or rule in the service of The Greater Good. He's an Amyr. He just doesn't have the T-shirt yet."

It's like he knows the Lethani. Despite how hard it is for him to discover Falling Leaf and listen to his Sleeping Mind, we see him in these examples following Lethani, DOING THE RIGHT THING.

@ JO: I took "cottony dream" to be more literal (at least, at face value instead of a clue). Personal experience... it sounds like being drunk. Which makes sense because she is drugged. You feel dreamy, everything's lessened, as though by cotton balls. Hazy.
Steven Halter
20. stevenhalter
herewiss13@17:I think I agree. It is very tempting to look for a conspiracy in that phrase, but I've heard the word used in the context you put it in. Also, reading the whole section over a couple times, there doesn't seem to be any hint of any other meaning. Denna hasn't really started to feel the effects when she mentions it as "her job", so I think it is an innocent utterance.
George Brell
21. gbrell
While I don't disagree with people that the Trebon section is slightly incongruous with the rest of the novel (much like the Tarbean section, but we think we've figured that one out), it contains the scene that cemented this book as one I absolutely love.

I love the dracccus scene because, as @5 pointed out, he kills it with a magnet. Stand back, I'm going to try science!

At the same time, the scene demonstrates the two levels Rothfuss is working on. Back at the very beginning of the novel, Kvothe says, "Let me sum up sympathy very quickly since you will probably never need to have anything other than a rough comprehension of how these things work." (NotW, 76)

But it becomes clear quite quickly that Rothfuss has worked all of this out and he drops lots of small details that let you pick up on Kvothe's source and link.

Three bindings: Scale to Draccus, Lodenstone to Wheel, Transfer of Galvanic Force (Magnetism from Scale to Lodenstone TO Draccus to Wheel).

Source: The fires running rampant around town. (From the binding immediately proceeding: "I looked out over the town and
saw the glimmering coals dim even further." (NotW, 585))

I'm still trying to figure out the Flame, Thunder, Broken Tree scene, but I firmly believe that Rothfuss somewhere has a page of notes with exactly what kind of force transfer was being used there.
Lurking Canadian
22. Susan Loyal
@17 & 20. Entirely possible. It's a common expression. However, common expressions have not infrequently proved to be literal in a Rothfuss text. Also, in my admittedly limited experience, the use of that phrase tends to show up after a couple acknowledges a level of commitment in the relationship. Of course, D's drugged; she may be taking "going steady" as a done deal. She's talking about kitchens. They're domestic.
Lurking Canadian
23. suzannef
Susan Loyal @14: It's The Revenger's Tragedy (which I remember because they produce it in Tam Lin)

Jhirrad @8: When Elodin convinces Lorren to let K into the Archives, Lorren crossly says that he was planning to wait a year and a day. I wonder if that set amount of time was really the plan, rather than waiting for K to get less impulsive.
Lurking Canadian
24. Susan Loyal
sillyslovene @3 I looked up "halo" in both novels. It occurs 3 times in WMF, once of Auri and twice of Bredon. In all instances it describes the effect of their hair blowing around. It only occurs once in NW: of Auri. I'm sure you're right that it's significant.

Jo referred to K's having "killed an angel" in a previous post. I looked that up, too, given the strange similarity between Auri and Bredon, of all people. Here it is:

Chronicler found himself thinking of a story he had heard . . . told of how Kvothe had gone looking for his heart's desire. He had to trick a demon to get it. But once it rested in his hand, he was forced to fight an angel to keep it. I believe it, Chronicler found himself thinking. Before it was just a story, but now I can believe it. This is the face of a man who has killed an angel.


@23. Thank you, suzannef! My fading memory! Somewhere in my mind revenge tragedies have clumped, like stale brown sugar.
Lurking Canadian
25. Edward Brennan
@5 Lurking Canadian- Maybe Amyr is something one names oneself. Something that one has to, in a sense, find the name for. Maybe it is a calling more than a position. Maybe it is that only when one can call (or name) oneself an Amyr, that others may recognize it in you.
Rowan Shepard
26. Rowanmdm3
I've only read each book once, and I just finished WMF last night, so now I finally get to contribute!

I'm starting to wonder about the possible connections between Lethani and the Amyr. Even if they don't follow it by that name, is it possible the Amyr also follow the Lethani, and that the ability to follow the Lethani is part of what makes them Amyr? If so, then the level of trust they have in the Ciridae (I don't feel like checking the spelling of names at the moment, so I apologize in advance for all the misspellings) makes more sense if they gain that rank after reaching a certain level of acceptance/accomplishment/ability to follow Lethani.

However, if the Lethani is NOT part of the Amyr, would it be possible for the way of Lethani and the Amyr creedo of "For the Greater Good" to come in conflict? Are there times when doing the right thing isn't for the greater good and vice versa?

Also, how would the Masters react to principles of Lethani? I think Elodin understands and probably follows to a degree (especially considering the conversation Elodin and Kvothe have in WMF), but I don't think the other Masters could do it, although each for different reasons.

I wonder if Kvothe's different states of mind (Heart of Stone and Spinning Leaves) are two sides of the same coin. Since he learned Heart of Stone as a young boy and to an extent taught himselve Spinning Leaves during his time of insanity in the wilderness, could this be part of why he was so good at Alar? Does getting better in one state of mind improve your ability to utilize the other or is there no effect?
Lurking Canadian
27. Kurt Montandon
Just a little side note: Over at Westeros, it was deduced that Kote and Bast are in Vintas, and that the Maer is now King. The soldiers that attack him in WMF are wearing blue and white, and refer to theirselves as "the king's own." Sapphire and ivory are the Alveron family' s colors.
George Brell
28. gbrell

I deduced the same thing last thread via a different method (the coinage matches, as do the common practices). I also argued that we can place their location in Western Vintas.

The Maer could certainly be the king, but it's unlikely that Ambrose could jump him in the succession. So that means Kvothe kills someone else in the succession (assuming we believe the king he killed is the King of Vintas, hence his comment that he is responsible for the civil war).
Katy Maziarz
29. ArtfulMagpie
Shall we talk again about how Kvothe killing the draccus by dropping a great honking iron wheel on it and burning it to death is just like the story claims that Tehlu killed the demon Encanis? Is Kvothe a descendent of Tehlu? (If "Tehlu" really does mean "First Lock," he could be the progenitor of the Lockless/Lackless/etc family....) Or is Kvothe basically an avatar or archetype figure, destined to repeat aspects of Tehlu's story?

I do wish there were more discussion in the books about these mysterious knacks that some people seem to have. Why only some people? Is this something left over from the time before humans and Fae split? Did everyone once have their own little knacks, and in humans it's a trait that was mostly lost, but in Fae it morphed into all their various full-blown magical powers? Was Felurian once just a flirtatious young woman with a knack for seducing men, and now her power makes her so irresistible that the loving of her kills men?

However, I really still wonder about Tinkers specifically. The fact that a Tinker basically inherited the "broken house at the end of the broken road" (Myr Tariniel at the end of the Great Stone Road?) from Jax in Hespe's story really just makes me wonder if there's more to them than just harmless men with bags full of trinkets and dry goods. Are they Amyr themselves? A secret order of some sort?

Also, are we thinking that Tema (and the younger Temic) are basically Latin-inspired? If so, I'd think that the word "Amyr" might be in Tema. In Latin, the word "a" basically means "from." And the Amyr are said to have been given that name in order to remember Myr Tariniel. A Myr = From Myr.
andrew smith
30. sillyslovene
@24 Susan Loyal
Thanks for looking that up. I thought there was one for Alveron also, but my memory was mistaken, he gets a silver crown instead-

Alveron was propped into a sitting position in his bed. He looked as well as could be expected, which is to say exhausted, but no longer sweating and racked with pain. As a matter of fact, he looked almost angelic. A rectangle of sunlight washed over him, lending his skin a frail translucency and making his disarrayed hair shine like a silver crown around his head.

-419 (hardcover)

Which could be some good foreshadowing for him truly becoming king, perhaps after some hard times, although with the frail translucent skin, it could also be a forevision of him on a funeral bier...
C Smith
31. C12VT
@27, 28, 30: I can think of one scenario in which Kvothe kills Ambrose and the Maer becomes king. What if Ambrose marries into a higher position in the line of succession? If King Roderic's sons are all dead and Ambrose marries his daughter (Princess Ariel?), for example. This requires assuming that women can't inherit the crown. I did a search for "queen" and although there are several mentioned, none are indicated to be sole rulers, so it's not an unreasonable assumption. Though this whole theory is rather unsubstantiated.
Dave West
32. Jhirrad
@29 in re Amyr and the Department of Imaginary Linguistics - I think it's moderately well established that Amyr comes from Myr Tariniel. That's in the text, though it is part of Skarpi's story. Chapter 28 in NW, "We will be called the Amyr in memory of the ruined city."

The more interesting question is the language of origin. The problem is that we don't know what language that's from. In the work which Shalter and I are doing to construct a language wiki (we're over half way through so expect something in the next week or two) we find so many words whose language or origin are unknown. Within NW itself I found 31 different words or phrases which I give the designation of Language Unknown. There are one or two that I feel like I can make a very sound educated guess about, but it would still just be a guess.

In regards to Tema and Temic, I'm not sure that we can necessarily make them Latin correlary languages. I should start by saying within the wiki I have gone through NW while Shalter is working on WMF right now, so I don't have data for that book yet (I'm going to finish reading Dance with Dragons before I go back to WMF). However, within NW, we have surprising little data on either language.

We have 3 words we know to be Tema in origin:
Ve Valore Sartane - No translation, but we know it's either the name of a play or song or poem (NW Chapter 82).

We have 2 words we know to be Temic in origin:
Chaen - seven
Dian - of them

That's really it for sure-fire words in those languages within NW. So unfortunately, it's difficult to really make any sort of linguistic comparison (at least for me right now with the data of one back at hand) to known languages in our world.

The biggest challenge about the linguistics project is that we have too many words whose origins we just don't know.
Katy Maziarz
33. ArtfulMagpie
"In regards to Tema and Temic, I'm not sure that we can necessarily make them Latin correlary languages."

This is completely unscientific of me to say, but they feel like they're inspired by Latin. The idea that Tema is the language of the Church, for one thing. The phrase "Ve Valore Sartane" itself even kind of looks Latinate. Kvothe refers to Tema as being "a very orderly language," in the context of explaining just how NOT orderly Yllish is. Latin is a very orderly language, to my mind.

"Ivare Enim Euge" is in Tema, as well, keep in mind. The ancient motto of the Amyr. I'd say it's not stretching TOO far to say that the language spoken in Myr Tariniel might have been Tema...or at least that it was widely known in that era. (Of course, the fact that "euge" is probably the word for "good" in that sentence makes it seem more Greek than Latin, as "eu" is "good" in Greek...hrm.)
Steven Halter
34. stevenhalter
@33:For the first pass (at least) we're going with a fairly deterministic examination of the linguistics. If it isn't explicitly stated that word X is of origin Y, then we aren't making that connection.
Katy Maziarz
35. ArtfulMagpie
*shrug* Whatever. But don't forget that "Ivare enim euge" is explicitly stated to be Tema. In comment #32 it is stated that we only know for certain that "Ve Valore Sartane" is Tema. And that's just not true. :-)
Dave West
36. Jhirrad
Do we know for sure that Ivare Enim Euge is Tema? It's first appearance is in NW Chapter 38, and there is nothing saying at that point what the language is. That is the only appearance of that phrase in that book. As I said above, my work on this thus far is limited to NW and I haven't read WMF since it came out.

I just ran a search through the text, and WMF does not conclusively tell us what the language of origin for the phrase is either.

To the other point, I agree that the language has a sort of Latin feeling to it. Ve Valore Sartane seems like a phrase which has been run through declensions to exist.

Edit: @35 - Can you tell me where in the text it explicitly says that it's from Tema? I ran searches in the Kindle version of both books for the phrase, then read 2-3 pages in each direction around the phrase, and in each case, there is nothing saying for certain that it is Tema. Now, it could be that we get there obliquely in another section of text speaking of the motto of the Amyr without using those words, but I haven't seen it thus far.

Second edit - I read that edit after posting and it sounds a little snarky. Sorry, that's not the intent. I genuinely would like to know, because if my information is incorrect, then I would like to fix that. If you don't have an easily searchable version of the text, but can tell me anything that would help me find what you're referencing, it would be very helpful.
Lurking Canadian
37. Susan Loyal
sillyslovene @30. You're welcome! The "silver crown" really seems to suggest that Alveron succeeds to the throne at some point, doesn't it? But would that be before or after Kvothe kills a king? Thanks for finding all the "headgear"!
Katy Maziarz
38. ArtfulMagpie
Yes, we DO know for certain that "Ivare Enim Euge" is Tema. Kvothe says so in WMF, when he is showing Sim the letters hidden in the scrollwork of Gibea's book.

Sim says, "So what's the point, aside from the fact that he was nearly illiterate in Temic?"

To which Kvothe replies, "It's not Temic. It's Tema. An archaic usage."
Steven Halter
39. stevenhalter
@35:I'm only about a third of the way through WMF for this first linguistic pass. I'm doing a fairly straight one page at a time look through. I know that discussion is ahead, I just haven't gotten to it yet. Heh--I guess I'm using the "breaking my mind into mulitple" technique. :-)
Dave West
40. Jhirrad
It reposted my last comment. WTF?

What I had said was, Thanks for the reference point. I found it. For some reason, the Kindle version on my PC wasn't showing the second time that phrase comes up in the chapter, and thus giving the point you made.

Also, I'll note that my analysis above was specifically limited to NW.
James Butterfield
41. jimmyb
Sorry if this has been discussed already but i couldn't find it anywhere.

Does anyone have any ideas as to the significance of the name that Denna mutters when Kvothe tries to wake her up before chasing after the draccus? "Moteth"

I've tried to look out for it, or something similar, appearing elsewhere during the re-read but I haven't spotted anything yet and don't have a searchable copy of the books unfortunately.
Lurking Canadian
42. Susan Loyal
jimmyb @41. Based on my search, the name "Moteth" is unique in NW and WMF to that one occurrence. In our world, it appears to be a last name (not very frequently occurring on the internet) of Indian origin. Denna is interesting when she's drugged! I have no idea what this might mean.

Jhirrad and shalter: I started to say "lots of sympathy," but in this context that might sound sinister! Much gratitude for the large, less-than-wieldy project you've undertaken. (Tolkien has really spoiled us all with his systematic approach to Imaginary Languages. I suspect Rothfuss of being unsystematic, unless he has a linguist he hangs out with.)

"Ve valore sartane" has given me a giggle. "Valore" translates from Italian as "value" and usually from Latin as "virtue." "Ve" occurs in Italian as the pronoun "you." "Sartane" has no exact Italian or Latin equivalent that I can find, but it appears to be a medical term for a class of drugs that block the angiotensin-1 receptor (used to control hypertension, apparently). The things you can find on the internet. So the play might be something like "The Virtue of Controlled Blood Pressure" or "The Value of Keeping Your Cool." (At first, it reminded me of the root for "sartorial," which would give a meaning more like "The Virtue of Dressing Yourself .") I do not, in any way, wish to put this forward as a proposed translation. It just made me laugh (and gave me a vision of an author loose on the internet late at night, constructing Phrases that Sound Serious, which of course may not actually be what's happening). And it gave me a deep appreciation for how difficult your task is.
Steven Halter
43. stevenhalter
Susan Loyal@42:Yes, like jhirrad, I've been struck with how many undefined and unattributed words there are. Before I started this systematic approach, I would have guessed at a higher ratio.
Katy Maziarz
44. ArtfulMagpie
"Does anyone have any ideas as to the significance of the name that Denna mutters when Kvothe tries to wake her up before chasing after the draccus? "Moteth""

My take on that was that it is a garbled, drugged, sleepy version of "Mother." If she's calling to her mother when she's been drugged and her defenses are down, that's interesting...given how little concrete information we have about her early life.
Dave West
45. Jhirrad
@Susan Loyal - I should have thought about Italian. I learned it with English as my first language. Lol. I would translate valore from Italian as value in the sense of worth. I would mostly use it in a monetary sense, i.e. the value of the dollar vs. the euro or the value of my house, something like that. Again, it has absolutely ZERO bearing on the translation of this, but it's still fun to play around with.

And I agree that Rothfuss seems much less systematic than someone like Tolkien. Really, there are two major hurdles which Shalter and I have discussed in this project. 1) There are SO many words where we are given neither language nor meaning and; 2) There are SO many languages! Just within NW there are 9 different languages. That makes the entire project much more challenging. I actually just sent PR an email asking if he could at least tell me what the "mother tongue" language is, if it exists. We'll see if I get an answer. :)

Also, one note that I'd like to make for the community here, as we're doing this project, as it will impact the possible translations we use - for the moment we are designating the runes used in sygaldry as their own, distinct language group. Why? Because we don't know that they come from another known language. Since we are trying to make this as verifiable as possible, we're sticking with this methodology.
Lurking Canadian
46. Susan Loyal
Jhirrad @45. My husband pointed out that "sartane" sounds much like "certain," hence "certain value of/to/for/from you." That might mean anything from "Your Market Price" to "Your Absolute Value." :) A much more merchantile title for the play! I will now never shake the conviction that the play is a comedy, whether more Aristophanes or more Oscar Wilde I'm less sure.

While not producing or aiming at producing a translation, playing around with the title does emphasize something I think is real--that Rothfuss' attitude towards language is fundamentally that it's fun, and he uses it playfully. (Tolkien thought language was fun, too, but linguists like case endings and root forms and dialectical variants.)

Best of luck to you both! I'm looking forward to the results.
Alf Bishai
47. greyhood
A little off topic. I've just been thinking of the sound of cut flowers when it suddenly hit me that they're CUT. This is support for the idea that K snapped his alar (ouch!)
Ashley Fox
48. A Fox
A little thought. Going with the commonly accepted theory that K has 'lost' his Name in the frame.

That Scarpi, knowing K and Chronicler, knew that if he sent C, K would definately give him the interview, that he wouldnt be able to resist. And that in the process of telling his story, he would 'discover' himeself. That he would in fact Name himself, rebuilding all the parts that make K, K.

So when he finishes his Story/Name, he will once more Know himself. Hopefully enabling him to see, using the Lethani (which he still has in the frame) how to right what ever the craziness is in the frame.

I think this would also account for the way the frame switches between the innkeeper, Kote and Kvothe when talking of K. As the story progresses Kvothe is used more, as he is putting back (so to speak) the parts of himself. This would also account for when he fails ie sympathy, the fight. How he goes back to Kote or the inn keeper, as he is not whole yet.
Alf Bishai
49. greyhood
@48 it's a good possibility. It seems to me that he willingly chose to rename himself because it says a couple of times 'the one who called himself Kote.' my theory is that someone learned his name so he had to change it. I think if he had won the fight with the two soldiers at the end of WMF - if he became Kvothe again - his enemy would have descended on him, named him, etc. This is how Haliax controls Cinder. He could defend himself except that the key to his alar- which snapped like R. Steel- is in the chest. It's why he's so desperate to open the chest but in a pathetic way.

But he'll learn to listen.
Lenny Bailes
50. lennyb
#48: This sounds like a potential explanation for why the narrative stops referring to the innkeeper as "Kote" in the frame story, as it progresses -- and why he's almost always called Kvothe in the WMF frame story segments. I was putting that down to whim or auctorial oversight.

##I saw a scholarly note on Livejournal, this morning, on whether it's a common flaw in fantasy authors to make women characters serve primarily as facilitatators for the agency of a male protagonist.

Obviously, some authors do that. Seeing that comment made me think some more about TNW/WMF and the relationship we've been shown, so far, between Denna and Kvothe. It made me wonder whether I'm just an unenlightened male romantic being seduced by storytelling craft or whether I'm responding strongly a narrative that mirrors a true slice of life. (I'm bearing in mind Jo's several comments about Denna's actions often not making sense to her.) The point about "agency" provides another lens to look through in parsing the story. A number of us have been speculating about the possibility that Denna's agency is actually going to be revealed in the third book. It does seem, so far, that she lacks agency -- excepting the compassion and competence she shows in that one scene where she addresses the runaway girl.

It could be argued that proficiency at using her suitors to survive or having the skills of a grifter are kinds of agency, but it seems we're all anticipating that she's got more than that going on, which is going to be revealed later. If this doesn't turn out to be true, I might feel like a sucker at the end.

So far, I'm willing to keep the faith and keep reading.
Jo Walton
51. bluejo
Lenny: I very much feel that as the other women in the story have agency, I'm prepared to hope for the best with regard to D -- especially since WMF develops her so much more, and especially with the Bechdel scene.
Lurking Canadian
52. SusieBlu
@ 42- Ve Valore Sartane- may have a less then profound meaning. I think back to the Dinotopia series and their rules on top of the stairs. The last rule is broken and is thought to say “Don't pee in the bath".
(Completely out of left field but that is what I thought of when I read you post.)
@27 RE: Location of the Waystone-
I cannot find page number in my editions but it the scene where the travelers come in that the young man recognizes Kote as Kvothe. If they are in a area that Kvothe killed a king and started a war why would this guy look at him in awe rather than fear and anger. Even as a traveler he would have experienced the consequences of the war and would have had some fear/anger in him.
Given most people have heard of Kvothe’s death and thus the story they tell of him would be told in a similar fashion that the stories of death are spoken in, something that is not mentioned close to home but of stories of Death far away.
(Now I may be reading too far into this.)
Lurking Canadian
53. Herelle
I´m really only speculating, but I think it fits: Denna is probably being educated to become a spy, Bredon is her instructor. Denna might not know yet that she hasn´t got a regular patron. Denna really is suited for the job perfectly and the tasks (not telling, being able to recount everything that happened and who was there etc.) Master Ash gives her fit as well the job description. That could also be the cause why she betrayed Kvothe or at least why he thinks he was betrayed.
Also I suspect that Denna will be the hero in some part. Somehow I can´t really remember the part where the thought struck me. It was something about Denna saying she was Sir Savien and Kvothe Aloine because she found him and then I seemed to find more hints that way. I believe Denna will rescue Kvothe someway and get hurt/killed/captured because of it or has some other price to pay.
thistle pong
54. thistlepong
@28. Yours were good catches all regarding the probable location of Newarre. Westeros placed it there as well. KM was pointing to Alveron's colors as a solid bit of evidence toward the identity of the Penitent King in the frame; honestly the first that's come up anywhere.

With it comes the familiar feeling of pieces falling into place. Alveron has motive. His family could have, perhaps should have, been the royal line; a position held so fervently and recognized so widely that he can raise armies, grant titles, mint coins. He resents collecting Roderic's taxes. Alveron has method. He marries the only woman not beholden to Roderic in the kingdom, heir to the oldest bloodline outside Modeg. He has Kvothe. I'm sure folk will contest that, but at minimum he can leverage access to libraries and common cause for trust. Alveron has opportunity. Roderic allows swords to be worn openly at court in Renere and sanctions dueling in the capital. Alveron says not that the practice might bring him to grief, but that it will. Ominous words alone, damning in context.

@31. That's really the only scenario where Ambrose approaches the throne without a bloodbath. So it's satisfying in any case. I don't think Kvothe kills him, but he males sense on one side of a civil war.

@42&c Pat's said - pardon the extratextual jabber - that the languages are unsystematic, that he wants them to look, feel, and sound like language; but they're not developed.
Lurking Canadian
55. RBS IV
Apologies for coming late to the thread (not used to this technology magic) - Had posted some thoughts on both books on the Road to Tinue page, but this seems to be where the current discussion is ongoing, so I have copied them below:

Random thoughts & musings from memory:
-There is one moon.
-There are two sides to a story - Kvothe is learning one Deena another.
-There are two worlds Fae and 'ours' where Kvothe is. There are possibly two kinds of magic, Kvothes, and the ‘written down’ kind Deena mentions…and that the Chronicler has attributed to him by Kote (of course there’s gods turning people into angels in the legends of the creation war, but that seems to be a ‘level-up’)
-There are three days and three things the wise fear, three groups the 7 hide from, and (maybe) three factions left over from the creation war see-ers, hear-ers, and name-ers - but then there are shapers too... -There are three mystery items that Iax gets, an (iron?) box, a collapsible building, and a magic whistle. We may have been introduced to the box and the house, but I haven't seen the whistle
-There are four refuges for the mind, sleep, forgetfulness, madness and death. People do cross all and return… There are four stone panes in the ‘4 pane door’.
-Alar like Ramstone steel breaks – because you have to break your mind in separate parts to perform sympathy. Kvothe can manage up to (?) five in dueling… (as a beginner!)
-Kvothe has been given a key (to the moon), a coin and a candle by Auri, whom he has given a name since she’s missing one. Could be she is the moon, living in the unfolded building (the University). With his Shead and Adem sword (not iron/steel?), Kvoth is only lacking a staff to be Taborlain anew
-Bast has a number of rings on his mantle, of varying significance – old fading customs in humans still in use by Fae
- K gets a wooden ring from Auri
-Even without the poem Kvothe is the Maers nephew. The Lockless sister disinherited for running off with a minstrel is never specified as elder or younger. Though references read as if she’s younger, the enmity of Meluan for the Ruh makes more sense if Meluan is a younger sister abandoned by an elder one (perhaps much older)
-From one of the vignettes, Fae is where all roads meet, which is where Kvothe tells Deena he’ll find her, instead of her finding him.
-The waystones mark old roads…pre creation or during?
-Simmon may be noble enough to be a King, he’s the only poet (Caesura using too) so far in the books, and you can’t be betrayed by your enemies, only your friends… Ambrose could be redeem himself and become… a penitent King?
-The Lockless box probably has warding stones in it, Reshi probably means 'Dad'
-Deena, survivor guilt as last Princess of Lost Kingdom of Yill? (remember your Prydain!)
-The broken tree gets interesting. Take the one shattered in the fight with the highwaymen as foreshadowing, there are two others to break, the Adem as a people (WoT comparison here btwn peaceful travelers and warrior cultures), called to fulfill an ancient geas. Perhaps to assist a ‘chosen one’ to destroy the other tree, which shelters Fate (the Ctheah (Evil/Snake in tree) destroy fate and destroy your fated doom...)

Any thoughts/comments?
George Brell
56. gbrell

First, the death was far away; in Imre.

K’s encounter with the young man in the frame story (NotW, 28) does raise some questions, though. Unfortunately, it’s not a particularly long encounter. What do we know about the man who identifies him.

He’s “one of the well-dressed travelers.” (28)

That makes him one of: “Two young men, one sandy-haired, one dark, well dressed and wellspoken: travelers sensible enough to hook up with a larger group for protection on the road.”

All of his dialogue is composed of short statements/rhetorical questions. They praise Kvothe's singing, the man’s actual connection to Kvothe. And then he identifies the story’s gigantic Chekhov’s gun, that he killed “him” in Imre. We don’t find out he’s Kvothe Kingkiller until later. (NotW, 45). That’s it.

All of his accompanying movements describe someone fairly inebriated. “He swayed a little.” (28) Kote replies in the tone “used on drunks.” “The dogged persistence of the inebriated.” “ sentences grew jumbled.” He mispronounces “shathered.” He squints for focus.

He then identifies a “sandy-haired man who stood swaying slightly by the fireplace.” (29) This is confirmed as the man he was talking to when he directs Bast to poison him with Mhenka (“Green shirt, sandy hair. The one nearest to me by the fireplace.”).

So what do we know about him. He’s well-dressed and wellspoken; so probably educated, probably monied, probably a little of both (although his language is not always polished – “I never heard anything like that before or since.”). He’s drunk, although perhaps not totally soused. *Interesting that his sleeping mind appears to recognize Kvothe when his waking mind failed at the task. He saw Kvothe in Imre, presumably at the Eolian, and has been there multiple times (at least once to see Kvothe, at least once later to see the shattered cobblestones).

My first guess would be that he is not from Vintas. So he would have no reason to react with anger. The lack of fear could be attributed to his drunkenness or the fact that, according to Chronicler, not everyone views Kvothe as a bad guy. (NotW, 45) I wouldn’t describe his speech as awe in the sense of fawning; I’d describe it as awe in the sense of surprise and impact. Irrelevant of how you felt about him, I’d be pretty damn awed to randomly meet a famed assassin regardless of my national loyalties.

What’s more interesting is that Kvothe plays himself as happy to be compared to him (“The Kvothe?” “I have an engraving of him in back.”). That is more out of character, since it’d be like an American celebrating looking like John Wilkes Booth or Lee Harvey Oswald.
Then again, if the town is on the side of the king perhaps note. If the king is the Maer, who is wed to Meluan Lackless, Kvothe’s aunt, perhaps his parentage has become known and he is associated with the current reign. This is pretty far-fetched supposition, but the loyalty of the town appears to be for the king against the rebels, so perhaps looking like Kvothe is a feather in one’s cap.

Then again, I’d think that most poor folk in this time period wouldn’t care who their king is so long as he keeps banditry down and doesn’t them tax them too heavily (two swings, two misses).
George Brell
57. gbrell

I’ve always assumed tha t Jax’s box is the Loeclos box. If it’s not, there are two incredibly significant boxes, which is a strange misdirection.

Admittedly, Jax’s box is a “small iron box” (WMF, 591) or a “black iron box” (WMF, 594). It’s described as being “dark, and cold, and small enough that he could close his hand around it.”

The Loeclos box is described as being “a piece of dark wood the size of a thick book.” It is “unnaturally heavy, the wood of it smooth as polished stone under fingers.” (WMF, 915) Where Jax’s box is described as being “meant for keeping things inside,” (591) the Loeclos box is described as “wanting to be opened.” (915)

The Loeclos box is also likely made of wood from the tree of the Cthaeh. When he visits the Cthaeh, he describes a “strange, sweet smell” “like smoke and spice and leather and lemon.” It was a “compelling smell” that makes him want to investigate “from sheer curiosity.” (WMF, 677) Note also that he describes his “curiosity” as leading him off the path and to the tree.

He describes the Loeclos box as smelling faintly of “something. A familiar smell I couldn’t quite put my finger on. . . something almost like lemon. It was maddeningly familiar.” (915) Lemons are only mentioned twice in NotW: once when Ben is swearing about lemon custard (61) and once when Kvothe describes the after-effects of nahlrout (288). I don’t have a great searchable copy of WMF (google books appears incomplete), but I’ve only found three mentions of it: the two here and one describing his meal with Elxa Dal (348). If every word has a purpose, this would seem relevant.

He mentions that he thinks it has a fair amount of “iron and copper” in the wood, so that would make the iron box less a misnomer. (916)

Other stuff you’ve mentioned:

We know that Kvothe can break his mind six ways. (WMF, 616) I think “break” in this context is not the same as in the Ramston steel context.

The unfolded building could be the university (Mains in particular being strangely designed), but I think the common belief is that it is Fae itself (as that is where the moon goes and it agrees with the language of the Jax story – “Many rooms had no ceiling, and high above they showed a strange sky full of unfamiliar stars”, “It could be time for breakfast in the ballroom, while twilight filled a nearby bedroom.” (593))

I read the references to Netalia Lackless as her being the older sister, otherwise Meluan would be easily over 30 (Kvothe’s 17 years plus whatever Meluan’s age was when Netalia ran off, which couldn’t have been before N was 13 or 14, so Meluan would have to be 30+). Considering her power, position and attractiveness, that would be a highly unbelievable age for her to still be unwed.

Simmon is the third or fourth son of an Aturan duke. I can’t remember if we ever learn Fela’s parentage (we know she’s Modegan). It’s possible he could inherit, but seems unlikely (although I agree one has to be betrayed by someone one trusts and he/Ambrose are the only poets we’ve met). Ambrose could conceivably enter the Aturan line of succession, but at the moment he’s firmly Vintish, although that could go towards explaining a war on the northern border of Vintas.

Why warding stones?

Could be a long lost princess of Yll, although we only know of one princess at the moment, Ariel, who may or may not be the one Kvothe saves from Barrow Kings.

Cool thoughts on Broken Tree.
Jo Walton
58. bluejo
Gbrell: We already have two Significant Boxes, because there's the triple locked box too. Though I think that we only have one -- I think the Lockless box is inside the triple locked box, and Jax's box is inside the Lockless box.

(I do wonder what's behind the four plate door. )

On your speculations re Kvothe and the travellers, well, we also know from the end of NW that the people of Newarre tell Kvothe stories. So he's still a hero there in a way, whatever he's done -- and without being connected with the Lackless, just as Kvothe. One of the things this series is about is telling stories and how stories grow. But anyway, if Cob and his friends tell Kvothe stories in the bar, it's perfectly reasonable for Kote the Innkeeper to have, or say he has, an engraving of him in the back. Kvothe isn't Judas or Lee Harvey Oswald to these people, even if everything is, in his own mind, All His Fault.
Lurking Canadian
59. AO
The theory that K is setting a trap in the frame sequence has been mentioned in threads previous to #12. Does Arra receive the accolade due to how the post was written, or did Jo miss those earlier instances where the idea was brought up?
Ashley Fox
60. A Fox
@AO lol, that happens a lot mate, part of the fun ;)
George Brell
61. gbrell

A thrice-locked chest that is itself three chests. I like that.

It also makes his first guess of what's inside the Loeclos box, "Something smaller than a saltbox.... Something metal...perhaps something made of glass or stone," make sense.

One story that I haven't seen us discuss much is the "Edro" story Marten tells about Taborlin. (WMF, Ch. 83) It piques my interest because the opponent is the "sorcerer-king" "Scyphus," which is curiously similar to "Cyphus bears the blue flame." It also features the ubiquitous Taborlin escapes a room via naming that we first saw at the very beginning of the story.

We know that Kvothe tries to open his thrice-locked chest with that name at the end of WMF, although it's unclear whether he's using it as a name or as a Name. But what is inside the Edro chest according to the story: cloak, key, coin and sword. We know Kvothe does not possess his shadow cloak anymore, nor does he possess Caesura. Perhaps they are all inside the chest.

Random thought: Is it possible that Edro is the name of Iron and that Chronicler is the person fated to open it, set up two books in advance?
thistle pong
62. thistlepong
@59 The Loeclos is made of rhinna.

"It was a sweet smell. It was like smoke and spice and leather and lemon."
WMFc104 (kl13544)
"What's more, it seemed to be a spicewood. It smelled faintly of... something. A familiar smell I couldn't quite put my finger on. I lowered my face to its surface and breathed in deeply through my nose, almost like lemon. It was maddeningly familiar."
WMFc139 (kl18289)

I think this was posted in a couple previous threads. (For @59, earliest 3-28-11 at Westeros ;) It's a good catch every time someone sees it.

Thanks, bluejo, for reminding us there are three boxes each older and smaller than the last. I'm still uncomfortable with the trapped piece of Ludis's name being in the Four Corners and not Faen. Regarding perceptions of Kvothe, Rothfuss lampshades it when Aaron says, "It depends on the story." It's perfectly reasonable for most folk to think of him in terms of the Prince Gallant versions; the earlier more widespread stories. These people rely on travelers and performers for news updates. They typically don't know what happens 30 miles away. Even travelers wouldn't know much beyond what's along the route. And to ne honest, even in the digital age we venerate right bastards despite their crimes.
Alf Bishai
63. greyhood
@59, 62 - the 3ce-locked chest (Roah) has 'an aroma of citrus and quenching iron'. The Cththaythay tree could be roah, no? Good choice considering how strong it it.
Lurking Canadian
64. Sojka
Re: all of the king stuff, with these disclaimers: one, I just really like this idea, and two, after rereading the Vintas chapters I'm still not clear on who's where in the line to the throne. Does the Maer get closer by marrying Meluan? And does being her older sister's son mean Meluan is lower than Kvothe, or did he lose all standing when Natalia was disinherited...which leads me up to -

What if Kvothe is the King, and is referred to as Kingkiller because he faked his death as king and blamed it on himself as Kvothe, and is now hiding out as Kote? The people who recognize him as Kvothe in the Waystone don't seem surprised that Kvothe is alive, they just seem surprised to find him at all.

Another possibility is that Kvothe somehow becomes King and the Jakis family unites an anti-Ruh faction against him and crowns somebody else, whom Kvothe kills. I'm assuming Alveron would support him.
Pamela Adams
65. PamAdams

What if Kvothe is the King, and is referred to as Kingkiller because he faked his death as king and blamed it on himself as Kvothe, and is now hiding out as Kote?

That's brilliant.
Lurking Canadian
66. RBS IV
Just caught up on (first) reading of past re-read comments. Lots of “awesome in awesome sauce”!
Wanton speculation and extrapolation compiled over last few evenings is below, your thoughts as to plausibility eagerly anticipated:

@57 gbrell,
Thanks for the response and the references. With the significance of Iron I’m pretty sure Iax’s is box is iron and the others are (Ctaeh tree ?) wood. There are (at least) three boxes (Iax/Lockless/Kote’s). I like bluejo’s idea of them nesting like Russian dolls.

I’m going to keep looking for ‘breaking’ references, mind and Ramston. The best Sympathy connections are between things broken apart/off – may or may not be significant or allegorical.

I agree there’s a very good case for the unfolding house to be Fae, but Oot’s dad is devious and clever… so I’m trying to think of alternatives. The tale is full origins shrouded in pre-history mystery, and I expect ‘red herrings’ in trying to attribute them (that’s what makes this so much fun!)

It occurs to me K could kill his betrayer in the square and then kill some King elsewhere also. Simmon might not make King, but every other poet is trivialized, while Simmon gets the girl (by using caesura too)! I also like the idea that ‘him’ (killed) is Cinder & Folly was Cinder’s sword…

I think Kotes chest has warding stones in it because Bast’s hatchet is turned away every time he swings at the chest, like when Kvothe gets his ‘lost technologies’ lesson in the fishery.

The mercenary/skinwalker questions “Te aithiyn Seathaloi?” “Te Rhintae?” reads to me as 'have you spoken with the Cteah' are you one of the Rhintae?' implying the Rhinta are people whose actions have been influenced by the Cteah..which lives in a tree dispensing knowledge which many want to keep hidden. They are also probably under a Geas. Rhinta/Rhintae are shaped by (particular/hidden)knowledge.

Ergo - I'l bet a soda pop (strawberry) that "Vorfelen Rhinata Morie" means something like "beware being changed (becoming Rhinta) by the knowledge herin (your desire). It’s cautionary like 'here there be dragons' - knowledge is an addictive substance & the building has a warning label. 'The knowledge shapes the man' is VERY literal in this world.

If Skarpi/Sceop are shapers=storytellers that sounds like magic which is written down and becomes true. 'so let it be written, so let it be done' (also shaped by knowledge/reality shaped by perception)

@92 I share Dells suspicions. I think the Creation war is still going on, but in a 'Cold War' phase through surrogates. K & D are the 'new hope' of different factions with different magics, guided by hidden agents.

Regarding the 'finder' and routinely lost hair - there is an old tradition in gardening that if you want a cutting of a particular plant to propagate, you have to steal it. A freely given cutting from the owner won’t work as well...the finder might have needed 'hair with a purpose', same for the hair on the leaves.

Master Lochees knows exactly who Kvothe is ‘your father was Arliden the Bard?’ ie; The minstrel who ran off with my cousin…

I think K is going to return to Fae and get another name just like he got one from the Adem (Remmen…which means Thunder)

If Understanding and Art are the strongest of the four corners of civilization (shades of Asimov), I'm going to have to pay attention to the card playing (Corners).

I also get a Luke and Leah vibe regarding K and D, but I lean more towards the kids in whogrow up in separated versions of the world and reminisce about each other on a bench they can no longer share (can't remember the name of the book).

A comment on stew and camp cooking - "hunger is the best sauce".

Auri could be Tabetha (slighted by Ambrose), or she could be Ariel (princess to be rescued later), or Denna could be Ariel, Auri the moon, Tabetha really disappeared and Devi the first lover. Women are confusing… Kvothe admits it frequently and I won’t disagree - Anapauen!

Is there a ‘Kingkiller’ equivalent to the WoT Theoryland? There lots of interesting snippets in these threads…
Daniel Hoagland
67. danielrixy

Not sure of the rest, but your description here:

"the kids in whogrow up in separated versions of the world and reminisce about each other on a bench they can no longer share (can't remember the name of the book)."

sounds like the end to "The Amber Spyglass" by Philip Pullman, where Lyra and Will, forced to return to their home worlds/dimensions agree to sit on a bench in Oxford every Midsummers Day to be together.
Lurking Canadian
68. RBS IV
danielrixy - That's it - thanks!
Sim Tambem
69. Daedos
"Does anyone have any ideas as to the significance of the name that Denna mutters when Kvothe tries to wake her up before chasing after the draccus? "Moteth""

I thought this might be the name of her Patron. Maybe she is saying the name in fear or supplication. He seems to have something she wants very badly.
Jo Walton
70. bluejo
AO: You're absolutely right, and I did miss it, though I'm not sure how. A belated bottle of strawberry wine for you, and my apologies.
Lurking Canadian
71. wickedkinetic
Just wanted to throw this out there - though this thread is dead - when I catch up I will make a reference in the current threads if still applicable....

Anyway, he did (mostly) burn down the town of Trebon.... If I recall correctly - they built a campfire on top of the hill and tossed denner in to summon the dragon to a high perch near enough to Trebon that he would witness the shamble-man-festival - then drugged the garagantuan lizard so it would ignore its normal inhibitions to avoid civilization - if K&D hadn't been messing around in wilderness near Trebon chasing the giant lizard and stealing his drugs (you are trying to take from me what I have rightfully stolen....) - he would never have attacked the town. Kvothe fixed the problem because he recognized that he had brough it about by trying to prevent it.... shades of Cthaeh?

Presumably, if K&D hadn't gotten involved, Mega-Lizard would have either found his way into the dope-cooking-spot and OD'd or disabled himself trying...... instead he decided to try city-life because they lit a giant bonfire near the wilderness where 'there be (not-dragons) who have evolved to hate fire and put it out at any cost...'

Just wanted to get my thoughts published so I can refer back if anything interesting happens that makes them relevant.... (he doesn't say he burned down Trebon on purposes.... just that it's his fault, which partially it is if I'm remembering the story correctly.... the old best intentions line fits here as well....)
Lurking Canadian
72. kineta
Probably too late for anyone to read this post, but perhaps the 'bluff' in question is occurring in the frame story. Given that this chapter is about a 'draccus' - something the Chronicler is a supposed expert on. My guess is K knows or suspects that the Chronicler isn't who he says he is.
Steven Halter
73. stevenhalter
kineta@72:That's possible. Kvothe may be playing a "beautiful game" with Chronicler and/or others as part of being Kote and the Inn in general.
Thomas Niklos
74. ThomasNiklos
I come late but some thoughts about Kvothe and Denna :

Kvothe and his not seeing that Denna loves him : He is 15,without any experience with girls/women, clearly in love and clearly terrified by the idea making the wrong move, and generally a nice guy with girls....and i think somewhat shy with girls (The episode with Fela letting him into her room half-naked is telling...)

I can think and know of a lot of people IRL who are worse then Kvothe, and i can recall a lot of situations where I was a least as dumb as he with a women.... ( I had recently a discussion with one of my best (female) friends - she told me all the clues a missed from her and some of her friends ten years ago - i think Kvothe is doing quite well)
So i think Rothfuss is quite good in his description of Kvothes and Dennas relationship - skipping around , both afraid of what the other might think, never sure of themselfes, ....

As for Denna : i find Denna and the Moon analogy quite enthralling , and she is clearly mysterious and has a lot of secrets , but what I find very good with Rothfuss is that he talks about Humans (there are a lot of fantasy elements already) and Human flaws - Kvothe is clearly Human, and i think Denna also , even if she is clearly training for somthing - she knows how to fight, the Yllisch Knots, her questions about Magic .
And she has her flaws.
And I also know women (friends) like her, disappearing, coming back, quite fickle in her presence - and if she is secretly training, that would explain a lot of her disappearances - and a lot Deoch explain for her - she has no friends exept Kvothe, and she must be on the move to flee her suitors....but Kvothe is very difficult for her to find also (somewhat easier because he is generally attached to some structure - the University, the Eolian, the Maers Mansion)
I like their relationship a lot, it's quite romantic, .....
She is clearly important to the story, but the Dracchus encounter is the only time when they live through something - most of the time Kvothe is alone in his aventure....

About Manet : being a long term student myself, i think he has acquired a lot of experience by himself, and the Masters don't look to closly what he is doing, he has faded in the background - yes he knows a secret way to the Archives, and books nobody else of his rank knows, but that he can have acquired by himself with time .... and discussions with puppet, - when you are a long time in one place you know who to ask, where to look...
Lurking Canadian
75. jorgybear
I feel the “missed opportunity for an honest conversation” does a couple of things. First, and most obviously, pat feels it’s too early in the narrative for Denna to know about Kvothe’s past (or perhaps for Kvothe to know that Danna knows about his past?), and I trust that he knows what he’s doing. Maybe you dislike the way he has done it here, but I think that the second thing it does is good reason for it. Here, Kvothe and Denna are brought closer together by the fact that they can feel comfortable in not sharing their past. Both have things they’d rather not talk about, and they have an understanding in that.
Lurking Canadian
77. Paxen
"Now D volunteers that she had pneumonia when she was a baby and stopped breathing and died, and then came back to life and wonders about the significance of this."

Pneumonia = new-moon-ia? :D

Maybe Kvothe misheard since D was drugged?
Lurking Canadian
78. j4yx0r
A little late to the party on this, but I just realized that the chapter title "Pride" is the one in which Kvothe falls. "Pride goeth before," and all that.
Lurking Canadian
79. Lucas T.
You are 'really really picky picky about fantasy' and thats why you didnt read Jordan or Eddings, but decided to re-read Rothfuss?? Interesting!
Lurking Canadian
80. ARMed_Pirate
So some folk have been saying that Auri has some connection with the Amyr or the angels. Ordal was a blonde angle, right? Auri and Ordal have some similar phonemes?

@Lucas T.: Rothfuss seems to share _some_ specific similarities in _content_ with Jordan and Eddings, but there are big differences in writing style. (I don't consider Jordan's and Eddings' styles similar; Eddings is much more fast-paced "What happens next?" whereas I find Jordan plodding enough that after many years I'm still only 6 books into Wheel of Time. But they're both waaaay different from Rothfuss.)

@j4yx0r: I wonder if there's also a pun in "folly".

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