Oct 13 2011 2:00pm
Rothfuss Reread: The Wise Man’s Fear, Part 7: The Next Three Moves

Welcome to my excessively detailed re-read of Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles. This week’s post covers chapters 35-40 of The Wise Man’s Fear but also contains extensive spoilers for the whole book and the whole of The Name of the Wind — these discussions assume you’ve read all of both books. These posts are full of spoilers please don’t venture beyond the cut unless you want them.  

Abbreviations: NW = “The Name of the Wind.” WMF = “The Wise Man’s Fear.” D3 = Day Three, the forthcoming final volume. K = Kvothe or Kote when I can’t figure out what to call him and I’m feeling Kafkaesque. MT: Myr Tariniel. “D” = Denna

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


Chapter 35 is “Secrets”

Now there’s a title to send chills down your spine! Chandrian secrets!

On his way to the Fishery, Kvothe meets a girl who asks him to follow her. He does, correctly not suspecting anything, which is naive considering what he just did to Ambrose. He can’t place her, but of course she’s Nina from Trebon. He only recognises her when she looks worried. She says he was hard to find because he didn’t give his name, and he thinks vaguely that maybe that was just as well as he was responsible for burning down half the town. This really is an excessive shouldering of responsibility — the draccus did it, and it might have done it without any intervention from Kvothe. The reason he was trying to kill it was because he knew it would start attacking places where people were looking for more denner. And his magic stopped the other half of the town burning and he killed the draccus with the wheel. (I wonder if his guilt in the frame for ruining everything might be something similar?)

Nina has come because she has been dreaming about the Chandrian vase. It had eight figures on it, not seven. And she has done a drawing of her memory of one side of the vase, as remembered in her dreams. Is there magic that might have made her dream of the vase? She was using Kvothe’s “amulet” which was nonsense, working through human suggestibility — or was it Naming? Or even Shaping? He told her to believe she’d be safe from the Chandrian and her nightmares, and her dreams changed to be useful to Kvothe.

Why would anyone make a Chandrian vase in the first place? I mean it’s hardly what you want to put flowers in! And why didn’t the Chandrian kill them as soon as they made it? Or did they, and was that the “barrow”? But then why didn’t they destroy it rather than just allowing it to be buried? I think because the Chandrian went to the trouble of destroying the whole wedding we can assume that there’s something there and that this is correct information. However, by a similar process since neither Skarpi nor Denna was killed after their Lanre stories, can we assume that their information isn’t trustworthy? (Skarpi was arrested, but we know he’s fine in the frame, and we know we have to see him again in DT, it’s one of the few things we can be absolutely sure about.)

The first person Kvothe sees on the parchment is recognisably Cinder. His attributes here are white hair, black eyes, bare tree, standing on water. Kvothe thinks “the one who killed my parents.”

The next one is Haliax — cloaked in shadow, with moons over his head, full, half and crescent, and with two candles:

one yellew with a bright orange flame. The other candle sat underneath his outstretched hand: it was grey with a black flame, and the space around it was smudged and darkened.

“That’s supposed to be shadow I think,” Nina said. “It was more obvious on the pot. I had to use charcoal for that.“

I don’t think we’ve talked about these candles before, but I find them very interesting and potentially very significant. There’s Lackless’s husband’s candle, there’s Taborlin the Great’s candle, there’s the candle Auri gave Kvothe, and here we have Haliax with a candle of light and a candle of darkness.

Kvothe says when he’d seen him the fires had been dimmed and he’d been surrounded by an unnatural shadow. The light candle’s flame is orange though, not blue. Was Arliden right that they have one sign each? Because when Cinder was in the camp there isn’t any entropic rot of wood and metal I don’t think, and here we have Haliax with an orange flame as well as the black one.

The third figure is larger than the others, he has a symbol that looks like an autumn leaf, but which is actually a tower in flame. His hand is red, which she says is supposed to be blood which directly suggests Ciridae, and in his other hand is a shield. Nina says “He’s the worst,” but Kvothe recognises him as an Amyr and guesses he’s trying to rebuke the Chandrian.

But Nina says:

They were all awful to look at. But he was the worst. I can’t get faces right, but his was terrible grim. He looked so angry. He looked like he was ready to burn down the whole world.

For the greater good, no doubt. Destroying it in order to save it, perhaps? If it’s supposed to be Selitos?

She only vaguely remembers the other side of the vase — a woman with no clothes on and a broken sword and a fire.

She got the parchment by stealing it from a church, but she thinks God (Tehlu) wanted her to. She thinks an angel sent the dream. We know there are angels and Tehlu was one, so it’s possible. The angel names she didn’t scrape off sit on the Amyr’s shoulders, they are Andan and Ordal.

I think it’s charming that Kvothe is slightly shocked that she cut it out of what’s essentially a bible and really shocked that she hurt a book.

He tells Nina where to find him (Ankers) and says he plays music there. When she asks if it’s magic music he says some people think so — but he really has played magic music.

Kvothe resolves to discover more about the Amyr, since there’s one on the vase which is older than the historical founding of the Amyr as part of the Church, and since they were disbanded but Haliax had mentioned them as still a threat. The Chandrian aren’t researchable in the Archives, but he hopes the Amyr are.

Incidentally, the place where Nina stops for this chat is between “a glassblower and a clocksmith’s shop” which is interesting detail — he’s mentioned before that trades serving the University cluster there, but it’s nice to see specifics.


Chapter 36 is ”All This Knowing“

A few days later, Kvothe got drunk with Wil and Sim in the Eolian to celebrate defeating Ambrose. Why didn’t they invite Mola and Fela? (I get why they didn’t ask Devi.)

Kvothe knew the Great Stone Bridge was safe, but he doesn’t feel up to it and neither does Sim. Wil says there’s a place to sit and says something in Siaru: “Kella trelle turen navor ka.” Department of Imaginary Linguistics, do you have any suggestions? It makes Kvothe and Sim laugh, so I guess it means “It’s better to wait than fall off a bridge” and is an ancient proverb.

They sit by a greystone in a clearing, and this is where they have the “sleeping under the wagon” conversation. It’s interesting that Sim thinks greystones are pagan relics and ought to be avoided, the opposite of Kvothe’s belief that they mark safe places. They bet on who’s right, to be settled in the Archives.

Kvothe frets about leaving his lute in the Eolian and they talk about obsessions. Kilvin got drunk and talked about cold sulphur lamps. Lorren repeats “grasp by the spine” but I bet that’s not what he’d say in his cups!

And it’s interesting that Sim feels he has to ask if Kvothe’s really Edema Ruh. I wouldn’t have thought Kvothe had kept is sufficiently secret that Sim wouldn’t know. But he admits to it.

Then he sings the “Netalia Lackless” song. She hated the awful meter, she said, but months ago Alkhia noticed that “not tally a lot less” is “”Netalia Lackless” and no doubt the real reason she made him sleep under the wagon was to prevent him from using her real name.

Sim says in Atur men kicked out of bed by their wives sleep in the kennel — which I suppose is the “doghouse” which I’ve heard metaphorically used in the US for the same thing. Wil says in Siaru that “Melosi rehu eda Stiti“,” and Kvothe translates “eda Stiti” as “next to fire.”

They talk about women, and the fact comes up that Fela is Modegan. D gets mentioned, and Sim says that D is interested in Kvothe. Kvothe says she doesn’t say so, and Wil quite reasonably explains that Kvothe is afraid.

Sim says he wants somebody who likes him. (Awwww.) Kvothe says he wants a clear sign. Wil says he wants:

a magical horse that fits in my pocker, and a ring of red amber that gives me power over demons. And an endless supply of cake.

Isn’t that adorable? And look, another ring!

Sim asks if it’s true that the Ruh know all the stories in the world, and Kvothe says it probably is — which really isn’t true! He himself knows how much he doesn’t know (all this knowing, indeed!) and he remembers his father trying to find out the truth behind Lanre and other stories. He could really be put on the spot if they asked him for a specific story he didn’t know! But Sim just asks for any story, and Kvothe tells the one about Faeriniel, where all the roads in the world meet, because it has an Amyr in it. The story starts on “a long and lonely night without a moon.” (Wise men fear a moonless night.) The chapter ends with the story beginning, and the next chapter is the story, and the chapter after is back with Wil and Sim having a reaction. So what we have here is another frame within the story.


Chapter 37 is ”A Piece of Fire

So, we have five groups of travellers at Faeriniel and a beggar coming to each of them in turn. The story is beautifully a poetically told, but stripped of that it’s a very simple set of stereotypes — the Cealdish merchants will sell but not give charity, the Adem are silent (this is the first time we hear in any detail about the Adem — the Lethani, the silence, the hoarded words coming out in constant twitching), the Aturans try to enslave him, the people from Vintas would have shared with him except that he was such a mess he set off their superstitions.

Then the Amyr — and Wil breaks the frame, to say they’re not part of the church, and again, they make a bet to be settled in the Archives. The Amyr refuses the beggar because he only barely has enough and he needs it himself — weighing the beggar’s need against the good the Amyr can do. And some information about the Ciridae, completely trusted and incapable of doing wrong. Ick.

Then the old man finds the Edema Ruh and they welcome him as family and ask his name, which is Sceop — we’ve speculated that he may be Skarpi, it’s certainly similar. They ask him where he’s going and he says Tinue — echoing “how’s the road to Tinue.” They say they’re going to Belenay, which is the University.

What this story is doing is telling us some stuff about the ethnic stereotypes and doing some setup for when we meet the Adem, giving us some information about the Amyr and setting up the Archive search. It also gives us Faeriniel at the heart of travel and the circle of stones. And it shows us Kvothe Sheherazadelike telling a story within the story he’s telling.


Chapter 38 is ”Kernels of Truth“

Sim didn’t expect the story to end like that, he thought the beggar would be somebody important — like Taborlin the Great. “Old beggars in stories are never really old beggars.” They all think the other ethnic stereotypes are right but their own are wrong, which is funny.

Kvothe tells them the kernel of truth in the story is the bit about water and wine, and that’s how to behave with a troupe. He looks up at the constellations:

Ewan the hunter, the crucible, the young-again mother, the fire-tongued fox, the broken tower...

Sim asks where they’d go if they could go anywhere, and Kvothe says across the river to bed. There’s nowhere he wants to be more than the University. When pushed he says he’d go to the Tahlenwald, which is I think the first mention of these people, famed for their ability to cure social diseases. Kvothe says their songs can cure the sick and make trees dance. Wil says he’d go to the Faen Court. Sim doesn’t believe in faerie. Sim says he doesn’t know where he’d go, and that he’s only there because there isn’t going to be much left for him after his brothers inherit — so I guess he’s not going to become king. Oh well. Good. Wil says not to ask about his family. And they go home.

This is three chapters of being drunk, all absolutely packed with fascinating and relevant snippets, with hardly a word wasted.


Chapter 39 is ”Contradictions

Late the next morning — I bet it is — they go to the Archives to settle their bets. Wil tells Kvothe that Sim’s father has a duchy in Atur, Dalonir. Kvothe says the University has the most open-minded atmosphere since the church burned Caluptena, which hardly seems to me to be a recommendation! Sim’s the fourth son. The first inherits, the second has a commission, the third is in the church, Sim’s at the University. In the real world he’d have become a lawyer. His father wanted a diplomat, but he’s in the Arcanum.

They split up and find books to settle their bets. Sim has two books that mention pagan frolics at the stones, one that says they are markers. He says he used a scriv, but Wil accuses him of asking Puppet, which Sim admits. Another book says they decorated the stones at the equinox but forbade visiting them at full moon because you could pass through into Fae. Wil thinks it’s interesting, Sim thinks it’s bunk. They end up with seven for Sim and ten for Kvothe, which is declared a draw.

I suspect they’re probably both right. I mean if you have mysterious stones around the place for whatever reason — markers to Fae, road markers, whatever — some people are just going to use them for pagan frolics. It’s what people do. There’s a standing stone near where I used to live that’s actually a neolithic tomb, but people use it for pagan frolics all the time.

Wil and Sim have different books, both quoting the proclamation that disbanded the Amyr. Kvothe’s copy says it was issued by the Church, Wil’s that it was Emperor Nalto — the one we remember from Kvothe’s entrance exam, the last emperor. Kvothe says:

Contrary opinions are one thing. Contrary facts are another.

Wil says it’s time for Kvothe to meet Puppet.


Chapter 40 is ”Puppet“

We’ve had hints about him for so long, it’s exciting to actually meet him!

Sim tells Kvothe to be polite but not patronising. Wil mentions that he lives in the Archives. He opens the door and looks ominous, they says he’s forgotten his hood and dashes back for it. Kvothe is horrified that there are candles in there. He asks them to knock again, and they do, and he pretends to be Taborlin and then asks how he was. He’s clearly mad, in the same kind of way as Auri but also quite different.

The room is full of books and candles and puppets. It has curtains even though it is underground. Puppet has white hair and is older than Kvothe thought. And Kvothe realises that Puppet is

one of the talented, not-quite-sane people that had found a niche for themselves at the University.

He immediately starts to make a puppet of Kvothe. He says that Kvothe’s thinking expression looks as if

he’s just thought through the next three moves in a game of tirani and figured out how he’s going to beat you

Which is a lovely bit of external observation of our first person narrator, I’d say.

Puppet says too much looking can get in the way of seeing, which is another Elodin-esque way of putting it. And Puppet reveals that he has an eidetic memory of where all the books in the Archives are. In addition, he knows about the Amyr, and of course Kvothe is right, the Pontifex disbanded them and Wil loses his bet. While he’s talking, he puts on a puppet show in which a Tehlin priest hits a woman with the Book of the Path, which reminds me of the Abelard and Heloise puppet show in Being John Malkovitch but which doesn’t seem to have in story significance or I’m missing it.

Kvothe asks Puppet about the Four Plate Door, and Puppet says it shouldn’t be of any concern to a student.

Sim says he has to go, and Puppet says he wants to get back to his reading but they should bring Kvothe back because he has more work to do on him. On his puppet? Or on him — he’s already given him advice to chase the wind.

And we’ll start next week from 41.


Last week’s comments

Lots of interesting speculation on D’s letter, and a consensus it comes from Geoffrey or Master Ash. A lot of discussion on Geoffrey, which Herelle’s post sums up for me too:

So I think that´s the point, she shares a secret with Geoffrey that she keeps from Kvothe and the reader is supposed to know, that´s why it´s in the text. Denna doesn´t keep her affection for Geoffrey secret.

We know more about Geoffrey characterwise than about the others, but we know less about his background (social standing, origin, descent) than about the others. I think we don´t even know his last name and/or title, which is usually given at a formal introduction. That, and because we know Denna payed his debts, is why I think her relationship with Geoffrey is different than with her usual male company and he is special to Denna. Up to now we only had Geoffrey and Mr. Ash about whom Denna kept information from Kvothe, and she keeps Kvothe secret from her patron. To me it seems as if those three people at least are important to Denna.

This doesn´t explain the letter in any way and as I said the assumption is just due to a feeling in my gut, supported by the placing maybe. Geoffrey was mentioned shortly before that (when Kvothe met him) and shortly after that when we get to know that Denna gave her earrings to Devi to pay his debts.

I still think Geoffrey may be a girl in disguise. But in any case, I don’t think he’s insignificant, or just one of D’s lovers.

neilH and DrFood discuss Devi’s family background.


So far it hasn’t really been questioned because of her brash and seemingly self sufficient nature I had largely ignored her, but where is her family? Does she visit them? If not, then why? I understand that we have as little info on her or less than we do to work with on Denna, but surely her future is pretty tied in to this story( she has epic sympathy skills and naming?)

and Dr Food:

I think you’re right—she projects such self sufficiency, we don’t ponder her own possible sources of support. I would guess that a very bright young woman with an Alar like the sea in storm is just not ready to go back to the farm, or wherever, after getting expelled from the University. She’s really unwilling to go very far from the Archives, although we don’t really know what in the Archives excites her.

When Kvothe pays her back, much later in WMF, he realises that her gaelet business isn’t about money and she doesn’t have a minimum amount, what she wants is power and connections and people owing her favours. If you think about the options women have as laid out by D in the Bechdel scene, it’s quite clear that Devi is trying for a different kind of power. It’s also possible that she can’t go home after being expelled. It’s even possible that her family are all behind her career plans — maybe they’re an organized crime family.

DrFood also has a fascinating thought about Kvothe’s hands and the conversation he has with Devi about proprioception:

So, what is proprioception? It is the sensation of your own body’s position and movements within space. It’s how you can clap your hands with your eyes shut. It’s the difference between an 8 yr old trying to play a piano piece that uses both hands, stopping and starting and looking first up at the music, then down at her hands, and Billy Joel (or Sarah Maclachlan) belting out a song and looking out at the audience whilst both hands are moving all over the keyboard. If you lose your sense of proprioception, you won’t know what your hands are doing if you can’t see them.

So, it’s interesting that this little bit of apparent time killing prior to his disastrous confrontation includes a brief discussion of proprioception. Kvothe argues that the author doesn’t know what he’s talking about when he talks about people with amputated limbs. Here it seems we have a reference to the ”phantom limb“ phenomenon, where a person who has lost a limb still ”feels it there.“ Most commonly what the person feels is phantom pain in the missing limb. One theory about this phenomena is that the brain is primed to receive data back from all parts of the body (that’s proprioception) and if the part of the brain expecting feedback from the, say, left hand is getting nothing, then this lack of data may be interpreted as bad/pain.

I can’t imagine Pat going all Empire Strikes Back on us and having Kvothe actually flat-out lose a hand, only to have it replaced by a simulacrum that doesn’t have good proprioception and thus can’t play the lute. So what could he ”do“ to Kvothe’s hand, within the Four Corners world? Something about unbound principles?

Could this be what has happened to his ”good left hand“?

Sillyslovene suggests:

Proprioception and K’s problems could also account for K’s lost fight to the soldiers- if someone’s got you around the neck from behind, seeing your hands could be very hard, and if he’s got some problem with his hands as has been hinted, this could account for him still being able to perform the ”perfect step” and beating the Scrael but failing when he can’t fully see his hands for the complex counter movement...

The thought about unbound principles could be an interesting answer- as K in the frame seems much more knowledgable about alchemy (coaching Bast on the use of Cellum Tincture, which IIRC is an alchemy text) than in the story proper. He apparently has put in a lot more study in the area after the point he is at in his story- could that have been his motivation?

and I like that a lot, because that fight has been worrying me because physical skills like fighting shouldn’t be breakable like Alar. But an alchemical hand? That can still make pastry? Well, if he has a pastry fork, why not, I pretty much do it one handed with the other hand holding the bowl. A hand that can hold the bowl but not finger a lute or break a hold — poor K!

n8love cautions us against overthinking, and suggests other perfectly relevant reasons for the mention of proprioception... and could very well be right.

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.

Katy Maziarz
1. ArtfulMagpie
Perhaps time to point out again that the word "sceop" is Anglo Saxon in has a meaning of "shaper" and was used to refer to the storytellers who performed in mead halls. Basically, much like a bard. But in context, very interesting that the old man "adopted" by the Ruh because of his stories is named Shaper! Especially interesting if Sceop and Skarpi really are one and the same, mais non?

Though it may be far-fetched, I still kind of like the idea that the ring of greystones at Faeriniel is the "ring that's not for wearing" of the Lackless rhyme.
2. Nasher
I have been thoroughly enjoying the reread. Thanks Miss Walton.

I don't really follow the comments very much so if anyone has already brought this up I apologize for restating it, but all the talk in these chapters about the Grey Stones(GS) got me thinking about the Great Stone Road(GSR). I don't think it is ever mentioned if the GS are exclusively on the GSR or not. Is the GSR supposed to be something that means you are safe like the GS's? Or is it just an incredibly old road built by a people long since dead?

My theory (whether they are a safe haven or not) is that it might have something to do with Fae. If you look at the map on Pat's site, and in the books, you will notice that it is not a straight line, it is curved. Does that mean that it follows a lunar path? And if it does, could it also mean that at certain times of the month or year that you can get in to Fae from the road?

This is a bit early in the reread to mention but when Kvothe get lured in to Fae by Felurian were they near a GS or the GSR? I don't recall if they were even close to it since my memory isn't strong enough to remember where on the map they even were (Modeg, Vintas?). If they were then my theory fits. If they weren't then my theory still might be true but it would mean that there are more than one way in to Fae.

Admittedly this is all conjecture but it seems like this might be the right place to bring it up. Thanks again Jo.
Steven Halter
3. stevenhalter
On “Kella trelle turen navor ka.” I don't see that anyone uses the words in this phrase other than ka, so I think we'll have to go with your translation Jo--I think you captured the spirit of it.
It is a bit odd that since they were thinking of this as a victory bout of drinking that they didn't think to invite any of the others who helped them.
Steven Halter
4. stevenhalter
I found it interesting that Nina got by far the worst impression from the Amyr figure. That's another reinforcement of the gradual set of details that the Amyr aren't quite the "good guys." Kvothe, again, doesn't relate to this feeling at all and remains fixated upon the Chandrian as the bad people who murdered his parents.A
Also, his thought that there was "more to the story" takes on a double meaning--More to the story of the Amyr than is popularly thought and more to the story than Kvothe thinks.
5. wcarter4
Kvothe doesnn't necessarily know that the Adema Rhu don't have all stories.
I didn't think the question was meant do be taken as "all members of the Adema Rhu know every story ever" but rather as the clan itself as a whole has knowledge of all stories, since they presumably trade such with each other and travel all over the world.
In that light Kvothe's answer of "probably" makes a lot more sense. In fact, as a group they are very likely the most probable source of any information outside the archives.
Sim Tambem
6. Daedos
@5 I read it the same way. Nicely put.
@4 Things can't be as cut and dry as we have been lead to believe. That wouldn't be any fun. I think Pat Rothfuss is fun. I'm with Nina.
George Brell
7. gbrell
Couple things:

The University is in Belenay-Barren, but it’s unclear whether Belenay is a larger province.

Sim could still inherit/become king. First son (the inheritor) could die. Second son (the commissioned) could die in battle. Third son (the churchman) is probably forbidden from inheriting.

The Puppet scene was actually released before the book came out and was markedly different from its current appearance. It featured Kvothe directly asking how many books invoke the Amyr and Puppet replying with a specific number and noting that it’s far too low given their historical relevance/importance and that it is evidence of intentional pruning.

If you haven’t read it, see

Be back later with more thoughts.
Benji Cat
8. benjicat
Skarpi was arrested, but we know he’s fine in the frame, and we know we have to see him again in DT, it’s one of the few things we can be absolutely sure about.

Do we absolutely know for sure that this series will be a trilogy and that everything will be wrapped up in DT? I know the frame implies that there will be three days and, of course, it is a fantasy trope to do things in a trilogy. To me, it seems like there's a lot still to wrap up to get to where we are in the frame. Plus if there's anything this series has done so far it is to stand fantasy tropes on their ears. I'm betting the series will extend past DT.
Nathan Love
9. n8love
"Why would anyone make a Chandrian vase in the first place... And why didn't the Chandrian kill them as soon as they made it?"

I remember Ben insisting on writing names in the dirt when talking with Arliden, and I think it's for these same reasons that a vase was made. The person(s) who made it probably wanted it to last, and knew canvas or wood or parchment would not, so they opted for pottery. They may have used it to teach or spread tales and said "this person does this, or has this sign", which was very clever since the impression that I get is that the Chandrian respond to their proper or former names or possibly the names "Chandrian" or "Amyr" ( I find this last less likely). If that's true, you could talk about them all you wanted as long as you didn't call any magical attention on yourself by using those names.

@8. Benjicat
Pat has an interview or two online where he guarantees DT will end this story. He goes on to say that he will undoubltedly be writing more in this world, which we call the Four Corners for lack of a better term. I don't have it bookmarked but I'll try to find it and I'll post it here in the next couple days.
Nathan Love
10. n8love
I don’t think we’ve talked about these candles before, but I find them very interesting and potentially very significant.

Back in speculative summary part 3 on K we had quite a lengthy discussion on the Lackless rhymes and the Four-Plate Door. Aesculapius brought them up in that context, and I've copied it here:

"We have already specifically encountered a candle without light: on the drawing that Nina gives to Kvothe (which shows what she can remember of the images on the vase) there is a dark, shadowed figure which K assumes to be Haliax. Pictured above him are three phases of the moon (full, half and new) and there are two candles: one is yellow with an orange flame but the second, underneath his outstretched hand, is grey with a black flame, surrounded by an area of shadow. Obviously, this could be just an indication of Haliax (or whoever this is) sucking the light from the candle but I wonder: is this the candle without light...?"

Another idea I had was that this may be representative of some sort of yin and yang of the same power. We know that a candle is one of the tools of a Namer, and we know that Lanre became a Namer while trying to bring back his wife. Maybe there is a counterpoint to this in Fae or behind the DOS or wherever he went for power. Or possibly, since Selitos was unable to see his newfound naming ability, Lanre posesses some way to hide his powers, whatever they are, or their extent from another master Namer and this is represented in the dark candle.
Dave West
11. Jhirrad
Back from my own personal exile! Work has been getting in the way of pleasure too much! Anyways, here are some thoughts.

@Jo and Shalter in re our linguistics question "Kella trelle turen navor ka": Shalter is correct in noting that the only piece of that phrase we have seen before is "ka". What makes this especially difficult is that no parts of any of those words appear elsewhere, so we have no roots to extrapolate a translation from. However, I was looking through my notes for our wiki and am of the opinion that "ka" is actually a phrase which turns something into a question. I understand that there is no '?' in the sentence from this section, but that could actually be a typo. I'll admit, I have only one piece of text to go on, from NW, Chapter 36, during the admissions interview, when Kvothe is asked, "Soheketh ka Siaru krema'teth tu?" translated as "How well do you speak Siaru?" Based on other known phrases, we can be fairly certain that "ka" is not "well", and it's not "you". All that said, I can't find any fault in your possible translation, and the phrase does have the feeling of some sort of folksy saying.

@Jo in re Chandrian signs. There was definitely wood and iron rot at Kvothe's troupe's destruction.
I heard voices. Peering around the corner of Shandi’s wagon I saw several unfamiliar men and women sitting around a fire. My parents’ fire. A dizziness swept over me and I reached out a hand to steady myself against the wagon’s wheel. When I gripped it, the iron bands that reinforced the wheel crumbled in my hand, flaking away in gritty sheets of brown rust. When I pulled my hand away the wheel creaked and began to crack. I stepped back as it gave way, the wagon splintering as if its wood were rotten as an old stump. NW Pg. 126
The issue becomes not knowing which of the Chandrian, or even how many, were present at the murder of Kvothe's troupe. We know Cinder and Haliax for certain. There was also a "bald man with a grey beard". PR talks about "others" around the fire, but we're not sure how many or which they are.

Personally the Puppet scene is one of my favorite in either book so far. He's clearly cracked like Auri, but still functional. I feel certain that he's more than what we've seen so far. Lorren HAS to know about him, and know that he keeps open flames in his stacks, and does nothing. Lorren, who we widely accept is Amyr. What does that make Puppet then?
Katy Maziarz
12. ArtfulMagpie
@ #11 Jhirrad....I'm pretty sure Jo was referencing Cinder's time in the bandit camp when she commented that there was no rot at the scene, not the murder of the troupe. Cinder was the only Chandrian at the bandit camp (presumably; he's the only one we KNOW was there) and there was no rot. So. Either they only have one sign each, or, as the Cthaeh says, they've gotten good at hiding their signs over the years.
13. piapiapiano
I thought Geoffrey was D's brother. Is that not an obvious conclusion to draw?
Bruce Wilson
14. Aesculapius
@10 - Thank you n8love!

The whole discussion, for those who would like an easy link, is here:

My initial comments are @63 but, to be honest, there are so many great contributions from Wetlandernw, shalter, A Fox and Artful Magpie (to name but a few) that I think the whole thread bears a re-reading in its entirety!

I definitely think there's something to the repeating references to candles, in just the same way that the subject of rings keeps re-appearing. It would make sense for a sympathist to have ready access to a simple but effective source of fire - although I suspect that there's going to be more to it than that.

I'm still betting that there's a link back to the "candle without light" in the Lackless rhyme and thence a link back to the origins of both the Lackless line and Haliax (+/- the Chandrian)

Something else that ocurred to me a while back but I keep forgetting to mention it: in many ways, the slick trilogy of "key, coin and candle" has something of a ring of the use of "bell, book and candle" as the symbols of excommunication by the mediaeval Catholic church. Hmmm. I wonder how THAT fits into the events in the history of the Four Corners or the events that led K to his current existence as Kote?!

(In truth, I suspect that there is no specific allegory here and the reality is that the similarity of a group of three objects ending with "...and candle" is just PR either consciously or sub-consciously remembering "bell, book and candle" and thinking that this would rather nicely fit his requirement for Taborlin's arcane "tools".)
15. ryan7273
While he’s talking, he puts on a puppet show in which a Tehlin priest hits a woman with the Book of the Path, which reminds me of the Abelard and Heloise puppet show in Being John Malkovitch but which doesn’t seem to have in story significance or I’m missing it.
I think that Puppet is using the puppet show to "work" on Kvothe.
Its movements were uncanny, and
it distracted me to the point where I forgot I was uncomfortable and felt myself relax.
“I was wondering about the Amyr, actually.” My eyes remained on the scene unfolding at Puppet’s feet.
The show allows Kvothe to relax and start to "see" instead of "look"; "hear" instead of "listen". The Elodin style conversation works to change some of Kvothe's ways of thinking. This is why Puppet says
“I have some more work to do on him.”

@9 I agree with this. It makes sense and follows the rules of the world as we know them. However, if this is true, we're left with the question of how the Chandrian were drawn to the wedding. If they truly didn't know about the vase's existence, they wouldn't have come because they heard it had been unearthed. How likely is it that people would have recognized the Chandrian as the subjects of the drawings? Nina apparently did not.
Bruce Wilson
16. Aesculapius
Oh, and the other key thing about Nina's picture of the figures on the "Chandrian vase" is the association between the dark, hooded and shadowed figure (presumably Haliax) and the representation of the moon-phases above his head. K almost deliberately doesn't comment on this (he's less aware of the significance at this point in his story) but they just have to be there for a reason, same as the two candles...!
Dave West
17. Jhirrad
@12 - Yeah, I thought about that after the fact.

I'm of the opinion that they have one sign each. But I also wonder about how that is impacted when they are around each other. Someone causes things to rot, someone causes blue flame, etc. These appear to be some sort of alchemical reactions that are created. What if some of the signs you only get when specific Chandrian are together? That is, what if you get something different if you have Cinder and Alenta together (I don't mean their individual signs, but a possible combination) then if you have Cinder and Haliax or Alenta and Usnea? That could be the way they are hiding their signs, but causing subtle changes in the signs through changing group structure in public locations.
Bruce Wilson
18. Aesculapius
@15 - I guess part of that lies with K's findings that while people remember the folklore and the rhymes about the Chandrian, there seems to be no cultural repository for the details about them - they seem to be remembered now only in very general terms as simply the ultimate "bogey-men" of the cultural memory of the Four Corners.
No-one recalls where they came from or what their plan is; people just seem to know that they are scary and bad!
Nathan Love
19. n8love
@15 Ryan7273

I'm thinking a worker hired to build the house unearthed it and didn't know what it was, so he brought it to the owner. The owner, being apparently wealthy, may have traveled some and thought himself world-wise and clever and said aloud "Oh, that guy with the shadow must be Haliax!" or something of that nature. Alternatively, the owner may have had no clue, but since we know he liked to display his wealth he could have shown it to the wedding guests, and at that point it's just a question of probability. If one out of so many people has heard some version of the story of Lanre's betrayal and re-Naming, or at least recognizes signs associated with the Chandrian, then it stands to reason that as more people saw the vase it became more likely that someone would speak a name aloud. We also know that the owners son was covertly showing at least Nina and possibly other people.
Rebecca Hall
20. Becca
Do we know for certian that Kvothe actually killed a King? there is a lot of difference between stabbing someone and being in the room when they get stabbed and Kvothe seem to get blamed/feel guilt over things that were his fault even if it was only indirectly (burning down half of Tarbean).

There is an interview that metions a second trilogy after DT, which I assume takes place after Kvothe finishes his story but I haven't seen anything else about it and the interview is quite old
George Brell
21. gbrell

This was discussed extensively last week. I think the ruling would be a) it's a possible understanding, but b) that it's not obvious.

If you have other information that you think clarifies the matter, please bring it up.

Re Chandrian signs and @12Jhirrad:

I did a pretty extensive post on this information earlier, see comment 13:

The only thing I'd add is that @18Daedos' comment about Usnea likely being the naked Chandrian makes perfect sense.

If you want to look at my list of other signs and try and hypothesize combinations, please do so.
Ashley Fox
22. A Fox
See whats right in front of you. I think there is more significance to this than K learning to, er, open up (if you will), though certainly that is a part of it. The initial reading coupled with what Elodin has been saying, as you guys have pointed out. I also think it is an invite from PR to look deeper into the various aspects of this encounter.

Puppet is dressed as Tarbolin (surrounded by candles) when K is introduced to him, though he was someone else but an hour before. Why did he then choose Tarbolin? Others have theorised that K is Tarbolin (I think we even had someone propose that K is currently now Tarbolin, and his legend is passed into the past via Fae, so he actually models himeself, on himself....but anyways). Of whatever form the link takes, imo this reinforces it.

K is questioning P about the Amyr; He says he needs to see whats in front of him, K asks about the Amyr, P says he is 'still looking'...not seeing. He has enough power to make Lorren leave him alone. Is he an Amyr?

The puppets. Thinking back to making sympathetic links; if a wax mommet is a good aproximation of a person, how much better would a puppet simulacra rendered in scaled perfection? Coupled with the overtures of puppet master...

The window. This always stuck out to me. What if it is actually a window, we know he has 'chambers' plural, but we only see one. K states that they are very deep into the archives. We know from his journeys into the Underthing that there are ways up into the is then feasable that his room is on the border between the two. And if so; what does it overlook?

The puppet show. Lol the first time I read this I actually paid more attentin the this, than the convo. It has to have meaning, but what?

Clearly it shows the tehlin looking for something (in the shoes), and expecting 'demons' to be in the way (brandishing the book of the path) of that search. Also its unwillingness to listen/help a girl in need. Its brutality, when the Tehlin beats her down. And then the Tehlin prays and dances.

So; We know from Scarpi that the Church punishes those who blaspheme-say the Tehlu was a singer, one of a group, not god/angel. So it possible that the girl was saying something along those lines-yet she was giving something/asking a question, 'timid'. Someone seeking an answer.

If we follow the theme of 'looking/seeing'; K is looking into the Church, for the Amyr, in turn for the Chandrian. P tells him this is still looking. Whilst right in front of him is this 'play'. In which a peasant (like K) girl seeks answers, which may be of a blasphemous nature (like the Chandrian, the Ciridae) and gets beaten/possibly murdered.

In Tarbean K tells us of Tehlins taking children, of how they chased him, there are also implications that they were after him, after they caught Skarpi. Ive long held a suspicion that they may very well be behind the assasin who attacke dhim in Imre and missed him in Annilin (following the caravan route from Tarbean).

It seems like P is showing him that any searches into the Church will be fruitless and possibly deadly.

Ok I do actally have more to say, but well Ive rambled on enough for one post I think! O_o
23. piapiapiano
@21 gbrell

I don't have any actual information to support my opinion. It just seemed really obvious from the text that Geoffrey was D's brother. She talks about him fondly -- which isn't always the case with her suitors -- and goes out of her way to help him. When she talks about him she sounds like a caring big sister. Plus, he's described as pretty, which I assumed was K unknowingly seeing a bit of D in Geoffrey's face.
24. agrajag
Just wanted to point out that I believe "a ring of red amber that gives me power over demons" is something that is attributed to Kvothe in one of the many stories and rumors that spring up later. I don't have the exact page number because I'm on a Kindle which doesn't list page numbers, but it's in Chapter 147 (when Kvothe goes back to Tarbean).

It's also in the poem about Kvothe that is recited in the frame story in the beginning.
25. agrajag
Also I find it very interesting that Wil says he'd like to go to Faen here and has no trouble believing it's real, while Sim does not. This is exactly what happens at the end of the story when Kvothe tells them of his encounter with Felurian (Wil believes him easily, Sim does not). Are there maybe more cracks between Fae and the mortal ream in Ceald than other places? Some historical reason why the Cealdish would be more likely to believe in Fae's existence?
26. schmiddynick
One thing I noticed is Kvothe's description of the people in the Tahlenwald and their ability to affect the world by singing. Wouldn't these be the same Singer's Haliax mentions to Cinder in Name of the Wind. "Who keeps you safe from the Amyr? The singers? The Sithe?"
We know of the Amyr and their mysterious origins based on what Felurian and Skarpi say. The Sithe are the faction of Fae most concerned with good intentions - guarding the Cthaeh tree. That leaves the singers, these mysterious nomads that can make trees dance and heal people with their songs.
27. Freelancer
Puppet's talent is brings clarity to a person regarding something that puzzles or disturbs them though poorly discerned, but which Puppet sees as if written on their face. His puppetry presents a tableau that slips past a person's conscious filters and guards, and touches the truth.

Each of the people in Kvothe's life has a thing or two to teach him in a similar way, simply by being part of his life, and because he is so adept at comprehending, the lessons do not go unlearned. Except in the case of Elodin; Kvothe has a terrible time learning the lessons being given him by the unconventional Master. Ironically, it is precisely because he is expecting to be taught in a conventional manner. Kvothe's waking mind is busily in the way, while Elodin is trying to reach his sleeping mind.

As for Kote losing the fight, that has nothing to do with his hand. After finishing aWMF, I believe that Kote has made choices to disconnect from Kvothe, using his Alar to "forget" his naming, his sympathy, all of his arcane skills, even including his music. When the "demon" attacked the inn, he tried to use sympathy and could not. When the mercenaries fought with him, he was about to use the Lethani to defeat them when he stopped himself, allowed himself to be beaten. He cannot risk recognition, and cannot take the chance that the mercenaries have never seen an Adem fight. How many red-haired men are there who can fight as the Adem do? Better to suffer a little now, than for the Kingkiller to be discovered. I've read speculation that he was trying to defeat the prescience of the Cthaeh, but I don't believe he understood the full danger of what he was subject to until Bast spoke of it.

The entire purpose for Bast summoning Chronicler, for hiring the mercenaries, for who knows how many other actions which he has taken, is to unlock the real Kvothe again. He is certainly speaking and behaving as the old Kvothe while telling his story, but once disengaged from that, falls immediately back into Kote.
George Brell
28. gbrell
@22A Fox:

The puppets. Thinking back to making sympathetic links; if a wax mommet is a good aproximation of a person, how much better would a puppet simulacra rendered in scaled perfection? Coupled with the overtures of puppet master...

We know from NotW that a full size, perfectly carved wax mommet of Master Hemme only gets about ten percent efficiency (I think, GoogleBooks is being unhelpful). Don’t think that a perfectly carved wooden puppet would offer a much better link. What’s more interesting is whether the “overtures” of a skilled puppet master could improve the sympathetic link. Can the imitation or simulacra of life increase the sympathetic link?

The window. This always stuck out to me. What if it is actually a window, we know he has 'chambers' plural, but we only see one. K states that they are very deep into the archives. We know from his journeys into the Underthing that there are ways up into the is then feasable that his room is on the border between the two. And if so; what does it overlook?

What if the window leads not to the Underthing, but to Fae. We’ve seen windows and doors used in this metaphor before.


We also know that Felurian considered gifting him with amber. We know there aren’t demons, “there is only my kind.” Perhaps the Fae have a weakness towards amber?


I know there has been a lot of supposition that the singers were the Tehlin angels mentioned in various stories, I like this idea as well.

Interestingly, the phrase "songs of power" is used in both NotW and WMF. In NotW, it described the Tehlin angels ("The fire filled their mouths and they sang songs of power..."), but in WMF, it describes the pre-Adem ("They sang songs of power and fought as well as Ademre do.") that Shehyn discusses before sharing the Chandrian rhyme.
Phil Frederick
29. flosofl
@10 n8love

I don't know if this has been brought up before, but I was very intrigued by Haliax's candles and the significance as it relates to Naming. Now, I'm not the most erudite of readers, and many things pass me by without my noticing. In fact this comment will probably be chock-a-bloc with errors and misinterpretation that seem obvious to you all. But Naming has always grabbed my fancy when reading these books, and I've been fascinated trying to pin down what it is.

I totally get, and am kind of excited by, the whole yin/yang thing with the candles. However, having the dark candle represent a "cloak" of some sort to hide from Namers just doesn't seem yang enough to the Yellow/Orange candles Naming yin.

Bear with me.

You see, I've always seen Naming as the ultimate imposition of will on the universe (or at least the universe of K). To know the Name of something is to absolutely, certain of that thing, to bend it to the will. With the introduction of the Yin Yang Theory of Candles, I think it may be more than that.

In this light I began to explore the idea that Naming is not changing of the item Named. It's to so firmly implant in the universe whatever concept the Namer wanted to express, that reality itself is so arranged that there is no other way for it to be. To use Naming is not to change a thing, so using the Name of the Wind is not to order the wind or change which way it was blowing, it's to imprint reality such that not only does the wind blow as intended, there was never any other for which it could. It's a waveform collapse on a macro scale.

This may be related to why K has troubles with Elodin's classes. It's less about definitives and rote recitation of facts but more about possibilities and probabilities. The more Alar you can tap, the more remote probably you can effect. Nudges are easy, wholesale change is hard. But at the root, you have to understand what the probabilities are, or that they even exist, before Naming can even begin.

Which leads me to the yang of Naming. The anti-matter to matter. And quite simply that would be UnNaming. The actual negation of something in the universe. To UnName something would be to erase it from existence. Not just that, but make it impossible to exist. Now I'm not saying that UnNaming the wind makes the wind go away. What I'm saying is that UnNaming is a counter technique to Naming. If something has been Named (collapsed waveform to the definite) then UnNaming would be the opposite. The definite has once again uncertain and ruled by probabilities.

I'm guessing that UnNaming would be most effective to cancel out Naming. Since the Alar being flung around would need to be equal or slightly greater, it would probably be easer to act on a thing that's been Named than not. So trying to remove a boulder via UnNaming would be near impossible requiring the power of a god. The sheer temporal inertia acting on and collapsing the probabilities to the definite (that rock's been there a long long time) would make overcoming it with UnNaming next to impossible.

Sorry, probably WAY off here, but my mind exploded with the whole yin/yang theory introduced by @10 n8love
Nathan Love
30. n8love
@29 flosofl

First, wow. This is fantastic exposition on a passing idea that I had and I enjoyed reading it. My mind is all abuzz with posibilities.

A quick note: I meant to break it up more. There were two ideas in my last paragraph there, which I meant as alternate possiblities (yin/yang OR his ability to hide his powers or their extent).

Also, I'm not sure if Alar is necessary for Naming, but I also don't know that it has been ruled out, as it seems that the inner Naming circle has always been selected from the University (re:Alar). I'm referring here to Elodin's info at the end of NotW after Kvothe calls the wind and is promoted.

I'm assuming that Naming still observes the law of conservation of energy/matter. When Taborilin said "Break!" and the wall broke the wall didn't cease to exist, it disintigrated into smaller pieces and was still stone, if not a wall. I wonder if when someone calls the wind there's any "butterfly effect" like, say, somewhere in the Four Corners a storm dissipates unexpectedley. I know the dangers of theories based upon theories, but just for fun I have to wonder if the power represented in the dark candle actually unmakes things or removes them from the measurable universe of the FC, or if it is a skill of opposing something that exists or happens only because that thing or event was brought about by Naming.

The implication of manipulating reality so that something must happen or was bound to happen a certain way is almost more scifi than fantasy, and brings to mind certain time constraints. I made a pun.

My gut says that the candles are some sort of religious symbol, painted because they meant something to the artist and their society, but I'm ignoring it right now because this is way more fun.
Phil Frederick
31. flosofl
@30 n8love

I know what you mean about it being more fun. I have a suspicion you are correct re: the candles, but one think I love about good world builders, is that they *don't* explain everything and I can allow my mind to wander (and wander it does, often down the less trodden path). It occupies me and keeps me out of trouble :)

I'm not sure about the fantasy v. sci fi argument. In fact there's almost a New School of Physics feel to Naming. Sort of like, all the other arts are more Newtonian in that they work, but at best they're gross approximations. Where as Naming (and possibly UnNaming if it exists) is the Quantum Theory side of things. Much more accurate, but *extremely* difficult to understand let alone master. To paraphrase Feynman (I think it was him), anyone who claims to understand Naming is lying to you. :)

I'm sure that says more about what I bring to the table as a reader than what Rothfuss actually intends. I grew up in an Engineering household (capital E, thank you very much) and had a much richer exposure to science as such. So it tends to flavor my approach.

That aside, I have truly enjoyed the re-reads and analysis. Not a week goes by that my mind isn't blown in hundred little ways by the insight in the comments. Your "passing idea" just triggered a mental avalache that I'm guessing had been building for some time.

EDIT: I forgot to add something regarding your time constraints. That would most definitely be the case as time is a variable that acts on probabilities, constantly shifting and changing them. It also acts on a collapsed probability making it more and more unlikely that other probablities (i.e. UnNaming the boulder in my previous comment) can be realized.

You could be right that sciencifying swings the pointer a little away from fantasy toward science fiction, but I think Sanderson showed in the Mistworld books that you could have a rigorous, codified system of magics (Allomancy and Ferromancy) and still be firmly in fantasy.
32. BotlGnomz
Submission to the Department of Imaginary Linguistics: "Sceop" (the word) appears (to my knowledge) one other time in WMF. In chapter 109 (black hands it's going to be a while before we get there), Kvothe slips into Ademic while talking to Tempi, and has a moment of disorientation when he realizes.
"I'm not speaking..." I started to protest, but as I did I listened to the words I was using. Sceopa teyas.
I think it was way back at the beginning of the reread, but didn't some people theorize that the Edema Ruh and the Adem were related, based on the near-identical names? This would serve as evidence - the character Sceop appears in an Edema Ruh tale, and "sceopa" is a word in Ademic which, I will bet a full gold royal, means "speaking".

I think DT will bring us back to Sceop, whatever sort of Speaker he may be.
33. Geminaut
A stray thought or two about candles, power, and the Chandrian:

That image of the candles on the Chandrian vase got me pondering what the meaning of such art would be in a world with Sympathy and Naming and Tehlu-only-knows what else. What is the artist responsible for that vase trying to communicate? In the FC, a lit candle in many ways represents power, a manifestation of energy. Active energy, ready and waiting to be tapped. An unlit candle might then indicate a sort of "unready" power, or the capacity for power, also waiting, but to be activated rather than to be tapped.

Then I got to thinking about that grey candle with the black flame. It burns with ready power, but NOT like fire. UnFire, if you will (the idea of UnNaming is fantastic, and absolutely horrifying in the context of the FC). Now, I'm thinking about energy in all its forms. And then I'm reflecting on how great a scietific knowledge PR writes this world with and bases much of this world on, and also how much knowledge of science this world has (in particular, centered at the University). Laws of conservation of energy, entropy, thermodynamics...all playing out in a fantasy world (I just started reading Mistborn a week ago, and I couldn't agree more that such a mingling works beautifully when done well).

As I keep typing and thinking, my mind is swirling! Which is everything I love about great storytelling, but it's making me ramble. :) So, to jump headlong into the thought that got me rolling...the Chandrian Rot has always been intriging to me, and at least mildly inexplicable, given what we know. Metal and wood, blue flame. What does it indicate. What is it a sign of? Here's a theory: What if the Chandrian, and perhaps most specifically Haliax, can tap Sympathetically not only into active sources of heat (kinetic energy), but also into passive sources of heat (potential energy)? This could explain why metal rusts and wood rots in their/his presence, and also how it could be hidden. Those objects tapped with this Dark Sympathy (which is the name of my Cure/Smiths cover band, incidentally ;), they...well, they age somehow. All the energy is drained out of them. I also wonder if this would be an active effect, something that is willfuly exerted, or if it's a side effect of their/his inately manifested power that has to be willfully restrained. Haliax...who, let's face it, exudes UnLife if any part of what we know of his backstory is my prime candidate for this. But I don't think it has to be limited to him.

Any thoughts? Am I treading on previously paved trails here?
margaret Debelius
34. DislexicRiter
This is my First Post, and spelling is not my best subject so please have mercy.

I've been wondering about D, knots, locks, shaping and names and I have a wired theory.

D has a bit of a braiding/tangling/knoting motife witch was dicused a few weeks ago. As time goes on that motife has been showing up more. (ie the Yllish braids and that feasco with the ring and Ambros.) D also has the Moon motife and one of the theories she is/know part or all of the name of the moon. she also asks about reading something that would change the reader (and not in the way reading normal does).

I think she read a Yllish knot with the name of the moon in it some time in her merky past. Later in WMF it's pointed out that almost no one can read Yllish knots so maybe D understood and was shaped without reading

So this is the part were it gets crazy. Most people on this site seem to acept the K/Lackless connection and K is mistaken for Yllish so through the use of sketchy logic synergy Lockless is connected to Yllish.
Lackless =Lockless and another way of securing somthing without a lock is with a knot. Also on that vain. Lockless ->Not a Lock->knot Lock

A knot lock may acout for the numaric differences between the Thrice Locked Chest and the four plate door. Four seems like a good number for confining things: four plate door, four gate in the mind, Four girls (Mola, Fela, Devi and Auri) to keep K out of trouble at school, Four Adem women to teach K to fight, (I forget the names but the little girl, the mother, the old lady and the mentor) Four couners, Four days that the archivist spends with K if you count the night he arived.

Maybe K cant open the thrice locked chest because it's a thrice locked 4 times secured chest. (thrice locked cheast is Basts name not K's) a knot takes two hands to undue and there may or may not be something wrong with his "Good Left Hand"

I apologise if it's garbbled or this theory was put forward and disproved already but that my guess
35. Herelle
@5 wcarter4
Adema Rhu know every story ever" but rather as the clan itself as a whole has knowledge of all stories, since they presumably trade such with each other and travel all over the world.
Exactly, plus remember Skarpis bet in Tarbean? If he is Sceop he is one of the adopted Edema Ruh and something like living memory.

I liked Sceops story a lot, especially the Edema Ruh part, who not only helped him, the did so without Sceop needing to beg for help. They not only fed him and offered a place for the night, they gave him back his name and pride and made him part of their family.

On another topic: The Lackless riddles and the Chandrian.
All the talk about ying and yang and also the vase with the pictures of the Chandrian made me think if we couldn´t combine the two riddles somehow but I must admit that while I think it´s still a nice idea it didn´t work out. You know, there are seven thing standing before the entrance to the Lackless door. One of the things is a candle without light (not without flame!). There was speculation that this candle could have been Auris mysterious blue thingy, but as it might not have a flame, it certainly casts light. So the only hint we have is Haliax grey candle that casts a shadow and has a black flame. We have two main mysteries - the Lackless door and the Chandrian´s plan. It´s not so far a strech to think they are related, don´t you think?
So I tried to compare what we know of the Chandrian and the Lackless poems but couldn´t really find a clue. But I still think there is the possibility that the Chandrian try to gather all the seven things either to get the door open or to prevent anyone to do so. The Chandrian could actually be allies to the Lackless family if both are some sort of guardians.

Which brings me to another question: Why were there so many Chandrian at the site of the murder of Kvothe´s troupe? Cinder was obviously sufficiant for running a bandit camp. When Kvothes parents where murdered there were several men and women around the fire (there are only two female Chandrian, Usnea and Alenta), there were Cinder, Haliax and the bald one, that´s five at least but probably all of them made an appearance. Is that because all their names where included in the song and they were therefore "called"?
Jo Walton
36. bluejo
Aesculapius, everyone -- sorry for missing that. That thread was when I was in Italy, and I did read it when I got home but clearly without as much attention as usual.

flosofl: Unnaming and the dark candle -- terrific insight. This is the kind of thing that keeps me excited about doing this re-read. And similarly Geminaut on the dark sympathy entropic rotting -- that makes so much sense!
37. beerofthedark
Just a quick note regarding the Puppet's puppet show. I had an idea that his puppet-shows may be related to Naming, similar to Kvothe's musical Naming. Kvothe is drawn in by the play and speaks almost without thinking almost like hypnosis. I wondered whether he was being manipulated and the only way we have seen to do that is via Naming (Skarpi naming Kvothe in Tarbean). Just a thought.

Also, really like the idea of Un-Naming.
C Smith
38. C12VT
@33: It would make sense for the Chandrian to be walking entropy boosters, since their goal (as well as I can make it out) is to hasten the end of the world.

I had a thought about the blue flame. At first I didn't see any point to it other than blue flame being creepy and unnatural, but I read up on what causes fire to burn in different colors, and apparently the bluer part of a flame is the hotter part, where more complete combustion occurs (cool but probably irrelevant thing I discovered: apparently in microgravity the lack of air convection leads to slower, more complete combustion and therefore a bluer flame:

So perhaps the "blue fire" sign is an indication that around the Chandrian, fire is hotter and more completely consuming. We see a lot of fire in these books, not just relating to the Chandrian, but also in Kvothe's name, in the Amyr's sigil, the fire in the Fishery, all the references to the world burning down...
39. Herelle
@38 C12VT
I remember vaguely something from chemistry at school - the flame test. When burning different ions cause a different light spectrum and thus color the flame. Wikipedia can explain better:
So I googled a bit and look what cool photos with huge blue (natural) flames I found:

Thats sulfur burning. Hm sulfur - in christian belief isn´t that a sign of the devil?
40. Herelle
Sorry for the double post. I´m in a rush and don´t have time to read the text of the linked page, but as the flames themselves look still cool the working conditions do not.
James Felling
41. Maltheos
Few things that have caught my intrest of recent.

First off regarding magics:
We know of several magics and affiliated techniques. First the "outer magics" called so because they are the magics taught by the "outer" university.

Alchemy -- this is a physical magic that regards "principles" and breaks normal physical laws
Sympathy -- A magic that allows action at a distance via direct will power and belief
Syzgaldry -- something like a symbol based version of sympathy
All of the above are limited in scope by the "power" available.( moneychanger principle) and are results of deliberate conscious action -- you cannot accidentally perform them.

Then there are the "inner" or Legendary magics
Naming-- which works based upon understanding the thing and making it bend to your desire -- this allows non linear results and is not a result of conscious action, but of subconscious knowledge/desire

and its counter part as practiced by those who created fae, and apparently the Chandrian -- Changing the names of things. This also appears to be what Denna is doing -- she is litterally changing her name with her hair braids, and possibly with her name changes.

It is my guess that Halix/Jax/Iax is not so much unmaking fire, as changing the name of fire there.
James Felling
42. Maltheos
A second and unrelated supposition regarding D.

I think Master Ash is Bredon who may or may not be affiliated with the Chandrian, but who IMHO has an idea of Kvothe's parentage. Which is why Denna was sent and why its "her job" to keep an eye on Kvothe. Also this explains why Bredon is so helpful to him at court -- he is simply playing a deeper game. Additionally it explains his pagan rituals -- it is unlikely that his dabling in "the occult" magics of chaning names is held in much good light by the establishment.

Additionally, as to the scarry Amyr. Who says that this vase wasnt made by someone who is on the Chandrian's side of the argument -- a flattering portrayal of their lords, and a unflattering protrayal of their enemy, or possibly it was simply a vase portraying the lords of the 8 cites from before they were cast down, in which case the scary guy is the lord of the city that won.

I find it interesting that everyone assumes that the Amyr are all "good guys". Their cause is good and just, but such causes are often the kind of cause that leads to the worst sort of fanatic excesses. It says something less they are a semi-secret orginization, the implacable enemy of evil that has existied for thousands of years, and are (apparently) opperating on established funds and charity and have lived unswerving from that course for that long -- this implies either a really hard core center, or some unchanging (imortal? Fae?) leadership component to keep them from swerving off on to easier paths. And Felurian has said that "there are no human amyr".

Just some random rambling. But its food for thought.
43. westmarch
I've been trying to formulate a "theory of everything" for KKC and this discussion has been most valuable in doing so. I sense that PR has been building to K eventually revealing "the true history of the 4C and how I was misled along the way". The framework that makes the most sense to me is this:
The Creation War never ended, it just went Cold. Most of the important players are still alive/around, but restrained in one form or another.

The 2 sides of the CW are the Namers/Listeners and the Shapers. Teccam was the principal Namer, Iax the 1st Shaper. Hespe's story later is basically true. Iax/Jax created the Fae realm sometime after meeting Teccam at the cave. Iax partially captured the moon within, and at length started the CW.

The 2 sides oppose each other to Kvothe's time, but in great secrecy, both taking steps to erase mention of themselves in recorded history. At least one side, the Shapers I suspect, are waiting for something momentous to reignite the war.

This thing is the release of the 1st Shaper, Iax. At some point in the past, he changed/shaped his own Name. Elodin's reaction to Kvothe's name-changing question near the end of WMF hints at how bad this is. Iax is now Cthaeh - malice and seclusion the price for foresight and immortality. He is still able to influence the 4C thru human agents and, maybe, the Seven.

Teccam was his imprisoner along with the Amyr and some human gatekeepers, certain members of the Loeclos family. The four-plate door in the Archives and the Lackless box and a LL descendant (K) interact somehow to open the prison containing the Cthaeh. Amyr (Lorren et al) still keep watch over the door, as does...

Teccam! disguised as Puppet (Teccam backward = maccet ~ maquette = Puppet) has changed his "calling" name, but not his real one. He still influences mostly by listening and encouraging the natural abilities of students at the University and guarding the door.

Bredon is the Cthaeh's main agent on the outside, but isn't Cinder. He's playing a beautiful game, having ID'd K long ago as a potential "door opener" and manipulating him to that end. It's important for him to disguise this manipulation so as not to attract the Amyr. His most powerful tool for manipulating K is, of course, Denna. I suspect that they share something - Yllish heritage, I think, as Yll is a remnant of the old world. No magic knots, I don't think, but shaping through influence of all kinds (stories, songs, games, feminine persuasions, etc.)

K gets manipulated to that end, unleashing a catastrophe on the world. He tries to right some wrongs, but realizes too late the effect of the Cthaeh on him. Learning that foresight is tied to Names, he endeavours to bind/forget (with Auri/Devi's help?) his Name for a time so the Cthaeh thinks he's dead and K is free from its influence. This will make him vulnerable for a time (no power), so he goes into hiding, but not far enough to not keep track of the world.
I can make a lot of detail fit onto this framework but it is ultimately speculation on my part. Is anything in here completely disproved by the text and not just a silly rambling?
George Brell
44. gbrell

Depends what you mean by completely disproved. We know that the Creation War continued in some form after the sealing of the enemy behind the "doors of stone" in the actions of Lanre and his Chandrian. Lanre convinced them to betray their cause (per Shehyn's story), meaning that they had fought for the Namers, not the Shapers.

Side note: That line ("Lanre and his Chandrian") has always bugged me in Skarpi's second story (about the angels), because it implies that Haliax is not part of the Chandrian, even though our best info implies that there are seven including Haliax.

I think that Iax=Cthaeh is fairly disproved. Bast explicitly states that Iax spoke to the Cthaeh before he stole the moon. Which means that either the Cthaeh is the original namer of your story or that Hespe's story can't be all encompassing, since it never mentions a Cthaeh analog and the knowledge of how to steal the moon is given by the hermit (likely Teccam).

I enjoy the Puppet as Teccam idea. Is it also possible that Teccam is Taborlin as well? It makes me think a little of Sanderson's Warbreaker where history turns one person into multiple historical entities.

Your overall arc of the story is an interesting one, though. Kudos for putting it out there.
45. westmarch
@gbrell (44)

Despite Bast's version of the Fae creation story (Iax talking to the Cthaeh), it's possible (likely?) that his version has also changed in the telling so as to confuse the origin of the Cthaeh.

I may be reading way too much into this but, in the context of changing a name, I could see "I-a-x" morphing into "Cth-a-eh", especially phonetically.
George Brell
46. gbrell
I think that depends on how you pronounce those two names. I've always pronounced them (in my head) as:

Iax: EYE-axe or Yax/Jax

Cthaeh: CHI (as in "chit") -tay or KUH-thay or KUH-tay

I have no idea how to phonetically pronounce "Cth" and don't see any similarity between them.

Here's some questions for your theory: What was the Cthaeh that Kvothe met in Fae? Is it that Iax is only trapped in the human world? Why can the Cthaeh only speak the truth? Why can it foresee the future? Are these traits of Iax?
47. greggors
Hey everyone, have been really enjoying this reread and think that I am finally caught up. Just a few ideas I had, everything is just conjecture so let me know where I went wrong:

Re: Tarbolin. I always took Tarbolin to be an allegory for namers/sympathists and not to be an actual historical figure. Generally, other historical characters actions have consequences that have trickled down to current time i.e. Iax, Lanre/Haliax, Tehlu, Felurian etc., and many of their stories have contrasting points of view. Tarbolin's stories, on the other hand, are more Brother's Grimm flavor, meaning archetypal fairy-tale. I took the key, candle and coin to represent the tools that namer/sympathists use: the candle being fire that Elxa Dal says all sympathists control and which controls all sympathists, names being the key to understanding all things (I'm coming up blank on the coin). His copper sword representing copper use to fight and control other namers/shapers/the fae. K's collection of these things from Auri is used to show his progression as a namer.

Re: Denna's Letter. While I think that the most likely sender is someone from Denna's family (perhaps related to her trip to Anilin that went poorly but not unexpectedly), one possibilty that hasnt been considered: Ambrose (in this case one of her spurned suitors) could have also sent it. Perhaps after he took her ring and she left him, the letter was meant to be some form of extortion or a promise that she'll never get her ring back for leaving him. As I am part of the 'I think the ring is an heirloom' camp, this would certainly provoke an emotional response -- losing one of the few remaining physical ties to her past. Counterpoint: while this may be leftover angst from her fight with Kvothe over Lanre's song, she isn't that excited when she gets the ring back. Again just a theory.

Re: Sleeping Barrow Kings. Fela says:

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

Fela's description of her dream reminded me strongly of K's claim to have 'stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings'. king = king, barrow = tomb, sleeping = send him to the soft, painless blanket of his sleep = dead. As dreams are often foreshadowing, perhaps K will find Ariel through the four-plate door?

Finally, Re: Waystones. Just a comment. From Arliden's poor poem recollection (Ch 14 NOTW):

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

seems to imply the the different arrangements of the waystones lend them different characteristics. For example the waystones they stop at here might serve a different function than the ones K and D camp out near in Trebon where there were 5 stones 'a henge and stones laying to either side of it'. Not sure if this has any meaningful impact, just pointing it out.

Sorry this was so long, was just bubbling over with ideas since starting the reread.
48. Geminaut
Teccam's Razor: The most complicated and convoluted speculation, no matter how unlikely, is often the most fun.


I love this reread!
Alf Bishai
49. greyhood
Kote is K 'relaxing' as per Puppet's instruction. His 'looking' did get him into trouble. So he finally is learning the right way. Remember the hermit in hespes story. He listened to the knot and it unraveled. Perhaps K put his lute - his heart - in the chest - which he designed to be unopenable - so that its opening through listening - relaxing - would be his rite of passage.
Alf Bishai
50. greyhood
Puppet is a Seer, as is the Cthaeh.

The little puppet show is Denna being beaten by Ash. The two stories are almost identical, including the begging/asking.

This points to Ash being an Amyr (Tehlin). He is searching for something.

If this is right, then Puppet is the real defense against the Cthaeh. The only way the Cthaeh's manipulation can be countered is through the manipulation (puppeting) of another Seer. It is Puppet who is thinking three moves ahead (of the Cthaeh) because he can see even the Cthaeh's moves (telling K. of the beating.)

Hence Puppet needing to do some more work on K.

So Kote's 'relaxing' is K allowing himself to be the puppet of the Cthaeh's match.

One perfect step?
Christopher Johnstone
51. CPJ
I've finally caught up reading the two books (I discovered them only recently), so am now able to dive into these posts without fear of spoilers.

A lot of really interesting ideas here. It's a fascintingly layered story. There's a Writing Excuses panel discussion with PR, where he states that:
- He aims for versimilitude
- If something is going to happen later in the story, he wants there to be a clue to it earlier on

This generates a wonderfully intricate approach, in which some of the details, but not everything, is seemingly a clue. A little like Agatha Christie, I guess. A lot of red herrings, very cleverly woven in with real clues.

Also, I think we can safely assume that some characters will turn out to be just some person that stumbled into the story. PR also stated that he'd once read a novel where every named character turned up at the end to do their bit in the final battle, and although it was fun the first time, on a second re-read, the narrative collapsed. I can't easily guess who, but some of the characters will end up being just people in the background.

I suspect also that a lot of mystery may still be left at the end.

For example, although no doubt we'll find out what the Chandrian's plan is, I suspect we may not actually have the exact history of the Creation War or the Chandrian explained to us. I think PR likes the idea that stories change and history can never actually be understood exactly. Some things will remain murky.

Here's a few other very random thoughts... I may or may not be repeating earlier postings, because I haven't had time yet to read back through everyone's comments...

- The 'completion' of the shaping of Fae or the Shaping of a new world could be part of the Chandrian plan, rather than just the destruction of the world. Or maybe the completion of Fae requires the destruction of Four Corners?

- The moon over Haliax on the vase seem to indicate to me that he is bound to the moon and is being drawn back and forth across the two worlds, and/or, he is Iax in some way

- I think the Cthaeth is a powerful thing of evil, but in the end, it'll turn out to be it's own agent. A bit like Tom Bombadill, had Tom decided to go off and deal with Sauron on his own a few days after the Fellowship had left. It's powerful and complex and wants things, but it may end up just mucking things up. Either way, it may end up being a sort of background thing rather than Iax or a member of the seven or something more closely connected. A fate or norn in the background, weaving and snipping, but not a direct player.

- Master Ash might be Amyr. It's also plausible that Ash is half a dozen other things or people. Also, Master Ash could very well be female, as D initially picks a female name for him/her and K 'corrects' it into a male name.

- I don't think Bredon is Master Ash, nor is he a king. Bredon's moment of indecision before taking K's ring back seems to indicate that he is not in an ultimate position of power, but is very secure. So, maybe the king's younger brother. The pagan frolics thing does seem to implicate him as someone of magic, but it could be a red herring.

- Sim's family are well below being kings and he won't rise to that level. It is made clear that his family would have been subject to the mad physiologist Amyr, and were probably forced to provide subjects for his experiments. Although family position could change in time, it doesn't add up to me. He's just a friend.

- Will and Sim (and probably Fela and Mola) will turn up in the frame story. At the end of WMF, K seemingly has decided to reclaim himself: he is practising the Adem movements again for the first time in the frame.

- Auri is perplexing. She is important in some way but could end up being killed and removed from the story.

- The king that K 'kills' or is blamed for killing or framed for killing (the last I suspect) will put Ambrose on the throne. A big deal has been made out of how close Ambrose is to the throne already. A handful of deaths will put him there. That would make Ambrose the Penitent King. The reason I don't think K kills Ambrose as king, is because it doesn't make narrative sense (and one thing PR has done is follow narrative convention, say in comparison to a writer like Mervyn Peake who kills apparantly important characters at random or goes off on long tangents about ants fighting on a wall in Gormengast). Ambrose feels like the important bad-guy of the book: he's personal, and it'll be Ambrose that K needs to deal with at the end of things, even if it's just by accepting that Ambrose is now too unimportant to ever worry about again (or something).

- Some of the Chandrian signs *could* be entropic, but others, like the woman being bitten by a dog (animals go nuts? hate her?) don't seem like they are pulling energy out of matter. Wonderfully creepy idea though. I'm not convinced all the Adem poem signs are correct. They differ to the vase. It'll be a mixture of the two, probably.

- The Unnaming could be a genuine part of the magic. I cannot unravel all of the various threads of magic. This is probably intentional on the part of PR--magic isn't magical if it is all neatly explained. Some of it will remain beyond clear explanation, even at the end of the final book.

- Yll is somehow much more important than it appears. The Aturan Empire didn't obliterate any *other* culture it conqured, but they very nearly wiped Yll off the map - and afterward, the empire collapsed for debatable reasons. As if, destroying Yll had been it's purpose all along.

- D's story about the Chandrian could be just as true as the story that Skarpi told. This seems to be backed up a bit, because D's name for the cities match those of the Adem, not Skarpi's names for the cities (K corrects her on this, and then later, the Adem repeat D's names).

- That K isn't obsessed with D in the fame story makes me think that she has either betrayed him terribly or is dead (or both).

- Lorren may not be Amyr. He may simply understand how dangerous investigating the Amyr could be. This makes some narrative sense to me, because it allows K to eventually discover someone who is not Amyr who will talk about the Amyr, once convinced. On the other hand, if Lorren is Amyr, he could turn dangerous very rapidly.

- This probably isn't the intention of PR, but by the end of WMF, K is starting to look like a heel and a pratt for not at least suggesting to D that they might be able to find a way to get her admittance into the University. It'd be a path for her towards independance and security in her life (which she clearly wants), and she's clearly as bright as K is. Even if K hadn't suggested this, I sort of expected Sim to think of it during the group chat about sympathy.

Given that PR has tended to walk a fairly even line along conventional fantasy plotting (boy is orphaned, boy has powers, boy goes to magic school, boy is blooded in mercenary work, boy learns discipline/fighting from strange foreign enlightened people) I suspect that a reasonable prediction is:

- The Chandrian really are evil (not misunderstood, although the Amyr might be equally nuts-evil)
- The Chandiran have been temporarily defeated, much like Sauron, but are finding a way to fight their way back
- The Chandrian want to bring something evil into the world / master the world / destroy the world

- The Lackless door and the university door are both concealing or imprisioning parts of a whole (bits of a god/being, parts of a magical doohicky, gates to important places in Fae where a ritual must be done: it could be what is imprisioned behind the doors are angels, and angels are not the nice things we might expect).
- The heavy object in the Lackless box is a key in some shape or another
- K will open the door(s) out of stupid curiosity
- The great 'evil' thing is potentially identifiable with Encanis (who is presumably some sort of ancient shaper / fae rather than a demon exactly)
- The 'evil' thing could be the Shaper of 'Dark and changing eye' mentioned in the Fae creation story, and Iax/Jax is a mixed up folk-memory that isn't all that closely related.

I've said a couple times that the plot is conventional--I don't mean to sound critical at all. It's all wonderfully complex with layers and layers of interesting characters and unexpected turnings, *and* I expect PR may surprise us all in the end (the apparantly conventional set-up, could easily be just to lull us all into a false sense of security, so that when things turn out unexpectedly, the reader is even more surprised... so that none of my suggestions above might hold true...)

At any rate, it's all really really intriguing and wonderfully written and woven.

Christopher Johnstone
52. CPJ
@ greyhood

Puppet is a Seer, as is the Cthaeh.

The little puppet show is Denna being beaten by Ash. The two stories are almost identical, including the begging/asking.

This makes a lot of sense to me.

This points to Ash being an Amyr (Tehlin). He is searching for something.

I agree. I suspect Ash of being Amyr, but if so, why does he tell D the story of Lanre in which Lanre is the good guy?

Also, I've wondered if 'telling the wrong sort of stories' didn't mean 'telling true stories' but 'telling stories that put us in a bad light'... It could be the Chandrian kill for two reasons:
1) conceal their signs
2) put a stop to stories that paint them badly

This would help explain why D's song doesn't attract their ire, thought it doesn't help explain why they haven't gone after Skarpi (or maybe they have, or maybe he's beyond their power?)

If Ash is a priest, then PR has almost certainly put him in the story somewhere in an unimportant seemingly role. Was he one of the priests who came for Skarpi?

Wonderfully perplexing.

George Brell
53. gbrell

I agree with a lot of stuff you said, especially about the conventional/unconventional nature of the plot, but I think a couple things you've said are very wrong.

This probably isn't the intention of PR, but by the end of WMF, K is starting to look like a heel and a pratt for not at least suggesting to D that they might be able to find a way to get her admittance into the University.

I don't agree with this at all. First, we have no information that Denna has any interest in Chemistry, Metallurgy, Medicine or actually learning Sympathy, i.e. the majority of what's taught at the University. It's a very modern mindset to view university (little "u") as the correct place for intelligent people, Denna doesn't need to want to go there. Second, we know from Kvothe's experience that musicians are not well regarded at the University (see Kilvin's comments). Third, none of the people Kvothe knows, with the possible exception of Mola (and owing to Arwyl's strictness, probably not even her), appear to have any significant influence on the Masters or the University administration. So that means she would have to go through admissions. She's street smart and a wonderfully quick learner, but we can assume that she has no formal education (certainly not in music and there's no mention of it anywhere else). Her entry tuition would not be cheap. Fourth, we know that the administrators of the University are hyper-obsessed with appearance. Why would they admit a whore? Even if she lied or they were unaware, why would she risk her relative security with her patron for a position that she would be immediately dismissed from if her prior occupation was known. Fifth: how would Denna pay for her admission? She's certainly not wealthy and her sole means of acquiring gifts is a practice that would probably get her expelled from the University (total double standard that I would totally believable to be true). Sixth, from what we know of Denna, I can't imagine she'd stay at a place that "locks up" its female students, requiring them all to bunk together in Mews.

A better question is why Kvothe hasn't pushed for her to try for her talent pipes. She is clearly a talented singer and that would certainly provide her a strong supplemental income to offset her "half a loaf" patronage.

That K isn't obsessed with D in the fame story makes me think that she has either betrayed him terribly or is dead (or both).

I don't know where you're getting that Kvothe isn't obsessed with her. Denna is the only subject in the frame story that has reawakened his sympathy (the strawberry wine). Questions about Denna are what make Chronicler afraid that Kvothe is going to kill him. We know that something has happened to her; we also know that there is a story where he tricked a demon and then had to kill an angel to get her. But considering that his description of her in NotW reads like someone still very much in love, I don't think we can say that he's still not obsessed. But yes, I agree that she is probably dead.
54. BotlGnomz
More on the Edema Ruh and Adem.

I think they definitely used to be one people. In addition to the linguistic evidence (see my post above), there's also the fact that, in many ways, the cultures seem to be foils of one another.

-Both cultures are wildly misunderstood by outsiders
-Both cultures have systems in place to punish transgressors against the customs of their people (the Ruh have the broken circle brand, the Adem exile and mutilate)
-The Ruh embrace music and emotion, the Adem shun them except in private
-Both cultures are primarily characterized by being the masters of a certain thing
-Both cultures place heavy value on stories: the Ruh pass down stories and songs for generations, the Adem memorize the stories of their swords and have managed to preserve information about the Chandrian, who are notoriously jerks about that sort of thing
Christopher Johnstone
55. CPJ
That's a reasonable argument against the idea of university for D. I still can't shake the feeling that K should at least have considered the idea, or it should have occurred to him, even if it was rapidly dismissed for the reasons you've given.

This isn't a critique of the story at all: it's just the gut feeling I get from his behaviour. Not rational at all on my part... and, also, just to be clear, I'm not arguing here. Just trying to elaborate why I feel this way:

In the end, I suspect that if the two of them were keen enough to do it, they'd find a way to get her into the university, even if it meant K secretly tutoring her and taking a loan for admittance. You're right that there'd be before- and after-the-fact problems: what would Ambrose do? Would D be able to give up her 'income'? Would she be happy to be cloistered in the girl's wing? Probably not.

I also probably phrased things badly.

It's not that I think that logically she *should* have been admitted into the university (or that it'd be easy or it would even work), but that K comes across as ethically dubious for not considering the possibility that she might be happy in a place that he has grown to love and view as secure. It's not a social norm I'm thinking about, rather, K's personal perspective is that the university is a good place: so, it's strange that he never considers the possibility that D might be interested in being there too. I guess I'm looking at this way...

1) By not thinking of the possibility that D might want to pursue the same life that K wants, this sort of implies he doesn't see her as a full equal. It sort of implies a callousness on his part. She might not want university admittance: but this doesn't change the point that failing to think of the possibility, remains an ethical failing.
2) The idea is impractical for all the reasons you stated. It probably wouldn't have worked: but this doesn't alter the problem that the *idea* is missing. It could have been dismissed immediately as nonsense (by K or by D, or even by Sim and Will), but it would make K seem more thoughtful if he considered it, even if just to himself or while drunk with his friends.

The flip-side ethical arguement is that D is an adult and could ask about entrance if she wanted to (and probably would, she is a strong person). Again, this is fine as an argument against, but it'd make K look like a more humane person if he realised this himself, rather than blithely missing the possibility entirely.

Anyway, it's just my impression of K's behaviour, not actually a criticism of the plot or story. It's subjective and highly personal. If I loved a woman who seemed to be in a bad place in life, and I was in a (relatively) secure, happy (-ish) environment with prospects of independence, I'd consider myself a bit dubious for not at least floating the idea.

But, like I said, just my feeling. It's neither here nor there in terms of right or wrong regarding the story or characters. And it could even be intentional: maybe PR wants the reader to realise that unconciously at least K doesn't see D as a full equal. K could end up even more shocked if and when D pulls some old and powerful shaper-magic out of the hat...

Regarding 'not obsessed', I phrased it poorly: I mean only that he isn't thinking about where she is, what she's doing, or who she's with or all the other little obsessions he has in the story proper. Poor choice of words. You're right that he is still obsessed with her as a memory, but he doesn't seem to be preoccupied with her as a person any longer. She's either dead or dead to him it seems.

George Brell
56. gbrell

Sorry if I came across as overly argumentative.

I understand both of your points a bit better now. I think the only thing I'd say is that Kvothe might not view the University as particularly secure, given his constant need (until the end of WMF) to scrape to meet the next tuition amount.

With that said, I think it's interesting that Kvothe seems to have two minds about the University. Part of him constantly worries about staying there, but another part (the part obsessed with the Chandrian, particularly, and the part that hates Ambrose/loves Denna) seems to constantly take unnecessary risks that risk his expulsion. Kind of a split personality that is made all the more intriguing by PR's whole magic/science of splitting your mind.

Re: Naming and Sympathy, Waking Mind and Sleeping Mind

The more I think about it, the more that the Newtonian mechanics/quantum mechanics comparison made earlier in these comments seem to fit the magic system. Sympathy is about compartmentalization. It's about enforcing one's will over a particular relationship, controlling reality with absolute understanding.

Naming on the other hand isn't about controlling the wind, it's about understanding the wind so completely that it can be asked to cease. It's about see-ing its every movement and understanding. But the moment that one tries to place one's own will on top of it (such as when Kvothe's anger builds upon seeing his lute case beneath the sword tree), it shatters. The moment one tries to determine the quantum state, the waveform collapses.
Alf Bishai
57. greyhood
Crazy thought. Haliax is trying to do with the sun what Iax did with the moon. On the vase, what if the light and dark candle signify phases of the sun? Perhaps he is trying to darken the sun. Shroud the whole world in darkness.

There's not a lot of support for this, I know. Maybe in D3. We didn't know about the moon until D2 after all.
Christopher Johnstone
58. CPJ
@56 gbrell

No, you didn't come across as argumentative. I was more concerned that having just jumped into the conversation I might have been coming across as just making sweeping comments without knowing what people had already talked over.

Interesting point about K's conflicted feelings about the university... he is a lot more split as a character than at first glance...

@ 57 greyhood

It may be a wild idea, but it's a good one. It seems like a completely plausible possibility... another possibility might be (and maybe this is already mentioned somewhere), drawing the moon entirely into Fae. What might that do? What if it turns out that magic is tied to the moon in some way that people don't realise?

Some possibilities anyway.

Really interesting discussion here.

Alice Arneson
59. Wetlandernw
Geminaut @33 - Love the thoughts on the Chandrian signs - that they might not be decay/rot/rust simply for the sake of the destruction, but rather the "force" being pulled from them so that they "age". Life force, potential energy, whatever. If I'm not careful, I'll end up going back to look at the chemical processes involved to see what kind of energy would result... I've been doing a half-hearted study of the Chandrian, their signs, and how (if) they might relate to the Lackless list of seven. This opens up a whole new angle of exploration.

Herelle @35 - That's why my study has been "half-hearted" - in spite of both being seven in number, I can't find any logical connection other than the "candle without light." (I agree - whatever the candle is, even if it doesn't have a flame, it can't be providing light in any normal sense. I wonder if Haliax's black light may illuminate something, though...)

Now to finish reading the comments.
60. Herelle
re Chandrian signs / understanding the theory of "dark sympathy entropic rotting" / Unnaming: Is it basically the Nameless (Chandrian) unName and are ageless? They cause surrounding things to age, transferring and using the energy hence their immortality?
It makes sense, but I rather dislike these kinds of pc-gamelike energy levels in prose, though I admit all in all it would still be a lot more elaborate than Trudi Canavans magic system. I probably got it all wrong though.

Mr. Ash - I read somewhere the translation of Mr. Ash in French was the name of the tree and not the remains of a fire. Ash = Cinder was one of the main arguments for Mr. Ash = Cinder = Denna´s Patron, wasn´t it? As a non english reader I never realized ash is a synonym for cinder anyway, for me it sounded like Zunder in german, which is tinder so I never bothered to look it up.
@47 greggors
"Like a drawstone even in our sleep Standing stone by old road is the way To lead you ever deeper into Fae. Laystone as you lay in hill or dell Greystone leads to something something 'ell'."
Is there a distinction between Standing/Lay-/Greystone or just different names for the same thing? The verse seems to indicate that only standing stones by old roads lead into Fae, not the ones scattered throughout the landscape. I imagine a time of peaceful coexistance between Fae and the mortal world and possibly regular traffic with the now old roads leading to "portals". You know, Felurian sitting on the walls of Myr Tariniel and all.

The Ketan: If I remember correctly only Shehyn was ever described as moving perfectly, never a movement wasted. Doesn´t the last sentence of WMF at least suggest that Kvothe reached a much more advanced degree of mastery of the Ketan than he had when he left Ademre in WMF?
Ashley Fox
61. A Fox
Its interesting that 'one perfect step' should be mentioned in this section hich contains 'three steps ahead'.

It coud the be seen as that one perfect stept was a step in his plan. Impling that he isnt merely subject of Bast's and Scari's plans. Than he is,even, aware of these, and is using this knowledge in his own. Is he, then, s defeated as we believe him to be? Or is he really as consumate an actor has he has claimed.

Denna; I cant shake the thought that she will walk into the frame story. The way I had read Kotes reactions to her, were that; The past is painful to remeber about her, these evensts do certainly lead to some thing bad (all clues lead to that, and a betrayel is almost certainly invoved). But I dont believe she dies. He came across not as grieving, or bitter to me, but as one simply not worried. As if he knew exactly where she is, and in what state.As ff you were telling a story of you and a friend who had a terible time, but knew that currently that friend was just at the supermarket doing the weekly shop. (or using they're co skills to infiltrate the Penitant Kings' court and help right a wrong).

The lack of mentioning ay of K's friends in the frame always struck me. Even the Chronicler doesnt mention them in what he knows of K-evem though he does mention (without grief, or respect owed to grief) 'the girl'. I wouldnt be surprised if those that survive (some wil die) wil be a part of Ks plan.

We are always told Kote 'is waiting to die'. What if he is waiting for the culmination of his plans, in which he expects to die? If it involves coming out of hiding...we know there is a death warant on him.

@BotlleGnomez . Hahahahaha
"the Adem memorize the stories of their swords and have managed to preserve information about the Chandrian, who are notoriously jerks about that sort of thing "

@55CPJ & gbrell. Interesting debate.
62. greggors
@60 Herelle, yeah seems reasonable to me. I assume whatever faction or force that was responsible for the creation of the great stone road is also responsible for the creation of the waystones (if this is not the case then at least both were made with the same quality of workmanship). We see that there is really no breakdown of the road across the potentially thousands of years it has been around and so we can also assume there has been no wear and tear on the waystones either. This (and the fact that the rhyme states that 2 different types of waystones lead to 2 different places) would argue that some were built laying down vs standing up vs in henges etc by design and for specific, different purposes. Another reading would be that the standing stone and laystone do the same thing but some necessity requires that waystones built near the old stone road must be standing while those built in areas away from the stone road must lay. In my research lab we have a mantra that sturcture and function are always related; this seems to me like an example of the same thing only based on the Arcane in Pat's Four Corners.
63. PT
In regards to the meaning of "ka"
Could it perhaps represent the word "ability" or to be able or capable?

how well are you able to speak Siaru ?
Do you feel able to cross the bridge? Or am i the only one who does not feel able to cross the bridge?
Or something similar....
64. PT
Ok so a theory just errupted into my mind.

The way I picture the image of Haliax in my mind shows the lit candle and the waxing moon on one side and the shadow candle coupled with the waning moon on the other.

So initially I thought that perhaps the proportion of moon in the Fae vs The Four Corners directly influences the strength of the bindings put in place upon Haliax. The more of the moon in the Fae, the greater he is hidden, as it returns to our world, he is less tightly bound (or vice versa).

But now

This idea was catalysed by @29's theory of making and unmaking.

Could it be that the whole purpose of stealing the moon was to make unmaking possible? Or simply to stop the Making??? I mean wasnt the stealing of the moon what ignited the Creation war?

Think about it now,

Why werent things being created in the Creation war? Fantastic weapons and the like?
Perhaps the stealing of the moon made Making impossible.

If now in the present Kvothe/Kote has somehow once again stabalised the moon, therefore Making is now possible, mighten this explain the new beasties? Skrael and the Flesh jumper dude that apparently shouldn't exist?

The whole point of the creation war may have been for the right to create. Maybe the Amyr arent the goodies and the Chandrian arent the baddies - Mr Rothfuss isnt usually so black and white, perhaps its more complicated than all that.

This isnt very well thought out, I know. But what im trying to get at is a potential link between Making, the stealing of the moon, and the creation war.
Ashley Fox
65. A Fox
Mmmm I dont really agree.

Iax was one of the greatest Shapers (Skarpi's story, along with Selitos and Lyra) and he was the one who created Faen and stole the moon (apparently-I have always read this as something not eniterly literal). So it seemes unlikely that one of the greatest Shapers-certainly one of the most active!- would want to prevent Shaping..or Making as you have termed it.

Also we know that enitire cities were destroyed during the Creation war. Whilst it hasnt been stated how, it seems to follow logically that some fom of magic must have been used-non technological war simply ould not have the power to *competely* destroy a city. Deiscussions have touched on this before.

Whilst the un-making (surely it should be unShaping?) theory is interesting, I dont really buy it.

The dark flame is literal-we see that at the scene of K's parents demise. It is a mark of castigation, as per Seleitos curse. Haliax always wears the darkness within in an outward sign-the darkness the cloaks him/the candle-so peoplewill not be decieved by his fair face. The use of candle; as other have pointed out the candle is representitive of power. Lanre did not have powers, he was a great general/Leader but was Lyra that held the magic. Until he returned from the dead, mysterious events took place, and he became Haliax. Then he had a dark power. Dark power+curse=depictions on vase. (Existance of vase, always bought to mind Greek/Egypition/Roman apmhora like vesels which often depicted things that had threatened society/animus/things to be feared and which where made to offer to the Gods in hopes of protection...not necessarily to put flowers in!LOL)

Ive posted at length, on the Moon element before. In brief, this is Haliax/Lanres relationship with Lyra/Moon.

I also think this rules out the entropy idea. The Chandrians signs are not controlable (though we have learned that they have learned to hide them to a certain extent) they are marks of a curse. There to give them away. The fact that they have had to learn how to hide them shows that they are not wanted/controlable. I cant then seeing this affliction being used to power them up.

Entropy, of course, may feature as an element of the Curse's nature.

Link between Shaping (!), staeling of the Moon, creation war. This seems to be one of moral nature (perhaps even of the Lethani) the Knowers, repesnted by the hermit in Iax's story, disagree with Shaping (Even though they are the ones that enabled it, by passing along Knowledge). Now it is unclear wether Knowers disagree with Shaping in general, or specificaly with the ceation of Faen-I lean toward the latter. Though it is curious how Shaping is not a feature in the world we are familiar with, which is eveidence for the prior.

(The powers work in a circle-Knowing, some basic Knowing enables Naming, Naming enables Shaping, Shaping should be tempered with Knowledge-Knowing is the greatest power)

Oh-I believe Lorren is part of that side of our potencial underground societies-that of Teccam, not the Amyr. And I also think that Tinkers are like the wondering priests of that order.
Katy Maziarz
66. ArtfulMagpie
Potentially crazy thought about the Chandrian signs...what if, originally, they were actually knacks? But they'vve been warped by the curse? Like, think of the guy in Kvothe's troop who always rolled sevens...but only when he himself touched the dice and caused them to move. Now, if he were under the same curse (or whatever is affecting the Chandrian), every single pair of dice anywhere near him would immediately start turning up sevens, all at once. And if you knew that was his "sign," you'd know he was somewhere nearby. So what if the Chandrian each had their own personal knack which originally only affected things they themselves touched or did, but which now has a more global affect?
C Smith
67. C12VT
@66: The Chandrian's signs do seem to function more like a "knack" than like other magic we see. Sympathy, sygaldry and alchemy, and to a lesser extent naming, are skills that the user intentionally employs. From what we have seen of it, the same is true of fae magic. The Cthaeh says the Chandrian "have a lot of experience hiding those telltale signs", which implies that the "signs" happen automatically rather than intentionally. It seems that Trip, the trouper who threw sevens, couldn't control his knack either - even if he just bumped the table the dice would roll sevens, and if he could turn off his ability, he wouldn't have wound up in jail over it.

Knacks are something we haven't heard a lot about, or gotten a good explanation for. Ben says they used to be seen as demonic by the Tehlins - I have to wonder what the origin of that belief was.
68. greggors
@65 A Fox,

"Though it is curious how Shaping is not a feature in the world we are familiar with, which is eveidence for the prior.

(The powers work in a circle-Knowing, some basic Knowing enables Naming,
Naming enables Shaping, Shaping should be tempered with
Knowledge-Knowing is the greatest power)"

Not sure I agree with this. Isn't what Felurian did to make the Shaed for Kvothe a prime example of shaping? If thats the case then we can't assume that Naming enables Shaping, in fact it seems like Naming and Shaping are pretty distinct -- IIRC (I dont have my book with me) Felurian never uses a name prior to or while she makes the cloak. When she directs K to help, none of his limited naming power is used. I think our lack of exposure to Shaping is due to the fact that we have had only one experience in the Fae rather than a supression of Shaping by whomever 'won' the creation war
Ashley Fox
69. A Fox
Yes, that happens in Faen, not the c's.

You say Felurian did not use names whilst shaping the shaed. My understanding is that; innately Knowing the Name of something enables the part that Shapes.

It goes beyound the simplicty of Knowing the Name of a singular thing and thus having influence of it.

Also it seems like Elodins teachings show that such magics come from the sleeping mind, his lessons t unlock that.

When Felurian gets K to Shape he does it without thinking, his sleeping mind Shapes.

I agree that there is something interesting there with the knacks. I kno that it has been surmised before that those with knacks have the potencial for Naming but not the education. That and their 'demonic' attribute show an interesting development-the suppression of 'magic'-in the years following the creation war via the Tehlin Church sanctifying certain views and demonising the opposition.
70. greggors
It might jsut be a matter of semantics, but I guess I always viewed it differently. I always thought of Naming as the complete understanding of a pre-existing object. Shaping was the formation of a new thing with new charactistics properties from other pre-existing objects, not an evolved form of Naming. Naming does not enable Shaping. The sleeping mind and Knowing enable both Naming and Shaping, just like a mouth and tongue enable both speaking and tasting. They are related but independent of each other. Again, as there is not much text to base this off of, just my opinion
71. PT
Hrrrmm I never saw the crafting of the shaed as a shaping, but rather the fae equivalent of using your natural resourses to craft a product. I mean yes of course there is magic involved, but true shaping? Plus I got the impression whilst Felurian was telling K the days of the shapers that she herself was not one of them.

Which leads to an interesting question, who or what exactly are the Fae? Were they regular people who were shaped into something more, much like the Amyr who were people and then became angels?

I still think there is some connection between the creation war and Iax's stealing of the moon. Can anyone help me place the stealing in with the war's timeline? I mean Felurian seemed to think it was something which made peace impossible - implying that there was couse for conflict prior to the stealing.

My suspicion is that Iax stole her to prevent the war from destroying the world - to limit everyones power.
Julia Mason
72. DrFood
Well, I was away from home and busy, so I didn't even start reading this latest discussion  until today.  So, I'm late to the party.  Lots of interesting insights, as usual.  Here follow some unconnected thoughts that have come up. . . 

I like the idea that K is  exaggerating his negative impact on the four corners, just as he exaggerated his degree of blame for burning the town of Trebon.  

I agree that one might make a vase depicting the Chandrian to set down their attributes for the ages in a way that doesn't invoke their ire.  And how did the wedding family invoke their ire?  I would guess that they discussed the find and spoke the names of one or more Chandrian more than once.  If you go by the behavior of the Ademre, it's relatively safe to say each name once, if no one repeats any of them for one thousand days and/or one thousand miles.  (Actually, this is all spelled out specifically in chapter 129.)

Faeriniel--I think that this might be the missing word at the end of Arliden's half remembered poem.  As in: Greystone leads to --- Faeriniel.  (there's a one syllable word in there.  I'm no poet, so I won't try to pick one.)

Laniel Young-Again--at a reading about a month ago, Pat said that he was going to release a novella prior to the third book of the Kingkiller trilogy.  He didn't have a title, but said it would be the story of Laniel.  He read us part of the beginning, which described an ordinary girl who has an ordinary life.  She falls in loves, marries, has children, raises them, but instead of settling into middle age as a grandmother she takes off and has adventures.  Now, that's a story you don't read every day!  I love how Pat plays with traditional gender roles.
Ryan Reich
73. ryanreich
Regarding shaping and the shaed: I think this was not Shaping per se but more a crafting using tools set up by the Shapers. I think of it this way: in this most modern of times, we all use quantum mechanics all the time. Computers wouldn't work without it. However, I would not say that most of us are quantum physicists, or even computer scientists: we just use what they made. Even better is the cell phone network: I can "make a call" to someone and we are talking on "my phone", like it's something I accomplished; on the contrary, I'm just tapping a huge latent resource established and maintained by far more capable people.

Likewise, in Fae, there are tools that can be used for shaping. This is no surprise, since the Shapers made Fae as an exercise in their craft; my theory is that they were using it as a kind of sandbox. No surprise that there are some shovels and buckets lying around.

A lot of people are making a big deal about the different words Knowing, Naming, and Shaping, but I think this is based in a misunderstanding. The distinctions only come up in the book in two places: Hespe's story and Felurian's story. Hespe doesn't even use any of the words, but it's clear she's talking about the same distinctions; Felurian talks about people who used naming for different philosophical purposes. In both cases, the distinction is one of attitude: "thinking in terms of mastery" is what Felurian said. Knowing and Shaping are not distinct talents, but just approaches to using the skill of Naming. It's not like the difference between sympathy and naming.
George Brell
74. gbrell
I think ryanreich is the closest to my thoughts on the matter. I don't view Naming/Shaping as different powers; rather, they strike me as different applications of the same power. Where naming is understanding and "partnership" (for want of a better word), shaping is the use of the same power for mastery and control and change. Underlying a lot of Felurian's comments/Hespe's story is the presumptuousness of control (e.g. Jax being unable to unknot the third, special sack) and I think this aspect of the book, the underlying disdain for privilege and haughtiness, makes sense in casting the two sides of the conflict.

With regards to the creation of the Fae and the origin of humanity, I can honestly say I have no concrete ideas where PR is going with this. With that said, we know that naming is literally instictive for the Fae. Their grammarie is such that they essentially can't explain it.

What if, and this is total conjecture, the Shapers began separating individuals (pre-humans) into their waking and sleeping minds. Their waking minds were capable of rational thought, of stamping their will on the world via sympathy and sygaldry. Sleeping minds (the Fae) are capable of instinctive magic and are creatures of emotion and incredible complexity paired with incredibly base emotions.

But just like the moon couldn't be completely captured, so too could persons not be wholly split. So in every human there is a tie to their ancestral sleeping mind (those with the greatest tie are able to become Namers). In every Fae there is a sliver of the waking mind (less in creatures of desire like Felurian or the skinwalker, more in Bast).
Ashley Fox
75. A Fox
@ greggors. I think here e will have to agree to disagree, as we have differering perspectives. And as you say, no firm answer in the text!

Though Felurian does call it grammerie 'the art of making things be' and glamourie 'the art of making things seem'. Whether these are just differents names for the power of Naming/Knowing/Shaping....

Though it certainly comes from the sleeping ind 'absentmindedly she...' and t the begining of the making of the shaed ' the shape in her lap looked like thick, dark cloth.' and a little later 'she held the dark shape of the shaed'

@PT Look to Felurians story and Drossen Tor..also look to this reread. I cant remember exactly where-skarpis section?_but there is lots of interesting discussion. Though certainly the 'angels'-Singers-are not the Amyr! The Amyr were led by Selitos, who were not happy to onl bring justice to wrongs whitnessed after the shaping, but rather for venegence at what had already passed. So the amyr are not singers-or angels, the Tehlin sactification of the beings.

@73 you may have a point. But I think it would be going to far to dismiss all Fae magic as them merely using tools eft around. Its shown clearly that the Fae have power-lots of power, more in general, than mortals of the 4c's. It should also be considered that the Fae, as were mortals, made by Shapers. Perhaps they were made to intenionally have their sleeping mind more awake-making powers that arise from it more natural to them.

Or maybe that was a mistake and so mortals were made-with that part of their mind asleep.

Depends I guess, on what they were made for. (or of course, whether it was a literal Shaping or allegory for the evolution of two distinct peoples from the originals who had these powers.)
Alf Bishai
76. greyhood
(Sorry for the change of topic.) I've got to talk about Puppet! What is he there for? I'm personally hungry for more speculation. He knows about the 4-plate door!

He's obviously something important. He knows the archives better than Lorren. And not just the books, but the books. His knowledge of history isn't just detailed, it's intimate. He's been around a long time, but who knows how long? He has some kind of crazy discernment power. (Did someone suggest he might be Teccam?) He has special status among the masters because he can use fire in the archives. He is at least a master. Like Elodin, he has the two modes: whimsical crazy followed quickly by icy clarity, deep seeing, intensity. And he's connected to the Big Story, because the 4-plate door (which is apparently right above him) is an issue that's able to snap him into frightening focus.

What if he's a guardian of the 4-plate door? Maybe he periodically checks it's hinges and hydraulic fluid.

But here's another thought. This is a follow-up to @50 which I guess didn't particularly interest anybody, so I'm trying to build a case.

The Cthaeh is a story-teller. (A central theme.) One with a particular style, and with a particular purpose. It uses stories to write stories. By telling K about D, he is writing the story of K's life. How? Because it can see what it needs to say to make a certain outcome inevitable. This is like the magic writing that becomes true once you read it. What is the effect of someone speaking to the Cthaeh? They become its puppet.

Hm. That reminds me of a character named...Puppet! Puppet is also a story teller. He actually uses puppets to tell the stories. (I think this is a bizarre hidden-in-plain-sight device. His actual puppetry somehow distracts us from the deeper significance of his nickname.) And what was the story the puppets told? A young woman being struck to the ground by a priest on a mission. She even begs him at some point.

The mysterious thing about this is that he tells this story before the Cthaeh tells K the same story about D!

So I wonder if Puppet has one-upped the Cthaeh. This is like time-travel. It's conundrum-ridden. Does the Good Seer's story trump the Bad Seer's story, who also must have seen the Good Seer's story of trumping his story? Or are there two more levels to this I-know-that-you-know-that-I-know-that-you-know-that-I-know...

Which is why it is so interesting that Puppet comments on K's thinking three moves ahead.

Finally, what does Puppet tell K to do? Relax. Stop trying to get into trouble. Hm. Like...become an innkeeper in the middle of Newarre?

If no one thinks Puppet and the Cthaeh are foils - literary or actual - then I promise I'll drop it. : )
77. westmarch
@greyhood (76)

Puppet vs Cthaeh was what I was getting at in my original post (43), that they at least are the symbolic leaders of the two factions that have fighting since the beginning of the creation war. That I think they are Teccam and Iax is a stretch, admittedly, but I definitely agree that they are foils in an actual sense, given their shared seeing/listening/shaping ability. The Cthaeh scoffs at being called an Oracle by K, meaning he sees himself as much more than that, like a Shaper. Puppet seems to be more laid back about it, likes to listen, and tells stories.

Another random thought: what if Devi's interest in the Archives is not so much access to the books (what she tells K, basically) but really wants access to Puppet (which she would never admit to)? Certainly elevates his importance, I'd say.

Ever since reading that PR put Devi and Auri into the book after the original drafts, I've always thought of them having an important plot-advancing purpose and perhaps a common link. I could see Puppet being that link.
Alf Bishai
78. greyhood
Another structural connection between Puppet and the Cthaeh: both said something to the effect of 'wait, I'm not done with you yet' when K left.

An atmospheric connection: both are in elaborately secluded locations.

An intrinsic connection: there are lots of ripples around both about merely speaking to them. ( and )

An ornamental connection: the wood shavings and the butterfly wings.
margaret Debelius
79. DislexicRiter
@76 Greyhood
I like the idea that Puppet and Chteah are oposing leaders, (kind of like two Kings in a game of chess: they don't move around a lot but are the most important players in the game)

The story telling comment made me think of a quote by Phillip K. Dicks: “The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words.” People don't speak of or study the Chandian becasue to say their name is to get their attention.

I'm not quite sure if there was a consensus on shaping (I don't have the books handy so I'm just reading comments now) but shaping could be changing the meaning of names/identies/stories.

PK give us all these stories and all these names and each one is slightly warped in the telling and distorited by other similar stories. People alread seem to be getting Kvothe story mixed up with Taborlin it hasn't been a decade yet. Iax, Halix, Enlas and Encannis all seem to be variations on the seven cities story.

Direct translations across langueges are really hard and 4C has alot of languages. As stories move around 4C they change becasue of lingusitic differences and changes in the mood of the story teller. (Kvothe proved that mood of the proformer changes the audiance perseption with that "joke on the lute" stunt)

Maybe the Chtean (while confined to Fae) with unknown magic (a knack?) is able to change/shape naratives as the traval through the Four Cornners population.

There has been alot of talk about Shaping vs. Naming, and Chandrian vs. Amyr, Greyhood (76) talked about Chtean vs. Puppet, BotlGnomez (54) talked about Edema Ruh vs. Adem, and Heart of Stone vs. Falling Leaf.

Edema Ruh know all the stories, and probaly all the versions of the stories out there. They are considered bad news by many, were called Raval (posible a combinaton of Edema RUh and and traVal) and were hunted down. Maybe they were hunted down becasue they were viewed as bringing corruption by changing the stories for there audiance and allowing Chtean to have an effect on the world. Maybe the Charian didn't particularly want to kill Kvothe's parents, becasuse they have no problem with Edema Ruh, but the constant bother of being named over and over again was driving them up an wall. That could be why they left Kvothe alive, because he was Edema Ruh. (if i remember corectly, not everyone in the Edema Ruh carivan was born Edema Ruh so the Charian just didn't want the song getting out).

Maybe the ansestors of the Edema Ruh and Adem, who I'm just going to call Edem, were the people of the Seven cities that got distroyed. When they found that no one would take them (possibly becasue they had been effected by the corrution of Chtean) they ended up splitting into two groups.

The Edema Ruh decided that they should just try to outrun the trouble and warn people/ cut some kind of deal with Chtean. They choese to be nonviolent and preserve the stories of what happened durning the Fall of the seven citeis. They kept thier freedom of expression but they remained open to the Chtean Courption.

The Adem on the other had wanted to prevent another catyclism and so they moved to Ademre and cut out the parts of their culture that left them exsposed to the Chtean courption. They created the "right way of thinking" to protect themselves. They also see it as thier dutie to monitor Chtean coruption. They traval around 4 cornners as mercinaries so that they can monitor the center of any confict. In Chapter 36 of NotW Kvothe sights alianating both the Amyr and the Adem in his reason why the Aturan empire fell. So unlike the Edema Ruh the Adem are active in politics.

If the Department of Imaginary Linguistics could keep an eye out for the meaning of Adem/Edem and more importanly for Ruh/Ra (as in Ravel)/A-ru, it might explain their relationship.
Julia Flint
80. Herelle
@74 gbrell
Where naming is understanding and "partnership" (for want of a better word), shaping is the use of the same power for mastery and control and change.
Naming the wind gave Kvothe power over it. He stilled the sword tree, made Denna breathe again, that is mastery, he willed the wind to this effect. But I agree, Naming and Shaping seem to be related and ultimatly are the same. I believe it is just a matter of degree and purpose, like using something with its natural properties, changing something into something with different properties or creating something wholly new. And the chisma probably ocurred when the Shapers didn´t only shape already existant things but started to create - hence Creation War.

What if, and this is total conjecture, the Shapers began separating individuals (pre-humans) into their waking and sleeping minds. Their waking minds were capable of rational thought, of stamping their will on the world via sympathy and sygaldry. Sleeping minds (the Fae) are capable of instinctive magic and are creatures of emotion and incredible complexity paired with incredibly base emotions.
But just like the moon couldn't be completely captured, so too could persons not be wholly split. So in every human there is a tie to their ancestral sleeping mind (those with the greatest tie are able to become Namers). In every Fae there is a sliver of the waking mind (less in creatures of desire like Felurian or the skinwalker, more in Bast).

I really like this idea. It makes the most sense to the fact that Felurian is of the Fae but was there before Fae was created. I know I had a similar idea somewhere here but I can´t find it. Something along the lines of magic being drawn into Fae mostly, too. Whew, I can´t even remember what I´ve speculated about before. Is there a possibility to look for my own comments? I tried searching for my user name but only the comments of users who wrote my user name in their comments were shown.
81. Fernandofp
Doesn't it seems interesting that in all the moments the Sithe were more needed ( Iax, lanre and maybe kvothe) they weren't there? what if Cthaeh managed to corrupt them?
82. thedarkone
@71 I also noted in the story Felurian told she said this was before men so who was fighting the war? If there were no men then what were Lanre and Lyra and Iax and Selitos? I assumed from how the two things are mentioned together that the Chandrian were the leaders of the seven and one cities. Since they weren't men as we know them maybe the signs are just something that these 'not men" can just do? Not having anything to do with being able to name or using alar. And where are all these not men now? Dead from the war? hanging around the edges of civilization?
@64 I like that theory and i think it fits in nicely of what we know in the story so far. At the University they teach Naming although many seem to be skeptical of it's actual usefulness (including the faculty). However there is no Master Shaper, no class for Shaping not even a mention of Shaping in the real world . Shaping exist as far as we know right now only in stories. So it seems to me that whatever side Selitos and the Amyr are on they lost the upperhand and the art of Shaping in the process. Either that or they purposefully hid the ability to Shape and a lot of relevant knowledge about Shaping. This also fits in with Lorren being in a position to monitor what type of information goes into and come out of the Library if he's one of the Amyr.

One last thing, I noticed that in the story of Jax he went though Tinue because apparently "all roads lead there" however when I looked on the map "the Free City of Tinue" wasn't anwhere near the great road and in fact didn't have any roads leading towards it. The saying that "all roads lead to Rome" was true during a specific period in history but was used to convey the idea that Rome was the center of the world at the time. I wonder if Tinue is the same?
Sorry if any of this has been said before. I skimmed over some of the comments.
Alf Bishai
83. greyhood
Random thought. In Hespe's story, we're rooting for Jax to heed the hermit - to stop striving and learn to listen. Is K doing that now? He's gone the Jax route and caused disaster (Kote). Now he's learned and he's going to try to be the Listener. Quiet, sequestered, peaceful.
84. faek
Just a random comment on something said earlier in the comments about D: I don't think that K is trying to forget her in the frame story. He's growing seelas flowers in the back of the inn (don't have a page nr available), and we're told in WMF that it's very, very difficult to cultivate them. Her connection to the flowers in his mind is rather obvious. I think that he's rather mourning her death or similar.
Andrew Mason
85. AnotherAndrew
One nice thing in this section is the description of the bridge as 'older than God'; which if 'God' is Tehlu, and he started out as a regular person in a former age, it actually may be.
Tim Djerf
86. TDjerf
As I read about the painting of Haliax here a theory jumped out of nowhere at me. I read it as, going left from right the moon grows to full then shrinks to new
The candle goes from normal to-----------black and Haliax in the middle.
The curse on Haliax is something about showing the world the true darkness on the inside of him.
This could mean either that a) as the moon grows Haliax aint a bad guy
Or b) he IS a bad guy you just don’t know he’s there.

My theory builds on the first possibility, first however we have to understand a few things. First: Haliax is NOT “evil” he just wants to end the world for the greater good and that’s the greatest of all good, he’s spent the last 5000 years planning and working for it, meaning that if you meet him in a dark alley you’re safe if he don’t think you know anything about him as long as you stay out of his easy reach, otherwise he’ll kill you if it won’t slow him down for your own good.
Second: he can’t sleep, he can’t forget, he’s NOT crazy and he can’t die. This means he can’t heal his mind while sleeping and dreaming, he probably can’t go nut’s and stop feeling/ caring, he probably remember the pain of every wound he ever had and all the pain and suffering he has caused or witnessed over 5000years and he can’t escape this by dyeing.
The death of Lyra held enough pain for him to want the world to end, imagine how he must feel now.

Right, now if Haliax spends the moon cycle, growing->full----->shrinking->new, going in his own cycle between 3 extreme states, good-->blend-->bad--------->blend.
Why would that be, How could that be? Well I gather from what we are told that at some point during the CW Lyra gets sick or more probable poisoned ( could be out of fear of what she did bringing back Lanre) at this time Lanre is neither knower, namer nor shaper, so he goes to the Chteak for the flowers that grows there which can cure her.
When he returns he returns with an enemy, a new name and some nasty naming stuff enough to match the best there is and a mood too boot.
Do you notice the hole in the story? Where did the naming and the enemy and more so the new name come from ?
I think it’s safe to assume that the Chteak spoke with Lanre and told him the Truth which could have been something like
“Lyra won’t live long enough for you to return. It’s really a shame you know, the people you two fought so hard to protect feared her for her powers, hated her actually and they killed her for it. To bad you’re not a namer like she was, then you could have helped her, do for her what she did for you. There might be a way for you to become a powerful enough namer in time to save her, Iax is.”
And he goes on to tell him some way for Lanre to steal/borrow/copy and incorporate part or the whole of Iax’s Name to himself. The act of doing this closes the remaining doors of his mind and death if Lyra’s actions hadn’t done that for him, it also changes him, his Name and name both, his name is now part Iax’s name, it might even mean part Iax.
HalIax = part Iax, come to think of it that might be the true root for ha’penny instead of a short for half a penny it’s part of a penny, credit to this I think is that the gentry when they care to speak of those sums speaks of ha’penny which doesn’t seam to be the sort of thing a noble would do, using the commoner slang.
The thing is that knowing everything the Chteah could tell the perfect truth and still lie in essence, there was no way for Haliax to save Lyra and this double betrayal would make him more angry at the world.

What I’m saying is that when the moon grows the Iax part is happy and the Lanre part shines thru which means that his actions really is for what he perceives as a god cause, when it shrinks the Iax part is dominant and is angry which leads to his cause to grow nasty, when it’s either full or new the Iax part is content because he knows that it’s coming to him or he has it fully there but also that it’s going or coming balancing out each other.
And I’m guessing that the shadow around him is strongest when the moon is full or new but that it’s always there because there’s really something wrong with him.

This could explain the comment Haliax and his seven, Haliax is not one of the seven but maybe Lanre is.
Tim Djerf
87. TDjerf
sorry for the dubbel post but the unNaming theory thing did make atleast me to reread about Kvothe's ring whithout a name.
David C
88. David_C
@50. greyhood

Seer or god, I think that you are right in saying that Puppet is showing an interaction between Master Ash and D. This is very insightful!
David C
89. David_C
Random thought. We wonder who the tinkers are. We know that Lorren has agents out collecting books throughout 4C and beyond. Are they connected?
90. wickedkinetic
@50@88/etc - this rings true to me as well - and also indicates that Denna's patron might be an incognito priest in the Tehlin church. Given PR's painting the church as a corrupt/false/dangerous but impotent remnant of its past power as a primary mover in the previous iteration of the current kingdom - it would only make sense that there is still a section of the Tehlin church that is also dabbling in the Creation War (or post-Creation War) or whatever you want to call what turns out to be ongoing between Amyr/Chandrian/Sithe/Singers/Fae/Tehlu/etc

I find it strange that we do not have any insight into current church members or leadership - only a glimpse that they still have power in the stories of The Trial and the Iron Law and Temic/Tema still being used, and them abducting Skarpi for 'telling the wrong sorts of stories' or some-such.

Why wouldn't Mr Ash be a church-figure using Tehlu-beliefs to inflict guilt and control over D, and is there any mention of a 'chaplain' or local Tehlin minister in the Maer Alveron's court sequence? I'm in the middle of that so I'll keep an eye out.....
91. DC
Has anyone seen this? it's an excerpt from WMF released in 2008 and differs quite a bit from what eventually made it into the novel:

“Where are we going, anyway?” I asked Wilem as he led us through the dark shelves of the Archives. “He's down in the lower levels,” Wilem said as he turned to descend a long flight of stone steps. Countless years of shuffling feet had slowly eroded the grey stone of the steps until they were noticably worn at the middle, making them look bowed like heavy-laden shelves. As we started down, the shadows from our hand lamps made the steps look smooth and dark and edgeless, like an abandoned riverbed worn from the rock. I recognised an open doorway that led away from the main stairwell, and I tugged on Wilem's sleeve. “Detour,” I whispered. Wilem hesitated, then shrugged, knowing what I meant without asking. Simmon must have guessed too, as he made no move to question why we were stepping off the stairs at this particular place. We were well underground now, about thirty feet beneath the Archives at my best guess. The stone hallway looked just the same as any other piece of the Archives: high ceilings and smooth, grey stone walls. If a person got turned around, he might even forget that he was underground, as lack of windows meant nothing in the windowless building. As we approached we saw a pair of Scrivs slipping away, the light from their brighter, whiter sympathy lamps disappearing quickly around some bend of passage hidden in the shelving. I didn’t doubt that they were here for the same reason we were. The three of us finally came to a stretch of wall that stood strangely empty. Shelves crowded every available piece of space above or below ground in the library, setting this place apart from all others in the building. Here was the four-plate door. This is what we had come to see. It was made of a great square piece of grey stone. It wasn't that large, everything said, perhaps seven feet on a side, but it gave an impression of vast solidity and weight. Its frame was a single seamless piece of stone that snugged so closely to the door that a sheet of fine paper could almost be slid through the crack between them. Almost. It had no hinges. No handle. No window or sliding panel. Its only features were four bright copper plates set flush with the face of the door, which was flush with the frame, which was flush with the wall surrounding it. You could run your hand from one side of the door to the next and barely feel it. In spite of these notable lacks, the stone was undoubtedly a door. It simply was. It felt like a door. Each of the copper plates had a hole in its center. Though they were not shaped in the conventional way, they were undoubtedly keyholes. It sat still as a mountain, quiet and indifferent as the sea on a windless day. This was not a door for opening. It was a door for staying closed. In the center of the door, between the hard copper plates, a word was carved into the stone: Valaritas. I set my fingertips against the middle of the door, running them across the word I didn’t understand. A word I hadn't been able to find in any grammar or dictum in the Archives. As I've already told you, I discovered the door on my first trip into the Archives. Later, when I had asked Simmon and Wilem what was behind it, they had laughed. Actually, Simmon had laughed. Wil simply gave a smile that was nearly a laugh and asked me the same question in return, offering to give me a full gold mark if I could show him the answer. I soon found out that most students would give more than that. I knew I would. Everyone had a guess as to what was behind the door, and there were at least a hundred stories about it. It was generally agreed that the masters could open the door. Some believed that those who became full arcanists were taken inside after they had earned their gilthe. Perhaps as a reward, perhaps as a final rite of initiation. Only one thing was certain, none of the students knew what lay behind it, and all of them wanted to. Of all the University’s secrets, I suspect this one was wondered over most. But while most students' interest in the four-plate door faded in light of the thousand more accessible secrets the University provided, I never tired of it. When I finally managed to sneak into the Archives, this was the first place that I had come. And every time afterward. No matter how hurried or tired or busy or busy I was, I was drawn back to the door again and again. Each time some part of me was sure that this would be the time I might find the door ajar. Or with a key still left in one of its locks. Or perhaps the great piece of grey stone would simply swing open to the pressure of my hand. It is fair to say that I have a gentle madness where secrets are concerned. If something is kept from me, I cannot help but pursue and uncover it. But this particular secret drew at me more than any other. The University is the heart of all civilization. The Archives is the heart of the University. What then, lay here, in the heart of the Archives? What was Valaritas? Setting my palm against the deep grooves of the letters, I gave a hesitant push. I had forgotten that Simmon and Wilem were behind me. My only thought was that this was it. This would be the time it opened. It would. It didn’t. I rapidly remembered myself and dropped my hand to my side. Either my friends hadn't noticed, or they were too polite to mention it. We had discussed the frequently over the last several months, grousing about the unfairness of it all. Sometimes we would take our best guesses about what was behind it, about who had access, about the reasons the Masters kept so hush about it. “Maybe Valaritas is the name of a place,” Simmon said softly. We nodded, guesses were never questioned or ridiculed. Later, perhaps, they might be discussed. But not now, not here. It would be like laughing in a church. "Come on," Simmon said at last. "If you're going to meet Puppet we should go now. He was fine when I stopped down before, but you know how quick that can change." "Actually, I don't know," I said. "I do," Wilem said. "We should go." We faded back from the door, heading back to the stairwell, our red lamps throwing long shadows into the dark. * * * “The most important thing is to be polite,” Simmon said in a hushed tone as we made our way through the tall shelves of the Archives. Our sympathy lamps shot bands of light through the shelves and made the shadows dance nervously. “Unfailingly polite, but don’t patronize him. He's a bit—odd, but he’s not an idiot. Just treat him like you would treat anyone else.” “Except polite,” I said sarcastically, tiring of this litany of advice. “Exactly,” Simmon said seriously. “Are you sure he’s going to be there?” I asked, mostly to stop Simmon’s henpecking. “He’s always there. I don’t think he leaves his chambers very much.” “He lives here?" Neither of them said anything, merely watched their feet as their shoes scuffed one step after another. That seemed to be answer enough. Wilem led the way down a short flight of stairs, then through a long stretch of shelf-lined hallway. Finally we came to an unremarkable door tucked in a corner behind a set of shelving. If I hadn’t known better I would have thought that it was nothing more than one of the countless reading holes scattered throughout the stacks. “Just don’t do anything to upset him,” Simmon said nervously. I assumed my best martyred expression as Wilem knocked on the door. The handle began to turn somewhere between the second and third knock. It was opened a crack, then thrown wide. Puppet was framed in the doorway, taller than any of us. The sleeves of his black robe billowed strikingly in the breeze the opening door made. He stared at us haughtily for a moment, then looked puzzled and brought a hand to touch the side of his head. “Wait, I’ve forgotten my hood,” he said, and kicked the door closed. Odd as his brief appearance had been, I’d noticed something more disturbing. “Great Tehlu,” I hissed to Simmon. “He’s got candles in there. Does Lorren know?” Simmon opened his mouth to answer when the door was thrown open again. Puppet filled the doorway, his dark robe striking against the warm candlelight behind him. He was hooded now, with his arms upraised. The long sleeves of his robes caught the inrush of air and billowed impressively. The same rush of air caught his hood and blew it partway off his head. “Damn.” He said in a distracted voice. Sliding backward, the hood settled half on, half off his head, partially covering one eye. He kicked the door shut again. Wilem and Simmon remained straight-faced. I assumed the same expression and refrained from any comment. There was a long moment where all was quiet. Finally a voice came from the other side of the door. “Would you mind knocking again? It doesn’t seem quite right otherwise.” Obediently, Wilem stepped back up to the door and knocked. Once, twice, then the door swung open and we were confronted with a looming figure in a dark robe. His cowled hood shadowed his face, and the long sleeves of his robe stirred in the wind. “Who calls on Taborlin the Great?” Puppet intoned, his voice resonant, but muffled from the deep hood. “You! Simmon!” There was a pause, and his voice lost its dramatic resonance. “I’ve seen you already today, haven’t I?” Simmon nodded. In spite of his calm demeanor, I could sense the laughter tumbling around in him, trying to find a way out. “How long ago?” “About an hour.” “Hmmm.” The hood nodded. “Was I better this time?” He reached up to push the hood back and I noticed that the robe was too big for him, the sleeves hanging down to nearly his fingertips. When his face was out from the shadow of the hood I saw that he was grinning like a child playing dress-up in his parent’s clothes. “You weren’t doing Taborlin before.” Simmon admitted. “Oh.” Puppet seemed a little put out. “How was I this time? The last time, I mean. Was it a good Taborlin?” “Pretty good,” Simmon said. Puppet looked at Wilem. “I liked the robe,” Wilem said. “But I always imagined Taborlin with a gentle voice.” “Oh.” He finally looked at me. “Hello.” “Hello,” I said in my politest tone. “I don’t know you.” A pause. “Who are you?” “I am Kvothe.” “You seem so certain of it,” he said, looking at me intently. Another pause. “They call me Puppet.” “Who is ‘they?’” “Who are they?” He corrected, raising a finger. I smiled. “Who are they then?” “Who were they then?” “Who are they now?” I clarified, my smile growing wider. He mirrored my smile in a distracted way and made a vague gesture with one hand. “You know, them. People.” He continued to look at me in the same way I might examine an interesting stone, or a type of leaf I’d never seen before. Another pause as he continued to methodically look me over. “What do you call yourself?” I asked to fill the silence. He seemed a little surprised, and his eyes focused back onto me in a more ordinary way. “That would be telling, I suspect,” he said with a touch of reproach. He glanced at the silent Wilem and Simmon. “You should come in now.” He turned and walked inside. The room wasn’t particularly large. But it did seem out of place, nestled deep in the heart of the Archives. There was a deep padded chair, a large wooden table, and a pair of doorways leading into other rooms. There were books, of course, stacked on shelves and bookcases. A pair of drawn curtains against one wall surprised me. My mind fought off the impression that there was a window behind them. The room was lit with candles, long tapers and thick dripping pillars of wax. Each of them filled me with a vague dread at the thought of open flame in a building filled with thousands and thousands of precious books. And there were puppets. They hung from shelves and pegs on walls. They lay crumpled in corners and under chairs, some were in the process of being built or repaired, scattered among tools across the tabletop. One wall was covered in shelving that was full of what seemed to be small puppets at first, but soon revealed themselves to be figurines, each cleverly carved and painted in the shape of a person. On his way to his table, Puppet shrugged out of the black robe and let it fall carelessly to the floor. He was dressed plainly underneath, wrinkled white shirt, wrinkled dark pants, and stocking feet. Without the robe or hood I realized he was older than I'd thought. His face was smooth and unlined, but his hair was white and thin on top. He cleared a chair for me by carefully removing a small string puppet from the seat and finding it a place on a nearby shelf. He then took a seat at the table, leaving Wilem and Simmon standing behind him. To their credit, they didn’t seem terribly disconcerted. Digging a little in the clutter on the table he brought out an irregularly shaped piece of wood and a small knife. He took another long, searching look at my face, and began to methodically carve curls of wood onto the tabletop. Oddly enough, I had no desire to ask anyone what exactly was going on. When you ask as many questions as I do, you get a feeling for when they are appropriate and when they are not. Besides, I knew what the answers would be. He was one of the talented, not-quite-sane people that had found a niche for themselves at the University. The University had more than its fair share of eccentric characters. Not because it attracted them, but because it made them. Let me explain. The rigors of Arcanum training tend to do unnatural things to student’s minds. The most notable of these unnatural things is desirable: the ability to do what most people call magic and we call sympathy, sygaldry, alchemy and the like. Believing that wax dolls are real people and playing ‘seek the stone’ are not normal things for a mind to do. Some minds, such as mine, take to it easily. Other minds have more difficulty, and when those are pushed too hard, or in the wrong ways, they break. I was all too aware of the fact that a mile north of the University there was a place called Haven. A pretty name, for an asylum. It was full of those who pushed themselves too hard in their studies and broke under the strain. Students rarely spoke of Haven. When they did, it was with a nervous bravado. They referred to it as the Rookery, or the Crockery. It was place for broken pots that could not take the heat of the flame. But between these two extremes lay a great many students. Most minds don’t break when put under the Arcanum’s stresses, they simply crack a little. Sometimes these cracks show themselves in small ways: facial ticks, stuttering. Some students became forgetful, others remembered things that hadn’t happened at all. Some students heard voices, others grew sensitive to light. I guessed Puppet was a student who had cracked years and years ago. Not enough to send him to the Crockery, but enough that couldn't function anywhere else. “Does he always look like this?” Puppet asked Wilem and Simmon. A small drift of pale wood shavings had gathered around his hands. “Mostly,” Wilem said. “Like what?” Simmon asked. “Like he’s just thought through his next three moves in a game of tirani and figured out how he’s going to beat you.” Puppet took another long look at my face and shaved another thin strip of wood away from the block. “It’s rather irritating, really.” They both craned to get a better look at me. Wilem barked a laugh. “That’s his thinking face, Puppet. He wears it a lot, but not all the time.” “What’s tirani?” Simmon asked. “A thinker,” Puppet mused. “What are you thinking now?” “I’m thinking that you must be a very careful watcher of people, Puppet,” I said politely. Puppet snorted without looking up. “What use is care in watching? What good is watching for that matter? People are forever watching things, carefully looking around. To no use. They should be seeing. I see things that I look at. I am a see-er.” He looked at the piece of wood in his hand, then to my face. Apparently satisfied, he folded his hands over the top of his carving, but not before I glimpsed my own profile, cunningly wrought in wood. “Do you know what you are, what you are not, and what you will be?” He asked matter-of-factly. It sounded like a riddle. I thought about it briefly before giving up. “No.” “A see-er,” he said with certainty. “You are a see-er because that is what E’lir means. But you are not really a see-er, not yet. Now you are a look-er. I guess you will be a true E’lir at some point. If you learn to relax.” He held out the carved wooden face. “What do you see here?” It was no longer an irregular piece of wood. Now the gnarled piece of birch held the angles of my face. My features, locked in serious contemplation, stared out of the wood grain. I leaned forward to get a closer look. “Well...” Puppet laughed and threw up his hands. “Too late!” he exclaimed, looking childlike for a moment. “You looked too hard and didn’t see enough. Too much looking can get in the way of seeing, you see?” Puppet set the carved face on the tabletop so that it seemed to be staring at one of the recumbent puppets. “See little wooden Kvothe? See him looking? He is so intent. So dedicated. He’ll look for a hundred years, but will he ever see what is in front of him?” Puppet settled back in his seat, and looked around in a contented way. “E’lir means see-er?” Simmon asked. “Do the other titles mean things too?” “Since you are a student, with full access to the Archives and all its varied secrets, I imagine that you can find that out for yourself,” Puppet said. His attention focused on a string-puppet on the table in front of him. He lifted it off the table and lowered it carefully to the floor so as not to tangle its strings. It was a perfect miniature of a Tehlin priest. “Would you have any advice as to where we could start looking for that?” I asked, playing a hunch. “Renfalque’s Dictum.” Under Puppet’s direction, the Tehlin-puppet raised himself from the floor and moved each of his limbs, almost as if he were stretching them after a long sleep. “Renfalque? I’m not familiar with that one.” Puppet responded in a distracted voice. “It’s on the second floor in the southeast corner. Second row, second rack, third shelf, right hand side, red leather binding.” The miniature Tehlin priest walked slowly about the floor around Puppet’s feet. Clutched tightly in one hand was a tiny replica of the Book of Path, perfectly fashioned, right down to the tiny spoked wheel painted on its cover. The three of us watched Puppet pull the strings of the little priest, making it walk back and forth before finally coming to sit on one of Puppet’s stocking-clad feet. After a minute or two of this, Wilem cleared his throat respectfully. “Puppet?” “Yes?” Puppet replied without looking up from the Tehlin at his feet. “You have a question. Or rather, Kvothe has a question and you’re thinking of asking it for him. He is sitting slightly forward in his seat. There is a slight furrow between his brows, and a pursing of the lips that gives it away. Let him ask me, it might do him good.” I froze in place, catching myself doing each of the things he had mentioned. I sat stiffly for a while, trying to remember how exactly to sit naturally in a chair. Puppet continued to work the strings of his little Tehlin. It made a careful, fearful search of the area around his feet, brandishing the book in front of him before he peered around table legs and into Puppet’s abandoned shoes. Its movements were uncanny, and it distracted me to the point where I forgot I was uncomfortable, and felt myself relax. “I was wondering about the Amyr, actually.” My eyes remained on the scene unfolding at Puppet’s feet. Another marionette had joined the show, a young girl in a peasant dress. She approached the Tehlin and held out a hand as if trying to give him something. No, she was asking him a question. The Tehlin turned his back on her. She laid a timid hand on his arm. He took a haughty step away. “I was wondering who disbanded them. Emperor Nalto or the church.” “Still looking for something,” he admonished me, but more gently then before. “You need to go chase the wind for a while, you are too serious. It will lead you into trouble.” The Tehlin suddenly turned on the girl. Trembling with rage it menaced her with the book. She took a startled step backward and stumbled to her knees. “The church disbanded them of course. Only an edict from the Pontifex in Atur had the ability to affect them.” The Tehlin struck the girl with the book. Once, twice, driving her to the ground, where she lay terribly still. “Nalto couldn’t have told them to cross to the other side of the street, let alone disband.” Some slight motion drew Puppet’s eye. “Oh dear me,” he said, cocking his head toward Wilem. “See what I see. The head bows slightly. The jaw clenches in irritation, but the eyes aren’t fixed on anything, aiming the irritation inward. If I were the sort of person who judged, I’d guess that Wilem had just lost a bet. Don’t you know that Tehlu and church both frown on gambling?” At Puppet’s feet, the priest brandished the book upward at Wilem. The Tehlin then brought its hands together and turned away from the crumpled woman. It took a stately step or two away and bowed its head to pray. I managed to pull my attention away from the tableau and look up at our host, “Puppet?” I asked, “You spend a lot of time in the Archives, don’t you?” I saw Simmon give Wilem an anxious look. But Puppet didn’t seem to find anything odd about the question. The Tehlin at his feet stood and started to dance and caper about. “Yes.” “Do you think it odd that there is so little information about the Amyr in the stacks?” “Oh certainly,” he said without looking up from the marionette at his feet. “There should be scads of books, barrows full.” “About how many?” I asked on impulse, leaning slightly forward in my chair. “There should be....” he closed his eyes briefly, then opened them. “Roughly six hundred twenty volumes devoted to their explication.” “How many are there?” “Fifty or so that give them a mention, but books where they are the main subject of discourse?” He closed his eyes again. At his feet, the Tehlin lost its animation for a moment. “Eight.” I was quiet for a moment while I wondered what strange calculus had gone on behind his closed eyes to give him such specific numbers that he mentioned with such nonchalant belief. Somehow, I found myself trusting his estimates. I was struck by a sudden idea. “Puppet,” I asked, “Do you know what is behind the locked door on the floor above this one? The large stone door?” The Tehlin stopped dancing and Puppet looked up. He gave me a long, stern look. His eyes were serious and absolutely, perfectly sane. “I don’t think the four plate door should be of any concern to a student of your standing. Do you?” I felt myself flush. “No sir.” I looked away from his eyes. The tension of the moment was broken by the muted sound of the belling tower striking the hour. Simmon cursed softly, “I’m late. I’m sorry Puppet, I’ve got to go.” “Don’t worry yourself over hasty good-byes.” Puppet told him as he stood and went to hang the Tehlin on the wall. “It’s time I got back to my reading, regardless.” He moved to the padded chair, sat, and opened a book. “Bring this one back some time,” he gestured in my direction without looking up from his book. “I have some more work to do on him.” Wilem, Simmon, and I filed out the door, murmuring our good-byes. Puppet was already reading and did not make any response. Wilem closed the door, separating the three of us from the cozy candlelit quiet of Puppet’s rooms. Wordlessly we moved down the hall a ways from the door before we spoke. “So that’s Puppet,” I said blandly. “Interesting fellow. Bit of a character.” “You could say that,” Wilem said dryly. “I’ve got to go,” Simmon said anxiously. “I’m already late for observation. We're still on for...” He looked around nervously. "... for tonight?" I nodded and he hurried off in the quick walk that was the closest thing to running that was allowed in the Archives. Meanwhile, Wilem dug an iron drab from his purse. He held it out to me, his expression vaguely sour. “Giving up so easy?” I teased, vaguely surprised. “You don’t have anything for proof but that guy’s word, and unless you hadn’t noticed, he’s one short step away from a long stay in the Crockery.” We reached the stairwell and started to climb. Wilem’s frown deepened. “I know some people who would say the same thing about you,” he said with more than a hint of reproach. “Puppet’s word is good enough for me.” Slightly embarrassed, I took the coin. “I’m still curious. I’m going to look a little more into the Amyr. If I find out he was wrong I’ll own up to it.” Wilem shook his head. “Puppet isn’t wrong about the Archives. I’d bet a silver talent against your drab that what you find backs him up.” “Oh.” I pocketed the coin. “I don’t think I’ll take that bet.” He flashed a brief, white grin at me. “Too bad.”
Katherine Gielissen
92. limblessninja
Long time reader - really enjoying the posts. Hopefully people are still reading as far back as this one!

Most likely this has already come up in discussion, but I noted that the Ruh burn rennel wood in the story, which we later find quite useful for producing a fire with little smoke.

There are two other places that rennel comes up in the text:

1) It is mentioned is one of Bast's passing thoughts (NotW). He recalls a fear he had while "climbing a tall rennel tree to pick a fruit for a girl he fancied." He later fell. I find this reference significant as Bast remembers that the event occurred 10 years ago. This means that either a) Bast has been in K's world for at least 10 years or b) rennel trees also exist in Faeland.

2) When K examines the Lackless box he posits it may be made of rennel wood. This may be significant due to #1 above, meaning that the box may not have been constructed in the Four Corners world, but rather made by the Fae long ago, then tranferred to Kvothe's world for safekeeping.
93. Rutep
I just found this reread a couple weeks ago, and I'm loving it to shreds. What a collection of great insights and interesting conversation you all are having here. I just finished my second read of both books, and while they're a great read, it's so much more fun to disect them so closely along the way, and get input from others while you're at it.

One thing I've been wondering about is time in this story.

In the Fae, Kvothe mentions that you could walk dayward until you get back to where you started, back to the same time of day, but is it the same day? Or the next one? Could you walk in the other direction and arrive on the previous day? What about walking through winter and summer, could you go back one year?

And wouldn't that mean that time-travel was possible? Although it would mean a lot of walking around in the Fae.

I wonder if time-travel would explain some things like the distribution of the Amyr's activities through time. Perhaps the Order actually was established during the reign of the Aturan Empire? It's a longshot, I know. It'll probably be more interesting if the story avoids time travelling, but it's just a thought I had.

Also regarding Denna, and her disappearances. Maybe she's not elsewhere when she's away, but just non-existant in a way, if she's jumping ahead through time. Combine this with her being the moon, and idly wandering back and forth through time for 'eternity'

And if we assume the Chandrian are also time travellers, perhaps that would explain why it took them so long to track down Kvothe's troupe, maybe it didn't take them long at all, they just stepped down at that particular point in time.

On a completely different note, I've read a lot of the comments up to this point, and I'm really surprised that I haven't seen anyone mention the possibility that Dagon and Cinder are one and the same, what with all the theories that Bredon could be Cinder and all that. But perhaps someone mentions it when we actually get there in the story, I haven't read that far yet.

Dagon strikes me as much more consistent with Cinder than Bredon is. And he's away from the city, chasing Caudicus, when the Maer sends Kvothe after the bandits. When Kvothe returns, the Maer mentions that Dagon caught Caudicus shortly after Kvothe left, but how shortly exactly? He spent, what, one month hunting the bandits, and two months in Ademre, so one month would be relatively shortly after he left Severen. And if Dagon returned around the same time that Cinder fled the camp...

Does that mean Caudicus might have been in league with Dagon/Cinder?
Steven Halter
94. stevenhalter
In the Fae, Kvothe mentions that you could walk dayward until you get back to where you started, back to the same time of day, but is it the
same day? Or the next one? Could you walk in the other direction and arrive on the previous day? What about walking through winter and
summer, could you go back one year?
I took Kvothe's comment to mean that each area of Fae is stuck in a particular physical time period. So, in Twilight it is always twilight. Time passes normally. When he mentions travelling, the simplest way to envision it is walking on a non-rotating spheroidal planet. If you were to start on the daylight side of the planet (where it is always daylight) and begin walking, you would gradually walk through areas that would correspond to different "times" in a rotating planet. Noon, twilight, dark, morning, ...
If you kept walking, you would end up where you had begun, back in the same physical location. Time would have flowed as normal (in Fae). You wouldn't have travelled back in time and so meet yourself before you left.
Note that a sphere isn't the only physical arrangement that would accomplish this--a flat torus is an example of a geometry that would also fit fine.
95. Curtiss
I had a couple thoughts about the sympathy, music, and the perfect step from the frame:

I don't think you can break an Alar. I think Kvothe has simply been living too long as an innkeeper and now believes he is one. When the skinchanger attacked him, I believe he reacted mostly out of instinct. He couldn't successfully use the sympathy because he was out of practice (in NotW, he mentions having trouble using Ben's tricks in Tarbean).

As for why he does not have music, I believe it's related to Denna. I think in D3 we'll finally see them fall in love, but ultimately, either she dies or betrays him or is betrayed by him and the blow was such that he has no desire to purue music anymore because Denna had become his reason for making music (or something to that effect). The issue with his hands could just be from not having anything that keeps his dexterity up.

As for the perfect step, it's related to the sympathy problem. When Kvothe became an innkeeper, he stopped practicing the Ketan (I hope that's what it's called) because it's not something an innkeeper would do. Finally, he gets to the point where he can't remember it and gets pummelled at the end of WMF. I believe the perfect step refers to him finally starting to see himself as the Kvothe of the story (he starts retraining his body).

I can't say if I'm right, but I hope that in D3 we see Kvothe being shaken out of the innkeeper rut that he's in because I would like to see how he mends the situation the world is in.
96. Rutep
@94. shalter

Yes, I agree, a torus would probably be necessary, at least if you are also supposed to be able to walk summerwards through automn and winter back to spring, independently of the day cycle. A sphere would just give you Summer-Autumn-Winter-Autumn-Summer-Spring-Summer (if Spring is at the south pole and Winter at the north pole) or something like that.

And yes, I know it was implied that time passed in the Fae, even though the brightness stayed the same. But it's also mentioned that time is weird in the Fae. You could spend years there and still arrive back with almost no time passed, or you could stay only for a while in Fae but when you get back, your younger brother might be an old man, with you still young. So clearly there's some discrepancy.

Maybe if you go into Fae, walk a few times around the year-wise direction of the torus, only taking a short time doing it then get back, and many years have passed (as many as the cycles you walked?) but if you stayed in the same place, then not much time passes.

Of course it's probably not as simple as that, because that would take the magic out of it. But it was just a thought.
Ashley Fox
97. A Fox
@96 Whilst this idea is interesting, it is impractical.

Imagine, say, the sithe's perspective. Hunting Chandrian and what not. They go in and out of Faen, within Faen they travel back to their lands. They would have to calculate the time passed (in 4cs) in their journeying to their homelands through Faen and the apply this in some haphazard manner (it is heavily implied the time slippage is not regular) when choosing at which point/door to enter the mortal, rather than simply returning to a fixed point. This would make their evidently swift hunting very difficult.

In my view the time slippage does not come from one world or another (though time is certainly different in each) but from the doorways, the place between...perhaps in flux with the waxing and waning of the moon (the tide in the riddle and felurians tale).
Ashley Fox
98. A Fox
It would make more sense of the purpose of the question concerning the syndactic cycles. This would be valuabe knowledge-a workmans guide-to someone who knew what the doors were, and how to travel...this would give them the when.
99. SkyDragon
I just spent a couple of weeks reading up to this point and feel a need to contribute. I have seen mentions of PR hiding things in plain site and this struck me rather forcefully - Puppet talking to our trio:
"Who calls on Taborlin the Great?”

Could it be this easy?
102. jorgybear
Nina (Wasn’t it Nell in NW?) says the vase had 8 figures on it, which reminds me of a comment I made on an earlier post, where Skarpi refers to “Haliax and the Seven”, suggesting the Chandrain are seven plus Haliax.
“Old beggars in stories are never really old beggars.” Reminds me of a line from an episode of Doctor Who. “I hate kindly wizards in fairy tales. They usually end up being him (the Doctor)”
Kate Hunter
103. KateH
Nina's description of her dream reminds me of Perial's dream in Skarpi's story. If Tehlu came and spoke to Perial in dream, why couldn't he direct Nina's dreams too?

The third, largest figure on the pot is really puzzling. The insignia of the burning tower, plus his rebuking gesture towards Cinder and Haliax suggests that this should be Selitos. But Selitos in Skarpi's story is anything but terrible, angry and ready to burn the world down. Nina's reaction is visceral and I think should be taken seriously. She never identifies this figure as an Amyr/Ciridae - that's entirely K's interpretation, and it seems like an open question whether that's accurate or not.

Does anyone else think that the Amyr's story within K's story doesn't make any friggin sense? He says he has to eat because the next day he must stop the trial of an innocent woman. Huh? If she's innocent, where's the terrible danger in letting the trial proceed? Is it a foregone conclusion that she'll be found guilty despite her innocence? And the Amyr says he must weigh Sceop's hunger against the life of this innocent woman. So not only does the Amyr expect her to be found guilty, but also to be put to death. Immediately? Weirder still. Then, K talks about how the Amyr was a Ciridae, and so no church, court or king would dare move against him. And yet - this Amyr expects to have to fight the next day. Who would dare fight a Ciridae? Despite being an elite Amyr, he can't simply waltz into a jail or courtroom and escort the innocent woman out? He's really going to have engage in combat to fix the innocent-woman-going-on-trial-for-her-life problem? How in the world does that add up? It strikes me as far more plausible that this Amyr would prefer the trial not take place because of testimony that might happen during the trial.

Also very weird is the Amyr saying he will act for the good of all, "though Gods and men might bar my way." Note the plurality. If the Amyr are a branch of the Tehlin church, why the polytheism?

The two destinations mentioned in K's story (Belenay and Tinue) sound a lot like the names of two cities in Skarpi's first story (Belen and Tinusa). I know there's been previous speculation that Tinusa=Tinue. It's not much of a stretch that Belen would equal Belenay. And Belen was the city Lyra & Lanre defended and presumably were from. The Ruh troupe was headed for Belenay. What does that signify?

Last bit from K's story, and maybe apropos of Sceop as some sort of ur-Shaper: when he joins the Ruh troop and finishes telling them his story, the Ruh "stir as if waking from a deep sleep." Coincidence? I hardly think so.

@jorgybear, besides the 8 figures on the vase, there were 8 cities in Skarpi's tale. There's a lot of room to argue that it's 7 Chandrian plus Haliax, but much in the books to argue that Haliax is one of the 7 Chandrian as well. Vexing puzzle. IID3Y?
104. naupathia
Sorry to be late to the party. But I wanted to just throw out an idea I had when reading about the Puppet scene.

My first read-throughs I couldn't figure out what it was but it really seems like it should be significant - the whole time Puppet keeps telling Kvothe that he's not seeing, which applies to the Amyr conversation but I think it's also more literally the play going on before him, which Kvothe sort of dismisses as weirdness.

It's a young woman with brown hair being beaten down by a priest - and this stuck me as possibly Puppet showing Kvothe what happened to Nina as consequence of her coming to visit him. She did destroy a bible to create the painting - maybe when she returned she was punished? I apologize for not having my book out in front of me so I can't point to specifics, but I remember thinking it could be possible, since this scene occurs so soon after Nina's. And it's Puppet's way of showing Kvothe that there are consequences to what he's doing (for other people), perhaps?

Subscribe to this thread

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