Jan 5 2012 2:00pm

Rothfuss Reread: Speculative Summary 5: “Lackless likes her riddle raveling”: Speculations on Lacklesses

We’re half way through our ridiculously detailed re-read of Patrick Rothfuss’s The Wise Man’s Fear, and we’re going to pause here for another set of speculative summary posts. After we’ve summed up some of the speculation we’ll be moving on. These posts assume you’ve read all of both books The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear, and they are absolutely full of crazy speculative spoilers for all of both books. Please don’t go beyond the cut unless you want that!

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

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

We will have three more speculative summary posts after this one, on Kote, the Ctheah, and Master Ash. Then we’ll get on with WMF from the meeting with Felurian.

A Bit of Meta

Connor Sullivan wrote:

With respect to the metachatter going on in the comments, I think one of the best things about the reread is the extent to which it increasingly has turned into a practical meditation on exactly the issues with which PR and the saga are obsessed: storytelling, received wisdom, the muddledness of the past, the transforming effect of something being told. It’s great.

I’d just like to endorse that.

And Ryanreich said:

It’s almost as though there are two books in one (well, six in three, anyway) and the apples and songs are windows into the second, hidden one.

This re-read is trying to look into the second one without losing sight of the first one.

As Oneirogen says, the danger of it is:

whenever I think too much about it my head spins and I wonder if I’ve gone so far down the rabbit hole that I can’t see the forest for my head being lodged in my own...mixed idiom.

Also, we’re half way through WMF after 17 posts, and we did all of NW in 15, and I don’t think the posts have been any shorter. This is a long book!

And Promotions:

The Department of Imaginary Sympathy is delighted to promote Relogical, Sabotenda, RobTCore, Stefan Jones, Lions Rampant, Jez Dynamite, Faek, and Spirit Thief to E’lir.

And the Department of Imaginary Knotwork raises Ryanreich to Re’lar.

Lackless Rhymes


“Lackless loves her riddle raveling” — if a Ruh == ravel, then perhaps a young Ruh == raveling. Kvothe has great mystery and intrigue about him — he’s a riddle in many ways. The line perhaps references himself?

This does seem to fit.

Herelle wonders if the “candle, not for burning” might be the black candle on Nina’s Chandrian vase:

One of the things is a candle without light (not without flame!). There was speculation that this candle could have been Auris mysterious blue thingy, but as it might not have a flame, it certainly casts light. So the only hint we have is Haliax grey candle that casts a shadow and has a black flame. We have two main mysteries - the Lackless door and the Chandrian´s plan. It´s not so far a strech to think they are related, don´t you think?

So I tried to compare what we know of the Chandrian and the Lackless poems but couldn´t really find a clue. But I still think there is the possibility that the Chandrian try to gather all the seven things either to get the door open or to prevent anyone to do so. The Chandrian could actually be allies to the Lackless family if both are some sort of guardians.

Allies or enemies?

And Herelle further speculates that since Lady Lackless has seven things and there are seven Chandrian, there might be other connections — but can’t make it work. I can’t either. But Herelle works hard on the rhyme:

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

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

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

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

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

the thing tight held in keeping = the Lackless box

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

Lackless Doors and Boxes

CPJ wonders if the Lackless door and the Four Plate Door are different but related:

- The Lackless door and the university door are both concealing or imprisioning parts of a whole (bits of a god/being, parts of a magical doohicky, gates to important places in Fae where a ritual must be done: it could be what is imprisioned behind the doors are angels, and angels are not the nice things we might expect).

One of the things we know from Chronicler in the frame is that Kvothe tricked a demon and killed an angel.

and Faek thinks they may be the same door:

“On the oldest part of the Lackless lands, in the oldest part of their ancestral estate, there is a secret door. A door without a handle or hinges... there’s no way of opening it. It is locked, but at the same time, lockless. No one knows what’s on the other side.“

I’m thinking that maybe the lands of the Lackless might have covered some other parts of the world, possibly even over at Belenay. What if the library at the university is this old ancestral estate that they’re talking about? Nothing says that it’s still their land.

I think we’ve had enough about Kvothe, locks, and doors to be fairly sure that he’s going to open a door that would be better left shut. And we know the Great Enemy is behind the Doors of Stone, and we don’t know who that is. And “doors” of stone, not “door”, so maybe plural doors indeed, and maybe he goes around opening lots of them. And they could be greystones, which are kind of doors, and certainly stone.

CPJ again, guessing:

- The heavy object in the Lackless box is a key in some shape or another
- K will open the door(s) out of stupid curiosity

That wouldn’t surprise me at all.

Spirit Thief thinks the door and the box are the same:

Last thing- are we still on the idea that the lockless door is itself a ”magical’ object we haven’t encountered yet? At first I thought it was the four plate door, but now I believe that that door hold Iax’s name. Now I think that the lockless door is on the engraved box that Meluan had. And I think it holds the name of the moon. It fits with the stories Hespe and Felurian tell.

Greyfalconway speculates about the door being in the Waystone:

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?

Lackless Families


It’s generally accepted that there was some sort of falling out that splintered the family. Each piece took on a separate name.
And had the theory that each splintered branch was keeping some sort of artifact that corresponded to their new name. Like LackLith might have a stone of some sort.

Spirit Thief wonders about KeepCaen in that context. All the others are lacking, they are keeping:

Do we have any idea about Kaepkaen?
My theory is that when the Lackless family splintered, each had a piece of the puzzle that would open the lockless door. Each is lacking something. But Kaepkaen doesn’t fit the pattern. Unless it’s supposed to be keep key? I don’t know. I pronounce it Kipe-kine. Is that right?

My original suggestion would be that the Lack-liths would be lacking a stone and so on.

RobMRobM has a suggestion about “caen”:

if Kaep means to Keep (as opposed to lack) and caen means seven (as hypothesized from the Kote quote and the root for the name Chandrian), I’m interested whether that branch of the family actually keeps something of critical importance to the Chandrians. Are there clues in text? I can’t remember any off the top of my head.

Or they could be keeping seven things. Or “keep” could mean “lack” in the same language in which “chaen” or “caen” means “seven”.


I wonder what the historic Lackless split could be about? Considering the importance of names and our speculation about changing one’s name, the name split has to be significant. Could the Lackless family have been targeted by the Chandrian or someone else dangerous for their treasure, and had to scatter and change their names to hide, with each branch taking part of the key to the lock-less door? I’m not sure if the “eldest heir” reference is involved in the split; that could be a different part of the family history.

and I suggested, not entirely seriously:

Maybe they argued about what’s the most significant thing they lack?

Mar asks:

What if Lorren is a Lackless? Doesn’t preclude that he is also Amyr, and it might possibly explain how he knew Arliden.


At some stage, the Lackless family may have needed to separate the knowledge of opening their Lackless door from those guarding it and hence split the family into separate branches.

Could the Kaepcaen branch (if they still exist and havent spiraled into obscurity) be responsible for guarding the secrets of the 7 things that open the Lackless door, (keep is like kaep, its a bit of a stretch, and Caen is 7)? Kaepcaen may translate as ’Keepers/Guardians of the 7’.

 While the main Lackless family may be responsible for guarding the Lockless box and/or the portal/door...

And Artful Magpie wonders if we’ve been wrong assuming Kvothe is the Lackless heir that brings the blood:

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’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 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?

GBrell isn’t convinced:

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.

I do think it’s a Lackless name, and I do think it’s going to be significant.

RobTCore wonders if the three-fold silence is a specifically Lackless silence:

“The most obvious part was a hollow, echoing quiet, made by things that were lacking.”

We have established how careful Rothfuss is with his words. What jumps out at me in this is the description of the first silence as being “made by things that were lacking.” Which leads to the Lackless family.

No conclusions, and more thoughts are welcome. I do think no use of the word “lack” can be assumed to be innocent.

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.

Benji Cat
1. benjicat
“Lackless loves her riddle raveling”

So is this maybe like a play on words, or like baby talk, meaning "little raveling?" As in "I ruv my riddle iddy biddy raveling."
Anthony Pero
2. anthonypero
I've stayed away from this re-read because, to this point, I've read and massively enjoyed both books exactly once... and I read them fast. I knew there was way more going on beneath the surface that I wasn't getting, but my enjoyment in reading them quickly wasn't suffering for it, so...

But I've read all five of these Speculative Summaries... and I'm totally hooked. The denseness of Rothfuss' writing is astounding. It's time for me to re-read both books slowly. Give me something to do until A Memory of Light is released.
3. JonBSer
Okay, reading the opening notes made me wonder if the whole story that K is telling is bait for the Chandrian to come to the Waystone Inn. When K's father finished the song, the Chandrian came and destroyed almost all of them. When K finishes telling this story, which has the Chandrian at it's core, will they then arrive at the Waystone Inn to finish the teller? Just a thought that struck me.
4. Thurule
I think Chronicler being a Lackless and central to the story definitely has some merit, though not necessarily as the hero. The one thing missing from the list of names Caudicus gave (Lackless, Loeclos, Loklos, Loeloes, Lack-key, Laclith, Kaepcaen) is the seventh name that's 'lacking' - Lochees fits nicely with that. So we have 7 'lackers' and one 'keeper'. Perhaps the keeper keeps the location of the door, and the lackers each have a piece of the key?

Perhaps Kvothe opened one of the doors of stone and unleashed something terrible, and needs the 7th 'key' from Chronicler's family to open the Lackless door to lock them/it away again, or release something to help fight? Perhaps demons behind the 4 plate door and angels/Amyr behind the Lackless door?
Ross Smith
5. CaptainCrowbar
I only finished the books a few days ago; I've read all of Jo's posts about them but I admit I ahven't slogged all the way through all the comment threads, so apologies if this is a point someone else has raised before.

Why hasn't Kvothe figured out his own relationship to the Lackless family? It's obvious to readers that his mother was Meluan's sister, but he seems to be totally oblivious to it, despite having both the physical resemblance and the story of why she hates the Edema Ruh right in font of him as huge glaring Clues. It strikes me that this may be related to another puzzling omission in his behaviour: the unexplained fact that he has never made any attempt to find or contact Lord Greyfallow, patron of his troop, who (as others have pointed out) should have been the obvious first resort after his parents were killed.

Is there something about the deaths of his parents and their troop that we still don't know? Some vital memory about the event, or about his life before it, or about his family, that he's still suppressing (or just failing to mention)?

Possibly related: I just went back to the first book and confirmed my memory that we don't actually have any direct evidence that it was the Chandrian who killed the troop, beyond the purely circumstantial evidence of their presence at the scene of the crime afterwards. And noticee that, even though they supposedly kill people for spreading knowledge about them, they made no attempt to dispose of the one suviving witness.

I'm starting to wonder whether some of the events of Kvothe's early life may not have played out quite the way he, and we, have come to believe.
Bruce Wilson
8. Aesculapius
I knew this speculative summary on the Lackless family was coming and I meant to put all my thoughts together ahead of time but I just haven't had the opportunity to do so. Instead, I'll just have to put down the things that come back to me as I think of them - or as other posts jog my memory!

The first thing that I recalled (that doesn't yet seem to have been covered in detail anywhere else) is the extent of the Family's influence in ancient times and, specifically, how this might link to key locations in K's time. We know from K's first meeting with Caudicus that the Leoclos lands included parts of what are now Vintas, Modeg and a large part of the Small Kingdoms. Later it's also specifically mentioned that they once ruled the "Free City" of Tinue, which they lost or relinquished at some time in the past, following something referred to as "the bloodless revolution."

In and of itself this doesn't add much but looking at the map (for what it's worth...!) it strikes me that that combination of the Small Kingdoms, Northern Vintas, Tinue and part of Modeg pretty much describes all of the Southern, Western and possibly Northern borders of The Eld, not to mention the fact that the Great Stone Road passes smack through the middle of this too.

What might this suggest about the role of House Leoclos in antiquity...?

In the context of our previous speculation about the significance of Tinuë and a possible link to Tinusa from Skarpi's story, perhaps making it the current descendent of the last survivor of the eight ancient cities, is it also important that the Leoclos line was once its ruling House...?

I'll post more as I get my act together!
Alice Arneson
9. Wetlandernw
Hmmm. Looks like it's time to dig out my old Lackless Rhymes Analysis and see what needs to be revisited and what (I think) still stands.

anthonypero @7 - And that's no joke!! One of the most difficult things in trying to figure out anything is determining to what extent you can believe what you've been told. Most of what you're told by the narrator in the frame should be safe, but what Kote says as himself, or what he tells in his story... yeah. What did he leave out? What did he modify, either for his own benefit or that of a friend? How much is he trying (and with what success) to relate the story based on what Kvothe knew at the time? Too many questions!
Jeremy Raiz
10. Jezdynamite
I was trying to find some meaning to any of the various lockless family surnames, and the link to the two lackless poems.

I know some people like the idea of laclith refering to stone like a "lock of stone/door of stone" where lith = stone, like monolith. I found a couple of alternatives:

(1) In this link,
from the 1300s, from chambers entymology reference book, the suffix lith refers to light, coming from mone = moon and lith = light
(can anyone confirm this for me? I don't normally rely on a wiki site for factual references, and I don't have a hard copy of the chambers entymology reference book).

Laclith could be "lacking/without light" or a "lock of light", which makes me think they are linked with either of the two parts of the lackless poem:
(a) one a candle without light; (like the black candle on the pot)
(b) one a time that must be right; (referring to moonlight?)

(2) Another meaning from an online entymology site has lith meaning "limb". But I struggle to find a link to the laclith family which makes sense of the meaning "lock of limb", unless it refers to a lock that can only be opened by the touch of one of the family.

i.e. a son who brings the blood


I'm not convinced of any of these but adding to the debate is keeping me sane!
11. spirit theif
Two things:

First, the Lackless split. Reading the analysis, it sounds like it was over the objects in the rhymes. There are 8 Lackless families, 7 lacking and 1 "keeping." So maybe the Kaepkaen branch took the 7 items from the other families, causing them to lack their piece of the riddle. I don't remember correctly, was it the Kaepkaens that were located in Yll?

Second, @jo
A small correction. It is spirit theif, intentionally misspelled, because I am a nuisance to English teachers everywhere. (My teacher always forgets "i before e," and the joke has gotten out of hand.)
Beth Meacham
12. bam
No, the Kaepcaens are in Modeg. I wonder if the family is in the line of royal inheritance there?
13. Zeno
OK, I've been itching to say this for a while now. It's a theory I worked up by bouncing ideas off of a friend a while back, and it's based on a lot of assumptions about the books' world, but I think it should be sound for the most part.
I figure I should probably list my assumtions first. The timeline seems to be a good place to begin. As I see it, the oldest part of know history is the war between namers and shapers. The namers from the war founded a civilization afterwards, a civilization of more powerfull beings in contact with their creator diety (whatsisname, starts with an A). This is the society that eventualy ends when Lanre leads the army that brings it down. After this, Selitos, Tehlu, and the others get turned into angels to hunt down the newly formed Chandrian (Haliax and his buddies). More on this later. After this, civilization recovers, forming into what we know today.
Next assumption: there are two meanings of the term 'Amyr'. There are the Amyr themselves, the 'angels' including Selitos and Tehlu; and the Order Amyr, the knights militant of the Auturan Church.
Lastly: The Auturan Church, (mentioned only a few times,) is a completely different thing than the Tehlin Church.

The theory is as follows:
I've heard people draw parallels between the Auturan Empire and the Roman Empire. It would make sense, then, that the Auturan Church is much like the Roman Church. It would make sense that it worshiped multiple gods. This theory would say that the 'gods' worshiped by the Auturan Church were in fact the original Amyr (thus it's knights militant being called the Order Amyr). It was composed of separate factins worshiping each of them.
Furthermore, at some point, when the Auturan Empire fell, the church experienced a schism, durring which the faction devited to Tehlu gained prominence and wiped out the other factions, becoming the remaining dominent religion.
There is, of course, the problem of Selitos' being the first and liekly most respected among the Amyr. The story of his fight with Haliax would gain his followers much support. The solution to this is that the Tehlin priests make up their own version of events, with Tehlu playing the main role. Instead of watching the cities fall, Tehlu chases the demons that destroy them. Instead of merely casting Lanre into shadow at the cost of his eyes, Tehlu sacrifices himself to kill Encanis. Through propagation of this myth, the Tehlin faction gains the larger portion of popular support, gaining the upper hand and rushing the other sects. Unfortunately fo them, they also loose the support of their patron god (not that they let anyone know). This explains Scarpi's comments to the Tehlin priests as they have him dragged away, which I believe ran something like 'if Tehlu could see you now...'

So, what do you think? If anyone can point out any obvious holes in the theory, please do. I'll see what I can do to improve it.
David C
14. David_C
@13, I'm not convinced, but I really like the idea of two meanings of Amyr, a group of super-human (or super-natural) beings, and then an order that evolved to follow them or to continue to carry on their work.

Again, I am not convinced, but I can imagine Lorren being Amyr of the latter kind, but not the former: for whatever reasons, I cannot imagine him being a plains-clothes god (or angel). Puppet on the other hand ...

(Is anyone else reminded by Puppet of Asimov's Mule of Foundation and Empire?)
Ankush Trakru
15. Quinty
“Lackless loves her riddle raveling”

"raveling" could also mean sort of like a verb form"to ravel". which in my mind could read as "to behave like a ravel, a vagabond gypsyish character". Note: if you add a T to ravel, you get words like "travellers"/"traveling".

In that case the sentence could read that " (Lady) Lackless loves her riddle (K-dude) raveling (generally roving around like a ravel)"
Bruce Wilson
16. Aesculapius
@13, Zeno
The continuation of Skarpi's origin story (prior to the minor interruption of him being arrested by the Tehlin Church...!) specifically refers to two rather separate groups:

* First, there is Selitos who apparently declined an offer from Aleph to take on a supernatural role (the story cuts in part-way through) and was joined by other loyal survivors of the Ruach who vowed to oppose the work of Lanre and his Chandrian, disagreeing with the concept of rewarding or punishing only what they themselves witness and preferring rather to act pre-emptively to confound Lanre and any who follow him - doing whatever is necessary to attain the greater good (!).

These are presumably the Amyr to which Felurian refers when she laughs at Kvothe and tells him there were no human Amyr. How this group relate to the church knights of the later "Order Amyr" is, as yet, uncertain. I put forward some more detailed suggestions in a previous post (comment #74 in Part 13 of the WMF re-read).

* Second, there are Tehlu and those that follow him and agree to Aleph's offer and become "angels" - they grew wings, sang songs of power (leading to speculation that they are the "singers" referred to by Haliax after the murder of the troupe) and were consumed by white fire, disappearing forever from mortal sight, except to the most powerful. (Which makes me wonder who K might already have met that would perhaps fit into this group; Auri is certainly one possibility (Ordal, perhaps...?) but there is also the suggestion that he may have been rescued in Tarbean by one of these - although K may simply have been delirious, he describes being aware of "death" hovering over him like a great bird with wings of "fire and shadow", the same as one of the descriptions for the wings of Tehlu and the others when they are elevated to angelic status.)

I agree that there is a shift in belief at some point in the history of the 4Cs such that the origins of Tehlu and the Amyr become blurred (always assuming that the Skarpi story more-or-less depicts the ancient historical personalities and events from the time of the time of the Creation War). The figure of Tehlu changes from being a leader of sorts, apparently subordinate to Aleph (although his exact status, as far as I can recall, is not defined prior to the second Skarpi story), to becoming regarded as a deity in his own right. The original most powerful Namers are given as Aleph (the "creator" or possibly the original Namer, at least according to one of K's initial openings to his story), Iax, Lyra and Selitos; Tehlu is not referred to at this point.
17. FernandoFP
@10. Jezdynamite
"unless it refers to a lock that can only be opened by the touch of one of the family"

maybe I'm wrong, but wasn't Kvothe almost touching the Four Plate door in the first time he saw it when Lorren showed up and stopped him?
Jo Walton
18. bluejo
Spirit Theif: Sorry, but I find it really challenging to deliberately type misspelled words -- my fingers get ahead of me and spell them right, even when that's wrong. You and the Ctheah are always going to cause me problems.

Zeno: There's no chance that the Aturan church was polytheistic, the church survives and is Tehlin. Think of it like the Roman Empire post Constantine.
Steven Halter
19. stevenhalter
I was looking at the two "Seven Things" Lackless poems and the varied comments. Here are the two poems:
Seven things has Lady Lackless
Keeps them underneath her black dress
One a ring that´s not for wearing
One a sharp word not for swearing
Right beside her husband´s candle
There´s a door without a handle
In a box, no lid or locks
Lackless keeps her husband´s rocks
There´s a secret she´s been keeping
She´s been dreaming and not sleeping
On a road, that´s not for traveling
Lackless likes her riddle raveling.

Seven things stand before
The entrance to the Lackless door.
One of them a ring unworn
One a word that is forsworn
One a time that must be right
One a candle without light
One a son who brings the blood
One a door that holds the flood
One a thing tight-held in keeping
Then comes that which comes with sleeping

It's interesting that 2 full fledged rhymes about fairly secret things are in the common domain. I wonder just who has put them out there.

There are some lines that clearly seem to refer to the same thing:
1() has "Seven things has" and (2) has "Seven things stand before".
(1) has "a ring that's not for wearing" and (2) has "a ring unworn".
(1) has "a sharp word not for swearing" and (2) has "a word that is forsworn ".
(1) has "her husband´s candle" and (2) has "a candle without light".

And some that likely refer to the same thing:
(1) has "been dreaming and not sleeping" and (2) has "then comes that which comes with sleeping".
(1) has "a door without a handle" and (2) has "a door that holds the flood ".
(1) has "a box, no lid or locks" with "her husband´s rocks" and (2) has " a thing tight-held in keeping "

The line from (1) "There´s a secret she´s been keeping" could refer to (2)'s "One a son who brings the blood" or maybe not.

In (1) the lines "On a road, that´s not for traveling" and "Lackless likes her riddle raveling." don't seem to correspond to any lines from (2) although the road from (1) could be how the "comes that" from (2) arrives.Then, (1) has "underneath her black dress" and (2) has "entrance to the Lackless door" that could allude to each other but again maybe not.
(2) contains the line " a time that must be right " and (1) doesn't seem to contain anything time based.
Finally, (1) has the "riddle raveling" line that seems to directly refer to Kvothe's mother and Father--She likes herRavel (Ruh). The word ravel is interesting in that it can mean either untangling (unraveling) or tangling up. So the line can be read as Lady Lackless likes solved riddles or Lady Lackless likes riddles that remain unsolved. So at least 3 meanings in that line. PR is having fun there.

It appears that both poems are communicating something very similar. There is a door that the Lackless have and there are seven things that need to come together in order to open it. (2) more clearly states this while (1) hides under layers of sexual innuendo. It seems pretty likely that the opening of the door(s) will be at least part of what goes on in book 3.

Going more speculative from what we have seen and talked about, the door is probably much like the 4 plate door and is likely what Iax has been shut behind. The word forsworn could be the Chandrian names, in particular that of Haliax. Haliax also could be (or pertain to) the candle without light since that seemed to be an association he has. The box probably refers to the Lockless box and whatever is in it. Kvothe is the most obvious candidate for the "son." The road not for traveling could be whatever way Haliax uses to suddenly appear. Dreaming and sleeping could refer to awakening the sleeping mind.

So, stretching a bit more we get:that Kvothe needs to go to the Lackless door at a particular time and open the Lackless box. He speaks the name of Haliax in order to summon him there. Then, making some use of his sleeping mind he opens the Lackless door.

This doesn't work out well and unleashes things that were best left behind the door.

One other observation that probably doesn't mean anything but is interesting--If you take the first letter of each line of (1) in reverse you get "Lost Lit Rooks".
20. Lii
@4. Thurule -

I agree -- 7 "lack" branches hold 7 things or "keys" and then the last branch, the "keep" branch, would be the Kaepcaens, or "keep-key-in" branch. Not only do you get the caen=7 parallel, but two things I can think of you might keep (or put, or whatever) a key in -- a box, or a door. So are the Kaepcaens the keepers of the box (either the Lockless box or Kvothe's box)? Or are they the ones who guard the door from all seven keys being assembled and used?
Andrew Mason
21. AnotherAndrew
One puzzle I have is what makes someone a Lackless. It's well-known that if soemeone lived long enough ago, and has left descendants at all, everyone in their geographical region should be descended from them by now. So if being a Lackless just means having some Lackless blood, everyone in The Four Corners should be one.

You could get round this by insisting on male descent, but that clearly won't work in this case, as Kvothe's Lackless connection is through his mother. It's perhaps significant that Kvothe's mother was an heiress - she had, it would seem, no brothers, so the survival of her branch of the house depends on her and her sister. Certainly there have been societies where family membership normally goes in the male line, but you can belong to your mother's family in special cases - but then it often depends on taking her name. So there's something that needs to be clarified.
Jeremy Raiz
22. Jezdynamite
@17 FernandoFP

I just had a look in TNOTW, and it says K touched the 4 plated door by laying his palm on its cool surface, and pushing, but it was as solid and unmoving as a greystone. So he actually touches it.

I'm guessing, that if this was the lackless door, the time would have to be right and a whole bunch of other conditions would need to be met to open it, and a candle without light.
George Brell
23. gbrell

Great analysis. A couple additional thoughts:

One a sharp word not for swearing

I'm not sure this works with the word "forsworn," but my first thought on reading this again was of Saicere/Caesura. A name that means "to break"/"the breaking of a line".

Depending on where you fall on the Folly = Caesura theory, it's also worth noting that Kvothe describes the sword in WMF as "sharp as shattered glass."

Right beside her husband´s candle
There´s a door without a handle
In a box, no lid or locks
Lackless keeps her husband's rocks

One thing that's always bugged me is how the "door without a handle" is "beside" her husband's candle. We're led to believe that this poem is a lewd joke (and if you think about "doors" near "candles," it gets quite lewd indeeed). We've now moved past that and view its bawdiness as a red herring. What if it's some combination of the two? A son that brings the blood would certainly be connected to a husband's candle, wouldn't it?

Also, I'm pretty sure we're supposed to read this poem in couplets, so the above four lines should be broken up as:

Right beside her husband´s candle
There´s a door without a handle
In a box, no lid or locks
Lackless keeps her husband's rocks

But what if we ignore the rhythmic break and connect lines 2 and 3? Then the "door without a handle" is "in a box, no lids or locks." This could imply that the door is inside the Loeclos box.

That does orphan line 4 (since it's hard to connect it with: "There's a secret she's been keeping"). What if her husband's rocks connect to actual rocks, however. What if they refer to the greystones? Perhaps the Edema Ruh, whose progenitor hero Illien is the only mortal known in Fae, are themselves connected to Fae and the greystones.

On a road, that´s not for traveling

Doesn't this connect to how Chronicler describes Kvothe? "This is the man who counseled kings and walked old roads with nothing but his wit to guide him." (NotW, p.94).
Steven Halter
24. stevenhalter
gbrell@23:Saicere/Caesura is an interesting possibility.
It seems more likely that some kind of key is in the box than the door, but it's hard to rule anything out.
Bruce Wilson
25. Aesculapius
With regard to the two Lackless rhymes we've encountered so far, it crossed my mind that perhaps we have deliberately been given two slightly different versions by Rothfuss in that rhyme from WMF beginning "Seven things stand before..." (1 in shalter's detailed dissection @19, above) could be a handed-down version of much older and more generic "cultural memory" about the Lackless line.

The rhyme from NW, however, beginning "Seven things has Lady Lackless..." could be a much more recent variation, composed by someone who was aware of the original (but perhaps not its true significance) and deliberately wrote something specifically about the scandal of Netalia Lackless using the existing rhyme but twisting into cruel and crude humour while keeping enough of the original to make the source blatantly obvious.

This would fit with PR's tendancy to use potentially unreliable developments of older stories.
Nisheeth Pandey
26. Nisheeth
Here's something I found about The four-Plate door.
" Valaritas.God. I can still remember what it was like, standing down there lookingat the door, wondering."He laughed again. "Merciful Tehlu, it almost killed me."
Could it be referring to whatever was behind the door?
At first I assumed he was referring to the curiosity, but maybe he was referring to what ever is behind the door...
Bruce Wilson
27. Aesculapius
I'd be inclined to agree with your initial feelings on this; I don't think K is referring to anything other than his burning and insatiable curiosity.
Nisheeth Pandey
28. Nisheeth
Most probably you are right. Just that it was Elodin, and not K who said that...
Bruce Wilson
29. Aesculapius
Ha! Yes, him, that fella - he's the one I meant (!).

(I did know that, honest...!)
Katy Maziarz
30. ArtfulMagpie
I've always thought it was interesting that another Lackless was part of Kvothe's troop. The woodsman, Laclith. Did Netalia/Laurian know that Laclith was sort of a relative and invite him into the troop to help teach her son? Do the various branches of the Lackless family keep in touch with one another in any way? Or was it just a coincidence? (I don't believe in coincidence, though, especially in a book like this!) Also interesting is that when Kvothe fell asleep after his troupe was killed and dreamed, the first part of the dream featured Laclith teaching him wilderness survival tips...Kvothe needed to remember that training so he could survive on his own, of course, but since the rest of the dream was about Abenthy and then about the standing stones, it makes me wonder just how important Laclith and his teachings really are/will be.
Bruce Wilson
31. Aesculapius
@30 - Agreed! I've thought all of those exact same things too.
32. Zeno
Hmn, I'd always assumed that by declining Selitos has simply reduced the power he was given, but that he and Tehlu and the others still went the same way (that is, he too got the fire and all, and they all went off to oppose the chandrian.)
I'd completely forgotten about the part in Tarbean. That's an interesting connection.
33. bp
PErhaps I missed it, but 'ravelling' seemed pretty clear play on words to reverse UNravelling. 'Lackless loves her riddles ravelling' is pretty clearly 'Lackless loves making riddles'.
Bruce Wilson
34. Aesculapius
Interesting - the way the two are carefully separated in the story, I very much took it to read that what happened to Selitos' group was very different to what happened to Tehlu's group.

My gut feeling (based on absolutely nothing more than my instinctive response to Haliax's comments when the Chandrian are seemingly scared away after the murders of the Troupe and the later details from Skarpi's stories) was that the Amyr and the singers (if this does indeed refer to Tehlu and the other angels) were both groups of some form of connected, but separate, supernatural beings opposing the Chandrian.

It actually crossed my mind to wonder about the relative longevity of the individuals concerned:
I sort of assumed that Tehlu and the "angelic" group became pretty much immortal (but probably still "kill-able" if you knew how...) whereas the exact long-term fate of Selitos' band of Ruach survivors seemed less certain. Did they too become immortal and are they still around at the time of K - or are the Amyr a continuous line of succession in subsequent generations?

My suspicion would be that Selitos and Co. *are* still around but I have no evidence to support this and no way of verifying that from the information we have been given so far!
35. DEL
I have been waiting to comment again until we get to the Felurian/Cthaeh hard.

The comments and insights and connections everyone has been making are impressive.

Lockless box: Holds another box?

Lady Lackless's Seven Things: the recipe for opening the Doors Of Stone, too bad Tamborlin only had three of them, eh?
Alf Bishai
36. greyhood
- from Jo's summary
...which makes me speculate wildly that Netalia was for whatever reason married to Haliax and Kvothe is his son, and only Arlidens red haired stepchild...

Reading this made me imagine a Dorian Gray moment where K holds up one of these special candles (maybe the dark one) to Haliax's face and it peels back the up a head full of red hair and green eyes too.

Apart from the trope-y-ness, wouldn't that be like totally rad? So much is made of K's hair, and I always thought it was just PR's cool character design. What if it's important? And also Haliax's shadow-hamedness. Talk about hidden in plain sight! Perhaps it's setting up a crazy reveal?

Finally, 'under her black dress', or however that's worded. What if the black dress is the Haliax's shadow. I know, he's a boy.

Then maybe it suggests mourning - Lyra.

Blabbering. J'ai finis.
37. Lackless
I noticed someone mentioned a Folly = Caesura theory. Folly is not Caesura. WMF chapter 136:

“'I can’t help notice that your description of Caesura doesn’t . . .' Chronicler hesitated. 'Well, it doesn’t quite seem to match the actual sword itself.' His eyes flicked to the sword behind the bar. 'The hand guard isn’t what you described.'

“No. You’re absolutely right.” turned to look at the sword. “This isn’t . . . what did the boy call it this morning?” His eyes went distant for a moment, then he smiled again. “Kaysera. The poet killer.”
Bruce Wilson
38. Aesculapius
There's a HUGE long discussion on the relative merits of the Saicere / Caesura / Kaysera +/- Folly debate in one of the other threads here which might be worth reading at some point (sorry, can't remember which one at the moment). No doubt it will all be re-reviewed at the time Jo reaches that part of the book which covers the relevant part of K's time with the Adem and his comments in the Frame too.
Bruce Wilson
39. Aesculapius

Greyhood, I don't think you're blabbering at all - there are so many unknowns and clever directions / mis-directions in these books that anything is possible...

Much is made of K's red hair and green eyes and while I agree that a direct Haliax connection would be a tad too trope-y for PR, I'm constantly aware of other subtle indirect hints. The connection that interests me is the throw-away comment relatively early in NW by Viari, Lorren's giller, who initially mistakes K for Yllish and then correctly identifies him as Ruh (which in itself is unusual - few others seem to manage that!). There are also other instances of K being asked if he is Yllish too. Given the apparent significance of the likely Yllish knot patterns in the Leoclos Box and Denna's use of Yllish knots in her hair (with or without any enchantment effects that might have), I do wonder about Yllish links for either K in particular or the Ruh in general.

As to the Lackless rhymes, we have no idea how long they have been around but the Leoclos line is strongly suggested to be ancient indeed. Even if the NW version with its sexual innuendo is more recent and a specific jibe at Netalia (although I'm still wary of this conclusion), the less "personal" version from WMF sounds much older and makes me wonder just which Lackless (or rather Leoclos) it first referred to - and if *not* for Netalia, which Lady Lackless was the first subject of the other rhyme? Given the imagery of the candle without light, the black dress and the references to "husband" as well as doors and not sleeping I have long speculated that the origins of the Lackless rhymes may track right back to Lyra and Lanre.

I'm also curious as to how Illien and Taborlin fit into all of this; I'm beginning to feel they may turn out to be one and the same person. In K's first admissions questioning, Lorren asks him "who was the greatest man who ever lived?" to which, after some thought, K replies "Illien" and we are told that 'Master Loren blinked once, expressionless.' Later, Stanchion refers to K as 'someone else with Illien's fire' referring to his and K's red hair as well as musical skills.

Interesting also that Taborlin, whose 'cloak of no particular colour' seems very likely to have been a shaed, is not known to Felurian and yet Illien is - which further makes me wonder just how far into the past did Illien live?

It's a bit of a leap rather than an extrapolation but it seems to me that K does his most powerful naming when he expresses that Knowing through music rather than verbally (e.g. the "duel" with Felurian, playing Arliden's lute in the forest after his parents' murder and the emotional response he evokes from the rest of Roent's caravan when he plays the borrowed lute). Could this also have been true of Illien? If music can be a powerful expression of Naming, could this also be why the Adem are so wary of it? All of the Adem culture, with the multiple meaning of words and the subtle use of gesture for expression seems to be averse to anything that might convey that kind of power, although they clearly hold true Namers in high regard.

I had come to think that Lorren's question to K regarding K being the son of "Arliden the Bard" was actually about Lorren being aware of the Netalia Lackless affair and K's potential Leoclos ancestry; I'm now beginning to wonder if it wasn't also about Arliden himself and the possibility that K is (also) descended from Illien (who may just possibly also be Taborlin). If anyone would potentially know these things then it would be Lorren!

Final totally left-field curve-ball speculation: could K somehow be both Illien and Taborlin...? As others have commented before, it would need some extreme manipulation of time - but then just how screwy are the different gateways in and out of the Fae? We have no way of knowing. As yet, however, I'm utterly unconvinced about why K should be quite so famous and infamous all at the same time and in such a relatively short life (apparently!). Even allowing for the clearly made points regarding the way stories grow - and can be manipulated - nothing has yet really lived up to the hype of K's own overblown description of himself (as used in the blurb for NW). If, however, he somehow turned out to be both Illien and Taborlin, well...

I'm relating more and more to Manet's comment in the Eolian (WMF) about this being an issue of two audiences - those that know enough and get the joke (or other hidden meaning) and those who need the joke explained to them. I think PR is doing to us what K does to the audience in the Eolian when he plays Bell Wether and then Tintatatornin.

I'm not yet sure which audience I'm in...!
- -
40. The_Bloody_Nine
When considering which side is 'good' and which is 'evil' in the apparent Chandrian - Amyr/singers/Sithe dichotomy, I think it's important to remember the Tarbean Midwinter pageantry episode from NW. At arguably the most dire moment in his life - penniless, severly beaten and minutes away from dying of hypothermia- it's the person dressed as Encanis who stops to help Kvothe, giving him a silver talent and his own gloves, while the being that is possibly one of the angelic former Ruach (though, equally possibly, just a delusion from a dying mind) looks on Kvothe's passing in what appears to be silent approvement.
It was miles back to my secret place, and my limping progress was slow. At some point I must have fallen. I don’t remember it, but I do remember lying in the snow and realizing how delightfully comfortable it was. I felt sleep drawing itself over me like a thick blanket, like death.
I closed my eyes. I remember the deep silence of the deserted street around me. I was too numb and tired to be properly afraid. In my delirium, I imagined death in the form of a great bird with wings of fire and shadow. It hovered above, watching patiently, waiting for me....
I slept, and the great bird settled its burning wings around me. I imagined a delicious warmth. Then its claws were in me, tearing me open—
No, it was just the pain of my torn ribs as someone rolled me onto my back.
Blearily, I opened an eye and saw a demon standing over me. In my confused and credulous state, the sight of the man in the demon mask startled me into wakefulness, the seductive warmth I had felt a moment ago vanished, leaving my body limp and leaden.
“It is. I told you. There’s a kid lying in the snow here!”The demon lifted me to my feet.
Now awake, I noticed his mask was sheer black. This was Encanis, Lord of Demons. He set me unsteadily onto my feet and began to brush away the snow that covered me.
Though as with all things PR, I'm having rather a difficult time deciding whether this is genuinely prophetic or simply yet another in what surely must be an exhaustingly exhaustive series of clever lead-aways.

Tricksy hobbitses.
Anthony Pero
41. anthonypero
So, question...

Is anyone else writing anything approaching this level of mastery in any genre? Because I'd really like to read it. With Rothsfuss, what I truly love is that it's quite possible to miss all of this, and still enjoy the story and the prose.
Bruce Wilson
42. Aesculapius
That Midwinter scene in Tarbean may also be taken other ways.

Obviously it could simply have been K suffering delerium secondary to his injuries and hypothermia but there is just enough to suggest that there might have been a being present - and, just maybe, by settling its burning wings around him, what it was actually doing was protecting K and keeping him safe until the passer-by in the costume found him - and the precise use of exactly the same phrase, "wings of fire and shadow," as used by Skarpi for the transformation of Tehlu and the others raises the possibility of a Tehlin angel.

The description of the specific traditional costume for Encanis with its hooded black robe and sheer black mask also seems clearly intended to hark back to Haliax with his face lost in Shadow. Others may draw different conclusions but I'm not sure I'd necessarily equate the motivations of this individual with those of Haliax himself!

That's the great joy of these books though and why this re-read is so fascinating and so much fun: scratch the surface of potential allusion and implication like this with Rothfuss' writing and, more often than not, several different interpretations will emerge - usually along with more questions than you had when you started!

I agree - it's beautifully done; even though I naturally became aware that there were layers upon layers as I went along, I very much tried to read read each book for the first time just to enjoy the prose and the story at face value (because it's never quite the same on subsequent readings) - but making a mental note of all the other things I thought I might have spotted along the way so that I could come back and look at them in more detail later.

It was more difficult not to get involved in dissecting hints with WMF as by then I already had a pretty good idea of what I might be looking for; nevertheles I still tried to keep my first read to just enjoying the ride!
43. opsomath
@ #39 - I had seen the possible Ilien/Taborlin link earlier. I still don't have a gut feeling link between the two, but it might be worth noting that "tabor" is an old King James English word for "tambourine," ie, a musical instrument.
44. Zeno
I supose I always thought the singers were someting far more different because it was not capitalized. Y'know, when Haliax mentioned them, the Amyr and the Sithe, that is. It always made me think of them as more of a thing than a group. A different species perhaps, as opposed to another organization.
- -
45. The_Bloody_Nine
@42. Aesculapius

Obviously you're right about the intrinsic ambiguity in inferring the Tehlin angel's motivations. actual angel/not delirium theory, though I'll happily admit I could have worded it more clearly (and eloquently) in my last post. I'm not a native speaker, an excuse with which I'll unashamedly try to cover up any and all idiocies on my part, you'll swift find out.]

Now, the argument I would put forward for my own interpretation is this. I've heard it said dying of hypothermia, rather counterintuitively, feels just like slipping into a hot bath. Therefore, and I accept that this is rather subjective, the enveloping warmth of the wings seems to me to be a sign of Kvothe nearing death - a being drawn in deeper, if you will - not the angelic protection you would have me see.

I would also argue that, counter to your hesitance to equate faux-Encanis' actions to Haliax' own, this scene actually mirrors quite well what has already come to pass by this point. While we may not be by any means certain of the Chandrian's agency in the death of Kvothe's troupe, I think it's not beyond reason to assume that Cinder's plans for Kvothe were, shall we say, unpleasant. In fact, this is, as I recall, the most acute danger Kvothe faces from the time he tries faking the name of the wind until his narrowly averted Midwinter death. And here, also, it's Encanis-like Haliax who keeps Kvothe from coming to further harm -- who, in essence, saves his very life. Moreover, if the Chandrian leave in the manner that they do because of the expected arrival of the Amyr, singers or Sithe, that would further reflect the presence of highly potent beings refusing to offer Kvothe help in a time of arguable need. The two scenes seem to me to be inherently (and inextricably) linked.

Now, whether or not this will turn out to have a deeper meaning for the events of DT, I cannot say. As I've stated before, it could all simply be more Rothfussian trickery -- he certainly wouldn't be beyond it. What I would add is that this interpretation of events would allow for a lovely near-indistinguishable-shades-of-gray approach to morality, rather than the much simpler (and much more readily acceptable by the world at large) black-and-white approach to good versus evil most fantasy authors are inclined to take. And to say that would be a good thing would be to understate matters quite significantly, I should think.

Addendum: I hope you'll forgive me if I come off sounding arrogant - that is not my intention, I assure you. Apparently the process of writing a masters thesis is causing me to sound much more smug than I have any right to, for which I can only apologise.
Alf Bishai
46. greyhood
@39 - "I'm not yet sure which audience I'm in...!"

Ha! I'm with you.

On 'is there anyone else writing like this'. The thing that I really love about these books is that this is a mystery story, not just a fantasy story. Clues, red herrings, riddles, hidden identities, mysterious characters, half-told accounts, scraps of parchment, untranslatable words, renderings of painted vases we only see one side of (Raiders of the LA - "theyre digging in the wrong place!"'), countless misdirections, unknown keys to unknown doors, secret societies with unknown agenda, mythology that has significant basis in reality but to an undetermined extent... And maybe a few other things. Probably most importantly - and this is ALMOST a groaner of a mystery trope - a femme fatale. And this mystery will not only uncover what is happening in the Big World, but also in K's World. But also in K's internal life/soul/identity. THAT'S masterful story telling.

I've been searching for a good mystery for years. Found it! What's great about this one is that the info is mostly in plain sight. And the reread is digesting it all in a fun collaboration of new friends. What fun! Thanks everyone!
Jo Walton
47. bluejo
Anthony Pero: Not the same at all, but have you tried Brust's Taltos books? Start with Jhereg. You might also like John M. Ford.

Everyone: I'm in Minneapolis and Shalter came to my signing! If you are where I am going to be, do come to my signings and say hi!

Also, when I was doing these four posts (all at once to cover the whole time I'm away) I also kept obsessing about the events of the Creation War and so I did a fifth post that is all me obsessing about the Creation War. So it's good to see everyone else doing the same thing.
48. Trollfot
I'm wondering whether the first Lackless rhyme is a case of Sleeping under the wagon. Kvothe's mother doesn't want Kvothe to sing the tune because it's rude. At least, that's what she says. Maybe she has a more serious reason for not wanting Kvothe to sing it. Perhaps she doesn't want it spread - but it's probably too late for that. It's more likely she doesn't want Kvothe to think about it too much. Or someone else in the troupe to hear it. What do you guys think?
49. sharkbait
love the comments! I'd always assumed that the Lackless door and the four plate door were the same. when he's first describing it he says something along the lines of " spite of these notable lacks". also, they way kvothe was drawn to these doors in particular seemed like something more than curiosity. in fact in the initial description it seemed similar to the old man in the story about Jax, as if kvothe was "listening" to the door.
50. Lackless
@38 Aesculapius, I found the discussion you were talking about. You pointed out that Caesura and Folly could have the same blade with a different hilt. It's an interesting point, and I suppose Kvothe could be playing with Chronicler when he says it's not Kaysera - in that he has renamed it. But "This isn't" sounds fairly definitive, which initially led me to believe that they were different swords entirely.
There are two things I find interesting about it, though, whether or not Folly and Caesura are the same:

1. When Chronicler addresses Kvothe, he's talking about *Caesura* - the sword inside the story. As of where they are in the story, *Kaysera* has not been mentioned at all. When Kvothe responds, he doesn't just say, "No, it's not Caesura." Instead, he goes out of his way to say: "This isn’t . . . what did the boy call it this morning?” His eyes went
distant for a moment, then he smiled again. “*Kaysera.* The poet killer.”
This is one of those things that seems offhand but that I'm suspicious of. I don't know what to make of it, though.

2. When he first renames Saicere Caesura, he says:

"How can I say this so you can understand? Saicere was a fine name. It was thin and bright and dangerous. It fit the sword like a glove fits a hand.
But it wasn’t the perfect name. This sword’s name was Caesura. This sword was the jarring break in a line of perfect verse. It was the broken breath. It was smooth and swift and sharp and deadly. The name didn’t fit like a glove. It fit like skin. More than that. It was bone and muscle and movement. Those things are the hand. And Caesura was the sword. It was the both the name and the thing itself.
I can’t tell you how I knew this. But I knew it.
Besides, if I was to be a namer, I decided I could damn well choose the name of my own sword."

To me, this sounds like a serious piece of naming. Caesura *is* the name of his sword; he is so completely sure of it. Knowing this, do you think he would later change the sword's name to Folly, whatever the circumstances? I don't.

51. BillyNoMates
I think I have been coming to the same conclusion regarding the two Lackless rhymes - one old rhyme referring to a Lady Lackless from long ago, then the contemporary version used to jibe at the current Lackless family about Laurien running off with the Ruh.

One other thing that I spotted that I can't recall seeing on here: Caudicus mentions the Kaepcaens as fading into obscurity, however the name is still reasonably well-known in FC. At the start of WMF, Kvothe likens the providence of musical instruments to that of horses and Sim mentions that his father once paid 250 talents for a kaepcaen. My problem is that I am not sure of the significance of this (it may not be significant at all!), but I am sure that PR could have just invented some other name for a thoroughbred if he wanted. I am convinced the use of kaepcaen here is important. Anyone else have any thoughts on this?
Bruce Wilson
52. Aesculapius
The-Bloody_Nine Hello! Please, no apology required! I certainly don't see anything arrogant in any of your comments; this place thrives on good stimulating debate!

There's much back-and-forth discussion about the various potential motivations of the Chandrian, the Amyr and any number of other factions within the on-going events of the Four Corners. For sure, PR is deliberately keeping the details vague and there are undoubtedly some marked ambiguities and shades of grey regarding the way certain groups seem to be acting. Having said that, I freely admit that, personally, I just don't yet buy into the idea of completely turning the whole thing on its head and having the Chandrian suddenly turn out to be the real good-guys who have been erroneously maligned for millenia. Nothing I have yet seen or read convinces me of this. I'm willing to change that if more comes to light but at the moment I'm very dubious. The whole thing just seems to be so much more complex and convoluted than that. What is clear, however, is that other factions like the Amyr are clearly suggested as being rather less perfect than the pure, anti-Chandrian heros that currently drive the thinking and actions of K in the main story.

About the Tarbean Midwinter - I'd agree with your comments about the popular perception of hypothermia and, at first glance, K's description of being lost, injured and out in the snow would seem to fit with that, making his descrition figurative, rather than literal; the flip-side is that actually, it may have been literal, rather than figurative - but you can argue this either way.

Having said all of that, as fun as the discussions are, I also think we have to be wary of over-analysing what is in front of us and turning ourselves into the kind of conspiracy-theorists who see nothing but misdirection behind absolutely every last word...!! :o)

Hi Lackless - yes, I think it's significant that K very carefully uses only the name that Aaron gives for Kvothe's sword. Similarly, I also think it's very significant that PR only *suggests* to us that "Folly" is the name of this sword in the Waystone by the device of having someone else say it - K, however, notably makes NO such connection. See post 84 of Part 10: Watching Stories Being Born for my full comments - particularly on the later scene where K and Bast actually hang the sword from the mounting plate!

Nice catch, I hadn't spotted that one. It rather suggests that at least one remaining branch of the family has a reasonably well-established role and a well-known history as stud-breeders if their name has become synonymous with a particular breed of horse. It may serve no particular purpose other than dropping into the text a reference that lets us know they're still around somewhere. Who knows...?!
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53. The_Bloody_Nine
@52 Aesculapius

Thanks for the warm welcome. You're quite right, it's very possible (likely, even) we're reading too much into things… but at least it's fun!

I also agree on the Tarbean scene: it can easily be read any way you're personally inclined to. We'll probably have to withhold judgment until DT.

I certainly don't expect the Chandrian will turn out to basically be the good guys forced to do bad things "for the greater good". And neither, I think, will the Amyr. (As for the singers and Sithe, I don't think we have enough information to guess at where either of them really fall in the grand scheme of things, so I'll leave them be for the moment.) In essence, the Chandrian's motivation seems quite clear. (Though, obviously, the chance much more is going on under the surface is quite a large one.) We're told Haliax, in punishment, is denied the gates of sleeping, forgetting, madness and death. Then consider Selitos's curse as per Skarpi's tale:
"This is my doom upon you. Your own name will be turned against you, that you shall have no peace. This is my doom upon you and all who follow you. May it last until the world ends and the Aleu fall nameless from the sky."
Taken at face value, that would seem to indicate the Chandrian's main objective is to remove from the world any record of their Names. Doing so would ensure those Names could no longer be "turned against them", which, in turn, would finally grant them peace. If this is true, and they are purely motivated by their desire to finally be allowed to pass through the gate of death - to basically be released from millennia of torment - that would make them a neutral entity. Their disinterest in general human affairs and politics would seem to be supported by Haliax severe reprimand of Cinder when the latter strays from their actual purpose.

This interpretation would make their quest eminently understandable. Anyone who has had to forego sleep for more than one night will know just how horrible it can make you feel -- imagine extending that over millennia. I won't go as far as to say it justifies coldblooded murder, but it does garner, in me, some (real world) sympathy for the situation in which they find themselves. And, most importantly as far as I'm concerned, it would mean the "villains" are, for once, not just:
1. hell bent on global domination
2. trying to become disgustingly rich
3. evil for evil's sake

The Amyr are possibly in a very similar situation. If they are the group formed by Selitos in the interrupted Skarpi story, that would make them all survivors of the sacked cities. Which would effectively mean they've all suffered personal loss, grief and injury because of the Chandrian's alleged betrayal/treachery. The interrupted story seems to suggest Selitos' group is unable to move on from this, and thus goes out to seek their own revenge. Again, if this is how events are meant to be interpreted, the Amyr would also have no personal interest in human affairs and politics, and would be similarly unaverse to an "end justifies the means" approach to their quest for revenge.

This can quite easily be brought into relation with Denna's divergent story of Lanre. Amyr and Chandrian would essentially be different sides to the same coin. Neither is black, neither is white. Denna could even have had a similar experience to Kvothe's meeting the Chandrian. She could have witnessed atrocities committed by the Amyr, and that could be her motivation to write the story the way she did. Or if the idea for the story was Master Ash's, it could have happened to him. Which would tie in nicely to one of the main themes of the story as a whole: the creation of and deconstruction personal mythology, and the importance of perspective.

Incidentally, could there be an Aleu/Aleph connection? Could Aleu be the collective term for the angels Aleph creates? The "fall nameless from the sky" bit could reference actual celestial objects, but could equally be a reference to beings possessed of the ability of flight. Perhaps this has already been brought up in past discussions -- I only stumbled on this reread a few days ago and haven't yet had the time to read through it all. All of this could be treading old ground.
54. opsomath
@53 - I don't know whether it's precisely correct or not, of course, but this has the ring of truth to it. I can't see Mr. Rothfuss giving us a black-and-white ethical ending. Well done.
Bruce Wilson
55. Aesculapius
I wondered about the Aleu too and made the same connection - but on another look I realised that as Selitos' curse appears in Skarpi's first story (just after the fall of the Cities), this sort of suggests that the term (and whatever it applies to) pre-dates the transformation of Tehlu and the others which happened later when the Ruach survivors gathered together with Aleph.

For now, I guess it just means "stars" or other celestial objects - although why use a new fictional word when "stars" would suffice? Unless it either (a) just looks and sounds good or (b) has some significance later...?
Steven Halter
56. stevenhalter
Jo@47:By the way, Among Others is very good. I don't recall if I mentioned it as we were talking about the reread. :-)
If anyone else gets the chance, I do highly recommend stopping by Jo's signings.
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57. The_Bloody_Nine
@54 opsomath

Cheers! It's a much more realistic and therefore satisfying way of handling morality, I've always thought. I'm actually considering writing a paper about this after I finish my thesis. (Mainly using fantasy literature with this sense of morality to show how stories in video games could be massively improved.)

@55. Aesculapius

That would rather seem to put a dent in the theory, wouldn't it?

I don't think Aleu means stars, though my reasoning is entirely subjective. When Felurian tells the story of Iax, she mentions all Shapers who helped create the Fae created their own star in the sky. (All except for Iax, who wished to surpass his peers and half-stole the moon instead.) Given Felurian's confirmed presence during the time of the war, she would know the word Aleu for stars, and I would expect her to use it. Tenuous, I know, but enough for me to doubt this meaning for the time being.

It could just mean followers of Aleph, I suppose. We know Aleph was a great Namer, possibly the greatest. (Why else would he be in a position to bestow powers and salvation onto others in the second story?) If he can be considered a kind of leader among the Namers, the Aleu would be thecollective of Namers who follow him. In this case, "fall nameless from the sky" could be a reference to the Name of the Wind: if Namers can use that Name to simulate flight (cfr. Taborlin), losing their power - i.e. being quite literally Name-less - would cause them to fall from the sky.
58. Thurule
So much good stuff in this thread. Just one comment of my own to add.

@53. The_Bloody_Nine

She could have witnessed atrocities committed by the Amyr, and that could be her motivation to write the story the way she did.

I think we have a couple pieces of evidence that D did in fact witness an Amyr committing an atrocity at the doomed wedding. We know that Kvothe determined it was the Chandrian for seemingly obvious reasons, but we have this potentially glaring contradiction:
Jay Matteo
59. j4yx0r
@50 Lackless:

When you put things together in that way it makes me think, perhaps, that Kvothe made a tragic mistake in renaming the sword.
Besides, if I was to be a namer, I decided I could damn well choose the name of my own sword.
Time and again, Kvothe acts on his own impulses, disreguarding advice or warnings from those that presume to know better than him. Many times, this has worked in his favor but when it doesn't, it fails spectacularly.

Perhaps his presumtions that this was his sword and that it was his to name were detrimental in causing something particularly horrible to happen. Mounting the sword where he'll be forced to see it constantly and re-dubbing it "Folly" seems exactly like the kind of dramitic, dark irony that would appeal to K.
60. Lackless
@52 Aesculapius, I did notice that too, at the time, but it wasn't just Graham saying it. He was reading it off the board, which had Folly carved into it. The real question is whether the carved Folly is the actual name of the sword, or whether it merely refers to it - like a personal reminder to Kvothe about how not to act when using the sword (perhaps he has already done something with it that was folly - like killing a king...who may or may not be his best friend Sim...).

I find it a very interesting possibility, though, that Folly, Caesura, Saicere, and Kaysera are all the same. It's just that the way they've been referred to has led me to believe there are at least two different swords.
Bruce Wilson
61. Aesculapius
Yes, that was precisely my point.

Graham says that Folly is a strange name for a sword - but that may just be his assumption. K rather pointedly says nothing. We all know what the one word inscription on the board says but that may have nothing to do with the actual *name* of the sword.

Virtually every Rothfuss discussion group I have read uses "Folly" as the name by which they refer to the sword in the Waystone Inn, yet there is *nothing* which absolutely supports this.

I'll grant you, however, that it's a convenient shorthand; it's certainly much, much easier to type "Folly" than to keep referring to "Kvothe's sword in the frame story"...! At least we all know which sword we're referring to, even if it may be inaccurate.

62. Spirit Theif
In the middle of reading your posts I stopped at the Aleu part. We know that Aleph is the being that gave/discovered the names of everything. Angels seem to just be called 'angels' with no special name.

So I think Aleu might be another name for the Moon. The phrase suggests it- stealing the moon caused a war, what would happen if it fell from the sky? Denna is often described with moon imagery, and her name changes, as would the moon's.
Just a thought.
Bruce Wilson
63. Aesculapius
I had always assumed that "aleu" was a plural term rather than singular - I think the suggestion comes from the verb: the text reads "until the Aleu fall nameless from the sky" whereas a singular would correctly read "until the Aleu falls nameless from the sky"

I can't recall off the top of my head if there is other evidence for this.
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64. The_Bloody_Nine
@62 Spirit Theif (and @ 63 Aesculapius)

Well it's all rather ambiguous what the beings Aleph creates actually are, isn't it? They're granted wings, which certainly conjures up the imagery of an angel, but they're never actually called it as I recall. They could be a seperate entity entirely.

It is a moot point though. As Aesculapius rightly pointed out (@55), the Aleu are mentioned before the Ruach are ever even transformed into winged beings, so the term can't refer to them. I would also agree with his post @63: the language does seem to suggest that whatever the Aleu might turn out to be, there's almost certainly more than one of them.

I would say the similarity between the (N)ames Aleph and Aleu does seem to imply some sort of connection between the two. PR specifically chose these names and used them in the two Skarpi stories, arguably the most important exposition on the real nature of the Amyr and Chandrian we've so far been given. Considering he could have literally made up any sounds and combination of letters he wanted for these things (both of which I don't remember even being mentioned elsewhere), I genuinely don' t think that similarity would be there if he didn't want the connection to be made. (Though, as always, we can but guess at his reasoning.)

To me, the last part of the curse - "May it last until the world ends and the Aleu fall nameless from the sky." - suggests the Aleu are living beings, not inanimate celestial objects. It almost sounds as if their role is to enforce this curse until the world perishes. (In which case there would be a parallel with the Sithe to be drawn, should you wish to.) Once the world is gone and the Chandrian with it, the Aleu would finally be free to drop their age old burden and "fall nameless from the sky". Or at least that's how my Bushmills addled mind is currently choosing to read it!
Jeremy Raiz
65. Jezdynamite
Just something to keep in mind which I just re-read: Skarpi admitted to K after telling his Lanre/Selitos story (after K asked if the story was true):

"All stories are true, But this one really happened, if that's what you mean."
He took another slow drink, then smiled again, his bright eyes dancing.
"More or less. You have to be a bit of a liar to tell a story the right way.
Too much truth confuses the facts. Too much honesty makes you sound insincere."

The next day K was on his way to find out which parts of the story were true but never got to ask his question.

Which leads me to conclude that there are some parts of Skarpis stories (both) that aren't truely what happened in real life (as he admitted it himself).

Just like most of the other stories we've heard: Old Cob's stories about K and Taborlin in the Inn, Denna's song, Jax story, rumors of K's deeds and I also wonder about Felurian's story and the Lackless poems.

I just brought this up because I was getting caught up relying on every detail of each story as fact.
66. Mar
@ 57. The_Bloody_Nine

"It could just mean followers of Aleph, I suppose. We know Aleph was a great Namer, possibly the greatest. (Why else would he be in a position to bestow powers and salvation onto others in the second story?) If he can be considered a kind of leader among the Namers, the Aleu would be thecollective of Namers who follow him. In this case, "fall nameless from the sky" could be a reference to the Name of the Wind: if Namers can use that Name to simulate flight (cfr. Taborlin), losing their power - i.e. being quite literally Name-less - would cause them to fall from the sky."

This made sense to me, but it gave me a dark chill. What if Kvothe broke the curse that allowed Haliax and the Chandrian to be killed? Then, not only did he lose his ability to name, but everyone lost their ability to name, and the Aleu fell from the sky. Kote is waiting to die in the frame story because he's waiting for the world to come to an end. I wonder if Bast knows? I guess he does, and now--in major denial, not ready to give up--he is doing all he can to kick-start "Taborlin the Great's" ingenuity to get the world out of this mess.
David C
67. David_C
@41, AP, tried to use your shoutbox, got an error from my browser. e-mail me if you want to follow up. I would suggest that Stephen Donaldson's The Gap Into series, as equalling anything I've read in the plot pinball wizardry department. He does things that are a lot more complex than PR is trying.

However, be warned, as Jeff says in, "none of his main characters are simple, nice heroes or heroines. They're all a mess, with complex (and sometimes horrific) back stories and histories." Also be warned that this is space opera.
David C
68. David_C
@41, two more suggestions for skill equal:

(1) Sean Stewart for Cloud's End. What may be relevant to PR fans, there's sort of a metatheory of stories there: stories are classified by the kind of knot they resemble. This is a single volume work, delicious for its psychological ambiguity.

(2) SeanRussell's 2 x 2 series Moontide and Magic Rise and River into Darkness. Of relevance to PR fans, Russell says (somewhere) that he wrote and re-wrote and re-wrote World Without End, changing it several times. Also of relevance to PR fans, this is also a series where there appears to be a lot of hidden back-story. The first (but chronologically later) series appears to happen in a time after the last of mages: magic is for some reason disappearing, and it appears that at least parts of the past have been deliberately obscured.

Beautifully bittersweet in the way of all "end of the ages" stories (cf the story of Arwen's passing in the appendices of the LOTR).

David C
69. David_C
The Lackless and the Amyr. back on topic for a bit.

What is the consensus on the connection between the Amyr and the family Lackless?

I think that there is a strong one. It is clear that there is a connection between the Maer and the Lackless family and some kind of door. But when Kvothe asks the Ctheah about the Amyr, the Ctheah tells Kvothe to stick with the Maer, and he will lead you to their door, and then laughs at the fact that Kvothe doesn't realize how wonderful the pun is. From this, I suggest that it is reasonable to conclude that the Lackless door and the Amyrs' door are effectively the same (see also

There is also the historical parallel of the Lackless family fading in power, and the mysterious disappearance of the historical record of the Amyr.

What do others make of this?
Steven Halter
70. stevenhalter
That's odd, it ate my original comment here and replaced it with the one from 56. So, I'll try again:
It could be that the Chtaeh is referring to the Lockless door here and the Amyr are somehow protecting it (or the Lockless are themselves Amyr.) Or,
It could be that the Chtaeh is talking about the original (non-human) Amyr and they are behind the Lackless door. Or,
It could be that there are Amyr around the Maer (Bredon is a possibility) and just being around the Maer is the doorway to the Amyr.
Or some combination or none of the above. The Chtaeh is wonderfully ambiguous.
71. Thurule
@53. The_Bloody_Nine

I'm pretty sure we have seen Denna have a bad experience with the Amyr. It's not exactly spelled out, in fact, you're made to think it's the Chandrian. But, we do have reason to believe that it was the Amyr that killed everybody at the wedding and burned the house down. That evidence is here:

Pat's blog
andrew smith
72. sillyslovene
@69, David_C

The connection there is really interesting. My latest wondering regarding the whole thing is if the Maer is an Amyr/other who knows the whole backstory, etc about the Lackless family and is trying to make his way to open the door and/or gain control of the means to open the door. In which case, he is pursuing Meluan, not only because she is beautiful, witty, lovely, etc, but precisely because he wants to sire a child by her- not just to have an heir (as is stated in the book), but to create himself "One a son who brings the blood." If this is the case, then the Ctheah is laughing at both the fact that the Maer will lead him to the door/the pun he doesn't get, but also the delicious irony that the Maer went looking for someone to help him woo Meluan and sire the blood-power to open the door, and got someone who in reality is "a son who brings the blood" without knowing it.
Jesse Sayers
73. Fluvre
I'm late to the party but I just finished reading all of these posts (great btw) and have a few comments. I'll try to stay on the topics that have been discussed in this thread to start though. First establishing the different sides and their potential motivations (I don't have my books on hand and I can't spell so sorry about butchery spelling names and general unorganized incomprehensibility)

Amyr- Felurian said "There were never any human Amyr." implying part of Skarpi's story is accurate. I expect that the Ciredy are the original Amyr but that they had human helpers (Likely Loren- who is always in the heart of stone and thus can always choose to do the right thing regardless of emotions involving the action).
Singers- Telhu and the others. Can only punish, this follows what we know about the Telin religion. Telhu punishes those that do wrong, but doesn't prevent that from happening. He even punishes those that want to change their path after doing wrong. This could certainly create conflict between the singes and Amyr, and explain both why the Amyr were above the church law (they were actually a seperate entity) and why the split happened (Amyr would do "wrong" so would need to be punished, but were also on the right track so they wouldn't be killed off completely by the singers)
Sithe- fey who's main goal is keeping the Cthey (the thing in the tree, can't remember how to spell it) isolated- most closely aligned working for the good
Cthey- seems to have orchestrated everything including the creation war (represented by the Tinker in the Jax story- gives Jax the glasses "vision", and tools to catch part of the moon but not enough knowledge/skills to do so wisely), also talked to Lanre and Kvothe- Always seems to set things up so that it can influence things again regardless of what the Sithe do.
Chandrian- Led by Haliax. Two theories- both depend on the difference between naming and shaping. (Hal- Iax= does anyone in imaginary linguistics have any ideas about the meaning of hal?)

So,Naming- Using the name of a thing to get it to do what you want. Not mastery over the name, more the ability to ask it to do a task for you.Shaping- Changing the name of a thing to change it's nature. A Namer can make the wind blow, or a stone to break. A Shaper can make the wind into water- or something that didn't exist before- and it may be impossible for anyone else to name or shape that thing again. They are not mutually exclusive but more a difference in how one uses power.

This leads to Lanre- he died or almost died at Drossen Tor- and Lyra shaped his name to prevent him from being able to die. But it also kept him from going behind Tecum's doors of the mind (sleep, forgetting, sanity and death). Arliden sang that following this Lanre spoke Lyra's name "on his first reborn breath"- that combination of acts is likely what caused her to fall sick and die- Lanre went to the Cthey to get a flower (a panacea) and got talked into attempting to destroy the first world that Aleph made/named What they want to do though is tough- in some ways Rothfuss is having us follow Arliden's path of piecing together stories about Lanre and trying to merge them into a coherent whole- but A found their purpose but details eluded him. So I assume we can too.

Chandrian goals option 1: Destroy the Corners world (the world K lives in) or merge it with fey- "Better to sow salt than let the bitter weeds grow" this may imply the Corners world is boring/ it allows for death and that pisses H off because this world let Lyra die. I also assume that he bound the other Chandrian to him in some way ( i.e.shaped iron for Cinder) which is why they do what he says. One disobeyed though which is my Tinue survived (good call on whomever figured out that Tinue was the city, probably) So there is a single individual out there, like the Chandrian but alienated from all sides.
Option 2 (similar to 1): Haliax's alternate goal might be to destroy the world or part of it so he can stay behind and cease to exist since he can't die. Not sure how they'd do either but the Lackless box and doors of stone will be important (maybe to free Iax or the moon). The Lackless family then would constantly be being manipulated by the Chandrian and other forces into different positions. This would explain why the family has both split many times and kept a strong center. That said I don't know how the songs work in here.

I've almost competely failed to stay on topic. That said most my other thoughts are derived from ideas about Naming/Shaping, Yillish/Ademic and Alieph.

Alieph either found the names of all things or gave all things their name as K puts it. Aliph changes the names of the singers making them powerful but also changing their nature so they can't prevent, only punish.
Yillish is likely the oldest language and likely most tied to the original namers. K talks about how in yillish owning a sock changes the person that owns the sock in a fundamental way, I think this is suppose to be a direct holdover from naming. The phrase over the library that means something like "knowledge shapes a man" according to Wil. Someone on this blog suggested it may actually mean "with knowledge a man can shape"- I think it probably means both. Knowing a name changes the person learning the name and they take on qualities of the name. Exal Dahl teaches like a mad prophet and a galley slave drummer and he know fire. Fela can always be depended on and she learns stone. Locking someone behind doors of stone has a new implication then- you can escape when you learn the name of stone which changes the person imprisoned forcing them to be more patient and stone like. Which means they don't need to be locked up anymore. That's what happened to Elodin, he escaped by the act of escaping meant he didn't need to be locked up anymore.

Last though- Kvothe's last ring that is "without name" means that he took somethings name away, or shaped it so that it had no name and no one could ever change it or fix it.

Stopping now.
74. Thurule
@73. Fluvre


Lots of stuff there, but the last part caught me because of another thing in this thread.

"Kvothe's last ring that is "without name" means that he took somethings name away, or shaped it so that it had no name and no one could ever change it or fix it. "

There's something else important in this thread that is referred to as nameless: the Aleu.

"May it last until the world ends and the Aleu fall nameless from the sky."

Did K learn the name of the Aleu? Did he cause them to fall from the sky?
Alf Bishai
75. greyhood
total speculation. My first thought was that the Aleu were the stars that the shapers set up in the sky, as someone else speculated above. (I'm so lazy.) Perhaps they are not just decorative, but act as...I can't think of a better word...thumb tacks. They pin up the sky, or in other words, they hold the Fae realm in tact. To take down the Fae realm, you have to destroy these...un-name these. Iax's brilliance is that the moon can't be un-named because the FC relies on it too.

Surely K has un-named something, and pulled out the golden screw.

Half-baked. Quarter-baked.
Pamela Adams
76. PamAdams
unlurk/This morning, I woke up with one thought running through my head- Once, one of the things under Netalia's black dress was Kvothe. (Delany's Ballad of Beta-2- 'under her legs a green-eyed child....')/lurk
Jesse Sayers
77. Fluvre
I always assumed Alue to be stars, when Aliph named all the things in the world the stars weren't named each star is unique so they all would have different names if they could be known. Alternitively to have a name something needs to be know by people. The Alue will fall nameless when there are no people left to name them.
I like the idea of star thumbtacks, it's just fun. Selitos says the comment about the Alue though and he is in the Corners world as far as we can tell.
As far as the Lacklesses go, I'm more interested in their box. Assume the Tinker in the Jax story represents the Ctheah. It gave Iax the desire to find the moon (the glasses), a way to call the moon (the flute) and a way to capture the moon (the empty box). It also may have helped him build or enhance the Fey relm. Considering the box is described the same way as the tree (I forget the acutual description but I know I've compared it) the Lackless box is likely the empty box and or bag, that can only be opened by asking nicely (naming). This implies either the Lacklesses locked up Iax and took his things away, or they were connected to him and ended up with it that way.
Anthony Pero
78. anthonypero

Yes, the Shoutbox is giving off errors... but just refresh your browser in the future, and you will see that your shout did indeed go through.
Jo Walton
79. bluejo
Greyhood: I think that's brilliant. The golden screw, the stars tacking up the sky. The only problem is that the world hasn't ended -- but we don't know what has happened to Lanre/Haliax.
80. Synsation
Hi guys!
@19 From reading over your comments I noticed that in the first poem Lady Lackless doesn't have seven things although overall she keeps more than seven things. If you go explictly by the first poem she only has three things: a ring, a word and a secret. The candle belongs to her husband and although she is keeping the rocks they belong to her husband to. The box and and the door are there but don't necesarily belong to her or her husband as they don't follow the "one is" formula laid out in the begining of the first poem and entirety of the second poem. I don't know if anyone else has brought this up, but if Natalia is the Lady Lackless of the poem then she apparently she has a husband and it is not Arliden. Being married already might be another reason(aside from her own personal feelings about love and marriage) she didn't want to marry Arliden. In addition it is possible that she had another child out in the world besides Kvothe. Maybe the other child is the one referenced in "bring the blood". If Kvothe gathered these things and opened the door without having all that he needed because he doesn't have the blood maybe that's what causes eveything to go so horribly wrong. In addition maybe Kvothe is waiting till he can pass the things on to the real child who brings the blood before he dies.
Steven Halter
81. stevenhalter
@80:I think there was some speculation on whether Natalia was married before or not. I don't think a consensus was reached. One line of thought is that the poem somewhat refers to the generic idea of Lady Lackless--through history. So Natalia's ancestors had husbands. She may or may not have had a different one than Arliden.
Rob Munnelly
82. RobMRobM
Here's a thought I picked up on my re-read of WMF. In the section where Kvothe invents the tale of the legendary Chronicler for Cob and other Wayfair patrons, they claim the king of Modeg's name "is written in a book of glass, hidden in a box of copper... locked away in a great iron chest where nobody can touch it." This touched my memory, as when K shakes the Lockless box inside it sounds to K like "something made of glass or stone." This suggests that inside the Lockless box is someone's true name, written in glass or stone. Perhaps the true name of someone married to the original Lady Lackless - "her husband's rocks" from the poem. Perhaps someone sufficiently powerful that it would be prudent to keep his true name hidden within the family to protect them from his power, if needed. Perhaps whoever is locked behind the Lackless door? Perhaps all of the above.

83. beastie
In looking at the two Lackless rhymes, I also thought that:

1. "One a thing tight-held in keeping" might refer to "There's a secret she's been keeping" -- since sometimes you refer to tightly held secrets.

2. "One a time that must be right" might refer to "On a road, that's not for traveling" -- this is more of a stretch, but you could think of time as a road but one you don't travel back and forth on.

3. "One a son who brings the blood" might refer to "riddle raveling" or, as you might read it, "little raveling" (Kvothe).

Also, I was struck by the "husband's candle" in the first poem. Halifax is shown with the candle in the vase. There's a theory that Lanre = Halifax; if that's the case, the poem suggests that the original Lady Lackless was Lyra.
Lauren W
84. laurene135
Sorry if this has been already pointed out, but I think it's safe to assume the door in the Archives is the Lackless door:
"In spite of these notable lacks, the expanse of grey stone was undoubtedly a door. It simply was. Each copper plate had a hole in its center, and though they were not shaped in the conventional way, they were undoubtedly keyholes. The door sat still as a mountain, quiet and indifferent as the sea on a windless day. This was not a door for opening. It was a door for staying closed."
The four keyholes on the door are the same type as the one on the Lackless box showed to Kvothe. Just a round hole, and the Lady had a simple"key" around her neck
George Brell
85. gbrell

While I agree with your assumption, it's worth pointing out that the "Lackless" keyhole you're comparing it to isn't on the Loeclos box, it's on one of the chests that hold it. Whether that chest is actually related to the Loeclos box or is simple holding it at that moment is not made clear by the text.

I think the better question is whether the Lackless Door and the Loeclos box are related or if what's trapped behind the Valaritas door and what's held inside the Loeclos box are related and, if so, how.
Ian B
86. Greyfalconway
Didn't Kvothe study the heck out of that key during the few moments he had with it? Maybe he had the same idea, that it could fit in the four plate door, and in D3 he's going to try and make a copy from memory in the fishery to secretly try on the 4pd in the archives
Lauren W
87. laurene135
@ 85. gbrell
Ah yes, thank you. I half-way forgot. Part of me assumed that the box and chest were made by the same people, but as you said, we don't know for sure.

Uh, it just makes me want to read D3 all the more ;) Does the Loeclos box hold the key to the Door? Or maybe the Box holds the name of the moon, and the Door is hinding Jax??

I feel they are related, but largely because I feel this is all related. Like one giant puzzel waiting for all the pieces to fall neatly into place.

@ 83. beastie
"There's a theory that Lanre = Halifax; if that's the case, the poem suggests that the original Lady Lackless was Lyra."
Oh my! That would certainly be interesting. I believe Lanre=Halifax, but I never thought of Lyra = Lady Lackless.
It makes sense with this line too: "She’s been dreaming and not sleeping" We assume she's dead, but perhaps not. MAYBE when Lanre spoke (and was bitten) to the CTH, it told him that his wife was not really dead. Perhaps he burned down the cities and betrayed his friend not out of madness but because they did something to his wife? (i.e. lied about her death or were holding her prisoner) Now that I think about it, her still being alive would explain why Lanre couldn't call her back from the dead--she isnt dead!
But who knows ;)
Lauren W
88. laurene135
In continuation of the idea that Lyra = Lady Lackless and is not dead:
4. Thurule said
"The one thing missing from the list of names Caudicus gave (Lackless,
Loeclos, Loklos, Loeloes, Lack-key, Laclith, Kaepcaen) is the seventh
name that's 'lacking' - Lochees fits nicely with that. So we have 7
'lackers' and one 'keeper'. Perhaps the keeper keeps the location of
the door, and the lackers each have a piece of the key?"

Perhaps the splitting of the Lackless family is a parallel to Lyra (assumig she is Lady Lackless) and the Chandrian. Lady Lackless/Lyra is the 'keeper.' She's the one with the box, ring, ect. whereas the Chandrian are the ones who are lacking something--sleep, speach, etc. 7 lackers and 1 keeper... Now if this is the case, it begs the question why Lyra is keeping these things from her husband and the Chandrian?
But if I'm going on my fantasies that Lyra is alive and maybe withheld from Lanre who is simply trying to get her back... maybe she is keeping these things safe for when they come to get her?
"On a road, that’s not for traveling" and "One a time that must be right" make me think of a moonless night and traveling to the Fae realm where possibly Lyra is being kept. And with my crazy guess that Lyra is alive--coupled with Beastie's Lyra = Lady Lackless, then when she is rescued or whatever "Then comes that with comes with sleeping" comes into play and finally Lanre/Haliax finally gets his rest.
90. Begna
I haven't gotten all the way through the comments yet but does it seem odd to anyone else that the poems mention a ring not for wearing and Meluan gave Kvothe a ring that he isn't supposed to wear? Additionally, the Lackless box is presented to Kvothe (Ruh-ravel) in the hopes of unraveling her riddle?
91. archon
wasnt laurian older than meluan so she may be the lady lackless that the poems refer to
92. Zeris
I also suspect that Kvothe's mother is the missing runaway daughter and that Kvothe technically being a Lackless will somehow play a role in his figuring out the four-plate door and the "lockless" box.

- Kvothe's mom gets visibly annoyed when he sings the dirty limerick about the missing Lackless heir.
- Meluan looks very familiar for reasons that Kvothe cannot immediately place. I assume this is because he's being reminded of his mother. It's unlikely Kvothe would've met Meluan before.
- Kvothe's mother is known to be a runaway noblewoman.
- This would explain Meluan's hatred of the Ruh.
93. parataxis
when Kvothe asks the Ctheah about the Amyr, the Ctheah tells Kvotheto stick with the Maer, and he will lead you to their door, and then laughs at the fact that Kvothe doesn't realize how wonderful the pun is.

@ 53
We're told Haliax, in punishment, is denied the gates of sleeping, forgetting, madness and death.
If there is some relation between the doors and between the Chandrian's goals, the Ctheah could be joking that returning to the Maer would lead Kvothe to sleeping, forgetting, madness and/or death as well as to the Lackless box and any other doors.
94. Silas Mkr
Re-reading the readthrough in anticipation of d3 (!!) and, while reading the comments I remembered a theory i had in one of my earlier readings: What if Denna is a lackless? I know it's pretty far fetched, but when I first read Meluan's description, I immediately thought of Denna:

"She was maddeningly familiar... Might I have met at the Eolian? That didn't seem likely... She was strikingly lovely, with a strong jaw and dark brown eyes." (WMF pg454)

Of course, that's probably just evidence to Laurian being a lackless, but i digress.

It may also be why Denna was relucant to meet the maer and his "lady love" when Kvothe takes her into the garden.

Of course, i could just be grasping a straws here. There is quite a bit of evidence to the contrary. Just some food for thought, I suppose.
95. debieg33
The road that's not for traveling in the Lathani.
96. redgrl
I like the theory of the Lackless family to have fey blood in them and maybe that's something that could cause problems with the "in the blood" theory is that Kvothe "brings the blood" but might be "tainted" with fey blood or from spending time in fey and it bites him in the ass when he opens the door if he actuallly does that.
97. debieg33
What if the reference of Kote waiting to die is a reference to his Kote persona dying.... and his regaining his Kvothe self again????
98. debieg33
What if the warning of entering the Fae at the wrong time, no moon, is because you would enter into water and drown.
And entering into the mortal world at the wrong time puts you directly into stone?
Then if the enemy was shut behind the doors of stone, he was pushed into the mortal world at the wrong time and is now shut up in stone? Where he cannot harm anyone?
Just thinking....
99. jorgybear
On the surface, “Lackless” seems to suggest a very wealthy family (they who lack nothing, or have everything), and that seems to be case for the family as it is now, but Caudicuss’ telling of the tale reveals that the name came into being through Grimm’s law, from Lockless (possibly originially from, or via Luckless?)
I agree that it’s highly likely that Lochees is another variant, and only not included in Caudicuss’ list as this would be pointing it out with a massive red arrow. PR is allowing the reader to work it out for him/herself.
I think that the Lockless box, while not having keyholes on itself, may still be opened with a key/keys. I think that the four plate door at the university (which may or may not be the “door on the oldest part of the Lackless’ estate”) contain the keyholes which open the box, and that the keys are the items given to Kvothe by Auri.
100. Christyjoy
It's always struck me odd that the Masters wrote Kvothe's tuition at "less" 3 talents. I think it's significant that Kvothe didn't immediately understand what that meant and I fact it meant the opposite, that he gained 3 talents. I have a feeling that the lack-less or lock-less could be something similar we are meant to initially misunderstand. Perhaps the numer 3 is also meaningful as three things are mentioned; key, candle, coin.

i know this is a super old post, I don't know if anyone still follows these threads but I also wondered if the candle that Auri gave Kvothe was the candle not for burning. He specifically describes it as "something like a candle" which seems a strange way to describe something you know to be a candle.
Tabby Alleman
101. Tabbyfl55
I wonder if
Lady Lackless'
black dress
is backless?

probably not.
102. elricprincess
Not sure if this has been said before.

What if Lanre and Lyra had a child before Lyra died and down through the ages became the Lackless lineage?
103. joeireland123
@102 elricprincess
I think you may be on to something.

I think the big reveal is that Kvothe is Chandrian and/or that he is descendent from Lanre/Haliax and Lyra. That is Laurien / Natalia Lockless' secret from the poems. Here is how I would set them up:

Ring Not for Wearing / Unworn = Edema Ruh
Sharp Word / Forsworn Word = Chandrian
Husband's Candle / Candle without Light = The Moon
Door with Handle / Door the Holds the Flood = Gateway to Fae
Box with Lid / Time that Must be Right = Night
Husband's Rocks / Soon with Blood = Kvothe
Secret = Kvothe's family are descendents of Chandrian
She's been Dreaming / Then comes Dreaming = Kvothe can't die becasue he is Chandrian

I want to say that Arliden himself is Lanre/Haliax and Laurien is Lyra, but I think they show up in the same scene separately.

I'm guessing there is another interpretation to the poems; a path that Kvothe must take to destroy the Chandrian for good.

Please someone tear this theory apart.
Bruce Wilson
104. Aesculapius
Ooops... duplicate!
Bruce Wilson
105. Aesculapius
I wouldn't necessarily go as far as the deductions you make but I think it's a fair theory and I'm not aware of any specific evidence to contradict it.

I've mentioned in a few other threads that I've had a sneaking suspiscion all along that the original Lady Lackless was Lyra and that, of the two versions of the poem that we see, one is derived from an original, much older rhyme about Lyra and Lanre but became to be about a generic "Lady Lackless," whereas the other version is likely a more recent, corrupted version -- possibly with the risque humour directed specifically at Netalia Lackless after she eloped.

(Edit: I've just checked; see my post 38 in this thread! See also post 8 about the (apparent) geographical origins of house Leoclos)

Equally, I still have a hunch that the candle "without light" is the same as (or related to) the one with a "black flame" seen with Haliax in Nina's drawing of the depictions Chandrian from the Trebon pot. Whether this is an actual item/historical artifact or simply symbolic of the way his presence draws the light from around him remains to be seen.

As with all things Rothfuss, there's lots of circumstantial evidence that potentially adds up but nothing concrete that can be pinned down. (Please excuse the mixed metaphor...!)

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