Thu
Feb 9 2012 1:00pm

Rothfuss Reread: The Wise Man’s Fear, Part 18: Die Or Go Mad

Welcome to my riduculously detailed reread of Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles. This week’s post covers chapters 94-98 of The Wise Man’s Fear but also contains extensive spoilers for the whole book and the whole of The Name of the Wind — these discussions assume you’ve read all of both books. These posts are full of spoilers, please don’t venture beyond the cut unless you want them. 

Abbreviations: NW = The Name of the Wind. WMF = The Wise Man’s Fear. D3 = Day Three, the forthcoming final volume. K = Kvothe or Kote when I can’t figure out what to call him and I’m feeling Kafkaesque. MT: Myr Tariniel. D = Denna, 4C = Four Corners, CTH — that thing I can’t spell!

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

I’m all excited. Well then!

Chapter 94 is “Over Rock and Root”

Rock and root in the woods, but it’s mostly a marsh we hear about.

The first words of this chapter are “We decided to trust the map,” which just in themselves thrill me with horror. Never trust the map! You’ll only get into trouble! (Which reminds me, when I was in Seattle signing books and failing to get on with this re-read, I discovered Unique Media Maps, which are maps of real places done like maps in fantasy books, with jagged snowcapped mountains and pictures of cool places. I found them absolutely irresistable.) So Kvothe and his party head cross-country to the road and Crosson or the Pennysworth.

Hespe’s wounded, so they go slowly, and Tempi begins to teach Kvothe the ketan — he hadn’t been teaching him before. Kvothe also starts to teach Tempi the lute, starting with notes and chords. They think it will only take them two days to Crosson, but there’s a swamp. They travel on by the light of the full moon. Dedan and Hespe are civil to each other. They find a clean stream and get clean and change into dry clothes, including Kvothe’s cloak. (This is the tinker’s cloak. I’ve lost count of how many cloaks he has at different times.) Then they hear singing.

They follow the sound of singing thinking it means shelter, but it is Felurian.

We’ve been set up quite well for Felurian — from the initial boast to mentions going on and then recently the story that has to be explained to Tempi about how she kills men with too much sex. It’s not easy setting things up so that they will have the impact to us they would to somebody in the world, but Rothfuss does very well at it. I don’t think many readers will be saying “huh?” as they hit the last word of this chapter.

 

Chapter 95 is “Chased

Who is chased? And is it also intended as a pun on “chaste”?

They stand looking at her, naked in the moonlight, and then we get an entire song in Fae, which resembles Tolkien’s Quenya and therefore Finnish. Department of Imaginary Linguistics got anything? Because I am absolutely sure what it means. It’s a song calling men to her, it’s saying she’s there alone and longing for company, and I’m absolutely sure “dirella. amauen.” means “alone. solitary.” I also suspect “delian” of meaning “moonlight.”

Kvothe notes that it’s the tune from Dedan’s story, and also that she’s singing too quietly for him to hear her across the clearing (let alone all the way through the woods) yet he can hear her. It also reminds him of something — which he later realises is Elodin when Elodin’s voice fills the air.

I think it’s worth noticing that despite the lewd stories, he feels pulled by the heart, not the penis. Kvothe looks at the others, Marten is saying “No,” Tempi looks surprised and Dedan’s face is drawn, while Hespe is looking between Dedan and Felurian. Then she sings again and he feels the pull but he resists, as the others are resisting. He decides to go to her by act of conscious will, because it’s magic and he wants the magic, because he’s a member of the Arcanum and an Edema.

This may be rationalisation, but it’s significant that this is the way he rationalises. He claims not to have been overcome or intoxicated, he at least says he could have resisted but he chose not to. He says he’ll meet them in the Pennysworth in three days time. Hespe wrestles Dedan to the ground and won’t let him go. Tempi is backing away — the Lethani may be protection enough. Marten tries to call Kvothe back. Felurian sees him, knows she has him, and dashes off, inviting pursuit.

Interestingly, as soon as we get into the chase Kvothe switches to present tense. He almost never does this, though of course people who are really doing oral storytelling do it all the time. But we have a transition through sentence fragments into present, so that the sex scene, when we get to it, is entirely in present — and the chapter ends on him breaking like a lute string, a very Kvothe metaphor. It’s a very poetic sex scene.

 

Chapter 96 is “The Fire Itself

“Asleep she was a painting of a fire. Awake she was the fire itself.” Which relates to the name of fire, too, I think, and representations generally.

Back into normal narrative past tense as Kvothe wakes on silken pillows with Felurian still asleep beside him. He looks at her sleep and obsesses over how gorgeous she is. “I have seen her equal only once.”

I find the details of how gorgeous she is entirely plausible for a teenage boy talking about what’s essentially a sex-fairy. Also, “something in his mind” is trying to warn him, and it’s probably saying just what I would say which is “Get out of there now, dummy!”

Eventually — actually only just over a page — he realises he’s going to go mad or die. He tries to go into Heart of Stone but he keeps obsessing about her. He’s sane, though, or as sane as normal, and while he’s worn out he’s not dead either. He decides to escape while the going is good — and then she wakes up.

He continues to be awed by her, even in Heart of Stone part of him starts composing a song to her. There’s no white to her eyes. She asks why he’s so quiet, and addresses him as “flame lover,” which is interesting, as “flame” is one of the meanings of the name he doesn’t have yet — but no doubt just his hair. He replies in poetry. And he realises here that her voice reminds him of Elodin.

She made men mad with desire the same way I gave off body heat. It was natural for her but she could control it.

She sees his lute and wants music. He realises she’s lonely, and everyone she lures goes mad. He plays her a song about ordinary people, because she is out of legend. And he keeps playing and the charm slackens off.

Digression on the word charm here: a long time ago I was using the thesaurus in Protext to find words for “spell” in the magic sense, because I think that word is overused in fantasy. And I realised how very much English has magic tangled up with sex. Charm, glamour, fantasy, enchanting, bewitched — they aren’t even metaphors any more, they have two meanings. Felurian is like a personification of this entanglement.

Kvothe plays for hours, and at the end he feels like himself — he can look at her:

with no more reaction than you might normally feel, looking at the most beautiful woman in the world.

Isn’t that a lovely line! And he says he must be going, and she exerts her power and he realises it’s leaving that drives men mad and she has pride and can’t let anyone leave.

 

Chapter 97 is “The Lay of Felurian

She controls his body but he holds on to part of his mind. He says:

My mind is my own, no matter what becomes of this body or the world around.

But we know this wasn’t the case in Tarbean, or now as Kote either! Does he still believe this? (We have no interruptions in this part of the story, which is worth noting. Bast and Chronicler are silent and forgotten, and we’re really close in, close enough it’s possible to lose sight of the frame from here.)

Then she gets control of his mind, and he’s back in Tarbean being raped, or almost raped, and he reaches inside himself and finds a part of his mind — and finds himself.

I read this before as metaphorical, but that was before I had Susan’s interpretation of Tarbean. He reaches inside his splintered self, he is thrust back to Tarbean and finds himself whole, and able to name. He finds and wakes his sleeping mind. (“The soft blanket of his sleep?”)

He looks at Felurian and understands her. I think this may be useful when thinking about Bast, now and later:

She was of the Fae. In her mind there was no worry over right and wrong. She was a creature of desire, much like a child. A child does not concern itself with consequence, neither does a sudden storm. Felurian resembled both, and neither. She was old and innocent and powerful and proud.

And again he thinks of Elodin, wondering if this was how he saw the world, truly seeing, truly awake. And he looks at Felurian’s eyes and understands her as if she were music, and he sings the song of her, which must be her name, in four notes. She tries to bewitch him again, and he sings the song again and shakes and shatters her power, frightening her. Then he calls the name of the wind and catches her up in a bubble of wind, above the ground in fear and disbelief. He realises he could kill her, but compares it to ripping the wings off a butterfly, or breaking Illien’s lute, and the world is a better place with her in it. (Worlds?) He lets her down on the cushions. He sees himself in her eyes, with his power like a white star on his brow. Then he starts to lose his sleeping mind, and his heart clenches with a loss like losing his parents.

Then he plays one of the songs he made up after his parents died, a grief song, which as we have discussed may itself be a way of naming.

She asks his name, and he hesitates and then tells her. She asks for a sweet song, and he plays her a bad song about her, and then another. This is where he does his best trick, and offers to write a song about her — and sings the one that has been singing itself in the back of his head since he woke up. I laughed aloud at the “suffice/nice” bit. He’s holding it for ransom, the unfinished song, her legend, in exactly the same way Chronicler did to him way back at the start of NW to get him to tell his story.

She agrees she will let him go to finish the song and release it, and then he promises to return. Has he done this? Is he intending to?

 

Chapter 98 is “Playing Ivy

So there are a pile of conventional ways of writing about sex, and it seems worth noting that Rothfuss uses two really different ones here with Felurian. First we have the wild poetic present tense, and then we have the coy euphemistic technical method here, with “playing ivy” and the other coquette techniques Kvothe learns.

The chapter begins with a philosophical digression into the nature of time — dragging in jail, fast with a pretty girl. Then the Fae, where it seems time works both ways:

Legend is full of boys who fall asleep in faerie circles only to wake as old men. Other stories tell of girls who wander into woods and return years later, looking no older and claiming only minutes have passed.

We can have no knowledge, therefore, of how old Kvothe is (under thirty to the eye) in the frame compared to the main story where he is 17 or maybe 18 now... if he has gone back into Fae at any time. Imagine going in for two days and coming out to find the consequences of your mistake spiralled entirely out of control.

Meanwhile, he considers that he has no idea how long it has been, and time is completely out of his control. He stays and leans lovers’ arts, with a “curriculum.” He lists the names of the subtle techniques she teaches him, which are reminiscent of Asian pillow book names.

In the rest of their time he tries to learn the Fae language and fails, despite having learned so many human languages so successfully. They tell stories, he knows more than she does. She knows who Ilien was, but not the other heroes, not even Taborlin. He asks her about the Amyr, and she says “there never were any human amyr.” (Felurian’s lack of capital letters makes me dislike her, like those annoying people one runs into online who refuse to capitalise.) He says the stories she knew about the Amyr were thousands of years old, but he doesn’t tell us them, even though they might give us priceless information! He may not care about the aftermath of the Creation War, but we do!

Then he asks about the Chandrian, and she refuses to talk about them. She says if he asks again she will drive him out, and she swears by a pile of stuff including “the ever-moving moon.”

She does tell him complicated stories about the Faen, but he often doesn’t understand the details and she doesn’t like being asked. The fragments he gives us don’t connect up to anything I recognise. He says Fae and men are more different than dogs and wolves, more like water and alcohol, you might not see the difference in a glass, but fundamentally different.

Again, no interruption from Bast, and we’d do well to consider how this applies to his behaviour when we get to the end of the frame later in this volume.

And we’ll pick up again with 99 next week.

 

Promotions

The Department of Imaginary Sympathy promotes BJHomer, AnthonyPero, David C, Dwndrgn, Robocarp, Lackless, Silkki, Ryan7273 and The Bloody Nine to E’lir, and Wetlandernw and Aesculapius to Re’lar.

And thanks to everyone being patient and insightful through the weeks of summaries, even those of you who weren’t quite as patient as you might have wanted to be. It was a good tour, and it was great to meet Shalter and GBrell in Minneapolis and San Francisco, and I’m glad to be home and intend to get on with these WMF posts steadily, which will take, I calculate, about another 10 weeks. And then we can all go insane waiting for DT.

 


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.

76 comments
Sapph
1. Sapph
I think the lack of capitalization from her is a reflection of her. She is eternal - why would you give something the notice of a capital letter that will exist for a blink of an eye and then gone?

The nature of time in Fae may relate to the will of the one who brought you, or the nature of your entrance and exit. If you think of the gates as wormholes to another world, they may be relatively fixed in spacetime, but going through another gate may land you in a different place. I wonder if there are accounts of people claiming to be from the future, having arrived in the past after a time in Fae.
George Brell
2. gbrell
Kvothe notes that it’s the tune from Dedan’s story, and also that she’s singing too quietly for him to hear her across the clearing (let alone all the way through the woods) yet he can hear her.

This is also the ability the Cthaeh appears to have when it's voice follows Kvothe as he flees the tree.

He claims not to have been overcome or intoxicated, he at least says he could have resisted but he chose not to.

I think this is probably one of those boastings he talks about when Bast interrupts following the Cthaeh interlude. I'm not saying he couldn't have resisted (Tempi resisted the same "level" of temptation, for example), but that post hoc rationalization is what it is.

“I have seen her equal only once.”

Presumably Denna. "To Kvothe she was most beautiful."

He’s sane, though, or as sane as normal, and while he’s worn out he’s not dead either.

I think his doublecheck as to whether he was already insane or had always been insane is one of the more humorous passages in the book.

He’s holding it for ransom, the unfinished song, her legend, in exactly the same way Chronicler did to him way back at the start of NW to get him to tell his story.

She agrees she will let him go to finish the song and release it, and then he promises to return. Has he done this? Is he intending to?

One of the odd things about this interlude is that the song he sings in the Pennyworth ("The Song Half-Sung," a great title) is the story of his adventure, not a song of Felurian per se. I read them as different songs, which means that outside of his intentionally-stunted performance here, we've never seen Kvothe's Felurian song.
Katy Maziarz
3. ArtfulMagpie
"Tempi is backing away — the Lethani may be protection enough."

I was wondering about this...with what we later find out about the Adem attitudes toward sex, I wonder if it's more a cultural difference that protected Tempi from the call. Sex, for the Adem, seems to be no more forbidden or illicit than any other fun activity two (or more) people could share...playing a game of cards, maybe. I wonder if it is the "forbidden fruit" aspect of what Felurian has on offer that is so enticing to the other men...they've been culturally conditioned to desire what they're not supposed to have....

She made men mad with desire the same way I gave off body heat. It was natural for her but she could control it.

It's lines like this that make me think that Fae magic and human knacks are related--perhaps if a human with a knack knew how, he/she could control it, too--like the Chandrian can hide their signs sometimes?

Felurian’s lack of capital letters makes me dislike her, like those
annoying people one runs into online who refuse to capitalise.

Ha! I thought I was the only one annoyed by the lack of capital letters...!

And he looks at Felurian’s eyes and understands her as if she were music, and he sings the song of her, which must be her name, in four notes.

It's interesting to me that a being as ancient, powerful, and complex as Felurian could be reduced to four notes. In Skarpi's story, "Selitos spoke the long name that lay in Lanre's heart...." (Emphasis mine.) Long name. Spoke. I wonder if Naming by music is somehow easier or truer or more powerful than Naming by words? Like the saying that a picture's worth a thousand words? Perhaps when you speak a Name, it is harder to get the entire entity or thing into a small space than it is when using music? Music, which goes straight to the emotional core of the listener, vs words, which must be understood on a more intellectual level? The Name of Wind as Elodin spoke it was Aerlevsedi. Only one word, yes, but a multi-syllable one. Perhaps singing the Name of the Wind would be a single note. Hmm...
Steven Halter
4. stevenhalter
One thing that struck me on the song Felurian and Dedan sing is that other than capitalization and the word delan in
Dedan's version and delian in Felurian's, the versions are the same. This seems quite interesting in Dedan's case as it is an oral story story she is telling in which she recites a song in a language he doesn't know. This seems almost a bit of magic in and of itself.
Finnish isn't a bad guess. At the very least it must be a language quite unlike the human ones that Kvothe picks up fairly quickly. Probably with words that change meanings based on their usage and the mood of the speaker. We've see Tu before and it seems to be a form of you. I don't have many guesses for meanings right now, but I think Jo is on the right track. It is almost certainly a song about Felurian and her aloneness and how a man should come along with her.
Pamela Adams
5. Pam Adams
He realises he could kill her, but compares it to ripping the wings off a butterfly,

Which is interesting, since that's what the Cthaeh brags about doing. Maybe they weren't just butterflies.....
Steven Halter
6. stevenhalter
Felurian's lack of capitals seemed like she was trying to whisper to Kvothe in a way. The full force of her pronunciation might harm him.
I also liked it more as she gets more poetical in the next chapters.
Sapph
7. ofostlic
Felurian’s lack of capital letters makes me dislike her, like those annoying people one runs into online who refuse to capitalise.

But what does the lack of capitals mean? This isn't Usenet, and it's not Archy & Mehitabel, where it was all about the shift key. This is direct quotation of spoken language, and English doesn't distinguish capitalisation and doesn't distinguish proper nouns from common nouns in speech (and I don't know any language that does, though other commenters may well do). You might leave out capitalisation when writing down stream-of-consciousness text, but that's internal, not spoken.

It could conceivably mean something about the way she thinks -- that all names are just arbitrary groupings with no distinction between common and proper nouns -- but she seems to be pretty essentialist, at least about human vs Fae, and Bast doesn't have any trouble with his shift key.
Sapph
8. opsomath
"The Lay of Felurian"

I see what you did there, Pat.

One comment on Kvothe's mastering of Felurian with naming: it appears that they name each other. She speaks a one-syllable word, and he speaks four. His power somehow wins out, though.

Also, I loved the description "like a white star on his brow." Shades of the Silmarillion, Smith of Wooton Major, or even Earthsea.
Sapph
9. Sapph
It's interesting to me that a being as ancient, powerful, and complex as Felurian could be reduced to four notes. In Skarpi's story, "Selitos spoke the long name that lay in Lanre's heart...." (Emphasis mine.) Long name. Spoke. I wonder if Naming by music is somehow easier or truer or more powerful than Naming by words? Like the saying that a picture's worth a thousand words?
I suspect it is merely informational density. Take a word, like Fire, for example. We know that when a person Names Fire, they are not saying that word, but it sounds like that word if you don't know the name. The true name of Fire is obviously more complex than a single syllable, but doesn't take significantly longer to say. Thus, an increased information density.

Say for the sake of argument that a word like fire has an informational density of 1: it describes a single thing, but not in very complex terms. The informational density of the true name of Fire must be SIGNIFICANTLY higher - it embodies all that fire is. Maybe 20, or even 100. Let's say 20, conservatively.

A piano has 88 notes, so if you take the true name of Fire, and combine it with one of the notes on a piano, there are 88 different ways you could do it. Plus volume. Plus effects like vibrato. Plus things like timbre. You could increase the informational density of a word to something like 1000 by singing it. So while Selitos might have to speak 200 syllables to Name Haliax, a Singer (if that's what Singers are) could do it in 4. Perhaps that's the power of Singers: Haliax could put an arrow through the throat of anyone that tried to Name him, but someone could Sing him before he realized it was happening.
Steven Halter
10. stevenhalter
The line:
My power rode like a white star on my brow.
is a cool image and does invoke many other fantasy images. In turn, they all rest upon the third eye chakra which relates throughout mythology to things like perception, intuition, imagination and magic.
Erich Wade
11. erichtwade
Strangely, I seem to have a different version of the book than you. I have it on my Nook (I preordered it and started reading it at 2 AM when it came out).

In my version, chapter 94-96 are as you describe above. My chapters 97 and 98, however, are "Blood and Bitter Rue" and "The Lay of Felurian," which appear to have the same content as your listed chapter 97. I have no chapter entitled "Playing Ivy," but chapter 99, "Magic of a Different Kind," seems to be that chapter by a different name.

In other words, the book's content appears to be the same, but subdivided differently here. Still, this makes me worry if there are other, subtler differences, and I also wonder what's going on. Was there an incorrect Nook version released at some point? Are you working from an ARC?
Rob Munnelly
12. RobMRobM
I just realized something - while he is generally great with languages, K can't figure out Faen and, later on, can't figure out Yllish. Isn't this a big cluebat that Yllish and the language of Fae are somehow related? Hmmm.

Rob
Rob Munnelly
13. RobMRobM
EDIT - DOUBLE POST. .

Rob
George Brell
14. gbrell
Curse of the double-post.
George Brell
15. gbrell
@4.shalter:

I think you mean Dedan, not Hespe. Dedan actually comments: "More than anything, that song gives the boy’s story the ring of truth. I can’t put a bit of sense to those words, but they stuck right in my head even though he only sang it once."

@8.opsomath/@10.shalter:

It's also the description that Skarpi gave of the Angels/Singers:

"Then the fire settled on their foreheads like silver stars and they became at once righteous and wise and terrible to behold."

@11.erichtwade:

My electronic copy (*.pdf, origin unknown) is the same as yours. So is the version on Google Books. I'll have to check my hard cover when I get home.
Ryan Reich
16. ryanreich
@11: My Kindle version (bought within a week of the book's release) also has "Blood and Bitter Rue". I wouldn't say it's subdivided differently; it just looks like these two chapters got renamed.

My take on Felurian's lowercasing is that it reflects her "innocence", her childlike qualities (it is disturbing to consider a sex fairy as being simultaneously like a child too young to spell). For me it also evokes a certain quality of voice, like gentle bells chiming, or subtly dissonant harmony that obscures and distracts from the individual phrases. Sort of like something Debussy might have composed (I think).

Jo, your take on Kvothe's finding his sleeping mind in memories of Tarbean reminds me of the main character in Ursula Le Guin's City of Illusions. Perhaps I should spoiler this? He starts the book having his identity stripped and spends several years learning a new personality. When his original mind is restored he ends up with two minds, a useful capability when it becomes necessary to blindside the bad guy holding him under psychic control.

Anyway, it does give an odd dimension to Haliax's order. In line with the speculation that the Chandrian are not the real antagonists, what if he really did mean to make Kvothe a namer by strengthening his sleeping mind? Or possibly, they are the antagonists, but Haliax meant to do this anyway, because it is part of his "long con" to die/destroy the world, and he knows for some reason that Kvothe in particular is the person he needs. Presumably because of his unusual heritage.
Jo Walton
17. bluejo
Yes, I am still working from the ARC I got for review.

I'll buy the paperback the second it comes out. Match 6th! Less than a month.

I'll compare these chapters for any changes then.
Steven Halter
18. stevenhalter
gbrell@15:Yep, oops, thanks, fixed -- I've got a cold.
Rob Munnelly
19. RobMRobM
Re the singers, note in the Broken Tree scene we covered a few weeks ago, Maarten kept chanting Tehlu prayers and Cinder kept looking around in a highly disturbed manner. This may be evidence that the 7 are not afraid of the "Singers" as powerful Angelic beings but are also harmed by ordinary folk with a certain level of singing ability. If true, that may be key to K's ultimate success against them, as he can sing the lights out (as can D for that matter).

Rob
Ryan Reich
20. ryanreich
@19: It seemed to me, though, in that scene, that Cinder was looking at the sky in the same way that the Chandrian did when Kvothe met them. There was no singing (or speaking) at that event; my theory about both occasions is that Tehlu and the angels were actually coming down to smite them, and in Marten's case, were alerted by his extremely repetitive litany of names. Remember, according to Bast: "some things know where their names are spoken". Makes me wonder how sympathetic these angels really are.
Sapph
21. E'lir Silkki
Finnish. Department of Imaginary Linguistics got anything?
As far as the vocabulary goes, I think you will have more luck with languages based on Latin

The song on the other hand reminds me of Kalevala. (Old finnish songs and stories passed down generations from mouth-to-ear.) I think it's a nicely done by PR that the tune is identical to Dedans story. I wouldn't be surprised if the tune predated CW. Goes to show that even after hundred generations tunes and songs that go along with them persist.

Kalevala wise men sing songs of power in order to manage magical feats. Perhaps singers in KKC are influenced by Kalevala. It might be worth looking into it.
Sapph
22. Stefan Jones
This section of the book, and to some extent the time spent in Ademe (sp?), I think of as Kvothe's Side Trip to China.

Ibn Buttata (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibn_battuta) was a far-traveling Moraccan who toured the Islamic world, circa 1100. His "Rihla" is an exhaustive account of his travels. (A more accessible version, The Adventures of Ibn Buttata, is highly recommended.)

Scholars suggest that some of Buttata's adventures are edifying fiction, or second hand accounts he added to his narrative. I mean, if you're going as far as Indonesia, your travelogue may as well include a trip to China, right? Who back home in Tangiers is going to check?

Getting back to Kvothe: I felt, reading the Felurian section, that maybe he was making it up. Part of this could be my long-standing "Huh? I don't get it. What am I missing?" feeling toward Fae-stuff.

For me, it fails to convince and charm. This may be due to cluelessness as much as taste . . . from the discussions here, I've missed a lot of clues and subtleties.
Sapph
23. Spirit Theif
I love how Felurian speaks in lowercase. I just think it makes her voice so unique, soft and gentle yet powerful. It's a very unintrusive and small voice, and somehow you find yourself listening to it anyways.

Anyways, the Fae. Creatures of desire. As different from mortals as oil is from water. We have an interesting line from Bast in NotW "You do not know the first note of music that moves me." Considering Kvothe did find the notes that moved Felurian, this seems significant.

What's the relationship between Singers, Fae, Adem, and Edema Ruh? Kvothe, a Ruh, sang the name of Felurian. (@9 Sapph has a great theory on this) The Singers are powerful enough to worry the Chandrian. The Adem, on the other hand, abstain from music and emotion. These are too intimate, too powerful for others. So would Singing be more powerful than Naming?

And this may just be coincidence, but Imre and the University are old rivals. Students of Naming scoff at the muscians, while those at the Eolian laugh at those across the river. I haven't found any more evidence to support Naming versus Shaping.
Justin Levitt
24. TyranAmiros
I always thought the Fae language is somehow related to Yllish, and there's some connection there. I'd look toward the Celtic languages first for grammar or linguistics. I think "Ruh", as in "Edema Ruh" must be related to "ruhlan" in Felurian's song--if "Ruh" means "Singer", "ruhlan" could be something like "song."

I find it interesting that Felurian does capitalize two words: "I" and "Felurian"
Sapph
25. realm
@19: There is a passage after he hers the Adems story of the seven where he says something like "its good that there name sare written down somewhere"; I´ve always taken that as a hint that he didn´t get the chandrain, theire names still being important because they are still around.

Also, this seems like the right place for this question: I remember some people discussing the significance of the nickname "dulator" he is called by his first lover before; because if it is a fae word (probably fire lover, I totally had totally forgotten about that one) and fae is so difficult to learn, we can check the name off the "list of things still going to happen" too.
Nisheeth Pandey
26. Nisheeth
“Asleep she was a painting of a fire. Awake she was the fire itself.”
I this line matches the discription of Names, given by Elodin (Name of the Wind, pg 617):
"But a word is nothing but a painting of a fire. A name is the fire itself."
Rob Munnelly
27. RobMRobM
@25 I had the Dulator question in mind too. Did F call him it? If not her, then who is his first real lover in this mind?
Jo Walton
28. bluejo
Tyran Amiros: It's not like Welsh in terms of word patterning and structure.

But it's not like the Kalevala either, the Kalevala is all written in Hiawatha-metre.

It's not like Latin poetry -- in fact as poetry it most reminds me of translations of Chinese poetry. But it is sort of like Latin in terms of word endings. Lots of "an" and "al" and "en" and "a" and "i".

We have "tu" repeated, which is of course "you" in French. We have "di" repeated, which is similar to "of" in Romance languages. We also have the word "vor" which may be part of "vorfelan" which -- no, hang on.

If it's possible to read the inscription as "the desire for learning shapes a man" then "vor" might be a part of a word meaning "desire", or "want" which would fit here.
Sapph
29. dwndrgn
OH my. I didn't even know I could afford the admission and I'm E'lir!
Rob Munnelly
30. RobMRobM
@29 - Congrats. You're in as long as you can pay me the one talent stacks fee.
Steven Halter
31. stevenhalter
Jo@28: There is a very interesting similarity between:
Vorfelan -&- vor ruhlan
So I would definitely go along with the vor being the desire root.
Justin Levitt
32. TyranAmiros
shalter@31: it's probably similar to the Indo-European word formation process of prefixes, where prepositions or modals over time become prefixes (i.e. the "ex" in "expect", "exit", and "exact" from "ex"+base verb, or "be" in "become", "beware", and "behave" from "be"+verb). Given that, I bet those words ending in "-an" are verbs. Not "-en"--the evidence their points to "-en" being a marker of "person who" like English "-tor" or "-er".

Of course, this analysis means that "Vorfelan" and "vor ruhlan" should be analyzed as "Vor+root+verbal suffix", and "fel" would mean desire. Not surprisingly, "Felurian" would be based on the root "fel/desire" as well.

Jo@28: I was thinking Irish more than Welsh. Part of this is the use of elvish fantasy tropes in the Fae, especially their names and similar to but not quite human politics and morality.
Sapph
33. dwndrgn
@30 - do you have a candle I can borrow?
Rob Munnelly
34. RobMRobM
@33 - Since you seem a nice chap, I'll even give you two in case the first one burns out.
- -
35. The_Bloody_Nine
Brilliant, I made E'Lir. This effectively increases the amount of disappointment I cause at universities by a hundred per cent.

(Cheers, Jo!)

----------
Rereading the passage where Kvothe leaves Felurian, I wonder if his going back to her could be related to the state of him in the frame. As far as we can tell, he's the only person ever to be allowed to leave her with his mind intact. The text seems to imply that is the case only because she willfully stops exerting her inate power of attraction. (Or reduces it, at any rate.) What if Kvothe returned to her later on - possibly to avoid dealing with a catastrophic loss such as Denna's death - and, now having composed the proper song, couldn't persuade Felurian to let him leave a second time. Kvothe tries to leave, there's a Naming battle and this time he's not able to call on his sleeping mind. He manages to escape the Fae, but not before his mind is broken in what appears to be a significant way.

Or maybe there's not a struggle as such, but Felurian simply renames Kvothe in such a manner as he is only ever truly himself when he's with her in the Fae. He's free to leave at any time, but will lose all he holds most dear while he's away: his magic and his music. This would be one way for her to keep him as a companion. He wouldn't have to feel gaoled in a gilded cage, but would still feel compelled to return every time he spent a substantial period of time in the FC. It would also leave room for him to return to his former self: an adequate explanation, to Felurian, of the dangers posed to the FC and the Fae could well cause her to undo her renaming of Kvothe.

(I feel I should now apologise to the dark, for stabbing it so wildly. It's great craic making up this silliness though.)
Alice Arneson
36. Wetlandernw
Re’lar?? Sah-weet!!! I am deeply honored. Also, Jo, disappointed to have had to miss your Seattle signing. It would have been great fun to meet you.

Speaking of sweet, I noticed something for the first time just this afternoon. When Felurian notices Kvothe’s lyre, she rather lights up, and says something like “is my poet a sweet poet?” From her, “sweet poet” seems to mean a singer. Not sure that’s significant, but… there it is.

On the chapter differences already noted by some between the marketed book and Jo’s ARC, there are actually several. In the ARC you have
Ch. 97: The Lay of Felurian
Ch. 98: Playing Ivy

In the ebook, you have
Ch. 97: Blood and Bitter Rue
Ch. 98: The Lay of Felurian
Ch. 99: Magic of a Different Kind

What Jo has as one chapter (97) is split into two chapters (97 & 98) in the ebook (and, I assume, the hardcover), with the chapters breaking between the loss of the sleeping mind and his reflexive reaching to his lute for consolation. The chapter Jo has titled “Playing Ivy” (one of the various forms of play Felurian teaches him) is retitled “Magic of a Different Kind”; it loses the bit about time (or maybe it’s moved to a different chapter) and instead focuses on how her magic is simply a part of her, rather than something she necessarily has to do. (As noted above, though, she can certainly control it, increasing or decreasing its effect as needed.) It contains much of the same stuff, though, with the story-telling and the training, and it ends the same, with the conclusion that human and Fae are different like alcohol and water.

About Felurian’s lack of capitals – maybe there’s just no autocorrect in Fae. :p Seriously, though, Kvothe describes her speech as being incredibly smooth – "Her voice was odd to my ear. It had no rough edges to it at all. It was all quiet smoothness, like a piece of perfectly polished glass." I get the impression that the omission of capitals is intended to be an artifact of the smoothness of her speech – the only way PR can somehow get it across with letters on a page. (That said, it annoys me too. I hate it when people don’t bother to capitalize, even in texting!)

ArtfulMagpie @3 – I like the point about Fae magic and knacks possibly being related, and the follow-on ideas that a) knacks might be controllable, to a person with the right training/discipline and b) this may be similar to what the Chandrian do. Cool! I also like the question as to whether singing a Name may be more powerful (or at least quicker!) than speaking it. This bears research, I think, if there’s anything to be found.

RobM @12 – I like the idea that the Yllish and Fae languages are related. I’m not sure it quite qualifies as a cluebat, because it might not be quite that obvious, but… I like it.

The_Bloody_Nine @35 – Actually, it’s a really interesting idea, and not one I’d seen (or thought of) before. Felurian is about the only character I can imagine actually re-naming Kvothe (or stealing his name, if you want to think of it that way) and getting away with it. In that case, what’s locked in the chest might be related to Felurian, his music, his Alar, or some combination of these. And it’s really an intriguing notion, that he could be like the moon – part of him stolen or locked away in Fae, so that he either has to go back and forth like the moon, or is only complete while he’s there. Or even, he has access to different aspects of himself in each place, or at certain times (like the moon). Could she have tied his Name to the moon somehow, so that with the waxing moon he gets “more himself” and with the waning moon he gets less? I don’t think we’ve seen enough of the frame story to tell, but it’s a possibility, however remote.
- -
37. The_Bloody_Nine
@36 Wetlandernw

Cheers. I agree Felurian would be the only person we've met so far who would actually re-name Kvothe. Elodin, I feel, would definitely be capable of such a thing*, but I simply can't see him do it, no matter how dire the situation. Felurian, on the other hand, is a creature of utter whim, and as such will do whatever's needed for her to get her way, without necessarily even meaning any harm by it. Haliax/Lanre would, of course, be the other possibility, but that just doesn't feel like something PR would write.

* Considering Elodin was the youngest student ever to be admitted at University (at the age of 14), a full-fledged arcanist by 18 and Master Namer and Headmaster soon afterwards, I maintain there's a fair chance he approximates or even surpasses Kvothe in power. Through age and experience if nothing else.

The parallel you've drawn with the moon cycles is quite brilliant, and supports the assumption that, if Kvothe was re-named by someone other than himself, that person would likely be Felurian. Mirroring Kvothe's fate with that of the moon would simply be too beautiful an opportunity to let slip by, and the Faen connection would be vital to that. I sadly don't have the time to check, but isn't the moon said to be bright enough to at least illuminate Bast outside the Chronicler's window in WMF? If so, the relative fullness of the moon could be the reason why he attempted to set the skinchanger alight with sympathy, and was able to, to some extent, draw on his knowledge of the Ketan during the rogue soldier kerfuffle. Moreover, it could well explain why he appears to be much more potent playing fisticuffs with the scrael. Outside, in full view of the moon, there wouldn't be any "interference" on his link to the missing pieces of his self. Maybe that's what he refers to later on, when he says “I picked the time and place for the scrael rather carefully, Bast,”

There might be something in this.
Sapph
38. mr. awesome
@2 "One of the odd things about this interlude is that the song he sings in the Pennyworth ("The Song Half-Sung," a great title) is the story of his adventure, not a song of Felurian per se. I read them as different songs, which means that outside of his intentionally-stunted performance here, we've never seen Kvothe's Felurian song."

I don't understand why that song would have that title unless there was a different half to the song. Does this imply that Kvothe returned to Felurian at some time before becoming Kote?

@37 “I picked the time and place for the scrael rather carefully, Bast,”

Wow. Good job finding that quote. Seems very significant.

I don't think there's any real evidence for the moon theory yet, but I think that does support the Inn=Silence theory. Except that he mentions the time....? Not enough data. :(

So it probably won't help us in developing our theory, but when we look back after D3 it'll seem like it was hinting and that we should have known. It's very interesting regardless. I wish I'd noticed it the first time.
David C
39. David_C
... Speaking of annoying capitals or lack thereof, is there any textual evidence for capitalizing singers the same as Amyr?

People keep writing "Singer", but I'm sure that Haliax speaks of "singers".
Alice Arneson
40. Wetlandernw
@37 and 38 - I just got to thinking about it... there's no way, unless D3's frame story goes way beyond day 3, that we could possibly have any frame evidence of K's power being tied to the moon's phases.

We saw 5 days (starting with the evening of the first) before Day 1 of the storytelling starts. The first evening is when Carter is attacked by the lone scrael; K takes on the other 5 scrael on the 4th evening. The bit with Kote shattering the wine bottle happens on the 5th evening, and he starts telling his story on the following day.

The bit with the "not quite a skin dancer" mercenary, when K completely failed in his attempt at sympathy (inside the inn) was on the evening of Day One, about 24 hours after shattering the wine bottle (also inside the inn) and less than 48 hours after successfully battling five scrael (outside).

And of course the two soldiers come on the evening of Day 2, where K does some perfect Adem fighting, and then suddenly, mid-motion, seems unable to continue, and proceeds to get the snot beat out of him.

In all of that, there's maybe one mention of the moon? Not much to work with, and not much time. I'm thinking my theory doesn't stand up so well, or at least is unprovable.

On the other hand, having just spent the better part of the past 7 hours or so mostly going through the frame chapters, I now have the distinct impression that K is acting a part. Certainly Bast thinks he is; or rather, he thinks that K started all this innkeeper thing as an act, which he used to drop when everyone left but which he's been playing at so hard that he believes it of himself now. After the soldiers are gone, K comments that he "Forgot who I was there for a minute." In context, I read it as "For a minute, I forgot I was just Kote the innkeeper, not Kvothe the Adem-trained fighter."

In fact, reading through just the frame, I'm no longer as convinced as I was about any of the theories regarding his Name, Alar, or whatever else being changed, or locked in the chest, or in any other way impaired. The only thing that doesn't entirely fit is his seeming inability to open the chest at the end of Day 2, where he uses the iron key on the copper lock one way, the copper key on the iron lock in a different way, and then somehow can't (?) open the third lock. My current surmise is that he's too ambivalent to actually do it. In other words, part of him really wants to go back to being Kvothe, and that part is perfectly capable of opening the third lock; the other part of him knows that it's necessary to stay in character as Kote, with no music and no magic and no Adem training, and he allows the Kote part to win. (I'm not talking about a truly split personality or split Alar - just the conventional way we talk about ourselves. "Part of me wants this, part of me wants that.")

Why? That I really don't know. Maybe it's part of the game/trap, maybe it's simple desire to survive, maybe it's because he feels obligated to live incognito and watch all the disaster he started play out to its full. Or maybe it's something completely different. At the moment, though, I think that the chest contains his lute, his Adem sword (unless he lied to Chronicler about that), and whatever other possesions he has relating to his life as Kvothe. He knows perfectly well that he could open the chest, reclaim his stuff, and be Kvothe again, but for some reason yet unknown to us, he chooses not to.

David_C @39 - The only place I can find is in WMF chapter 35, after Nina has brought him her drawing from the pot.
I thought of what I'd heard Haliax say to Cinder all those years ago: Who keeps you safe from the Amyr, the Singers, the Sithe?
Interestingly enough, in NW neither the original scene nor his recollection of it later have the capital S. Which... proves nothing, really.
Sapph
41. mr. awesome
Obviously not all singers can put the Chandrian in danger or the Chandrian would be running around slaughtering all of the bards. We use the capitalization to distinguish between the singers who aren't a threat and the Singers who are. Even if the capitalization wasn't used in the book it would still be a useful distinction for the purposes of this discussion.
Jo Walton
42. bluejo
Wetlandernw: Reading your 40, I am reminded of a friend who was trying to give up smoking. He smoked one brand of foreign cigarettes. He took a case of them and wrapped it in plastic, then in a ziploc, then sank that in a big tub of water and froze it. Every time he wanted a cigarette, he got it out of the freezer, every time he mastered the desire before it actually melted enough for him to smoke the cigarettes. Well, except the last time when he went for it with a blow torch, but that's not the point. Or maybe it is!

I had thought K couldn't open the chest, but maybe he could and really really doesn't want to, even when he does want to.

On the other hand I do believe in he is magically impeded, because of Tarbean. Without Susan's interpretation of Tarbean it makes no sense that he would stay there and then suddenly leave one day and successfully carry out that bluff. This was the single thing that I disliked most when I originally read NW. I really do think we have good evidence for Kvothe being asleep there until woken by being Named by Skarpi. And I think it's the same in the frame.
Sapph
43. mr. awesome
How will Rothfuss explain all of these things??????????
Alice Arneson
44. Wetlandernw
Jo @42 - I do agree with Susan's interpretation of Tarbean, and it makes a certain amount of sense that we should at least be able to springboard off of that to understand what's going on in the frame. However...

Cumulatively there seem to be too many events in the frame story where Kvothe comes to the fore, and twice it seems like K starts a sequence as Kvothe and, midstride, becomes Kote. Either the thing that impedes him has a delayed effect, or it's a conscious choice to "remember who he is (supposed to be)." Bast's explanation to Chronicler (NW ch 92) seems to me, at the moment anyway, to be a big part of it:
"People saw him as an innkeeper a year ago. He took off the mask when they walked out the door. Now he sees himself as an innkeeper, and a failed innkeeper at that. You saw what he was like when Cob and the rest came in tonight. You saw that thin shadow of a man behind the bar tonight. It used to be an act..."
It strikes me that Bast and K are at cross-purposes, but of course don't talk about it. Bast wants his Reshi back, so he's seeking things to force K to "remember who he is" - that being Kvothe the Arcane. K wants, for some reason we don't entirely know, to fade into anonymity, so any time Kvothe breaks through, he makes himself "remember who he is" - that being Kote the Innkeeper. Whether K's success at his purpose is due to continual practice or to magical impedence is impossible to say right now.

One thing that I find rather haunting this morning is the conversation after Shep's death at the hand of the skin dancer (or whatever it really was). Cob had said that these were bad times for being brave, but "I wish I'd been brave and dead instead, and him home right now, kissing his young wife." Later, alone with Chronicler and Bast, Kvothe says, "Still, I wish I'd been braver and Shep was home kissing his young wife, too." He doesn't say "brave and dead" like Cob did - I think he's referring to his failure to light the alcohol on fire with sympathy: if he'd been brave enough to be Kvothe in front of the whole crowd, he could have killed the skin dancer before Shep even tried.

That sounds like his anonymous-innkeeper gig is his way of hiding from the world and the chaos he feels he caused, rather than playing a "beautiful game" of trying to entrap the Chandrian or something. He's worked hard to turn himself into the innkeeper because, as Kvothe, he did things he'd give anything to undo, but even Kvothe can't change the past. So he's hiding, making himself powerless, hoping that he can thereby prevent himself from doing more damage. Well, make of it what you will; I'm sure it will be wandering around in the back of my head all day, and maybe I'll be able to make better sense out of it later.

Incidentally, I think the cigarettes-in-the-ice analogy is very apt, with a slight twist. K is still trying to keep the ice intact, and Bast keeps coming along with the blowtorch. He straight-out said that he's been sending messages out into the world, trying to bring in the right people/events to shock K out of the mask.
Rob Munnelly
45. RobMRobM
Wet - to me it's crystal clear that K actually changed his name. At end of WMF, K asked Elodin his opinion about a girl who changes his name and he completely freaks out - until K says it is just a given name (and apparently, not a true name). This changes K and prevents him from accessing all of his skills. By himself or did someone else do it to him? Who knows?

One interesting nugget I saw on my reread of WMF was when he was in Ademre, and he got the sword and refused (in his head) to call it by its proper name. The old woman namer cautioned him that changing names was dangerous and not to mess around with the sword's name. K kept doing it anyway (Caesura v. Saicere). Likely a nice piece of foreshadowing that name changes were trouble, as hinted at by Elodin's similar reaction.
Alice Arneson
46. Wetlandernw
RobM @45 - I fully agree that name changes are trouble, and I do expect to see something else come of it in D3. Unfortunately, I now think that it's more likely Kvothe will change someone else's name, with disastrous results; or, possibly, that someone else will do it as a result of Kvothe's actions/words, and he'll have to stand there and watch helplessly as the disaster happens. It might even be that a name change is involved in the king-killing scenario - that and it's consequences would be sufficient disaster for Elodin's freak-out to foreshadow.

Not long ago, I would have agreed with the name change theory, but as I said @44, there are simply too many little episodes where K clearly has full access to his Kvothe-powers for that side of him to be truly locked away. He takes on the scrael, he breaks the wine bottle, he prevents Bast from attacking Chronicler, he takes down the two soldiers (and I know there are more but I can't take the time to search for them right now). How could Kote-the-innkeeper survive against 5 scrael? Bast didn't quite believe even Kvothe the Arcane could do it. How did he break that wine bottle? How did he do two or three seconds of perfect Adem-style fighting before suddenly "failing" in a simple move he learned from a child? I don't think it's actually locked away; I think he's training himself not to access it, and it's really, really, really hard when his friends and neighbors are in danger. He let himself go against the scrael because 1) no one was supposed to see it and 2) when Chronicler showed up it was too late to change his mind. But when the skin dancer thing showed up, he started to do sympathy (threw the alcohol on the thing) and then froze, hoping Bast would take it down because he was unwilling (or possibly unable) to use that level of sympathy in front of witnesses. With the soldiers, I think the problem was that he realized that he wasn't willing to kill them, but he couldn't win the fight and then let them live to tell about it.

All I'm going on is reaction to that kind of scene, but my recent reading tells me that we've made it a little more complicated than it really is. Either that, or the "lock" is a delayed-reaction failsafe, because the evidence is clear that his previous skills aren't completely inaccessible. It's a pity, because I really liked that theory that he had woven the name of Silence into the inn, and it was that Silence that prevented him from doing magic indoors. But there's too much conflicting evidence for it to hold. And changing his Name to make it impossible to be Kvothe - nope, I just don't believe it any more.

YMMV. :)
Rob Munnelly
47. RobMRobM
Wet - interesting thoughts. I'm still reading it as a can't because something has changed in him - as opposed to some form of self-imposed limitation. He seems surprised when he can't access some of his powers as opposed to remembering suddenly that he shouldn't be accessing them.

If not, I'm leaning more towards the something special about in the Inn theory (as he seemed to kick butt with the scrael away from it) but that doesn't seem all that plausible either.

I'm interested in seeing how this gets explained and then fixed in D3. .
Alice Arneson
48. Wetlandernw
FWIW, Rob, I wouldn't in the least mind being proved wrong about a name change being the limiter - as long as it's done plausibly, so that the things K has done in the frame are accounted for. As it stands, I don't know how it's possible, but then I don't have PR's imagination, either!

I think it would be all right (if possibly a tiny bit lame) if there is something about the inn that kicks in and shuts him down when it's triggered. That would almost be believable, and would allow for a sudden move like shattering the wine bottle but could shut down his fighting ability after the first second or so of action. I'm not sure about some of the other little things; I'll have to go back and read some scenes again from a different angle to see if it holds up.

More likely, though, it will have to wait until next time we're in the frame to trigger "research mode" again... But I, too, am very interested in seeing how this gets explained! When is D3 supposed to be released...?
Steven Halter
49. stevenhalter
@lots:I suspect that the answer will be some of all and that we won't really be able to understand the answer until D3 and that PR is having some fun with us by putting out partial clues. However, that doesn't mean we can't try :-)
Kvothe could be both limited in many fundamental ways by a name change (accounting for his surprise at not being able to do some things) and he is actively trying to conceal aspects of himself and the Inn may be working as an active dampener.
I like the chest as a pack of cigarettes in a block of ice analogy. Kvothe knows that the time isn't right to reclaim whatever is within but he really wants it at the same time.
Sapph
50. realmC
Since the discussion seems to take that road, another complete not-to-these-chapters-related question that has been buggin me some time:
While Kote seems to have lost his magical abilities, when chronicler mentions D, he makes a bottle explode.
That´s not only his biggest magical feat in the frame (not sure about this, don´t have the book at hand), it is also interesting for another reason:
PRs magics seem to require a state of calmness of the mind (except the time, where K speaks the name of the wind in anger) or strong concentration. He explodes the bottle out of anger, seemingly without intending to do so - a different kind of magic? we know there are differnt kinds of magic (like the ancient things Kilvin shows him possess).
(also - strawberry wine; not significant, I just think it´s a nice detail)
Jeremy Raiz
51. Jezdynamite
On a side note, someone has started a non-Aturan word translation Wiki.

http://kkc.wikia.com/wiki/Non-Aturan_words_and_phrases

I've added in some extra words to the wiki and done as much as I can. Most of the work on the site has been done by someone else. You might like to have a look and add your own thoughts to it. Seems fairly comprehensive to me.
Ashley Fox
52. A Fox
Mmm on K changing his name...I have bought this up before, and am a little confused by the specualtion that Felurian will change is name, or Elodin etc. Magwyn changes his name, or at least gives him a new one. Maedre. It is odd considering we sporadicaly try to attribute things to the meaning of his name! "Flame, thunder and broken tree"

ch.124 'Of Names' "We have come for a name"-Shehyn

"..honoured shaper of names"-K to Magwyn

"When Magwyn met my eyes for the first time, I felt like all the air had been sucked out of me. For the barest of moments I thought she might be startled by what she saw..."

"Maedre,' she said, her eyes still fixed on mine."

"Then you will know you should not speak of your new name to anyone' she said. 'it is a private thing, and dangerous to share."-magwyn

ch. 128 'Names' "You have a sword and a name"-Shehyn

Vashet talking of K's Name:
"It is a thing for you and your teachers and Magwyn. It would be dangerous to let others know what it is."
"When you know a name you have power over it. Surely you know this?"
"Not those names. Deep names.......Deep names have meanings."

I dont necessarily think that this name makes Kvothe into Kote, but suspect that he shares is name with someone who then betrays him...if they use his name, have power over him, to make him do/say/er...something. This supposition is reinforced by the the convo between Elodin and K. Setting up the plot for D3, or you know, A plot line.

Also If someone as one of those electronic book thingies it may be interesting to play um Chapter Title Snap. Ive noticed that quite a few Ch Titles have similar elements and that these ch's contain refs/clues to various plot lines. Like the above 'Name'.

There is also 'Wind' and 'Fire'. Fire....oh I cant remember when exactly but we had a very interesting discussion on the use of 'fire' as a description...oh the Eolian scene. Deoch describes D as the spark when a hammer strikes iron (o some such) and K's voice is like fire...ok this is a vague memory! Its very late here and i will go back and find it...

Anyway I think 'fire' alludes to power. Not literal fire. This has come about from the above 'The fire itself'. Felurian is a creature of raw power and she is described as 'the fire itself' compared to D's spark at the other end of the spectrum. Again apologies for this being vague, but im typing as Im thinking...any thoughts?
Sapph
53. Spirit Theif
I like to imagine PR coming here every week to laugh at the musings of us mere mortals. You can almost hear the thunderous manical laughing.
Justin Levitt
54. TyranAmiros
Just a random thought, but another possible explanation for Kote's behavior is that his Name's been cursed, and much like the Chandrian, someone more powerful is Listening for his Name to try to track him down (perhaps in retribution for killing the King). This fits with his hiding in Newarre, his "waiting to die" line, and explains the bursts of Kvothe-behavior; when he's not concentrating on acting the innkeeper, his real personality comes forward.

If Ambrose is involved somehow, this might also explain a line hidden in plain sight: "that's why he eventually tried to kill me". If Ambrose is now King and has a death warrant on Kvothe, and maybe some nasty Sympathy/Naming power on him, the killing part might refer to why Kvothe is the way he is now in the Frame Story, rather than in the story he tells. Note that both Chronicler and Bast could recognize the meaning of this line because they know what happened to Kvothe in a way the readers don't yet.
Sapph
55. mr. awesome
Wetlandernw @ 44
"One thing that I find rather haunting this morning is the conversation
after Shep's death at the hand of the skin dancer (or whatever it really
was). Cob had said that these were bad times for being brave, but "I
wish I'd been brave and dead instead, and him home right now, kissing
his young wife." Later, alone with Chronicler and Bast, Kvothe says,
"Still, I wish I'd been braver and Shep was home kissing his young wife,
too." He doesn't say "brave and dead" like Cob did - I think he's
referring to his failure to light the alcohol on fire with sympathy: if
he'd been brave enough to be Kvothe in front of the whole crowd, he
could have killed the skin dancer before Shep even tried.

That sounds like his anonymous-innkeeper gig is his way of hiding from the world and the chaos he feels he caused, rather than playing a
"beautiful game" of trying to entrap the Chandrian or something. He's
worked hard to turn himself into the innkeeper because, as Kvothe, he
did things he'd give anything to undo, but even Kvothe can't change the
past. So he's hiding, making himself powerless, hoping that he can
thereby prevent himself from doing more damage. Well, make of it what you will; I'm sure it will be wandering around in the back of my head all day, and maybe I'll be able to make better sense out of it later."

I like this a lot. It makes lots of sense to me, except I don't think it's entirely self imposed. I have a new theory. (I'm not sure if it's actually new, but it's lost its prevalence if it was ever articulated). Kote is psychologically unable to be Kvothe because he so strongly associates his own identity with the horror of the catastrophe he caused which probably also killed all of his friends. Kote has PTSD or something similar which traumatizes him.

I think the correlation between the inn and powerlessness can fit into this theory. Kote seems to be intentionally structuring the inn to remind him of who he is now, and that his previous actions entailed "Folly". Kote has almost no self confidence left.

Bast also hints at the psychological nature of Kote's problem frequently. It has to do with identity and a type of proprioception, not in the physical sense but in a more relational one. Not "where is my arm" but "where is my place in the world".

This seems to be more in PR's style as well - readers can't relate to having a magical identity crisis, but they can relate to being traumatized and unsure of who one is or how one should act.
thistle pong
56. thistlepong
@22 Stefan Jones
Scholars suggest that some of Buttata's adventures are edifying fiction, or second hand accounts he added to his narrative. I mean, if you're going as far as Indonesia, your travelogue may as well include a trip to China, right? Who back home in Tangiers is going to check?
I had the same feeling about Faen and Ademre in light of Fela's explanation about the achives and the travelogues in Elodin's syllabus. Why call attention to fictionalized travel stories if not to add salt to his own? It's nice to know that wild travel tales weren't just a Romantic English fad and I'm glad someone else had this notion. I do think he went to those places, but some of the details might be unreliable.
Sapph
57. Sapph
I'll need a double dose of forgiveness for this, because it is both off topic and has possibly been mentioned (although I haven't noticed).

Several people have mentioned that at the end of Kvothe's father's song about his mother the last line "Not tally a lot less" sounds like Natalia Lockless.

However, I haven't heard mention of what seems a far more obvious clue from the same song: "My sweet Tally cannot cook" Tally is a terribly nickname for Laurian, but a very fitting one for Natalia.
Skip Ives
58. Skip
Just a thought, but there is something missing from Kote that we never see Kvothe without for long - his lute. One of the silences is always "if there had been music ... but no, of course there was no music". In Chapter 6 "Love" of WMF he says "My lute. My tangible soul." I wonder if his lute is what's in that thrice-locked chest.

For Kvothe, who could sing before he could talk, cutting music out of his life would seem impossible. But Kote doesn't even hum as he works. It may be that he locked part of himself in that chest when he did it, or maybe just the act of locking his lute away was enough cause him to be diminished.

It is hard to tell how much he really is diminished of course. I hold with the group that thinks that Kvothe is hiding as Kote and some if not all of his infirmaries are faked or self-induced. We haven't gotten to the point in the story that it turns to tragedy, and it has to in book three or there is no reason for Kote to exist at all.

I am enjoying the reread though and hearing everyone's ideas. The language people I hold in awe, I am not made for deconstructing other languages, unless you count "legal" as separate from English.
Alice Arneson
59. Wetlandernw
Skip @58 - I'm of the opinion that the lute is in the chest, along with any other trappings of Kvothe except the sword. The other possibility is that it was destroyed or left behind when he fled the world to hide in the middle of nowhere. Either one would make sense, in a way; the lute, and that lute in particular, is very precious to him. Its destruction would be a devastating blow, but it could have been done (even by a friend) to bring him up short and make him see what he was doing. On the other hand, leaving it behind would be evidence of the urgency of his flight, and would be devastating in its own way.

Still, I'm betting it's in the chest.

I still haven't decided whether I think the displayed sword is Saicere or not; the arguments both for and against are good but not overwhelming. I guess we'll have to RAFO about that. If it's not, I'm guessing we'll find out when the chest is opened and we see Saicere lying there beside the lute. :)
Sapph
60. mr. awesome
Rothfuss could potentially make a very poetic ending without disclosing what's in the chest, just that it's important to Kvothe. I feel like I might like this ending better than finding out it's the lute (because it has to be a tragedy, and if he finds the lute he would play it and be happy). Maybe the chest could even be symbollically destroyed somehow (unlikely because it's Roah, but whatever).
Rob Munnelly
61. RobMRobM
@61 - Wet, K is supposed to have faked his own death. Under the terms of the Ademre grant, we was supposed to arrange forSaicere's return if he died. I assume that's what he did. Relative to Folly, no idea where he got that but presumably he got it in carrying out his plan or as a weapon for post-"death" life.

And is the chest big enough for a lute? I don't recall it as being big.
thistle pong
62. thistlepong
@61 - Rob, I'd agree that Saicere technically should have returned to Haert, especially for a properly faked death. The Thrice Locked Chest is certainly large enough for a lute, if not a small body.

@blujo - re: linguistics
ciar might mean light. She uses the word again when Kvothe makes a sympathy lamp while she's taking him to gather shadow: "ciar nalias" contextually suggests no light or shut off the light.
amauen might mean something other than solitary. The shamble man that killed Shep in NW used it as well.
I really like the notion of pulling vor out of vorfelan. If that means desire for knowledge, vor ruhlan might mean desire for rut. Thanks.

That she knows Illien but not Oren Velciter or Taborlin should give us some perspective. Illien's crowning work, "The Lay of Sir Savien Traliard," stars a conventional Amyr that the modern listener can relate to as a legend if not an actual figure, suggesting that it was composed within the last thousand years. Oren Velciter is still alive. So Taborlin must be a fairly recent figure as well. He's not some Creation War Era hero that managed to survive as a folk tale when nothng else did.

Kvothe doesn't relate the thousand year old stories of the Amyr, but it's sort of comforting to have their existence confirmed by a second source and know that they were active pre Atur/Tehlinism and had a reputation in Faen as well. And the analogy "children in their parents clothes" is as close to a positive link between the first Amyr and the knights as we have.

We don't get much information from her, but the little bits are tangible and precious.

Finally, has anyone bothered to suggest the link between Felurian (thae) and Cthaeh? If not this might send me to the copper room.
When he moves the conversation toward the Chandrian, she says:
"if you ask of the seven again in this place, I will drive you from it. no matter if your asking be firm or gentle, honest or slantways. if you ask I will whip you forth from here with a lash of brambles and snakes. I will drive you before me, bloody and weeping, and it will not stop until you are dead or fled from fae."
She doesn't specify asking her. This place is clearly Faen, not the glade. The same butterflies appear around the rhinna tree as do in her glade, which is depopulated when he returns. And he returns in tears, bramble torn and bloody. She give Kvothe some recovery time while he's beset by terrible dreams, but Cthaeh's words stick "in his mind like burrs, goading" him out into the world.

I know this is skipping ahead a bit, but I was trying to catch back up with y'all and this just struck me as eerie.
Alice Arneson
63. Wetlandernw
RobM @61 - All true, but it's full of supposes and assumes, and this is Kvothe we're talking about. How often does he really follow all the rules? For all we know, the Adem were in on his death-faking gig, and told him he had to keep Saicere until they thought he was done with it. Yes, by rights it ought to be back in the keeping of the Adem, but I don't think we can take it for granted that "ought to be" equals "is" here.
Rob Munnelly
64. RobMRobM
@63. Of course. But the fact that K says it is a different sword (and I believe Chronicler says it doesn't match the sword in the story) and handing S back at presumed death will add verismilitude to his fakage, it seems more likely than not. Also, I generally view Kvothe as akin to Mat - when he makes an oath, he keeps it. Are there counterexamples? I can't think of any on first blush.

@62. Thanks for the size perspective. I guess it matters after all.

Rob
Connan Haley
65. sabotenda
Two things (actually three, I regret being away so long. So much to catch up on.):

One, I like that he likens killing Felurian to ripping the wings off butterflies, and then we see something do that exact thing not long after, with all the uncaring malice you'd expect from something that would do it in the first place.

And two, in reference to her lack of capitals, while it's irksome to see online, here I assume it's to indicate a lack of any percussion or harshness in her speech. I'd expect to hear a voice like Raistlin from Dragonlance, minus the cruelty and pain. Something that gets inside you like water through cloth, not harmful but gently irresistible.

Also, woo promotion! Which way to the stacks?
Connan Haley
66. sabotenda
@48 I'm so glad you phrased it the way you did. Perhaps there's something akin to sympathy at work, or even something like kilvin's warding device. Now that I see it written out, I'd say it's far more likely the first of the two. It takes a second to establish the connection, then nullified whatever portions of K or his mind aren't supposed to be there as Kote. The surprise he displays is harder to justify, but it could be something as simple as his being in the moment and forgetting the nullifying effect.
Jo Walton
67. bluejo
He doesn't ask the CTH about the Chandrian, he asks about the Amyr and the CTH tells him about the Chandrian anyway. Post on this coming later today!
thistle pong
68. thistlepong
He does; though not immediately.
Hardcover p680
Kindle Location 13607
"What can you tell me about the Chandrian?" I asked.
It's also when the Cthaeh turns toward hurtful speech.
Sapph
69. Joberama
Hmmm..."Over Rock and Root."

"Rock" is of course a synonym for stone. Such as a greystone, which may or may not mark gateways to the Fae.

And "root" can be a synonym for gittin' it on.

I think this chapter title could, at least on one level, be PR having some fun with us.
Kate Hunter
70. KateH
Okay, Nisheeth @26 pointed this out, but this is huge:
“Asleep she was a painting of a fire. Awake she was the fire itself.”

I this line matches the discription of Names, given by Elodin (Name of the Wind, pg 617):

"But a word is nothing but a painting of a fire. A name is the fire itself."
So if we set these "is statements" up mathematically...

Felurian asleep=a word=a painting of fire
Felurian awake=a name=the fire itself

This turns everything Elodin has managed to teach K on its head. In the human world, it's the sleeping mind that is associated with naming, knowing true names, and understanding the shape of the world. Yet apparently in the Faen, or at least with Felurian, it's the opposite. Felurian in a waking state is associated with a name; asleep she is associated with mere words/use names. The big point for me here is that Faen is a mirror image of how Elodin describes things working in the mortal realm. It's not that the Fae access names better than humans, i.e. in both waking and sleeping states. It's that their access to names comes through their waking minds, while their sleeping minds are associated with words. (When the Fae sleep, do they dream dreams that conform to the fundamentally different logic of the human world? Would they have an equally difficult time talking about their dreams because the "rules" are so foreign to them?)

Add to this the numerous times when K talks about the Faen as though it is a sleeping yet conscious entity, plus the incredible clarity and awakening of his own sleeping mind in his duel with Felurian, and I think we have important information about the nature of the Faen. In some sense, the Fae are connected with the sleeping mind and all the power (naming and otherwise) that sleeping minds have access to. I connect this to K's description of the Fae as "profoundly, fundamentally not the same" as humans, and also with his description of Felurian as not concerning herself with right and wrong. These all suggest a dream-state to me. When we dream things are fundamentally not the same. We can't even put into words how things are different in dreams, yet we know that they are whenever we try to talk about what we dream. Rules of logic and right vs. wrong do not apply. We might weave things of starlight. Food might appear with no one having caught or prepared it. K can say that Felurian would never bake her own bread, but that it's equally impossible that servants delivered it. This is very like trying to describe a dream - we often know that something wasn't the case without being able to say what was the case. Time behaves erratically in dreams too.

Then there's what Felurian has to say about the portion of power that the Fae shed when they enter the mortal world. If the powers of the "sleeping mind" (the Fae's waking minds) are reduced to the power of the (human) waking mind, that's a pretty big portion of power to shed. Human waking minds are powerful, certainly, but Elodin's teaching implies that the sleeping mind is more powerful still.

Does this in any way connect with the Lady Lackless rhyme about her "dreaming and not sleeping?" In many ways K's experience in the Faen looks like dreaming in a "waking" state to me.
Steven Halter
71. stevenhalter
KateH@70:That's an interesting thought. The parallel between the Elodin description and Kvothe's is clearly there and given PR's attention to detail it is likely not just by chance.
My natural reading of Kvothe's description of Felurian asleep/awake was just a matter of potential. Asleep she wasn't doing anything, awake she was active.
Bast and Kvothe both (I think) make a point that the Fae are quite different than humans. A more conscious awareness of names might certainly be part of this.
Fae does seem to have some dream logic about it, that is also an interesting path to follow.
Kate Hunter
72. KateH
Thanks, steven. Also note that Felurian describes the shapers as "proud dreamers."

I went back and checked something from K's conversation with Elxa Dal about Names. ED doesn't follow when K says that his "sleeping mind" translated the true name of fire into "fire" when ED said the name. ED seems unfamiliar with the term "sleeping mind." From this I infer he didn't study Naming with Elodin, which is hardly surprising given that Elodin is the youngest of the masters. But it further implies that a Master Namer prior to Elodin (whenever ED was a student) didn't use the "sleeping mind" concept in trying to teach naming. (Okay, it's possible ED never studied naming at all and somehow learned two names without help from any master. But...) Perhaps Elodin originated "sleeping mind" as a theoretical construct to help students learn a difficult subject. If so, where did he pick up this idea from? Did Elodin visit the Fae? Given that Felurian's voice and her answers to his questions both remind K of Elodin, and that he has realizations about what Elodin was trying to teach while he's in Faen, and that Elodin recognizes K's shaed for what it is - I have to wonder.

Further thoughts. Re:
"My power rode like a white star on my brow."
This reminded me of the bit in Skarpi's second story, about Aleph, Selitos and Tehlu. Those ruach who joined with Tehlu are touched by Aleph. Among other things that happen when Aleph touches them, they are "wreathed in white fire," which does several things, and then finally settles on their foreheads. Because this group "sang songs of power" I've been thinking of them as the Singers mentioned by Haliax as one group which threatens the Chandrian. Is it a reach to connect the white star on K's brow with this white fire on the Singers foreheads?

Also, teeny-tiny detail that still caught my notice. Felurian didn't categorically forbid K to ask about the Chandrian. She said if he asks of them "again in this place" she will do all manner of nasty things to him. The italics mine there. Because PR is so very careful of his words, this indicates to me that Felurian would be feel differently about being asked about the Chandrian if she happened to be in the mortal realm, or maybe even a different part of the Faen, though in K's place I probably wouldn't risk the latter.
Steven Halter
73. stevenhalter
KateH@72:I certainly do connect the white star on K's brow with this white fire on the Singers foreheads.
The "again in this place" is also interesting. I would also guess that if he asked her somewhere else he might get a different answer. Or killed.
Sapph
74. elricprincess
So the Fae either are Shapers who experimented on themselves or were made by the Shapers is that correct? I'm so confused.
thistle pong
75. thistlepong
elricprincess@74
So the Fae either are Shapers who experimented on themselves or were made by the Shapers is that correct? I'm so confused.
We have somewhat imperfect knowledge. We don't, we can't, know for sure. It stands to reason that everyone prior to the creation of Faen was Ruach (the term Skarpi uses in "Tehlu's Watchful Eye") and that there aren't many of those left.

Felurian is Fae. But she predates Faen. And she talks about the Shapers as though she were not one; as though they're mostly gone.

It may be that simply being in Faen long enough makes you Fae.
Jo Walton
76. bluejo
I sort of thought Felurian's correction would be like referring to the Clovis People as Americans -- nobody was American then, that was before America! But if one of them had survived until now, as Felurian has (or their descendants,) it would be perfectly reasonable now to call them Americans, or Faen.

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