Oct 27 2011 2:00pm

Rothfuss Reread: The Wise Man’s Fear, Part 9: Giving You a Gift

Welcome to my obsessively detailed re-read of Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles. This week’s post covers chapters 45-49 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 46 is “Interlude — A Bit of Fiddle”

The violin a local boy can play? Or fiddling around making lunch?

Fresh from the account — non-account — of the trial, K pauses and makes lunch plans. Chronicler is as horrified as I was the first time I read this “That’s it?” We have three chapters about the time when you got drunk with your friends in Imre and two lines about this trial which you’ve been trailing before us as a lure since the beginning? What?

But of course, K is being coy and Rothfuss isn’t wasting time on giving us information that isn’t essential. You may say that in a book 1107 pages long you could have stood another few pages on a description of the trial and learning Tema (see also shipwreck) but the fact that we don’t get it shows that everything we do get is essential, and makes this kind of reading possible. We’re having fun here because we know that Rothfuss isn’t wasting our time, but is rather dangling the moon in front of us so we don’t even notice it’s been stolen until he spells it out. Also, it’s not like we don’t find out about it. We don’t need K’s personal account of the trial. It needs to have happened and the consequences of it are very significant, but we don’t need the trial (and we don’t get the trial) but we do need Chronicler complaining about missing it, and later we get Cob’s version of the popular story of the trial.

It’s interesting that Chronicler complains. Chronicler got K to talk by using his “own best trick” against him, keeping the story for ransom. But this is K’s story, not the story Chronicler thought he wanted. He already knows what he needs to know about the trial, and so do we — we’ve known the bones of it since way back in NW, and now we know the context.

K says there are already two full written accounts of it. Chronicler misunderstands and thinks K has told someone else or written a memoir. Chronicler’s indignation is twice compared to that of a lover — and K even says his story is still virginal. Why does Chronicler want this story so very passionately? Bast is quiet until K pretends he doesn’t know where the few pages of memoir he’s written are.

The two written accounts are the Church and Commonwealth records. K says his account of the trial would be tedious, and he should save the time for things nobody has seen or heard — and weirdly, at that, Bast distracts him with the quotidian. Bast, who has been going to all this effort to get K to be Kvothe and his reshi, suddenly gets horrified and shouts with alarm at the thought of beets in the soup. I do wonder about this. Does Bast really suddenly care about beets? Or what was he afraid K was going to say? Or what’s up with this? Bast offers to finish the soup, and goes into the kitchen. K gives Chronicler a lazy smile.

Real world cooking comment, and you can trust me on this. If it’s a vegetable soup with carrots and beets, it’s going to take a minimum of 40 minutes from when you start cutting the carrots — you need to seethe the roots and the onions in a little fat, then add the stock and some rice, and simmer it for twenty minutes, then liquidize it — and at tech level that means through a sieve — and reheat and reseason. If it’s a stew and it’s mostly done (which “finish off” suggests) you just need the fresh vegetables to cook through to edibility, so you started it yesterday, now you bring it to the boil and then simmer it for at least 15 minutes. I wouldn’t put carrots and beets in at the last minute if I had any choice. It isn’t an instant process anyway. So Bast saying that K should get the smoked sausage and cheese while he does it is odd, because the soup is going to take a lot longer than that.

The other odd thing about this is that whichever it is, soup or stew, it needs about five or ten minutes of human attention followed by twenty minutes to half an hour where the human can be checking their email or writing a post or dictating their life story, and then another five or ten minutes of human attention. So if I think about this too much I lose suspension of disbelief. Moving swiftly on!

People come in, Chronicler does a brisk business writing down their wills, Bast and K serve soup and cheese and bread, roast mutton (presumably room temperature from yesterday) and fresh apple pie. There’s a comfortable gossip, but under everything tension.

What people don’t talk about: taxes, armies, locking doors at night, what happened last night. What they do talk about: jokes, sex, children playing. This is described in terms of darkness and silence underneath the light and noise, in a way that’s reminiscent of the threefold silence.

Then Cob comes in and praises the cooking. There’s a joke about a “damfine” pie made with “damfine” apples named after Baron Damfine. Cob says they should get a musician in to encourage custom, there’s a local boy who plays the fiddle. K agrees, colourlessly, and the text calls him Kote. Bast interrupts with a suggestion of drinks, and K brings food.


Chapter 47 is “Interlude — The Hempen Verse”

The two lines of Tema you need to know to get tried in a church court and not risk execution.

Everyone is having pie, and they start arguing about the very thing K hasn’t wanted to talk about — the trial in Imre. Cob says Kvothe called up a demon, which was against the law “over in Amary”. Then he says that Kvothe knew a trick to read two lines of Tema and get tried in the church courts — which worked in medieval England too. The “hempen verse”. Then in two days before the Tehlin Justice came, Kvothe learned Tema. (We know this is true, he admitted it in NW.) And then, Cob says, Kvothe made a magic potion to make his voice so sweet everyone would agree with him and the trial took fifteen minutes and he won. And K puts in ironically from behind the bar “And he lived happily ever after”.

Then they finish their pie and as they’re finishing their beer K says he doesn’t care for Kvothe stories, he likes a proper wizard like Taborlin, or Serapha, or The Chronicler.

We’ve heard a lot about Taborlin, Serapha is completely new to me.

And of course, K is being clever with “The Chronicler” — showing Chronicler how stories work and how they can cut both ways. He pretends The Chronicler is a legendary figure and Cob starts telling stories about him right away. I love this — I love how it works and the dynamic of it and what K’s doing. It’s just wonderful.

K says the Chronicler carries around a great book and whatever he writes in it comes true, and if he knows one of your secrets he can write whatever he wants about you. Bast says he has a sword called Sheave that kills with paper cuts, and if he learns your name he can write it on the blade of his sword and kill you from a thousand miles away — but in his own blood, and there’s only so much room.

Now we come to the bit that might be true of the real Chronicler — he used to be a member of the High King’s court in Modeg, but he fell in love with the High King’s daughter, and has to give the king something more valuable than the princess, so he travels looking for something. Cob starts telling a story about how The Chronicler went looking for magic fruit, and leaves telling it.

Chronicler asks what the hell that was about, and K says it’s to give him perspective.

You go rummaging around in other people’s lives. You hear rumours and go digging for the painful truth beneath the lovely lies. You believe you have a right to these things. But you don’t. ... When someone tells you a piece of their life, they’re giving you a gift, not granting you your due.

Because Chronicler’s been trying Kvothe’s trick again, prodding for Cob’s version of the story so that K will set him straight. But beyond that, this is a fine reproach. There’s a way in which Chronicler is a character with character functions, and there’s a way in which he stands for us, the readers. We’re not entitled to it either. Kvothe “is not our bitch” as Neil Gaiman so memorably put it. We get what he wants to give us, and so does Chronicler. Very specifically, Kvothe is talking here to “Ipood” from last week’s comment section, who clearly didn’t get this point:

certainly rather disappointing to those of us who enjoy that sort of thing, but that he has written the trial and the sea voyage, and excluded them from the actual novel due too them not contributing.

It couldn’t be much clearer: Giving you a gift, not granting you your due. You are not entitled to any more than he wants to give.

The other interesting thing K does here is saying “I might have overreacted a bit. I’ve never responded well to manipulation.” I wonder what that refers to!


Chapter 48 is “A Significant Absence”

The Amyr from the history books, of course.

We jump straight back in with Kvothe preparing for Admissions, trial out of the way. He has 13 talents and a familiarity with the Archives, and he thinks he’s doing fine. He’s not finding any solid information about the Amyr in any of the books, though there’s lots of hearsay and speculation. He sums it up to Wil, either nothing was written down (unlikely) or by chance nothing has come to the Archives (even less likely) or somebody has removed or altererd the information. Wil asks who would do that. Kvothe suggests it was the Amyr themselves, and Wil suggests it was the Tehlin church. It’s worth noting that this is a perfectly sensible suggestion of the kind you so rarely see — a rational counter-theory. Of course, Kvothe’s theory rests on his secret knowledge of the Chandrian vase and so on, which he doesn’t explain because he doesn’t want to sound crazy. When he tells Sim his theory, Sim says he should suggest it to Lorren — but Kvothe doesn’t, because he’s still intimidated by Lorren. He thinks Lorren would be horrified at the thought his Archives had been pruned and censored.

(Are we the only people who think it’s Lorren who has been doing it?)


Chapter 49 is “The Ignorant Edema”

Kvothe runs into Elxa Dal, and says he’s been meaning to thank him for speaking on his behalf at his trial, which is an interesting specific — I wonder who else did? Kilvin? Not Hemme?

They go into the White Hart for lunch and both have trout. Elxa Dal works his way around to saying Kvothe ought to take a term off to let the memory of the trial die down. Then he tells him the story of “The Ignorant Edema” — a wise man tries to talk to an Edema boatman about educated subjects, but when the boat sinks it turns out that being able to swim is more important.

Later, Manet explains in words of one syllable “You’re a king-high idiot if you go through admissions this term.” Wil and Sim agree. Wil tells him Ambrose is avoiding admissions too and taking a term off. Sim tells him three times to do it — as he did with the plum bob.

Kvothe has no idea what to do — he thinks of getting access to other libraries elsewhere, but that’s hard without a patron. He’s been at the University for a solid year and now he’s utterly at sea.

I’m really sympathetic here, about as sympathetic as I ever am to Kvothe. I was exactly the same in the long vacation every year when I was in university — having to leave and work for the summer months felt like a weird hole in my real life.

And we’ll start from 50 next time, when he starts to have an idea of what to do.


A horrible thought.

It’s only a couple of years between the frame and the events of the narration — let’s say ten years at most. Therefore, all the people other than Kvothe whose stories he is intermingling with his own — not just D but Sim and Devi and Auri — must be dead, or he wouldn’t betray them like that. I don’t think this applies to Kilvin or Elodin, but I fear it must for anyone whose secrets he tells us. Gweef.


Last week’s comments

Awesome, as usual.

GBrell is hereby promoted to Re’lar for the wonderful and well reasoned long comment on Kvothe’s rings, and rings and Naming in general. Go and read it. (Just hit the “Previous” link below.) There’s also great discussion on blue flame and on the Chandrian signs.

Jo Walton is a science fiction and fantasy writer. She’s published two poetry collections and nine novels, most recently Among Others, and if you liked this post you will like it. She reads a lot, and blogs about it here regularly. She comes from Wales but lives in Montreal where the food and books are more varied.

andrew smith
1. sillyslovene
Thanks Jo, this is great.
One thought-
"Now we come to the bit that might be true of the real Chronicler — he used to be a member of the High King’s court in Modeg, but he fell in love with the High King’s daughter, and has to give the king something more valuable than the princess, so he travels looking for something.
Cob starts telling a story about how The Chronicler went looking for magic fruit, and leaves telling it.
Is K's story the priceless thing he's searching for? Something that would allow the King to track down K and kill him? Is this K subtlely telling Chronicler that he knows the game he is playing and that he is ready for it?
Jeremy Goff
2. JeremyM
Thanks so much for doing these re-reads! It's been a blast going through them in this much detail. I have to say though that it makes me feel like such an idiot because I haven't picked up on any of the theories that are discussed in here. It's really brought an extra level of appreciation for these books and all the subtlety that Mr. Rothfuss works into it.
Katy Maziarz
3. ArtfulMagpie
"Then he tells him the story of “The Ignorant Edema” — a wise man tries to talk to an Edema boatman about educated subjects, but when the boat sinks it turns out that being able to swim is more important."

Something I thought was odd about that is likely a very unimportant point, but it niggled at me. Why is the boatman Edema Ruh? I was under the impression that they were all travelers, never staying in one place. The general impression is that they are thieving reprobates (much like the "gypsy" stereotype in our own world) and are not welcome anywhere long-term. But to be a boatman, you'd presumably be pretty well settled-in. So why is the boatman described as being "Edema?" Is "Edema" just general racist shorthand for "ignorant hick" here? Or is the peripatetic lifestyle of the Edema Ruh something that is not quite as universal as we've been led to believe? For that matter, why is the boatman assigned an ethnic/cultural group at all? Couldn't the story just as easily have been called "The Ignorant Boatman" or "The Ignorant Ferryman" and had the same moral?

Anyway. Probably not at all important. Just something that made me wonder.
andrew smith
4. sillyslovene
@3 Perhaps Elxa is cognizent of the fact that sometimes it is really hard to get through the hard academic-minded head that K has. He (and probably some of the other Masters, Elodin at least) seems to be well aware that K needs a good emotional/mental shaking to get him out of his fact memorizing mode and see the more non-academic realities of life. He was present when Hemme called him "ravel" and saw the emotional response that this engendered. Perhaps he changes the simple story on purpose (coupling "ignorant" with "Edema") to force an emotional response from K and make him see the emotional realities of the situation (anger, frustration, etc from the side of the Masters) as well as make the connection that the metaphor is really about him (K)?

This fits with his overall goal of getting K away from academic learning for a bit to experience life outside- the insinuation being that if K sticks to just "book learnin" he will drown when he is eventually forced back out into the real world...
5. Abs
The part about Chronicler I suspect to be true is this line.

K says the Chronicler carries around a great book and whatever he writes in it comes true, and if he knows one of your secrets he can write whatever he wants about you.

This sounds very similar to the type of magic D asks about later in the book – writing something down and then making it true. That is two references to this new type of magic – one in the frame and one in the story.

Chronicler knows the name of Iron, so what other magic does he know? Did Bast seek out Chronicler to write the story in order to restore K to Kvothe?
Katy Maziarz
6. ArtfulMagpie
@ #3 sillyslovene Maybe, maybe. I would think that using a racial slur would make Kvothe less likely to understand, though, because the anger it engendered would render him unable to think rationally or with any great degree of self-possession.... Hhm.
Rowan Shepard
7. Rowanmdm3
Curse you Jo for putting the thought of everyone dieing into my head! As much as I hate the idea of Sim, Wil and company being dead, K's isolation in the frame make ever more sense. If he feels responsible for the deaths of all his loved ones that would definitely drive him away from his true self. We already saw Kvothe mentally break down when his family was killed, so how much worse would it be if he felt (or actually was) responsible for the deaths of his new family? Since K is no longer a child he can't react the same way, so instead of putting most of his mind to sleep he puts the dangerous parts-the parts that got his friends killed-to sleep instead. His retreat into Kote would therefore be not just out of guilt or grief but also out of a desire to protect those around him.

However, just because K is revealing his friend's secrets I don't think they're all neccesarily dead. For instance, Auri could still be alive but no longer living under the University. Thus it wouldn't endanger her for K to speak of her. It's possible that they are in situations where these truths/secrets wouldn't hurt them, though the likliehood of all of them being alive considering all of the wars we know about from the frame is extremely limited.

This also brings up an interesting moral dilemma. If you're telling a story of your life, how much of someone else's can you reveal, especially when your thoughts and actions are effected by someone else?
Rob Munnelly
8. RobMRobM
Funny that Serapha is close to Seraphim - a bible reference to angel-like creatures. Fits in well with the Fae and otherworldly beings scattered through the books. Query what Serapha did to become noteworthy.

Ryan Reich
9. ryanreich
Concerning the debate with Wil about pruning the Archives, I want to bring up again the possibility that I raised a while ago: that all of Kvothe's friends are double agents. Who introduced Sim to Kvothe? Lorren -- right after learning that he was the son of "Arliden the bard", an appellation we've never heard since. What's Wil? A scriv under Lorren, and what does he do when Kvothe presents his ideas? He very cautiously picks away at them, as though he doesn't want to encourage Kvothe by actively contradicting him. Instead, he passively smothers the theory -- by telling him to go to Lorren. Fela is (or was) a scriv.

Ambrose, his arch-enemy, is a scriv and also responsible for his getting banned from the Archives, something that Lorren was no doubt pleased to do to prevent him from focusing on the Amyr. Did he ask Ambrose to spike his wheel like that? Lorren can't be oblivious to his reputation as a spiteful antagonist, but he repeatedly defends him as being intrinsically trustworthy just because he is an n'th year Re'lar.

You bring up them all probably being dead; I agree it's likely. After all, they are old friends "who deserved better than they got". Did they die for him by taking his side against the Amyr, as traitors, when it eventually comes to that? It's an ignominious end for what he would definitely consider a touching act of faithfulness. (Remember, they are, in just this way, the sort of friends no one deserves, least of all him.)
10. Stefan Jones
When I read Chapter 48, I assumed that this was going to be Kvothe's final exit from academia, and the beginning of the next phase of his life. It was odd seeing him return to the University by the end of the book.

RE old friends dying: Never thought of that. How grim.
Jo Walton
11. bluejo
Oh well caught Abs -- I hadn't thought of that at all. Another way of writing things down and making things true!
Steven Halter
12. stevenhalter
Bast, who has been going to all this effort to get K to be Kvothe and his reshi, suddenly gets horrified and shouts with alarm at the thought of beets in the soup. I do wonder about this. Does Bast really suddenly care about beets?
I didn't think this was entirely about beets either. The sequence goes:
“I’ve probably kept us at the University too long, anyway,” he said. “We’ll need the time for other things. Things no one has ever seen or heard.”
“Reshi no!” Bast shouted in alarm, sitting bolt upright in his chair. His expression was plaintive as he pointed to the bar. “Beets?”
It certainly seemed like the "Things no one has ever seen or heard." touched something off in Bast.
13. Jeff R.
The most parsimonious thing for Bast to be worried about here is the C'theah.
14. Jeff R.
Except that he didn't know K had talked to it yet, now as I think. But he could have suspected, maybe. And there's also the 'names of the Chandrian' without introducing another Bast-worrying topic.
Steven Halter
15. stevenhalter
I think K believes he has done something fairly bad to some number of his friends in specific and the rest of the world in general. Whether it is as bad as he believes remains to be seen.
Another possibility to his believing his friends dead is that he doiesn't think Chronicler is going anywhere with the story. He's doing the old "I could tell you but then I'll have to kill you" but without the warning. I don't think it is that extreme, but it's another way through the seeming oversharing of trusts.
Justin Levitt
16. TyranAmiros
Abs @ 9: The wonderful thing is that the comment can work on so many levels. I agree, it could be magic--isn't iron an ingredient in many homemade inks or pens? Maybe if you can Name iron, you can use it to set truths to paper. There's a dwarven story like this in the Dragonlance universe, I think.

But at the same time, on a more metaphorical level, isn't this, in a sly way, true of what authors and historians do? Look at what Kvothe's discovered about the Amyr, or the Kvothe legends that keep popping up in the frame story. It's not the facts that survive, it's the accepted wisdom. And if someone like Chronicler writes a story about Kvothe, it's that Kvothe that will be remembered, not the man himself.
17. Lilia
I thought Bast didnt like beats because they have too much iron in them. Guess I was just being silly.
18. greggors
@Abs, Jo. I have to agree with TyranAmiros. I took this to be K reprimanding Chronicler for trying to manipulate him. The first part referring to the fact that whatever stroy the Chronicler leaves with will be the definitive story of K. The 2nd part refers to Chronicler 'holding K's story against him'. K is upset and it comes out as sarcasm.

@ryanreich. This is a little too conspiracy theory, don't ya think? What has K done up to this point to earn 'double agents' from Lorren? The idea that the Amyr underground is keeping tabs on him is a little far fetched for me. The animosity between Ambrose and K seems real enough to me
Christopher Johnstone
19. CPJ
An interesting point about the deeper magic generally in the world is that it is (much like in Tolkien) linked to some sort form or sort of language or form of expression.

We have 'singing songs of power' along with names and words of power. At one point, if I recall right, there is an explanation that the words of power used in sympathy are corrupted and less powerful recollections of names of power.

The sympathetic words can be written as sigils, so it makes sense that names of power can be written too.

What I think this goes to the heart of is that all the various forms of human magic are not different at all. All magic that we have seen people practise so far relies on understanding a thing. The words, the names, the sigils are expressions of understanding.

This is sort of made clear by how Haliax asks Cinder "who knows the inner workings of your name?" and how Kvothe works magic on Felurian only when he understands her... the names themselves are not magical exactly, or only vaguely magical if you don't understand them. It is the expression of understanding that is important (though how 'calling names' work in that case doesn't quite add up).

Kvothe sort of demnonstrates this by inventing lute magic. If you can express understanding in some way or another, you can work magic--the mode of expression does not matter. I imagine that Adem signs could be used to work magic, that the Yll knots are magic in this sense too (though they are more complex than sigils, so maybe they can capture all the inherent complexity in a true name, which as sigil cannot). I wonder if painting magic could exist in this world? Or dance magic?

This might all have been suggested before? Anyway, I think there are only three types of magic:

Knowing (sympathy, sigildry, naming, Yllish knots and presumably alchemy too, though we never see the last close up, & singing).

Shaping (no clear idea yet how this works yet)

Fae magic (which was divided into glomarie and gramarye (sp?): a riff on Tolkien's Magia and Goetia, and I suspect a subtle homage to Tolkien himself, who held the Grammarye Chair (sp?) at Oxford if I recall right. Anyway, both Gramarye (grammar) and Glomarie (glamour) come from the same root. Words are magic. Magic is words. et cetera). I don't know if Fae magic is actually a branch of Knowing, or it is mixture of Knowing/Shaping, or something else entirely.

Anyway, just my take on it.

20. rickyson1
offtopic but....I hate this book

I mean....I don't actually hate it but sometimes when I read a book or two I like quickly in an unfinished series I have a hard time letting go of the world,and i'm having a harder time than ever before with this one(maybe due to the whole first person storytelling writing style?)

it's fading but i'm having dreams about it that a couple days after I finished reading the two books that are out are beginning to resemble an acid trip or something(last night I dreamed that Elodin and Kvothe drove a car to some big library and Kvothe really wanted to know something about a potato for some reason.....Denna and Ash were also at the Library and then for some reason in a dark part of the Library Denna beat Ash and Kvothe almost to death) yeah......... I forgot most of it but all in all a pretty bizarre dream
Christopher Johnstone
21. CPJ
I just realised that 'knowing' and 'shaping' mirror magic more broadly in Middle-Earth too.

Generally, elves, dwarves and Istari seem to gain their magic from a deep understanding of a thing. They can control the thing, but do not alter it fundamentally.

The dark powers, Melkor and Sauron and their ilk seek to shape things rather than know them: they corrupt and change a thing into a form more pleasing to them.

That looks to me like knowing and shaping, and it makes me feel more certain that the shapers will turn out to be nasty nasty people.

22. Mouette
@15: About K thinking Chronicler isn't going anywhere with the story - Chronicler is a well-known and respected scholar and has printed several texts, so it's unlikely that K thinks this is just a throw-away. Unless you're suggesting that K is going to somehow stop Chronicler from putting the story out by nefarious means...
Justin Levitt
23. TyranAmiros
Thinking about what CPJ @21 said, I wonder if we can speculate on what the Ctheae told Lanre.

The Creation War was between the Namers and the Shapers, and the Namers, led by Lanre, won at the Battle of Drossen Tor. As suggested by Skarpi's story, some time after the battle, Lyra dies and Lanre, heartbroken, looks for some way to revive her. He makes his way to the Ctheae, who tells him that he, Lanre, is responsible for Lyra's death. If he had only not defeated the Shapers, if only he had not sided with the Namers, the Shapers could have helped him get Lyra back. This, I think, is the core of it. The Ctheae isn't lying outright; it's possible the Shapers might have been able to revive Lyra. However, the Ctheae is playing to Lanre's sense of guilt, magnifying it, and setting into motion the chain of events leading to the awakening of Lanre's sleeping mind and conversion to lead the Chandrian.
24. silentia
@CPJ....."Dance magic"....LOL....
25. Dave435
Beets... I read it that Bast doesn't like beets. He is being lazy when he should be helping. Kote is smart enough to trick him into helping instead of complaining.

Bredon=Mr.Ash I think Pat has stated this a plainly as he will state anything. Denna mentions that she is teaching Mr. ash to dance Bredon mentions he has recently taken up dancing. Deanna and Mr. Ash are gone and Bredon is gone as well.

Kote and his good left hand. In A Wise Man's Fear Kvothe promised Denna on his name, his power, and his good left hand that we won't try to discover the identity of her patron. I believe he breaks this promise and is paying the price. Not necessarily that it is a magical a penance, but he feels guilty so is meeting the terms of his promise.
Thomas Stessl
26. tommythecat
@24 silentia...

Sartan magic? Wait....sorry...wrong series... ;)
Bruce Wilson
27. Aesculapius
I think it's becoming increasingly clear that "Naming" is something of a red herring in as much as the terminology creates a very "Earthsea" perspective on that part of "magic" within PR's world. What matters is less the naming and more the Knowing - the deep understanding of whatever is the subject of interest. How that Knowing is then expressed may vary considerably. It might be by speaking a "name" or it might be by "singing" (or playing) the musical equivalent of the spoken "name". K clearly achieves this when he is in the forest with Arliden's lute after the attack on his troupe; it also seems to be what he does when he bests Felurian during their contest of will and power - both, it seems, reliant on his sleeping mind being fully alert and Knowing what is around him.

The same may also be true of (at least some) Yllish knots and perhaps Denna's hitherto unknown written magic - all a means of expressing the power of Knowing. The runes of sygaldry being a variant on the same theme, where the rudiments of the Knowledge of things were expressed in written form; the shape of the symbols being remembered over time but the true Knowing that led to their creation being forgotten (except perhaps by all but a few...?)

It certainly seems that K is much better at expressing his Knowing through the context of music rather than by seeking a spoken name - perhaps him consciously becoming aware of this will be the key breakthrough that opens access to his sleepong mind and accelerates him from being a student of Naming under Elodin, needing the University to guide him, to being a Knower of great power, able to operate fully independently...?

Roll on Day 3!!
Alice Arneson
28. Wetlandernw
gbrell - Congrats on the promotion! You deserve it - you've done some seriously outstanding work on putting things together.

(I'd try to make a substantive comment, but I'm afraid that in the morning I'd see it for the sleep-fuddled gibberish it would be. Best not go there.)
Ian B
29. Greyfalconway
It’s only a couple of years between the frame and the events of the narration — let’s say ten years at most.
I think it's only been 2, possibly three years. We know Kvothe has been at the inn for 2 (right?), but I don't think he did anything in between whatever happened at the end of day three, except possibly get out of shock and find Newarre to set up shop in.

Unless of course this is all some Inception-style construct and he's really right there at the climax of day three, coma'd up or under a spell, or possibly Alar'ing the hell out of himself for whatever reason =P
Dale Norman
30. dokipen
Am I the only one who thinks the Four Plate Door leads to the shelves where Lorren has stored all of the writings on the Chandrian and the Amyr? I can't see him ever destroying a book, no matter the subject.

ryanreich @9 - That's a great line of thought. Love it.
Jo Walton
31. bluejo
Greyfalconway: Let me unpack my thinking. He's been at the inn for two years. But the time between the end of WMF when he's seventeen or possibly eighteen depending how long he's been in Fae, and the time he gets to the inn? We don't know how long DT covers. NW covers 15 years, though not all of them in detail. WMF covers about two years (Fae, again). He's still relatively young, in frame, see the Cob bit, under thirty. I therefore don't think DT can cover more than eight years, so the events of WMF can't be much more than ten years ago.
Dale Norman
32. dokipen
I think it could be quite some time after whatever happens to set events in motion that we glimpse in the frame. K blames himself for causing this (although he blamed himself for burning down Tarbean so... you know) at some point.

Just because he appears young to Chronicler doesn't mean he's that *that* young really.

Time-wise, he could quite erasily have buggered off to the Fae realm for a while in a stupor of melancholly. In my mind, he goes to Fae, spends long enough there from the frame's POV to allow things to progress badly (say, 50 years) but only ages slightly himself. There he meets Bast early on, agrees to take him on as an apprentice, probably just to shut him up, but then degenerates into Kote and, for whatever reason, has to return to the world where Shit Is Bad.

Then again we know Chronicler knows Skarpi who K knew when he was an urchin so, you know. Whatever. Hmm. Unless Skarpi IS an Amyr...

Damn you Rothfuss.
Steven Halter
33. stevenhalter
Mouette@22:I was referring to the possibility that K might have something untoward planned for Chronicler. As I said, I don't think that is the case, but it is a possible reason.
Actually, I think Jo has highlighted a very interesting question:"Why is K telling all of these details to Chronicler?" He has, for instance, implicated his friends in breaking and entering and obtaining unsanctioned sygaldry.
One possibility (as Jo said) is that all of K's friends are dead. Something very bad indeed happens in the next book. A close reason is that they aren't dead but K believes them to be dead.
Or, K no longer cares what happens to them because they aren't his friends anymore. He has touched on the fact that he has been manipulated and betrayed at some point (that we will get to in DT.) Some being dead and some being involved in betrayal feels uncomfortably possible.
Jo Walton
34. bluejo
There is a movie called Kind Hearts and Coronets where the frame is a character who is about to be executed writing his very candid memoirs, which are going to be published after his death. SPOILERS -- at the very end, he is exonerated and released, but leaves the memoir behind to get him into new trouble. We know K is waiting to die. But the question of other people's secrets is still an issue, if they're alive -- Auri especially. He's so protective of Auri. He wouldn't give her secrets away if she's still there. He can't trust Chronicler not to go poking at her.

And it's interesting to consider in this context what gets interrogated in the frame and what doesn't. D does, Auri doesn't. The Ctheah does. The draccus. But not Ambrose. The skipped trial, the murder of the troupe, but not the Maer.

We say we want DT, and of course we do, but we're actually very lucky to be here at this time reading a text we can trust like this, without the answers but knowing we will get them.
Dave West
35. Jhirrad
@32 - I think you have the way time works in the Fae realm backwards. Unless it is changing. When Kvothe was there with Felurian, he grew a beard and was there (in his mind) for months. While in the mortal realm, only a few days had passed. So a lot of time passing in Fae is still not that long in the world he comes from. Is it possible that time works differently in different areas of the Fae realm? Sure, but we don't have any indication of that.
Steven Halter
36. stevenhalter
Jo@34:Auri is probably the friend I most fear will come to a bad end. It is hard to imagine events in which Kvothe directly harms her, but there are the mentions of his killing an angel in order to fight for his hearts desire.
We've seen that the retold stories surrounding Kvothe are generally off the mark, so some sequence of Kvothe trying to save D and getting Auri killed is certainly within the realms of possibility (sadly).
I totally agree that I have trust that PR will deliver with DT.
37. westmarch
@35 et al.

I think it's possible that you stay in the Fae realm for exactly how long you intend to stay in the Fae realm. As K rushes towards Felurian, he tells his mercenary companions he'll meet them in the town in three days time. When he leaves Fae, it's exactly three days (I'm fairly certain) when he shows up at the inn.

I suspect K will return to Fae during the events of D3. If my theory is correct, it could be a very convenient aid to faking his death. Perhaps he enters Fae as part of the plan, resolving to be gone for, say, 4 years. He spends two hours (or any length of time) in Fae, but upon leaving, it's 4-years in the real world, his death all but certain at this point. His student, Bast, meets him when he re-emerges (Bast having aged, Kvothe not) and they set off to Newarre.

TL;DR you're in Fae as long as you want to be, but you have to know before you go in
C Smith
38. C12VT
@37: If time in Fae works the way it does in fairy tales, it can go either slower or faster than in the mortal world (usually whichever would make for a better story). It is interesting that K predicts how long he will be gone - but was he gone for three days because he said he would be, or did he just accurately predict what would have happened anyway?

Re: Why K is telling Chronicler so many possibly incriminating details about his friends: Maybe whatever is being said about them currently is worse and he thinks his story will help (or at least not hurt).

My personal opinion is that K does intend to let Chronicler leave with the story. But I also think that there's no way Bast lets Chronicler go. Not after K admits to talking with the Ctheah - according to Bast, the Sithe would kill K if they knew about that, as well as anyone else who had heard that part of the story.

I also thought of another reason why K would omit the trial section. It could be that an honest retelling from his POV would reveal some new piece of information, one that he doesn't want to get out. K says that the story he is telling is the truth. But even if everything he says is true, he is still picking and choosing which parts to tell.
Dave West
39. Jhirrad
@37 - I have to disagree with the assesment that you stay in Fae exactly as long as you intend to. Several reasons for this:

1) The world that Rothfuss has created operates on fairly strict physics. That's not to say that we necessarily understand all the science behind it, but there is a strict scientific formulation as we have repeatedly shown throughout our re-read. In some ways, Kvothe is primarily a scientist, and that is where he excels. Sygaldry and Sympathy are both highly mathematically systems, albeit ones that include the use of an unseeable force to power them. These are where he's strongest - things he can memorize and calculate. We also find a lot of other very strongly scientific principles in the books. It's really only through Naming that we see them ever skirted, and even then, it's understood that the function of Naming allows such an intimate knowledge of a thing that the 'thing' (for lack of a better term) so Named is under your complete will. Of course, it also implies a level of sentience to things such as Fire and Wind and Stone that don't exist in our world. What all of this leads me to conclude is that "The rules are the rules are the rules are the rules." That is to say, once it's been established that a thing works in a certain way according to the properties of physics within this world, it always works that way. Which is why I have a hard time believing that Fae is so malleable as to simply bend to the will of a human that is there.

2) If the Fae realm is so manipulatble, then what is the danger of it anyways? OK, theoretically one of the inhabitants could kill you, but if by the sheer force of ones will one can determine the flow of time in that place...That to me seems to undermine the basic power of the realm. I can't imagine that's the case.

Here's the theory I'm propounding:
Time flows at a constant rate - this happens in both the Four Corners and in Fae. However, as the inhabitants of each side have evolved over millennia, the way in which they are affected by it is different. I wouldn't be surprised if this is correlated to the stolen moon. Humans experience time in Fae at a rapidly accelerated rate (months there are days in the Four Corners). It's possible that Fae in the Four Corners experience something similar, where months outside of Fae pass but only days when they return. Or, if it's more bound (which I think it would be) then days in the outside is months in Fae. But because they have evolved in a manner which makes them near immortal, it's not noticeable to them.
Christopher Johnstone
40. CPJ
There is another possibility--most of the various secrets of people would be most highly problematic if the university is still around (Auri's hiding place, accessing forbidden sigils). It could be that the university has been destroyed.

I'm not very convinced by this line of thought... I suspect it's more likely that at least some of Kvothe's friends will die at some point in Third Night, and this will explain his divulging of their secrets. It could even turn out that he is with-holding additional secrets about those who are living: apparantly less important people might turn out to have something interesting going on in the background.

From the beginning Auri reminded me of the wild girl in Gormengast (spoiler) who is built up as an interesting character and then killed quite coldly and randomly. They aren't exactly the same, but share enough features and tropes that I wondered early on if either PR is following the same archetype with the same destination (pointless death) *or* he is 'rescuing' the character as a sort of response to Peake's treatment of her. If the later, then presumably, either she won't die, or her death will be meaningful in a way that the death of the wild girl was not.

Also, I'd like to echo Jo's comment above that its rather special to happen to be here at a time when we can mull over the complexities of this book in this way. Once the final book is published, a conversation quite like this will never happen again.

It must be a little like sitting around in 1954 and asking your friends, do you think Frodo and Sam will destroy the ring?

Alf Bishai
41. greyhood
I love Bast's character. The beets business is hilarious. Whoever mentioned the iron content is brilliant. (I'm so LAZY!)
lake sidey
42. lakesidey
About the beets....I got the feeling that K introduced the beets precisely to get Bast away (presumably Bast hates beets and would certainly protest and offer to do a better job, meaning K would have time to talk with Chronicler alone). I don't have my copy with me however. so can't check...

43. faek
@30 dokipen: This is an interesting idea, but I don't think Lorren would be that bold.

I don't understand why they have the door in "public" display in the library though. If they truly wanted it hidden they'd put the door somewhere where people couldn't see it; having it visible pretty much only implies that they don't believe that anyone will ever enter it by chance (withouth being the chosen one, or whatever), or that it is a red herring.
Jo Walton
44. bluejo
Lakesidey -- but he doesn't have a private conversation with Chronicler, or if he does it's off the page. After Bast leaves, he grins, and there's a line-break and then we're into lunch being served.
Christopher Johnstone
45. CPJ
@ 43 faek

I assumed, but could be wrong, that the door predates the university and that the various doors (I expect there are more then two) are a part of the landscape in some way and/or the door is part of a very old wall that the university was built around.

Of course that doesn't explain why the door isn't say, walled off in a small and secret room.

Jonah Feldman
46. relogical
I made it! I finally caught up to the re-read!

I've got a whole bunch of ideas to talk about, but I can wait until they come up. For now, I can just talk about Fae matters.

I think Kvothe definitely cooled his heels in Fae between Day Three and the frame. He spent a decent amount of time there. I don't know about the timeflow stuff, but there's enough room in the timeline for him to sojourn on a 1-1 basis in Fae. There, he met Bast, who convinced him to be his Reshi and teach him everything. Maybe sympathy or sygaldry doesn't work properly in Fae, so Bast used his "educational needs" as an excuse to drag Kvothe back into the Four Corners.
47. Herelle
I think Kvothe returns to Fae too. Bast is surprised Kvothe didn´t know about the Chteah and said he knew so much about Fae he couldn´t imagine him not knowing. Kvothe seems to have spent enough time there to have a concept about Fae society. I can´t remember, do you have the impression he knows their language better now than when he was there with Felurian? He had a hard time learning it then, Felurian even forbade him to speak fae language. But when the skin dancer comes into the Waystone Inn Kvothe talks with Bast about what the Skin Dancer had said I believe.
But how did he get away for the second time? He promises Felurian to return with her song but he also believes he won´t be able to leave again. Maybe whatever wheels he set in motion are the reason Felurian tells him to leave and set it right?
George Brell
48. gbrell
Thanks for the promotion, Jo. Now I just need to keep earning it.

Unfortunately, I'm a bit swamped at the moment. More to come when my time frees up.
49. Trollfot
Arguments for Kvothe having spent more time in the Fae:
* Chronicler: I thought you would be older. Kvothe: I am.
* Whatever happened, happened less than two years ago. Kvothe and Bast seem to go way back.

Arguments against:
* Unlikely Kvothe could escape Felurian a second time.
50. Dodger
@48. gbrell

And the final ring was without name.
D's ring maybe? as in it's not a naming ring?
51. faek
@50 Dodger
I think that the term "nameless" is used in many places in the book. I don't remember my arguments right now (I'll look them up after work or later this week), but I got the feeling that "the nameless" is actually something "real". I believe it's the wording and the phrases it's used in that made me believe it's a "real" thing (in some sense), but it might also be used in the dialogue in the old "history" scenes with Skarpi in Tarbean.

I also like the contradiction implied by Kvothe having mastered the name of the nameless. Not sure what to make of it, really. :-)
52. Trollfot
Perhaps, if you master Names, you could create something without a Name? Kvothe knows the non-Name of Names.
Alice Arneson
53. Wetlandernw
Now we're getting metaphysical... :)

The obvious problem with the "nameless ring" being Denna's is that Kvothe already gave it back to her. Unless she gives it to him again, or he somehow receives it when something happens to her, it doesn't seem probable. And unless there's a whole lot more to it than a more-or-less-ordinary ring (the kind that needs to have its settings checked periodically), it doesn't really "belong" with the rest of them.

I've wondered if the "nameless" ring might be something whose name is so dangerous that it's never used. (On the order of "you know who" or "He who must not be named.") If Kvothe learned the Name of it, and spoke it so as to make a ring of it, he might in that Naming have released something so terrible that he considers all the chaos in the world to be his fault.
54. silentia
Could the ring without a name have something to do with the quality of the silence that surrounds Kote? Something along the lines of unnaming or even a state of oblivion or emptiness?
Alice Arneson
55. Wetlandernw
silentia - Oh, I like that. PR has made overt use of the silence, but in such a way that we can readily assume it's all in the nature of "setting the mood", "creating atmosphere" and the like; of course, we expect it to be part of the frame, perhaps by being broken in the end. It would be just like him to hide it in plain sight like that. Did Kvothe learn the Name of Silence? Or... something like that? Not quite sure where I'm going with this... it's become suddenly elusive. I hope someone else chimes in on this; it sounds promising, at least for discussion purposes!
Bruce Wilson
56. Aesculapius
@54: Interesting; un-naming, silence, oblivion...
...sound a lot like Haliax and his "purpose" to anyone? How would that fit in with K?
@55: Fascinating thought - is K controlling the Silence around him? Why not? I get the distinct feeling that by the time of the frame he does indeed have Taborlin-like levels of Knowing and naming (which, in K's case, may or may not be related to his music). If the Silence truly is *his*, then what is he trying to achieve by it? Is this somehow helping to hide K and Bast - and, if so, from whom - from the Chandrian...?
Steven Halter
57. stevenhalter
Another possibility is that the "ring without name" is a kind of meta-ring. That Names derive from some base place. For example Order out of Chaos is a common motif.
Thus, a ring without name could be a representational object for the basis of the reality of the Four Corners--the stuff from which Names are derived. Control over such an object would imply potential control over just about anything.
58. setx_fan
@23 & @32 - Combine Kvothe's guilt and blaming himself with Lanre-Lyra story...what you get is Kvothe checking out because he could not save his Lyra, he opens the locked door (isn't Iax there?) is not worth living (waiting to die -- Lanre can't seem to die either). I think there are some interesting parallels.

Now, for the hollywood ending... Chronicler wakes him up and he, unlike Lanre, fixes the mess he created or helped create.

Also, echo the comment @40 -- because the third book is not out, makes this conversation possible and interesting.
Philbert de Zwart
59. philbert
@49: Fae is a big place, likely as big as Four Corners, so it seems possible that he went back to Fae while successfully avoiding Felurian.
60. greggors
Just occurred to me about the silences and whatnot. Is it possible that K built his inn like Elodin's cell in the Rookery was built in NW? With the basic idea that whatever caused the almost tangible heaviness in the air in Elodin's cell and prevented him from using naming is causing the almost palpable silence in the frame? K potentially would do this to keep himself hidden: whatever presumably kept Elodin's magic within the walls of his cell would also prevent others on the outside from sensing it. This could be why it drives Bast so crazy, if these types of prisons don't exist in the Fae, Bast has never experienced anything like it before. As a Fae creature he might experience the sensation more as silence rather than a 'heaviness' that K did as a human experiencing it. Also why Bast is the only one presumably feeling it. This also could explain why K was able to deal with the scrael in the forest but not deal with the bandits in the inn.
61. mr. awesome
Problem: Chronicler experiences the silence too. Additionally, the silence is present at the inn while Bast is far away torturing the soldiers at the end of WMF. If the silence only exists in Bast's perspective, we shouldn't know that there's silence at the inn at all. In fact, silence shouldn't exist during the ending at all, from Bast's perspective, because the tortured soldiers are screaming.

The silence also existed at the beginning of NOTW, before Chronicler got there. This suggests that its source is either Kote or the inn itself, and there's no evidence to suggest that there's anything special about the inn.

I also don't understand how your theory would explain K's ability to fight off the scrael/failure to fight off the soldiers. I think proprioception is a much better theory than yours for explaining this.
andrew smith
62. sillyslovene
@54, 55, etc: Silence

I like those thoughts. Some very interesting things to think about- I especially like the idea of the Name of Silence.

@60 greggors- silence and heaviness- the inn is definitely some sort of prison (in the very least in a metaphorical sense, and K seems to accept it as such) and could be very similar to Elodin's cell...are there any other parallels? I can't think of any... and similar to 61, I'm not sure how it accounts for the scrael, etc

The whole discussion reminds me of my old high school choir director saying over and over: "Music is surrounded by silence." Now granted he was probably just trying to get a bunch of high schoolers to shut up and focus, but I can't help but wonder if there is something there. Music, to be fully appreciated, must be contrasted against and enjoyed from a position of silence (except for the case of Tinker Tanner and the drinking song ilk that require audience participation). Is K setting the mood for his final Opus? I'm now wondering (and will have to go back and look at) about the scenes surrounding music at the Eolian and elsewhere- how is silence treated in the rest of the book as opposed to/compared with the framestory?
Alice Arneson
63. Wetlandernw
@60 - Definitely possibilities here! I like the theory - especially the bit about the scrael. Makes a lot of sense to me, whether or not that's what PR was doing. I'd like to make a more intelligent comment than that, but I'll have to mull it over for a while. (This may take some serious dish-washing time...)

@61 @62 - Part of the point of the theory is that the "palpable silence" is built into the inn itself. (Or, possibly, invested in it, since I was under the impression that Kote had come along and bought an existing place. No idea why, though.) In either case, it would mean that anything occurring outside the inn is unaffected - hence, Kote would be unaffected by it during the scrael-fight, which takes place outside (at some distance, IIRC), but still be unable to fight the soldiers within its confines. Any person who is sensitive to such things would "feel" the silence; both Chronicler and Bast are definitely in that group. And obviously, the heavy silence doesn't preclude sound, or they wouldn't be able to have conversations. It just never quite goes away, somehow - which is why I think greggors's theory has distinct merit. No matter how much noise or conversation takes place, including roaring fights, the feel of the heavy silence is still... there. Part of the inn itself, like Elodin's cell.

The fact that it also seems like it should tie in with the Name of Silence notion makes it even better. :)
Katy Maziarz
64. ArtfulMagpie
Could the ring without a name have something to do with the quality of the silence that surrounds Kote? Something along the lines of unnaming or even a state of oblivion or emptiness?

Ooo, random thought. Wouldn't the Name of Silence have to be...silence? Not a word, not a sound at all...not a spoken Name? So could the ring without a name indicate mastery of the Name ofSsilence? A name you cannot say? A name that, because it cannot be spoken, doesn't exist in that sense?
Amal Singh
65. mad_for_fantasy
I just finished reading WMF. In the grand scope of things, has someone noticed that Kvothe hasn't been called "Dulator" by Denna yet. Maybe PR is keeping it for DoS, or maybe, Denna isn't his true love. Any thoughts??

One thing also crossed my mind. Kvothe's present condition might be because he interacted with the Cthaeh in the first place.

Too many possibilities.
66. Herelle
Wouldn't the Name of Silence have to be...silence? Not a word, not a sound at all...not a spoken Name? So could the ring without a name indicate mastery of the Name ofSsilence? A name you cannot say? A name that, because it cannot be spoken, doesn't exist in that sense?

Makes me think of the word forsworn but also of Haliax being called nameless by Felurian, also of silence/oblivion/void being the only thing that he wants after 5000 years without sleep.

I´ve got a theory :-D
7 things stand before the entrance of the Lackless door:

a ring unworn = a bone ring, I don´t think Stapes ring, that was just to explain the whole ring thing and being in debt or enduring enmity thing to the reader. A pity Meluan´s ring was wooden not made frome bone. Blood (another ingredient from the riddle) and bone make some powerful magic, Kvothe wasn´t allowed to know, when he made the gram. Didn´t Stapes say those rings where made from ancestor´s bones back in the old days? My guess is Kvothe will encounter Meluan again and will get a bone ring eventually, a very old Lackless bone ring, say 5000 years old, as long back as the Lackless go.

word forsworn and not for swearing = if I understand it correctly forsworn means someone swore never to use this word again, this makes me think of Haliax being namesless, nobody wants to say his name aloud, it was cursed by Selitos and Haliax is hunting down whomever mentions his name, so for me it is Haliax name.

time that must be right = moon phase, probably a night without moon, as that is what a wise man fears

candle without light = Haliax candle as it is depicted on Ninas vase, and it is Lady Lackless husband´s candle, which makes me speculate wildly that Netalia was for whatever reason married to Haliax and Kvothe is his son, and only Arlidens red haired stepchild (I know this is wild speculation and there is still the point that Haliax was there when Kvothes mother was killed and presumably tortured by Cinder), another theory could be that Lyra, Haliax/Lanres wife was an ancestor, Lyra Lackless.

the son´s blood = Kvothes blood, for the blood and bone magic

a door that holds the flood = hm, I don´t know, seems to be a second door, seperate from the entrance to the Lackless door, which itself is myterious, why is there an entrance to a door, the door should be the entrance, not?, but maybe that´s not meant as a literal door - it´s rather the doors of forgetting/sleep/death/insanity that are closed for Haliax

the thing tight held in keeping = the Lackless box

then comes that which comes with sleeping = a dream or peace/rest for Haliax

Something else - I read at another site that because the Chandrian are called Rhinta in Ademre and the flower of the Chteah is called Rhinna, which is a panacea, they could have had it and that´s why they are immortal. Apart from the fact that Haliax himself should be immortal because of Selitos curse already it makes sense to me. Maybe Cinder stole it from the Chteah that´s why he (?) is still angry ("did me a wrong turn once").
67. Herelle
Sorry for the double post, but weren´t the Chandrian even called the forsworn?
Jo Walton
68. bluejo
Herelle: Might the "thing that comes with sleeping" be the power of naming through the sleeping mind?

Greggors: The silence being woven into the physical inn makes a lot of sense. Kvothe doesn't go outside it except to kill the scrael, and the scrael/warriors thing has been bothering me a lot. The inn could even be doing something Waystones do. But if K built the inn and raised this spell, wouldn't Bast know about it? Wouldn't he have been there?

Also, are the rings symbolic of knowing the name or do they embody it?
69. greggors
@61, 62 - IIRC (I dont have my book around) when K was in Elodin's cell he said that he felt sluggish and that the air was cloying to some degree. I think that both his physical and mental prowess were supressed by the cell (and by association the inn). As soon as he stepped outside the cell it was like he could breath again. This would account for why he could fight the scrael outside of the inn. The Chronicler would definitely feel it as he knows the name of iron and presumably would be sensitive to this type of thing. And if the silence is an attribute of the inn then it will be present no matter where the chronicler and Bast are
70. mr. awesome
You say "Is K setting the mood for his final Opus? I'm now wondering (and will have to go back and look at) about the scenes surrounding music at the Eolian and elsewhere- how is silence treated in the rest of the book as opposed to/compared with the framestory?"

I think that K breaking the silence with his lute and voice would be the best possible epilogue of the frame story that is possible. I really really want to see this happen now. If this doesn't happen I'll probably be really mad at Rothfuss, too.
71. silentia
@54, 55, etc. This also reminded me of Haliax's request to send Kvothe to a state of (sleep, forgetfulness,oblivion?) and the subsequent fugue that Kvothe finds himself in during his months in the woods and his years in Tarbean. (Side note: I looked up "fugue" to make sure I spelled it correctly. I did not realize it meant both "a disturbed state of consciousness in which the one affected seems to perform acts in full awareness but upon recovery cannot recollect the acts performed" AND "a musical composition in which one or two themes are repeated or imitated by successively entering voices and contrapuntally developed in a continuous interweaving of the voice parts". Interesting.) Also, it puts in mind "what is at the heart of the Adem: silence and stillness".

@62 "Is K setting the mood for his final Opus?" - That puts into mind Kvothe's first performance at the Eolian, when he sings The Lay of Sir Savien Traliard, which, of couse, parallels K & D to some degree. After his string breaks and he plays on, Count Threpe says something along the lines of, "I thought, 'That's a brave boy. Too brave to know he can't save the end of a broken song on a broken instrument'....and then you did anyway!" (paraphrasing, don't have my book right now). Is Kvothe's narrative the "broken song" and is Kote the "broken instrument"? I think he will "complete" his narrative so that it is 'not perfect, but whole'? To me that means we will see more action in the frame, because Kvothe is the tale he is telling, and the instrument, and the singer/actor.
72. faek
@70 mr. awesome

My first reaction when thinking about silence and how it's mentioned all point to his time with Denna. He's never noticing the silence unless it's bothering him when he's with her.
Tim Djerf
73. TDjerf
I don’t think the Chronicler misunderstands, he’s baiting K for the writings he knew K had done and also trying to fulfill what Bast set him to do, I think that while he’s not Edema he’s still a good actor, he has after all spent the better part of his life gathering stories about famous folk and such some of them actors or at least story tellers themselves. And he might be out for some material to cross-reference with the story he get’s to write.

@ 68 from the first time I read it I thought that the Scrael was the Flood and also part of or one of the enemies locked behind the Doors of Stone in plural at the end of Drosen’tor (that’s the name of the big battle right?). They do seam to have a hivemind of sorts or at least some sort of collective mind (they can find their own dead) perhaps it was the queen that Lanre killed there and perhaps Iax whistle gives him control over the queen maybe even lets him create a new one and I do think that Iax was behind one of the other doors.
It just seams to me that millions of giant stone spiders hell bent on killing might be seen as a flood. After that battle it felt to me that the tide of the CW had turned (no pun intended).

My interesting fact for today is that I just fond out that Skrælingis an oldViking word whichprobably came from skráwhichmeant "skin"; and as a verb, "to put in writing" and today it means a barbarian or foreigner in Icelandic. There were three groups of people that might have been the Skræling of old, they were the Dorset, Thule and PointRevenge. The might comes from the problem of dating it exactly and while it might have been any combination of the three the most solid evidence is pointing to the Dorset.
This happens to ring nicely with Drosen’tor, Tor being a Viking God of battle and all, this could be translated to the battle of/with/at Drosen/Dorset -> the battle against the Skræling.

Back to topic.
With some home-brewed logic and the fact that K thinks that the mountains would stop or at least slow down the Scrael we jumps to the conclusion that one of the Dors of Stone is on the other side of the stormwall which would mean that K goes there in D3 and meets the singing magic folks and let the Scrael out. I’m purposely not mentioning that Ademere is on the other side of mountains on the map to, because we’ve been there once half a book from now and it would be cruel to not let K go there (us to!). I wouldn’t mind him going through Ademere to say hello fetch Penthe and Tempi, trade his sword for nicer one and get some stories on the Rhintha.
I do hope that you like my brew, I know I do. =)

Before K confronts Devi to see his blood they talk about two kinds of ‘ceptions and this spins of into some theories about K having to see he’s hands/hand to be effective in the frame story and while I’m not totally in this boat but it makes so much more sense to me then an inn in the middle of nowhere that locks away seven kinds of magic and three ways of thinking in a chest with no lids or locks ( couldn’t help my self =)) because it let’s us se that while he can kill 5 scrael with planning, he can’t fight off 2 mercenaries when he’s surprised ( the devil you know), it might even explain Kote, he can’t play music and that’s destroying him.
I’m in the boat of he splitting his Alar many times and gives them parts of himself to keep safe from the others, with some rules, like letting the Ketan part take over to kill the scraeling, maybe even a secret password that lets him unite himself again. He might have done it for safety reasons or training reasons , have his different pieces battering themselves bloody against each other or to let them think separately from each other. I don’t know.

However the silence thing do have some strong points.
74. ryan7273
Re: Elodin's cell: It was my understanding that the reason the air felt strange was because it was completely still. Every time K talks about the name of the wind, it is in terms of "seeing" it. He watches the leaves in the courtyard, he sees the air in Felurian's glade, he spends hours looking at the sword tree. If the wind wasn't moving at all then you wouldn't be able to watch it and know its name.
David C
75. David_C
Chronicles and Archives. There are several comments that suggest concern regarding K's disclosure of friends' secrets to Chronicler.

Perhaps we don't understand everything that K does about the nature of Chronicler's publications. It does seem unlikely that Chronicler is going to head to the local equivalent of and publish a 600K+ word book as a best-seller. So what is Chronicler going to do with the bulk of the story? Perhaps re-scribe it long-hand and put it in his personal archives?

I think that it is conceivable that K is telling the story so that the bones of it that do end up circulating are closer to the truth, but are still heavily edited by Chronicler/Skarpi.

I also suspect that K is playing a beautiful game that is very time-sensitive in the frame and that holding Chronicler incommunicado for three days is so immediate and urgent that it overrides all other concerns.
76. wickedkinetic
I love the invisi-ring being a ring of silence - what more powerful in a world full of speakers than being able to 'stop' other arcanists that know names from speaking them.

Also suspect the silent inn is similar to the Elodin-cell, which sounds Farraday-cage-ish - like a copper-net can block the name of the wind similar to the way a copper-cage can hide an object from electro-magnetic fields in our world.
77. Aegon
I figured Bast's beet aversion was related to Beeturia ( Bast probably doesn't metabolize iron well.
78. Arliden
Yeah it makes sense that Bast DOES have a strong aversion of beets because of the iron level and K would obviously know that.
'Kvothe looked over at Chronicler and gave a wide, lazy smile'.
Note the use of 'Kvothe'. He found it amusing that he could get Bast to finish the soup just by acting like he wanted beets in it. We know K is quite capable of pushing through through the ruts of a busy innkeeper, but we also know Kvothe hates jobs that are beneath him and is terribly bored of it,
'It's not much of a life.'.
Add to this when Kilvin wants him to move onto bigger projects in the Fisherie
"Truthfully, Master Kilvin?"... "The truth is that if I've made eight deck lamps this last year, Master Kilvin. If I have to make another, I expect I might s*** myself from pure boredom."
It was fun, tricking Bast into doing it instead of himself, acting,
'Kvothe looked down at the dark red root on the cuttingboard as if surprised to see it there.'
So he did.
Laura Taylor
79. Lauranimal
Conjecture that the storey of Kvothe having a ring with no name could be the Name of Silence:

What if he used the Name of Silence on the V and H of his name? And maybe the bottle of strawberry wine was crushed by Silence. Chronicler brought up ".. they say she..." And what ever it is she did or that happened to her ... the actual grief of that was part of what he Silenced. Part of who Kvothe had become was shaped by his love fore Denna. That could crush the bottle. The room become ominous the way it did when Elodin did something during admissions or on the horns.
80. jorgybear
The section where K invents the story of The Chronicler strikes me that including someone in such a story can have a lot of power. Could doing this in conjunction with Naming be what Shaping is? Could this be the sort of magic where you write things down, and it becomes true, that Denna was asking about earlier? If you write down someone’s true name, you can make them do or believe anything you want?
Kate Hunter
81. KateH
Something Chronicler says in this chapter bothers me. He says that K's trial is one of the first stories he heard when he came to the University. What exactly is the timeline on Chronicler? His book is in the Archives when K attends, so that should mean Chr is significantly older than K and went through Uni years before him. Yet the things Chr says about Uni would suggest otherwise if not for this fact. In this chapter we have his comment about the trial, suggesting he showed up at Uni *after* K. He also said earlier, in NotW I believe, that "they're still talking about" K at Uni. Now, he could have simply returned to the Uni after his studies there, perhaps sniffing around for a story. But the way he puts his comment in this chapter is odd. The first story he heard at University? How could that first story be about K unless Chr's time at Uni followed K's?
Corey Johnston
82. Coreyartus

Unless he went specifically to the university to learn stories about Kvothe. Which might imply that he has been searching for Kvothe for a vary long time, and the rumor invented by Bast was exactly what he was looking for. His appearance in the story may not be as serendipidous as he is letting on, and Kvothe may realize that... I'm wondering if Kvothe's "honesty" and Chronicler's arrival isn't part of a grand scheme using Bast's desperation to set himself up to kill himself by sharing truths in written form. Surely he knows what he's doing. If the situational context of sharing stories about the Amyr and the Chandrian has changed so significantly that he has nothing to fear from them, then a LOT happens in D3. But I wonder if this isn't all a part of Kvothe's plan...
Mark Norton
83. Remillard
K says the Chronicler carries around a great book and whatever he writes in it comes true
Isn't this the magic that Denna was asking about?
Steven Halter
84. stevenhalter
It is very similar and K may be making a parallel story off of something he already knows is actual magic. An inside joke as it were.
85. jimmythefly
Waaay late as usual, but it seems I'm the first to mention this:

Hempen Verse! As in hemp! As in what ropes are made of. Could this subtly refer to Yllish knot writing? My guess is the original version of the hempen verse literally was written with hemp twine.

PS I am thoroughly enjoying this re-read series. Just discovered these books about a month ago and am on my second time through them now.
86. jimmythefly
Also K's starting the Chronicler story and admonishon about not oweing him anything rings very true to my experience.

If you've ever dealt with a reporter or member of the media (or author researching a nonfiction book involving a family member), they can have this amazing air of being OWED the story, of having some sort of right to know all your details, and if you deny them it's some sort of horrible affront to all of society and freedom of speech at large. The sense of entitlement to personal details about people still alive can be amazing if you've never experienced it firsthand.
Joanna Andrews
87. highwaycrossingfrog
@30 dokipen Totes with you on what is behind the four-plate door! What a shame I'm so far behind everyone as we seem to be the only two. Never mind, that makes it all the sweeter when we turn out to be right :) I actually just posted a detailed discussion about it on the penultimate board of NoW a couple of hours ago.

Can I add to the general discussion re disclosure of friends' secrets the thought that Rothfuss is writing this story for us as much as Kvothe is relating it to Chronicler? If he took out all those secrets, the story would make much less sense and would not be the rich and detailed tapestry we're all so enjoying trying to unravel. I'm willing to overlook a little secret sharing for that.

@85 jimmythefly (kind of) right behind you as usual! It's kinda fun having a list of things and going down everyone's comments ticking them off and seeing if you've got something unique left, isn't it? Being late to the party ain't all bad. I thought that the hempen verse just referred to the fact that it saved the defendant from a sentence of death by hanging, but who knows? There could be a connection to Yllish knots.

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