Mar 1 2012 2:00pm

Rothfuss Reread: The Wise Man’s Fear, Part 21: A Deep Well

Welcome to my over-analytical reread of Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles. This week’s post covers chapters 109-113 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.


Chapter 109 is “A Liar and a Thief”

What Carceret accuses Kvothe of being — and she’s kind of right, he is stealing their knowledge for his own purposes and lying about understanding the Lethani. I don’t mean to be hard on him, but what is he bringing them, in return for what he’s getting? He doesn’t even sing for his supper or pay tuition. We’re getting this story from him, with his own justifications and rationalisations, and assumptions, and there’s a tendency to think that of course this is OK, he’s our friend. But after all the talk about how he pays for his courses and accommodation and food at the University, I find it odd the way he takes it so for granted here. The mercenaries pay 80% of their earnings to the school, but he’s not going to do that.

Shehyn and Kvothe return to the school, where Tempi is very nervous and makes the same gestures he made when he thought they were heading into an ambush. Shehyn sends a boy (7:6) to fetch Carceret, who we have seen before. Three people pass while Kvothe is waiting, gender indeterminate. Then he goes in and is questioned regarding the Lethani. He’s not doing well until he goes into Spinning Leaf. The oddest of the exchanges is:

“How do you follow the Lethani?”

“How do you follow the moon?”

Kvothe realises this is either very clever or very stupid. It certainly has huge implications. Carceret wants Kvothe destroyed and Tempi cut away. Shehyn thinks the world would be better if more were of the Lethani, and says she will give him to Vashet. (8:6). Carceret refers to Vashet as “the Hammer.” Carceret is angry, and while Shehyn speaks to Tempi makes disgusted gestures at Kvothe, who makes a rude one in return.

Then a bell rings, and Tempi takes Kvothe for lunch. It’s quieter and has better food than Mess at the University.

There were more women than I’d expected, and more young children.

This isn’t evidence of anything, because what did he expect? The ten percent at the University?

Shehyn eats with everyone else, to Kvothe’s surprise. He’s the only redhead in the room, everyone else is sandy with only a few darker or grey. After dinner, Tempi takes him to a room which has his lute and his pack, and says he will have another teacher. Kvothe hugs him and then goes to sleep.


Chapter 110 is “The Hammer”

Vashet, of course.

Kvothe meets her in a tiny park, and notices that she wears her sword slung on her back. She speaks Aturan, she’s ten years older than him — in her late twenties — and she has pale skin and sandy hair and grey eyes like all Adem. She says she will be his teacher, and he says he was happy with Tempi. She says his happiness isn’t the point, and Tempi is barely competent to fight and not at all to teach, and not terribly bright.

He asks why she is called “the Hammer” and she pronounces her name with three cadences, the hammer, the clay, the spinning wheel. She says she is that which shapes and sharpens or destroys, and only that which can bend can teach. She sends him to get a piece of wood. He comes back with a willow rod, and she uses it to hit him. She says they will meet after lunch with another stick and she will try to teach him the same lesson:

I do not think well of you. You are a barbarian. You are not clever. You are not welcome. You do not belong here. You are a thief of our secrets. Your presence is an embarrassment and a complication this school does not need.

She says this is the only lesson she has to teach him, and when he learns it he will leave and never return. He asks what would happen to Tempi if he left, and she strikes his face and says that everyone would know Tempi was wrong.

He returns to the school for lunch, and feels very alone and unwelcome, but at least the food was good. Carceret comes and torments him, and he says quietly but so that everyone can hear that she speaks as a dog barks. He notes that it’s tricky insulting somebody from another culture, but he based it on things he had heard Tempi say.

Then he takes a training sword to Vashet, and shows her his scars, explaining that pain didn’t stop him learning at the University and it won’t stop him now, and just stands there.


Chapter 111 is “Barbarian Tongue”

She swings the sword but doesn’t hit him. She tells him to put his shirt back on. She swears “shit and onions” which is new and kind of funny. She asks how he knew she wasn’t going to crack his skull. He said he thought it through, and Shehyn could have had him killed more easily, so it was either an initiation or a test of resolve. She says she’s never had a student offer himself for a beating, and he says this was nothing, once he jumped off a roof. (And he really did!)

Then they talk. She says she grew up speaking Aturan, and she spent four years as bodyguard for “a poet in the Small Kingdoms who also happened to be a king.” And she says there are dozens of schools teaching different Ketans, and this one teaches the Latantha, one of the oldest. He explains he’s faking the Lethani with Spinning Leaf, and she says he is stealing the answers from himself — from his sleeping mind? She talks about the Lethani and it really sounds like the Tao. She talks about things you can know but not explain, and gives the example of love. She says that Spinning Leaf is like “a Ketan for your mind.”

She teaches him better Ademic, saying his hand gestures are awful. He realises that a well spoken sentence in Aturan is like a straight line, and one in Ademic like a spiderweb.

He goes to supper, watching hands. After supper, Vashet smears salve on his welts, and asks him to show her his Ketan. He’s awful, of course. She says he could be worse if he was missing a leg... Then she looks at his body and says he has good hands. She asks what he does, and he explains he’s a musician, and she tells him he’s a whore. She explains that emotion in a voice is private and intimate, and singing is something a mother might do with a child or lovers together in private — never a musician to a whole room for money. Kvothe manages to understand, and asks how they get news without troupers. Vashet says they welcome peddlars and tinkers, and people bring news home with them. Also, musicians travel with screens and perform to families, which consoles Kvothe.

Vashet tells him to keep his musicianship to himself, as he has enough to overcome without that. Oh dear.


Chapter 112 is “His Sharp and Single Arrow”

He hides his lute and studies with Vashet. He asks about the Chandrian, and she asks what that has to do with what he is learning and refuses to answer.

After a few days he asks what is the purpose of her teaching him, if Tempi was wrong. She explains that if he became part of the school, Tempi wouldn’t have been wrong. She asks who fights for the good of others and he replies “an Amyr” which she notes as an interesting choice. She says being a mercenary is a proud choice for an Adem, not like in the Aturan culture. She explains that there is a test he can pass to enter the school, when he is ready, which he isn’t yet.

They go to see Shehyn and watch her performing the Ketan slowly. Then she tells him the story of Aethe and the beginning of the Adem, in Aturan because his Ademic isn’t yet entirely up to it.

Aethe (8:7) was brilliant with a bow, and started to teach. He killed challengers with a single arrow in a duel. He had an argument with Rethe (9:7), his best student. They had a duel. She sat on the ground and he shot her, and she wrote four lines of poetry in her own blood. She lived for three days and dictated none and ninety stories and he wrote them down, and those tales were the beginning of understanding the Lethani. After that, he taught the bow and the Lethani.

Shehyn invites them to watch her fight the next day. Vashet says he should be honoured. But he thinks about what Kilvin would do if he’d taught somebody else the secrets of sygaldry, and worries about Tempi and himself. Vashet says he wouldn’t be killed, but he’d be lamed and have two of his fingers removed. He becomes nauseous and almost faints at the thought.

He wanders about aimlessly, and almost stumbles over a couple making love in a grove. He tries not to think about his hands being maimed to the point where he’s unconsciously humming “Leave the town, Tinker.” He can’t eat or sleep and tries to think about how to run away. He tries to play the lute silently, he wraps himself in his shaed, he thinks about Wil and Sim and Auri and Devi and Fela. Then he thinks about his family and the Chandrian and killing Cinder. He thinks of Denna and the CTH and gets to sleep thinking about her.

He knew they might kill him. The thought of maiming his hands freaks him out a lot more.

And we think something has happened to them, between then and now.


Chapter 113 is “Storm and Stone”

How Shehyn and Penthe are when they fight.

He wakes knowing his only way to survive is to succeed.

Then there’s a consideration of Haert. He talks about towns, ones where luxuries are available and ones that just scrape by, where a second pig is wealth. (Newarre would be in that category.) But Haert isn’t like that, though he thought it was at first. They have glass windows and iron stoves. (In our world, C.18 tech.) They have wooden floors and thick dyed wool rugs. They have beeswax candles or good oil lamps or even sympathy lamps. They are quietly wealthy, but he had missed it because they do not display.

Vashet tells him a story — that the Adem were upheaved from their rightful home for forgotten reasons and wandered endlessly until they settled on the windy mountains which nobody else wanted. So they sold their fierceness, and brought back the money.

Kvothe says immediately that his people are wanderers too. Some people have suggested a relationship between “Adem” and “Edema” and thought that the opposite reactions to music could be significant.

They go to watch Shehyn fight. Kvothe has learned enough to be able to tell the tone of the people even though they are nearly silent. Vashet says the mercenaries send back eighty percent to their schools. She says the same would be true for Kvothe if he “stood a fiddler’s chance” of wearing the red. She describes their economy:

For years the school feeds and clothes you. It gives you a place to sleep. It gives you your sword, your training. After thsi investment, the mercenary supports the school. The school supports the village. The village produces children who hope to someday take the red.

If there’s a huge external demand for Adem mercenaries, that really ought to work. And she says he has potentially stolen their major export — as we already heard from Dedan, the Adem get five times as much as an ordinary fighter, and that’s because they’re that much better.

Two boys fight. (9:9). Vashet says generally women are better fighters. The next who have gender mentioned are one of each (10:10). Then two women. (12:10). A man challenges Vashet and she refuses. (12:11). Then he fights another woman. (13:11). Then Shehyn fights Penthe (14:11). Kvothe assumes that when Penthe wins she will be the new head of the school, and Vashet laughs and explains that this would make no sense. “A leader is not a muscle. A leader is a mind.” Shehyn asks Kvothe why she was struck at the end, and Kvothe says it was because she misplaced her left heel slightly, and Shehyn says “Good.”

That night, Vashet comes to sit with him at dinner. He asks if he can spar with somebody at his own level, and she says she’ll find somebody.


Last Week’s Comments, Totally New Speculations!

In last week’s comments, you completely outdid yourselves. It didn’t start well, with everyone disagreeing with me about the total agony of being in love, even after I clarified what I meant. I guess I just think of “love” as a more serious thing than the rest of you. Moving swiftly on, however, John Point suggests:

the Lackless box contains the stone that Selitos used to “poke out his eye.” In NotW, it is first described as a piece of mountain glass (when Selitos first picks it up), then several times as a stone. He then pierces his eye, and binds Haliax “by my blood.”

... in WMF, when he examines the Lackless box, he first thinks that the box contains something metallic, but then revises his guess to something “glass, or perhaps stone.”

What if the stone that Selitos used to remove his eye (and then allowed him to bind and curse Haliax), is contained in the box? Since the box appears to contain copper in the wood, it may contain naming/shaping/other magic. The continued existence of the stone (with Selitos’ blood) could perhaps prevent Haliax et al. from breaking their curse. Perhaps the Lacklesses are descended from Selitos? That could explain the various rock/blood/etc. references.

I think this is potentially brilliant, and it isn’t something we’ve thought of before.

Greyfalconway expands on this:

The rock/glass in the box that Selitos used to stab his eye/bind Haliax could be a mommet of Haliax, or maybe just what Selitos used his strong naming/sympathy mix to make his link and bind him with, and he needed his blood/eye yuck as a strong link enhancement. This throws me into wild directions of Selitos possibly inventing sympathy off of a form of scientific pinning-down of naming

That makes perfect sense to me.

Then Thistlepong picked up this and ran with it, suggesting that Selitos is the CTH — and actually substantiated it.

Selitos was a pretty important figure in the Creation War, and he’s the subject of Skarpi’s story: “a man who lost his eye and gained a better sight.”

But before he lost his eye he already had amazingly wonderful sight, as good or better than anyone else:

Just by looking at a thing Selitos could see its hidden name and understand it. In those days there were many who could do such things, but Selitos was the most powerful namer of anyone alive in that age.
Such was the power of his sight that he could read the hearts of men like heavy-lettered books.

So having better sight, might mean becoming the CTH who can see everything to come.

I have another potential piece of evidence too — Nina says the Ciridae on the jar was the worst of all of them, and Bast says there isn’t anything worse than the CTH. And what the CTH is doing meddling could well be “for the greater good,” who cares about the collateral damage. We really don’t know the CTH’s plan. Also, the Amyr in the Aturan Empire were suppressed for being too over the top in pursuit of their goals, the same thing could be true of the immortal Amyr.

And as Thistlepong says, Selitos could be Hespe’s “hermit in the mountains” just as well as Teccam, because she’s telling a folktale and there could have been conflation. He wasn’t a hermit, but MT was in the mountains.

and John Point again:

There is a chance — just a chance, but an interesting speculation — that Selitos is still alive, and perhaps is the Ctheah, as thistlepong argued @33. If that’s the case, Selitos’ blood on the stone becomes even more important — the stone (and blood) is trapped in the Rhinna-wood box, and the Ctheah is trapped in the Rhinna tree. If true, is it a coincidence? I doubt it strongly. Once again, this could be very germaine to the story, and would provide really intriguing plot details.


Wow I didn’t make that connection but that would be a really great fit, Selitos being the Ctheah would add a bit to the ’there were never any human Amyr’ and Selitos having his blood on the stone/glass inside a box made from the tree that the Ctheah is bound to is a really great smartly done binding and twist, since we’ve been set up so well to understand every part of the process that would be involved and the magic making it happen.

Also it would add alot to whatever the badness Kvothe has done, if Kvothe opens the box and releases the stone with the Ctheahs blood, the Ctheah would be released from the tree and could roam and wreak havoc on the land, and we’ve already been set up by Bast discussing how theres nothing worse than the Ctheah.

This is the kind of smart stuff it seems like PR would do, considering the lackless rhyme and everything else, this makes alot of twisty but totally plausable sense, and we’ve been set up for it so well.

But I don’t think this can be what has happened, because of the way K reacts to Bast freaking out about the CTH. He says he’s faced worse things. And if this was what had happened, if letting the CTH go was the disaster, then Bast would surely have known about it?

K is waiting to die, but what is Bast waiting for?

I am absolutely sure than in D3, in the told story, Kvothe will open something he should have left locked, and maybe all sorts of things, the Lackless Box, the Four Plate door. And I’m fairly sure that he’ll open the Thrice Locked Box in the frame, and it will Pandora-like contain if not a happy ending at least hope.

Thistlepong, with a provocative thought about the Lanre story:

Kvothe heard exactly one story about Selitos and Myr Tariniel. Denna claims to have been all over the world piecing the narrative together. If anything, that suggests she put more effort into her version.

We’ve been assuming that Skarpi is a good guy because he woke Kvothe in Tarbean, but it doesn’t necessarily follow. Which naturally leads to Skarpi’s friend Chronicler. And Wiggum has an interesting thought about Chronicler:

First, there is the nature of the Kingkiller Chronicle itself. It’s a story all about stories. It’s also a fantasy story that’s literally a story about, and a deconstruction of, the nature of fantasy. And what is Chronicler? He’s not a fantasist, and he’s not a storyteller. He’s a biographer.

He is literally the guy who destroys myths and “writes” the truth. Chronicler “creates” the truth. We have, as readers, accepted as fact that there are no dragons in this story. At first, this makes sense, because dragons are a silly and impossible idea. But then when we look at the nature of the 4c world, which is perhaps, as it transpires, one of the most fantastical worlds ever written...

Why the hell DOESN’T it have dragons?

It doesn’t have dragons because one man proved, in writing, that dragons don’t exist. That dragons are actually a slightly rubbish creature called a Draccus.

And so, we surmise, Lanre never actually fought a dragon because dragons only exist in stories. Even though it sounds an awful lot like Lanre fought a thing that sounds like a proper dragon.

But then we get a comment from Denna about a kind of magic that involves making things true by writing them down. Hmmm.

Did dragons really never exist, or did Chronicler make them not exist by writing it down? It’s almost the first thing we hear about Chronicler - he wrote The Mating Habbits of the Common Draccus and proved dragons don’t exist.

And here he is, writing down the “true” story of Kvothe. And as he writes it down in his cipher, Kvothe seemingly gets less and less magical.

But ... the only parts of Kvothe’s story (and note that it’s a story as he tells it and NOT a biography) that could be corroborated are the parts that he skips over. Note also that Kvothe is only ever “rubbish” when Chronicler is around. And the one time that Chronicler was phyisically “there” for Kvothe being Kvothe was when he was ... unaccountably ... rendered unconscious through misfortune, and Kvothe really NEEDED to be himself or die.

And remember the story of Sceop? It is important that the Amyr lives to do what he must, even if it means those around him must die. Which saddens the Amyr, but is what must be.

K feels guilt at the deaths in the Waystone that “he could have prevented”.

Is Kvothe just ensuring that nothing “factual” about him gets written down? And is he acting out the repercussions of having given factual information about himself to Chronicler?

He goes on to suggest:

Is the implication of all this that Kvothe is, in fact, an unreliable narrator because he’s a hell of a lot better than he’s claiming to be?

we also have no idea who the hell Devan Lochees really is, either.

And another thing, Chronicler didn’t want to give his name, way back at the beginning. He said they could call him Chronicler, and he said he said that because he was used to it, but... he could have been lying, couldn’t he?

We’ve talked about Chronicler before, but this suggestion about the draccus unmagicing is absolutely new. And it fits.

David C suggests that maybe Kvothe telling his story and insisting on three days is a way of keeping Chronicler there instead of being somewhere else.

it is worth examining Chronicler’s agenda. I believe that the flip-side is also important. I read K as having decided to tell his story in part specifically because it keeps Chronicler anchored at the Waystone Inn for three days.

And it wouldn’t even have to be to stop him. It could be to protect him. (This would fit with Kvothe offering to let the smith’s boy sit in on the story.)

And check out the whole comment thread for much more. It’s just on fire!

John Point, David C, and Wiggum are hereby promoted to E’lir in the Department of Imaginary Sympathy.

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.

1. mundane
I was reading through the comments about K's hands and had a thought. He says the left hand is his most important and it is used in all his skills- lute, sygaldry etc..
I wonder if the left hand is tied to the sleeping mind, it is nimble and able to perform functions the right cannot. So when he closed all of his abilities off (if that is the theory you agree with, it is mine) he lost the nimbleness and grace in his left hand. It became just another hand like the right is.

Just my thought on the matter.
Ps. I am enjoying this re-read very much. Thanks to everyone commenting and providing me with much thought. And thanks to Jo for doing this
2. mundane
also, Your numbering in this series goes from the last entry on the 23rd of Feb as Part 20 to this entry as Par 22.
3. Thurule
Wow, really great stuff. The theory about Chronicler changing history by writing about it is awesome, and here's some more to maybe back it up.

Why could K not write this story himself, and why didn't he want Bast to read or touch his attempts? Is it because he was trying to learn the magic that does this? Maybe he was actually writing things like 'Kvothe has black hair' and when it wasn't working, he'd crumple it up in frustration. He doesn't want Bast to know what he's trying to do?

What is he trying to do, and why is he finally telling his story? Maybe he's trying to fix the destruction he caused by making Chronicler write it down and fix it for him (without his knowledge).

Wasn't it Bast that started the rumor of K's location? Was that intentional to get Chronicler to find him and K could use him?
4. AhoyMatey
I came to because of the WoT stuff, but this has definitely become my favorite re-read.

I think the reason that the Adem use gestures over verbal communication so much is because you need to speak for naming and shaping (or sing!). They've forgotton the orgin for their attitudes on speaking and singing. It think it definitely ties in with their history of being Namers and Shapers.
5. AhoyMatey
And... you can't edit stuff if you haven't logged in. Bummer!
Ashley Fox
6. A Fox
Of course he doesnt sing for his supper! lol Laterthe Adem make it explicitly clear what he brings to them, an emphasis on their skills as mercenaries (and likely some sort of investment in whatever happens in D3 but thats spec).

Rethe spoke nine and ninety stories not none and ninety :)

What I find most interesting with the Adem is the way they use Lethani to dictate their actions/thoughts and the way they view K. They see his faults clearly and have the same doubts as Elodin and Lorren. that he is too rash essentially. Rashness is almost the opposite of the Lethani-careful consideration of consequence.

And a few weeks ago I had to consider that the story of Aethe and Rethe may actually be the story of Lanre and Lyra. The missing part where Lyra dies. I didnt covince myself though. What do you guys think?
Steven Halter
7. stevenhalter
Carceret doesn't really strike me as having a deep understanding of the Lethani. Much anger in that one.
Jo Walton
8. bluejo
Mundane: Well, I can fix that!

A Fox: Aethe/Rethe as Lanre/Lyra doesn't work because he repents and spends the rest of his life following the Lethani, which is the opposite of what Lanre does. However, it's an interesting parallel.

Thurule: Brilliant. That would explain his completely OTT reaction to the thought of Bast touching those pages.
9. Lamguin
Expanding on the concept of taking three days to tell Chronicler his story as a way of keeping him stuck there for that time, a comment from Bredon really stuck with me. His talk of a beautiful game. Specifically, and I'm paraphrasing here, because my book isn't handy to quote from, setting a trap, with the enemy walking into it knowing it's a trap, with a plan ready to get out of it, and you still outsmart him. This seems germaine to Kvothe in the frame. It's probably a trap for someone. Why not tie it into this?
George Brell
10. gbrell
A random thought about the first chapter here:

Why is Carceret present at Kvothe's judgment?

She's only of the first stone and doesn't appear to possess any special position in Ademic society. Tempi should be there to testify as to his reasons, but why does Carceret merit the position of opposing him? She doesn't seem to be particularly smart.

Two boys fight. (9:9). Vashet says generally women are better fighters. The next who have gender mentioned are one of each (10:10). Then two women. (12:10). A man challenges Vashet and she refuses. (12:11). Then he fights another woman. (13:11). Then Shehyn fights Penthe (14:11).

Jo, you appear to have missed a couple gender identifications. Before the fighting, the following paragraph has a couple gender ID's:

"But I could tell the tone of each conversation from where I sat. Two months ago this gathering would have seemed eerily subdued. A gathering of fidgety, emotionless, near-mutes. But now I could plainly see one pair of Adem were teacher and student by how far apart they stood, by the deference in the younger woman’s hands. The cluster of three red-shirted men were friends, easy and joking as they jostled at each other. That man and woman were fighting. She was angry. He was trying to explain."

So that's 4 men, 2 women and 1 indeterminate (though probably a woman based on the hierarchy of the Adem and the use of "younger"). Whether that's duplicative of your counting is unclear (since some of those people might have also fought).
Ashley Fox
11. A Fox
@8 certainly, that is why I did nt convince myself :) However there is a strong theme the difference a perspective makes.

What if the Lethani was continued by followers of Rethe/Lyra? It could have arisn from a disagreement between her and Aethe/Lanre. She coming up with a peaceful way to weed out bad choices and their consequences, he not being convinced of peoples ability to make the right choices. Refs Lanre's speech to haliax re weeds. Lanre states that he lost Lyra through betrayel, but still by his own hand. Rethe sort of betrays/tricks Aethe getting him to shoot her (and not shooting back) and he kills her by his own hand.

I had to consider the possibility that the ending is a lie-that Aethe then lives peacefully ever after, or perhaps not the whole ending.

Also the Adem were 'forced' from their lands for a forgotten reason. What if that reason was they were the people of Lyra and Lanre, after Lyra died and Lanre betrayed they would have been unprotected at the mercy of all the survivors who were betrayed.

Or perhaps this ending is another one of their secret stories. It would also explain why they have the rules surrounding each secret story and the insistance of keeping the history pure, theyre knowledge of names, their reaction to K's moon comment, their history of the swords, their reknowned fighting ability (Lanre was that times greatest general it translates that his army would also be the best). Oh and their lack of following the Tehlin church/scorn of demons etc.

Like I say Im not convinced but there are too many parralels and cultural significance to dismiss. And actually the more I think about it....
Ross Smith
12. CaptainCrowbar
I mentioned this before, many threads ago, but now that we're up to the relevant part of the book it might be worth repeating. From Vashet's telling of the history of the Adem:
“Long ago,” she said, “the Adem were upheaved from our rightful place. Something we cannot remember drove us out. Someone stole our land, or ruined it, or made us flee in fear. We were forced to wander endlessly. Our whole nation mendicant, like beggars. We would find a place, and settle, and rest our flocks. Then those who lived nearby would drive us off."
That sounds suspiciuously familiar. And notice also the phonetic similarity between "Adem"/"Ademre" and "Edema"/"Edema Ruh". Is there some connection there?
George Brell
13. gbrell
Also, something Jo seems to have skipped over:

"After Aethe finished writing, Rethe said to him, ‘There is one final story, more important than all the rest, and that one shall be known when I awake.’"

Then Rethe closed her eyes and slept. And sleeping, she died."

What story is this? Is it simply the unattainable goal of the Adem's religion surrounding the Lethani or is this story relevant? In a story about stories, I feel like every mention of an unknown story has to be relevant.
Ashley Fox
14. A Fox
And the fact that she slept then died brings to mind two of the four doors of the mind...

Adem/Edema Ruh. Long, long ago I theorised that these people were different branchings of Ruarch.
15. Zizoz
@10: The teacher must be a woman because Tempi says only women can teach.
Steven Halter
16. stevenhalter
A Fox@14:Yep, I agreed (and still do) with the Adem/Edema Ruh branching.
Rob Munnelly
17. RobMRobM
- Carceret was present because she was one of the mercenaries who discovered that Tempe was teaching Kvothe without proper authority.

- I remain convinced that the ability to act with the Lethani and the ability to name things are very closely related. The Lethani is a means of accessing the undermind used in naming.

- I like the idea that the Ademre are the people who lived in the land of Lanre and his wife. Easy to see how they would be kicked out of their homes and persecuted.

Andrew Mason
18. AnotherAndrew
Reagarding 'Adem' and 'Edema', I have a rather different theory about that. Considering the meaning of Hebrew adam, and perhaps also of Sindarin adan, could this simply come from a word in some ancient language for 'human', so that both groups are calling themselves 'the people'?
Steven Halter
19. stevenhalter
One question to ask as we go through these chapters is why the Cthaeh wanted Kvothe to go to the Adem. What things does Kvothe do/learn that might prove useful--although possibly in a negative fashion?
Some major things:
He gets more training in the Lethani. In the frame story he seems to have lost/suppressed this for some reason. Possibly he does something "unfortunate" with this training.
The Lethani training reinforces Elodin's training and the Spinning Leaf. All of this makes him somewhat better at naming.
He gets the sword.
He makes some enemies -- Carceret & co.
He spends time there away from the rest of 4C. THis could potentially have stopped him from doing a number of things in the 4C's--like talk to D too early.
Jo Walton
20. bluejo
GBrell: I think it's because she's the person who discovered Tempi teaching Kvothe, the one who pushed him. So that gives her a connection.

And thanks for spotting those.
21. RuafaolGaiscioch
Everyone is seeing the Chronicler right now as a bad guy, but I just can't see it. For one, it's a world, even more so than our world, where telling people information about yourself literally gives them some power over you. As far as I can tell, Kvothe, who by the time he's in the frame is very insightful and intuitive, trusts the Chronicler, and wouldn't be telling him his story if he didn't. He clearly has some ulterior motive, and most likely a part to play in the story, but I just can't see him as a villian.
22. RuafaolGaiscioch
About the Lethani, I was a bit confused by the passage about Kvothe cheating with the Spinning Leaf. He was calling forth subconscious answers to the questions, following the way rather than formulating a thought...isn't this exactly how one is supposed to follow the Lethani? Is Vashet jealous that Kvothe can access such thought patterns without her tutelage? What's going on here?
23. realmC
Oh, I really love where this is going since last week.

But one thought: PR is clearly trying to mix up your standard fantasy story; he even gave an interview once, where he said, if he could, he would remove the "chosen one" troupe from fantasy (not sure how exactly he phrased it).
Now I think if he feels that strongly about this, he might not write a plot with a "missing heir" element (K being the "son who brings the blood").
He might also not write a story, where "all myths are 100% correct and relevant" (or, since some of them are pretty convoluted, a lot of the stories might just turn out to have no impact on the plot).

I´m almost a little afraid of this being a giant fuzz of hints to those classical elements, whithout them ever being picked up (almost).
Ashley Fox
24. A Fox
@21 Not everyone. I dont. Whenever this discussion comes up (and it has come up before despite this weeks promotions!!) I feel that people are misapropriating a metaphor into something literal. It is K who makes up the story about chronicler and his magical abilities, this is representetive and in conjuction with the over theme of stories, how they are corrupted over time.diff perspectives/bias and how such stories become the truth thus influenceing future events/people/beliefs. These words become truth through repetition, not becuase they are the truth....and not becuase of a magic ability.

(Our world propaganda. Also has it occured to anyone that there are parrals between Americas fear of 'Reds under the beds' and false beliefs and the 4C's beliefs over the Adem. Even the colour Red and the Adems communist values(distribution of wealth). It amused me)

IMO Chronicler is too innocent to be a manipulater, but certainly is being used by K, Bast, Scarpi. (A parralel to K in the main story?).
Katy Maziarz
25. ArtfulMagpie
"After Aethe finished writing, Rethe said to him, ‘There is one final story, more important than all the rest, and that one shall be known when I awake.’"

Then Rethe closed her eyes and slept. And sleeping, she died."

Personally, I am certain that the final story Rethe meant to tell was told--it was told in the very fact of her death. The stories tell one how to follow the Lethani, and the Lethani is instinct and subconscious knowledge and doing what is right, not with any moral sense to the word, but what is right because it is the only way. Water flows downhill. That is the right thing. And for everything that lives, death is the last right thing they do.
26. Mouette
It's been a while since I read this portion of the book, so I may not remember everything in perfect clarity; if I've mistated facts in my commentary, please let me know.

What Carceret accuses Kvothe of being — and she’s kind of right, he is
stealing their knowledge for his own purposes and lying about
understanding the Lethani. I don’t mean to be hard on him, but what is
he bringing them, in return for what he’s getting?

He chooses to go with them, IIRC, to learn, yes - but also to stand by Tempi as Tempi is in trouble for teaching him. When he gets to the Adem it's not a situation of Kvothe waltzing up to them and saying "Teach me everything for free!!lulz!". It's the *Adem* telling him that he's going to be judged for what he's learned, and the strong implications in that judgment are "We'll either kill/maim you for what you've seen of our secrets so far, or we'll teach you. And if you don't learn well enough to satisfy us and maintain our reputation, we'll maim you then." Maybe the 'kill' idea isn't expressed, but I found their isolation and severity quite ominous.

Exactly at what point is he supposed to offer anything? He's in an isolated area with a bunch of practical, efficient warriors who will do anything to preserve their way of life. Not only would no one hear him scream, no one in the outside world even knows exactly where he is. Making one outsider boy disappear would be ridiculously easy for the Adem; he's in honest danger here. They don't give him the *option* of leaving. If he's forced to stay and learn, why should he have to give them anything for it? Regardless of the fact that he wants to learn.

He originally began learning Adem ways from befriending Tempi - first figuring out this strange creature called an Adem, copying Tempi's movements, and then learning language and gestures as a friend. For what Tempi teaches him, Tempi gets in what is apparently BigTrouble, and Kvothe goes along - of course to see if he can increase his knowledge, but also to help his friend out.

In what manner is he stealing knowledge?
27. Mouette
Oh, also. I wouldn't beat a dead horse... except for this:

I guess I just think of “love” as a more serious thing than the rest of you.

Wow. That's... an interesting comment on every single reader who argued that point last week.

Yeah, except that the text uses the word 'love' in a variety of contexts and applications, with different strengths and meanings, and there is no evidence in the text that the particular, romantic, in-love-with-you-forever is the type of love that Kvothe and indeed Rothfuss meant in the Losi interaction. It has quite literally nothing to do with each individual person's take on love and everything to do with what *Kvothe means* when he says Losi 'love(d)' him for those words.

You have no idea what love means to me or what I think about it. But we do know, from the text, that Kvothe repeatedly uses the term 'loving' as a euphemism for attraction and casual sex, as well for its meaning of strong, deep emotional attachment - and several levels of interaction in between those two. Fela falls in a 'first breath of love' with Sim after hearing him create Eld Vintic verse. Kvothe talks about loving each individual woman he beds down with. Kvothe's parents had a faithful, lifetime love.

All of these are different things, but they are each termed 'love' in the text. To limit analysis of the Losi situation to only the third, a lifetime emotional attachment, is willfully ignoring the particular context of the word 'love' and its uses in this story. To insult every single reader who argued against your particular analysis by pointing out that it might not mean *that kind of love* and insinuate that we all view love as a flippant, unserious, or ephemeral thing is not only rude, it completely ignores the arguments that were presented, then and now.

I think this is my last viewing of this particular reread.
Rob Munnelly
28. RobMRobM
@27 - no need to abandon the re-read. Please hang in.

Jo - I do have to agree that the quoted statement was not up to your usual high standards for thoughtfulness and acuity. (It's tough always being brilliant, I know. LOL.) I agree with Mouette that PR has shown many types of "loves" in the two books, and not all of them are "serious." I for one did not see a textual basis for viewing the K-Losi interaction as being particularly serious for either of them.

John Graham
29. JohnPoint
Woo hoo, promotion to E'lir! I'm happy that I piped up with my Selitos stone/lackless box theory. Happy dance!

Mouette @26 -- I think that's a great point about Kvothe's situation with the Adem. He's there ultimately by choice (he chose to go back with Tempi, as you say, to help his friend), and he's also there out of curiosity (to find out about the Lethani and the Chandrian). Once he is in Ademre, he's quite literally at their mercy.

@27 - thank you.

A. Fox @6 -- the potential parallel between Aethe and Rethe and Lanre and Lyra bears more thought. As we have to keep reminding ourselves (and in response to Jo @8) is that this is a story about stories. And stories change over time, and different versions can't be expected to be correct and without conflicts. In many ways, that's Pat's whole point. So, it's certainly possible that Lanre/Lyra could be the same people as Aethe/Rethe, and their stories have changed over time.

This has probably been discussed before, so feel free to let me know if it has, but I'm also struck between the parallels between Lanre/Lyra, Sir Savien/Alinoe, and Kvothe/Denna. We know that both of the first two stories are tragedies, and we've heard many times (and I strongly believe) the the KKC is a tragedy. In Skarpi's story, Lanre turns because he loved, and lost, Lyra. Tragedy befalls Savien and Alinoe. Denna is frequently referred to as Kvothe's Alinoe, and in the frame we know that some tragedy of some sort has befallen the love that Kvothe/Denna shared.

Is it possible that Whatever happened to K in the frame was his way of preventing himself from turning like Lanre? If he loved, and lost, Denna, then perhaps he broke/hid in the box/hid in his split alar/ etc. so that he wouldn't follow the same tragic path that Lanre did. He appears to be gaining the power to be able to try to call Denna back -- perhaps he knew that if he tried, he'd be as cursed as Lanre, and so he did whatever he did to avoid a chapter titled, "Kvothe Turned."
Jo Walton
30. bluejo
Mouette: I didn't mean I take love itself more seriously for goodness sake, I mean I take the word "love" as denoting something more serious than the rest of you do, which I think is self evident from what you yourself say! That's why it's in quotation marks up there.

But actually despite what you say, I can't think of an instance where "love" is used in the sense of a casual relationship. He doesn't use it about the other women he sleeps with, the ones he describes as "studying comparative female anatomy". He uses it about Fela and Sim, which is solid. He uses it about Sim falling in love with girls, and pining for them and being miserable without them. I think of "love" as meaning something where you'd be sad when it ended.

It's fine to disagree.
Ashley Fox
31. A Fox
@27. Moultte, I completey agree with this post, it is insulting and I also had your reaction uon first reading.

Its one thing to discuss/argue your point in context of the narrative, but quite a differnt thing to insinuate such a negative thing about those who disagree with you.

However I would urge you to stay and not take it to heart as Jo does not make a habit of this! lol. Nor does anyone else here.

Having people with different (corroberated) opinions is what makes this discussion so lively and fun.
32. Mouette
@30, Jo: I was apparently not the only one with that reaction, but it's good to know that wasn't what you intended the comment to mean. Miscommunication happens.

However, I disagree with your second point - Kvothe *does* use 'love' to casually to describe sexual relations, in fact, in the very same chapter. At the end of the Losi chapter, there's Kvothe's discussion of how a mortal woman could compare to bedding Felurian. He first calls it lovemaking, and then says each woman is like an instrument, "waiting to be learned, loved, and finely played". Whatever other issues there may be with his women/instruments comparison, he outright refers to casual intimacy as loving here.
33. grapnel33
“Love is a subtle concept,” I admitted. “It’s elusive, like justice, but it can be defined.”
Her eyes sparkled. “Do so then, my clever student. Tell me of love.”
I thought for a quick moment, then for a long moment.
Vashet grinned. “You see how easy it will be for me to pick holes in any definition you give.”

I think that anyone who is sure that they have the one and only exact meaning of "love" as it it is used in the text may want to think again. Perhaps for a long moment.
Jeremy Raiz
34. Jezdynamite
There's something I found interesting about a potential paradox to do with music in Adem culture.

In these chapters we've just read, Vashet makes it blatantly obvious what the Adem think of music and singing.

In about 15 chapters time, Penthe mentions that she would not hesitate going to the Tahl to be cured if she were to pick up a sexually transmitted disease.

There have been at least three references to the Tahl/Tahlenwald, which tie the Tahl with a form of singing magic.

Do any of you find it strange that the Adem would purposefully seek a form of singing magic to get healed (undertaking a trip that could take 2 years) - when singing/music is such a taboo for them (unless in the privacy of their own home with their family)?

* I hope I'm right in assuming the healing magic would be some form of singing.

Thurule@3: I really like your thoughts. Initially, I thought K just found it hard to write his own story (not everyone finds writing their own story an easy thing to do). But there could be more to it.
George Brell
35. gbrell

Perhaps we should remember that we're having a discussion where the only information we can glean about a person and their position is what is written. Without body language, intonation and context, perhaps we should all assume that most statements aren't intended to be insults or perhaps ask for clarification before becoming indignant.

And I'm saying this as someone who had the same adverse reaction many of you did last week to Jo's interpretation of "love."

These re-reads provide a wonderful area for discussion, but if we start interpreting everything in the worst light, I don't think it's going to be very productive.

For example:
@31.A Fox:
However I would urge you to stay and not take it to heart as Jo does not make a habit of this!

Make a habit of what? Stating her opinion? Questioning an apparently majority opinion (though there were certainly individuals who agreed with her reading)? Writing in a manner that can be misread as insulting?

My interactions with Jo have been nothing but productive. I think I'll give her the benefit of the doubt.

Jeremy Raiz
36. Jezdynamite
Love probably means different things to Losi, Kvothe, PR, Jo, me, you. I'm cool with that. I don't see the big deal, to be honest. So, we've got different meanings/thoughts. Great.

All this talk of what someone means when they talk about *love*. It makes me think of exactly what Vashet teaches K: love is a feeling that can be different things to different people and clearly defies explanation/definition.

Very apt, if you ask me. It seems obvious that its true, just from reading all these posts.

Hopefully no-one chooses to stop taking part in this re-read due to having a difference of opinion or being misunderstood. If that were the case, I'm pretty sure lots of people would have stopped months ago.
thistle pong
37. thistlepong
Not that I didn't get quoted enough or anything, for which thank you, but that second bit from JohnPoint is paraphrasing me. I'll never make Re'Lar if I don't stand up for myself.
Rob Munnelly
38. RobMRobM
Putting aside the narrow issue of K and "love," perhaps the more interesting observation is that our Jo in the last couple of chapters has started getting very tough on/down on our K. The "love" issue last week was one. The following this week was another.

What Carceret accuses Kvothe of being — and she’s kind of right, he isstealing their knowledge for his own purposes and lying about
understanding the Lethani. I don’t mean to be hard on him, but what ishe bringing them, in return for what he’s getting? He doesn’t even singfor his supper or pay tuition.

I would say this is not a particularly charitable way to look at K's actions. As pointed out above, he principally went to Haert because Tempe acknowledged it might help him avoid serious trouble - a pretty unselfish motive overall, even though it had the side benefit of getting K to see the Stormwahl as mentioned by the CTH. He learned the Ketan and Lethani because Tempe needed him to do so. Once there, he had to learn both to prevent banishment to Tempe and death or disfigurement to himself.

And while he was there, the learning did not all go in one direction. He helped Penthe with her language lessons. He improved his fighting partner's abilities. He gave Sheyhn and others information on non-Ademre perspectives. He openly discussed his blood magic powers. He agreed to Sheyhn's condition that he could only discuss with others that he was partially trained, to avoid harm to the Ademre overall. He did get a sword but he agreed to give it back at his death (and, apparently, did so.) (And, of course, he gave his fine "anger" and apparently useless seed to several women.)

On balance, I don't see "stealing" and I don't see an out of balance "deal." Certaintly, apart for Carceret (who is a yapping dog), none of the Ademre seems to have any major problem with K's actions.
39. Mouette
@35, gbrell: I probably did take offense too easily, though I wasn't the only one who interpreted the statement in the way I did. I'd just reached a tipping point of frustration with the discussion that frothed over at what I felt was an unwarranted dig. Whether or not that interpretation was reasonable... eh, that's up to the individual. I naturally feel that my interpretation was reasonable based on the text of Jo's statement - but I was wrong, she explained it, it makes perfect sense, and it's okay. I'm sorry if I overreacted.

I think part of my reaction was tied to a growing frustration with the situation; discussion is fine, disagreement is healthy, but despite several other commenters pointing it out in the other thread, Jo still doesn't acknowledge that in the actual text Kvothe uses 'love' to refer to casual liasons. Interpretation of facts is part of good debate; pretending facts don't exist is not. Anyone is welcome to disagree with me forever, I don't care if someone has a different opinion. But disagreeing while not acknowledging contrary facts that have been pointed out freezes the discussion in place; it can't move forward or grow in any way.

Though that leads to the whole interpretation of text issue, because text is all we have - both in this forum of discussion and of the books. I'm happy to acknowledge that it's possible for other interpretations of what I see as clear examples can exist. You're right, of course; text is all we have, and we need to be careful both in what we say and how we interpret each other's sayings. If I overstepped that bound, I'm sorry.

I generally don't comment on this reread because y'all do a much better job of looking into the subtleties of the books than I could. I promise I am not an insane raven waiting in the wings to swoop down and attack people. I've just grown frustrated, as Rob points out in @38, with a tendency in the reread to take a negative, if not the worst possible, view of Kvothe's actions. Though I've noticed the trend much earlier than the last few chapters.
M Linden
40. mlinden
In @22, RuafaolGaiscioch says:
I was a bit confused by the passage about Kvothe cheating with the Spinning Leaf. He was calling forth subconscious answers to the questions, following the way rather than formulating a thought...isn't this exactly how one is supposed to follow the Lethani? Is Vashet jealous that Kvothe can access such thought patterns without her tutelage? What's going on here?
Ruafaol, I don't think Vashet is jealous at all, she was being sarcastic here. "Cheating" would have been pulling the answers out of a book he had hidden under the table, or something. He's pulling the answers from his own sleeping mind; he's not doing anything wrong, he's doing it explicitly right. But of course, Vashet, being who she is, can't actually SAY that, without saying it in such a way as it implies Kvothe is an unimaginable idiot. No jealousy, just snark.

Speaking of Vashet, one thing struck me about some of her back-story. She once spent time with a "poet king" from the Small Kingdoms? What if Kvothe, for whatever reason, killed this king? Sounds like a way that Kvothe could both be "kingkiller" and Caesura could be "poet killer" in the same act. The interesting question is, why would Kvothe use his Adem sword to kill his Adem mentor's former employer/lover/whatever? What do we know about the Small Kingdoms? Could Vashet's Poet King be Bredon?
David C
41. David_C
shalter @ 19 are we actually sure that the Cthaeh intended Kvothe to head to Ademre? Perhaps the Cthaeh intends for K to go the the
Tahlenwald, and the effect of the suggestion has not yet happened.

David C
42. David_C
Mouette @ 27
I wouldn't beat a dead horse.
It's good to know that we have someone willing to beat the living horses, should the need arise. Is this an Amyr sentiment? or of the Lethani?

David C
43. David_C
A Fox @ 24 "Whenever this discussion comes up (and it has come up before despite this weeks promotions!!)"...

... and I've been promoted to E'lir before (here). I've wondered about K delaying Chronicler before too, and why the trunk is upstairs. I think that you are right to view the suggestion that Chronicler has Author-like powers with suspicion. I do believe that it is interesting to explore Chronicler's motives and possible connections to Skarpi et al.

After all, the frame story is our most immediate connection to the resolution of Day Three.
David C
44. David_C
Jezdynamite @ 34 Do any of you find it strange that the Adem would purposefully seek a form of singing magic to get healed undertaking a trip that could take 2 years) - when singing/music is such a taboo for them (unless in the privacy of their own home with their family)?

No odder than WASP North Americans willing to get nude in front of their doctor.
Philbert de Zwart
45. philbert
The theory of the Adem/Edema Ruh stemming from a single people that split, springs to mind easily because of the strong resemblance with Robert Jordan's Aiel:
Also originated from a single people
Also split in two (this is the theory at least)
Also one portion ends up in a desolate place (the Waste, the Stormwall) turning into a people of expert fighters, the other turning into Gipsy-like people (Tinkers!) with an emphasis on music.

This resemblance can be used both as an argument for and against this theory...
Jo Walton
46. bluejo
David C -- I thought you had, but I hadn't written it down on my little list and I couldn't find it, and you were being brilliant again. (I hadn't written any of those down, so thank you for linking. I have written them down now.)

We've talked about Chronicler as more than he seems before, but the idea that he's doing the writing-down magic D talks about and that possibly K is getting himself written down as less is new -- the dragon into draccus thing. "Looking for a legend and found a lizard, looking for a myth and found a man" -- or did he find a legend and turn it into a lizard?
Steven Halter
47. stevenhalter
David_C@41:Of course we aren't sure of anything that the Cthaeh intends. But, heading to Ademre seems likely as Kvothe actually thinks:
I thought of what the Cthaeh had said. The one shred of potentially useful information it had let slip in our conversation. You laughed at faeries until you saw one. Small wonder all your civilized neighbors dismiss the Chandrian as well. You’d have to leave your precious corners far behind before you found someone who might take you seriously. You wouldn’t have a hope until you made it to the Stormwal.
So Kvothe's going to Ademre is the one thing we have evidence that is directly triggered by what the Cthaeh said. The Cthaeh knew very well what Kvothe would be doing, so it would seem likely that it intended this effect.
Steven Halter
48. stevenhalter
Also, note that the Cthaeh's effect upon Kvothe is direct and quite possibly more than just the words it utters. Kvothe pretty much has a complete breakdown after the conversation and requires quite a bit of time to recover "to himself". I'm not convinced that he actually does recover but rather is going through another (or continuation) of the Tarbean effect.
Steven Halter
49. stevenhalter
Kvothe may or may not have been execrable in his behavior towards Losi. I can see both sides of the argument there. It looks like at least part of the reason he has his fling is leftover effects of Fae & Felurian.
However, he also, at least, thinks he has been told (by the Cthaeh) that the woman he claims to care about (D) is being beaten while he dallies with his piskie. In fact it is that portion of the Cthaeh's speach that seems to make Kvothe run away.
Then, what's the first thing Kvothe does upon getting back to 4C? He boasts of his time in Fae to the tavern and then he strikes up an affair with a tavern girl. That seems like odd behavior. That, coupled with his going off to the Stormwal on his next chance combines to make me think that all is not right with Kvothe.
50. wcarter4
@49 I've been thinking much the same thing about Kvothe having been changed somehow. I'll go into more detail with my theory once we get to the next chapter he interacts with D again but the crux is:
"What if Felueran and CTH have both worked some sort of magical compulsion on Kvothe subtely changing both his attitude and that of people exposed to him to facilitate him having liasons?
*We do know that one of the reasons Felueran let him leave her alive was percisely so he would go and have relationships to mortal women so he could finish his song about her.
*The Cheteah on the other hand may want him to give into self destructive behavior he was formerly to chilverous/niave to partake in either as a way of steering him towards a destiny that most suits the spirits design or simply to destroy any hope the man has at true, long term happiness.
51. Mouette
@42: The living horses are too lovely to beat. :P
thistle pong
52. thistlepong
Re: Chronicler

I was tring to reconcile some quibbles before publishing the timeline and took note of his relatively mundane concerns. An example disappointing the Earl of Baedn-Bryt and the effort of returning to his good graces. We get some glimpses into his thoughts and motivations. I'm willing to doubt Kvothe's narrative and certainly the stories nested one or two layers deep. But having the 3rd person objective pov sections give false information undermines the entire text.
Ashley Fox
53. A Fox
wow we seem to have reached a saturation point of familiarity and now are getting all emotive. Im starting to see the benefit of Adem hand gestures, and seing where we are in the book...

::small wry humour, soft depreciation::

@35 ::Formal::

A habit of insulting, as made quite clear in the overall context of the post ::important::. It was not an attack ::dismissel:: It was saying that Jo did not ::emphasis:: make a habit of insulting. Indeed it was awknowledging the effect of the statment, comparing that to Jos other postings and giving her the "benefit of the doubt" ::wry humour:: and then inviting Moulette to stay , as did others, and enjoy the debate.::appreciation::

@43 Well, yess....::irony, small friendly smile::

@34 My view ::humble:: is that music is not taboo becuase it is viewed negatively ::firm:: but rather becuase it is held in such esteem, it is viewed as something more intimate than sex ::personal, beautiful awe::.

A healing of a powerful nature would be held in awe also ::soft gratitude::, if that healing is achieved by singing....well think your point that there is a correlation holds, but that it is a positive one, that does not undermine the relationship. ::friendly respect::

::curiosity, tenative excitement::
Arlidens song, on Lanre : "Love felled him, love for native land, And love for his wife Lyra" Native land, I feel this ties in with the supposition that most of the 'magic' is in Faen after the two were seperated and the monn pulled in twain. This coupled with Lanre's weeds speech, and the ref to the land being broken and sky changed. What if this loss of magic was a part of the land, his native land being broken, the war he had been fighting, in what essentially amouts to an attempt to lock the doors of Faen, with the shapers inside, is what broke the land. He becomes embittered with hs broken land, with the near powerless mortals. Perhaps he doesnt want to destroy the world, but bring the two worlds together (which would destroy the known world). One world, one sky, one moon. Also note his description on the vase, of moons. What if he did succeed in locking the doorways to Faen fighting as Lanre at Drossen Tor, then has spent the years as Haliax trying to open them..This could go someway to explaining Cinder's presence in the Eld, he was scouting out a Doorway. We have supposed before that the Eld was the location of Drossen Tor, becuase Lanre died there perhaps it has been left till last... (but even so we know there is a Doorway as Felurian leads K through one)

Lyra/Rethe perhaps offering Lethani as a way to move forward, ensure the right future rather than dwelling on the unchengeable past.

This continues the theme of K stumbling in millenia old plots, perhaps not even being the chosen one.

"It is the hinge on which the story pivots like an opening door" WMF P114
54. TheFrog
Along the same lines as a timeline (which I can't wait to see)...
I know in previous threads there have been many discussions regarding where all of the places and events in the book are located. Has anyone attempted to add these locations (utilizing the text as best as possible) to the existing (pitiful) map we have been given and create a revised map? I have to say, as much as I love PR's books, the lack of a good map has been such a disappointment.
George Brell
55. gbrell

I appreciate that Jo sometimes takes a particularly critical view of Kvothe's actions, even if that view is sometimes overly negative. I would agree with what appears to be the majority that I usually don't view Kvothe's actions in that light, but I appreciate the attempt to view the text objectively or in non-traditional ways. I think this event has demonstrated that a majority of the re-readers don't subscribe to that view.

I agree that ignoring evidence is a different beast, however.


At this point, I think the inadequacy of the map is a feature, not a bug. Besides Newarre, I'm not sure that the text provides us with much evidence to locate almost anything else on the map.
56. Thurule
@43 A Fox

That was awesome ::great appreciation::
John Graham
57. JohnPoint
Thistlepong @37 is completely right that my second quote was paraphrasing. Sorry that didn't come through clearly in the part that Jo quoted. The ideas re Selitos being the Cthaeh, and the rock/blood locked in the box being the reason the Cthaeh is trapped in the Rhinna were definitely thistlepong's.

My original thought about the Selitos stone/Loeclos box was that Selitos' blood might be somehow maintaining the binding on Haliax, or perhaps that the Lockless family could be Selitos' descendants and have his blood flowing in their veins. When someone "of" Selitos' bloodline (e.g., Kvothe) used the stone, it might somehow influence the Chandrian.

But I like thistlepong's idea better!
thistle pong
58. thistlepong
Well. Without your catch, I'd have nothing anyway. Much love.

At this point, I think the inadequacy of the map is a feature, not a bug. Besides Newarre, I'm not sure that the text provides us with much evidence to locate almost anything else on the map.
Where'd y'all end up placing it?
Jo Walton
59. bluejo
Thistlepong: In Vintas. GBrell found so much evidence that everyone pretty much agreed. Check out the speculative geography post.
Steven Halter
60. stevenhalter
@57,58:I like the stone in the box with Selitos blood, but just so we have a list, I would propose variant 3 of its plot usefulness:
It will be used to summon/influence Selitos.
Ashley Fox
61. A Fox
Im uncertain of this, yet it fits comfortably and is as good as any guess to whats in the box, and perhaps even has more direct evidence.

We also know that blood does not need to be fresh to be used. Devi takes some of K's blood and keepes it for months, by which point it would be dried out, yet it is accepted that this is still able to be used for a binding.

So if Selitos' blood is in there, it would still be viable. And it would be the blood that is the important thing, not the mountain glass.

My biggest problem is how to intergrate this with our knowledge of the Lockless clan. Why would they have it. Would that make them the ruarch who followed him, keeping it in safe keeping like a relic? Selitos certainly seemed to be fighting on the same side as Lanre during Drossen Tor, the side that was shutting the enemy behind dorrs of stone, stuffing the Fae* and Shapers into Faen, or at least locking the dorrs behind there retreat. Is this then th link between the Lockless and the Doors?

Snigger perhaps the Mason like secrecy of the Lockless clan is literal, the were the Masons who built the Doors of Stone-notorius for their lack of locks. Hired by the Namers to help tether the magic that seperated the worlds. :)

* From Felurians talk of the past with K. "before men. before fae" & "no. I have said. this was before. there was but one sky. one moon one world, and in it was murella. and the fruit. and myself, eating it, eyes shining in the dark." Here she makes a pointed difference between herself and Fae. 'Fae' then takes on connotations of denoting the country she is from rather than her species.

Tarbolin. continuing the idea that the biggest defeat happened and the the enemy was set behind the Doors of Stone,at Drosson Tor, that the doors were locked. Fae would have little knowledge, and that only retrospectively of the time immediately after, when the Door become ajar.

Martens' story. What if Tarbolin is in a Stweard role of one of the cities to be betrayed. It has been suposed that Scyphus 'the sorrceror king' is Cyphus, one of the Seven. We know that each of the Seven led an attack that destroyed each city in the betrayel..

"Tarbolin...knew the names of all things, so all things were his to command." This description of his abilities sounds very much like those of Selitos and those old main players we've heard of. It also sounds like he is a Shaper as well as Namer as per Felurians definition. Then there is his cloak of no particular colour which sounds very similar to a shaed. If felurian has this knowledge perhaps others from before the war did too. His sword, we have references to Adem swords well before DT, the height of the war, to perhaps the begining of it.

Tarbolin begins to battle, but the story ends before he confronts Scyphus.

Perhaps the story not only ends becuase of the interuption, perhaps it stops here becuase this is the part of the story that is closest to the truth. If the story follows the typical arc of a folk hero Tarbolin will battle scyphus and win. But what if he didnt, what if he escaped alive, but the city was destroyed.

Tarbolin, like K, does not seem to be affiliated with any side but seems to react to each situation as it arises according to his own agenda. Tarbolin also seems to adept at opening stuff...
George Brell
62. gbrell

Random thought: Could Selitos' blood be the bullet in the Chekhov's gun of boiling blood through sympathy. It's mentioned by Wilem in the Kvothe-Denna-Sim-Willem bar scene. Kvothe mentions it again after he is first attacked by Ambrose.

And then he randomly mentions a very specific device after Kilvin turns down his request to learn the sygladry for blood and bone:

"I could use them to make all manner of unpleasant things. Like a little metal disk with a hole in it. Then, if you put a drop of someone’s blood in it, you could use it to burn them alive."

I think that might be even darker than the blood magic he's already done. It's a worse consequence with even less of the visible moral consequence. Worse, what if someone tricks him into thinking the blood is someone else's? Haliax's or Cinder's? What if the person convincing him was Denna?
George Brell
63. gbrell
I'm not sure this deserves its own post, but this section also has my favorite passage in the book:

Giddy with praise, but conscious of the fact I was being watched, I kept my face locked in the proper impassivity as Shehyn walked away with Penthe in tow.

I leaned my head close to Vashet’s. “I like Shehyn’s little hat,” I said.

Vashet shook her head and sighed. “Come.” She jostled my shoulder with her own and got to her feet. “We should leave before you spoil the good impression you have made today.”

I don't know why, but it cracks me up every time I read it.

Next week we'll get a close second with:

It was the same scolding any child receives. Stay out of the neighbor’s garden. Don’t tease the Bentons’ sheep. Don’t play tag among the thousand spinning knives of your people’s sacred tree.
Ashley Fox
64. A Fox
Oh you might say that Natalia running away with Arliden was more Romeo and Juilette than we thought. If the Lockless are descended through those allied with Selitos (the Ruarch that stood with him) and the Edema and Adem are Ruarch that followed the singers and Lanre/Lyra/Aeth/Rethe respectively the their union would be crossing an age of enimity, each from opposing camps/Houses.

Selitos founded the Amyr. If the originators of the Lackless clan stood with him it would stand that he would protect them. The Lackless family are noted for being extremely old, surviving despite evrything, inc the violent uprising of the Aturan empire with the Amyr at its heart, and its subsequent fall. They are remarkably tenacious throughout the ages.

The CTH tells K if he sticks be the Maer he will be led to the Amyr's door. Meluan Lockless, we have speculated that this refers too. Door could be an enderment, a pun on her family's former occupation. The were once the Amyr's allies so the possesive s valid/truth.

Though they have long forgotten this alliance and the relic they guard. Mmm, yes, I do think I support the idea of the box containg a shard of mountain glass wit Selitos' blood on.
Steven Halter
65. stevenhalter
gbrell@62:Yes, I would guess Kvothe (or one of them) would make use of the blood in some way from summoning (unharmful) to some harmful/forbidden manner (harmful aspects are emphasized as you say)--depends on the story circumstances.
It just occured to me that this puts a different slant on the "brings the blood" phrase. It isn't that Kvothe brings the blood by genetics, but that he opens the Lockless box that contains the blood thus bringing the important blood to be used in some way. This would be a nice twist on the destined by blood trope.
thistle pong
66. thistlepong
My original thought about the Selitos stone/Loeclos box was that Selitos' blood might be somehow maintaining the binding on Haliax, or perhaps that the Lockless family could be Selitos' descendants and have his blood flowing in their veins.
With the Selitos/Cthaeh theory, Lanre is a better fit for the Lockless. Actually he may be a better fit regardless. Who better than the man for whom no barrier is, tragically, impassable?
I am Haliax and no door can bar my passing.
If so, it may even begin to make a little sense out of Denna’s song. Ash commisions the pro-Lanre version of the betrayal. He and Denna travel the world collecting fragments and genealogies. If he's connected to the Lockless family, then there's motive.
He wouldn’t be the first to ingratiate himself by shining a light on someone’s long-lost heroic ancestor. Or maybe he’s trying to invent a heroic ancestor for himself.
Implied is the notion that parallel to a song even Kvothe finds beautiful they're also reconstructing a family tree back to Lanre. To what end?

Looking through the Lackless and Ash summaries, folks around here seem heavily, if not entirely, Bredon. As to who or what Bredon is there’s not so much consensus. One possibility I didn’t see was Aculeus Lackless. It’s a bit of a name out of a hat, but Aculeus is ahead of Meluan in the peerage. It would make sense for Aculeus to be at court in Severen holding sufficient sway to keep Kvothe completely in the dark. And to conspire toward a distant heroic (and potentially very real) ancestor to whatever personal purpose and/or to awe Alveron.
“I half suspect the song is for Alveron himself. Master Ash has implied he’s had dealings with the Maer.”
I figure those dealings include securing an alliance between the two most powerful entities in Vintas with no particular love for, and nominal fealty to, Roderic Calanthis.

bonus nonsense from
ACULEUS: a sharp-pointed process; specif an insect's ovipositor esp. when modified into a sting
thistle pong
67. thistlepong
Thanks. I think I was actually around for gbrell’s original post. Glad I didn’t miss anything new.

In his earliest blog posts, Rothfuss talked about filling in the map and adding a bestiary to his website. Eventually he stopped writing about it and it obviously never materialized. I assume that was because of people like us who engaged the lack of specifics. gbrell says it elegantly.

I did manage to get him to throw this bone over at Westeros.
Will you tell us where Severen is located on your map?
It's north of Renere. South of Tinue.
I’d tend to put it at the top of the largest lake, probably on the river up there.
68. Mouette
@53: ::salute of respect::. Your brilliance moves me. ::applause::

@63: ::deep, lasting humor:: I love those bits too. ::happy sigh:: Everything else admirable about the KKC aside, I love these books for the quick, wry humor that sneaks in every which way. Clever, clever writing, but the cleverness never comes at expense of the story. Instead, it just makes me burst out in a giggle every few pages. ::appreciation::
69. Silkki
David_C @ 41

CTH isn't limited to butterfly effect. Say a random person comes to his tree for advice.

"Hello Mr. Cth! Where can I find information about cinders whereabouts."

Since there are many different places where said information can be found, Cth can easily choose wether to send the asker searching in Ademre, or University or anywhere he likes. All he needs to do in say.

"Oh boy I think there is old Diary Cinder kept when he was younger located in the ruins below university!" and tada, our young hero goes that way.

I don't think what Cth does is as simple as that, but he certainly has power to do things in short term.
Ashley Fox
70. A Fox
@46 On the writing down magic + Chronicler being new. I thought I remembered it from earlier. You then mention this post in the next week's part. :)

"5. Abs Thursday October 27, 2011 01:48pm EDT Flag | Bookmark The part about Chronicler I suspect to be true is this line. K says the Chronicler carries around a great book and whatever he writes in it comes true, and if he knows one of your secrets he can write whatever he wants about you. This sounds very similar to the type of magic D asks about later in the book – writing something down and then making it true. That is two references to this new type of magic – one in the frame and one in the story. Chronicler knows the name of Iron, so what other magic does he know? Did Bast seek out Chronicler to write the story in order to restore K to Kvothe?"
Jeremy Raiz
71. Jezdynamite
A Fox@53 - thanks, for your perspective on music. It fits nicely.
72. Nae77blis77
I'd always thought of the Yllish knots as the "magic that makes things true by writing it down" True the knots are not exactly writing, but they perform the same function as writing, and I can see how a non-Yllish person may see no difference if told or discovering how that magic was done.

Not that this means there isn't some underlying principle to it that can be converted across language barriers.
73. Deepali
WOw. The theory that the Chronicler making things true as they re written - thanks! fits nicely.

@gbrell - :) Good quotes there!
74. Santiln
I was reading some of the comments in this site about about the thrice locked chest and what's the secret inside. What if it is a part of him, something that makes Kote and Kvothe different people? Some suggested that he is keeping part of his name there, like Iax with the moon. But what if it's easier than that. What is the most important thing to Kvothe in every chapter of his past? What made him keep going when he was down? His music. What if the lute it's locked in that chest? If he doesn't want to go near it because of the tentation to become Kvothe again?
75. Mouette
Okay, random half-assed thought time. We go over and over words in the series and their use and meaning; if anyone else has brought this up before and I don't remember it, I apologize.

But it struck me as I was doing something else last night - these are called the Kingkiller Chronicles. Chronicles... Chronicler. Rothfuss is so careful with everything else that part of me wonders whether that usage is not a coincidence. A clue hiding in plain sight that Chronicler is a bigger part of the story than we think? Or just the stutterings of an overly paranoid mind?
76. Mouette
Double post.
Ashley Fox
77. A Fox
@74 Oh yes, I believe it was this thinking that led people (someone?) to associate with the emphasis on one of the different types of silences in the inn. And of course, there being no music...or a line much like that. Attributed to his lute being locked in the chest; part of his Kvothe identity he has put aside, changing his name, being cursed (a new chandrian), some saying his ability to play connected with being forsworn on the oath he makes by his hand. Another theory (or component) was proprioception, others assiciating this with evidence of him breaking his mind in several bindings, sympathy, or hiding knowledge from himself Tarbean style.

I think I still swing with an intentional setting aside of the things that are essential to Kvothe, allowing himself to be Kote, his seperated mind (like how to open his box, and maybe even his magical nature). And I think there is definate merit to his hand being forsworn.

I think his name change will feature in the betrayal.

@72, I agree. Yllish knots are the earliest known writings, what was Elodins qoute? Before people were scratching in the irt or somesuch. The implication of that brings the language in the same era as the rise of the Knowers, Aelph at al. We know during, and before the CW that there are people of a significant/cultural level to be writing so the language dates as a fair while before the CW.

As that time seems to be imbued with magic it is not a far stretch to see how the knots would too. And the way they are set up, interlinking, is suggestive of our the 'objects' of the words being use interlink with one another, changing each other in the process. More like Names.

There is also the lack of possessive, and each word changing the nature of the word it is connected to.

So if the knot represented a Name, the essence of that thing/person/emotion and was then woven with another, ecing change...could this not have a literal change, the interaction between the Names?

This doesnt seem so much shaping as weaving.

We also see a shaed woven, of magic.

Could also argue that you weave notes together to make music.

There is also Felurians admonishments of Nameing.

This continuity, flow seems essential for amaximum of power. It could be argued that the modern languages they speak are not sufficiant to bear names-other that simple ones such as fire, wind, stone-even with these someone who does not know the name heres it in an older language. Avendasora (or something like that!)

The runes may have developed as a pen and ink version of knotwork, then simplified for ease of use, losing the interlinking flow of knots. Perhaps this is why sgaldry works, its tapping into the power of Names of the things itself. Again the runes we have seen are relatively simple (and some of those thought dangerous enough) even though the runes can form complexish patterns.

When Kvothe names Felurian, a Name far more complex than any f the above, he sings four notes.

So weaving rather than brickowrk ;)
thistle pong
78. thistlepong
Initial Posting 03-04-2012

Zero set at Kvothe's entrance to the University

It's probably better for the overall discussion to contact me directly with questions or concerns rather than polluting the chapter by chapter analysis. But that's ultimately up to Jo and the community at large. I'll make edits and note changes as necessary. Enjoy!
Kvothe's Age
Skill Leveling
-10,000 shepherds begin whistling Bell Weather ::lol::
~Tinker Tanner (the oldest song in the world, not really)

Old Knowers
“these old name-knowers moved smoothly through the world. they knew the fox and they knew the hare, and they knew the space between the two.”
“then came those who saw a thing and thought of changing it. they thought in terms of mastery. “they were shapers. proud dreamers.”
Felurian on the walls of Murella
Faen sewn from whole cloth by the Shapers
Each shaper wrought a star to fill the empty sky of Faen
Iax spoke to the Cthaeh
Iax pulls the Moon into Faen
(the land cracks and the sky changes)
The Mortal makes war on Faen
The Creation War (centuries long)
-5500 Chael shapes Saicere
~ 5000 x 31
#Owners - Finol
The Empire of Ergen (hundreds of cities)
The Empire reduced to Seven cities and one city
Belen, Antus, Vaeret, Tinusa, Emlen, Murilla and Murella
Myr Tariniel, greatest of them all and the only one unscarred by the long centuries of war.
Lanre marries Lyra
L&L thwart a surprise attack on Belen
L&L raise armies
L&L make the cities the cities recognize the need for allegiance.
L&L press the Empire’s enemies back
Blac of Drossen Tor turns the tide of the war
Finol holds Saicere (more people died in three days than are living today)
Lanre dies killing a great beast with scales of black iron
The enemy is set/shut beyond the doors of stone
Lyra resurrects Lanre
War continues, years pass
Lyra dies, Lanre disappears
Lanre speaks to the Cthaeh
Lanre orchestrates the betrayal
Lanre comes to Myr Tariniel
MT and six other cities ruined.
Selitos curses Haliax and his allies

The fragment depicted in NotW c.28
Most of the ruach choose not to become invloved
Selitos founds the Amyr
Aleph empowers Tehlu & Pals
The Adem
Aethe seeks mastery over the bow
Aethe founds a school
Rethe comes
Aethe & Rethe duel
Rethe dictates nine and ninety tales
The Aethe path founded
The Aratan path founded
The Latantha path founded

-3000 The Loeclos Box
Heldred unites the nomads in the hills around the Shalda Mountains
Heldim and Heldar
-2000 The Cealdim introduce standardized hard currency
(Kvothe’s inaccurate Saicere estimate)
-1500 Sovoy’s blood goes back fifty generations
-1300 Oldest surviving mention of Loeclos family name
-1000 Height of Lockless power
Trapis's Story (corroborated)
The Book of the Path
-1000 The Aturan Empire & the Tehlin Church
-900 variant spellings of Lockless in Caudicus's book
-600 The Lockless change their name(s)
Lackless (Vint)
Laclith (South)
Kaepcaen (Modeg)
(Trapis’s story: disputed)
-400 The Aturan Empire absorbs Vint
-370 Gibea begins vivisection
-350 The Amyr move against the Duke of Gibea
19/23 volumes lost
-300 Alpura Prolycia Amyr
The Pontifex dispands the Amyr
*during Emperor Nalto’s reign
-300 to present Nine cataloguing systems in the Archives
-300 to -200 The Aturan Empire collapses
-200 novel travelogues all the rage in Modeg
-200 Tehlins still burned anyone with a knack
*called demon signs
-80 The Medica removes cataracts
-55 Oren Velciter born
*Abenthy born
-50 Four Master Archivists within five years of one another
3 factions:
-40 Lerand Alveron born
* Trapis born
*Abenthy enters the University (18)
-35 Larkin Ledgers burned
ending 15 years of Scriv Holy War
200,000 books effectively lost
*Abenthy knows as much as Kvothe@11 (20)
-30 Master Archivist Tollem dies
new Master Archivist
new Archival System
-24 Maershon Lerand Alveron succeeds his father (16)
-18 Simmon Dalonir born
* Denna Born
-16 Arliden steals Laurian away
-15 Kvothe born
-12 Kvothe learns to sing (Age 3)
-9 Kvothe stops believing in magic (Age 6)
-7 Kvothe learns the Lute (Age 8)
-7 Kvothe learns an eclectic smattering of Commonwealth law
-6 Kvothe learns the inner workings of the Modegan royal court from Hetera (Age 9)
Arliden begins collection stories about Lanre…
-5 Elodin is Chancellor
-4 Abenthy joins Greyfallow’s Men (Age 11)
I learned how to work the sextant, the compass, the slipstick, the abacus. More important, I learned to do without. Within a span I could identify any chemical in his cart. In two months I could distill liquor until it was too strong to drink, bandage a wound, set a bone, and diagnose hundreds of sicknesses from symptoms. I knew the process for making four different aphrodisiacs, three concoctions for contraception, nine for impotence, and two philtres referred to simply as “maiden’s helper.”
Mental agility exerices, alar, heart of stone, seek the stone, sympathy (90 bindngs)
-4 The Chandrian/University conversation
-4 Kvothe uses sympathy to “call the wind”
(a month before his 12th birthday)
-3/4 Abenthy stays in Hallowfell
Arliden performs 11 lines of /(Lanre)/
(a couple span before Kvothe turns 12)
-3 Kvothe learns: (Age 12)
japing and tumbling from Trip
dancing from Shandi
swordplay for Teren
acting from Arliden
etiquette from Laurian
-3 Greyfallow’s Men massacred
TIME is essentially broken here. The time following Hallowfell, through the massacre, and toward Tarbean is inadequately described, clumsy, and difficult to account for. Kvothe should be well into his thirteenth year by the time he reaches Tarbean, but he says, “That was the first night of nearly three years I spent in Tarbean.” He means roughly twenty one months. In any case he’s still 12.
-3 (under duress) Tarbean
Begging, slitting purses, picking pockets, picking locks, living barefoot, self sufficiency and distrust, being victim to and witnessing assault
Tarbean Year One:
Pike, Trapis, Hillside (Encanis/Gerrek saves him during Midwinter Pageantry.)
Tarbean Year Two:
Trapis’s Story, attacking Pike
Tarbean Year Three:
Skarpi’s stories (just past 15)
-5 days Kvothe sells Rhetoric and Logic
Shuden, 35 Caitelyn
meets Denna
leaves Tarbean
-4 days
-3 days Kvothe and Denna talk on the greystone
-2 days Kvothe plays Josn’s Lute
-1 day Kvothe arrives in Imre, parts with Denna
0 Kvothe admitted to University
Cendling, 43 Caitelyn
SOMETHING is amiss there, too. Kvothe says, “But if it was the thirty-fifth then I only had five days to get to the University. I knew from Ben that admissions only lasted until Cendling.” Reta and Roent’s caravan travels five days, but eight dates pass. Eight dates are consistent with the weekdays from Shuden to Cendling.
+1-2 years WMF (16-17)
+8 years Bast (23)
The Event
+9 Waystone Inn (24)
+10 Chronicler arrives (25)
Day 1
Shamble Man kills Shep, killed by Aaron
Day 2
Carter and Aaron leave for Treya with the Orrisons
Kvothe robbed by King’s Men
Day 3
Carter and Aaron to return
Chronicler has missed his appointment with Skarpi
-500 to -1000: The Universty has been around for centuries, while Caluptena was burned by Tehlin Atur.

*Taborlin the Great
“I heard from a boy in Temper Glen that if your arm’s cut off they can sew it back on at the University. Can they really? Some stories say Taborlin the Great went there to learn the names of all things. There’s a library with a thousand books. Are there really that many?”
The name creep issue aside, only a few rare stories survive very long in the Mortal. Taborlin’s widespread contemporary presence coupled with the above quote place him, generously, within a thousand years; if he existed at all.

Also within a thousand years: his crowining work is about a Tehlin Amyr.
Ashley Fox
79. A Fox

It could mean that Kvothe is not only waiting to die. He does. And we are reading Chroncler's Chroncile of these events. He has survived what happens, and recorded the frame after, then interposed it in the format we are familiar with (lol) honouring the way Kvothe has set up the high standard of storytelling, the build up info and relevance.

Maybe the end of D3 is Chronicler, weary and wiser beyound his years, setting down to finish Kvothes story...which would bring it neatly full circle to the very begining.
Jeremy Raiz
80. Jezdynamite
Thistlepong@78 - great timeline. Thank you Very much. It must have taken you ages to put together.

I tried writing to you on your shout box but I got this error:

Fatal error: Class 'JModuleHelper' not found in
/www/sites/ on line 873

I've gone through some of my notes and I've found a few other dates (only the second and last In my list below aren't supported by an exact year). Not sure if those two should even be included.

-1000:  Human Amyr had been founded by the Tehlin church in the early days of the Aturan empire. 
For 200 yrs b/w -1000 & -300: Human Amyr are strong hand of church (bright knights of Aturan empire)
-150:  Antressor (famous instrument maker) lived and made a mandolin
-100:   last publicly known case of malfeasance
-50:  alchemist used a plum bob to ruin lives of a few govt officials in Atur (not so important)
-30:    Manet enrolled at university
-12:   Last student before kv to be banned from archives
-10/11:  Caudicus became part of Maer's court (a dozen years before Kv in Severen).
Caudicus spent a winter with Baron Jakis not long before Kv went to Severen.

One more thing; in WMF Chp. 2, K mentions he had been pondering (for 2 years) what the local populace do with pomace. I'm not sure if your timeline reflects K has been in Newarre for 1 or 2 years.

Thanks again!
81. Namechanger
Personally, I think the Chronicler's role in the story is to give Kvothe his name back so he can go back to adventuring in a new trilogy. It seems to me that Kvothe must have "changed" his name like Elodin warned him against (when he was asking about Denna's name-changing habits at the end of Wise Man's Fear). When he renamed himself Kote, he lost his sympathy powers and probably his naming powers thus preventing himself from turning himself back. It was a one way ticket.

However, after the end of the three days, Chronicler will know him as well as anyone can, and Chronicler has already proven himself capable of at least one true name. Thus, Kote can become Kvothe again and go back to setting the world right.
Stephane Dauzat
82. Zolt
@48 shalter
I had a similar feeling on my first read through WMF: Kvothe definitely comes back changed from his trip to the Fae. But strangely enough, my first instinct was to attribute it to Felurian messing with his head rather than the Cthaeh.

First obvious symptom, as Jo pointed out, K has become a shameless womanizer. He still feels strongly about Denna, but he's not too sure *what* he feels. Previously in Severen he would write romantic songs about her and then adapt them to fit Meluan, but later in the book he denies that what he feels for Denna is love. It might just be K's teenager hormones, but I was wondering if Felurian might have given him a compulsion to keep his oath to her: for him to know many other women, but don't get attached to any of them, and come back to her in the end.

Then Kvothe starts actually *failing* at things, which felt like a change of pattern to me: In Ademre (Ademre is the name of the land, and can also designate the Adem community as a whole, but the people are The Adem - it bugs me when people say "the Ademre"), he is certainly successful at learning the Ketan and the language, but he doesn't seem quite as brilliant as he used to be. Maybe nothing at this point, he was after all facing an extraordinarily difficult task.

But then again at the university, he fails at a *lot* of stuff. In fact, in the 2 terms he spends there at the end of the book, he doesn't seem to achieve very much of any significance apart for Naming the wind. (OK, that alone is quite an achievement). He also loses his temper more than before: First with the Maer and Meluan - in fact the whole way he broaches the bandit incident with the Maer seems spectacularly tactless - then in Chemistry class over seemingly petty stuff.

Finally there's the whole encounter with Denna, filled with awkward silences - but that part was nothing new: Kvothe has never been able to really talk with Denna, even when they first met.

It might be just my imagination, after all the text gives plausible explanation for K's failures, but still, I had a feeling all through that K was not quite himself after the encounter with Felurian.
Stephane Dauzat
83. Zolt
Awesome work on this timeline! It certainly deserves a blog post of its own!

I'm not sure what I can add to that except maybe:
- 3 years: Ambrose Jakis promoted to Re'lar ("A Re'lar of three years" in NoTW)
- Devi expelled from the university: no more than -2 years. Simmon had just enrolled at the universtity at the time, and it's unlikely that he was younger than 17. Sim is 3 years older than K who was 15.
- I would love to get a time frame on how long Auri has been living in the "underthing", but all we have is Elodin's "it's been years" in WMF. So at least -2 or 3 years, probably no more than 5 or 6, or malnutrition would have taken a permanent toll on her health and aged her prematurely.

About Chronicler
Call me a nitpicker, but C. didn't prove that Dragons don't exist, as you can't prove non-existence. Kvothe gets corrected for that fallacy on one occasion. All he wrote is that there's a creature that fits most description of mythological dragons, yet is mundane in nature. It doesnt mean that *Dragons* don't exist elsewhere.

In fact, I'm tempted to ask. Isn't it a difference of semantics only? We have a big, scaly lizard that breathes fire. How exactly is that *not* a dragon? Didn't Chronicler go looking for Dragons, find the creature at the root of the legend, and them make up the word "Draccus" and slap it on, and say "Ha, I've debunked Dragons!"

But it's certainly an interesting reading. He in effect changed the name of Dragons into Draccus and seemingly made a dangerous beast into a harmless one. The parallel with Kvothe / Kote is obvious.

Then again Chronicler claims to have no skill at Naming other than the name of Iron, and we're given no reason to disbelieve him. Maybe he just has more skill than he realizes?
Stephane Dauzat
84. Zolt
About the Adem parthenogenesis theory:

Actually I'm not sure if the man-woman ratio is going to tell us anything. The 66% ratio is in fact assuming that Adem women conceive through parthenogenesis exactly half the time, and through normal male female the rest of the time. Pure partheonogenesis would give 100% females, unless Adem women carry a spare Y chromosome somewehere. Considering how badass they are, I wouldn't be surprised. That 50% ratio is totally arbitrary and it could in fact be anything.

Even through normal human procreation, the ratio is often skewed one way or another. Overall sex ratio at birth is 105 girls for 100 boys, but it can vary wildly around the world, or depending on the mother's age. So even if we observe a ratio around 60%, it won't be conclusive proof of parthenogenesis.

In fact the whole beauty of the Adem concept of parenthood is that you can't disprove it! The Adem are a highly homogeneous people - possibly they had a severe population bottleneck in the not-so distant past - all sandy haired and clear of eye, and as a rule they don't have sex with strangers so pretty much all Adem babies look like one another. I suspect the sex with barbarians thing is kind of like listening to music: It's a taboo that a lot of curious young mercenaries transgress at some point. Vashet heavily implies a sexual relationship with her poet king. Still, if they do that during their mercenary years, heavy physical activity and low body fat makes their chances of conceiving much lower than normal.

On the other hand, I don't know about Penthe, but Vashet hasn't really exerted herself overmuch during her time with Kvothe: she barely worked up a sweat sparring with him, and they had frequent intercourse for at least a month. It sure would come as a shock if either of them was graced with a little re-head some time around next summer, with interesting consequences for Adem society.
85. realmC
@ 78 thistlepong: this is incredible! i´ve never been able to make this much sense of all the stories! big thanks

@74 Mouette: The similarity is curious, I agree, but from what I know the series was originally entitled "A song of flame and thunder"; he just had to change it for publication.
Stephane Dauzat
86. Zolt
@85 realmC
"A song of ice and thunder"? Ha, I didn't know that. It shows that great beards tend to think alike, no?
Steven Halter
87. stevenhalter
Zolt@82:I think some of the changes are certainly due to his time with Felurian and some with the Cthaeh. Spending time with Losi certainly seems like a Felurian "caught in the moment" thing. Going to Ademre seems a Cthaeh influenced thing. And, of course, some things he does because of Kvothe. We'll have to watch as he does odd seeming things and categorize them.
88. mr. awesome
I think we might be putting too much trust in Denna's understanding of magic. The Yllish, writing things down system of magic might be an oversimplification. It doesn't jive very well with the other forms of magic, and I see magic in this story as more of a unified whole with different manifestations rather than a bunch of different systems with independent rules. I think all magic in TNOTW is a consequence of understanding the essence of things, and I don't think that Yllish knots reflect that sort of understanding.

This doesn't mean that Yllish knots aren't important. They just might not be magic. The fact that they appear on the Lackless box is probably enough to warrant their mentioning. They're also probably intended to hint at the location of D and the identity of her patron.

Or maybe they are magic, but D is just misunderstanding or misexplaining how exactly they work.
Jo Walton
89. bluejo
First -- Thistlepong, that timeline is wonderful. Thank you so much for putting that together. Very impressive.

I could put it into the next post in addition to doing chapters, or I could do it as its own post. Doing it as its own post so we can keep comments on it together and keep linking to it seems like a better idea -- also it's long.

If I do the timeline as its own post, should that be instead of a regular post this Thursday or should I ask if I can do two post this week?
90. mr. awesome
And it's really awesome @82 Zolt that you point out that K starts failing after he talked to the CTH (I don't think Felurian is significant here).
George Brell
92. gbrell

I'm actually going to suggest it as the regular. If only because we are going to finish this re-read so far in advance of D3 being published.
Andrew Mason
93. AnotherAndrew

It sure would come as a shock if either of them was graced with a little re-head some time around next summer, with interesting consequences for Adem society.

Kvothe was using silphium, though. (But Adem men among the barbarians presumably don't use silphium - why would they, if sex has nothing to do with childbirth? - which might have some interesting results.)
Ryan Reich
94. ryanreich
@82 (Zolt): Re, Adem: Thank you! I have been wanting to say that but I didn't want to make a single post and look like a scold.
Jeremy Raiz
95. Jezdynamite

My preference is for separate posts on separate weeks, and adding an additional week to the schedule.
Stephane Dauzat
96. Zolt
93. AnotherAndrew

Kvothe was using silphium, though.

A-ha! We discussed silphium in the last thread. Very interesting plant although now extinct in the real world, of the genus ferula. Historically it was used, amongst many other things as a female contraceptive, and not a very efficient one - it highly prized in roman cooking too and eventually they ate it to extinction. There's no suggestion that it would have done anything at all for males - in fact that family of plant was a virility symbol in Egyptian culture.

PR has even gone so far as to establish a precedent for Kvothe getting his herbology wrong, with the Arrowroot thing. The Medica is pretty advanced considering the medieval setting, but still, they do get things wrong on occasion.

I'm just sayin, it would be a lot of fun to see, at the dawn of day 3, an angry Vashet or Penthe stroll into Newarre, with a familiar-looking kid or two in tow, and blame Kvothe for the collapse of Adem society. Kote and Broken-tree indeed!
Ashley Fox
97. A Fox
@thistlepng. Nice work! Thanks, that'll be handy for refs. :) There is some wee niglles but i'lll put 'em up in the discussion-to-come on that post, which...

@Jo. I dont mind when you put it up, a double post seems good to me, as then I wont have to wait another week for the next chapter post!

Re. K changng after Faen.

Admitedly there is a strong possibility of the CTH influencing K...this is after all the central info that we have been given of its' nature.

But I think we must also consider that the flaws people are pointing out are an innate part of who K is. He was in Faen for a long time, possibly up to years. With just Felurian for company (until the end) living completely without the social norms and values of the 4c, not only that but being wit a creature who is of desires, no work, no need to worry about food, nothing outside of their union. This was his coming of age, not just sexuality, but to manhood, to his power. The star on his head.

Then he gets dropped back in reality and has to relearn socialisation. And this is not the first time he has done this, after his parents he died the same, completely isolated from society, surviving. Playing his music. This at a very formative age. (A death ritual, rather than sexual awakening).

Some of Ks darkest times happened after the first, in Tarbean. We saw some of what he was capable of (and not). Then there is his interaction with Ambrose, the bandits, headlong rush on rumours of chandrian. This rash, sometimes vindictive behaviour has always been a part of him. Not just after Faen, here I think it is that we are seeing more of his inner nature. Note how Fae creatures we have met also seem sort of more than the mortals. K coming into his power puts him on a similar level with them.

And then there is his supposed 'failing' in Ademre. How does he fail? By not instantly understanding the Lethani or mastering the ketan? If he did that it would completely undervalue them as skills. These are hard things. And the Lethani goes against part of his nature (in a good way!). Although he does come up with spinning leaf quite quickly, and the Lethani is a continous thing. You cannot win it, or complete it. He survives and comes out with passable (and possibly vital) skills. To me, this is not failure.

Uni. My perspective is that we had seen him acting like a boy in a sweetshop, picking up and gobbling up as many different ones as he could, becuase sweets had been so rare.

When he returns as a man, he desires purpose. Exactly as was intended by sending him to seek the wind. What things we see him pursing are minor things of interest from his travel. A lull whilst he wraps his head around all thats happened and figures out his next move. Whatever happens in D3, for how ever long he is at uni I do not believe he will contentedly slip back into a wide range of study of whatever his fleeting desires lead him too. He may try and become angsty, but he will seek his purpose with more focus now. And hopefully more wisdom via the aid of the Lethani...guess we can't count on that though!
Andrew Mason
98. AnotherAndrew
Zolt@96: Yes, I know that in the real world silphium is a female contraceptive, but I would presume that it works differently in Kvothe's world. That is something I can't see the Medica getting wrong - their theory would be so constantly refuted if they did. (And I refuse to believe this is the first time an Adem woman has had sex with a barbarian. Indeed, as others have said, it seems likely that Vashet did with the poet king.)

A. Fox@97: I, too, am a bit puzzled by the idea of Kvothe's 'failure' in Ademre; he seems to me to do very well, considering he hasn't been brought up to it from infancy, and indeed the degree of success he does have is sometimes taken as evidence of his Gary-Stuishness (though I wouldn't agree with that either).
Stephane Dauzat
101. Zolt
@98. AnotherAndrew
Yes, I know that in the real world silphium is a female contraceptive, but I would presume that it works differently in Kvothe's world. That is something I can't see the Medica getting wrong - their theory would be so constantly refuted if they did.

I work in pharma, and efficacy studies are a delicate business, even today.The Medica is certainly very advanced for the setting, thanks in part to Gibea's journals, but their information has proved to be patchy on arrowroot's antiseptic properties, which is fairly easy to test. Testing a male contraceptive would be exponentially harder: it's a longer time frame, few test subjects are willing to discuss their sex life, or be test subjects in the first place (also thanks to Gibea), and then there's the women. Around the university I'd expect many women are also using contraception, which will likely be much more reliable, and if there's a baby, a man's may also blame it on infidelity. Definitely NOT as simple as you make it sound. The university is fairly liberal, but contraception is still discussed in hushed tones even there.

(And I refuse to believe this is the first time an Adem woman has had sex with a barbarian. Indeed, as others have said, it seems likely that Vashet did with the poet king.)
That's pretty much a given, considering how liberal the Adem are about sex. But it's been pointed out too that Adem mercenary keep themselves extremely fit, which would greatly decrease fertility. Then there's the shame factor, which might drive a lot of Adem women to have a discreet abortion, or to raise the child outside of Ademre. Sensitive ground here, but in a culture where women are the main money earners, and they have to fight for a living, I'd bet they know one or two efficient abortaficients (like Silphium, for instance).

For all that, certainly there have been a few kids with odd-colored hair or eyes born in Ademre, from returning mercenaries. But then the Adem have one last convenient getaway: "Must have been something in the water", or "Foreign food made the kid strange". Considering their other beliefs about pregnancy, it wouldn't sound particularly far-fetched to them.

But Vashet has stayed in Ademre for at least a few months, and Penthe has never left the place. And an Adem girl dallying with a "barbarian" in Ademre proper, especially one with looks as distinctive as Kvothe's, that could very well be a first.
thistle pong
102. thistlepong
Kind of a bummer that any post with a link gets flagged as spam. I can see the benefit, though.
Ashley Fox
103. A Fox
@101 Mostly everything you say here is conjecture, with no proof in the text. Abortions? Something in the water? No.

In fact considering the Adems' attitudes to sex and what Penthe and Vashet say of babies, a woman is more likely to simply have the child if she has 'ripened'. There seems to be an acceptance that children come when they will, and neither woman sounds like there is even the slightest iota of shame.

There would certainly be no shame if they were to get pregnant after having sex wih a barbarian....becuase they do NOT believe in man-mothers. One thing has nothing to do with the other as far as they are concerned, so no shameful, secret abortion.

The Adem do not view sex and conception in any way that resembles a christianised western view. No shame, no super sanctity in virginity, no associating shame and abortions. They openly take lovers as their desires move them, they are aware and careful over STDs, children come when they will, mostly in the autumn and are accepted(* regardless of the actual method of conception). Family units are seem to be built around loving partnerships rather than male ownership via marriage.
thistle pong
104. thistlepong
A Fox@103:
The only textual evidence we have at all is that the Adem believe women ripen and the rest of the Mortal believes men and women make babies together. I agree, Penthe would probably find some culturally acceptable explanation for a child and green eyes. No damage to the social fabric, no shift in attitudes and behavior.
George Brell
105. gbrell

You can post links, but there needs to be some level of critical mass of text around it. Not sure where that line gets drawn or by who.
Stephane Dauzat
106. Zolt
@103 A. Fox.
You're right on the "shame" thing of course. Was missing on some sleep yesterday.

This is of course all conjecture, like most of this thread. Unsubstantiated conjecture it is not. What I'm trying to say is that there's at least serious potential for Kvothe to unwittingly disprove the Adem view on procreation, where everything else has failed to do so.

Until now, because of the specifics of Adem society they have had little evidence that would favor the "Man-mother" theory, and nothing that couldn't be easily discarded with culturally acceptable reasons.

Kvothe siring a child on Penthe or Vashet would be another thing entirely. A foreigner getting accepted into Ademre, and dallying with the locals in their home environment has to be if not a first, at least very exceptional. And Kvothe has been something of a celebrity among the Adem, with his distinctive looks and the big show he put on for his Trial. He has caused division and unrest among the Adem just by being there. Penthe and Vashet have made no secret of their association with him. If either begat a fiery-haired baby, people would definitely talk. And some disgruntled Adem, proponents of the man-mother theory who've been sneered at all the time, men with too much anger in them, would listen. Some would try to rationalize it of course, but there just isn't an explanation that would work.

I'm not saying that Rothfuss will definitely play the "Broken-tree / Adem civil war" scenario as part of book 3 - but if that's his plan, then he has set up a dozen little things just perfectly for that to happen.

And one last thing. From now on Kvothe might still be behind the wheel, but it's the Chtaeh who's driving. Among several possible paths, he's known to favour the one of maximum chaos.
George Brell
107. gbrell

Random comment: Are there any other Trees (intentionally capitalized) in the series besides the Cthaeh's tree and the Letantha?

Assuming that his name doesn't refer to the obvious allusion, do we think that his comment about "Broken Tree" being the most prescient of his names could apply to any other trees?

Also, is it awesome or ridiculous that I immediatey viewed the use of "Flame, Thunder, Broken Tree" as a chapter title as misdirection?
108. too many rereads
I have a comment about Chronicler and Selitos but I broke it up into two because the Selitos one is kind of long.
The theory about Chronicler is complete rubbish. Bast is the reason Chronicler is there, Bast says Chronicler is replacable, and that if he doesn't lead Kvothe to dwell on the possitive things more than the negative then Bast will kill him and find some one else to do his job.
Chronicler is known as the great debunker because of his tremendous ability to investigate. He hunts down the truth, and Kvothe refers to him as Skarpi's apprentice which potentially means that Skarpi is better at getting the truth.
Someone said that Kvothe becomes less maigcal as Chronicler writes his story, but that's not true. Bast has Chronicler there for he sole purpose of making Kvothe remember who he really is. In the beginning of NoTW Kvothe has almost completely turned into the character of Kote the innkeeper. The more of the story he has told the more flashes of the real Kvothe we see, and it is noted that his hair and eyes become brighter as this happens.
As for Chronicler having the ability to change the truth through his writing I find that rather doubtful also, if that were so and he wanted to deminish Kvothe's power he would just write Kvothe was a regular man down, and if Kvothe were trying to avoid Chronicler's magic by playing down his greatness then he could just tell a made up story that would counteract Chronicler's goal.
Chronicler didn't avoid giving his name out, it is more likely that his title as "The Chronicler" became a nickname and his reputation as "The Chronicler" is assoicated with a man referred to as just that, and the name Devan Lochees doesn't hold the same weight.
Also the whole 3 days thing probably has to do with Kvothe's obsession with doing things the "right way," and his strict adherence to traditions from folk lore. Things in the story are often organized in 3's and 7's. Kvothe says things like "I am asking you 3 times," he bargains with tinkers in 3's and says that "it is only fitting," 7 things have Lady Lackless, 7 Chandrian (the word means 7 of them), there are 7 words that will make a woman love you, Kvothe's says things to Denna in 7 words, and he was gone from the University to go to Trebon for 3 days. When he and Devi agree on the terms of his debt/colateral he wants the agreement to last for 1year and 1day, another thing from stories. Come to think of it Kvothe even says he will tell the story over the course of 3 days or not at all, he refuses to "rush" through it and do it any other way than the right way.
The Chronicler is not secretive about his plans. He is on hiatus from the University, he is on his way to see a Baron, and he is meeting Skarpi there. Kvothe doesn't care about any of that, and Chronicler stays because he knows this is his only opportunity to collect the true story of such an important person in history.
Rob Munnelly
109. RobMRobM
@107. Lightning tree. Tree near Auri. Selas tree (or is it a bush?) Trees uprooted by draccus. Wood used to make sure the spider thingies stayed dead in NoTW. Wood used in various magical boxes. ....
Adam Shekerjian
110. adamshekerjian
There is the giant tree in the middle of the bandits camp that Kvothe destroyed by calling the Lightning (he thinks it was a Galvanic Sympathetic bond, but he may have called fire and lightning without realizing it, the same way he called the wind on Ambrose unknowingly, and called Felurians name).
Zolt said something about it possibly relating to the Letanthe, but the broken tree could also just be a symbol representing Kvothe as a destructive force of nature, Kvothe has caused change everywhere he's gone and left a mark on just about everyone and anything. Kind of like how broken trees mark that a big storm has passed through an area even if it's been a long time.
thistle pong
111. thistlepong
(if the original gets through moderation this'll appear 3 times... if so, my apologies)

I didn't have much time to collect my thoughts about these chapters while formatting the timeline. I managed to keep up with the posts, but I don't recall folks bringing up some stuff I found odd.

First, "mastery" is almost always applied to magic; 4C (mortal) magic in particular.
“I’m afraid proof of mastery requires more than a simple sympathetic binding.”
“All in favor of admitting first-term student Kvothe’s reckless use of sympathy as proof of mastery of the basic principles of sympathy vote by show of hands.”
“When naming was still taught, we namers wore our prowess proudly. A student who gained mastery over a name would wear a ring as declaration of their skill.”
“So I have mastery over you. And I say you must stay with me forever, so I can be happy.”
“When you know the name of a thing you have mastery over it,”
“The first Adem school was not a school that taught sword-work. Surprisingly, it was founded by a man named Aethe who sought mastery over the arrow and the bow.”
A comprehensive list of all instances of "mastery" would have presented an even more annoying wall of text. However, all fourteen mean essentially the same thing: dominion and control. It's fairly clear, looking through them, that the University and its students think in terms of mastery. The same terms as Jax and the Shapers. What I found surprising was Ademre growing out of the same terms. I'd been thinking that the Mortal and especially the Adem were, I dunno, different somehow; closer to the Old Knowers. But it's just not the case. Their whole lives are dedictaed to mastering themselves and their environment.

What's more, Aethe clearly went beyond simply learning to shoot well and accounting for velocity and direction. It becomes more and more clear in the following chapters, but it's looking like the Adem know the name of the wind.
Aethe strove until he could anticipate the turning of the wind, and once he had mastered this thing, he could not miss.
Normally he would not bother with precautions such as this, but Rethe was his finest student, and she could read the wind just as well as he.
“Then Rethe held the ribbon aloft for a long moment, waiting as the wind pulled first one way, then another. Then Rethe loosed it, the silk twisting through the air, rising and falling on the breeze. The ribbon twisted in the wind, wove its way through the trees, and pressed itself firmly against Aethe’s chest.
The whole story could be an embelished fairytale, but the descriptors evoke Elodin, Kvothe, and the paper in the House of the Wind. Rethe's ribbon, if taken literally, pretty much requires seeing the wind for such accuracy.

This last bit has the feel of false cognates and suspect correlation, but I gotta mention it anyway. There might be a conncetion between the Adem and the Sithe.
"White Rider's Hunt"
Rode they horses white as snow.
Silver blade and white horn bow.
Wore they fresh and supple boughs,
Red and green upon their brows.
Bast on the Sithe:
If anyone manages to come in contact with the Cthaeh, the Sithe kill them. They kill them from a half-mile off with their long horn bows.

Shehyn on Aethe:
He took with him his bow of horn. He took with him his
sharp and single arrow. (emphases mine)
The audiobook pronunciations are:
Aethe \??th\
Rethe \'reth\
Sithe \'sith\
Adam Shekerjian
112. adamshekerjian
I posted the first part about this under the alias of "too many rereads"
made an account after that, this will be my 3rd and final comment for now. I have to go and attempt to have a life.
As for Selitos being the Cthaeh i find that rather improbable due primarily to the fact that Bast says that it is believed that Lanre spoke to the Cthaeh before the sacking of Myr Tyriniel. In Skarpi's story when Selitos can clearly see Lanre for what he truly is, Selitos recognizes that Lanre went seeking knowledge where it was better left alone.
It is more probable that Lanre went to the Cthaeh to get one of it's flowers to heal Lyra, but price of the knowledge he gained from the Cthaeh drove Lanre to do whatever it was that made him responsible for Lyra's death, and whatever turned him into Haliax.
Felurian tells Kvothe that the Cthaeh predates the Fae and is not a Faen creature, but imprisoned there by the Sithe, who guard it and kill anyone who goes to see it (that's why they hunt the Chandrian).
The trechery that drove Lanre to betray Lyra was the Cthaeh using it's knowledge of truth and ability of foresight to manipulate him, when Lanre came to it seeking help.
The curse Selitos placed on Lanre may not have stopped the destruction and pain caused by the Chandrian but it definitely quelled a good portion of it, his swath of destructive was slowed greatly. Also Selitos placed this curse after offering Lanre help, which he refused, so this shows Selitos is much more benevolent than the Cthaeh.
And Selitos created the Amyr not with the purpose of pursuing justice and the greater good, the primary purpose is to hunt the Chandrian out of vengeance, although he states he also wishes to stop injustice in tracks rather than pursue justice like Aleph's angels.
Felurians says that the order Amyr from the Atturan Empire were not truly Amyr, but children playing in their parents' clothes. So they may not be the same order started by Selitos, just named after the order, so their purpose is not the same, and if they are connected we still don't know how.
Also the destruction caused by the Atturan Amyr in the pursuit of the greater good can't be connected to the Cthaeh. The Cthaeh doesn't pursue the greater good, and doesn't believe that it does, it is malicious, and causes destruction, pain, and strife because that's what it likes to do.
It was stated that we don't know the Cthaeh's purpose but we do know the Cthaeh's goal and it's intentions, it desires to cause stife and pain at a catastrophic level.
1. Iax spoke to the Cthaeh before he made the fae and stole the moon sparking the Creation War.
2. Lanre spoke to the Cthaeh before the events that led him to the sacking and burning of Myr Tyriniel.
3. Kvothe spoke to the Cthaeh before he killed the king and started the war, and caused Fae creatures to spill out into the world.
To our knowledge Iax is trapped behind the Doors of Stone (the name of the next book so it's a big deal), Lanre is cursed (he lives in darkness and misery), and something happened to Kvothe.
I don't think Kvothe will have any other significant moments involving the Cthaeh, due to the fact that he is so ignorant about the degree of its significance.
thistle pong
113. thistlepong
Felurian tells Kvothe that the Cthaeh predates the Fae and is not a Faen creature, but imprisoned there by the Sithe, who guard it and kill anyone who goes to see it (that's why they hunt the Chandrian).
This is false. Felurian tells Kvothe none of these things. Nor does anyone else.
Ashley Fox
114. A Fox
The Lackless family tree, definately broken into many branches..also K is a Lackless, etc etc. Maybe opening of the box will break them.
Jeremy Raiz
115. Jezdynamite
gbrell@107 - other trees mentioned include:

- the singing tree of the Tahl.
- the huge, old, oak tree that K turned into a giant candelabra in Trebon when he was trying to kill the Draccus.


Good find with the Sithe and Ademic fore"parents" both using horn bows. I'm not convinced of the connections, but good find.

Also, Kvothe and El'the are similar sounding/spelled names to the three you listed.

I believe it is highly probable that the Ademic culture knows about names (like the wind). There was no mention of the elders being surprised to the wind behaving unusually during K's test (impressed, yes; but not surprised).

Their culture is tied closely with secret names (and Maegwyn is the only character that K has met in the Mortal world that we can see matching Elodin for looking inside someone and naming someone or something).


K himself could be the break in the line of inheritence of the Lackless family, (unless Meluan and The Maer have a child). I'm not such a fan of that, but the thought just popped into my head.
George Brell
116. gbrell

I was aware of the tree struck by lightning (hence the reference to the chapter title). I was looking for something a little more central to the story, however, or perhaps more unique. @114.A Fox has provided a more interesting suggestion to my mind.


Interesting thoughts re: mastery. I think you're right that the University as it currently exists (and its disciplines of sympathy, alchemy and sygladry) honors mastery. This could partially explain the fall of Naming as an art at the University.

I think the value of Kvothe's study of the Letantha and Kvothe's use of Spinning Leaf to regain the name of the wind during his trial in Adem suggest a connection between the Adem and Naming.

A counter to this, however, would be that Rethe appears to be the modern progrenitor of the Lethani, not Aethe, which would be odd considering that Rethe skills are measured against Aethe's (confirming him as the touchstone) rather than the opposite.


I think you're conflating theory with fact in some of your ideas. Will have to address later when I've got more time to spend.


thistlepong, you are correct that Felurian doesn't say any of those things.

In the interests of completeness, however, Bast does state that the Sithe's "oldest and most important charge is to keep the Cthaeh from having any contact with anyone." I don't think that that is the same as "imprisoned . . . by" but it is not so far apart.

It is repeatedly referenced that Haliax protects the other Chandrian from the Amyr, the singers and the Sithe. This implies that the Chandrian are hunted, or at least opposed, by the Sithe.

adamshekerjian's supposition that their knowledge of the Cthaeh is the reason for the emnity between the two groups is logical, though I'm not sure I accept it.

thistelpong is correct, though, in that Felurian never discusses the Cthaeh's origins or nature. In fact, Felurian is only present in the text for a brief period after the Cthaeh encouter - the end of Ch.104 and Ch.106.

@114.A Fox:

That's clever and something I could get behind.


Ooh, I'd forgotten the singing tree. And I think the common consensus is that Kvothe's chest is roah, but that the Cthaeh's tree is not.

Re: Kvothe's chest. It's described as roah near the end of Ch.1 of NotW.
Adam Shekerjian
117. adamshekerjian

I'm sorry i made a mistake I thought it was Felurian, Bast says it during the interlude right after he gets back to Felurian from his visit with the Cthaeh. I was also unclear about a few things so I will clarify.
Bast says the Cthaeh cannot leave the tree. That means it's trapped in the tree. This also disproves the idea that Kvothe set the Cthaeh free from the tree somehow, Bast wouldn't talk about the Cthaeh in the presen tense, and he wouldn't say that it can't leave the tree if it in fact could.
The sithe are membes of the fae court and their oldest charge is to keep anyone from coming into contact with the Cthaeh. They also hunt the Chandrian Haliax says to Cinder "Who keeps you safe from the Amyr? The singers? The Sithe? All that would harm you in this world?"
Bast also says "If anyone manages to come into contact with the Cthaeh, the Sithe kill them. They kill from a half-mile off with their long horn bows. Then they leave the body to, rot and if a crow so much as lands on the body, they kill it too." & "They would kill us for having heard what the Cthaeh said."
So they hunt the Chandrian because Lanre spoke to the Cthaeh.
Bast also the Cthaeh spoke to Iax before he stole the moon, the fae was created for the sole purpose of housing the stolen moon.

Felurian said that the greatest of the shapers sewed the Faen realm from whole cloth. Then she said the greatest of the Shapers tried to steal the moon. He asks if the person was of the Faen court and she says no this was before the fae.
If he stole the moon before the fae existed, and he talked to the Cthaeh before he stole the moon, then I was correct in saying that the Cthaeh preceeds the fae, and is not one of the fae.
Adam Shekerjian
118. adamshekerjian

I have a question because you're so interested the broken tree part of Kvothe's ademic name. Kvothe says he never gave much thought as to the significance of the meaning behind broken tree, but he guesses that in a way it makes sense.
Kvothe referred to the Maer Alveron as either a cut flower or a dying flower. And Kote's own personal silence is "the cut-flower sound of a man waiting to die."
Do you think we will learn the meaning or significance behind "The Broken Tree" meaning for Maedra? Or do you think that it could be a metaphor or symbol for him him the way a cut-flower is a symbol for the Maer?
John Graham
119. JohnPoint
@adam 117 --

As I mentioned last week (comment 147 on reread pt 20) -- Bast's information is suspect:

We need to ask ourselves how Bast knows this -- I believe that the answer is from stories. Probably from "manling" stories that he heard in his youth (remember, he's only 150, which is presumably pretty darn young for a Fae).

Presumably, the stories they tell in Faen are as mutable as the stories in the 4C; since one of the main ideas inherent in KKC is that stories don't record THE truth, it's fair to assume that anything Bast learned from stories is somewhat suspect as well. Just as the different cultures in the 4C have entities that they're afraid of, and which aren't necesarily based on a "true" evil (shamblemen, demons, the fae, etc), it makes sense that we can't trust everything ascribed to the evil villain in manling stories (i.e., the Cthaeh).

So, in my opinion, we can't really "trust" what Bast says about the Cthaeh anymore than we can trust the kids rhymes about the Chandrian. They contain information, but can't be taken completely on face value.

A Fox @114. I like it!
Jeremy Raiz
120. Jezdynamite

..........And I think the common consensus is that Kvothe's
..........chest is roah, but that the Cthaeh's tree is not.

You are right. I've updated my post above to take out reference to K's roah chest.
thistle pong
121. thistlepong
This also disproves the idea that Kvothe set the Cthaeh free from the tree somehow, Bast wouldn't talk about the Cthaeh in the presen tense, and he wouldn't say that it can't leave the tree if it in fact could.
I wanna gently suggest you take a look at last week's comments. Rather than rehashing them here, I'll address the knowledge question.

According to Kvothe, Bast's been with him a bit longer than whatever went sour for him. So, it's quite likely that they share the same awareness of current Faen affairs. Still more relevant, breaking the Cthaeh's binding is quite literally a tree falls in the forest with no one around to hear it situation. The Sithe were caught out when Kvothe spoke to it, every Fae knows not to go to it, and regardless of who or what it is, it's not gonna run screaming through Faen announcing it's back.
Bast also the Cthaeh spoke to Iax before he stole the moon, the fae was created for the sole purpose of housing the stolen moon.
Except, again, Bast only says Iax spoke to the Cthaeh before stealing the moon. Felurian states unambiguously that Faen was created as a playground by the Shapers and only after it existed did the other events take place.
If he stole the moon before the fae existed...
Which clearly isn't the case. Some of what you're saying is possible, but it's not well supported by the text. Other bits, though, are just false.

I dunno, until presented with actual evidence suggesting another interpretation, I had similar thoughts.

A counter to this, however, would be that Rethe appears to be the modern progrenitor of the Lethani, not Aethe, which would be odd considering that Rethe skills are measured against Aethe's (confirming him as the touchstone) rather than the opposite.
True. I honestly don't know how to weight that, given the opinions and actions of Shehyn's school. Like most of the Chronicle, the story's layered. Aethe teaches Rethe dictates to Aethe who interprets and propagates Rethe.
He told them the nine-and-ninety tales, and thus it was the Lethani first came to be known by all Ademre.
Her tales. His teaching. And I wonder if it's significant that new paths were founded. This next passage in particular throws a lot of theories off (except shalter's; this is exactly where Cthaeh would have wanted Kvothe to go.)
“Does the path of joy also teach the Lethani?” I asked. Vashet laughed. “That is a matter of some considerable debate. The simple answer is yes. All Adem study the Lethani to some degree. Those in the schools especially. That said, the Lethani is open to a broad interpretation. What some schools cling to, others spurn.”
So whatever the Lethani is, even for its practioners/adherents it's something of a matter of faith. The Letantha treats it as a means of "overcoming all things," with it's ultimate expression as the sword. Aethe's path with the bow is probably entirely different.

Given the above, I kind of think that makes Saicere the big deal thing he got from going to Heart: a 55oo year old shaped weapon from the Creation War.

@the Kvothe Lackless theory
There's clever evidence for this in Arliden's rhyme and the clues in Severen. But the rhyme isn't proof, and the clues in Severen are vague: eldest heir, young Netalia. The nearer we come to the end of the reread, the less fruitful it is to take things for granted. These two sets of quotes describe two different people, and one of them isn't Laurian...
Her hair was arranged to display her elegant neck to good effect, revealing the emerald teardrop earrings and matching necklace at her throat.
Her lips, as always, were red without the aid of any paint.
I looked into the deep brown of her eyes.
She was dressed in grey and lavender, and her curling chestnut hair was pulled back to reveal her elegant neck.
Her mouth was full and red without the benefit of any paint.
Her dark brown eyes were gravely serious.
The first is Denna. The second is Meluan. Honestly, I scoffed at the idea every time someone suggested it. And yet that's either appropriately eerie or Rothfuss has a typo he missed over 200 revisions.
Stephane Dauzat
122. Zolt
@gbrell et al, about the Broken tree discussion

I've just remembered that the Adem often make tree metaphors about themselves. On 3 occasions off the top of my head.
- Tempi when he fears he will be cut off from Ademre
- Shehyn in her "where's the branch?" lesson.
- Penthe saying men are a sterile branch on the tree, while women are the flower and fruit.

@thistlepong 111
I've been meaning to post about that for a while. Or has it been discussed already? How many words/names do we know than end in "-the"
- El'the (highest rank in the arcanum short of full arcanist). The first rank of E'lir means see-er. Re'lar has been conjectured to mean speaker.
- Kvothe. Means "to know". In what language??
- Sithe: Enemies of the Chandrian. Not really the good guys in Fae, but close. Custodians of the Cthaeh (kind of fail at this). Pretty good shots with horn bows.
- Aethe. Top shot with a horn bow. Can read the wind.
- Rethe. 2nd top shot. Gave the Lethani to the Adem.
- Penthe - likely the most skilled fighter in Haert.

On another line of thought: Words that begin in "Cth"
- Cthaeh
- Cthulhu
*nuff said*
Steven Halter
123. stevenhalter
thistlepong@121:Yes, Kvothe is going to be using Saicere in D3. In order to do something he'll need a sword not likely to break--with maybe other attributes from being so old.
thistle pong
124. thistlepong
Kvothe... thanks.

Penthe and El'the (and Gil'the) all have two syllables and "the" is pronounced 'theh unlike those other four.

Arcanum rankings:
El'ir = seer (confirmed)
Re'lar = speaker (confirmed)
El'the ~ listener (postulated)
Gil'the = guilder (confirmed) arcanist (likely) knower (postulated)
Bruce Wilson
125. Aesculapius
@ Thistlepong: great work on the timeline! I haven't had a chance to read it in *full* detail yet but if I find anything that prompts a suggestion or comment I'll send you a message.

@117 (and others):

I think we have to be careful when using terms like "fae" — on the one hand PR uses "fae" to identify the place that is otherwise referred to as "the Faen Realm" but on the other he uses it to refer to the people(s) of that place. It also seems to be used as a general adjective referring to either of these (although one might suspect that "faen" might be the more correct form for this).

The Faen Realm — or at least the place(s) that went on to become the Faen Realm — was created, according to Felurian, by the Shapers, but at a time before there were specifically separate mortal and fae. She could have meant that the two worlds were not yet separated or that the peoples were not yet separated — or indeed both. The context suggests the places but other things she says have similar implications for the peoples of that time too.

So, the Shapers had at least begun to shape their marvellous new world (or perhaps their own connected areas within the existing world), including plants and fruit and skies and stars — but no moon — and there was already conflict between the Knowers and the Shapers about what could be thought of as the "excesses" of shaping and then Iax stole the moon, having first (apparently) consulted the Cthaeh. The Creation War ensued.

With all of this in mind, I would be very, very, wary (sorry, Thistlepong,) of characterising the Creation War as being something as simple as "Mortal vs. Fae" — at the time there seemed to be no such distinctions, which is why I likened it to something much more like an ideological civil war within the Empire of Ergen.

My best interpretation is that he separation of the mortal and faen realms, as we currently see it, was something that happened after the end of the Creation War — and which brought with it the separation of the surviving peoples, from both sides. My speculation is that at least some elements of the Tehlu / Encanis story (especially the driving out of the "demons" and the requirement that individuals should choose which "side" to be on) )may refer to this period of separation.
Steven Halter
126. stevenhalter
Aesculapius@125:That is pretty much how I view the creation war conflict also. Good summation.
thistle pong
127. thistlepong
Aesculpius@125(and 126)
With all of this in mind, I would be very, very, wary (sorry, Thistlepong,) of characterising the Creation War as being something as simple as "Mortal vs. Fae"
Bear in mind that I use Mortal and Faen as shorthand for the two worlds. I use Shapers and Knowers as shorthand for their respective pre-war inhabitants. It really is that simple. There may have been some cross pollination, I suppose.
My best interpretation is that he separation of the mortal and faen realms, as we currently see it, was something that happened after the end of the Creation War...
This directly contradicts the only textual evidence we have, though. Pardon the long quote:
“no. the faen realm.” she waved widely. “wrought according to their will. the greatest of them sewed it from whole cloth. a place where they could do as they desired. and at the end of all their work, each shaper wrought a star to fill their new and empty sky.”
Felurian smiled at me. “then there were two worlds. two skies. two sets of stars.”
Felurian goes on. Then /(Iax)/ stole the moon. Then war.

I still tend to agree that there was still essentially one nation spanning both, nominally at peace yet quarelling amongst themselves before that. And that civil war is a fair descriptor. But war came to Faen with the stealing of the moon. It has to come from somewhere. "Faen and Mortal" is reasonable shorthand. Would you prefer Realm A and Realm B, with contingencies?

Regarding the faen realm, I'd give that calling name primacy as it's the one a current and reasonably longtime resident uses. Other folks call it "the fae" and "faerie." Bast prefers the term Fae for inhabitants or emigrants. Other words used for them are "faeling," "faerie," "faen," and "the folk." (And, likely, demons.) Regarding "the Mortal," it's more comfortable than 4C because there's whole world beyond the map and Felurian's terminology is still the most reputable.
Steven Halter
128. stevenhalter
thistlepong@127: I think that when Aesculpius@125 said:
My best interpretation is that he separation of the mortal and faen realms, as we currently see it, was something that happened after the end of the Creation War...
they weren't talking about the physical separation/creation. Of course the two realms were created and separate before the Creation War, but rather the current state of affairs in which it is both reasonably difficult to travel between the two realms and the inhabitants of the two realms are quite different.

Prior to the events of the Creation War, there would be the two "worlds" but travel between them would be fairly common by the Knowers and Shapers who desired to do this. Faen was a playground for the respective parties.
Exactly what percentage of the inhabitants of the two worlds who were Shaped either directly, indirectly during the Creation and then the Creation War or through evolutionary pressure after the war is an interesting subject that we don't have much information to date.
thistle pong
129. thistlepong
Invasion would be contingent on open ingress, of course. I took some care to define my terms in the hope of avoiding confusion.

Felurian also says all events up to the theft and initiation of hostilities were "before the fae." So yah, all beings designated "fae" either came into being following that point, chose the designation autonomously, or had it imposed upon them. In the civil war context, they probably declared for the Faen Realm.

Does that bring us closer to consensus?
Adam Shekerjian
130. adamshekerjian
Every thing thistlepong says in 129, I agree with, I have a post that I've been working on in word, that I now have to edit due to contiunation of the discussion. I have two questions regarding the fae though, that I am going to post before I post that.
1) The fae was fabricated by the Shapers will so it reflects that, it is not bound by natural law like the mortal world, Kvothe's says magic works differently there. After the Fair Folk went to the Faen realm was their powers/magic augmented or distorted?
i.e. Felurian sounds like a creation of a Shaper (or a girl changed by a shaper) to be some crazy hot awesome sex slave, so her nature/magic is all sex related. Her separation from her Shaper master, and time spent in the Faen has caused her magical nature to become augmented and distorted, she was always sedductive and sexually natured, but did the Faen change her into the Succubus like creature she is (luring men to their deaths with sex/desire).
2. Felurian says that the separation of the worlds occurred in a time before man and fae, was there one race/species that split into the two, were they both created by Shapers/Namers/Aleph after the stealing of the moon, or is she just wrong?
131. TheFrog
Another meaningless thought that has stuck in my head...
Whenever I read the word "Fae", I keep connecting it to the word (in pronunciation) "Phase" knowing how it is related to the moon phases passing into the Fae realm. Not that this matters in the text, but I wonder if PR had some design planned around the similarity.
Steven Halter
132. stevenhalter
TheFrog@131: Fae has been another term for fairies, elves, etc for a long time.
Ashley Fox
133. A Fox
@121 Ha. I had a crazy thought after reading this, sort of mashing various theories that have ben floating 'round these re-reads.

What if Denna is Netalia and Ardlidens child, the true heir to the Lackless (on par with a princess?) but the Fae take her and leave a changling in her place? Kvothe 'the red headed step child' (thats an american thing right? It was said alot :P ), with his changing Fae eyes and natural abilities with magic .note Felurian says Fae most fear what the leave behind when stepping into Mortal, and the 'first' time he steps into Fae he gets a funky glowing Magic Star and speaks Felurians Name. and survives Felurian, and shapes a shead, and later, on another trip, picks up Bast and becomes his Reshi/Teacher/Guru. Oh and the prep he does for the Scraelings smell simialarily to Faen magic. Floral and whatnot.

Kvothe lives Dennas life, and she lives his until she reaches an age when she runs away, out of Fae, to the mortal lands. But perhaps she goes back every now and then (the pears).

It woud continue the themes of their paralels and had a big dose of destiny to their Love.

Of course this does start to resemble a spanner in conjuction with other theories ;)
Steven Halter
134. stevenhalter
A Fox@133:That would be a fun and not illogical twist to things. I've often questioned on whether Kvothe is Arliden's son. If it turned out he was neither's son, it would seem to be likely to shake his self image.
It also lends some more nice ambiguity to the Cthaeh's statement of "did things to your mother." Everone Kvothe and us is assuming he means Natalia.
Ashley Fox
135. A Fox
Oh duh I forgot to say D's comparisons to the moon, and all the D is Moon theories. What if the link between D and the Moon is they both belong in the Mortal world but were stolen into Faen, returning out of obligation.

Also would explain Ds perspective on Lanre if Lanre's 'betrayel' was him questioning whther it was right locking the doors on fae, with the enemy set within (and possibly magic/power). She would have been raised with the 'losers'.
Alf Bishai
136. greyhood
On Selitos.

I'd like to think he is the Cheetah, except for this odd logic. He lost an eye. If he was reshaped into a serpentine thing (the way the serpent was reshaped in Genesis), then it's probable that he would still be missing that eye. No? If so, he couldn't be striking at butterflies with such accuracy that he tears their bodies away from the wings. You need two eyes for that kind of depth perception. Strikes from a distance - cobra- or chameleon-like - would otherwise be impossible.
Adam Shekerjian
137. adamshekerjian
Have you noticed that Kvothe compares many things to the moon? Not just Denna? But Denna is obviously special, some things he says are as lovely as the moon, but Denna is lovelier than the moon.
When recounting his time in Tarbean, the night he hears the first part of Skarpi's story (and he sees the Tehlin that reminds him of Haliax) when he's trying to sleep, in his spot where 3 roofs meet, he thinks about getting revenge on the Chandrian he says something like Kill a Chandrian? I'd have better luck trying to steal the moon.
It can't be a coincidence that he says that.
I have a hypothesis, a little out there, but bear with me while I try to explain.
This hypothesis depends upon 4 things.
1) Kvothe being the Lackless heir. (this being widely accepted)
2) That a small portion of Hespe's story about Jax is true; that part being Iax only being able to steal a portion of the moons name.
3) The Lackless Door being the doors of stone (the 4 plate door can't be as it is copper not stone, well unless the doors of stone lie beyond).
4) The Lackless Box containing the moons name.

Kvothe says he stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. Barrows are very common in Vintas, especially with the old families, Lackless is one of the oldest in existence, and they controlled a tremendous amount of land a long time ago, it would make sense that they would have a family barrow or several barrows for that matter. In Trebon when Mauthen dug up the large old stones, they were believed to be barrow stones (in the real world building barrow mounds was a burial tradtion practiced by the Angles and Saxons, the barrows were contructed of stone/earth).
If the Lackless Door was a sealed entryway to a barrow it would make sense for the Doors to be made of stone. Based on the poem about the Lackless Door, it would also make sense if it was sealed magically (it speaks of a ritual required to open it), to keep something from getting out perhaps?
Iax was the greatest shaper, so if he had a piece of the moons name I think he could create a girl from it, especially considering he was able to create parts of the Faen from nothing. In the story of Jax he talks to the moon and kisses her, as if she's a real girl and not a big rock in the sky.
In my hypothesis Iax and the girl he created from the fragment of the moons name make babies thus beginning the Loeclos family, the Lackless box contains the name of the original Lady Lackless (Caudicus says the box dates back to the beginning of their line p400 wmf).
Now if the Lackless originally had tremendous land and power, Iax may have been a king, and Idk how it is in 4c but in European customs If a King marries someone who isn't royalty that person becomes a princess not a queen, if that is the case this moon-girl he shaped would be a princess.
And if Kvothe opened the Lackless box, that could very possibly free this 'princess' from Iax.
If putting that part of the moons name in the box is the way in which he stole the moon so that it would travel into the Faen, then maybe releasing the name would return the moon to the mortal realm.
So in releasing the moon he effectively stole it back.
So the sliver of the moon was used to make a princess, Iax is the sleeping barrow king. Kvothe steals back the princess so she may return to her rightful place in the mortal sky.
On page 671 Felurian says "And when your moon is waxing full, all of faerie feel the pull."
So now the Fae can freely travel into the mortal realm all the time, but they cannot travel back until the moon is in the world of faerie (672 WMF).
Before anyone says this is ridiculous, let me point out a few things.
1) Bast has been in the mortal realm for 2 years. He can't leave. I know he says if he left he'd have no one to teach him, but I think he's stuck in the mortal realm, and that was an after thought, Kvothe doesn't exactly seem to teach Bast much.
"Kote nodded. 'I won't blame you if you want to leave, Bast. You have better places to be than this.'
Bast's expression was shocked. 'I couldn't leave, Reshi.' He opened and closed his mouth a few times, at a loss for words."
2) Kvothe claims responsibility for the Scrael, possibly because he permanently opened the gates from faen to mortal.

Now I have two ideas as to who the princes could be, this is purely speculation so if what I previously said is close to true this could still be entirely off base.
One of the two is obviously D, although Kvothe says she's lovelier than the moon, but I would not doubt her hold that level of importance, and her knowledge of ancient yllish story knots seems to connect her to the Lackless box, and the form of written magic could be the recording of secret names, which could potentially be the way that Iax stole part of the moons name. If she isn't the princess she's definitely tied very closely.
She and Kvothe could both be the Lackless heirs (the family is old enough to wher they coud both be related so distantly that they don't share any blood but the original lackless blood, so no Luke/Leia ick) they do seem to reflect one another.
The other possibility i see is Auri. Why is that?
There are some interesting connections between her and the moon, she only comes out on nights when the moon is out (fae can only travel to the moral when the moon is in mortal), Kvothe calls her his little moon-fey. On page 105 in WMF she responds to Kvothe, after he tells her she's special to him, by saying that of course she’s special because she’s lovely as the moon. 5 pages later Elodin swears on the ever-moving moon that he won’t tell anyone about her, and at another point she gives Kvothe a key to the moon.
She won't accept anything but new clothes, she has very strict rules when it comes to etiquette, because it's proper (Stapes teaches Kvothe how to act proper).
She often brings fresh food to Kvothe and he can't figure out where she gets it from, she could bring it from the faen; Felurian seemed to get all kinds of food in the faen.
She also talks down to Elodin, which is odd to say the least, and at times it’s almost as if she mothers Kvothe she even tells him that he can come to underthing if he needs a safe place, and she that she will always be there to care for him, when he returns to the University at the end of WMF she tells him not to leave her again. If she is as Kvothe thinks she is then she’d be unable to take care of him, I think perhaps she’s just whimsical and aloof. She gives Kvothe a stone that holds secrets, Vashet calls deep names secret names, and Kvothe seems to think there is a stone inside the Lackless Box, perhaps there are stones used to store and protect secret names. Lastly Kvothe faked his death 2 years ago, he’s been in Newarre for over a year, I doubt he’s seen her once in the two years, if she was so dear to him, and if she needs him as he said how could he abandon her? Unless she no longer exists.
Adam Shekerjian
138. adamshekerjian
I also forgot to mention that Kvothe offers to tell Aaron the truth about princess Ariel. Auri is similar to Ariel.
139. Silkki
@136. greyhood

Cth can see the future, so it knows where the butterflies will be at any given point. It could probably catch them with his eyes closed.
140. ryan7273
@136 I like the theory @139, but there is also a simpler explanation. I have a tendency to only wear 1 contact at a time, making me effectively blind in the other eye, and yet I can still catch things thrown to me (Evidence my sleeping mind is on par with an eight-year-old's). Parallax and perspective play a larger part in knowing the positions of things than people realize.
thistle pong
141. thistlepong
1) Inconclusive. The converse is true. According to Felurian, Fae shed a good portion of their power when they enter the Mortal. Kvothe appears to get a power up, so maybe.
2) The best guess put forward is that the Ruach from NWc28 are the pre-war race.

1) I can't take it to be 100% certain anymore. The identical descriptors for Meluan and Denna at least call it into question. Rothfuss constantly calling the owrk "also satire" on epic fantasy doesn't help.

3) Valaritas is a stone door with copper plates, not a copper door.
If putting that part of the moons name in the box is the way in which he stole the moon so that it would travel into the Faen, then maybe releasing the name would return the moon to the mortal realm.
So in releasing the moon he effectively stole it back.
The moon is still moving in the frame. There's a night with no moon at the beginning of NW. There's moonlight glinting off Bast's axes at the end of WMF.

I think the misapprehension that the Cthaeh is serpentine is primarily brought on by the word "sinuous." It's a huge leap with no basis. The word's used four times to describe: a scraeling, Bast, Cthaeh, and Penthe.
Camilo Caceres
142. DoomDuck
@ Fox 133: interesting thought if Kvothe really ISN'T the heir we all expect him to be. It doesn't even have to be a Changeling thing, but what if he is adopted, or the like? It certainly would play into PR's statement about wanting to do away with the prophetic hero trope, to some extent.

And it would throw the Cthaeh's statements into total disarray - and possibly be "funny" once Kvothe realizes his actual ancestry.

"Since you ask so sweetly, Cinder is the one you want. Remember him? White hair? Dark eyes? Did things to your mother, you know. Terrible. She held up well though. Laurian was always a trouper, if you'll pardon the expression. Much better than your father, with all his begging and blubbering."

Could it be Cinder did terrible things to some other character of import, who is actually Kvothe's mother? Perhaps someone who actually WAS always a Trouper since, if she really was a Lackless, then the one thing we can say for certain is that the person Kvothe believes his mom to be was NOT always a trouper (also, doesn't this expression usually use trOOper? Is the Cthaeh hinting at something here?). If your Changeling hypothesis or something similar is true, do we have any other famous characters who may have cried in a famous manner who could be Kvothe's real dad?

"Why?" the Cthaeh echoed. "What a good question. I know so many whys. Why did they do such nasty things to your poor family? Why, because they wanted to, and because they could, and because they had a reason. Why did they leave you alive? Why, because they were sloppy, and because you were lucky, and because something scared them away."

I do find it reasonable, as someone mentioned a few weeks ago, that the lack of a definite noun makes these statements at least suspect. I earlier believed that it was interesting that the Cthaeh said "family" and not "parents" - did it mean the troupe he was with? Could it mean something even broader, perhaps the Edema Ruh as a whole? "One family" after all. So perhaps "they" is not the Chandrian, could it be someone who did something to the Edema Ruh in the past (something to do with the whole ravel thing)? Could it be the (human)Amyr who did horrible things? Could it be that Kvothe comes from a different family altogether and this is a reference to something else entirely?

Hmm, perhaps Kvothe's brilliance is because he actually has tremendously famous parentage which we are, to this point, unaware of! Kvothe, son of Taborlin the Great ;p

Random speculation... But I do enjoy it so!

Oh! And lastly, @zolt 122 mentions the Cthaeh/ Cthulhu parallel, and I just wanted to use that as a springboard to voice my opinion that the Cthaeh is akin to Cthulhu. A big bad who sits sleeping in his tree to cause horror and pain but without being an integral part of the story. Essentially, as much as I adore the various theories on who Cthaeh really was or how he is to be freed, I see it more as a demon in a bottle dicking around with everyone and present at all times, but not directly involved as a primary player. If that made any sense.


PS: So glad I found this reread about two weeks ago - you have freed my friends from the tyranny of my conspiracy theories regarding the Trilogy. Also, you are all brilliant, but especially you Jo for doing this.
Stephane Dauzat
143. Zolt
@142 Doomduck
"Remember him? White hair? Dark eyes? Did things to your mother, you know. Terrible."

You have planted in my mind the idea that Cinder might be Kvothe's biological father. I will never forgive you.
Adam Shekerjian
144. adamshekerjian
I believe the Cthaeh is speaking of Arliden, Laurian and the Edema troupe.
The troupe is called the family, and they have a saying one family.
When the Cthaeh says Laurian was always a trouper i think its a pun, it's likely that it says pardon the expression because it fit the expression to Laurian being a trouper.
Perhaps it means she was always a trouper at heart.
Kvothe is described as having his mother's eyes.
His parents debate which parent he inherited certain traits from after Ben confronts them about his talents. Arliden teases her saying she bedded down with a god 12 years ago.
I know they don't know Kvothe is listening, but if he was neither of their child, or if only one of them was his real parent, I hardly see them joking about it, they seemed to love him, and joking like that seems more than slightly wrong if not cruel.

I don't doubt Cinder did unspeakable things to Kvothe's mother, while Arliden begged him to stop, so he sliced Arliden's gut open and dragged Laurian away.
Since the Cthaeh knows everything and can see right through Kvothe it would know that he found solace in the fact that his father crawled all the way to be with his mother, even though he was dying and she was possibly already dead.
The Cthaeh is probably attempting to taunt Kvothe, Kvothe views his dad in a heroic golden light, being told his dad was weak and cowardly, would certainly infuriate him, if not tarnish his memory.
I would agree that it is slightly ambiguous, which makes it suspicious.

I would like to mention that Kvothe doesn't seem to know much about the Cthaeh before Bast's outburst. He's slow to accept the Cthaeh as being a monster, or all that dangerous for that matter, nor does he know anything about the Rhinna flowers.
I don't think Kvothe will have another interaction with the Cthaeh, and I don't think we will learn the history of it from Kvothe's tale.
It is know that the fae don't even know that much about the Cthaeh, they don't go near it, and they avoid speaking of it.
Kvothe did not think his encounter with the Cthaeh was very significant, I think it was incredibly significant, and Bast's outburst makes it seem that way. I think the purpose of this is so we can see how meeting with the Cthaeh affects Kvothe and his story in subtle ways influencing him.
We know at least two ways already, he went over the Stormwall to Ademre, where he tells Shehyn he plans to find and kill the Chandrian. Before he thought it was impossible to kill one, but the Cthaeh told him that although it was difficult it could be done, and now he's determined to do so.
1) As you said, Felurian says the Fae give up some of their power when stepping out of the Faen, we know that she existed before the splitting of the worlds, although there still isn't enough information it seems plausible that it augmented their powers.
2) I also got the impression she resembled Denna based on physical description, but Laurian being Natalia Lackless makes sense based on age, if Natalia was the heir before running away she'd have to be older than Meluan, Denna is barely older than Kvothe.
That does not mean Denna isn't Lackless though. The Lackless Family tree seems to extend at least 3000 years, she very well could be.
Like I suggested they both could be Lackles heirs, possibly one or the other, also possible is neither, and PR just likes to trick us.
We can be almost sure she came from wealth.
She has a ring that Ambrose considers worth stealing, must cost a lot of money. We know it was her mother's ring at one point, could it be an heirloom? or a signet ring? If she is from the Lackless family and the ring is of any importance, he may think he's reclaiming a stolen ring. It may be of importance to him beyond a token taken from a lady interest. Denna says he seems to think it's rightfully his.
Rings are important in Vintas. is selling "Denna's ring" it was designed with cooperation of PR, and parts of it were designed specifically by him, aparently he wouldn't discuss the reasons for his design. Not sure if it's significant but it's a good visualization.

Aside from the ring there are other indicators she's noble born, she has education prior to Master Ash, and seems rather culture.
We know the Lackless family is surounded by tragedy, this is also seems to be true for Denna
This plus her resemblance to Meluan points in the direction of Lackless.
K & D seem to mirror each other.
Camilo Caceres
145. DoomDuck
@adamshekerjian # 144:
I can definitely see the more obvious and direct interpretation of the Cthaeh's message. Cinder raped/ molested/ tortured Kvothe's mom and then his dad cried and begged. I'm just throwing out conspiracy theories because, well, conspiracy theories! *grin* I do like the possibility in the second quote that "your family" could be intended as a broader statement than just the troupe, and that "they" could be something other than the Chandrian. I'll label that as "personal conspiracy theory #17."

@143 Zolt:
New theory! In front of the Doors of Stone, Cinder arrives in a flash and faces down Kvothe. After cutting off the Ruh's left hand, he announces, "Kvothe... I am your father!"

In a second unexpected twist, Denna turns out to be a Lackless (a reason for her resemblance) and in a still more unexpected twist is Kvothe's sister. Upon hearing this, Kvothe yells out, "Noooo, that's impossible!"

Kvothe retreats to the Inn at Neware after putting his hand in the thrice-locked box, replacing it with a simulacrum, and swearing off women and music with the help of his faerie friend Chewie, err, Bast.

thistle pong
146. thistlepong
I also got the impression she resembled Denna based on physical description, but Laurian being Natalia Lackless makes sense based on age, if Natalia was the heir before running away she'd have to be older than Meluan, Denna is barely older than Kvothe.
Netalia wasn't necessarily the heir prior to running away. That's an assumption folk have made because we felt clever about Arliden's poem. There are two Lacklesses currently in line for the Vintish throne.
“You’ve got the royal family, the prince regents, Maer Alveron, Duchess Samista, Aculeus and Meluan Lackless….”
We don't know who Aculeus is, of course. But we also don't know where Netalia fits in.
More telling is misfortune that comes from within: how can a family thrive when the eldest heir forsakes all family duty?
If Aculeus is that eldest heir, then it falls to Meluan and Netalia to continue the line. This is actually quite likely. Aculeus is first in the peerage, but Meluan is Lady Lackless. The lands and title are hers. Since the lands don't belong to Aculeus, ze's not likely a parent.
I’d started a second bottle of wine by the time I read that young Netalia Lackless had run away with a troupe of traveling performers. Her parents had disowned her, of course, leaving Meluan the only heir to the Lackless lands.
This certainly could have happened at any time, of course. But given the above, Netalia's looking like a younger sister, not an older one.
Adam Shekerjian
147. adamshekerjian
@145. I lol'd so hard, is it weird that I think it kind of fits?

But in all seriousness Denna and Kvothe are kind of similar, I just pretend like they coudn't possibly be related.
I really like you're idea of "The Family" extending beyond his father's troupe.
If"they" doesn't refer to the Chandrian it could refer to anyone really, The Edema are scapegoats everywhere and are constant targets of hate crimes.
I know there are magic "Ademic Std curing" singers. But whatif the Chandrian singer enemies were the Edema.
Shehyn tells Kvothe that the people the Adem were before they came to Ademre would sing songs of power. As we know from Skarpi naming was common in that day.

Jo points out that the Edema and Adem have similar names.
We discussed this on good reads a while back.
I hypothesised that they both splinter off from the remants of Ergen, here are a few quick similarities that might have the same roots.
1)"Edema Ruh" and "Ademre" very similar, they easily coulda been the same word 5k yrs ago.
2) Both have honor codes that are taken incredibly seriously. Punishment in Ademre is death/cut away, Edema punishment is death+branding of a broken circle, indicating removal from the family.
3) Both wandered the land, Edema never settled Adem did.
Arliden says something like "words must touch a man's mind before it can touch a man's heart, and a man's mind is a woefully small target"
I interpret that as music is much more powerful than words. Obviously he means music is better at making people feel emotion.
But perhaps music is magical.
Kvothe plays a minor chord and he thinks the lute is saying sad.
Kvothe plays things that seem like names on the lute "leaf turning on the wind" and such. Actually "leaf turning on the wind" seems to be more than a name.
Kvothe sings Felurian's name, but he sings notes not lyrics.
When Kvothe plays "The Lay of Sir Savien" people become hsyterically sad, maybe it's more sad than any music I've heard, maybe it's magic. *It's composer Illien does have a place in Fae stories.
I wouldn't doubt that this practice of magical singing has faded or deminished with time, but maybe it's the foundation for the Edema traditions.
Like their traditions involving Way Stones (which we believe to be gateways to the Fae).
Maybe singing somethings name is more powerful than speaking it.

Anyway just thinking what if the Edema were once great enemies of the Chandrian so the Chandrian killed them off in droves. Perhaps Cinder began the Atturan "Ruh hunt," he certainly seems interested in mortal affairs he was stealing Taxes in Vintas.
Adam Shekerjian
148. adamshekerjian
I see you're point. But the problem is we don't know when Natalia ran away. If Laurian was lets say 36-37 when she died that would make her 24-25 when she had Kvothe.
Kvothe refers to her as young, although that may just be in comparison to Ben.
Laurian also says that Arliden had hands perfect for seducing young nobles daughters.
We don't know how old she is when she died, how old she was when she had Kvothe, or how long she had been with the troupe before becoming pregnant. Also we don't know Meluan's age, I could place her anywhere from 20-30.
I completely and entirely see your point and understand it, it's certainly plausable. But there just isn't enough information and that frustrates me.
thistle pong
149. thistlepong
That's where I think Aculeus fits in. He has to be older than Meluan, but not a parent. Netalia could still be the elder sister, but in the shadow of the descriptions (and those are only six lines out of many) my faith's completely shaken. And that poem's meter is awful.
Adam Shekerjian
150. adamshekerjian
Many people think Ambrose is the penintent king or the king Kvoth killed, but The Maer, Meluan and many others would have to die for that to happen.
Penintent King sounds like it's related to the church to me.
Also we don't know which country Newarre is in, it's not on the map, because Newarre is no where...

I've heard people say the Common wealth, but the currency points to Vintas.
As for Aculeus do we have any information about this person what-so-ever?
I don't think they're mentioned other than that one time. If it's a boy/eldest maybe the Lackless inheritence always goes to the female children?
Who are the Lackless parents? or are they dead? Have any of the Lackless women married into other families, and taken a new name? If that's the case for all we know Ambrose's dead mother was a Lackless, perhaps Denna's mother was a Lackless.
Laurian, Denna, Meluan, and Ambrose are all described as having a fair complexion and dark hair.
My GF has both my books so I can't pull direct quotes of their physical descriptions I'm interested to know if there are any other similarities.
Bruce Wilson
151. Aesculapius
Regarding the Lackless house:

I get the feeling we're starting to over-think this again. We only have two names to go on in respect of the current members of House Lackless - and one of them is mentioned but once with no further detail. However, the application of Occam's razor would suggest the following:

Aculeus is mentioned first in the list of heirs apparent to the throne of Vintas. This would suggest precedence ahead of Meluan as the rest of the list seems to be ordered that way.

Meluan is now the only remaining *heir* of the Lackless line - in other words, she hasn't inherited *yet* therefore someone must be ahead of her and already hold the Lackless title and lands.

The simplest explanation, then, is that Aculeus Lackless would be the father of Meluan and the current Lord Lackless. Netalia being disowned would only make Meluan his sole remaining heir if she was the elder sister and stood to inherit first. If Meluan had been the older then she would have inherited anyway, regardless of what happened to Netalia.

The only variation from this would be that Aculeus could be something like Meluan's grandfather, or an other form of older (but childless) relative holding the title and lands and that her father, who would have stood to inherit next, was already dead.

152. Faek
Sorry to open up an old discussion, lately I haven't had time to comment as much as I'd like. Anyhow:

It's regarding the glass in the Lackless box, which by some was thought to be the glass stone that Selitos cut out his eye with. I always thought it was more related to the "magics" that Kvothe describes in the interlude when he introduces The Chronicler.

"Chronicler can't control you if you have your name hidden away somewhere safe. The high king's name is written in a book of glass, hidden in a box of copper. And that box is locked away in a great iron chest where nobody can touch it"

Here K is directly referencing locking away something made of glass in order to keep you safe. A wild guess would be that K somehow opens the box in the next book, manages to learn the name of "the one kept behind the doors of stone" and does something stupid like calling him out :-)

Another interesting parallel is with K's box in the inn. Given that it has a lock of copper and one of iron, and the high king has hidden stuff in a copper and iron box etc. Is K hinting about having hid his name the same way? (I know this has been discussed endlessly already vs. keeping hidden with his alar etc)

Anyway, just wanted to share the quote with you.
Adam Shekerjian
153. adamshekerjian
Auri gives Kvothe a stone for holding secrets, his secrets that is, apparently the stone will keep the secret safe.
Vashet tells Kvothe that Maedre is his secret name, and that he shouldn't speak of it, and that he should protect it because if someone knows his secret name they will have power over him.
I'm not sure if I posted it here or on another site, but I thought perhaps that the stone/piece of glass in the Lackless box contains a name.
I'm glad you came up with the same idea.

You said something about Kvothe's thrice locked chest, now there's no way to deduce what's in there, other than something he wants.
But I wanted to point out that in the Waystone Inn there is the silence of 3 parts, the 3rd part was Kvothe's and it had the other two wrapped inside of it.
The 3rd silence is also described as being in Kvothe's hands.

The 3 silences maks me think of the 3 locks on the chest, 2 contained inside a 3rd. I don't know why, just does.
thistle pong
154. thistlepong
Jo actually posted some good summaries of the wealth of theory and evidence the wonderful folks interested in this reread have collected. You should check them out. It might help since it's clear you don't have access to the books at this time :)

It'd be excruciating to quibble over all the details you have just a bit wrong, but since you've mentioned, "Auri gives Kvothe a stone for holding secrets," I give an example:
“I brought you a ring.”
It was made of warm, smooth wood. “What does it do?” I asked.
“It keeps secrets,” she said.
I really don't think I'm overthinking it. So many of our theories revolve around Kvothe Lackless that it'd be irresponsible not to interrogate it a little. Occam's razor only suggests a parent when one looks at what I quoted and ignores the context of the quotes. I can certainly go dig out the rest of the references at some point. Occam's razor would certainly favor identical people being related over a homonym in a terrible poem wouldn't it?

I actually have a a fondness for that interpretation, but it just won't stick for me. Or, rather, it sticks just fine with everything else we've theorized. The stone doesn't have to have a name written on it; blood is just as good, perhaps better. It tends to pull me out of the story if I try to reconcile the extemporaneous Chronicler story with Kvothe's narrative. Might be just me, though.
Bruce Wilson
155. Aesculapius
@154, Thistlepong:

With apologies, I don't follow; which other quotes?

The name Aculeus appears only once across both books and I think I'm pretty well aware of the rest of the passages referring to the Lackless line. I'm always open to persuasion but at the moment I'm not aware of anything else which suggests, let alone convincingly supports, a more complex familial relationship than Aculeus being the current head of the line and Meluan the immediate heir — and, given the paucity of evidence in the text, even that is little more than a calculated guess.
Adam Shekerjian
156. adamshekerjian
The line of the succession just lists Aculeus before Meluan itsays Aculeus and Meluan Lackless.
For all we know they were married and Aculeus is now dead, that would certainly make her Lady Lackless (having married Lord Lackless) and she would inherit Aculeus's wealth.
Netalia could have Lackless blood, where as Meluan is Lackless by marriage, but being the only Lackless remaining she has become the sole heir to all things Lackless.
Nowthis is just speculation. Probably bogus speculation at that. Thistlepong is suggesting possible lineage's, he acknowledges the fact that he could be wrong.
I threw that idea out there because anything is truelypossible of happening in D3, and I feel like we have more predicting power the more ideas we discuss, rather than assuming certain things as truth.
Unless explicitly stated no information is reliable, the value of true information is debatable since it's Kvothe's retelling, not an unbiased documentation of recent events.
Adam Shekerjian
157. adamshekerjian
thistle pong
158. thistlepong
You're essentially right. Going back through it's clear that Meluan's consistently referred to as heir in the present. I was off on a tangent that lead nowhere. Aculeus is kept in darkness. Apologies if I was coming off rude.

I maintain that the text favors Denna over Laurian. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

1. Save perhaps that my mother was a noble before she was a trouper. She told me my father had lured her away from “a miserable dreary hell” with sweet music and sweeter words. I could only assume she meant Three Crossings, where we went to visit relatives when I was very young. Once.
2. Dark Laurian, Arliden’s wife,
Has a face like the blade of a knife
Has a voice like a pricklebrown burr
But can tally a sum like a moneylender.
My sweet Tally cannot cook.
But she keeps a tidy ledger-book
For all her faults, I do confess
It’s worth my life
To make my wife
Not tally a lot less . . .
Denna shares the always red lips, the dark brown hair and eyes, the fair skin, and the graceful bearing. That, especially the lips Kvothe dwells on so frequently, reads as more compelling evidence for an otherwise unknown quantity. This week anyway.

@A Fox touches on it, but I haven't given enough attention to the "magical" Denna theories to comment on that. Denna-as-Netalia makes some sense within the larger plot, keeps it grounded, subverts the ragged prince trope (while keeping enough clues to support Laurian), and clicks with the rest of what I'm thinking about the narrative lately.

Anyway, I try to keep fan-fic out of my analysis. Thanks for calling me on it.
Andrew Mason
159. AnotherAndrew
I think we should be careful here. We, the obsessive fans, have been thinking of Laurian as Netalia for a long time, and from our point of view it would be interesting to see this 'obvious' theory subverted. But the clues supporting this theory are actually pretty obscure, and the average reader probably hasn't noticed them. It would be odd to put such an obscure clue in - and I don't think there is any doubt the clue is there - if it turns out to be a falee clue. So I stick to the view that Netalia is Laurian - which does not mean that Denna may not also be a relation of some kind.
Bruce Wilson
160. Aesculapius
Hi guys,

There are two entirely separate questions here: the first is the relative precedence of Aculeus, Netalia and Meluan Lackless -- and my instinct is that this is as simple as father and daughters (no apparent sons), or possibly Grandfather and granddaughters if you wanted to stretch a point. The implication is that Netalia was the elder of the two. This is never absolutely explicitly confirmed but if Netalia had been the younger sister then the fact that she eloped and was disowned would not have substantially changed the expected succession.

Which leads us to the second question: who is (or was) Netalia Lackless...? PR has left some socking great hints that Laurian, Kvothe's mother, was in fact Netalia — but nothing is concrete and I wouldn't be surprised to see him ultimately turn this apparent trope on its head.

Denna is clearly another possible candidate but, other than the passages noted above where she and Meluan are described in a very similar manner, I can't recall anything else specific to link them, whereas Laurian has a number of hints related to her, which continue to grow as the series progresses. Although I remain to be truly convinced either way, my best guess at the moment is that Laurian was probably Netalia Lockless.

Here are a few things we do know:

Denna is only a year or so older than Kvothe.

Meluan Lackless is younger than Lerand Alveron but the exact relative age is never specified. We know that he's about 41 so she could be late 20s up to early 30s and still be significantly younger than he is (and also still young enough to fulfil his requirement of a wife who can bear him heirs!).

Laurian's age was uncertain but she was clearly much younger than Abenthy.

For Denna to be Netalia, the events of her elopement would have to be very recent - presumably just before she first meets Kvothe on Roent's caravan in NotW. It occurs to me that if this were to be the case then it should still be relatively fresh amongst the scandal-, gossip- and rumour-mongers of Vintas, not exactly something that Caudicus would readily overlook if it had happened little over a year previously...

For Laurian to be Netalia, the events would have to be at least Kvothe's age into the past, if not a little more. I know the calculations have been proposed before but here's my rough take on it:
K is, for the sake of argument, 16 years old. If Netalia was 18 when she ran away then Meluan could have been, say, 12 at the time and would now be somewhere between 28 and 30, depending on how how long after Netalia's departure Kvothe was born. That's certainly not impossible. If Meluan was even younger relative to Netalia then that could put her in her mid-20s now — or about 10 years older than K but still much younger than Alveron. My guess, however, would be more like late 20s, making her about a dozen years younger than Alveron.

Like I said, I'm aware that we have very little *concrete* to go on (probably very deliberate on the part of PR) but Laurian is still my best guess for now.
161. Munkey
@153 I posted on the timeline page about my thoughts on the chest and how I think his "song that can open any lock" that Aaron mentioned in ch.2 of WMF has something to do with opening the chest. What you said about the 3 silences and the 3 locks seems to refine my thoughts on it. The third silence is always his. The third silence is the Waystone. I think like I have seen some others say that maybe he wove the Name of silence into the inn. He can't open the chest until the silence is broken either by him choosing to accept that he is Kvothe and wants to end the silence or something else breaks it for him.

I don't think the third silence is silence in a literal sense, but more of a silence of his thoughts and his past. This is where I am somewhat conflicted because I would think if he truly sealed his thoughts with silence it would be easier for him to forget what he was. Maybe it is just something to help remind him to play the role of Kote the innkeeper and former caravan guard. I can't seem to find where it is in my books, but someone else said that after Shep's death, K echos someone else's words of "I wish I had been braver." The third silence I think helped remind him he couldn't do sympathy as Kote and it got Shep killed. In order to become Kvothe again he has to break the third silence, possibly using the "song that can open any lock" on the chest and regain his confidence in himself.

Another small tangent I thought of while typing this. If the 3rd silence is the Waystone, and he breaks the 3rd silence, might something happen to the Waystone that makes him decide to drop the innkeeper act? Maybe someone burns it down or someone shows up from his past and heavily damages it or maybe he pulls a Edward Elric and burns it down himself so he has no choice but to go forward with being Kvothe again.
Adam Shekerjian
162. adamshekerjian
I'm inclined to agree with you. Even though K’s description of Meluan bears an uncanny resemblance to D. We can't even be sure that he is reminded of D, because he doesn’t specify that.
Based on D's conversation in Severen, with the runaway-farm girl turned whore, we can guess D probably ran away from home with a boy, and that her family disowned her (this is further reinforced by her story about the boy who tossed stones). She tells the girl that there are no princes dressed in rags that come to rescue girls in their position.
Interestingly many wealthy men want to 'rescue D' but she believes that would make her their property, and she doesn't want that.
At the end of WMF K considers offering his financial support to D, as a means to 'rescue' D from her patron.
There are a lot of references to folk-lore in KKC. I have read some of Vladimir Propp's "Morphology of The Folk Tale” in which he analyzes the roots/basic elements of folklore and breaks it down into a formula, where an infinite number of stories can occur but with limited elements, and he studies how the same story can be told so many different ways. Many characters seem to possess this knowledge, so I'm pretty sure PR's at least familiar with Propp's work.
One common folktale goes like this; a boy (crafty/clever +beggar/thief/nobody) falls in love with a girl (usually a princess) who is imprisoned by a villain (evil/abusive+ wizard/shop owner/uncle) who forces her into his servitude either by magic, fear, or force. The Boy finds out he is really a prince (or becomes a prince in the end) then outsmarts the villain, rescues then marries the girl (he may become a prince at this point). Yes this is essentially Aladdin which is based on the Arab folk tales comprising ‘One Thousand and One Nights.’ Yet I'm basically paraphrasing Kvothe.
Many of PR’s references to themes in high fantasy, and folklore are satirical, and his characters are very genre savvy, producing ‘Lamp Shade Hangings.’ Evidence of this, K says things like “If my life were a story it would have to happen like this (insert plot device here), but of course I wasn’t living a story…” then his story proceeds to develop ‘as a story should’ in a very ironic way. i.e. Elodin is the crazy hermit in the woods after all.
Thistlepong says that D being Natalia will subvert the ragged prince trope, which would be good; this trope is a little over done, and often done poorly. So it makes sense that PR would avoid that, but he often uses tropes mockingly. Characters seem to acknowledge that they fit a trope, as if they’re actors in a play who either grudgingly accept their role, or embrace it.
K may be the ragged prince, and D’s prince dressed in rags, it would make sense, but if so we can expect PR to do this in a masterful way. PR also likes to set up a pattern then deviate from it without upsetting the suspension of disbelief.
thistle pong
163. thistlepong
Great post. Rothfuss has expressed great affection for Jack Zipes as well. It's good to keep in mind that despite all the denials, much of the story is progressing formulaically anyway.
Characters seem to acknowledge that they fit a trope, as if they’re actors in a play who either grudgingly accept their role, or embrace it.
Adam Shekerjian
164. adamshekerjian
I want to add to my previous post by talking about the characters awareness.
Tthe awareness that many of the characters possess accentuates the lack of awareness that they also possess, adding tension, dramatic irony, and tragic irony. Many people view the contrast between the characters simultaneous awareness and lack of awareness as stupidity, but it often highlights the fact that people in a situation often miss things that are glaringly obviously to onlookers. i.e. K & D like each other, it is obvious to everyone but them. This often happens in real life esp. with teenagers. Another awareness problem is that K realizes he fits role “n” he is aware that role “n” has traits “a,b,c…x,y,z” yet he only acknowledges that he possesses “x,y,z.” i.e. K parallels Lanre, K is probably aware of the similarities and assumes that he is fated for a similar doom, yet K ignores the fact that his choices can take him in a different direction.
The fact that the characters possess limited awareness, accentuates the power of the Cthaeh. Selitos has the power of sight but he isn’t all seeing, so he makes mistakes, the Cthaeh doesn’t. The Cthaeh is dangerous because it takes advantage of our lack of sight; people are dangerous because their knowledge acts as blinders. Selitos sight allows him to prepare for any threat, however unlikely, but this is obviously false because he didn’t even consider the possibility of Lanre’s betrayal. Selitos great sight was Myr Tariniel’s undoing. Abenthy proves this when he discusses the Chandrian with K’s parents, they dismiss his warnings as superstition, because they knew better, except they were wrong too. Almost every problem and bad decision in the book can be traced back to someone’s knowledge causing them to ignore the truth, and that’s why the Cthaeh is so powerful. It essentially turns anyone into a Macbeth, or an Oedipus (the fate thing not the incest thing).
165. Nerine
@164 "The fact that the characters possess limited awareness, accentuates the power of the Cthaeh. Selitos has the power of sight but he isn’t all seeing, so he makes mistakes, the Cthaeh doesn’t."

When I read WMF, easily the most eerie part of it for me was the Cthaeh (and even more so Bast's description/reaction to it.) However, I think we have good reason to suspect that the Cthaeh is not quite so all-knowing/powerful as it's made out to be. (Apart from Kvothe's extremely nonchalant reaction to Bast's outburst.)

Consider this: if the Cthaeh really is all-knowing - if it can predict people's actions with 100% certainty - than this essentially means that free will does not exist in the 4C universe. Take its words to Kvothe - which we are meant to assume trigger a "cascade" of events leading up to the messed-up world of the frame story. If the Cthaeh knows with absolute certainty that telling Kvothe about the Stormwal (I suspect this may be the pivotal event) will lead to disaster, it must be able not only to predict Kvothe's reaction, but Tempi and Vashet's interactions with Kvothe, Denna's reaction to his eventual return, the Maer and his wife getting angry at Kvothe's revelation and tossing him out, etc, etc. This means that none of these characters have free will…

Except the Cthaeh! After all, it's the one manipulating the world for its own purposes. For it to be the only free being in a universe of 100% predictable beings is kind of like saying it's God. Which is a bit too much to swallow…and doesn't make for a great narrative. ;-D

(Also, if the Cthaeh really is all-knowing, then why bother posting guards…surely the Cthaeh will have foreseen the guards' actions as well? I suppose it's possible it can only foresee the actions of humans, not Fae - do we know yet if Lanre and Iax are/were Fae?)
Adam Shekerjian
166. adamshekerjian
@163 I didn't realize you had responded when I posted my second post.
I didn't realize he was a fan of Jack Zipes. I know his work is controversial, and I’m only familiar with his essay on “Breaking the Disney Spell” and I’m no expert on it.
But Disney ruined fairy tales and fairies. Fairies in folklore are exactly what they are in KKC, amoral beings that messed with humans for their own desires, they weren’t always bad, but you can’t say they’re good.
Now that you mention PR being a fan of Jack Zipes, some things make sense to me; PR using Fae as the creatures’ desired name and faerie as an insulting term, even though it’s technically correct. PR could be making a statement about how modern culture has turned faeries into something completely different than what they were, and that any normal person doesn’t know the difference. Pat is also a huge fan of both Tolkien, and Joss Whedon. Tolkien’s written work has a lot of its own mythos and folklore, even though it’s more or less just the history of his world. I like how PR takes that a step (or several steps) further by showing how much stories change with time and distance, and that those stories hold some truth in them. He also takes Faerie creature names and changes them, so he can change them to how he sees fit.
Whedon is known for killing people off without concluding their story arcs, Shepherd Book for you firefly fans…
Adam Shekerjian
167. adamshekerjian
You pose some complicated questions, and some interesting ideas.
The Cthaeh sees all possible outcomes, so there is free will, so there are many possible outcomes.
The Cthaeh knows the exact chain of events that will occur from what it tells Kvothe. So the Cthaeh will try to hit as many targets through Kvothe as possible.
Essentially the Cthaeh can see the effect of that through out all of eternity.
The Cthaeh also knows that the longer it speaks to someone the more power over that person it has. Let's say it got a chance to tell Kvothe who Master Ash was, Kvothe would go kill him, but maybe it figures Kvothe finding out on his own is more destructive.
The Cthaeh is not all powerful, like god is (*not going to debate the existence of god with anyone, the idea of god is that god is all powerful*) The Cthaeh is bound to the tree, and it can only speak to the people that come up to the tree, so it's influence is limited, if the Sithe can kill anything that goes to or leaves the tree, they can limit it further.
The Cthaeh knows all possible futures, and it can see 10ft through Kvothe when he's 3ft deep. If there a large number of futures that branch out from each moment/decision, and the Cthaeh knows them all. I doubt it can set you down a straight path, and control everyone through you. I think it can set a person in the direction of destruction, the more it tells you the more things you effect, and you will effect certain people/things more than others, we don't know the extent of the catastrophe that Kvothe caused, but it can't mean the doom for everything in existence.
Like Chronicler said there are things it can't spoil, it would if it could.
I think the Cthaeh knows all of the If/Thens but I don't know if it know which ones will happen, because then there would only be one possible chain of events.
Like it knows If Kvothe leaves after I talk Denna and his Parents, then (y) happens, if the Cthaeh can get him to stay then (z) happens. Obviously it is more complicated than that, but I think this is more likely than one sequence of events.
I'm not downplaying it's power, that's still terifying and frightening, think about how much it can do, with such limited interactions.
It is almost directly responsible for the Moon stealing, the Creation Wars, the destruction of Ergen, and the creation of the Chandrian.
It is indirectly responsible for the Creation of Tehlu and his angels, the creation of the Amyr, Iax's imprisonment, and much more.
Essentially nothing is safe from the Cthaeh, so that leads me to the question, where did it come from? Who trapped it in the tree? Why didn't they kill it?
thistle pong
168. thistlepong
(Also, if the Cthaeh really is all-knowing, then why bother posting guards…surely the Cthaeh will have foreseen the guards' actions as well? I suppose it's possible it can only foresee the actions of humans, not Fae - do we know yet if Lanre and Iax are/were Fae?)
Felurian talks about /(Iax)/ stealing the moon being before men and Fae. Aesculapius suggests this might be an indication that the distinction occurs as a result of the Creation War rather than the cause. So chances are the difference, if there is one, is irrelevant to Cthaeh. However, it also means we have no idea which side folks were on.

Our tiny local library has ten books by Zipes, which is still only a fraction of his work. It's safe to say his analysis is goes a little further than that. Whedon would kill Sim, and he'd probably at least implicate Kvothe. Right?
Essentially nothing is safe from the Cthaeh, so that leads me to the question, where did it come from? Who trapped it in the tree? Why didn't they kill it?
It's Selitos. The Seven trapped it: Maybe this Cinder did me a bad turn once. They trapped it in the panacaea tree, so it's rather hard to kill ;)
thistle pong
170. thistlepong
Here's a compact illustration of Campbell's hero's journey:

(not linked, 'cause even that small amount of text got spam filtered)
Adam Shekerjian
171. adamshekerjian
@168 I should read more by him, I had a creative writing class where we looked at that essay and discussed it. Classes were 80min so I'm sure we barely skimmed the surface, I'll be sure to check it out.
If Halaix and his Chandrian trapped Selitos in there, and now he has one all seeing eye, then holy shit. O.O
I could see that, it's cool, the Amyr would be seen as wicked, but they could still work towards the greater good. They just have the knowledge of how their actions play out, because of the Cthaeh.
The Chandrian cut swathes of destruction, because they can, the Amyr do it because it is the only way?
The Fae think the Cthaeh is evil because they only understand individual desire.
The Sithe are aligned with the Cthaeh and destroy anyone who would use that knowledge for self gain. Kvothe was let in because he's an asset.
In Terry Brooks "Shannara" series the magic of The Sword of Shanara is the magic of truth it forces people to use see themselves for what they really are, that leads some people to salvation and others to their doom, the Fae being self serving and selfish would try to use the information to achieve their desires, turning them into Bast's plagued ship reference. That could essentially be the power of the Cthaeh.
Although this doesn't explain the Cthaeh talking to Iax, and Lanre, pre-Selitos cursing Lanre, unless the actually spoke to Selitos.

It's a cool idea, but I don't know if it's something PR, would do. He may prefer to keep it ambiguous, and shrouded in mystery, so he can use it further with out limiting it. It's likehow introducing the Biggest-Bad too soon can kill a series.

Also Whedon wouldn't kill Sim, until he led us to believe Sim was beyond significant, blame Kvothe, and then continue the story about Savoy and his whores.
173. Nerine
There's something big that doesn't line up here, and the more I think about it the more it drives me crazy.
It's like this, to quote Wiggum from the original post:
"What is Chronicler? He’s not a fantasist, and he’s not a storyteller. He’s a biographer. He is literally the guy who destroys myths and “writes” the truth."
The first two books, so far, have been very much in a "demythologizing" vein. Over and over Kote says things like "IF this were a myth about (insert famous name, like Taborlin the Great) it would play out like such and such (big fantasy epic stuff.) But it's not that sort of story." (It speaks to Rothfuss' skill as a writer, incidentally, that he can write in such an "anti-Tolkien" vein while Tolkien is my OTHER favorite author.)
And then Kote describes how the big impressive stuff that he's rumoured to have done, like calling lightning or burning down the town of Trebon, was actually done in a very...unimpressive, ordinary sort of way - or was even unintentional!
And then, on the other hand, there are all these threads that are supposed to get tied up in book 3. Kvothe is supposed to figure out how to open the Lackless box, and open the doors of stone and confront the Chandrian (we've only SEEN two of them so far at all!) and possibly set free Iax, the Great Primeval Enemy himself, and rescue a princess and slay an angel and put the moon back in the sky and...and...
You get the picture. For two books we've been reading this pointedly "low-key", demythologized story where everything - surprisingly so for an alternate universe where magic works - is very commonplace and ordinary. Over and over when listening to Kote's story I find myself nodding and saying "Yes, I could totally see myself living this story." And then in book 3 suddenly everything is supposed to get big and epic and heroic? And Kote is going to cover ten missing years of his life (in the "past") AND the "our world is ending" conflict of the frame story is going to get wrapped up TOO? I just don't buy it. Either half of these threads are going to be left unfinished...or we're missing something here.
174. Nerine
There's a list from another forum here about all the things that still need to happen in book 3, and I'm inclined to agree with some of the posters there: it feels like too much. Too much time to cover, too many things to do and too many different storylines.
thistle pong
175. thistlepong
We've seen all seven Chandrian, once, when Kvothe stumbled on the ruins of his troupe. But that's a quibble.

I have faith that Pat will end the story cleanly with D3. That might be silly, especially in SF/F.

The story promises us very little: the truth about Princess Ariel, how the war started, maybe his first real lover who called him Dulator. We expect to be able to map the full story onto, "I trouped, traveled, love, lost, trusted, and was betrayed," and get some closure of why he keeps reminding us he has a knack for getting into things.

All the rest? Like you said, Chronicler's a biographer. Kvothe's lead and interesting life and tells it in a compelling fashion.

Book one covered at least 15 years. Book three can cover 8-ish no problem.
176. Nerine

It's not so much the "too many threads to wrap up" aspect - though that's part of it. It's that all these things that we've been discussing, Iax and Tehlu and the Creation War and so on, don't seem to fit with the "tone" of the first two volumes.
As stories told about people and times long ago and far away...sure. But as real people that Kvothe is going to actually, physically meet? Something seems very "off" about this. Kote has spent two books reinforcing the idea that "my life really wasn't anything special, all the tales are wildly inflated." It's hard to reconcile this with the idea that he might run into Iax, the Great Primeval Enemy (think Lucifer) himself. (Really, the only person he's met who screams "the supernatural" is Felurian...and she's remarkably "earthy" as Fae seem to go ;-D )
Jo Walton
177. bluejo
I think "Dulator" is Fae for "sweet poet".

And I also believe that D3 will conclude this story, possibly even without destroying the world.
thistle pong
178. thistlepong
I also find it hard to believe he'll run into Iax, or even Selitos. Heck, I'm even on the fence about the Seven. But even a couple stories in D3 could clear up some of the stuff we go on about without Kvothe interacting with it directly. We could see the shape of history and be satisfied while remaining nestled in Kvothe's small piece of it.

And, like Jo, I'm pretty sure the world won't end.
Katy Maziarz
179. ArtfulMagpie
We've seen all seven Chandrian, once, when Kvothe stumbled on the ruins of his troupe. But that's a quibble.

Ah, but did we? There's never a number given in that scene. Kvothe sees "several unfamiliar men and women sitting around a fire." Only three people are actually described--the bald man with a grey beard, Cinder, and Haliax. "Several" could be four or five. It could also be all seven. No real point here, except that we really know nothing about the other Chandrian other than their names/aspects as given in the Adem story...which may or may not be accurate after all this time.
Adam Shekerjian
180. adamshekerjian
@173 I think you're really off base in your assumptions.
First being you assume that 10years pass between WMF and the events currently happening in his world.
A lot of what Kvothe does is pretty remarkable, and if you could do a lot of the same, then I'd be pretty impressed. The way he kills the Draccus, pretty bad ass, especially considering that he was 16. Killing all those bandits with malfeasance was pretty bad ass too, even if some of the stuff he does were a result of coincidence or if the results were completely unintended, it's still remarkable.
A lot of people also give significance to Chronicler that probably is non-existant in the books. Chronicler is there because of Bast's actions, Kvothe would probably be pissed at Bast for compromising his identity if he knew. Chronicler also isn't the only one Bast tried to get a hold of, he's just the one that showed up. Bast also makes it clear that if Chronicler doesn't do what Bast tells him to then Bast will kill him, and find someone else to do it.
Chronicler does prove that Bast underestimated his value at the end of the second book when they argue about the Cthaeh (when Chronicler slaps Bast).
The world will most likely not be destroyed at the end of D3, PR has confirmed that he will be using the world for the setting for other stories. Also his editor Betsy Wollheim clarified a statement made by Rothfuss, she said that KKC will be made up of two trilogies, the 2nd being Kvothe's story moving forward.
If this is true that would pretty much mean that man story arcs, and loose ends will not be concluded in D3.

This comes from an interview with Pat on sffworld

- What can readers expect from the two sequels and the trilogy that will follow this one?Well.... I've already written them. So you won't have to wait forever for them to come out. They'll be released on a regular schedule. One per year. You can also expect the second book to be written with the same degree of care and detail as this first one. You know the sophomore slump? When a writer's second novel is weaker because they're suddenly forced to write under deadline? I don't have to worry about that because my next two novels are already good to go.
181. Nerine
@175 @179

I went back and re-read the Chandrian sections. Also some other places where they're mentioned.
Nothing specifically says the bald man (or the "women" mentioned) are Chandrian, but that does seem like the logical conclusion, especially because they all vanish into Haliax's shadow at the end. And we know that Cyphus must have been there - as the flames were burning blue. And so must either Usnea (who "lives in nothing but decay") or Alcenti (who "brings the blight") - I'm not sure which one applies - as the iron on the wagon wheels was rusting and falling to pieces.
I'm pretty sure the names in the Adem poem must be right, at least the one for Ferule, since Haliax appears to use it to command him. And Bast totally freaks out in WMF when Kvothe says the poem with the names out loud, suggesting that Bast (at least) thinks they're the right names.
Reading a bit further, I had forgotten that Bast didn't know about the Chandrian attack on his parents' troupe. Bast really doesn't seem to know much about his mentor/friend's story, does he? The Chandrian, the Cthaeh, the Adem poem…practically everything seems really unfamiliar to him. Why has Kvothe told him so little? And why is he so attached to this man (who he knows next to nothing about, really) that he refuses to leave him under any circumstances?
It's interesting that the Chandrian take off so quickly at the end of the chapter. If they wanted to kill Kvothe, you'd think it wouldn't take long, given how easily they slaughtered the rest of the troupe. Haliax reprimands Cinder for tormenting Kvothe and tells Cinder to "send him to the soft and painless blanket of his sleep." Which might sound innocent but if Skarpi's story about Lanre/Haliax is anywhere near the mark, Haliax probably thinks that death is a merciful favour.
It also seems important that Haliax sits apart from the other Chandrian. He obviously considers himself superior to them and constrains them to follow his purpose - "what we seek, what we wish to achieve." The other Chandrian are, in his mind, "straying, indulging in whimsy" and "too fond of their little cruelties." It's interesting that Haliax is not a sadist. But does this make him more human, or less? Another odd thing from the scene after Skarpi's second story: “It’s not as if I expect you to bound off looking for Haliax and the Seven yourselves.” Haliax AND the Seven. Maybe there's an eighth after all and Haliax is not really one of the Chandrian (and perhaps is a "reincarnation" of Iax, as has been suggested?) Or is this merely a poetic way of speaking?
Finally, what do the Chandrian wish to achieve? The end of the world? If so, they're not going about it too efficiently (Cinder spends most of book 2 as the leader of a bandit horde…an unsavoury profession to be sure, but hardly Dark Lord type of evil.) To find a way to die? (It's also a bit strange that they run away from the singers or Amyr or Sithe (or whoever is approaching) at the end of the chapter - surely they're not afraid of being killed if they're immortal?
Ashley Fox
182. A Fox
@180 I really think you have to take anything PR says with a massive pinch of salt. Even he mocks the things he has said in the past, saying they were the time. In that quote he makes it sound as if B2 was done and ready to go....and we all know how long we had to wait. :)

Also I read on the blog recently that the next book is set in the same world, but set a couple of hundred years BEFORE K. Female chara, older. Laniel?? That name may very well be incorrect. L something.
Jo Walton
183. bluejo
A Fox: Pat said he was writing a novella called "Laniel Young Again", which is also the title of a song Kvothe sings, therefore, set earlier. It sounds really cool. But not "next book", just a short thing.
Adam Shekerjian
184. adamshekerjian
I was just saying that if his statement about a second trilogy is still true, then certain plots and story arcs will probably not be concluded in D3.

You point out that PR said his 2nd and 3rd books were completed, and obviously his 2nd book took several more years. But PR said in an interview that the main plot has stayed the same, he's know how it would end the whole time, he just fleshes out everything inbetween.

Kvothe is like a character in an RPG game, there is the main plot, but he also indulges in all of the side quests. They effect the way Kvothe developes, but they don't steer the main plot. PR said that Auri was a late edition to the story, and although she could be considered 'irrelevat to the plot,' she's also important to the plot because of how important she is to Kvothe, and through those scenes we learn a lot about Kvothe.
thistle pong
185. thistlepong
In the five years since that interview, he's been pretty adamant that there's no second trilogy for Kvothe. I mean, it could be mystery PR and obfuscation... But especially since WMF released, all questions regarding that have been met with the equivalent of, "Kvothe's story ends with the third book. There will be more stories set in the 4C."
Adam Shekerjian
186. adamshekerjian
Yeahh well, I guess we won't know or sure until he makes an official announcement. And that might not be his final decision.
I wanted to point out that Selitos bears a strong resemblance to the Norse God Odin. The moon in Norse mythology is called Mimir's well of wisdom. Odin desires to drink from the fountain, and Mimir tells him that he has to give his eye to the fountain to be able to drink one sip. Odin's eye caused the moon to glow.
Odin grew wise, and even though he gave up his eye, he gained a greater sight.
Steven Halter
187. stevenhalter
I'm not particularly concerned that PR can wrap up the story in D3. Yes, it is one more book, but let's look:
NotW -- ~250,000 words long
WMF -- ~400,000 words long

By comparison, the Lord of the Rings trilogy is about 460,000 words. So, if D3 continues apace of the previous two volumes there is plenty of room wordwise for a lot of things to happen.
188. Jokes
Just something that popped into mind when I read the post. At the end, you talk about how the glass that Selitos used may be trapped in the box, and the linking with the tree etc. When I read it, I had a quick little flashback to his list of achievements, where he says he stole from a demon and killed an angel, or something along those lines. If the story where Selitos is among the angels and chooses to make his own group that goes off to chase the chandrian, I think that little piece of glass could be wildly significant to that particular claim? And another thing I noticed. I believe someone else has pointed this out before, but Kvothe may have already been expelled from the University, (which he did, and then that part was lifted). So you cant exactly take everything he says, list of achievements or other completely literally.
Andrew Mason
189. AnotherAndrew
A Fox@133: I really like that theory. Might I suggest an amendment? Perhaps Kvothe is only half Fae, and his other parent is Yllish (hence the red hair).

This would certainly explain why Denna looks like Meluan. It would also fit various things about Kvothe:
a. The way it is emphasised his father did not have red hair - and while, to be sure, red hair is recessive, so his grandmother may have had it, or the like, the way the story is told suggests his red hair is surprising.
b. The fact that the book-collector - who is himself Ruh - initially assumes Kvothe is Yllish because of his red hair.
c. That Devi refers to him as a red-headed stepchild.

On the other hand, there's one big problem - his eyes. These (their colour, I think, not their changeableness) he says come from his mother, and certainly their being green with a gold ring is surprising enough that you'd think two people who had that feature were related. (Other green-eyed people: Mola, Elodin, Losine. I've no idea what to make of this.)
190. Curtiss
I had a few thoughts to add... Pat said this trilogy is set to end with D3 but he also said he intends to write more from this world. I'm guessing only K's story will be wrapped up in D3 and the frame's story will be continued later (I hope so, at least).

Also, I had a few thoughts about the CTH/Selitos comparison (I'm not going to read all ~200 comments to make sure it hasn't been said already). I agree that the CTH could be Selitos. My reasoning is that in Skarpi's second story that K heard, Selitos was forming the Amyr. He chose his angels along with himself and after they sprouted wings they disappeared from mortal sight (I don't have the book to quote). When K talks with the CTH, he continually looks into the Rhinna tree to find where the voice is but can't see it.

I totally agree that the CTH's sight and the new sight Selitos gained could be related and I like the idea of the glass/stone being kept in the box. I also think that gouging out his own eye kind of made Selitos crazy. If he is, in fact, the CTH, then Selitos can see all possible futures and would be able to orchestrate the collapse of the world to kill the Seven because it serves "the greater good." Maybe that is why the Sithe were forced to contain the CTH to the tree.

One other thought... About the magic that people write down. It could have something to do with the Yllish knots K found on the Lackless box. Denna was searching for that type of magic and ended up in Yll learning the knots. It's a long shot, but what if that type of magic uses Yllish? It could help explain why the Lackless box has the knots on it. I guess we'll find out soon enough.
191. Curtiss
@188 K hasn't yet been expelled from the University. At the end of NW, he teases that Ambrose catches him flat footed and he would have to leave, but that refers to the Trial. He wasn't expelled for that. Chronicler brought up an interesting tease at the beginning of NW when he mentioned that a cobblestone area of the University (I'm assuming is Quoyon Hayel) was destroyed when K killed someone. My guess is it's related to Ambrose and it is THIS event that gets him expelled. Take note that where the story leaves off in WMF, K is 16 or 17 (still younger than when most people are admitted).
Andrew Mason
192. AnotherAndrew
Kvothe has been expelled. It happens, quite explicitly, at the end of NOTW 85. It is rescinded in the next chapter.

It is clear that this list of incidents is not to be taken completely literally, because of 'I burned down the town of Trebon'. He didn't; the Draccus did (to the extent that it happened at all). Kvothe stopped the burning. Kvothe must be recounting events in his story as it is told, not exactly as it happened.

In the light of this, one may also wonder about the princesses rescued from sleeping barrow kings. In one of the versions of his rescue of the girls from the false troupe, the girls become princesses, so this may just be a further embellished version of that.
George Bracken
193. jorgybear
Just reading your account of Wiggum’s theories as sparked a new one in me.
Throughout all of K’s telling, he’s been going on about how he built up his own legend, though exaggerations, half-truths and outright lies, and how he wants to now tell the TRUE story.
If we believe that Chronicler has the kind of magic that makes things that he writes down become true, then it strikes me that whatever K dictates to Chronicler in the frame will become true. This raises a couple of possibilities.
Firstly, that it wasn’t true to start with, Kvothe was an average student who got lucky a couple of times and built a reputation around it (the reputation had to exist in order to lure Chronicler to the Waystone), never met the Maer, never met Felurian, never went to Ademre, but is telling Chronicler these stories in order that they BECOME true. What is it that Skarpi tells Kvothe when he asks if the Lanre story really happened? There’s some sort of suggestion that a told story is its own sort of ‘true’.
The second possibility is that all of what K has dictated to Chronicler really did happen, but K wants to tell the story to Chronicler to magically change the ending, to undo some of the terrible things he did.
Kate Hunter
194. KateH
I don't know if anyone ever acknowledged adamshekerjian@112's point about Lanre having spoken to the Cthaeh before orchestrating the betrayal of Myr Tariniel, and therefore Selitos cannot be the Cth. (I read/skimmed through more than the first 100 comments and didn't see anyone do so.) Unless we want to start dismissing Bast as a reliable source of information, (a slippery slope of dismissal) I think this conclusively rules out the Selitos=Cth idea. Aside from that, Selitos as portrayed in Skarpi's two stories is an exceptionally compassionate, wise, and benevolent figure. How someone like that would morph into the most malevolent and dangerous thing in two worlds is beyond me. At this point, Skarpi's account looks closer to the "truth" to me than Denna's.
thistle pong
195. thistlepong

That's been addressed.
They often kept each other’s council, for they were both lords among their people.
This is certainly not definitive, but it provides a context and opportunity for previous interaction. It suggests a motive, too, if Lanre felt betrayed and misused. Which, interestingly enough, is exactly how "The Song of Seven Sorroes" presents it.
Kate Hunter
196. KateH
Also, I'm with thistlepong in thinking that both Aethe and Rethe knew the name of the wind. That sort of detail being preserved in story within a culture that seems to have no inkling of naming has got to be significant. The story doesn't say what Aethe and Rethe argued over. Perhaps it was the prospect of teaching naming. The Lethani may be the Adem's version of trying to cultivate the "sleeping mind," which they may not conceptualize in that way at all. I'm not totally sold on the Lethani or Spinning Leaf = sleeping mind. Lethani has an element of "rightness" embedded in it that seems very different from the deep knowing that characterizes the sleeping mind, according to Elodin. But there's no reason to expect that two Adem individuals who hit upon "naming" independent of any teacher or knowledge from outside their culture would conceptualize it in the same terms as someone from the Commonwealth would. Nor would they use the same term/concept for the state of mind that facilitates naming. We don't really have a translation for "Lethani" itself, do we? I agree that the potential is there for PR to link Lethani and sleeping mind more explicitly in D3.
Kate Hunter
197. KateH
They often kept each other’s council, for they were both lords among their people.
-This is certainly not definitive, but it provides a context and opportunity for previous interaction. It suggests a motive, too, if Lanre felt betrayed and misused. Which, interestingly enough, is exactly how "The Song of Seven Sorroes" presents it.
Thanks for the response. Bast says Lanre spoke with the Cth before he orchestrated the fall of Myr Tariniel. To me this rules out the walk and talk in the mountains on the day of MT's destruction. Planning an attack on a well defended city takes time, as does putting that plan in action. I believe Bast, so I think Lanre must have spoken to the Cth before all that was done. I don't think Lanre felt betrayed and misused by Selitos, but by something that happened around Lyra's death. Lanre calls Selitos his friend, and I think he was sincere in that, so far as we can know from old stories.

Reading over Selitos' reaction to MT burning, and how he talks to Lanre afterward - it's damn near impossible for me to imagine that such a person becomes anything like as malicious as the Cth. I'm not saying PR couldn't possibly do that. But I will say if that's how it turns out, I'll find it rather implausible and therefore disappointing.
thistle pong
198. thistlepong

This is what always confuses me. The only condition necessary to reconcile Bast's commentary with the theory is the that Lanre spoke to Selitos at least once before razing MT. Skarpi's story easily accomodates that possibility.

The theory might be wrong, but this isn't the razor that cuts it down.


Given that Maegwyn is described pretty much like Elodin in gaze and voice, I would hesitate to suggest the contemporary Adem know nothing of Naming. There are other hints like Vashet's unwillingness to really discuss individual names and the reaction to Kvothe calling Saicere Caesura.
Kate Hunter
199. KateH
thistlepong @198,

Okay, I'm assuming the theory you are referring to is Selitos=Cth. First I agree that Lanre and Selitos spoke prior to the day of MT's burning. But how do we reconcile the part of the story where Selitos puts out his eye and says he gained a better sight than even his unparalleled (or nearly so) deep knowing/Naming ability? Because it seems to me that the Selitos=Cth theory rests on the increased power of sight that Selitos appears to undergo after MT burns. Selitos prior to this increased ability was not the Cth, right? The theory is that Selitos became the Cth by means of this greater power. And Lanre's orchestration of MT's fall happened before Selitos' power increased, according to Skarpi.

Good points about Maegwyn and her naming skill. To clarify, I don't see any awareness in Adem culture of being able to use Naming to control wind or other materials in the present day. Yet the example of Aethe & Rethe Naming and commanding the wind is preserved. Of course, it could be that the Adem think they're the only ones with such power and have no intention of sharing that with barbarians. I could even see them understanding things about Naming that Elodin does not. Such knowledge might lead them to prohibit using Naming to control things, or to any other culturally specific beliefs having to do with Naming.
Steven Halter
200. stevenhalter
KateH@199&197:The theory of Selitos=Cthaeh is certainly a debated one. I tend to read the evidence as you are presenting, but Thistle does raise very interesting points. I'm hoping that D3 will shed some more light, but if not it is a fun field.
thistle pong
201. thistlepong

Like steven says, it's debated. Symbols, objects, and descriptions in the text lead to the almost inevitable conclusion that the Loeclos has something to do with Cthaeh. Once JohnPoint made the connection between the obsidian in "Lanre Turned" and Kvothe's specultation about the contents of the Loeclos, it was difficult not to see the possibilities.

All we can really do is determine whether Seliots=Cthaeh is not explicitly forbidden by the text. I don't think it is.
But how do we reconcile the part of the story where Selitos puts out his eye and says he gained a better sight than even his unparalleled (or nearly so) deep knowing/Naming ability?
I found this easy to reconcile, though other folks have expressed everything from uncertainty to derision. Prior to the Betrayal, Selitos could see into the hearts of men and whatnot. Nothing escaped his sight. Following the eyescream, he could see the outcome of every decision, something like Augustine's concept of God. That's a substantial upgrade.
Kate Hunter
202. KateH
@thistlepong 201, Again, thanks for the response. I'm enjoying the exchange.

Prior to the Betrayal, Selitos could see into the hearts of men and
whatnot. Nothing escaped his sight. Following the eyescream, he could see the outcome of every decision, something like Augustine's concept of God. That's a substantial upgrade.

"Eyescream. " That's good.

I agree that it's a substantial upgrade. And I can see how some readers find that enough to reconcile the timeline niceties between Bast's report and Skarpi's tale (i.e. Lanre spoke to Cth before the orchestration, and Selitos didn't gain Cth-like powers until MT fell.) For me there's still a niggling problem there. However, let's call that resolved and set it aside for now.

That leaves two bigger issues to overcome. First is the question of why Selitos, an all-seeing person, would hold a conversation with Lanre that leads to the downfall of his own city. If he's one of those "poisoned by the enemy" who betrayed their city from Shehyn's tale, then Skarpi's story makes no sense. Shehyn doesn't list Selitos among those who betrayed their cities. And Skarpi explictly says his story really happened.

Secondly, there's Selitos' benevolent nature. He's just watched the destruction of his entire city, and yet his words to Lanre are mild, generous, and even sympathetic. How would a person like that become an entity that is wholy malevolent and unnecessarily malicious? Cth's conversation with K isn't just manipulative, but also meant to injure. Surely an all-seeing, all-knowing entity that even vaguely resembled Selitos would manipulate with a few less emotional bombs thrown into the conversation.

In order to make the personalities of the Cth and Selitos match, we basically have to either question/throw out everything Skarpi's tale tells us about Selitos's history and personality, or else postulate some subsequent event which radically changes both Selitos' personality and motivations. We haven't a scrap of evidence for such a hypothetical event. And if we discard Skarpi's tale as unreliable, then we also toss out the information that Selitos gained even greater than great sight and knowledge. Which would leave us with nothing at all to resolve.

D's account of Selitos & Lanre might better support the theory, but there's precious little to go on with her POV, and certainly the funding source for her research should be considered when evaluating her story.
Steven Halter
203. stevenhalter
KateH@202:The timeline is really my biggest problem with the theory. If we ignore that, the other problems can fit with standard oracle behavior as:
1) "First is the question of why Selitos, an all-seeing person, would hold a conversation with Lanre that leads to the downfall of his own city." Selitos may see that the downfall is needed to assure a better outcome in the future. In this respect, Selitos becomes the ultimate Amyr as he knows with complete certainty what things have to happen to "ensure the greatest good."
2) "Secondly, there's Selitos' benevolent nature. ... Surely an all-seeing, all-knowing entity that even vaguely resembled Selitos would manipulate with a few less emotional bombs thrown into the conversation." Same answer really. By being able to see all possible futures, Selitos is constrained to act in only the fashion that produces the greatest good by his very benevolent nature. Perfect knowledge constrains Selitos to essentially having no choices. So, in effect the malevolence that non-oracular beings see is really just a bump in the road to a better world.
thistle pong
204. thistlepong

History in the KKC is presented as detective work, the reconciliation of contradictory accounts, and some reasoned guessing. One of the few thing's Pat"s offered in terms of what the story is about is an exploration of that via story. Bast gives an infodump that actually contains that notion.
Bast shook his head, his face pale and drawn. “Not wrong, Reshi, catastrophic. Iax spoke to the Cthaeh before he stole the moon, and that sparked the entire creation war. Lanre spoke to the Cthaeh before he orchestrated the betrayal of Myr Tariniel. The creation of the Nameless. The Scaendyne. They can all be traced back to the Cthaeh.”
(emphasis mine)

None of the primaries are available for comment, but you can apparently play telephone back to a common source. Or the best evidence suggests this what most likely happened. This is what every Fae child knows.

Iax and Lanre both have reason and opportunity to have spoken with Selitos; one's a contemporary, the other's a friend and peer. So it doesn't mess with the order of events for me. It does't even have to be malicious. Think about how the Hermit in "The Boy Who Loved the Moon" dejectedly laments, "that's not what I said," when Jax resolves to trap the moon.

(edited for spelling, grammar, and to remove the context free fictive spec)
Steven Halter
205. stevenhalter
thistlepong@204:Yep, that is all possible. We are talking about events thousands of years ago. Stories can degrade a lot in that amount of time.
thistle pong
206. thistlepong
First is the question of why Selitos, an all-seeing person, would hold a conversation with Lanre that leads to the downfall of his own city.
I don't view the Selitos of "Lanre Turned" as having predictive powers until perhaps the end of the story. All that really needs to be true is that Lanre came away from a conversation thinking there was a hard choice to be made to end the war. Again, just like Jax.
Secondly, there's Selitos' benevolent nature.
You touch on this, but I really think the contrary account bears consideration. Lanre's behavior in Skarpi's version makes very little sense and the old man calls his own veracity into question. There's probably a middle position that doesn't require scrapping either entirely.

Selitos loses everything. Myr Tariniel is gone. He's outwitted by an unkillable foe. He mutilates himself and dedicates his existence to vengeance and "confounding the plots of Lanre." He changes before our eyes. That change is reified when he refuses the just benevolence that Tehlu professes to embrace and opts for vigilanteism.
Kate Hunter
207. KateH
Okay, I see your points. I'm not persuaded by them, but maybe PR's gift is his peculiar ability to write a story with enough complexity, depth and ambiguity that different close readers can come up with differing interpretations which are all supported to varying degrees by the text.

D's version of events is clearly set up to be suspect. But it could be deliberate misdirection away from the truth. Even if her patron does turn out to be a complete bastard, or even one of the Chandrian, it doesn't follow that D's account is false.
thistle pong
208. thistlepong
Well, there's convincing evidence that Denna's patron is any one of three people. I dunno that the gift's peculiar to Pat, but he does seem to be workin' it in this story. Readers seem to choose the one that best fits their other assumptions.

I feel some responsibility for the S=C theory, so I chime in to defend it on principle when folks poke at it regardless of my current attachment to it. For me, seeing the possibility is enough. And it has some interesting ramifications vis-a-vis your theory in Part 22.
Kate Hunter
209. KateH
D's patron could be one of three different people? Bredon, Cinder, and...? Am I just blanking on the third, or have I missed a major piece of debate somewhere along the way?

Ramifications? Please elaborate.
thistle pong
210. thistlepong
Alveron. It looks like you're reviewing the reread in order. You'll come to it eventually. The fact that there's evidence for two is interesting enough, really.

I can't really elaborate at the moment. I'm still digesting your post. Apologies.

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