Thu
Dec 8 2011 2:00pm

Rothfuss Reread: The Wise Man’s Fear, Part 14: Secrets of the Heart

Welcome to my ridiculously detailed reread of Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles. This week’s post covers chapters 71-75 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 71 is Interlude — The Thrice-Locked Chest

Obvious title for once.

This is an interlude without us being ripped from one world to the other. K raises his hand for a pause, after completing his story of the walk with D in the gardens. Yet it still feels like jolt to move from Severen to the Waystone. Rothfuss does these transitions very well, we’ve always got two sets of characters and the space of time, and we’re always negotiating the distance between them and he doesn’t want us to lose sight of that.

And K’s stopping for an interruption even so, he deals cards and then the others hear a step outside. Did K hear it with better than normal hearing, or does he have some magical way of sensing people coming?

Thinking about that, it may be that Kvothe always wanted to run an inn, and that he thought he had the skills for it and it would be a good way to lie low. But actually, it’s a terrible way to lie low, because an inn is open, it has to be. I used to help out in a bookstore (will work for books!) and I remember how trapped I was there when unpleasant customers came in. Kvothe, hiding, could have put wards around an ordinary house and only been disturbed occasionally. They seem to have plenty of money. If he’d said he was a farmer and pretended to farm he’d have been just as invisible and a lot less visited and wards set up to let him know people were coming would be actually useful. This choice implies that he wants visitors — and suggests potential game playing/trap laying. Bast has sent out lures to wake K up. But K is waiting to die, is he waiting to die in a specific way? He can’t actually want to die or he could have killed himself or let the scrael kill him, but a specific death, in the Waystone?

The mayor comes in, asks for “red Gremsby,” a wine K doesn’t have, and accepts another red wine instead. K goes completely into character, smiling ingratiatingly and wringing his hands obsequiously and all of that. Bast complains that he was winning, which makes me smile. They’ve clearly got a whole routine here. The mayor wants the scribe, and he wants privacy.  So K and Bast go upstairs. K wonders why privacy, and Bast demonstrates his casual grasp of the local secrets by saying the mayor has two children by widow Creel. Bast says it’s been ages since they had lessons, and K suggests he reads Celum Tinture. (Did we decide if that was a chemical or alchemical text?) Bast says it’s boring and K suggests a puzzle lesson.

K asks how Bast would open the chest, and laughs when Bast calls it his “thrice-locked” chest. He says that as names go, it’s a little storybook. Bast says K made it, with three locks and fancy wood. So K made the chest — or had it made, the way he had the Folly board made and D had the lutecase made? He didn’t find it or get given it, he made it on purpose. And he did this with Bast, or in a time when Bast was there or is sure about. Did he do it in Newarre? Or on the way? As preparations for hiding, or before? If we knew where and when he’d got Bast we would know a lot. (Some days I am quite happy to wait for DT, but today is not one of those days!)

So he asks Bast how he’d open the chest, and asking for keys is the wrong answer. K says to assume he’s dead, and when Bast objects that this is grim, says that life is grim, a lesson Bast has clearly not learned in however long in Fae and however long with K and two years in Newarre.

Despite “life is grim,” K is in a good mood and puns “cracking this little chestnut” which really is pretty awful.

Bast says he doesn’t care for the wood — is it something Fae don’t like? And it has a copper lock and an iron one, and he says the iron one is unfair. K says things are usually unfair. There’s a lid but no hinges, and K says it took him a while to work out how to do that. So probably K did literally make it himself. Where, I wonder? In the Fishery? In Caudicus’s workshop? Right there in the Waystone? Maybe in the cellar, but not in the bedroom as he reminds Bast of the trouble they had getting it upstairs — which implies but does not confirm that he made it there.

Bast tries to do some magic to the copper lock which sounds like an entreaty. Then he knocks on the lid, and K asks what he’d do if something knocked back. K is not acting like somebody who can’t open the chest himself or someone who cares. Bast tries to lockpick the copper lock, can’t, and burns himself touching the iron one. He can’t pry it open. He tries and fails to tip it, and asks how much it weighs — K says over 400 pounds when it’s empty. That’s 180 kilos, good grief, no wonder they had trouble getting it upstairs!

He tries to hack it with a leaf-blade hatchet, and can’t — clearly sympathy. He says K does good work. Bast says roah doesn’t burn, so no use setting it on fire. He suggests melting the locks. K says he has taken precautions about that but it was good lateral thinking. Bast suggests acid, K says formic and muratic are useless, but maybe aqua regius, but the wood is thick and they don’t have much. Formic is formic, and wouldn’t do much. Muratic is hydrochloric, which one would expect would be effective against most wood. Aqua regia is mixed nitric and hydrochloric acid, which, yes, I would expect to work. These last two are old alchemical names for the acids, and they feel right in this world which modern chemical names wouldn’t.

Bast says he was thinking about the locks, not the wood, and K says he’s assuming they’re copper and iron all the way through, and you’d have to worry about the acid spilling and ruining whatever’s inside.

Bast gives up, and K reassures him that it was methodical and that he went about it “just as I would have.”

Then the mayor calls them, and Bast, in going, knocks one of K’s attempts at writing something off the table. When he goes to pick it up, K tells him “grimly” to leave it. K has been quite merry all through the lesson, so grimness now about this is a surprise.

Does this chapter give us a picture of the kind of way they spend their normal days? Working in the inn and having lessons like this between times? And if so, what is K teaching him? The scientific method? Because that isn’t magic, there isn’t any sympathy or attempts to charm it, except for maybe talking to the copper lock.

 

Chapter 72 is Horses.

This is what we’ve been calling “the Bechdel chapter.” But horses. It’s full of horses. The horse lifts. Not showing up panting like a horse. The different kinds of horses in a stable, as a comparison to whores.

We don’t have a closed parenthesis on the interlude — we’re straight from K closing the bedroom door to being in the story, nothing about how they settle themselves or how Chronicler took the break. As I am considering all the first person narration as unreliable, I am taking all the third person narration as reliable, so I assume nothing of note happened.

And “several days” have passed uneventfully in Kvothe’s story, in which he has written a song for Meluan at the Maer’s instigation called “Nothing But Roses,” knowing D would laugh when she heard it. He goes to look for her. He has money from selling — stealing and then selling — equipment from Caudicus’s lab and from gambling with nobles, so he takes the horse lifts.

He sees her walking purposefully and follows her, thinking she’d going to meet her patron. Severen Low, late at night, has street sellers with chestnuts and greasy meat pies, buskers, and mummers in a square. It’s Cendling night, which I assume is like Saturday. D turns into a less good part of town, which has taverns and beggars, and Kvothe starts to get nervous. Then she darts into an alley, and Kvothe climbs up onto the roof so he can see what she’s doing, which is initially hard to figure out.

There’s “a sliver of moon” overhead. We know it has a synodic period of 72 days, do we know what that does to waxing and waning?

D is rescuing a woman from an attacker in the alley. Kvothe is too high up to help. This is an exact parallel to the time he was on the roof in Tarbean and didn’t help a boy, and here he is, still on a roof, still not helping. D has a knife, and she threatens the attacker, who leaves.

D takes the girl to an inn, and K continues to follow and eavesdrop. He sits on the other side of a wooden partition from them and listens. This really is bad behaviour. Following her to discover the identity of her patron is just about acceptable. But this really is — he says he knows how she values her privacy! He could have done all sorts of things. Gone home. Walked up to them in the street back in the nicer part of town and said hi. Admitted the whole truth. But no, lurking and listening it is, along with bribing waitstaff to leave him in peace.

Incidentally, table service in a bar is a North American thing. It’s unheard of in Britain. It surprised me here, because this isn’t a restaurant — though I suppose the line between them is fairly thin.

Kvothe can hear D but not the girl, which I suppose means it isn’t really a Bechdel scene! Two women are having a conversation about something other than a man all right, but we only hear one half of it! D is talking to the girl in the tone Kvothe’s father used to talk to skittish animals. She finds out where the girl comes from, what her father does, why she left — but we don’t. We can fill in some of it from what D said “got handsy” and “the city wasn’t like you thought.” And “Meeting you is worse than looking in a mirror.” This strongly implies that D’s story is something like this girl’s. “I know he said he loved you. They all say that.”

And then she says she hates the story where the prince saves the girl, because even if he did who would save her from the prince. “You’d be like a dog he found in the gutter. He’d own you.” This sounds like experience. And D gets her purse out, and the girl asks something which has to be why D is helping, to which she says someone helped her once and she’s made her own share of bad decisions.

D seems much more human here than she ever has with Kvothe. She also seems much more practical and sensible. She suggests options — the girl could become an apprentice cobbler, or go home, or train to be a better class whore. “The fanciest horse is still a horse. Sooner or later you’re going to get ridden.” D must be talking about her own way of life here. And this connects up to what Deoch said about her in NW. Because the girl says something, probably “what if you don’t want to” and D says “Then you leave. That’s the only way. You leave before it comes to that, quick and quiet in the night. But if you do, you burn your bridges. That’s the price you pay.”

And yes, we have how D does it. And D doesn’t give advice. She says the girl has to decide what she wants. And Kvothe sits there for a long time after they have left, but he doesn’t tell us what he was thinking, having overheard all that.

The last time he thought about D he thought he had nothing to offer her. He knows she doesn’t want to be in a cage. He’s getting by. They could be a team. He could at least ask her. But he doesn’t think of offering her an equal partnership.

 

Chapter 73 is Blood and Ink.

Blood that flows easier than ink when you’re stuck writing.

We begin with a philosophical conundrum from the Theophany, Teccam’s line about secrets, true knowledge actively concealed, secrets of the mouth and secrets of the heart. Kvothe says Teccam was right, a secret of the mouth is like a stone in your shoe and a secret of the heart is like a weight in your heart. Modern philosophers disdain Teccam, but Kvothe thinks he “understood the shape of the world.”

We’ve talked a little about Teccam, how often misquoted, how old. Have we considered that “shape” there and “shape of the world” need not be a metaphor? Especially if the world is the broken house or the crooked house? What shape is the world anyway? We don’t know.

And why are we talking about secrets like this now? Because he didn’t tell D the truth in what follows.

The next day, he met D after she sent him a note, and everything was different. She has her harp and is elegantly dressed and wants to play him a song she has written. Her patron says he wants her first song to be “something men will sing for a hundred years” which D takes as concern for her fame, rather than spreading propaganda.

Kvothe asks if she’d like Alveron for her patron, which he thinks he could manage. This is the first useful thing he has done for her, but it’s mistimed — she says she has a patron “one I managed to find on my own.” Kvothe says what a useful thing the patron’s name can be, and she says her patron gives her other things, he knows things she needs to know. And when Kvothe suggests looking into Ash to make sure he’s on the level she’s horrified and makes Kvothe promise not to do that. And he swears. He offers to do it on his “name and power” and she says he’s not Taborlin the Great. But I wonder if that’s how he has become Kote, maybe, breaking an oath on name and power and losing both. (But it wouldn’t stop him being about to fight.) He swears by his name and power, his good left hand, and the ever-moving moon. (Gosh, if the moon stopped moving?)

Kvothe asks if there are any new men in her life, and she says he sounds like Master Ash, who doesn’t think her suirors are good enough for her. He asks what Master Ash thinks of him, and she says she has never told him about Kvothe. (And Kvothe is the only one she has told about Master Ash, which is why she has made him swear.)

And we have another spontaneous eruption of rhyme “They come and go with little gain or loss. You are the gold beneath the windblown dross.” She says Kvothe is hers alone and she doesn’t intend to share him.

They stop in a clearing with a greystone, one of their favourite places. D plays her new song, which is of course about Lanre, and of course twisted from the version we know. Lanre is the hero, Selitos is the villain. We have no way of knowing which is correct. But if this is Master Ash’s version, I really don’t think he’s an Amyr — while I think Skarpi may be. This is a story that whitewashes Haliax. We know the Chandrian flee the Amyr. She says her patron is close to Alveron and Kvothe might have met him — Kvothe thinks of the zillions of nobles but not of Bredon.

Kvothe said he “couldn’t have been more stunned if she’d written a hymn praising the Duke of Gibea.” Well, no, because really Kvothe thinks the Duke of Gibea was justified and I wouldn’t be surprised if he wrote that hymn himself.

And Kvothe keeps saying the wrong thing because he’s shocked. What he doesn’t say is “The Chandrian will get you for singing the wrong kind of songs, just as they did my parents,” which you’d think would have come to mind, really! Instead he nitpicks the story. She says she’s been all over the world getting pieces, and he thinks it was the same thing his father did — but we never heard his father’s version!

And he says Lanre became one of the Chandrian and she laughs at him — though she didn’t when he mentioned them on the barrow.

And then they have a big fight, he nearly calls her a whore, she says he thinks he knows everything because he’s at the University, she braids her hair with Yllish knots, she accuses him of wanting to fix her life, he says she has made a mess of it, and she rejects help because he’s “just like all the rest” wanting to control her.

Then we’re back to distance:

I’m tempted to lie. To say I spoke these things in an uncontrollable rage. That I was overwhelmed with grief at the memory of my murdered family. To say I tasted plum and nutmeg. Then I would have had some excuse...

So I think that this secret kept, this turn away from telling D the truth is a crucial break point on which the awful thing for which Kvothe feels guilt in the frame rests. We haven’t had this much pulling away since he introduced D in the first place. This must be the point where they could have had an actual conversation and didn’t. This has to be really significant, and lead to D’s betrayal of him and possibly her death.

In any case, he has no excuse and he cannot forgive himself. Kvothe owns his words, and stalks home. Hours later he decides to write to her explaining but can’t, and cuts himself trying, the blood flowing easier than ink.

 

Chapter 74 is Rumors

The rumours in the stories people have sent him, and the rumours of bandits too.

The next afternoon he feels awful “for all the obvious reasons.” Pride keeps him from visiting her — honestly, Kvothe, you are a moron sometimes. He sends a ring to Bredon and hears that he’s still away. So he reads the written down family scandals people have been sending him. We hear rumours about various nobles — Compte Banbride died of syphillis contracted from a stablehand. Lord Veston is a sweet eater. Baron Jakis tried to cover up stories of his daughter being discovered in a brothel but there are several versions around. Kvothe files it for future use against Ambrose. Netalia Lackless — “young Netalia Lackless” thus fitting my theory of ages — ran away with troupers, leaving Meluan the only heir after her parents disowned her. “That explained Meluan’s hatred of the Ruh.”

Kvothe must never have heard the name “Netalia” except in “Not tally a,” and Lackless only in that rhyme he picked up. He makes no connection with his parents. He doesn’t even wonder when this happened. I suppose young noble daughters running off with troupers could happen most years, but I bet not.

More rumours — the Duke of Cormissant flies into rages and beats people. The king and queen have orgies in the garden. Bredon:

was said to conduct pagan rituals in the secluded woods outside his northern estates. They were described with such extravagant and meticulous detail that I wondered if they weren’t copied directly from the pages of come old Aturan romances.

So Aturan romances are given to describing pagan rituals? The details might be interesting, since unlike Kvothe and presumably Chronicler and Bast, we haven’t read any Aturan romances and don’t even know what they mean by “pagan” other than presumably non-Tehlin. Could be to do with Fae, could not.

Then Alveron interrupts, announces that he has signed a formal troth with Meluan, and complains about trouble on the roads — taxcollectors being waylaid by bandits in the Eld. Alveron suspects magic and doesn’t want to send Dagon because he’s too unsubtle — and busy hunting Caudicus. This is very odd, because Kvothe would be better against Caudicus and Dagon against bandits, if magic is the issue. Anyway, Alveron asks for Kvothe’s help. Kvothe suggests arcane protection — an arrowcatch — and sending a small trusted group. He is astonished to find himself leading it. And really, he so isn’t qualified! Writing songs and loveletters, yes, leading groups against bandits, really not at all. What is Alveron thinking? Thinking he wants to be rid of him, no doubt.

They look at maps of the Eld:

a long stretch of the king’s road running through a piece of the Eld that had been old when Vintas was nothing more than a handful of squabbling sea kings.

Eighty miles, or four days hard walking away. Stapes gives him a new travelsack, how useful, and he packs as well as possible, some more practical clothes, some things from Caudicus’s lab, and he asks Stapes for some things which Stapes brings quickly. Alveron gives him 100 silver bits. And Stapes leads him out of the estate by a secret way and he realises he has been pressganged. He steals back his lute from where it is being mended.

He’s five miles north of Severen when it occurs to him that Alveron might have been less than truthful and realises that he was got out of the way on a wild goose chase.

 

Chapter 75 is The Players.

Not real players, the four people Alveron has sent with him into the Eld. In this chapter we are introduced to them.

They’re an odd lot. There’s Tempi, the Adem mercenary, then there’s Marten the tracker and the double team of Dedan and Hespe, in love with each other and not admitting it.

Tempi is pale skinned with light grey eyes and no expression. His clothes are red and very tight fitting. He has thin pale scars. He barely talks.

Dedan is a big blustery mercenary. Hespe’s a female mercenary. Marten is a huntsman and tracker, older and quieter. They’ve been a group for a while, and have scouted lands near Tinue for the Maer. And they don’t know what to make of Kvothe.

Then they meet a tinker, huzzah! And again, the tinker has everything that Kvothe needs including the things he doesn’t know he needs. He has a knife of Ramston steel. Kvothe says it’s brittle. The tinker says “the best knife you’ll ever have until it breaks” — like Kvothe’s alar? And it’s the only knife he has, so Kvothe has to buy it. He also buys salt and a tinderbox. The tinker offers him paper and ink, and he remembers he didn’t tell D he was leaving.

The tinker makes a trade of all this stuff and a  tatty old blackish green cloak, for his burgundy cloak and an iron penny, a copper penny and a silver penny. And he agrees to deliver the letter to D’s inn

And the tinker concludes by selling him candles.

 

We’ll leave it there and start from 76 next time.

I know I said I was going to do a post on Lackless theories, but I’ve decided to go on reading through for December and then do four more speculative summary posts for January, when I’m going to be away on a book tour. (That way I can do them all before I go and I won’t have to take the book.) At the moment that looks like Lacklesses, Ctheah, Kote, and Master Ash, unless anyone has any better ideas?

There have been brilliant comments in all of the last three weeks posts, far too many for me to summarize now.


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.

97 comments
Katy Maziarz
1. ArtfulMagpie
"Bast gives up, and K reassures him that it was methodical and that he went about it “just as I would have.” "

This made me wonder at the time...K says "just as I would have," but does he really mean "just as I did?" We know young Kvothe, strengthening his Alar, used to play games with himself where one part of him would hide something from another part. Is that what he's done here? He created this infernal box, then hid the solution from himself? Was he, perhaps, secretly hoping that Bast would be able to open the darned thing? Perhaps his disappointment led to the change of mood from playful to grim. (Or perhaps there is something on that piece of paper that he really doesn't want Bast to see...something other than a simple bit of biography draft?)
andrew smith
2. sillyslovene
@1
I had similar thoughts- the whole thing actually really reads like a metaphor- Lethani type "leaf" blade trying to chip away at a "heart of stone" thrice locked chest- K's two sources of mental power warring against one another. And with the quote "just as I would have," it makes me think that K has tried the same things to get it open, but can't. And the fact that he made the chest himself leads me to think that eventually he sank himself into the "heart of stone" so deeply that he can't access his feelings and other abilitites any more. Is this because of the betrayal? because of the damage his own actions have caused?

The other interesting line, that isn't fully included in Jo's summary , is that K tells Bast to think he's lost the keys (paraphrased), and then says, no even better, think that he is dead. This seems to suggest either a) K really has lost the keys (physical to the locks or magical for the lock we can't see?), or b) he already thinks of himself as dead and unable to produce the keys.

more later when I can get home and look through the books (finally got them back from loaning, yippee!)
TheEnginerd
3. TheEnginerd
I must have read the section on secrets of the heart 100 times. It seems incredibly important for some reason. Why was K able to tell Chronicler about his Heart's Secret so easily? I know he left the inn to "get firewood" just after telling Chronicler and Bast about his parents, but to see him in the story beating his fists bloody and then being able to act so nonchalant in front of his audience in the Frame seems disconnected. What on earth has happened to him?

I wonder too about that first morning in the inn with Chronicler when he summarized his life saying that he "loved and was betrayed". Does Kvothe have another secret of the heart now? Worse than his Parents being killed? Is this why his story is unreliable, because at its core it is about "True knowledge actively concealed"?

One last comment: I was recently reading the begining chapters of NotW and noticed that when K recieves the Sword Mount for Folly the third person narration describes K almost explicitly as a Cut Flower. K mentions that he has been waiting for the mounting board for a long time and Graham acts strangely, pointing out that it has only been four months.

He tried to smile reassuringly, but it came out sickly. In fact, Kote himself seemed rather sickly. Not exactly unhealthy, but hollow. Wan. Like a plant that's been moved into the wrong sort of soil and lacking something vital, has begun to wilt.

Just something I've been thinking of for some time now. I guess I used to think that he was waiting to die like a cut flower and that there might be some redemption waiting for him in the Frame story, even in a personal sense. More and more I feel like he is a cut flower and I don't believe that this story is destined to be a eucatastrophe but is in fact a tragedy. Maybe that is what happens when you change your NAME, you cut yourself off from life like a flower. Maybe that is why Elodin was so alarmed when he thought that is what Kvothe had done. But maybe it was Elodin that helped him do it after the betrayal. I'm not sure. As much as I love Kvothe in the story, I find myslef hanging on every word of the frame story because K is so damaged and real.

Sorry for rambling. Love the reread.
Sim Tambem
4. Daedos
How much emotion have we really seen from Kote? Has he had any extremes in frame?
Josh Miller
5. alphagold3
@1 and @2
K does have the keys in the frame story. I was just doing some rereading of my own 2 days ago and he has an iron and a copper key that he keeps hidden in a little case outside his window. Since I loaned the physical copy of the book to a friend, I can't reference a page number but at the end of Chapter 151 it says,

"Expressionless, Kvothe stood and walked to the window that overlooked the woods behind the inn. He slid it open and leaned out, reaching down with both hands. Then he drew himself back inside, clutching a slender wooden box.
Brushing away a coating of dust and spiderwebs, he opened the box. Inside lay a key of dark iron and a key of bright copper. Kvothe knelt in front of the chest again and fit the copper key into the iron lock. With slow precision he turned it: left, then right, then left again, listening carefully to the faint clicks of some mechanism inside.
Then he lifted the iron key and fit it into the copper plate. This key he did not turn. He slid it deep into the lock, brought it halfway out, then pushed it back before drawing it free in a smooth, quick motion.
After replacing the keys in their box, he put his hands back on the sides of the lid in the same position as before. 'Open,' he said under his breath. 'Open, damn you. Edro.'"

So he has the keys and knows how to open it, it is something else that prevents him from being able to open it. I always thought that he asked Bast to try to open it because he can't and hoped that Bast had a Fae ability of some sort that could.

I figure it's one of two things, a) he sees trouble coming and needs something in the box to defend against it or b) the telling of the story makes him want to be the old him again but he can't because the "Kvothe" part of K is locked inside the box.
Steven Halter
6. stevenhalter
@5:Notice that Bast calls it a thrice locked chest. We see the copper and iron locks and K has the respective keys. I don't recall that we have seen either the third lock or its key--unless he expected the "Edro" to be a key.
C Smith
7. C12VT
@5: We have seen strong emotons from K in the frame. After K tells how his parents were killed, he acts nonchalant in front of Bast and Chronicler, but once outside by himself
he moved slower and slower, like a machine winding down. Eventually he stopped completely and stood for a long minute, still as stone. Only then did his composure break. And even with no one there to see, he hid his face in his hands and wept quietly, his body wracked with wave on wave of heavy, silent sobs.
There's also Kote's moment of anger after Chronicler asks about "a woman" - the scene where he breaks the strawberry wine bottle.
And while I was looking back at the bottle-breaking scene just now, I noticed something quite interesting:
“They say she—” Chronicler’s words stuck in his suddenly dry throat as the room grew unnaturally quiet. Kote stood with his back to the room, a stillness in his body and a terrible silence clenched between his teeth. His right hand, tangled in a clean white cloth, made a slow fist. Eight inches away a bottle shattered. The smell of strawberries filled the air alongside the sound of splintering glass. A small noise inside so great a stillness, but it was enough. Enough to break the silence into small, sharp slivers.
Some people have theorized that there's something unnatural about the "silence" that's mentioned at the beginning and end of each book, and this passage really seems to support that. Look at all the silence just in these two paragraphs! And at what breaks it - K breaking the bottle, perhaps by using sympathy or some other magic.
TheEnginerd
8. jmd
Not really a comment on the story itself, but the way it is being discussed here makes me think of Fitz in the Assassin series by Robin Hobb. He had a lot of his memories, fears, angers, etc. taken out of him and not replaced until years later. He then realizes how "not-alive" he has been and how he could not move forward and act more like an adult until he had all of those memories back, no matter how awful they were.

It almost feels the same here with Kote - if some magic has changed him then he does not know himself and the name he is using is not complete and then he can't access his magic, but what if the magic is itself what has been taken and oh dear now I made myself dizzy...

Anyway. Since we have been talking about naming things and understanding, I thought that was a nice return of how things change and are changed.

And I did like the steel reference. When I read this for the first time, I spent way too long looking for the original steel reference in the first book. Deliberate callbacks within a short time - is the story spiraling? Is this a sign of coming to the end and what does that mean?
TheEnginerd
9. Dominiquex
I thought of a few things in relation to how differently K reacts when relating his personal traumas in the frame, as mentioned by TheEngineered in post 3...

When telling the story of his parents dying, he had to leave to cry in private. I can think of a few reasons for this: 1) the obvious - they were his parents, they died, it's very sad; 2) it's a wound he was never really able to deal with when it happened, and he rarely talks about it, so the experience of remembering and communicating it is very painful; 3) it was a turning point in his life, not only in the obvious everybody-would-have-those-troubles way (orphaned, Tarbean, struggles to support himself) but also because it was the point that fate/the Chandrian stepped in and set him on the course that has presumably ruined his life - he mourns not only for his parents, but the boyhood he should have had and the man he should have been; 4) it is painful for other, deeper reasons that we haven't picked up on yet that come out in D3... There are probably others.

As far as bungling his reception of Denna's song, he obviously regards it as a mistake and a key point in their relationship, but there are many reasons he might be able to relate it dispassionately now: 1) umm, he had a fight with his not-girlfriend - not really on the same level as the murder of your family and your childhood and (possibly) your future; 2) this was an incident he faced as (more-or-less) a man, so he has been able to deal with it in ways he was not as a child; 3) this incident was terrible, but the results of it were so much more terrible that they overshadow any emotional reactions he might have over his actions at this point in his story and his emotions will come out later instead; 4) this incident and the reprecussions of it were so terrible that they are beyond human emotions; 5) this incident and its reprecussions lead to him becoming Kote and loosing his connection to himself that included some of his emotions in addition to some of his skills (psychologically numbing and dissociating like PTSD or magically like changing your name or both).
Steven Halter
10. stevenhalter
Kvothe is certainly not being nice when he listens in on Denna & the woman. He seems to be willing to forgive quite a few flaws in his behavior.
The implication of Denna's answers seems to be that she has been living her life according to the advice she is giving. A patron who is giving her the means to break out of her cycle could be one reason for her loyalty.
Kvothe does here a couple of sentences from the woman in reply to Denna, so I guess that qualifies as Bechdel.
TheEnginerd
11. silentia
"Bast gives up, and K reassures him that it was methodical and that he went about it “just as I would have.” "
What if the last key isn't methodical or logical? It can't be the "Heart of Stone" because that is severely logical and emotionless. So has Kvothe lost the way of Lethani, which does not follow a logical path? Or does it have to do with his music..."he has lost the keys" (that would be a pretty bad pun). If it's the Lethani he has lost...well, that might explain away part of his name of "Broken Tree", with regard to the sword tree that is at the center of and sacred to his Adem village. Or is it that he is just so deep in the Heart of Stone that he can't operate two systems at once? Perhaps that may explain his lack of music. He says in Felurian's chapter that it is hard to be a good musician while in that state.
TheEnginerd
12. silentia
Or, along those lines, if the key isn't methodical, could it be a name? Not "Edro" (which seems to mean "open seseme") and not the name of the chest itself, but a key that invokes a name, something like the name of Silence. The name of Love? A little cheesy perhaps, but certainly something he's lost.
TheEnginerd
13. silentia
@ 7. C12VT
I really like the idea of Kvothe's anger being strong enough to override his Silence. After all, he did defeat Felurian and name her on the power of his anger. Beware, indeed.
TheEnginerd
14. Thurule
@1, @2

I proposed this theory a few weeks back, but I think it bears repeating now that we're actually getting to this point.

I think the third lock here, as well as the 'lock' on the lackless (locloes?) box isn't really a lock at all. I think the wooden portion of the box is completely solid (hence, no hinges or seams) and it takes a Namer who knows the Name of wood to open the box. I think the boxes were created in the same was as Fela's stone ring, and can be made to open by simply Commanding it to do so.
TheEnginerd
15. Thurule
@5, @6, @12

Wow, a lot happened while I was typing that last post!

'Edro' would seem to me be what he's trying to use as the Name of the wood (or chest itself) to open it, as mentioned in my theory.
Ian B
16. Greyfalconway
Crazy speculation:

Maybe Kvothe built the Waystone Inn around the Lackless door, and what he locked in the chest is the key, coin and candle from Auri, and maybe he's waiting to die because that's how he 'brings the blood' but has held off.

But now he's telling his story and reliving the moments that lead up to him wanting to die/open the door, and so he's trying to get them out so he can die, and maybe call the Chandrian or Amyr to kill him, get the door open, and have (something) happen.

Maybe the angels come out and destroy the Chandrian once and for all? Maybe it destroys everything? Maybe it breaks some sort of curse on the Chandrian and they can destroy the Amyr who turn out to be the baddies that spread all that disinfo on them?

Also @7 I think Kvothe knows the name of Silence and still has mastery over it
George Brell
17. gbrell
Re: Jo's initial comments

Bast says he doesn’t care for the wood — is it something Fae don’t like?

Roah has lots of iron in it, giving it its color. I've always assumed Bast's comment refers to that.

He tries to hack it with a leaf-blade hatchet, and can’t — clearly sympathy.

This sparked a VERY long discussion in a previous thread. I am in the camp that this is similar to the warding stones demonstrated by Kilvin.

Song for Meluan called “Nothing But Roses”

So the identity of the poem remains unknown.

There’s “a sliver of moon” overhead. We know it has a synodic period of 72 days, do we know what that does to waxing and waning?

Synodic period denotes the time required to return to a given phase, i.e. complete a full cycle (waxing to full to waning to new).

Well, no, because really Kvothe thinks the Duke of Gibea was justified and I wouldn’t be surprised if he wrote that hymn himself.

Please don't stir this up again.

He sends a ring to Bredon and hears that he’s still away.

Notice that this means Denna and Bredon are not in the same location. Did Denna mention meeting recently with Master Ash in Ch.73 because that would seem to injure the Bredon as Ash theory? (A theory of which I am a proponent).
Claire de Trafford
18. Booksnhorses
I know that we've talked about this many times before but Jo's comments today really struck me about K's assuming he knows the truth of the Chandrian. What have we seen K learn about them really? He has a remembered incident with his parents which may or may not have been reliable or misinterpreted, he has a pot with some figures on that he never even saw but heard about. Despite his expressed wishes, he hasn't really had the chance to conduct proper research.
Steven Halter
19. stevenhalter
ClairedeT@18:Yep, Kvothe seems to have a fanatics belief in the evil of the Chandrian at this stage.
It also seems that he is in a bit of a snit over what he at least thinks Denna was saying about her situation in the conversation he spied upon. Put the two together and we get his inappropriate reactions to the song.
Steven Halter
20. stevenhalter
When the Tinker suggests Kvothe needs paper, Kvothe realizes that he has wandered off without any explanation to Denna and only then thinks about how that might seem.
He gives an excuse that he was without sleep and all caught up in the idea of bandits. This seems a bit thin. He has been thinking of Denna for a long time now. He couldn't even write songs when she was gone. Suddenly, she just slips his mind.
It reminds me a bit of his mentle fog in Tarbean. I wonder just what Yllish knots Denna was tying into her hair?
TheEnginerd
21. Vorbis
I've been wondering a while, what on earth was Denna doing wandering through that part of town?

From the overheard part of the conversation, she'd obviously never met the girl before, so she couldn't have been heading that way specifically looking for her.

It seems like an odd thing to do, heading to the bad side of town. She must have had more of a mission than just hoping to come across someone being menaced in an alley?
andrew smith
22. sillyslovene
Whew, long day...home at last (now if I can get all these thoughts down without the little one requiring my attention):

First off, @Jo:
K suggests he reads Celum Tinture. (Did we decide if that was a chemical or alchemical text?) Bast says it’s boring and K suggests a puzzle lesson.
Answer (and what originally tipped me off on this):
Devi approached the desk wearing a dubious expression, then sat down and unwrapped the parcel. Inside was the copy of Celum Tinture I'd stolen from Caudicus' library. Not a particularly rare book, but a useful resource for an alchemist exiled from the archives. Not that I knew anything about alchemy, of course.
WMF ch 143- Celum Tinture is definitely an alchemy text.

Second, good catch @ 5 alphagold3- I forgot about that part- need to do a full reread now that I have my books back. Apparently I'm forgetting things...

@emotions @4 Daedos and 7 C12VT
Both of those instances involve probably the strongest emotions he ever feels- about his parents being killed and retelling it (possibly for the first time?) and about his one and only love (who we're pretty certain betrayed/otherwise really hurt him). Maybe it is only those two things that could get through his "heart of stone"? I'm sure there could be other indications of emotion/feelings from him. But if he has intentionally put himself that far into "heart of stone" via his mind splitting capabilities, then it would be a rare thing that he would feel much about, and we have seen him be a very convincing actor also... perhaps those are the only two instances where he fully loses control...

@11 Silencia
I've thought before that the third key has to do with his music or his naming ability, or perhaps both. But I don't remember any indication, other than Bast's calling it thrice-locked, that shows that there is a third lock. The idea works though thematically... Especially with Jo's good thought about him breaking his promise(s) and losing the use of his left hand/right hand/both as well as his power and name (and perhaps affecting the moon?)- this could lead to problems both magically and musically....

@14 Thurule- the text says that there is a seam- Bast tries to use a crowbar and get into it to pry up the rounded lid.

Which is odd- why/how do you make a rounded lid out of a wood that is essentially impossible to shape? it mentions it a number of times- is it to connect it somehow to Meluan's box?

@17 gbrell
I also thought that there was trace iron in the wood, causing Bast's discomfort...

@21- I wondered about that as well- because it seems like she is just wandering and then suddenly she darts into some place to save a random girl that she shouldn't have known was there or in trouble?
Jo Walton
23. bluejo
Good point about why she's there. Maybe she's magically drawn to where she can help the girl, or maybe she was going somewhere -- to meet Ash? -- and then abandoned or postponed that as the girl seemed more important.

Kvothe also doesn't notice that she was offering the girl all her money, which might leave her needing to leave Severen with bills unpaid.
TheEnginerd
24. mr. awesome
@3 "More and more I feel like he is a cut flower and I don't believe that this story is destined to be a eucatastrophe but is in fact a tragedy."

I'm with you. Rothfuss doesn't have enough time left to destroy in-story K while completely saving normal K and making the Four Corners okay again. But, I don't think it'll be a total tragedy. I think it'll be more of a redemptive tragedy. We should analyze the story through this lense.
Jay Matteo
25. j4yx0r
@23 (Jo)

It seems that the consensus here is Denna somehow happened upon the girl in trouble. I always read it as Denna intervening intentionally.

I get the feeling Denna had previous knowledge of the girl or had gotten wind of her predicament somehow. Denna's probably 'plugged-in' to the underground or whatever grey markets exist in a city like that. The way I read it, her purpose in braving the darker side of town was to save the girl from trouble. I also got the sense that this isn't the first time she's taken it upon herself to do such a thing.

I realize that's probably a lot of presumption on my part, but it's what my gut tells me. I get the sense that she purposefully saved and then later offered help to the girl.
TheEnginerd
26. Captain.Kaulu
You guys (except gbrell) have glossed over that this section is the one hole in the Master Ash = Bredon theory. Denna is back in Severen, but the day after her fight with Kvothe, Bredon still isn't back from his trip.
Nathan Love
27. n8love
Two thoughts on Kote failing to open the chest.

1. Kvothe made it, not Kote; Kvothe can open it, Kote can't.
Looking back, there is one thing that truly defines Kvothe: music. More than orphan, arcanist, namer, legend, storyteller, or any other title or description you can put on him Kvothe constantly reminds us that his music is who he is. And there is no music, so he is not Kvothe.

2. Kvothe can open the chest, but if Kvothe comes back bad stuff could happen.
I think K is trying to exploit some sort of loophole he learned about in order to escape the damning influence of the Cthaeh. Maybe the Cthaeh can see every branch of the future and influence it through conversation, but not if the person he uses ceases to exist. Whether or not that is actually true is probably moot as long as K believes that it is. But all is not well. Bast and Chronicler are screwing it up. Being Kote sucks. The alar that has buried Kvothe is near unto breaking like so much ramston steel.

I know we'll talk about this next month in our speculations, but since we've talked recently of the Cthaeh and this interlude with the chest I think there's (kinda) a correlation. Plus I'd forget if I didn't post it.

@26 Captain.Kaulu
Yeah, but it's not a large hole. It could be as easy as saying "Lets reduce the chance someone links us by going back to town on different days", or maybe Bredon had more business unrelated to D which he tended to after he had dismissed her. Proving negatives: purty hard. You could use them coming back at the same time as evidence of a relationship, but you can't use them coming back at different times as proof of a lack of relationship.
Beth Meacham
28. bam
I never thought that Denna just happened on the girl in the alley. As I read, I felt that K. had stumbled on something that Denna did regularly: cruise the back alleys like a superhero, looking for girls in trouble and rescuing them. She rescues the lost; it's her compensation for being lost. I think that she originally picked up K. because he was one of the lost. She's several years older than he is.
TheEnginerd
29. Cutty
This has been bothering me since I started the First book. K is not telling all the dirty secrets of his life, the University, magic, naming, Admere, Alveron, and everything else to the reader. He is telling it to the world. Right now it is to a man writing it down. But then it will be put into a book and copied for the whole world to see.

He is in essence betraying EVERY friend he has ever had, every trust he has been given.

He is telling the world that D is a (Classy) whore, that he has met the devils of this world and this is what they hate, he has met the angels of this world and this is who they are, here are all the secrets of magic and naming and shaping(TBD on Shaping). Here is how you get into Fae, this is how you beat Fae, this is how you find the most vile thing to ever be created (if your not killed first).

Something about this just feels wrong. Its one thing to tell a secret, its another to tell the world. And the Admere dont seem to be the kind of folks to be cool with thier individual let alone thier entire countrys secret being broadcasted.

If I was the Chronicler, Id be sweating bullets. Every country, every Ruler, every devil, angel, not to mention a country of professional soldiers are not going to like this story when they find out its being/was written. (Let alone the Fae, they seem to be folks that if any one of them felt like it would make the trip to gut him slowly and sing a jingle while they did it.)

Quick question. Chronicler wrote the book that K first read at the University about the draccus? That was what 15 give or take years before the frame? How old is Chronicler? In my mind he always seems 30-40ish. So that would make him 20ish when K read the book.

Anways enough for now. I have more but need to think more before I put it out there.

-Cutty
Steven Halter
30. stevenhalter
@21, et al: As Kvothe is following Denna he notes:
I was beginning to get nervous when I saw Denna stop suddenly at the mouth of a shadowed alley. She craned her neck for a moment, as if listening to something. Then, after peering into the dark, she darted inside.
This seems to describe the reaction of someone who is looking for something and has found it. In other words, Denna is out looking for a girl in trouble. The odds a pretty good that she will find one in the area of town to which she has gone.
Kvothe doesn't really spend any time thinking about this, but it puts a whole new active role in the Denna category. Up to this point she just seemed to appear and disappear and hang out with rich guys.
So, it seems that this particular girl is random, but she went looking for one with the specific intent and expectation of finding someone to help out.
Steven Halter
31. stevenhalter
On Breden being away--at the start of chapter 74 we have:
I sent a ring to Bredon, but the runner returned with the news that he was still away from the estate.
This just means that he isn't in the castle, not that he isn't in Severen somewhere--or in Fae or most anywhere.
George Brell
32. gbrell
@29.Cutty:

Quick question. Chronicler wrote the book that K first read at the University about the draccus? That was what 15 give or take years before the frame? How old is Chronicler? In my mind he always seems 30-40ish. So that would make him 20ish when K read the book.

There isn't a clear date for the frame versus the actual story, but best guess is probably less than ten. He was fifteen when he started at the University. He is repeatedly described as young and youthful in the frame. I think there's a mention that he's been hiding for 2 years or so (book not with me), so the only question is how much time he spent between the end of WMF and "the event."

If we believe that Chronicler left the University to chase the wind, Mating Habits could have been the first product of that digression (a la a thesis or dissertation). Also, it's not clear how old Mating Habits is. I picture the Tomes to be akin to the reading room at a large library. It's common for newly published, well-regarded works to be displayed prominently in such rooms. This is also helped by the fact that Devi later discusses her newly illustrated copy (something which probably wouldn't occur with an older book).

So if we assume it was published slightly before Kvothe arives and that Chronicler had left the University a year or two before that and that approximately ten years have passed between Kvothe arriving at the University and the frame story, Chronicler would probably be in his early- to mid- thirties.
TheEnginerd
33. Cutty
Thank you gbrell. That made it much clearer in my head.

-Cutty
Katy Maziarz
34. ArtfulMagpie
Okay, I had a random thought about Chronicler. He's a Lockless, yes? (Well, a Lochees, but same basic family.) What if the real reason K is bothering to tell all of this to Chronicler is not so that Chronicler can get the whole story and put it into a book for the world to read...it's because CHRONICLER is going to be the real hero of the story.

Bear with me, here. Chronicler's a Lockless, so he "brings the blood." He is somehow involved with Skarpi, meaning there's more to him than meets the eye already...an Amyr? He...or his family...may have one of the last Lockless artifacts...the key, maybe? What if K is only telling him all of this so he'll have all the background he needs to finish what Kvothe started??

That would explain a lot...K isn't betraying his friends, because he doesn't expect that the book will ever actually be written and published. K can't finish the job...something has made him lose his powers. So now Chronicler has to end things. Maybe?
andrew smith
35. sillyslovene
@34 Maybe the iron ring he wears is less a Tehlin iron wheel and more a key that is needed (doesn't Meluan have a round key?)? Perhaps the Tehlin wheel is an original corruption/conglomerate of said key with the fact that fae can be injured with iron? the thing that can trap/kill/harm demons? may be a real stretch...but there could be some good thoughts that way.
George Brell
36. gbrell
@34.ArtfulMagpie:

I don't believe that it's ever been confirmed that Lochees is a Lackless family derivation. It has obvious similarities, but it's not in the list given by Caudicus (Lackless, Loeclos, Loklos, Loeloes, Lack-key, Laclith, Kaepcaen).

It does have certain linguistic similarities to Lack-key (which Rothfuss makes the origin of lackey, a cute historical note much like his play on ravel). We know that the Lack-keys were located in Atur and were numerous, but fell on hard times.

We know that Chronicler is related to a Duke (presumably named Lochees) and we know that there are Dukes in Atur (Sim's father is described as a paper duke bowing to a tin king in Atur). Of the 9 references to Dukes in NotW/WMF, 7 of them refer to either the Duke of Gibea (Aturan or circa) or Sim's family. The others are a reference to the Duke of Richmoney (Kvothe's suggestion for Master Ash's name) and a Duke of Cormisant (in the rumors collected by Kvothe). It is possible that Cormisant is a transplanted Aturan noble (though based on Savoy's reaction, the opinion held of such nobles by lineage-centric systems such as Modeg and Vintas would be very low), but I think it more likely that Duke is a generic title.

None of this, however, guarantees that Chronicler is related to the Lackless, though the name seems to be a herring of some color.
TheEnginerd
37. Dominiquex
@29

I think there are multiple possibilities to explain Kvothe spilling everyone's secrets, some of which are already in the books and some that are conjecture. As far as the secrets around the Fae/Faen, those are already out. Kvothe and everybody already heard legends about men falling into Felurian's clutches, Wil already'd heard enough to name the Faen court as the one place he'd like to go, and Kvothe started making and performing songs about his trip literally the first hour he was back in human company. Beating Felurian's via Naming might be new-ish info, but who could actually replicate that? Even being a fabulous Arcanist doesnt really help Kvothe Name anything - it's not knowledge that's really transmissible from one person to another. And his story never does actually share her Name. The Ctheah parts might get him into trouble with the Sidhe (possibly wrong name), but he's already presumably on their extermination list for just talking to it (umm, not to mention the whole I already destroyed the world as we knew it thing). So I don't think any Fae info is really a secret at this point.

Spilling his friends' deep personal secrets would be a much more terrible thing in my book. However, we've never had any indication that Kvothe is disloyal to anyone in his story, or any disloyal interactions from Kote in the frame. So I think that either his friends are all in a place where they can no longer be betrayed (dead or so changed by the intervening events that their secrets from their youth no longer matter) OR that he betrayed them all so fully in his D3 Bad Thing I Did that these secrets are trivial by comparison. Possibly both.

His betraying the secrets of the Adem is a much trickier question. All of the reasoning applied to his friends' secrets could apply, although the thought of the entire culture being beyond betrayal/dead is terrible to contemplate. :shiver: I don't have any great ideas for that one.
mike dosch
38. mdosch
Re: @9 and K's emotional response in the frame.

Just a quick thought, but have we considered that this point - in the frame story - is the first time he's revealed the truth of his parent's death to anyone? I.e. his heart's secret, that causes him to bleed before he can write it down for D, and this is the first time he's ever managed to tell anyone about it. It would explain the vast amount of emotion displayed, as far as K in the frame is concerned.

On a side note: first comment, although I've followed a number of these re-reads for quite a while.
Claire de Trafford
39. Booksnhorses
At this point, and thanks to all the witty and insightful comments made by Jo et al I just have no idea what is going to happen on DT. Amyr/Chandrian good/evil? Anything could happen. The reason for the chronicle being written/truthful? Again, I think this is going to turn on its head. Denna? Not a clue. K telling his story - are we being played for fools?

All the things I think I know I'm pretty sure I'm going to be wrong/surprised on. I can easily imagine PR reading all these comments and chortling. It's so exciting to see what will happen - what a great book.
Beth Friedman
40. carbonel
I assume this has been mentioned before, but since people were talking about it: "Edro" is also one of the words Gandalf used in LotR to try to open the gates of Moria. There, it also means "open."
TheEnginerd
41. mr. awesome
On Denna:

I was thinking about how in fictional court cases whether the prosecuted person is innocent or guilty often depends on whether they're right or left handed. I then decided to look at Denna's bruises.

The book says that: "Denna had been struck on her left temple hard enough to blacken her eye and bruise her well past her ear into her hairline. Her right arm was bandaged, and from the way she carried herself, I guessed she had some serious bruises along her left side, if not a few broken ribs".

Three questions:
1. Does this pattern of bruising indicate that the batterer is right or left handed?
2. Is Bredon right or left handed?
3. How could D's patron give her broken ribs without using a walking stick? We know that when the Cthaeh spoke her patron had only recently beaten her with a walking stick, and this is like a year or so before that. I honestly can't see Bredon being strong enough to break her ribs. This is either an indication that Bredon isn't what he appears or that he's not her patron, althought I feel like the former is the most probable.
TheEnginerd
42. MAR
On Denna

I agree with the Denna is a vigilante/superhero theory. However, I don't believe she is necessarily a whore. The text gives us these clues:

1. She leaves men wanting and frustrated (I'm paraphrasing). She leaves in the night and burns her bridges because she doesn't get paid (unless she gives all her money to those who are lost).
2. Ambrose wouldn't give her back her ring, because he didn't get what he wanted.

Kvothe, unfortunately, believed she was a whore, and he called her one during their argument. Yes, she was angry because he criticized her song, but she was also angry because she was trying desperately not to be a whore. Kvothe's misconception will contribute to the silence between them and, possibly, her betrayal.
Andrew Mason
43. AnotherAndrew
Incidentally, table service in a bar is a North American thing. It’s unheard of in Britain.

Not any more. There is a bar near my place of work which has bar service at some hours, table service at other hours, and both at yet other hours - in the interests of clarity and simplicity, no doubt.

Anyway, two things puzzle me a bit. One is the rumour about Bredon's pagan rituals. Up to this point, it seemed that Bredon was a person without a real identity - he called himself Bredon, and that was all we knew about him, his full name or title, rank, etc., being undisclosed. But in that case how can there be a rumour about what he does on his estate?

The other is why Alveron has to resort to such subterfuges to get rid of Kvothe. He would be totally within his rights to say 'Well, Mr Kvothe, I am grateful for your service, but now your work here is done and you are free to go'.
David C
44. David_C
@ 29. Cutty
This has been bothering me since I started the First book. K is not telling all the dirty secrets of his life, the University, magic, naming, Admere, Alveron, and everything else to the reader. He is telling it to the world. Right now it is to a man writing it down. But then it will be put into a book and copied for the whole world to see.
I think that this is a modern interpretation of what will happen. Yes, Chronicler is writing 1100 pages of short-hand. Minimally, this needs to be transcribed into something that someone other than K and Chronicler can read. Unlike PR, Chronicler needs to do this without a typewriter, or even a ball-point pen.

Let us assume the existence of the printing-press. Let us assume that Chronicler has the funds to create a typeset version of K’s story . Let us assume that there are 3 or 4 libraries and 2 dozen nobles rich enough to purchase copies. With a wide distribution like this, eventually K/the Chronicler’s version of K’s story might start to compete with the versions told by bards.

Far more likely, the Chronicler will make a fair-hand manuscript copy (sometime in the next five years) and eventually Lorren will commission another manuscript copy for the Archives that one Master or another will ensure stays hidden from most students for the next fifty years.
David C
45. David_C
@29. Cutty
He is in essence betraying every friend he has ever had, every trust he has been given.
He is telling the world that D is a (Classy) whore, …
Two objections. One, has K identified D well enough that anyone other than his close friends will even know of whom he is speaking? She doesn’t go by the name Denna. Is she independently famous enough to be recognizable?

Two, I’m reading the same story, and I certainly haven’t come to the conclusion that D is part of the sex-trade industry. She seems willing enough to pretend to be patronized by men who wish to pretend to be her patron, but it’s not at all clear exactly what she is trading. Certainly her recent discussion with Kvothe about patrons suggest that neither she nor Master Ash are interested in swapping sexual favours, and that she is playing a deeper game.
TheEnginerd
46. A Winner
AnotherAndrew @43
Anyway, two things puzzle me a bit. One is the rumour about Bredon's pagan rituals. Up to this point, it seemed that Bredon was a person without a real identity - he called himself Bredon, and that was all we knew about him, his full name or title, rank, etc., being undisclosed. But in that case how can there be a rumour about what he does on his
estate?

(Again: I'm from Germany. Sorry for my bad English.)

-1- Maybe "Bredon" is in fact his real name. He just doesn't tell Kvothe about his rank or title. This could explain the rumour about his rituals.
-2- "Bredon" is a fake name. In this case he uses this pseudonym for all folks at the court, or there wouldn't be rumour about him. So Bredon is an outsider, huh? From another part of this world, not Vintas? This definitely could fit to our No.1 nominee for the role as Master Ash, I think. Using a code name and hiding his identity, even as a participant at the Maer's court, playing his beautiful game... (What's his purpose? Dammit!)
('*Just a thought to summarize some earlier discussions: Bredon Beer... Allusion to Small Kingdoms? Or Yll? The latter, I think, because of D's Yllish knots...*)

But more interesting: The rumours about his pagan rituals. I think we've learned from the story of Kvothe that in every rumour there is a bit of truth we can find. But the discussions already came up in the past...
I'm really just thinking out loud here. In fact Rothfuss could play a much more deeper game and all those hints are red herrings instead. But I'm sure that Master Ash will play a VERY important role in D3, more than you might think.

The other is why Alveron has to resort to such subterfuges to get rid of Kvothe. He would be totally within his rights to say 'Well, Mr Kvothe, I am grateful for your service, but now your work here is done and you are free to go'.

Yeah, that was my first thought, too. But I'm remembering a passage in the book (I'm too lazy to look it up now...) where the Maer's behavior is explained: He wants to kill two birds with one stone. Either Kvothe is successful and he is going to get rid of the bandits or he fails and Alveron gets rid of Kvothe. Either way he gets what he wants. I think this is a comprehensible explanation and typical for the political games at the court.
George Brell
47. gbrell
@41.mr.awesome:

Three questions:
1. Does this pattern of bruising indicate that the batterer is right or left handed?
2. Is Bredon right or left handed?
3. How could D's patron give her broken ribs without using a walking stick? We know that when the Cthaeh spoke her patron had only recently beaten her with a walking stick, and this is like a year or so before that. I honestly can't see Bredon being strong enough to break her ribs. This is either an indication that Bredon isn't what he appears or that he's not her patron, althought I feel like the former is the most probable.

My best guesses, having no criminal forensics training other than lots of procedural television shows and an overactive imagination.

1. Right-handed. While facing the target, a right-handed person would be more likely to strike a person on their left side, i.e. where Denna's facial bruise (and the majority of her injuries) are located.

My best interpretation is that she was struck on the face with an open hand. Rothfuss is describing a very large bruise, which indicates either a very strong impact or an impact with a large surface area. If the impact was that strong on her temple, there should be serious side effects, including an almost guarantee of a concussion. Since Denna doesn't appear to have a concussion (willing to hear counterargument on this), I'd think it was a strike meant to look bad/humiliate, much like Vashet's striking of Kvothe in WMF.

Being struck on the left side of their face with that kind of strength would likely cause someone to fall to their right. I imagine the injuries sustained to her right arm was in the fall. If the wound was from a defensive struggle, it should be on both arms. Falling, even just from standing, can dislocate your shoulder or sprain a wrist or elbow, all of which would result in a bandage or sling (though you'd think Kvothe could distinguish those two, having been in the Medica).

The injuries to her left side, i.e. the possibly broken ribs, were probably injuries she sustained while on the ground. Thus, Bredon (or Master Ash) likely kicked her. After falling to the ground, she would have been in front and to the left of her patron. Assuming she assumed a fetal position (a reflexive reaction to injury) and that she fell onto her right side, her left side would've been further from the ground and she would present the majority of her injuries on that side. (This answers Q3, I think, since human kicks - especially with stout shoes - can certainly break bones - and ribs are not strong bones).

Again, however, this is not backed by any formal training in this area. I can think of a number of other sequences that could result in similar bruising patterns, though I think the one I've laid out above seems the most likely for an abuser to perform on a "willing" victim.

2. Bredon's handedness is not made clear in the text. I had hoped that in playing tak the text would note that he offered something with his left or right hand, but I could find no such mention. I also searched the text and none of the instances of "left hand" or "right hand" occur in the text near an appearance by Bredon.

3. See previous discussion.
George Brell
48. gbrell
@42.Mar:

Technically, Kvothe never called her a whore. He "almost bit off the end of tongue to keep from shouting the word," but I agree that it can be intuited from the context and Denna would almost certainly have picked up on it.

@42.Mar/@45.David_C:

I agree with the Denna is a vigilante/superhero theory. However, I don't believe she is necessarily a whore.

I’m reading the same story, and I certainly haven’t come to the conclusion that D is part of the sex-trade industry. She seems willing enough to pretend to be patronized by men who wish to pretend to be her patron, but it’s not at all clear exactly what she is trading. Certainly her recent discussion with Kvothe about patrons suggest that neither she nor Master Ash are interested in swapping sexual favours, and that she is playing a deeper game.

I'm lumping these two comments together, but they aren't exactly the same. David_C, when you say "sex-trade industry" are you implying that Master Ash is a pimp? Because I don't think anyone reads the story in that manner (especially with Denna's comment about him asking about her suitors and that he doesn't think they are good enough for her).

I think I'm also confused by your use of the word patronized. I've never read her suitors as being related to her pursuit of patronage. Denna's "whoring" is separate from Master Ash, it's her actions with her numerous suitors that creates the belief in Kvothe/readers that she is a courteson/call girl/whore.

There is some language relating to Kellin, the young Modegan lord, that could be read either way in this regard:

" 'I'd thought perhaps you'd found yourself a patron.' 'Nothing so formal as that. Kellin and I are walking about together, as they say in Modeg, and he is showing me my way around the harp.'"

Considering that "walking together," "walking out," or "going together" are all American euphemisms for dating (though somewhat old-fashioned at this point), I don't read that language as her being patron'ed, but courted.

With regards to whether Denna sleeps with some of the men she "accompanies,"I read the following exchange to imply that she's slept with him:

" 'Is he any good?'...'With his hands, I mean.' Denna flushed a bit ... ' You're awful' ... 'Kellin has been a perfect gentleman.' 'Tehlu save us all from perfect gentlemen.' ... 'I meant it in the literal sense,' ... 'He's never been out of Modeg before. He's like a kitten in a coop.'"

Perhaps she's not going so far as to sleep with him, but she is certainly engaging in some kind of petting. If we assume she is sleeping with him in exchange for being kept by him and given gifts, it seems that by definition she is a prostitute. I think her "sooner or later, you're going to get ridden" line applies to our romanticizing of her life. She doesn't always escape in the night. As she herself describes regarding what happened in Anilin, "'Nothing pleasant,' ... 'but nothing unexpected either.'"

If we look at Denna's first appearance with Kellin in chapter 5, we can construct the following timeline:
Day 1:
-The next day, Kvothe is given the plum bob. He spends the rest of it recovering. (Chapter 7)
Days 2-4:
-The opening of Chapter 8 covers a "few days," which appears to be a day plus the "next two days" he refers to at the end for a total of three.
Day 5:
-He then visits Denna in her rooms after Admissions, where she is still being kept by Kellin (Chapter 10).
Days 6-7:
-That night he meets Auri and Elodin. He registers for Elodin's class the next day. (Chapter 11)
Days 8-17:
-He gets his reading assignment from Elodin and spends "the next several days" searching/reading books.
-If we assume that Elodin's class is once a week, then that means he spent 9-10 days searching. He says he spent 50 hours, so that'd be 5-6 hours a day plus classes plus fishery plus sleep, which seems to be a full timeslot.

-He then says he did not make it back to Imre to see Denna "for many days," but by then Denna is no longer there (end of Chapter 14)

So we know that she was with Kellin for four to five days after we meet him at the Eolian. The next time we see her she is out with Ambrose. (end of Chapter 15)

When Denna finally reconnects with Kvothe (while he is at the Eolian with Wil and Sim), she says that she and Kellin "had a bit of a falling out," but, "'You can say this for Kellin, he’s a traditionalist. When he gives a gift, he sticks to it. He said the color flattered me, and I should keep the earrings too.' She sighed. 'I’d feel better if he hadn’t been so gracious.'"

This type of language doesn't seem like leaving immediately and she later intimates that he was the jealous one about Geoffrey visiting.

So unless she managed to keep Kellin, a "kitten in a coop" and
a man raised in a culture that prides itself on sex (see Modegan courtesans, Savoy's comment in NotW), happy with simple petting for 5-17+ days, , she was sleeping with Kellin.

Random tangent arising from my research for this post: I just noticed that before visiting Devi to take out a loan for his tuition in Chapter 10, Kvothe buys the medicine he gives to Denna at an Apothecary. I thought he had made it himself in Medica. Considering he was so far below paying his debt, was this frivolous spending a plum bob echo or a Denna echo?

Second random tangent arising from my research for this post: Simmon pulls the same wordplay I loved re: lackey and ravel with vintage. Thank you PR for trying to avoid the Millenium Falcon problem.
George Brell
49. gbrell
@29.Cutty/@37.dominiquex:

This has been bothering me since I started the First book. K is not
telling all the dirty secrets of his life, the University, magic,
naming, Admere, Alveron, and everything else to the reader. He is
telling it to the world. Right now it is to a man writing it down. But
then it will be put into a book and copied for the whole world to see.

He is in essence betraying EVERY friend he has ever had, every trust he has been given.

We've talked before about Kvothe being an Amyr without the t-shirt. He appears to have a chronic drive to act "for the greater good," regardless of the cost.

Chronicler forces Kvothe to tell his story by holding it hostage. The text:

"Some are even saying that there is a new Chandrian. A fresh terror in the night. His hair as red as the blood he spills."

"The important people know the difference," Kote said as if he were trying to convince himself, but his voice was weary and despairing, without conviction.

Chronicler gave a small laugh. "Certainly. For now. But you of all people should realize how thin the line is between the truth and a compelling lie. Between history and an entertaining story." Chronicler gave his words a minute to sink in. "You know which will win, given time."

...

"What can any of them know about me?" Kote demanded, a numb anger in his voice. "What can they know about any of this?" He made a short, fierce gesture that seemed to take in everything, the broken bottle, the bar, the world.

Chronicler swallowed against the dryness in his throat. "Only what they're told."

Perhaps his telling of the story, betrayals and all, is what he views as necessary "for the greater good." He "knows which will win, given time," and he can't allow the Chandrian (or whoever is evil in this convoluted story) to gain that advantage, regardless of the cost, to himelf or others. He has, in all likelihood, become a Ciridae, his actions never to be questioned. His reactions are those of a man who knows that he should have done this, told his story, but has kept it to himself for fear of the consequences, for fear of remembering, in order to live a hollow lie. Perhaps he has decided that he must tell this story "for the greater good."

@29.Cutty:

A quick follow up to my Chronicler age post. Whatever "it" was that forced him to hide, it was "not even two years ago" (NotW, 44). But note that it doesn't specify that this "it" was his killing of whoever, presumably a king.
David C
50. David_C
On thrice-locked boxes.
@ 14. Thurule I think the wooden portion of the box is completely solid (hence, no hinges or seams) and it takes a Namer who knows the Name of wood to open the box. I think the boxes were created in the same was as Fela's stone ring, and can be made to open by simply Commanding it to do so.
An interesting theory, but the text suggests that there is a seam, just one that is too fine for Bast’s tool to penetrate. Similarly, I would suggest that the lack of hinges means the lack of external hinges that are typical of a wooden trunk. The trunk of a modern car would presumably appear hingeless to Bast (assuming that Bast could stand being that close to a modern car).

It is interesting to speculate on precisely who K is attempting to keep out of his thrice-locked box. The iron lock would seem to aimed at the Faen (and others?). The copper lock would seem to be proof against namers? (Taborlin is rumoured to have used a copper sword against the Chandrian. Elodin was apparently locked in a copper clad room. However, the copper certainly doesn’t seem to bother Bast.) As for the third lock, hmmmm, is it the safeguard to ensure that someone with the appropriate keys also passes some kind of legitimacy test?

If K is playing a beautiful game, and the thrice-locked chest is an endgame piece, why does K want it upstairs in an inn (as opposed to say in the cellar, or in the local smithy)?
TheEnginerd
51. Herelle
"The important people know the difference," Kote said as if he were trying to convince himself, but his voice was weary and despairing, without conviction. Chronicler gave a small laugh. "Certainly. For now. But you of all people should realize how thin the line is between the truth and a compelling lie. Between history and an entertaining story." Chronicler gave his words a minute to sink in. "You know which will win, given time."

@49 When I read that I thought Kvothe meant his friends and maybe some of the masters at the arcanum when he said the important people know. His friends ARE the only important people. I can´t imagine Kvothe giving a rats ass what some king of whereever thinks who or what he is or did. Kvothe had secrets all the time. He never told Simmon, Wil, Auri, Devi, Denna, Elodin anything. This story might be for them so they understand and don´t condemn him. That´s actually why I think his friends aren´t dead.
George Brell
52. gbrell
@22.sillyslovene:

"Go soak it. If the situation becomes desperate, I recommend you avail yourself of the numerous solvent formulae extant in Celum Tinture. Chapter thirteen, I believe."

While I agree that your quote suggests it to be primarily an alchemical textbook, solvents are definitely in the realm of chemistry. So I imagine that it has both. Alternatively, there is more of a connection between the two then Sim lets on.
Connan Haley
53. sabotenda
@45
I would assume K has identified Denna well enough, listing her as the writer of the Song of Seven Sorrows (I think that's the name), a song 'we've probably heard.' As it's a recent song, the writer wouldn't yet have been lost in the mists of time the way I'd assume Tinker Tanner's writer would be.

Also, about the moon's phases: unless the orbital relationships are far different than anything I can think of, or the moon's phases aren't caused by the sun at all (a la the Fae), then the phases are about twice as long. A little more than, actually. The only way I can see there being a 'normal' pacing to the phases is if orbit of the FC is slower than ours by a proportional amount. As in, our year is half of theirs, which should keep the world between the sun and a slower-
Connan Haley
54. sabotenda
Scratch that. I lost my train of thought and can't get back to it. I had it right up until twice-long phases. The rest of that is tired gibberish, ending in a failed ending of a post due to a failing touchscreen.
Steven Halter
55. stevenhalter
@53:Somewhere back in the dim past of posts I posted the distance the 4C moon would be at if the place bears any relationship to ours. I don't have the numbers handy, but it works out to quite a bit farther away.
All of the clues seem to pretty much confirm that astronomical objects in 4C are very different than here. All of this lends wieght to the moon being something else than what we think it is and the whole moving between worlds.
TheEnginerd
56. mr. awesome
@53 The phases are about twice as long. A little more than, actually. The
only way I can see there being a 'normal' pacing to the phases is if
orbit of the FC is slower than ours by a proportional amount.

We know this doesn't happen though, because people go into the Fae for minutes and come out years later or go into the Fae for years and come out weeks later. Fae time isn't proportional to ours (for the purposes of this comment I'm pretending to live in the Four Corners).

I think the way that it works is that our time is the baseline because we have consistent phases of the moon, and within the Fae any amount of time can pass wherein the moon will be in their sky. So while we have a moon cycle once a monthish, the Fae have moon cycles that last anywhere from a few days to half a century. This is the only way that I can think of that the moon would have consistent appearances in the 4Corners while time between the 4C and the Fae would vary. I'm not sure if this means that Fae time also varies when the moon isn't in the Fae.

I don't know what effects the Fae time so that it varies like that, or if the relationship is completely random or has some relevant variables. I don't really think we're meant to know this, I doubt that PR's thought this relationship out.

Fae world has variable time (with reference to the moon), ours has stable time (with reference to the moon). This suggests that the moon was initially in our sky. I think the implication of this is that the 4Corners world is the initial one that was called from the void by Aleph, and the Fae world was made by Shapers afterward, and that they brought the moon into it weirdly.
Steven Halter
57. stevenhalter
gbrell@48:I agree that all of those places you indicated (thanks for the legwork) pretty much point to Denna not always "escaping" from sleeping with her courters.
From her conversation with the girl, she is fairly matter of fact about things. She's doing what she needs to do in order to survive in the world as it exists given that she wants to get ahead and become a musician or some more accepted profession.
A feudal world is a dark place to be unless you are on top.
Steven Halter
58. stevenhalter
@47:Right handed does seem the most likely handedness for the attacker (based on countless mysteries.)
The injuries could also be the result of some particularly rough (or poor) martial training or a number of other sequences. Since the Cthaeh wants Kvothe to believe in the badness of Denna's patron, I am inclinced to give the patron the benefit of the doubt and ascribe some non malicious cause to the injuries.
Alice Arneson
59. Wetlandernw
Shalter @58 - "Since the Cthaeh wants Kvothe to believe in the badness of Denna's patron, I am inclinced to give the patron the benefit of the doubt and ascribe some non malicious cause to the injuries."

Thank you! This has been suggested from time to time (possibly by you!), but it always seems to get lost in favor of the persistent belief that Denna's patron is a nasty character. Denna's comments to Kvothe about the things he has accepted in order to stay at the University may not prove anything one way or the other, except that she feels the benefits are worth the bruises; still, there's nothing that's made me believe he's actually a vicious or malicious person. And as you say, since the Cthaeh clearly wants Kvothe to believe one thing, I'm inclined to think the opposite is true.
TheEnginerd
60. mr. awesome
@58, 59
I agree with 58 that we should be inclined to give the patron the benefit of the doubt initially, but I think 59 takes it too far. It's an oversimplification to believe that "since the Cthaeh clearly wants Kvothe to believe one thing" the Cthaeh is being misleading. I think that's a bit too dualistic and binary. The Cthaeh could very well not be being misleading. It doesn't always have to be tricking people.

Of course, in this specific instance, I agree that the Cthaeh is tricking K, but that's because of the comment "it's all just a game to him" and we know that Bredon takes his games seriously, and I can easily see him making sacrifices for the greater good.

My overall point is just that the Cthaeh probably said some things that were misleading, and some that weren't.

Thought: if Bredon's strategy is to jump into traps headlong and then turn the trap against itself, what trap is he jumping into via his manipulations of D, specifically the propaganda she's spreading? Why would it be in his best interest to make Lanre seem nice?
TheEnginerd
61. Thurule
@50 David_C

If K is playing a beautiful game, and the thrice-locked chest is an endgame piece, why does K want it upstairs in an inn (as opposed to say in the cellar, or in the local smithy)?


Couple thoughts about this. First, what better place to hide something than in plain sight? I think we can assume Bast has no reason to think the chest is anything more than a fancy traveling chest that K keeps his things in. As far as Bast knows, K could open it whenever he likes.

Somebody correct me if I missed something (like the seam for the lid).

FWIW - Edro was also the word that Taborlin used to open the chest in his story, and Kvothe subsequently used to open the Maer's coin chest.
Alice Arneson
62. Wetlandernw
@60 - Quite possibly, everything the Cthaeh said was absolutely true, but a great deal of it was said in such a way as to lead Kvothe to a false conclusion. It seems to me that many of the readers are falling into that same trap, taking the Cthaeh's hint and assuming that D's patron is cruel simply because she can't/won't prove to Kvothe that he isn't. As this is one of the most provocative (and potentially divisive) things the Cthaeh tells him, I find it therefore one of the most suspect as well.

Then again, I find the assumption that Bredon = Ash (on the part of some readers) mildly amusing. It's possible, maybe even probable, but it's certainly not yet proven. Trying to figure out Bredon's motives based on what Denna does at her patron's instigation might be fruitful, or it might just be a jaunt down the garden path.
Beth Meacham
63. bam
I think that Alveron sent K off hunting bandits instead of just firing him because he didn't want Meluan to have even a hint of a chance of finding out that all those letters and poems and songs were written by someone else. The Maer is not altogether a "good" character. With K off on a mission until after the wedding, the secret is safe. And hey, if K dies, all the better.
Ashley Fox
64. A Fox
Ive noticed folk here still drawing an unsubstaniated link between Bredon, a beautiful game and 'the greater good'. To me it seems that the Amyr's slogan has very little linkage with Bredon.

In fact I think what we see with him is a representitive of the force that is little talked about. When discussing the Creation War some of us here have questioned who were the forces that Selitos and Lanre et al were fighting against. We know that Iax and other unamed shapers were the leaders...Faen were subsequently locked into Faen so it seems safe to assume that some groups of Faen made up the bulk of the opponent forces.

The game that Bredon plays is only seen with him and Felurian. There are the Rumours of pgan frolics and the oaths that he says (which have all been posted abut before.)

I have always believed that Bredon is D's patron since first reading. I'd like to draw some links between Bredons/M Ash's behaviour and the Creation war.

CW; Fae were created by the Shapers, who then created Faen etc etc. It seems likely that the Fae also faught on the side of the Shapers. Perhaps by choice, perhaps by command. Perhaps a combination. They were defeated.

The Fae were locked in Fae beyound the doors of stone (it seems likely that this 'locking' does not completely work becuase of the moon's power being in both Faen and 4c's...it cannot be cut from itself s the dr is always ajar to some extent. Perhaps this is why Iax 'stole' it in the first place? A guarentee that he and his would nt simply be locked away forever?).

By closing off Faen it seems that most of the magic in the 4c's was also closed off, as well.

We have had mentions of the Sithe court...their customs and duties to protect the Ctheath..or othrs from the Ctheaths influence. How long has the Ctheath been in Faen? Were they thus honour bound during the war? Perhaps then they felt they had no choice but to stay when the doors were closed.

Either way these people have been locked away becuase of others actions. Trapped and persecuted as demons when they do manage to cross.

During the end of the war Lanre traveled to.through Faen and turned his coat, saw from an other perspective. Unfortunately this change came from and/or culminated in the Ctheaths malicious influence. So his reaction was a bit...extreme.

M Ash is an agent of Faen/the Sithe...he finds D, a new yet talented musician and gets her to write the Song of Seven Sorrows, giving an alternative view of the Creation war...one from the perspective f Faen. Notice hw curios it is that Iax isnt glorified...this suggests that the Fae were conscripted/honour bound rather than allies.

M Ash als does this at a time when K is coming nto his powers..possibly the one capable of opening the ways between Faen and the 4Cs.

Of course the gaping hole in this is that the Sithe are mentioned by the 7 as their hunters...mmm...perhaps a rival Faen group?

Either way we know that K will return to Faen and we know he'll pick up Bast, as well as the clear build up to his beliefs being turned on their head...so we'll see a lot more f this. And I suspect it will all be GREY.

Also I think you guys are being far to literal with the Moon. Ive posted at length before..may dig it up. It was the Moons' Name..its power...that was stolen...not the literal moon. We are familiar with the Name of Wind in its essential/power state...imagine if that power was taken away so all the wind was was air currents. This is what I believe has happened to the moon.
Steven Halter
65. stevenhalter
@60,@62:PR is playing a beautiful game with us (the readers) . He is walking a tightrope of giving us just enough info for intriguing theories and observations to develop. Who is telling the truth and who is lying and to what extent each is doing so isn't completely knowable at this point (I don't think.)
If we assign various truth values to various assertions then we get a series of implications.
For example if we accept that the Cthaeh is malign, then we get a certain set of views that happen. Since we don't know for sure at this point, we have many possibilities. As Jo has mentioned, this is one of the very fun things about doing this reread at this point in time.
After book 3 comes out, we will (hopefully) have some of these points nailed down and we can look back and make sure everything made sense and holds together.
So, at the moment my inclination is to take it that the Cthaeh is indeed malign, that Bredon isn't entirely evil in his actions with Denna (but maybe not entirely "good") and that Kvothe is probably incorrect in some of his assumptions regarding the Chandrian.
Steven Halter
66. stevenhalter
@64:Felurian says:
"these old name-knowers moved smoothly through the world. they knew the fox and they knew the hare, and they knew the space between the two.”
She drew a deep breath and let it out in a sigh. “then came those who saw a thing and thought of changing it. they thought in terms of mastery.
“they were shapers. proud dreamers.” She made a conciliatory gesture. “and it was not all bad at first. there were wonders.” Her face lit with memory and her fingers gripped my arm excitedly. “once, sitting on the walls of murella, I ate fruit from a silver tree. it shone, and in the dark you could mark the mouth and eyes of all those who had tasted it!”
“Was Murella in the Fae?”
Felurian frowned. “no. I have said. this was before. there was but one sky. one moon. one world, and in it was murella. and the fruit. and myself, eating it, eyes shining in the dark.”
This seems to imply that Felurian recalls when the Shapers were just starting out and so that she (at least) was not created by Shapers.
TheEnginerd
67. mr. awesome
Hmm.

When did Denna's beatings start?
Was it at the Mauthen wedding?
Why have the beatings needed to continue since then? Has D been in more dangerous circumstances?
TheEnginerd
68. mr. awesome
Felurian: “and it was not all bad at first."

What bad things might have they made? (Stealing seems distinct from Shaping).
David C
69. David_C
@61 ... but why upstairs? Jax hauls equipment upstairs in Hespe's tale in order to reach the moon, but why is K doing it? It's quite heavy, why not leave it on the ground floor?

Is K's box also for trapping something?
David C
70. David_C
This should probably await Hespe's story, but

Iax ... Jax ... Jakis ... can the department of imaginary linguistics comment on the possibility of this being a name changing over time?

TheEnginerd
71. mr. awesome
@70 I feel like it's a false cognate, but it's not totally improbable that it's a surname indicating that the Jakis' are related to Iax.
David C
72. David_C
@53. ...
I would assume K has identified Denna well enough, listing her as the writer of the Song of Seven Sorrows (I think that's the name), a song 'we've probably heard.' As it's a recent song, the writer wouldn't yet have been lost in the mists of time the way I'd assume Tinker Tanner's writer would be.
But K says "Yes, Denna wrote it" or something similar, suggesting that although the song is well known, the authorship is not. He didn't say anything like "yes, Denna is Lady Illiena".

It is interesting to see this link between D's song in Day Two and the frame story. D has had time to make her song famous, which suggests that the song resonates in Day 3.
David C
73. David_C
@60 Mr Awesome ...
and we know that Bredon takes his games seriously, and I can easily see him making sacrifices for the greater good.
I thought that the point Bredon emphasized in prizing a beautiful game over merely winning was an explicit rejection of the Amyr "for the greater good". Presumably the Amyr would play tak to win; ugly tactics being justified by the greater good of winning. Do others also see Bredon's comments on a beautiful game as clear counterpoint to "for the greater good"?

I wonder what aesthetics Felurian brings to playing tak?
TheEnginerd
74. mr. awesome
@69 It's quite heavy, why not leave it on the ground floor? Is K's box also for trapping something?

This is awesome. I'm pretty sure that K's room is on ground floor. If so, that means that they've brought the box up from the basement or that they brought it up some different set of stairs.
TheEnginerd
75. mr. awesome
@60 Bredon might not be working for The Greater Good, but that doesn't preclude pragmatism. That's the only sense in which I meant to use the phrase. In tak, you sacrifice some pieces for the others. It is itself this process of sacrifice which contributes towards a beautiful game. Pragmatism is a necessary component of the beautiful game, regardless of whether the beautiful game is to work for The Greater Good.

I think that Bredon is an agonist who enjoys conflict and wants to prevent either side from totally dominating the other.
TheEnginerd
76. wickedkinetic
Just wanted to mention the possible tie between the rumored
Duke of Cormisant 'flying into a rage and beating people' possible being Master Ash (and maybe being Bredon). What if Master Ash is a man with good intentions, working for the greater good, with a bad temper. PR characters are complex, they are not 'all-good' or 'all-bad' but very human, acting in their own self-interest or their own idea of the greater-good.

Also on the subject of 'betraying all his friends' - there's a few things to consider:
A- there are ridiculous stories about his infamous adventures across the 4C and even into Fae - he is a hero, a villain, a 'new chandrian', a bard, taborlin 2.0, etc. Anyone that 'knew him when' has either gone into hiding or told their stories of Kvothe to anyone that matters to them or for fun ' I knew him when' type stuff.
B- other than the Ambrose incident where him and his friends burn down a fancy inn with possible 'malfeasance' and definite 'behaviour detrimental to the arcanum' - there's not many dangerous secrets that come to mind about his friends. Also - I'm betting a legend collected by the chronicler from a random innkeeper is not admissable in court, assuming someone wanted to force the issue. Besides this - what in particular has he betrayed or what information has he shared that could be a problem for people? He may even be trying to reduce the damage done by his legends by turning dragons into lizards and witchcraft into science in his telling the tale behind these tales -
C-
As mentioned above - what are the odds that any of this information is going to spread like wildfire and counter-act the entrenched legends already in place? If he wanted to do that he'd have to write some songs or (GAH!) poetry......

besides - it wouldn't be much of a story if he came out and said 'names have been changed to protect the guilty' - besides, there are too many witnesses in Imre/FCU to know who his friends are, who the petite blonde gaelet was, etc.

I think the only thing we know for sure is that Auri is no longer in hiding, living in the Underthing - I think betraying her secrets is something that would be out of character for him.

Possibly - the university is no more, the underthing is no more, the exploits of Kvothe has turned FC against naming, sympathy, and arcanistry... these would be 'terrible things' to the young Kvothe, and reasons for him to hate himself and the damage he's done...
Connan Haley
77. sabotenda
As much as I'd like to see something special come from the moon's peculiar behavior, I can't say I really believe anything will. No author can account for everything, and sometimes (as I've seen mentioned) sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. We all have a tendency to read into things in a story like this, with so much going on. It's fun to speculate and theorize, but not everything will get a meaning or resolution (see Lost).

One last thought: has anyone mentioned the possibility that the Cthaeh is lying about its prescience? What better way to spread mischief and misfortune than to lie? I know it can at least read the past, with its specific knowledge of K's life, but has it said anything that has come to pass, or even anything about the future in the first place? Even then, if you've got an encyclopedic knowledge of someone, you can usually predict pretty accurately what they'll do in reaction to something you say.
TheEnginerd
78. nae77blis77
@39

I have a feeling that by the end of the story the readership will be much like the eolian audience. Half of us will love the penultimate chapters and hate the ending, and half of us will love the clever, beautifully worded masterpiece. As Kvothe did with his two wonderful bits of music.

edit- I also believe that this will be a tragedy. I had the opportunity to ask Pat if (after WMF came out) the cover art of the paper back was signifigant (in regards to a barren tree feturing in the background) I got basically RAFO'd. He said "good question" and smiled in a far too pleased and micheveous manner.
@ concerns of the D3

This triolgy is about Kvothe. That's all. The story will likely end with Kote buying the inn. The larger story implied by the frame story will not be resolved, this trilogy is not about the scraen, fae or any larger worldly things. mr. Rothfuss has said however he will be writing other series (serieses? serii?) in this world, those will likely be the ones that tie up the much larger worldwide story.
TheEnginerd
79. mr. awesome
@77
Rothfuss has said however he will be writing other series (serieses?
serii?) in this world, those will likely be the ones that tie up the
much larger worldwide story.

Everything you said is true, but personally I'm worried he won't get to it for a couple decades. If he starts writing more children's books and the Chronicles of Sarah Twice-born (don't remember her real name) it'll be a long time before he gets back to the "present day" Four Corners of the frame story.

And if K doesn't get redeemed in some way I'll be like this :(((((((((((((((
TheEnginerd
80. mr. awesome
Also, I feel like he'll abandon K as a main character after this trilogy. I hope that we have a cameo appearance at some point though. Maybe our new hero could kill K and take his stuff.

For some reason I feel very strongly that his new hero (after Twice-born) will be more gritty and antiheroish. This is probably because so many of his favorite books have heroes like that (Dresden Files, I've just started American Gods and it seems like this, I'm sure there's many others) and also because it's a good format for a character. This isn't to say that he'll make the character one dimensional, but that the character will be less lovely and kind than Kvothe always is.

Question: does anyone else feel like Rothfuss borrows from Shakespeare a lot? It could help us dissect the plot and how the tragedy will unfold in D3.
Alf Bishai
81. greyhood
@64 - "Of course the gaping hole in this is that the Sithe are mentioned by the 7 as their hunters...mmm...perhaps a rival Faen group?

Don't have my book with me, but doesn't Haliax say he protects Cinder from the Sithe, rather than all the Chandrian? Anyone that has contact with the Cthaeh is a target of the Sithe, and the Cth. suggests Cinder and it had dealings. Haliax too. In fact, Iax too, who was the head of the Fae forces in the Creation War (in your speculation).
TheEnginerd
82. Thurule
@69, @74

I think you're thinking too much into it that taking the chest upstairs is significant. K's room at the inn is upstairs. When the Mayor comes to talk with Chronicler:
The innkeeper nodded and herded Bast out of the common room and up the stairs. Kvothe opened the
door to his room and gestured Bast inside.

So, he took the chest upstairs because that's where his room is. Why would he put his personal chest in the basement?

now, that's not to say the chest isn't for trapping something. I may have hypothesized that the Cthaeh is actually trapped in the chest, already. Though, I think I may have discounted that myself, since K actually tries opening it himself.
Jo Walton
83. bluejo
K's room is definitely upstairs, they went upstairs to it out of the tap room. So they took the chest upstairs for a reason because they could perfectly well have left it downstairs.

I don't think D3 will be "everything I want to know, plus why fire is blue" but I do think it will conclude this story and make a satisfying shape, and I think that means closing the frame story. Whether it will be a tragedy or a eucatastrophe is open -- tragedy within Kvothe's story, certainly, but in the frame is anyone's guess. (Well the Ctheah probably knows!)
TheEnginerd
84. elephants
I feel like it'll be tragedy through and through, in and out. That leaves me wondering how Bast accidentally causes something bad to happen. He'll probably make one of the same mistakes that Kvothe did. I also expect that he'll have shown an inability to understand the subject before. So far he's only been wrong once, and that was about the Cthaeh. So he'll overestimate the Cthaeh's influence which will cause him to do something that causes catastrophe and probably destroys K?

This is entirely baseless speculation. I do not even care.
David C
85. David_C
@77. sabotenda
As much as I'd like to see something special come from the moon's peculiar behavior, I can't say I really believe anything will.
I think that I agree with this. I view our knowledge of the moon as mythological. It may be true that the moon was once always full; it may be false. Whichever, I doubt that the plot will turn on this precise point. Related knowledge may well prove pivotal, for instance, the role of moonless nights in the connection between the Fae and 4C.

However, I do not expect to see the fantasy equivalent of horrendous action-adventure movies in which Civilization is saved from Incoming Meteors. Although dis-aster and star-crossed lovers are both astrological metaphor, tragedy needs to happen on a personal scale. Kvothe Liberating the Moon by Naming the appropriate 4-tensor would be grotesquely emotionally unsatisfying.
Connan Haley
86. sabotenda
As much as I like happy endings (the literary kind), I'd be willing to bet that a disastrous/tragic ending would be much more emotionally satisfying. The whole story is full of minor tragedies, and I don't feel it would make sense for everything to work itself out for the better at the end. Happy endings, as nice as they are, are just that. Tragedies are more depressing to read through to the end, but I think they're more... compelling. Especially if you're not sure the story you're reading is one or not.

And @80: I haven't studied Shakespeare in years, and even then, only a few, so I can't say. I would like to hear from someone who has.
TheEnginerd
87. mr. awesome
Does anyone have a description of the exact size of the chest? The best I've found so far is "large as a gentleman's traveling trunk" which is pretty vague.

I want to test if it might not be made from the same wood as the board which says 'Folly'. The chest weighs over 400 pounds when it's empty. We'll assume it weighs only 400 pounds. The mounting board was "as heavy as a sheet of iron". I want to find out if the amount of wood in each is inconsistent. To do that I'd need the rough size of both the mounting board and the chest.
George Brell
88. gbrell
@87.mr.awesome:

The only uses of the word "board" in Name of the Wind related to the Mounting Board occur in Chapter 3:

The wood was a dark charcoal color with a black grain, heavy as a sheet of iron.

Took us better than two hours to get it black. Not a wisp of smoke, but it made a stink like old leather and clover.

grey-white metal shone against the dark roah behind it. While the handle could be seen, it was dark enough to be almost indistinguishable from the wood.

"Board" occurs twice in Wise Man's Fear related to the mounting board:

Carved into the black wood of the mounting board was a single word: Folly.

The grey metal of the blade was striking against the dark wood of the mounting board.

I don't feel that any of this would allow for a particularly accurate accounting of the size of the mounting board or how heavy it would be. Also, sheet isn't an exact measure of size; it doesn't address thickness, length or width.

Similarly, we have the following descriptions of the chest in NotW. I searched for "chest" and looked at every instance, these are the ones that relate to the thrice-locked chest:

It was made of roah, a rare, heavy wood, dark as coal and smooth as polished glass. Prized by perfumers and alchemists, a piece the size of your thumb was easily worth gold. To have a chest made of it went far beyond extravagance.

The chest was sealed three times. It had a lock of iron, a lock of copper, and a lock that could not be seen. Tonight the wood filled the room with the almost imperceptible aroma of citrus and quenching iron.

In Wise Man's Fear we get more information, but not much:

It was in the dark chest that lay at the foot of a hard and narrow bed.


Characteristics described that were previously unknown:
-400 lbs without contents
-rounded top
-hair-thin seam
-no hinges

None of this seems particularly amenable to extrapolation, especially given the uncertainties surrounding the mounting board. We don't know the dimensions, the architecture of the lid, the thickness of the walls (save that they act like stone). We don't know the weights of the iron and copper locking mechanisms or the nameless lock (whether it is real or metaphysical).
TheEnginerd
89. mr. awesome
@88

Thank you.

grey-white metal shone against the dark roah behind it.

That settles one of my questions. I wanted to check if they were made of the same wood.

Is there a reason that K would spend so much money on the roah for the mounting board, or is he just endulging himself?
andrew smith
90. sillyslovene
@89- there are probably some very special properties to it- its near indestructability for one- that make it worth something to alchemists and perfumers. Interesting, there's another near connection between K and alchemy in the frame story (along with Celum Tinture), when in the story story he claims he knows nothing about it. I'm beginning to think alchemy will have a larger/major role to play in D3 and/or the frame.

Also, the other question: K is dirt poor throughout the entire story- how does he come by the money to get the wood and run the Inn with so many expensive, hard to obtain items (like Chocolate, but not Gremsby)? Or does he get it/them by other means? Going along with the alchemy, can he turn something more mundane into gold? Could the "penitent king" be the Maer, who is penitent because he got on K's bad side and K took him for all he's worth somehow? (just trying to think of the rich people K knows...) Just random thoughts...
Beth Meacham
91. bam
I'm still pretty sure that K.'s lute is inside the thrice-locked chest.
Alf Bishai
92. greyhood
In Hespe's story, Jax locked part of the moon's name in a particular box. This began the Creation War. Is it possible that K. locked more of the name in his box or something else like that? This could have started the war/disaster in the frame which is why he wants to open it (reversing the damage).
TheEnginerd
93. Mism
Is anyone else here confused at how Kaepcaen is related to Lackless? And also, in my mind, lockless implies lack-lock, not lack-key? Maybe the lacking of the key is important?
TheEnginerd
94. Bagpipeboy
Ambrose was said when Kvothe got there to live "several miles to the south" and apparently Bredon's estate is "northern".
TheEnginerd
95. jorgybear
It would be quite twisted if it turned out that Arliden’s version of the Lanre song was the same as Denna’s, and that Skarpi’s was false. Theoretically, the Chandrian would come after whichever of the two (Skarpi or Denna) has the true version, but they don’t appear to have come after either. Unless, Denna has some sort of magical nature (being the Moon or whatever) meaning the Chandrian can’t touch her, or the Church arrested Skarpi on the orders of either the Chandrian or the Amyr, who are both trying to silence the same story. The annoying thing is that we know Arliden’s version was true, as it got him killed, but not which version it was.
No, wait, we don’t necessarily know Arliden’s version is the truth, just that it’s not what the Chandrian want putting about! Maybe the Chandrian are really the good guys, and just don’t want people spreading lies about them?
TheEnginerd
96. Mikostew
I have loved eveything about this series so far, with only one reservation, Chapter 73.

There is one most basic fact in Kvothe's life, not that he is an Arcanist, or Edema ruh, or a University student, or even a musician; the most basic, important thing Kvothe knows, more so than anyone else in the world, is that singing about and revealing information about Lanre gets you killed in a very bad way.

That Kvothe responds to the first few lines of Denna's song with any action other than jumping up and clamping his hand over her mouth is unbelievable.

That he fails to do or say WHATEVER is necessary to convince her of the folly of singing that song, up to and including revealing the murder of his parents/troupe is unbelievable.

That Kvothe, who in fractions of a second, devises and executes an amazing rescue of Fela in the Fishery accident, falls into a snarky snit as Denna places herself in what he knows to be mortal danger is unbelievable.

That he does not spend most of his waking hours through the rest of the book consumed with worry for her is also unbelievable.

It does not matter what Denna's true identity is or who her patron is. This episode of Kvothe behaving most un-Kvothe like feels manufactured and untrue, almost dishonest. I have no idea how Rothfuss can overcome this problem. I sincerely hope he finds a way to make sense of it in the 3rd book.
TheEnginerd
97. rhymes with tequila
@96: Yes! What the what? Especially since he hasn't worked out the bit about the true names yet.

Denna doesn't start putting small braids in her hair until she spends the winter in Yll.

I have a sneaking suspicion that Denna is Ambrose's sister... (the rumor about found in a brothel, not clear if she was buying or selling sounds very much like Denna rescuing the girl in the back alley).

For the greater good sounds suspiciously like the ends justifying the means, and that never works out well. I reckon that Kvothe is going to have his world upended and be devastated to find out that he has actually been working against his heart's interest, precipitating him becoming Kote the inkeeper.

This feels very much like To Kill a Mockingbird and The Sparrow to me: two books that have at their core the idea that even if things end in disaster, the journey is the more important part.

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