Apr 12 2012 2:00pm

Rothfuss Reread: The Wise Man’s Fear Part 26: You’re alive!

Welcome to my wildly detailed reread of Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles. This week’s post covers chapters 138-143 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 ted in WMF, none of them really came up explicitly in NW. The first is the Amtheories. The re-read index. The map. The timeline. Imaginary Linguistics.


Chapter 138 (140) is Just Rewards

I’m used to hearing that phrase as “just desserts” is “just rewards” a normal alternative?

Kvothe gets a packet from the Maer early in the morning containing several letters. The first one says that the Maer would have forgiven Kvothe’s blood but becuase Meluan can’t stand him, could Kvothe  return his ring and leave Severen at his “earliest convenience”. He doesn’t even say please, but at least he is polite. At this point Kvothe opens the door and checks for guards, and sees that they are there. He says “just checking” which made me chortle.

The rest of the stuff is a pardon for killing the false troupe, a letter of credit paying his tuition at the University, and a writ allowing him to travel play and perform in the Maer’s lands. Not patronage, but not nothing either. Kvothe says it’s an “odd compromise”. Then a runner comes with a pale wood ring from Meluan, and Kvothe notices the runner and the guards pointedly paying attention to it, and of course he has no idea what it means. He sends a ring for Bredon.

From Bredon’s point of view, whatever his intentions beyond beautiful games, could this be the kind of thing he wanted out of befriending Kvothe? To be in his confidence so that he could be asked for on this kind of occasion? I mean Kvothe shows him Meluan and the Maer’s letters, he directly hands them to this guy who has been friendly but who he doesn’t know anything about beyond his name and his Tak skill.

Bredon assumes (or pretends to assume) the guards are an honour, but when he sees the ring he goes grey and hopes Kvothe got it from an old fashioned farmer. He swears by “Lord and Lady” which combines interestingly with “pagan frolics” and definitely doesn’t sound Tehlin. I think Bredon comes over here as genuinely shocked. The ring means Meluan doesn’t regard Kvothe as a human being. He wears it. Bredon says it’s better that the Maer has dismissed him or he would have been a peppercorn ground in a mortar between the two of them.

Kvothe gives Bredon his ring back, and Bredon takes it “with a defeated sigh” and leaves, assuring Kvothe that “these things shouldn’t blow over” and he shouldn’t wear the ring. Kvothe goes to see Stapes, escorted of course by the guards. Stapes also says he shouldn’t wear the wooden ring. Stapes accepts his gold ring back, but tells Kvothe to keep the bone one because it lies outside his duty to the Maer and is between the two of them.

Then there’s an odd gap, because the next line is “I ate a late supper alone in my rooms” when he’d been dressing when he got the package and chatting to Bredon and Stapes can’t have taken more than a couple of hours at the absolute outside. What did he do in that time and why didn’t he tell us?

He keeps re-reading the Maer’s letter and not finding anything nice in it. He counts his money and has slightly less than eight talents.

Eight talents, a pardon, a pleyer’s writ, and my tuition paid at the University. It was not an inconsiderable reward.

But he feels shorted because:

I had saved Alveron from a poisoning, uncovered a traitor in his court, won him a wife, and rid his roads of more dangerous folk than I cared to count.

The bandits in the Eld as well as the bandits in the false troupe to be sure. I think Kvothe has a good point here. We don’t entirely know how it’s supposed to work, but the Maer was offering him titles and land before.

So Kvothe has no patron, and worse, no help with the Amyr issue. He considers his rooms. Interestingly, he uses the word “nicks” for stealing Caudicus’s books, which is the word used by the false troupers for stealing, which the Ruh aren’t supposed to do. (I haven’t heard anyone talking about “nicking” anything since I left school.) Then he tips the rings into a small sack and takes two of the outfits from the wardrobe. (These have been given to him so it isn’t stealing.) He puts on Caesura and his shaed, which reminds him his time hasn’t been wasted but they have nothing to do with the Maer. Then he locks the door and climbs out of the window, relocking it from outside to avoid humiliation and to puzzle them.

Safely in Severen-Low, he finds a “greasy bookbinder” to whom he sells the stack of slanderous stories the nobility had sent him about each other, for publication as a book. Kvothe gets an advance of six reels — anyone keeping up on the exchange rate here? Anyway, he burns the contract. I think this implausible and unrealistic event reflects the ease Rothfuss had in getting published and would not have been written by anyone else who has ever tried to sell a book, even a non-fiction scandal book. Still, the thought of it is funny. After that he sold Caudicus’s books except one, and the clothes, and found a ship for Junpui.

He spends the evening failing to find D, then goes to a brothel and donates the sack of rings to the sex workers after buying them drinks and playing music. This is an odd and pointless revenge, especially as the silver ones are surely negotiable.

He ends up looking out over Severen from a public garden on the edge of the Sheer. A dockman says a noble can piss on the whole city from there, and Kvothe says the ones he has met can piss a lot further than that.

It’s odd that Kvothe really does think himself the equal of anyone. This isn’t bad writing or anachronism, because the other characters really don’t — they know their place or work on changing it, mostly. But Kvothe doesn’t expect to be treated the way he has been and doesn’t think he’s lucky to be walking away with his tuition paid.


Chapter 139 (141) is A Journey to Return

This is a very short chapter in which Kvothe goes home to the University very quickly. The sailors had heard about him visiting Felurian, so his name really must be on that story. Interesting that the Maer hadn’t heard it. He tells them about the Adem and throws their best wrestler, and they are nore friendly thereafter. They teach him sea stories and the names of stars. They try to teach him knots, and here we have one of those lines that may mean a lot more than it says:

They tried to teach me sailor’s knots, but I didn’t have a knack for it, though I proved to be a dab hand at untying them.

When we read “knack” here, what do we read? That Kvothe did have an actual magical knack like those sevens, for untying knots, for opening, for unravelling? Or is it just a joke, like the “wimmen, sorry, women”.

I’m absolutely sure that one of the things Kvothe does in D3 and one of the reasons he is hiding and guilty and all of that is because he opened something that he should have left closed. Whether it’s the Lackless box or the doors of stone or the moon or fae or what I don’t know, but I do feel absolutely sure that he opened something. The way he is consistently guilty about this sets up an expectation.

He says the voyage eased the bitterness he felt at his ill treatment from the Maer and Meluan.

I wonder if he knows in frame-time that Meluan is his aunt. I wonder if she knows.


Chapter 140 (142) is Home

The ship takes him to Tarbean, and he goes upstream on a billow boat bound for Anilin and gets off two days later at Imre.

This is the first time Kvothe had ever enjoyed the feeling of coming home after a journey, because he’d never had anything like a fixed home before. He feels it when he crosses the bridge and sees the Archives. He had been gone for three quarters of a year, which feels both longer and shorter as he comes back.

He goes to see Sim, who swears in a very Tehlin way “Blackened body of God, you’re alive!” Threpe had assumed Kvothe was dead when shipwrecked and told everyone. You’d thought Threpe might have had a letter from the Maer thanking him for Kvothe since, but clearly not. And of course Kvothe hadn’t written to anyone. Poor Sim had the news broken to him by Ambrose, who had apparently heard it in the Eolian. Ambrose told Sim just before admissions, and Sim was “half convinced he’d arranged to sink your ship”. I wonder about that late crewman we saw on the bridge. Wil also took it hard and went home for a term. Sim is Re’lar. And he’s going out with Fela, and he’s worried about Kvothe coming back in that context, and Kvothe says he wouldn’t get in the way of that.

And it’s the last day of Admissions. Before going though, Kvothe visits the Bursar and shows him the Maer’s note of credit, which covers any amount of tuition. They negotiate a deal. Outside again, waiting, he buys a meat pie and a mug of hot cider — the last time he did this was when he was drugged, because he’s never been able to afford this sort of casual extravagance before.

In Admissions, Kilvin demands he visit the Fishery, everyone except Elodin is surprised he is alive. Lorren asks

a surprisingly easy question about the Mender heresies

What are the Mender heresies? Does it have to do with Menda? Or does it have to do with mending broken houses at the end of broken roads? Kvothe doesn’t tell us. Why might Lorren be interesed in Kvothe’s views on them? I feel as if this is another trick question like the moon ones. Kvothe says he had to think for a long moment before answering Arwyl’s question about lacillium. Kvothe directly insults Hemme and is fined for it, and then he’s assigned a tuition of twenty-four talents, at which he pretends to be embarrassed. Afterwards he presents Alveron’s letter of credit and gets “my agreed upon cut” half of everything over ten talents — and as he is paid he wonders if anyone has ever been paid so well for insolence and ignorance.

He goes to Ankers, where Anker fortunately hasn’t heard of his death. He gets his room back, and his stuff that he left in it. He goes to the Eolian and hangs out with Deoch and Stanchion. Late that night he climbs onto Mains and sees Auri “staring up at the moon”. She’s excited to see him and show him a family of hedgehogs. She says she has missed him, and he says he doesn’t ever plan on going away again, which seems like a very rash thing to think.


Chapter 141 (143) is Bloodless

The arrowcatch device has caught on and earned Kvothe a lot of money — 22 talents. Kilvin called it “bloodless” after Kvothe when they thought he was dead, named by Elodin, to Kilvin’s grumbles. We learn this from Basil, the water-to-acid chap.

He goes to Imre and fails to find D, and does find Devi, who has assumed him dead and is stunned to see him. Devi was sure Ambrose had done it because they’d set fire to his rooms and she has been feeling guilty for helping. Useful information on Ambrose:

his father’s barony is called the Pirate Isles

and don’t I just wish I knew where it was on the map or if it’s Junpai or what?

Kvothe is trying to do the half flirtatious wit matching he has always done with Devi but she’s too upset. He takes her for lunch in an inn where she recovers. Kvothe doesn’t at all seem to take in that both Devi and Sim, neither of them stupid, see the shipwreck as an attempt on his life by Ambrose. He doesn’t even consider to dismiss it, even though he does think the attack in the alley was an attack by Ambrose. It’s as if by surviving through pure chance and a floating lute case proves it wasn’t.

He tries to pay Devi back and she tries not to take it, and he finally figures out that it isn’t money she wants but people owing her favours. He gives her Celum Tincture, though he still knows no alchemy, and this must have changed between his giving the book to her and his giving it to Bast. She returns to him Rhetoric and Logic and his talent pipes and D’s ring and the thirf’s lamp.


Chapter 142 (144) is Sword and Shaed

The real things he gained on his trip, neither of them planned.

And he’s summarising the winter term. He has money for the first time, he can have his clothes laundered — look, professional laundries so unusual at this tech level. He can afford even luxuries like coffee or chocolate — look, trade with the tropics, so unusual at this tech level...

He hides Caesura in the Underthing, since he can’t wear it and his room isn’t safe.

He wears the shaed, because he can change and disguise it and people don’t really notice how odd it is, even when it moves on its own. Elodin is the only one to recognise it and asks “How did you come to be enshaedn?” Elodin thinks it’s old magic, Kvothe tells him it’s new, Elodin takes him to a pub for the whole story. Elodin believes him and is especially interested in the fight when he called the wind. When Kvothe says he called it again in Ademre, Elodin makes the Adem gesture of “amazed respect”. He says he went chasing the wind and caught it. He puts his mind into spinning leaf at Elodin’s request, and they agree he could call the wind if he needed it but not just for the sake of it. Elodin says he must have called Felurian’s name itself in the fight, which he hadn’t realised. He asks why it’s different from the wind, then answers himself “The complexity” which makes Elodin happy. Elodin is acting like a sensible person, not like a loon, for once.

Kvothe says he was

free to study more broadly than ever before. I continued my usual classes in sympathy, medicine and artificing, then added chemistry, herbology, and comparative female anatomy.

I don’t know, I took that as a joke but someone pointed out it could be a real class and it could be about man mothers, and it’s just like Rothfuss to hide things in plain sight that way. Have to wait and see. (Is it D3 yet?) Then he tries to investigate Yllish and finds a room ib the archive of Yllish knots. He can’t read the knots without the language, and there are no classes in Yllish and nobody knows it — Yll has been reduced to a tiny kingdom, subdued by Atur. Then the Master Linguist, the Chancellor, offers to teach Kvothe. He turns out to be witty and gentle as a teacher, and we know Kvothe is good at languages and figuring things out. Kvothe also studies naming with Elodin, which goes more smoothly now he understands the method.

Threpe throws a party for Kvothe, and Kvothe gets new clothes in green and grey of Lord Greyfallow’s colours — again, why does he never try to contact Lord Greyfallow? Threpe thinks the Maer has been generous, because Kvothe can’t tell him half of what he did for him — the poisoning I suppose. Why can’t he tell him? I suppose because the Maer could cancel the credit note?

And we’ll go on from there next time.

Last week, John Point argued for the Lethani as a form of kinaesthetic naming, which is very interesting:

Anyway, I think that’s more or less what Ademic fighting and the Lethani are all about. By following the Lethani and learning the Ademic arts, you learn to kinesthetically Name an action, and it becomes so. A movement becomes a break lion. (or any of the other grips/positions/forms that the Adem teach). A step becomes a perfect step. Etc.

This especially applies to the problem of Kvothe forgetting how to fight:

Under this theory, what happened to Kvothe to cause him to lose his magic (whether he changed his name, locked part of it in the thrice-locked chest, or something else) also applies to his physical “naming” ability. It’s the same type of magic as regular Naming, but it’s a different way of expressing it.

Shalter thinks:

I took it as he had forgotten to maintain his Kote identity. This would imply that the skills are still there—he is doing something semi-active to keep them not at hand. This could be something like when he broke his mind into pieces and hid something from one half. There are possibly multiple things going on to supress Kvothe’s various skills. Maybe most (or all) of our guesses are right. His name is altered, his hands are cursed, his mind is blocked, the Inn is blocking him and something dear is locked in the box.

and Beren takes that further:

When Kvothe makes use of his Alar, he describes it as splitting his mind into several pieces. Well, what if he were to find a way to trap his ’mind’ outside of himself. And what if he were terrified of what would happen if all of the parts of himself were to be reunited and he were to be ’himself’ again. It raises an interesting mental exercise — given the existence of magic, and the need to trap himself, how would he do it? Well, he would need to split different pieces of his consciousness off from himself, and then he would need to seperate the pieces in such a way that they were inaccessible to himself, no matter how he tried. The only way to do this would be to lock the knowledge of how to access those pieces within one of the pieces. I see his tasks as:

1) Make a box that only he (or his hands) can open
2) Split away the piece of the knowledge of how to make the box (and therefore how to reverse-engineer it without the key)
3) Split away a portion of his name that gives him power.
4) Split away the piece of him that knows how to use his power to unlock his name.
5) Curse his hands to be unable to open the box.
6) Lock a piece in the box, another piece somewhere else (in the ’name’ of the Inn?) etc.
7) . . . profit?

Anyway, I’m sure I missed something, or split a task that can be combined, but my point is that it seems like a task that one could split up, then perform in a certain order where each piece is dependant on the next, and the final piece invalidates the ability to perform the first link in the chain of events that would be required to unlock everything in reverse order. I’m not even certain I’m making sense, but I am starting to see it as a logic puzzle that I could solve if only I were smart enough (and knew all of the pieces, obviously.

But Ryanreich thinks it doesn’t have to be that hard from his own experience:

I have definitely forgotten how to do math from a field that I never practice. I always forget how to play the piano well in the months between visits to my mother, where our piano is. It’s the same loss: I remember how to do all the individual parts of playing the piano, but I am clumsy at putting them together. And I don’t forget what math is, just what are the tricks and strategies that make it work. I can easily pick them up again given a few days and something to work on.


If you were ever expert in anything, you will always have the skill, but you will also always need practice to be able to perform it.

Also see last week for discussion about problematic feminist readings and GBrell being brilliant about feminism and female roles in the books. I’m really glad we can have a discussion like this calmly.

Jo Walton is a science fiction and fantasy writer. She’s published two poetry collections and nine novels, most recently the Hugo and Nebula nominated Among Others. 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.

Katy Maziarz
1. ArtfulMagpie
Anybody else really wonder when and where Elodin learned the Adem hand-language? And whether or not he learned Adem fighting as well? No one in Haert mentions another barbarian who has been trained in the Adem ways. Is this because they don't know? Or because all Elodin learned was the gestural language and maybe some of the Lethani? Since all the heads of the other schools were at Kvothe's test at the sword-tree, I doubt that any barbarian being trained to fight the Adem way would go unnoticed. If Elodin was officially trained in the Ketan, even the Ketan of another path than the Latantha, Shehyn at least would know about it. So. Either he wasn't taught to fight as well as to "speak" the Adem way, or he only learned some of the language. And either way, I want to know more!

Plus Elodin knows what a shaed is and recognizes it immediately. Is Kvothe just following in Elodin's footsteps without knowing it?
Katy Maziarz
2. ArtfulMagpie
Also, given that Ambrose's father's barony is the Pirate Isles AND Kvothe's ship was attacked and sunk by pirates AND that Devi and Sim are convinced Ambrose was behind Kvothe's assumed death AND that whole business with the late sailor who went over the bridge to the University (meeting someone?)...I am more than half-convinced that yes, Ambrose tried to kill Kvothe by arranging for pirates from his father's barony attack Kvothe's ship. Why Kvothe doesn't seem to take any notice of this possibility is a whole different question....
3. jmd
No real profundity here, just a quick notice that we have seen so many "knacks" and skills and especially opening from Kvothe and now isn't it funny that we have a box that he cannot open...
Steven Halter
4. stevenhalter
I'll also vote for Kvothe's shipwreck being a non-accident. It is a very good question as to why he doesn't think this. In the past he has been quite ready to blame Ambrose.
Ashley Fox
5. A Fox
I had kind of viweded it as sign of his growing up. The two and fro between them had been very childish (all the tricks K payed). K has grown up in the interum, before he wuld have lept at the chance of blaming Ambrose and concocting some sort of revenge. Now he isnt really interested and prefers to concentrate on what he has learnt/is learning.

Also self admitedly he has never taken the true threat and power of Ambrose seriously, and despit growing up it seems he is STILL underestimating him.

He is trying to do the right and mature thing, but is actually missing something very important. Which is typical of K.
6. noctanter
There is something powerful about being able to untie knots (or “unmake” them). We also later learn from the Master Namer that renaming (or “unnaming”?) is also not to be trifled with.
Ch. 88, WMF: “I’ve never been able to get it open,” Jax said. “The knot is too much for me.”
The hermit closed his eyes for a moment, listening. Then he opened his eyes and frowned at Jax. “The knot says you tore at it. Pricked it with a knife. Bit it with your teeth.”
Jax was surprised. “I did,” he admitted. “I told you, I tried everything to get it open.”
“Hardly everything,” the hermit said scornfully. He lifted the pack until the knotted cord was in front of his face. “I’m terribly sorry,” he said. “But would you open up?” He paused. “Yes. I apologize. He won’t do it again.”
Ch. 141, WMF: Kvothe, on his return journey from Vintas, "They tried to teach me sailor’s knots, but I didn’t have a knack for it, though I proved to be a dab hand at untying them."
Seems that Kvothe is good at untying knots much like the Listener, who merely spoke/asked the knot to unmake/untie itself. All of this supports the theory that the lockless box and door need to simply be asked in the right manner to open and Kvothe will eventually figure this out and do it.
7. mr. awesome
I'm going to suggest that Kvothe's hand might have been cursed as a result of breaking an oath to one of the Fae "by his good left hand" or something like that.

If not the Fae, someone magical.

But maybe it's his whole body that's disoriented and not just his hand. If that's the case then this is much less probable.
8. Tox
Did Ambrose or his father set up the ship wreck of the noble before K. even left the univ. Did Ambrose somehow bribe Caudicus when he went to visit Ambrose's family so they could get closer to the throne... With Devi and Sim see the shipwreck as an attempt on his life by Ambrose.
Ashley Fox
9. A Fox
"He has money for the first time, he can have his clothes laundered —
look, professional laundries so unusual at this tech level. He can
afford even luxuries like coffee or chocolate — look, trade with the
tropics, so unusual at this tech level..."-Jo

What tech level? Becuase I dont find it unusual. In my mind K's time is on par with the renaissance. They have the printing press, and similar tech as we see n the fishery. As well as the definition of ancient times being before christianity/tehlin. well there are many parralels. Nature, trade, scintfic revolution (they have fridges).

The hight of the tehlin church/arturan empire would be comparable to the high middle ages inc corruption etc. I wounder if the Penitant King is doing something on par with the Reformation?

Most fantasy is set in a meddle age fuedal sort f setting, but PRs world is freshing in that in parrales the developments on from thses ages (whilst the feudal system is slow to go in more rural areas).
Steven Halter
10. stevenhalter
It is interesting that the Maer gave Kvothe a pardon.
A pardon is the forgiveness of a crime and the cancellation of the penalty. We don't have any real knowledge of Vintic law other than that the Maer seems able to do what he wants (the bandit on the gibbet.) However, if Kvothe had not done anything wrong or there was no reason for anyone to ever charge him with something, then a pardon would not be needed. So:
1) Under Vintic law was what Kvothe did a crime and therefore the Maer knew he needed a pardon or,
2) Was the Maer just proactively acting just in case someone else (like Baron Jakis) were to try charging Kvothe with even a trumped up charge?
Felipe Martins
11. felipem
I think it's the 1st option there. Kvothe did kill those people, instead of bringing them to justice, seems like a serious acusation.
12. Ziggelly
Speaking as a person who has PTSD, I've actually found the fact that he hasn't contacted Lord Grayfallow, or Abenthy, and hasn't told anyone about the death of his family yet, to be incredibly realistic.

Something that many people who have lived through a trauma experience is avoidance. They lock away the information in their heads, and simply refuse to think about it. If the event is traumatic enough, they'll even block out the event(s) completely. But usually, they'll just lock away most of it. They'll have little "clips", snippits of the major things that they've thought about enough that it doesn't hurt to think about anymore. Everything else is painful. So they don't talk about it unless they're forced to, and they'll try very hard to not be in a situation where they'd have to explain it. (Remember how he wouldn't go with that nice father and son in Tarbean, because if he did then he'd have to explain what had happened? Or how he got really angry at Denna for singing that song about Lanre, and at Lorren for bringing up his father that one time? That's another thing that's very PTSD: You get irritated very easily by situations or people that force you to think about what happened. This is probably the root of most of his anger issues, really.) They know, instinctively, that if they try to talk about it, they'll have to bring up those little details that they haven't thought about for years into focus, and it'll hurt. It's almost like going through the experience all over again. And that makes it seem almost like it's physically impossible to talk about it; you'll get all choked up, and not able to speak, so what's the point in even trying?

Now, this isn't particularily healthy, mentally speaking, but it's something that happens quite frequently, I think. Obviously, Kvothe does get over this block at some point, or else he wouldn't speak about it to the Chronicler. But the event is still pretty recent in the story -- three or four years may seem like a long time, but it's really not enough.
Ryan Reich
13. ryanreich
You mean "just deserts"?

Kvothe's little revenge spree was definitely weird, but I think you're misinterpreting the bookbinding incident. Rothfuss has said frequently that it was extremely difficult for him to get his book published. Perhaps he's unusually fortunate in that it was his first book that got published, but it was not a fast process: five years or more, apparently. I would interpret the "greasy bookbinder" as being a sort of pamphleteer rather than a proper publisher.

I think the reason he went to the brothel was another Amyr impulse, or rather, an impulse based in the same kind of militant moralism that he has been displaying for a while now. The petty courtiers and their backstabbing stories offended him; they ingratiated themselves to him for their own advantage, thinking that he was too powerless or naive for them to feel any kind of repercussions from anything they did in front of him. He gave them the humiliation he thought they deserved. (This is not actually moral, of course.)

These chapters and the last have been very strange. Kvothe totally botches the conversation with the Maer and, basically, eviscerates a developing plotline about the Amyr as well as decapitating the ongoing Vintas plotline; within two chapters he is gone, a thousand miles away, back at the University and a student again rather than minor nobility. (Though he does set himself up as a minor noble among students with that tuition scam.) It is the most bizarre pacing I have ever seen, particularly in a series that has characterized itself with very intentional development.
Steven Halter
14. stevenhalter
ryanreich@13:Yes, it does seem like he could have handled the conversation with the Maer better in about, well just about any way other than he did.
It is of note that his transition to the Vintas plotline was also abrupt. He's at the U and then he's on a boat (sunk) and at the Maer's.
Ryan Reich
15. ryanreich
shalter@14: I was thinking about that after I posted, and I decided (rationalization!) that there was some lead-in to that particular change. Sure the distance was just as great, but the trip was, what, the third adventure Kvothe had in the book by that time? It was part of a sequence, and the term away was well-justified. Events led to it. In Vintas, though, it really seemed that Kvothe was going somewhere in that plotline right up until it ended.
Steven Halter
16. stevenhalter
ryanreich@15:That's true. It seems like it is setting up a pattern of Kvothe having to leave town fast, though. I'll bet that happens in D3 also. (At least once.)
Ian B
17. Greyfalconway
I haven't read the comments yet, but a thought struck me, maybe Elodin is the poet Vashet was with, we don't actually know anything of Elodin besides his ridiculous rise and fall in the University, he could easily be some sort of Poet King.

Aside from always liking him, I've gotten these weird menacing hints about his character, and while he seems to be a harmless enigma he could just as easily be a mad king gone to the university for power or something.

And the thought of Kvothe and Elodin having some sort of naming duel where the 'cobbles are still broken' or whatever would be pretty epic. Maybe Elodin is Aculeus Lackless or something even, you never know.

Theory is out there, but y'know, just sharing, lol.

Another Elodin thought was maybe the stories of Taborlin the Great are about him. The things mentioned that Elodin has done fit, sort of, and the extra magical bits could be chalked up to rumor and elaboration, like the stories of Kvothe are. And from just two years to the frame it seems as if stories of Kvothe are spoken of as a past thing like the stories of Taborlin are.

Also, is next week or the week after the last time we'll have these posts? =o
18. sanchez
For anyone subscribing to the Bredon=Ash theory, I think it is relevant to note that Kvothe does meet with Bredon one last time, while D is nowhere around. She also presumably has not been around for quite some time since she never got the note that Kvothe left for her. This is hardly counter-eveidence against the theory, but they have clearly been separated for a bit.
Ashley Fox
19. A Fox
Ahh Vashet's poet king. Ive been pondering that too. Though not in regards to elodin ;)

The small kingdoms, home to Bredon (location), Bredon beer (export commonly drunk in Yll) and possibly Bredon (person, likely also Master Ash.)* Who is of a high enough rank that he doesnt bother with the rings etiquette in the Maers court, and is also at that court frequently enough that he has rumours about him. The SKs are also tubulent; the King has need of a mercenary of the best reputation caste, D's letter mentions whitnessing a battle between factions on horseback, and makes it sound quite common.

Bredon (person) enjoys playing a beautiful game. He once sought power of the court variety but claims to have grown past it-would part of that be angling for the throne? His 'land' is the only one we have mentioned (well perhaps that seige but who knows?) Is K's betrayel being tricked into doing Bredon's dirty work? Does he kill Vashet's poet king, Bredon ascend to the throne, his interest in Fae, connections to Yll-who are decidedly NOT tehlin-does this faction/alliance become the rebels in the frame? (Yll is a, directionally speaking, strong candidate for the Scrael).

Thinking on such political lines brings some sense to these chapters. As K is our protagonist, and the story is from his point of view, we have a tendancy to assume that he is central to the story-what if he is not. What if these sections are a set up for the condition of the 4c's in the frame and how he later becomes 'king killer'. We have already observed that he is not very observant, yet he is a skillful storyteller, he is retrospectively presenting us with the information that will make sense later (or now if you are Chronicler/Bast etc and know what has passed(-ish)). A classic set up.

Here we also see that Ambrose's vendetta against K is distracting him from his families ambitions of the throne. He is wasting wealth and resources on trying to kill him. A knife in an alley is relatively cheap, but a pirate attack at sea? Vast. I belive that Ambrose is somewhat of a red herring. His families machinations lead to the Maer and Meluan getting closer to the throne, his anagonism of K at uni gives us lots of sub plot and drive, but perhaps this ultimately scuppers his plans. He pushes K too far and K kills him. The shattered stones outside of the Eolian. Which are also somewhat of a redherring if we assume thats where the King was killed-but what would a king be doing there? Imre may be a fairly liberated place but Kings tend to stay in regency or travel with extreme pomp.

*Three B's! (Auri)
Katy Maziarz
20. ArtfulMagpie
"The small kingdoms, home to Bredon (location), Bredon beer (export commonly drunk in Yll) and possibly Bredon (person, likely also Master Ash.)"

Someone refresh my we know for a fact that Bredon's lands are in the Small Kingdoms? I thought they were in Vintas! The Small Kingdoms are a separate country/region, with presumably separate nobility and lines of inheritance, yes?

I haven't read the comments yet, but a thought struck me, maybe Elodin is the poet Vashet was with, we don't actually know anything of Elodin besides his ridiculous rise and fall in the University, he could easily be some sort of Poet King.

The same thought had struck me, actually. We really don't know much about Elodin's background before his University antics, and there are certainly other nobles at the University... And then I thought, "Wow, wouldn't that mess with Kvothe's head, if he and Elodin had both slept with the same woman! Vashet wouldn't care, of course, ha!
Ashley Fox
22. A Fox
Sorry for double post, but...

Parthogenesis. Women bear children without need of men. The Adem describe men as dead brances. We have supposed that the Ruarch, and possibly Fae, were shaped. I have supposed that the Adem were original followers of Lanre and Lyra, but even if they were not they were hunted across the lands before stlling in Ademre. They do not typically breed with outsiders. There genes remain relatively, er, 'pure'. Most of the rest of the Ruarch held back from taing sides. Presumably over the centuries they drifted about as nomadic people, settled down and founded the various countries (ie Ceald). They interbred, swapped genes, and the procreation we are familiar with is dominant.

The Locleos are also described as having problems with heirs duty etc. Which I have argued is making sure there is a heir to pass on too, other duties are secondary to ensuring the line. The family is old, very old, likely as old as the CW re their heirlooms. What if they are also like the Adem. The men are dead branches: this is why their is always a Lady Lackless, the line passes through the women (The Tehlin/Arturans seem to be rather partiarchal, so if an inheritance was always passed through the females by default of birth it would be remarked upon, in histories and perhaps in rymes with the common people-husbands rocks in a box? A pun on emasculation?).

The Maer reasons out how Meluan is the only likely candidate for a wife, it would not be hard for Bredon to also work this out. He also likes is pagan frolics at greystones, connections with Fae, Faen, and the mysteries of the Lockless families. I propose that he courted K becuase a) he knew exactly who he was, Netalia's son (prophesied? Perhaps, but even so with Lackless blood and an affinity for Lackless mysteries) b) he wanted the Maer to Marry a Lackless, for the Maers heir to have to biological connection to him, but be pure Lackless with the possible ability to open the Doors of Stone, the gateways to Faen. It is also likely he is aware of the Jackiss plotting. Machivalean, a beautiful game.

@20 lol, me too! Im rereading WMF and its stated clear as day about half way through...i'll try and dig up a qoute (though is some lovely person with an ebook thingy wants to word serch that would be delightful!) Hence this deluge of thought :)
Jimbo McAnderson
23. d1verjim
Hi Jo,
I've just caught up on this reread having recently found it. Thanks so much for doing it, I'm really enjoying both your views and everyone else's comments.

One point I want to make, which doesn't really fit here but i don't want to comment on an old blog, is that a number of people have mentioned that K doesn't sleep in the frame. Ay the start of NotW it's implied once, and explicitly states twice that he does. Apologies if thus has already been pointed out. I haven't read all the comments!

Chapter 1 "It was a long time before he walked past the chest to bed. Once in bed, it was a long time before he slept"

Chapter 3(after going upstairs when he's recognised) "The fire flickered and died. Sleep met him like a lover in an empty bed"

End of chapter 5 after fighting the Scrael, Bast comes into K's room and simgs to him while he's asleep.
Ashley Fox
24. A Fox
"In the small kingdoms women drink it when they're pregnant. Arwyl mentioned it in one of his lectures. They brew it with flower pollen and fish oil and charry stones. It has all sorts of nutrients."-K

" Sim and I dont mind that you're a pregnant Yliish woman."

So not as direct as I (mis)remembered. I had interpreted the 'they' as meaning Small Kingdom-ers, people from the Small Kingdoms.

But I hold to my theories. The Small Kingdoms, Yll, Fae and even the Adem are often in strong connections with one another. In opposition to the Tehlins, Artur, Vint, Demons and discomfort of magic. (It could be also argued that part of the Locless not knowing their own history is the subsequent fragmentation and bowing to a greater power uring the rise of Artur/Tehlins/Amyr. They have 'pagan' relics but their recent history has succombed to the oposition)

Perhaps that is why D's letter is capitalised the way it is. The information is not as offhand as it seems, she is capitalisising the things that are strongly connected with what she is doing, her project/song, her patron. As clues for K...ones he does not observe.

After Faen/Ademre K is finally begining to perciev the shape of the world (Sleat, Elodin) but is still missing whats right beneath his nose.
25. Stefan Jones
I didn't remember the wood ring detail . . . it would have been nice to have Maer as a fallback, and I imagined Kvothe corresponding with him RE the Amyr via Stapes, but this would probably be untenable given the heat that would generate between Maer and Meluan if discovered.

RE Ademe parthenogenisis . . . I figured that this was a parallel to, perhaps even a satire on, to the patriarchal "homonculous" theory, which saw no inheritance-role for women. The truth will have to await the microscope and dissections, or the observations of the Four Corners equivalent of Mendel.

I was surprised, and a little taken aback, when Kvothe went back to the university. Not that he wouldn't want to, or shouldn't have . . . but I thought that the story was ready to move on from there. Books Three will have to cover a lot of territory.

The mention of chocolate did surprise me, and disappoint me a little. A little too convenient, like Hobbits having tobacco because that was one of JRRT's pleasures.

Kvothe-the-student has it very, very good at the end of this book; I'm guessing that book three will open with a messy fall as the next part of the story opens.
John Graham
26. JohnPoint
@19 A Fox -- If Bredon (town) is in the Small Kingdoms, it's also possible that Bredon (person) is the Poet King, and not just someone plotting to take over one of the SK via the death of the Poet King.

We have decent evidence for Bredon possibly being Mr. Ash. If Kvothe does go after (and possibly kill) Mr. Ash, and he -- apparantly -- kills a king, it would be somewhat parsimonious for those to both be the same person...
Alice Arneson
27. Wetlandernw
Maybe Elodin is Ademre by birth, and left to go to the University, being more interested in "magic" than in fighting.
Ryan Reich
28. ryanreich
The comments by A Fox (@19) together with some of the speculation from last week about Denna being on her own heroic journey remind me of a plot-related fantasy I had about fantasy-related plots. The protagonist is always important, a hero or anti-hero of some kind, powerful and central. In the traditional farmboy-to-fame development, part of the trope is for the hero to be forced into this role and slowly come to accept it. In the KKC, though, Kvothe is always convinced of his own importance and actually goes out looking to insert himself into events and causes that don't really seem to want a hero.

I would love to read a book about a self-invented hero who, capable as he is, turns out not to be capable enough to swim the depths he plunges himself into. He thinks he's saving the world, but he's half-informed and possibly being manipulated by greater forces from all sides. When his irritated elders say arrogantly that he "doesn't have the slightest idea what he is getting into", they are totally right, because the situation does not reduce to a simple morality tale where simply beating up the other side is enough to defeat what they represent or have accomplished.

Doesn't that sound like something that this story could be? It would be outrageously ironic if Denna really were the hero, Kvothe a self-important poser, and the (real) Amyr and Singers and Sithe and Chandrian were all involved in something which he couldn't affect even if he knew what it was because he is just not at that level. In the frame he appears to have developed through the stage where he can be an effective weapon with his powers, and arrived at the point where he knows just how much he doesn't know, and is now resigned to being incapable of having a greater impact than simply using the former in service to the unknown goals of the latter.

I guess I'm not expecting a eucatastrophe :)
Ryan Reich
29. ryanreich
Sorry to double-post; I had to respond to Wetlandernw@27. Doing a full-text search of the books for "Elodin", I found that, first, physical descriptions of him are very lacking. On p. 255 of NW (when he is introduced), he is "clean shaven with deep eyes. Medium height, medium build...". On p. 814 of WMF, when Kvothe meets Magwyn, he (finally!) says specifically that Elodin has (unlike her) green eyes, and they are elsewhere (repeatedly) said to be dark, not at all like grey Adem eyes. I don't believe his hair color is ever given even indirectly, which probably means it is unremarkable; i.e. brown (but it could mean that Rothfuss is being coy). His reaction to Kvothe's Interesting non-Fact about the Lethani doesn't seem to suggest that he has any kind of personal connection to it (though it doesn't suggest the opposite either).
Steven Halter
30. stevenhalter
ryanreich@28:Yes, exactly. That is a direction in which I would be perfectly happy for the story to go. It would be a wondeful overturning of expectations.
A second (and even more remote) possibility would be for it to turn out to be hard-SF and not fantasy at all. The skrael are mechanical. Fae & the destroyed cities are part of a multiverse. The Cthaeh is an oracle aspect of hypercomputation, ...

As Jo has mentioned, at the end of WMF we are poised to go in a multitude of directions. The form the story will take occupies many paths right now.
31. KiztheWiz
Bredon is really bothering me.

I am sufficiently persuaded that he’s Mr. Ash—his pagan frolics/time away from court/association with Fae/D’s speculated association with Fae all fit too perfectly—but our impression of Bredon is so overwhelmingly positive, yet Ash is so negative. . .

A few things keep occurring to me.

I do believe Kvothe is a somewhat unreliable (perhaps self-centered, blinkered, or over-intelligent-teenaged-man-child) narrator, but through the first two books the initial impressions we readers get from characters have generally held true.

We immediately are inclined like Lorren and Mola and Sleat, and they prove to be more-or-less good guys. Ditto in reverse for Carceret, Caducus, and that overbearing noble jerk that doesn’t like D’s visitors. This is not a world where there’s a lot of super-secret double agents running around tricking our emotions. I like Bredon. I think he’s an operator and morally ambiguous (perhaps in a Fae way? Both Felurian and Bast lean toward the self-serving kind of morality), but there just aren’t the creepy bad-guy vibes.

The CTH tells us that Mr. Ash beats D. We see things in text that reinforce this, so I tend to believe it’s true, but the CTH tells the truth in the most destructive way possible, and Kvothe is easy to manipulate where D is concerned. He already thinks the worst of Ash and is quite willing to slot “abuser” into the description.

What I wonder is—is there any scenario where physical contact between Ash and D (resulting in beating-esque injuries) could have any sort of innocent (or at least not-damning) explanation?

The only one that occurs to me is some sort of Buffy training montage, but I’m not sure I buy the idea of Denna-the-Amyr-Slayer. . . although I am intrigued by the idea of D/K parallels. It’s just too interesting that D’s song is an opposite story from everything Kvothe believes! (If the truth falls somewhere in the middle would Kvothe be able to hear it?)

Please, ye wiser heads, speculate, because I’m 99% sure that Bredon/Ash is getting a bum rap. I just can’t figure out how!
32. nae77blis77
I do not think this will be a eucatastrophe. It is interesting to note that in the typical 3 act or triolgy format, at the end of the second act or book, the protagonist is generally at the lowest point, the farthest from the goal they are striving towards. However, in this case at the end of the second book Kvothe is quite well off. In fact he is better off than at any time in his life, barring possibly when he was with his family. i think this is a strong indicator that K is absolutely correct when he says his story is a tragedy. Also the cover of NW seems to have the cthulu-tree in the background, which as we all know portends stories with the worst endings.
Jo Walton
33. bluejo
A Fox: The tech level does indeed seem Renaissance. Laundries in our world did not develop until the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the middle classes -- before that people either had their own servants to launder their clothes or did their own. The same with chocolate and coffee. (There are jokes about coffee jitters fuelling early stock market capitalism when it was introduced to Europe in the early seventeenth century.) Neither of those things are implausible in the setting. They're just indicators of wider things.
Jo Walton
34. bluejo
Oh, and in re Elodin -- Kvothe describes him as making the hand gesture broadly, which led me to think that he had studied the language but wasn't terrific at it or subtle. I love the idea of him being Vashet's poet king, but as he isn't a poet, a king, or in the Small Kingdoms I can't really endorse it. I bet he learned it as Kvothe did from Tempi, from a mercenary he travelled with at some point, and he knows it as well or better than Kvothe did when he arrived in Haert but not as well as Kvothe does now. I'm sure he doesn't know the fighting or the Lethani, for reasons already discussed.
35. AO
"Anyway, he burns the contract. I think this implausible and unrealistic event"

There's nothing "implausible and unrealistic" about that. If that's not your personality (and we know that it isn't based on past threads), fair enough. If you don't understand it, fair enough. But such action can be 100% percent plausible and realistic to some people's personalities.

Here are some reasons, off the top of my head, as to why Kvothe could have thought that way:

- He can get more money later. Based on his past poverty, this may seem unrealistic. But the knowledge that his tuition is paid, which seems to me to be all that he really cares about in terms of wealth, may account for this attitude.

- Additionally, the success that he has had since leaving the University may give him the confidence that he will hae plenty of other opportunities in the future.

- Some young people can also be prone to dramatic gestures such as this.

- He may never want to set foot in the country again. In order to collect the proceeds of the contract, then that might have been a requirement.

- He may not have wanted to profit from spreading such tales. He didn't seem to have any personal hatred towards most (all?) of the people in those stories, so his personal definition of right and wrong may have meant that it was "okay" to disseminate the stories but not to become wealthy from them.

- He may have misjudged the potential for profit, and assumed that while a few people would buy and read the stories, they would predominately be then spread orally.

Again, there could be other reasons, but these are what immediately occur to me.

"It’s odd that Kvothe really does think himself the equal of anyone."

Why is it odd? We're all human beings, some of us believe that we're all created equal. What "place" is it that Kvothe should learn, exactly?
Rob Munnelly
36. RobMRobM
I posted about Elodin being the Poet King a month or so ago. Almost a Checkhov's Gun theory - featured too much in Vashet's talks for Poet King concept to go nowhere and I don't see other good candidates on the horizon other than Elodin (of whom we know nothing as to his background) and Elodin knows Adem hand signs (as he would from being close to Vashet). It all fits, unless Elodin's background is something else entirely. LOL. Of course, while I'd be personally horrified, having a power duel between Elodin and Kvothe in the streets of Imre, leading to K being called the Kingkiller, would be something to see.

I've also posted kind of a lot on the preceding threads on the concept of the Lethani being someone tied to Naming Skill - both involve accessing the "undermind" - and I've wondered, and am still wondering, whether widespread Lethani training will be part of the FC's golden future where Naming will resume its place as the greatest of the skills exercised at the University and among its graduates.
37. realmC
ryanreich@28: that would indeed be a nice turn.
on engings: we actually have 2 stories coming to an end in D3- his story, and the frame story (not sure, but i think PR said that he wont write more books about K). do you guys think the endings are gonna tie in together (like Ks storyline/failure resolved/corrected in the frame) or not?
i like the idea of Ks story beeing a downright tragedy while in the frame, bast succeds and "gets his old reshi back" (but thats just me).

RE techlevel: i think you generally can´t take something as strange/unrealistic just because it doesnt fit with how technology/society evolved for us because the worlds are fundamentally different. it just has to be believable, which laundires at this setting certainly are; and chocolate is over 3000 years old (just not as we know it today).

shalter@30: it don´t think it will turn into scifi (as you said, very remote), but the hypercomputing part gave me an idea: a while back, people linked sympathy with quantum entanglement; and one big difference between quantum physics and normal physics is, that its not deterministc but stochastic (sorry if thats not the right word, i´m not a native), meaning work with probability.
if that applied to the cthaeh, even if it knew all possible futures, it could only influence HOW likely they were to happen, but never make CERTAIN they happened. that would also explain why it´s still stuck in a tree and the world is not that bad a place for the cthaeh supposedly trying to bring it to ruin for a long time.
Steven Halter
38. stevenhalter
KizTheWiz@31:Kvothe being mistaken about Ash (and hence Bredon) is very possible. The Cthaeh is pushing Kvothe in the direction of abuse, so that makes it suspect.
As you said, training is a possible explanation of the bruising. Or, Denna could be working to get something important out of Ash that requires her to put up with some abuse to "get into his favor" (and then pounce in this scenario). A deep a subtle game on her part.
Steven Halter
39. stevenhalter
realmC@37:Yes, that's how I see it. The Cthaehperforms the interactions with anyone who come within its range that make the outcomes it wants most likely.
Felipe Martins
40. felipem
@17 About that last part, I like the theory of Taborlin being a bunch of other people's story in one, not only Elodin's.

@31 We know Vashet constantly beat K, and he's also been whiped at the university a couple times. I'm convinced that D could be going on some sort of training. We know she's researching about Lanre, written magic, Yll knots...

@37 Intresting, I like the idea of the Ctaeh altering the probabilities of certain events instead of creating them.

Now, about Poet King = Elodin; I like this one, it does make sense... BUT, I don't buy Poet King = King killed by Kingkiller for a couple of reasons:

1- "Kingkiller" is a heavy title, I realy doubt killing a king of the small kingdoms would give anyone that name, at least not outside the SK.

2- SK seems to me like a violent place, strives and change of kings hapenning frequently (I might be wrong about this, since I don't have any textual evidence, it's just how I picture it). If Elodin ever was king, he's been out there for quiete some time, no doubt someone else would have taken over the throne.

3- We're not told directly but I still think the Master Namer that Chronicler tells us about is Elodin. My guess is that he's still alive, but again, I don't have textual evidence, it's just a guess.
thistle pong
41. thistlepong
re: (2)
When discussing travel to Severen from Imre, Kvothe mentions that most of the overland travel would he on southern Atur and the Small Kingdoms. He notes that only priests and fools expect the roads in that part of the world to be safe (WMFc52p365.)

We know Atur's in decline and in the frame roads are unsafe due to war. It's not direct evidence, but it's as close as the text comes. The fact that the reward for Kvothe's head includes a Duchy probably also indicates a King of one of the larger nations rather than a lawless, nameless territory.

ETA: "Lord and Lady" is used by: Graham (2), Aaron, Elodin, Kvothe, Cob (2), Elxa Dal, Alveron, Bredon, Stapes, and Devi.
George Brell
42. gbrell

I think the fact that he bargains the bookbinder into a contract wiht more money up front, but less long-term reflects that he wants immediate payment and isn't planning on collecting in the future.

I read the burning of the contract as him wanting to avoid connecting himeslf to any subsequent backlash.

I didn't read his actions in destroying the contract as thoughtless, I read his actions in publishing the book itself as a petty mischief. In my reading, he never intended to do "profit" from the book in any long-term sense.

I also think that this book-binder is more akin to a scandal rag than a publishing house.
Alice Arneson
43. Wetlandernw
Elodin was admitted to the Arcanum when he was barely 14, and a full arcanist by 18. After that he was a giller for a few years, and he was the youngest Chancellor ever for some unspecified length of time up until five years ago. He's still significantly younger than the rest of the masters, and the current Chancellor is probably only 40-ish. Exactly when in all that did Elodin have time to be a poet-king in the Small Kingdoms and spend four years with Vashet?

Far more likely that he learned Adem either as a child, or from a mercenary on his journey to University, or from a student, or while he was a giller. I would think it's possible, even, that he went to Ademre before he became Chancellor and spent a few months learning their language. Not the Lethani, not the fighting; just some time learning the language. Remember, the problem with Kvothe learning from Tempi was not the language, it was that Tempi had started teaching him the Ketan. That was why he had to be tested. Nothing to do with learning the language.
Skip Ives
44. Skip
@13. ryanreich - I agree about Kvothe's activities with the bookbinder and the rings was part of his living the Amyr thing. It makes sense if you think about it from a certain point of view. Taking the money from the bookbinder was okay in his mind because they were given to him with malice in mind. He just put it to use in a way they wouldn't like. He burnt the contract because he has no interest in further profit from it though, that would be him profiting from the continued pain of others. The rings are different, they were given as part of social protocol and in Kvothe's mind selling the silver would be stealing, but giving them to women of ill-repute to wear humiliates the givers instead.

On the knots, I may be a little too inside on it, but the whole idea of a knot is that they are easy to untie. Especially on a boat, a knot is designed be completed quickly, do its job, and then be removed just as quickly. I raced sailboats offshore, and in bad weather even if you are wearing a harness and are tethered to the boat, you don't want to be in an exposed position for very long. Attaching two lines in a more permanent fashion is what spicing is for, as you lose much less of the strength of the rope.
Ashley Fox
45. A Fox
Re the bookbinder: I agree mostly with the points others have made, but I do not think it is a matter of amyrness etc. But rather of class. K has made it abundantly clear that he views the upper classes with scorn: they take, they indulge, they do not work, they use the lower classes, sometimes very cruely, and look down on them. They assume they are better becuase of wealth and birth. The ring system epitomises these views and the games they play. The sordid stories and gossip they give him show clearly that they are only human, with all the faults they accuse the lower classes of being guilty of.

He is seeking no fame or money for the book, but rather a candid exposure of these faults. In Enlightement (Following renaissence the 4cs seeming to merge some ideas) france the Gentlemen of Letters had a backlash in the coffee houses: The Grub Street Hacks. Underground publishers who illeagaly published books/pamphlets that were written by these authors. *Voltair compared them to prostitutes. The most popular of which were of a slanderous nature to those in power, the church etc. This is much the same situation I suspect.

By giving the rings to the whores* he is essentially mocking the practise for what it is and saying that they, who are commonly held to be one of the very lowest rungs, to be of equal of greater worth than the nobles.

There is no greater good (well..i suppose that debateable!lol) but rather a thumbing of the nose to social strata. A rather marxist manouver.
46. ryan7273
@33 Pat has actually stated in an interview that the 4C is broadly modeled after Renaissance Europe but that he intentionally made several changes to keep it its own unique place. It was in one of the radio interviews he linked to in today's blog entry. Good timing, I thought!

@24 For some reason, I'd never paid much attention to the obviously strange capitalization in that letter. I went back and pulled out all the capitalized words to look at them.

I'm Imre You I
I Opportunity I Imre
Occasional Sporadic
I Small Kingdoms Such
Screaming Horses I
Also Cussing
Adem Mercenary They She
Though I
I And
I Writing I Furtherence
Furtherance Kist You I
I I I Means Letter
Now I I I I
If you look at just the first letters, you get kiiyiioiiosymisksshiacamtsiitiiaiwiffkyiiiimlniiiiiyd

I don't see anything in either the list of words or the letters.

I tried pulling out the words that should be capitalized for being at the beginning of sentences and the word "I" to get:
Imre You
Opportunity Imre
Occasional Sporadic
Small Kingdoms
Screaming Horses
Adem Mercenary
Means Letter
This gives us the letters iyoiosskshcamfml

Removing the other words that may be capitalized due to convention instead of intent leaves
Occasional Sporadic
Screaming Horses
Means Letter
and the letters are yoosshcfml

I have been able to make nothing out of any of this. I've tried rearranging words and looking for anagrams in the letters. I've posted this here in case someone else has thoughts on it.
Felipe Martins
47. felipem
@46 That thing is making me insane, seriously! I've been trying to solve this (if there's realy something to solve there) for days. The part that buggs me is when it gets to "I I I Means Letter" or "Furtherence Means Letter" (depending if you're excluding the "I"s or not). It's the only part that makes sense if taken out of context, maybe it's how K was suposed to decode the letter? I dunno, it's driving me crazy.

Btw, does anyone wonder how did Kvothe made Chronicler know each words should be capitalized? I realy doubt he told him explicitly, so I'm thinking Chronicler's story won't make sense on this matter. Just a curiosity, anyway.

EDT: On a previous topic shalter purposed that a possible anagram for the first letters of that letter (Opportunity,Occasional,Sporadic,Screaming,Horses,Cussing,Writing,Furtherence,Means,Letter = OOSSHCWFML) is WMF SCHOOLS (Wise Men Fear('s) Schools) but I don't know what to get from that message.
Ashley Fox
48. A Fox
BTW small kingdoms is not usually capitalised.

I really do feel that taking each letter will not work (specially whe translated to another language! And as amusing as shalter's anagram may be) but are there to provide emphasis. On why D is so sporadically in Imre, what she is doing, and K's questioning who her patron is. Within the letter lay the means with which K may further his understanding...if he notices/pursues it.

She travels through warring kingdoms,who have need of Adem mercenaries (reinforced by Vashets' poet king ), which may also be the seat of her patron Bredon, cussing-curse? Lanre's curse? Investigating her song. A large part of the small kingdoms also used to be part of the Locleos lands. She then travels onto Yll, learning knots-the knots in her hair, an interest in a writing magic.

Havent the foggiest where Screaming Horses fit in. Her letter seems bland but she is basically screaming for K to understand what she is up too. Imagine the flipside, if K sent her a letter with clues about his search for Chandrian/Amyr...would seem just as random.
49. noctanter
Ch139, WMF: "Her marriage to the Alveron complicated things too, as I wasn’t sure if there was a female counterpart to the title of Maershon."

Did anyone else find this line strange? Presumably there have been many Maershon that have been married, so a "female counterpart" should have long ago been established. Perhaps this is just Kvothe's ignorance of court etiquette, but I wonder if the title of Maer holds more significance than just a title of nobility, especially in light of his convenient marriage to the Lockless family and interest in the lost Amyr.
Jeremy Raiz
50. Jezdynamite

Thanks for this week's summary. Just a minor correction: you wrote that you were covering up to chapter 143 "Stories" (145) but you stopped at 142 "Sword and Shaed" (144). Just a reminder for next week.
Jeremy Raiz
51. Jezdynamite
"Removing the other words that may be capitalized due to convention instead of intent leaves to convention instead of intent leaves:
-You Opportunity Occasional Sporadic Screaming Horses Cussing Furtherence Means Letter
-and the letters are yoosshcfml"

I don't know if this helps with any new anagram possibilities, but the word "mercenary" (or "mercenaries") is only capitalised in the WMF in this letter, at the start of sentences or in chapter headings. I'd suggest adding Mercenary to the list - maybe that helps provide more anagrams...
Andrew Mason
52. AnotherAndrew
On tech level: I agree with A Fox. It's not precisely any tech level that has existed in the actual world - and you wouldn't expect it to be, since magic would mess up the development of technology - but it's nearer early modern than mediaeval. Aren't there gas lamps? So chocolate is not especially surprising.

On 'Lord and Lady': I don't think it's especially un-Tehlin. 'Lady' could refer to Tehlu's mother (cf. the Catholic 'Our Lady').

On Bredon: he has 'northern estates', which I had taken to mean in the North of Vintas, though I guess it could just mean the more northern part of his estates, wherever they are. Or indeed he could be a king in the small kingdoms but also own land in Vintas (cf. the Prince of Liechtenstein, who has a small country of his own but also owns land in Austria, and for a long time was mainly based there).

The relation between Yll and the small kingdoms is a bit mysterious - notice the jump from 'pregnant women in the small kingdoms' to 'a pregnant Yllish woman'. Perhaps the Yllish culture extends further than the actual country of Yll: we know that Yll is the small bit that escaped being swallowed up by the Aturan empire, so the small kingdoms may be the bits that were swallowed up, but emerged when the empire broke up.

We should keep track of Kvothe's rings.
'On his first hand were rings of stone
Iron, amber, wood and bone'.
He comes away from Severen with two of these; Meluan's wooden ring and Stapes's bone one. He has had iron rings, but has given them up (along with silver and one gold one). Of course, the rhyme may not be literally correct in every detail; we later hear that he is reputed to have an amber ring, but it is not real.
Steven Halter
53. stevenhalter
@46,47,48,51:If WMF SCHOOLS isn't the answer Denna (and PR) intended, I can claim that their sleeping minds inserted it into the letter. :-) Denna had noted that she wasn't fond of the University teaching methods.
John Graham
54. JohnPoint
I second gbrell @42 re Kvothe's motivations with the rings, book contract, and related malarchy. He is understandable p-oed about his treatment by the Maer and the whole petty-ness of the court, and decides to let his inner obnoxious 16-yr old boy out for a bit. Both actions are completely understandable to me, and honestly, fit the pettiness of the the nobles to a T.

When Kvothe was in the Maer's favor and an unknown quantity to the nobles, they were eager to tell scandalous stories and send him silver rings. The instant he was out of the Maer's favor and "exposed" as a Ruh "nobody" they were even more eager to get their rings back from him. They were literally telling him that he was of no import. So, he thumbed his nose at them by having their gossip published, giving their silver rings to the prostitutes (which if they decide to display the rings, would theoretically imply that the nobles thought they were of the same class as the prostitutes), and profiting from the sale of the gossip. He burned the contract to disassociate himself from the deed, just in case.

RE small kingdoms, Elodin as Poet King, Kvothe Kingkiller, etc: I'm not convinced that Kvothe actually and directly kills a king. Yes, the series is titled the KKC for a reason, and he is named Kvothe Kingkiller for a reason, but we have seen time and again that stories and Kvothe's names don't necessarilty match the "reality" from the narration. They are (often) based in a truth, but not a literal true rendition of what happened. So, it's certainly possible that he did something that led to a King's death, or is blamed for a king's death, or... whatever ... and didn't directly kill the king firsthand.

Kvothe might have killed someone outside the Eolian (though we only have that secondhand) and that someone might have been a king (or a poet, or a Poet King) but we don't yet have any confirmation. I expect that we'll be quite surprised when we find out the truth in D3.

RE additional books or stories in the world: what I've heard Pat say is that D3 will be the end of this story. There will be a definite end, and it won't stretch into a 4th, 5th, or 12th book. I've also heard him state that he wanted to write a story that had an emotional impact similar to Cyrano (when Pat read Cyrano the first time, he said he was an emotional wreck for hours or days. Note, this is similar to Kvothe's reaction the first time he heard Sir Savien, which is also a tragedy.) I personally feel that this story is indeed a tragedy, and we won't end with eucatastrophe. My personal prediction: Kvothe will die (though possibly accomplish something good before/as he dies). My runner-up prediction: Kvothe will return to Felurian permanently.

I've also heard him say that there are many other stories in the 4C world that he would like to write. I suppose one of those could be Denna's story, but I don't think that is at all certain. It would be pretty interesting, particularly if she IS the one who is on a hero's journey, and Kvothe is actually on the "wrong" path.
Brandon Lammers
55. wickedkinetic
First - I agree he burned the contract to avoid culpability and paper trail. - I also agree his ship did not wreck by accident, he finds out later why it wrecked, and such will be revealed in D3.

As far as Chekhov's Many Guns - here's my partial/incomplete list for D3 - (chekhov's gun for those who may not know - implies that an author should not put a gun in plain view in the story unless it will be used before the end - or something along those lines - similarly you don't call a saga 'The Kingkiller Chronicles' unless the protagonist be killing at least one King - capital K - as in THE KING etc)
Predictions for D3 based on Chekhov's Gun
1 - The King will be killed by Kvothe.
2-We will find out whats behind the 4-plate-door and whats kind of rocks are in the lackless box - also discover what's in Kvothe's chest - as well as see what Folly is good for...
3-We will see Kvothe have his revenge on Cinder. At this point I think it unlikely that he will manage to take-down all 7.
4-We will get confirmation that Kvothe is a lackless, and find out if he really has a Fae-dad, or if Arliden was his dad and or his Fae-dad.
5-We will get confirmation that the remnant fake-human-Amyr (or real amyr that appear to be human amyr and work at the big U) - who they are and what they are trying to accomplish. (Lorren being chief among them)
6-K will discover something unbearable about Auri and in some way accidentally cause her death or serious harm (fought an angel)
7-K will discover something unbearable about Denna - or have another horrible/irreparable difference of opinion, and/or Master Ash or Jakis or 7 will end up killing her to get to K
8-Yllish knots will definitely play a key part to K discovering some ancient secret (or at the very least opening his family heirloom box)

Things I want to see in D3:
1 K showing Devi the hard way into the library
2 K bringing Ambrose to an unpleasant end
3 K winning over Meluan and having a nice family bonding moment when they figure out they're related---- this is the least likely based on Pats dark forebodings in story and out - still, it would be nice for there to be a few happy moments leading up to the end of the world...
4 K in frame at the Inn playing a beautiful game to his intended end.
5 Clarification/exposition on why the names of the Chandrian in Arliden's song are so important and/or so painful to them that they kick-start this whole tragic saga by leading them to wipe-out K's Ruh?
thistle pong
56. thistlepong
@53 et al
At some point Pat said there were far more interesting things in the text than the letter. Still it might be a shout out to Denna's song (Lanre/a night with no moon), her patron (the anger of a gentle man), and her time at sea.

The three texts that seem to come up repeatedly are Cyrano de Bergerac, Histoire de ma vie, and The Last Unicorn. I'm in the same emotional space you seem to be in, fairly certain the story ends in tears. I tend to think the tragedy is accurate up to Day 3, but that we'll be artfully placed in the opinion that Kvothe doesn't deserve more than fading away in the Waystone. If Pat can lead me through a mass murder, I'm pretty sure he's up to that.
57. Xylus
Maybe Denna is in the Thrice-Locked Box
58. realmC
wickedkinetic@55: thats a good list, but i think you are still making a lot of assumptions in it.

PR is trying to break out of the "every fantasy novel ever" scheme and thus might not do "every detail is important to the story and every story/legend is accurate and relevant". i think it would be far more up his style, if some pieces he gives us are part of other stories that kvothe only briefly comes in contact with.

thistlepong@56: two new books for me, thanks :-)
Andrew Mason
59. AnotherAndrew
It's clear that not every story is accurate, because we have had several discrepancies between them (Trapis and Skarpi on Tehlu, Skarpi and Denna on Lanre, Hespe and Felurian on Iax/Jax, Skarpi and Shehyn on the Chandrian).

Relevant is another matter. Kvothe has said that he will leave out stuff that's not relevant, and has left out a couple of seemingly important things on that basis - though I suppose it's possible that he is getting carried away and not keeping to this resolution.
Steven Halter
60. stevenhalter
thistlepong@56: M from Mercenaries and Y from You probably belong. "Adem Mercenaries" could be a proper name but a lone Y is a bit odd although it could be a stand in for "Why?".
So, you could end up with:
WMF Schools (discarding Y) or
WMF my schools or My WMF Schools or
WMF Schools, why? (A bit stretched).

Ending up with WMF in the letters seems intriguing in any case.
61. Foxed
I disagree that the box holds Kvothe's name and power. We haven't seen magic that abstract.

I think I can make it work though. My theory has been that his lute is in the box. What if playing the lute causes him to play the Song of Fire and Thunder, i.e. his Name? Like... he sent Kvothe away deep inside himself, and playing his Name will restore him?

We've seen playing the lute brings him out of the stupor the Chandrian left him in, and we've seen him return to himself when Skarpi calls his Name.

That way, there's a physical object in the box.
62. Trollfot
Re the capitalized words in D's letter - I suggest we compare the translations to see if the same words are capitalized. We know PR works closely with the translators so if there is a secret message hidden, it probably works in the translations too. Remember Harry Potter *SPOILER* with the "Tom Marlovo Riddler" anagram, his name has to be changed in the translations for the anagram to work.

I could dart into the library tomorrow and check a translation if someone reminds me of what chapter to look for.

Hope someone makes sense of this thought, I feel I express myself badly.
Steven Halter
63. stevenhalter
Trollfot@62:I would love to see the translated versions of the letter. Multiple correspondences would clear up not only capitalizations but other significant portions.
Ashley Fox
64. A Fox
I mentioned this in an above post and it would certainy be great if you could look it up (I do not have the access or abilitly!). Would shed some light onto whther it is the letters themselves, or the words.

There is also another posibility. When K is researching the chandrian we get a few samples. One of which is written in an old style, inc seemingly random capitalisations. D's letter is much of the same style but modernised somewhat. So one could view it as evidence of her being much older than we think, either spending time in Faen and dealing with time slippage or simply being a being who ages at a much slower rate. The way she learned to write is carried over but modernised.
George Brell
65. gbrell

Except we have heard of magic that abstract, Jax traps the Moon's name in the box to partially hold her in Fae.
Ashley Fox
66. A Fox
..& in K's allagory o Chronicler, & Tarbolin storing his power in his staff. Abstract for sure, but certainly setting a premise.
Alice Arneson
67. Wetlandernw
Re: Denna's odd capitalization... Knowing PR doesn't do anything without purpose, I can't entirely dismiss the idea that it's some kind of a code. However, my first reaction to it was to notice the similarity to a lot of letter-writing in 18th-century (or so) literature, where seemingly random words are capitalized all the time. Mostly, it appears to be a form of emphasis, somewhat like we would underline or italicize important words.
68. Trollfot
Wetlandernw 67: She both capitalizes and underlines in the same letter. I agree it looks oldfashioned but she doesn't do it in the other letters.

It's chapter 43. I missed the library today but will try again tomorrow.
Alice Arneson
69. Wetlandernw
Trollfot @68 - Yeah, I thought it was a little odd, but then I also thought it was odd that she underlined an entire paragraph. What's up with that? But the rest of her notes to Kvothe, IIRC, were short things of only about a paragraph, usually inviting him to meet her somewhere. They weren't really "letters" with (at least a pretence of) intent to catch him up on the news, where she'd been, etc. People often write differently when they're composing a letter vs. dashing off a quick note to say "meet me here" or "I'm leaving for a while, see you next time."

Like I said, PR writes nothing without intent. Whether his intent here was to say something about Denna's character and literary habits, or to provide Kvothe (and us) with a coded message... is still unclear, IMO.
70. Foxed
@65 & 66:

Yes, but those are stories. We've seen house Jax's house is the Faerie realm... and I suspect Tamborlin's stories are as exaggerated as Kvothe's.
71. Trollfot
69 Wetlandernw: she leaves a letter/long note for him in his room. NoTW chapter 69.
72. generalist
Here's the Spanish translation:

Siento mucho haberme marchado de Imre sin previo avisó. Te mandé un Mensaje la noche de mi partida, pero supongo que no lo recibiste.
Me he marchado al extranjero en busca de pastos más verdes y mejores Oportunidades. Me gusta Imre, donde puedo disfrutar del placer de tu Ocasional, aunque Esporádica, compañía, pero es una ciudad muy cara para vivir, y últimamente mis perspectivas son magras.
Yll es muy bonita, hay suaves colinas por todas partes. Me encanta su clima; es más templado y el aire huele a mar. Quizá pueda pasar todo el invierno sin que mis pulmones me obliguen a guardar cama. Sería el primero desde hace años.
He pasado un tiempo en los Pequeños Reinos, donde presencié una escaramuza entre dos bandas de jinetes. Nunca había oído tanto Estruendo de Caballos. También he pasado un tiempo en el mar, y he aprendido todo tipo de nudos marineros y a escupir correctamente. Mi repertorio de Palabrotas también se ha ampliado notablemente.
Si me lo pides educadamente la próxima vez que nos veamos, quizá te haga una exhibición de mis recién adquiridas habilidades.
He visto a mi primer Mercenario adem. (Aquí los llaman camisas de sangre.) Es una mujer no más alta que yo, con unos asombrosos ojos grises. Es hermosa, pero extraña y callada, y nunca se está quieta. No la he visto pelear, y creo que no quiero verlo. Pero siento curiosidad.
Sigo enamorada del arpa. Ahora me hospedo con un caballero muy capacitado (cuyo nombre prefiero no mencionar) para pogresar en mis estudios del instrumento.
Mientras Escribía esta carta he bebido un poco de vino. Te lo digo para justificar cómo acabo de escribir la palabra Progesar. Progresar. Kist. Ya sabes lo que quiero decir.
Perdóname por no haberte puesto unas líneas antes, pero he viajado mucho y hasta ahora no tenía el Material necesario para escribir una Carta. Ahora que ya la he escrito, supongo que tardaré un tiempo en encontrar a algún viajero de confianza que ponga esta misiva en el largo camino hacia ti.
Pienso mucho en ti, y con cariño.
Un abrazo,


p.d.: Espero que el estuche del laúd te sea útil.

A quick review shows that the same major words seem to be capitalized. The pronoun 'I' is usually inferred from the verb conjugation in Spanish, and is absent in the letter here.

I think the capitalizing and underlining are for effect; specifically, to make it look archaic to us.

Felipe Martins
73. felipem
I'll post the Portuguese translation in a few minutes, but meanwhile I'm posting the original english version to compare with the spanish one.

Kvothe, I’m sorry to leave Imre without word or warning. I sent You a message the night of my departure, but I expect you never received it.
I have gone abroad looking for greener pasture and better Opportunity. I am fond of Imre, and enjoy the pleasure of your Occasional, though Sporadic, company, but it is an expensive city in which to live, and my prospects have grown slender of late.

Yll is lovely, all rolling hills. I find the weather quite to my liking, it is warmer and the air smells of the sea. It seems I might pass an entire winter without being brought to bed by my lungs. My first in years.

I have spent some time in the Small Kingdoms and saw a skirmish between two bands of mounted men. Such a crashing and Screaming of Horses you have never heard. I have spent some time afloat as well, and learned all manner of sailor’s knots, and how to spit properly. Also, my Cussing has been greatly broadened.
If you ask politely when we next meet, I may demonstrate my newfound skills.

I have seen my first Adem Mercenary. (They call them blood-shirts here.) She is hardly bigger than me, with quite the most remarkable grey eyes. She is pretty, but strange and quiet, endlessly twitching. I have not seen her fight and am not sure I wish to. Though I am curious.

I am still enamoured of the harp. And am currently housing with a skilled gentleman (whom I shall not name) for the furthurinse of my study in this.

I have drunk some wine while Writing this letter. I mention this to excuse my above spelling of the word Furtherence. Furtherance. Kist. You know what I mean.

I apologize for not writing sooner, but I have been a great deal traveling and not until now have I had Means to write a Letter. Now that I have done, I expect it might be a while longer before I find a traveler I trust to start this missive on its long road back to you.

I think of you often and fondly.

Yours, D.

Pstscrpt. I hope your lute case is serving you well.
Felipe Martins
74. felipem
Portuguese translation (I apologize in advance cause I'll probably triple post... I'm analyzing all the translations and will post it here in a few)

Kvothe, Lamento ter saído de Imre sem recado nem aviso. Mandei-lhe uma mensagem na noite da minha partida, mas imagino que você nunca a tenha recebido. Fui embora em busca de pastos mais verdes e de uma Oportunidade melhor. Gosto de Imre e gozava do prazer de sua companhia Ocasional, embora Esporádica, mas é uma cidade cara para se viver e as minhas perspectivas tinham ficado menores nos últimos tempos.

Yll é adorável, toda feita de um mar de colinas. O clima me agrada muito, é mais quente, e o ar recende a mar. Talvez eu possa atravessar um inverno inteiro sem ficar de cama por causa dos pulmões. O meu primeiro, em anos.

Passei algum tempo nos Pequenos Reinos e vi uma escaramuça entre dois bandos de homens montados. Foi um estrépito e uma Gritaria de Cavalos como nunca se ouviu. Também passei algum tempo navegando e aprendi toda a sorte de nós de marinheiro e como cuspir direito. Minha Capacidade de Praguejar também teve um grande desenvolvimento.
Se você pedir com modos, da próxima vez que nos encontrarmos pode ser que eu demonstre minhas novas habilidades.

Vi minha primeira Mercenária Ademriana (por aqui eles são chamados de camisas de sangue). Ela é pouco maior do que eu, com os mais incríveis olhos cinzentos. É bonita, mas estranha e calada, com tiques intermináveis. Não a vi lutar e não sei direito se quero ver. Mas fico curiosa.

Continuo enamorada da harpa. Atualmente moro como um cavalheiro habilidoso (cujo nome não direi) para a promossão do meu estudo dela. Tomei um pouco de vinho enquanto escrevia esta carta. Menciono isso para me desculpar pela maneira como grafei acima a palavra promosão. Promoção. Kist. Você sabe o que quero dizer.

Peço desculpas por não ter escrito antes, mas andei viajando muito e só neste momento tive meios de escrever uma Carta. Agora que terminei, imagino que demore um pouco mais até eu achar um viajante em quem possa confiar para fazer esta missiva começar sua longa viagem de volta a você.

Penso em você com frequência e com carinho.

Sua, D.

P.S: Espero que o seu estojo do alaúde esteja sendo útil.
Felipe Martins
75. felipem
Ok, after a careful analysis I'm almost certain that whatever Denna meant was not to provide emphasis on certain words (which I already suspected, some words just didn't make sence being pointed out), and that's because the capitalized words change on the translations. Not all of them though, just a few, but it's enough to make me wonder why they changed. Here's a list of oddly capitalized words and i'll bold the ones that do not appear on at least one of the other translations:

You Opportunity Occasional Sporadic
Small Kingdoms Screaming Horses Cussing
Adem Mercenary
Writing Furtherence
Means Letter
Total of 15 words

Mensaje Oportunidades Ocasional Esporádica
Pequeños Reinos Estruendo Caballos Palabrotas
Mercenario (no capitalization on "adem")
Escribía Progesar
Material Carta (actualy the words changed here... Means by Material, which is suspicious)
Total of 14 words

Oportunidade Ocasional Esporádica
Pequenos Reinos Gritaria Cavalos Capacidade Praguejar
Mercenária Ademriana
Total of 12 words

Unfortunatly I couldn't figure out any anagram, there's definitly no way of spelling "WMF" on the other languages. Any ideas?

EDT: Full list of capitalized words on all 3 languages:

I Imre I You I Opportunity I Imre Occasional Sporadic
Yll I I My
I Small Kingdoms Such Screaming Horses I Also Cussing
If I
I Adem Mercenary They She She I I Though I
I And
I Writing I Furtherence Furtherance Kist You I
I I I Means Letter Now I I I I I
Pstscrpt I
(61 words, 25 of those are "I", that'd leave 36)

Siento Imre Te Mensaje
Me Oportunidades Me Imre Ocasional Esporádica
Yll Me Quizá Sería
He Pequeños Reinos Nunca Estruendo Caballos También Mi Palabrotas
He Mercenario Aquí Es Es No Pero
Sigo Ahora
Mientras Escribía Te Progesar Progresar Kist Ya
Perdóname Material Carta Ahora
(49 words)

Lamento Imre Mandei
Fui Oportunidade Gosto Imre Ocasional Esporádica
Yll O Talvez O
Passei Pequenos Reinos Foi Gritaria Cavalos Também Minha Capacidade Praguejar
Vi Mercenária Ademriana Ela É Não Mas
Continuo Atualmente Tomei Menciono Promoção Kist Você
Peço Carta Agora
P.S Espero
(47 words)
76. Sandman
Hello all,

I realize I'm coming to the party very late. I've read the Kingkiller Chronicles twice (so far) and found this reread a few weeks ago. I must say I'm enjoying it very much and have picked up some things I had missed or not thought of.

Today, while going thru the reread for more nitpicky details and insights I thought of a couple things. Things which I thought I would add here. Please forgive me if some of you have already suggested these which I'd be surprised if someone hasn't. I have not combed thru all the comments so I may be repeating things.

1) Mr. Ash = Cinder
We all wonder who Mr Ash is and I believe he is Cinder. My reasoning is Kvothe NAMED him Mr. Ash. Kvothe is a Namer, and has inadvertently Named throughout the book such as Naming Auri and the horse "One-Sock" without consciously knowing it. So, it stands to reason that he may have also inadvertently stumbled upon Cinder when he Named Denna's benefactor Mr. Ash.

2) Lockless box
In the story about Jax, he runs into a hermit in a cave. Jax mentions the bag which he cannot untie. The hermit speaks politely to the knot and it unties. So, could the lockless box be opened by simply speaking to it politely? And for that matter, perhaps the same for the doorswith no locks in the Archives?

Again, my apologies if this has been mentioned previously however I wanted to jot them down before I forgot them.
Felipe Martins
77. felipem
@76 Welcome to the reread! It's a lot of material to go through, but it's totaly worth it! I recommend reading at least the speculative summaries and it's comments, but if you have the time, all of the reread is great.
About your theories:

1) That's a good guess, but I find it too obvious. Well, it's true that hints keep pointing that way: on the portuguese version D sometimes calls her patron the same name Cinder is translated to ("Gris"); when guessing names for D's patron, the 3 last names before he says Ash are: Feran, Forue and Fordale. "Ferule", which is Cinder's true name. Although I like better the theory on Mr. Ash = Bredon. Well, read more about this on speculative summary 8, it has some nice insights.

2) Yes, it seems that K must master the name of the box/wood/whatever in order to open the box, but I wouldn't be so sure about the archives door, it's probably more complex than that.
Alice Arneson
78. Wetlandernw
I'm betting that you have to say the Yllish word that's carved on the box to open it; probably in the right language and possibly with the right inflection. The door might be the same, but each panel would have a separate word. Might have to know the Name of each plate - what it's made of (under the copper?) or something deeper than that.
Ryan Reich
80. ryanreich
I like the idea of A Fox that the capitalization is nothing more or less than an archaism and that the Chandrian passage was the clue. I don't have anything to add to it, but it rings truer than some kind of acrostic or anagram.

The underlined passage is...really weird. It reminds me of two things: first, the way Elodin gave his list of recommended reading (one was underlined, as I recall; another got a smiley face); and second, it reminds me of the way Kvothe forged his letter to Ambrose at the end of the book. That is, the underlining seems like an added "effect". What effect was she going for? Was the letter intentionally written with this kind of stilted and overly punctuated tone?
George Brell
81. gbrell

We need to find out who won the giant fortune cookie with the D3 excerpt in it. It's all we've got to stave us till then.

Or maybe we could add The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle to the re-read (giving me an excuse to a) buy it and b) read it).
Ryan Reich
82. ryanreich
I actually got Adventures from Rothfuss's store; it came with a free signature and inscription. I had him write "See, you don't have to wait for Day Three!". That joke will either be a lot funnier or a lot less funny in a few years.

Good story, though. Not quite as long...
83. logankstewart
Unrelated to these chapters, but a thought came to mind as I was reading through NOTW again. (I don't think it's been discussed much, if any.)

It's been brought up about K's perfect memory and his ability to recite thes story sometimes verbatim. Before K begins telling his story to Chronicler, Chronicler accuses Kvothe, saying "Some people say there is a new Chandrian, one with hair flaming red" or something like that. K's respons is that "The important people know the difference." He doesn't deny it, so I'm wondering if perhaps K is now somehow more than human, and by being this one of his gifts/curses is a nearly perfect memory? I don't think he's a Chandrian, nor do I think he's immortal, but maybe he's something else?

Just thinking. A great post and comments, as usual.
84. Trollfot
WMF was checked out at the library but I placed a hold and will hopefully get it in a couple of days.

Is there anything else I should look up while I'm at it? I've sneaked a peek in a bookshop and discovered Cinder's name is changed (the only one, as far as I could tell; names are usually not translated in books for adults) to Sinter which of course is a mineral/stone, if anyone was still debating that (think I saw a brief discussion somewhere).

We could probably get clues on most ambiguities from the translations.
Felipe Martins
85. felipem
What is the Chandrian passage with weird capitalizations? I'd like to check that too.
@Trollfot what language is that? We already have Enlgish, Portuguese and Spanish translations but couldn't get to a conclusion.
John Graham
86. JohnPoint
@80 Ryan:
I like the idea of A Fox that the capitalization is nothing more or less than an archaism and that the Chandrian passage was the clue. I don't have anything to add to it, but it rings truer than some kind of acrostic or anagram.
That's definitely how I interpreted the capitalization in the letter: to make it seem archaic to us (possibly to help us remember that the story takes place in a different world and at a different time). Also, it could be part of the game that Kvothe and Denna frequently play, where they assume different personnas and spontaneously play off each other (in this case, she's taking on the personna of the traveling adventurer writing back to home).

IMO the fact that there is a WMF SCHOOLS anagram is Pat having a little fun. But then, I don't really buy into the idea that everything he writes has deep, relevant meaning. A lot of it, yes, but not everything. He also has fun with his writing, and that's why I find it so hilarious -- because there are many points that are included as fun additions that make the story fun to read.

@81 gbrell -- reading Adventures definitely made me realize that Pat likes twists and think more critically about KKC. Not everything is as it seems...

@85 felipem -- I think the chandrian verse that ryan referred to is the "the Chandrian move from place to place... they are very nice to us" (or whatever it says) tha Kvothe finds in the Archives during his search for info on the Amyr etc. It was in a centuries-old book about local folk-lore, or something like that. I don't have the book with me, but it definitely could contain some hidden truth.
87. ListenBright
I want to believe that Kote's tradgedy will come full circle, and the noose made for him is placed on another's neck. I want to believe Kvothe-in-full is playing a beautiful game, and not being played. I wish.

Kvothe's inability to let his secrets out is poisoning him even before the Cthaeh. He misses oppurtunities to understand the nature of the world through communicating his heartache with Denna, Lorren, Edolin, Vasheret, the Maer, and almost every other major character who has a peice of what he needs to understand the world. Secrets kept turn to poison.

Now for some speculation:
1. When Skarpi speaks Kvothes name, he did so in the presence of the Justice. Has the Justice been searching for Kvothe the whole time? Is this why the thugs who attacked him missed him in Anilin? Was his trial for witchcraft just the Justice finally getting a handle on him?

2. Denna is just as much of a peice in the game. Her drug induced remark, "Its my job to watch you." What happened in Anilin to make her both a new person and a potential spy? She fell in love with Kvothe despite herself, feeling but not knowing their parellel lives. I'm convinced her life was destroyed by the Amyr, and K and D's draccus adventure is a story of lost opportunity.

3. Auri is the angel, what state does K get to that hurting her seems to be his only option? I think that all his bad memories, love of D, and his hate for Ambrose converges with the reveal of Master Ash and the signing of D's Lanre song, and all this takes place at the Eolian. All of K's experiences engineered by forces beyond his comprehension bringing him to a point of violence that brings the flood. Despite this, "his is the hand that holds the candle".

There is more! Pat makes me so happy.
Ashley Fox
88. A Fox
1. I have suggested this before. That couped with the Tehlins taking in children, that are never seen again, plus all the corruption...mmmm

Ah Anilin. Ive been waiting for a conveniant time.

Arliden the Bard, so Lorren recognises him as. Bards are court musicians, or at least of a higher quality than traveling musicians. Arliden also reminices of how he played an Antressor lute in Anilin. So was he the Bard of someone, someone wealthy enough to own an Antressor (and the power that goes with it) in Anilin? The fact that he was a Bard makes more sense of how he met Netalia-its easy to assume he was Ruh before, but what if they joined the Ruh together. So who is the wealthy/powerful person in Anilin-and is it lined to what D expected there?

I also cant help but link it to the theory that she is really their daughter, not K, what if the things she is searching for, she wants above all else is to find her parents? What if she went to Anilin looking for them, and only found a cold trail, as she expected?

But then again I also had a random though that she ran away from home, through a grey stone, into fae. When she returned (as per K's classic stories when he first goes into Fae) she found that a great deal of time had passed. Hence her archaic writing style. So she tried to find her family. The poet, Geoffrey being one of them. We hear how he is trying to get money to return to his dying mother. She sells her emerld set to clear his debt (and buy K's lute case). Shortly later we see her crying bitterly over a letter, there is a strong suggestion that it is from Geofrey and I thins its safe to guess his mother has died, and it is she D is grieving over-perhaps one of the last people who was alive during her life, before fae...

So perhaps....she is a lackless also. What if the ill-luc with heirs is not only references Netalias elopement but the heir before her disappearing? Perhaps she is searching for her remaining family...ah but then why hasnt she gone to Meluan....meh. Ha lots of supposition. :)
89. Thurule
@88 A Fox

Man... it's exactly this kind of thing that makes these books so wonderful. If I could be so bold as to quote Jo...

"Is it D3 yet?"
90. KiztheWiz
Isn't there a very brief reference in NotW that Arliden, Laurien, and Kvothe visit Laurien's family--once--when he's very young?

I skimmed through trying to find it, but had no luck. Am I making this up?

If this did happen, though, there are people out there that know about the existence of a particular little red-headed Lackless lad.
Alf Bishai
91. greyhood
(Don't have the book with me.) Does K. change at all after reading the letter? What if all this weird capitalization is part of the magic writing that becomes true when you read it?
John Haley
92. Ghrakmaxus
The strangely capitalized letters in Denna's note to Kvothe: I wrote it off as Denna being drunk and forgetting the proper rules of grammar.

On a different subject, if some of the speculation I have read in the past on these threads about Kvothe being a the bad guy is actually correct, I have a question:

Why would the Chandrian kill all the Ruh and folks that want to learn/sing about them if they were "good"?

If the Chandrian were "good", why would they do something like that vs. giving the folks who want to learn about them some assistance or be "nice to us" as the rhyme suggests?
Maybe I am at fault for seeing these novels as a classic "good vs. evil" tale and that, in actuality, no one in these stories is actually good or evil. However, I would think that the "evil" act of killing the entire Ruh troop would disprove that the Chandrian are "good".
This action is the catalyst for Kvothe doing what he has been doing, seeking knowledge and allies so that he could have revenge on the Chandrian for killing said troupe.
If, as some suppose, the explanation is that Kvothe is inadvertantly "evil" or truly "evil" and Denna is the "good" quest character, then I have wasted my time reading these books as the main character (K)should never have been the focus of the stories. That is why I find it unsettling that so many on these threads seem to believe/speculate that Kvothe is actually the villian vs. the hero.

That said, I have more idle speculation about the frame story: "Folly" is the inscription he uses to display the the sword he hangs/presents in his Inn behind the bar.
Does "Folly" mean Kvothe's folly for chasing/killing the owner of the sword or that the use of a sword and, by extension, the implications of his revenge quest was "Folly"? Or maybe it is the sword re-"Named" by Kvothe. (I think it is Ambrose's sword by the way)
I tend to believe that Kvothe is expressing that it was folly to seek his revenge and the complicated path to that knowledge was a high price to pay and thus, folly. Kvothe now seems resigned to his death, thinking it is his fate to die for his actions. His mindset is in sync with Lanre/Haliax. Each of them has caused an event that makes life no longer worth living and in Kvothe's case he is just waiting to be found and die while using the disguise of Kote.

On another subject:
(sorry for jumping around so much...look out wild speculation ahead....)
Concerning the two thugs that jump Kvothe in Imre. When Kvothe asks Denna what happened in Anlin (or something of that sort) didn't Denna say in passing that someone tried to kill her in Anlin?

Could these attempts to kill K and D be related? Could Master Ash/Brendon know who both K and D are (and what they will be or at least what Kvothe could become) and have attempted to kill both?
After failing to kill them he instead creates a "beautiful game" situation to set them against each other at cross purposes?
It would be in keeping with Haliax's appraisal of cruelty that Cinder and the other Chandrian laugh about after killing the troupe and Haliax finds so unnecessary? (Why do I hear Sher Khan's voice from the Disney version of The Jungle Book when Haliax speaks?). Also, Kvothe is quick to assumes Ambrose hires someone to kill him, but I am not sure he had done enough to Ambrose at that point to warrant death. Discuss!!
Jennifer Backstrom
93. Goldilox71
This is my first post, although I have almost caught up in reading previous postings, so please forgive me if some of this has been posted before.
My theories are as follows:

1. Denna is not the moon, but rather the moon's daughter. That would explain her not-quite-humanness, her frequent unexplained absences and travels (either some kind of awkward custody arrangement, or perhaps simply being pulled along between worlds by her connection to her mother), and likely time spent in Fae. Her age inconsistencies could also be explained (how Deoch noted that she had seemed to remain about the same age for some time) by her non-human parentage and her time in Fae. Additionally, this would explain her reluctance to talk about her family or place of origin.

2. Kvothe's "heart's desire" is or relates to Denna. If the above theory is correct, there could be some very interesting confrontations with the Demon who must be tricked in order to win his heart's desire as well as the Angel who must be fought and killed in order to keep it--her Mother/the Moon/Ludis/Lyra, her possible Father/Iax/Lanra/Haliax (or maybe the moon found another lover later), her Patron/Bredon/Amyr--I'm not even sure who would be whom in that confrontation.

3 I believe Kvothe has died. When he realized that he had been wrong or incompletely understood the Chandrian (who may be related to his Heart's Desire), the Amyr (who may actually be the bad guys), and his own true love, he perhaps allows it to happen either in grief over his actions or in order to protect Denna or others.
Someone--almost certainly Denna--brought him back, much as Lyra brought back Lanre, but he is now incomplete. He is missing part of his name, his special skills, his music, etc. Possibly the "bringing him back from the dead" failed because she lacked sufficient power, didn't understand him well enough, or her continual bad luck (isn't Iax/Jax also described as "unlucky"?). Possibly she somehow made some bargain in order to gain the power to bring him back that meant she had to leave the mortal realm for all time, or spend the rest of eternity with her mother or some such, which is why Kote/Kvothe seems to speak of her with hopeless fondness--he doesn't seem to mourn her as dead, but neither does he expect to see her again. Also, possibly his actions led to her leaving him forever: "I really love you, and I have sacrificed much to bring you back, but I also can't really live with what you have done." or something similar.
I also think the sword on the "Folly" plaque is the one that killed him--hence Bast's and his own reaction to hanging it over the bar--whether it is Caesura or Cinder's sword, or another.
The single angry red scar on Kote is the killing blow, which didn't heal as the others did.
Now that Kote is incomplete, either he has to rediscover his name and power (which Bast is trying to help him with) or someone has to come along and complete his resurrection (Denna? Felurian?) or he will wither away and die as an incomplete being (cut flower) who may be very leery of cheating death in the same way that Lanre/Haliax did and see death itself as preferable to that fate.

4. Bredon is almost certainly "Master Ash" and his goal includes somehow restoring his family name/honor/power. I don't think it's an accident that he doesn't provide Kvothe with any personal information, but does mention that ranking among the nobility is complicated "sometimes new money outranks old blood" etc. What if his proper last name is "Gibea" or he is related to Lanre or another of the Chandrian? Then his "beautiful game" revolves around trying to either "set history straight" if he feels his family has been the victim of bad press, or else cleanse his name of the taint of his ancestors. Hence, the interest in old genealogies and helping a talented young musician write a rather different take on the Selitos/Lanre story.

5. I wonder if the Moon may have been the original Lady Lackless. I'm getting concerned that all of our storybook characters may boil down to only two or three individuals, but that interpretation would make "her black dress" the night sky--and would open up many possibilities for the seven items she keeps there.

Sorry this is so long, but I really love the books (reading for a 3rd time), and have gotten so much insight from this re-read!
George Brell
94. gbrell

Ch. 8:
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.

Relatives. Not close family. It's also not clear that Kvothe was introduced as Netalia's son.

But more importantly, it would be presumed that Kvothe would've died when Netalia died, if her death is known to the court.
thistle pong
95. thistlepong
Almost completely off-topic: I picked up The Princess and Mister Wiffle at a reading Pat did shortly after WMF came out. He sold through a trunkload 'cause he basically held "story-time" with it and pointed out some fun and intersting stuff going on in the artwork and how that illuminated the text differently with each subsequent ending; there are three. It's a short, but I still don't wanna spoil anything for folks who've yet to pick it up.

However, it's totally worth it as the only other published work by an author we clearly enjoy and the only substantial piece of writing possibly relevant to the story other than Kvothe's battles with Aslan and Jaime Lannister at Suvudu. It left me fairly confident that most of my nagging questions would be sufficiently resolved in D3. And Nathan Taylor's art makes me smile.
Felipe Martins
96. felipem
@86 or @someone with the book
Can you quote the passage or at least tell me what chapter that book with the weird Chandrian capitalizations appear? I can't remember that.

I doubt D was actualy drunk when she wrote the letter, there's something weird in it I can't realy explain >.ad a reason to start doing bad things, and in their own eyes they're doing the world a favor. (Lanre/Halix thinks that way IMO)
3- I personaly don't think the Amyr are good either... they seem too extreme to be called good, and too much power often ends in corruption.
That said, I get the idea that we're realy not on the classic novel "good vs. evil" thing, not everything is what it seems, and doing what you think is good, might not actualy be.

Welcome, and gratz on the very good post. I like your thoughts on Kvothe dying. I had never though of that, but it surely makes sense, at least in general. I'm not convinced of some details like that it is D who brings K back, though, but all in all a good idea. It just fits: the scar, the "sound of the man who is waiting to die", Bast's reaction to the sword, might even explain why people think he's dead (he actualy died!).
thistle pong
97. thistlepong
@96, sorry it's not formatted properly. WMF c16 p137

Of the Chaendrian there is little to be said. Every Man knows of them. Every child chants their song. Yet folke tell no stories. For the price of a small beer a Farmer will talk two hours on Dannerlings. But mention the Chaendrian and his mouth goes tight as a Spinner’s Asse and he is touching iron and pushing back his chair. Many think it bad luck to speak of the Fae, yet still folke do. What makes the Chaendrian different I knowe notte. One rather drunk Tanner in the towne of Hillesborrow said in hushed tones, “If you talk of them, they come for you.” This seems the unspoken fear of these common folke. So I write what I have gleaned, all common and inspecific. The Chaendrian are a groupe of various number. (Likely seven, given their name.) They appear and commit diverse violence for no clear reason. There are signs which herald their Arrival, but there is no agreement as to these. Blue flame is the most common, but I have also heard of wine going sour, blindness, crops withering, unseasonable storms, miscarriage, and the sun going dark in the sky. Altogether, I have found them a Frustrating and Profitless area of Inquirey.
Steven Halter
98. stevenhalter
JohnPoint@86:I agree--PR's having fun and it's fun to catch him having fun. That's really part of the fun here in the reread.
George Brell
99. gbrell
@97.thistlepong/and others:

For those who are discussing random capitalization as archaic, it's worth pointing out that frequently archaic capitalization isn't actually random.

It used to be the practice that all nouns were capitalized (I believe this to be the case in modern German, but do not have first-hand knowledge). This convention was fading by the late 18th century as it related to English, but actually continues to linger in America because the U.S. Constitution chose to capitalize all nouns (with a couple mistakes).

Frustratingly, when the Bill of Rights was added two years later, the Congress chose not to use the convention, resulting in "one" document with two conventions.

Thus, while it may seem archaic for us to have non-proper nouns capitalized, the theory that it's random just to be archaic looking seems sloppy for an author who we credit with putting enormous thought into everything (rightly or wrongly).
Ashley Fox
100. A Fox

This may sound foolish but I stopped and thought: are'nt nouns still capitalised? (grammar has never been a strong point, damn you irony).

So proper nouns are capitalised, common nouns are not.

The excerpt about the chandrian follows the rules of proper nouns, making an interesting distinction on Arrival!

Perhaps D is then subverting the rules, choosing to change some nouns (and an adjective...O_o) to what is 'proper' to her perspective. (unless Screaming Horses is the name of a particular affiliation)

Ho Har Hum
John Graham
101. JohnPoint
Several, mostly unrelated, responses:

@92 Ghrakmaxus -- I've said repeatedly, and will stand by it: this is not a simple "good vs. evil" tale. Noone/nothing in the books is solely black or white -- but rather everything is a shade of gray. I'd be willing to bet my name, power, and my good (left) hand on that, too.

@95 -- thistlepong ::strong agreement:: Princess is a great read, and I think tells us a lot about the moral lense Pat uses in his stories (but I won't say more for fear of spoilers). I'd also recommend reading Pat's columns from The Pointer, all collected in Your Annotated, Illustrated College Survival Guide. Unfortunately it's darn hard to get hands on a copy. (I have the advantage of having read all of the columns in the original format.) Pat's advice to college students (often tongue-in-cheek) provides a lot of insight into his humor, ideas, and how he thinks. Unfortunately, I don't think The Pointer has online archives going back that far...

@97 -- ah yes, that's the passage. I was thinking of the other poem. Thanks.

@98 Shalter -- ::definite agreement:: and oh so fun.
102. cyan
I've been following this re-read from the very beginning, and I've been much awed by the insights and speculations!!! *much appreciation*

I posit this idea: Did the Chandrian actually kill Kvothe's parents and troupe? I don't have my copy NotW at hand, but iirc, Kvothe encountered Haliax and Cinder after the troupe was killed. It could be that the Amyr killed the Ruh troupe and the Chandrian showed up too late to prevent it, and dealt with the aftermath. That would explain why Kvothe was put to "sleep" rather than being killed also. Which would make more sense, if the scene was read on face value.

And it would align with Kvothe behaving like an Amyr in the killing of the fake "Ruh" troupe, exhibiting actions that could be said to be in the interest of "the greater good."
thistle pong
103. thistlepong
I had a lot of fun in another forum arguing their innocence based on the evidence at hand, but many if the details in WMF destabilize the idea. Kvothe talks about the blind on Cinder's sword, for one. And while we tend go take everything Cthaeh says skeptically, its statements point strongly to the Seven's involvement. The whole, "Who protects you..." sequence also suggests they don't desire open confrontation with the Amyr.

Anyone have a good explanation for why they wait around for what we think are the /(singers)/: Tehlu & Pals?
John Graham
104. JohnPoint
One point about the Chandrian passage that Thistlepong quoted @97: the one person who the author was able to get to talk about the Chandrian was a tanner from Hillesborrow. Obviously, this is someone from the Trebon area (the Mauthen farm was on Borrow-Hill, and there was at one point a fort or town there).

I don't remember when the passage was supposed to be written, but it was at least several hundred years BP -- at that point in time, there was colloquial knowledge about the Chandrian around Trebon. By the time of the Mauthen wedding, it appears that the locals (may) have forgotten the colloquial knowledge. Alternatively, Mauthen may have been unaware of the local knowledge, or simply didn't realize that the vase portrayed the Chandrian.

Prediction: the area of Trebon was important during or following the Creation War (perhaps one of the Cities), and may be important for the plot in D3. It's currently on the edge of the wilderness, but there are many iron deposits and would have likely been mined under Skarpi's empire. Additionally, if it was an important site during the war (or to the Chandrian following the war) that could be part of the reason that it was largely abandoned by "civilized" folks: it was seen as cursed, or something along those lines. The local "rustics" remembered the stories dating back to the time of the vase-burial, but otherwise, people generally avoided the area.

Cyan @102: it's definitely something that we've considered. As Thistlepong points out @103, there is nothing definitive either way, but it's written to appear (at least on the surface) like the Chandrian did kill the troupe. It's also strongly implied that they killed the wedding party, since there were reports of blue flame during the slaughter. The jury, however, is still out.

Thistlepong @102 : I have wondered that myself. Assuming they killed the troupe, why wait around the camp fire? Why not just leave when their work was done? They presumably didn't know that Kvothe was there (since they were surprised by him), so it likely wasn't because of him. Are they perhaps playing a longer game? (E.g., after killing someone, they need to stay around so the bodies can be discovered by the "right" people who only track them. Or something...)
thistle pong
105. thistlepong
I actually don't understand why they'd wait around just to run away in either case. I suppose mass murder is tiring work and they all needed a rest? In the case of them coming upon the scene after or during the fact with another party committing the murders, they could be contempleting what happened? And I suppose Cinder could have blood on the sword after doing some mercy killing? Neither is very satisfying.

You bring up, intentionally or otherwise, a couple interesting questions. In each Chandrian related instance we've been party to, they've definitely left at least one survivor to tell the tale. Even the sparse information we get here and there implies the same: someone lived to implicate them. Why? A longer game obfuscates things... They litter the area with Chandrian sign. They leave someone alive for testimony. They wait for a particular investigating entity to show up. Again, why?

Handwaving in a conspiracy they're protecting the eighth figure on the vase or confounding its plots in turn. Still full of why, though.
Rob Core
106. robtcore
Excellent as always - Thanks, all.

No real speculation to add, but I've got a bit of a diversion:

BlueJo@33 - you wrote:
The tech level does indeed seem Renaissance. Laundries in our world did not develop until the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the middle classes -- before that people either had their own servants to launder their clothes or did their own.
The laundry comment has come up a few times during this re-read, and I'm not sure that's accurate. Ancient Rome had laundries - a few quick links:*/Fullo.html

Roman laundries have stuck in my head ever since I read a scene in one of Lindsey Davis's early Falco novels where the protagonist has to . . . errrr. . . contribute to the laundry on the ground floor of his apartment.

(Ancient Romans used urine in laundering, if you either didn't know, or didn't click on the links above. A little more here : )

I hope that isn't how the laundries in the 4c work, but you never know.
(Although given the state of chemistry and alchemy at the University, they have probably progressed past that.)

Just an interesting, if pungent, tidbit.
Rob Core
107. robtcore
Excellent as always - Thanks, all.

No real speculation to add, but I've got a bit of a diversion:

BlueJo@33 - you wrote:
The tech level does indeed seem Renaissance. Laundries in our world did not develop until the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the middle classes -- before that people either had their own servants to launder their clothes or did their own.
The laundry comment has come up a few times during this re-read, and I'm not sure that's accurate. Ancient Rome had laundries - a few quick links:*/Fullo.html

Roman laundries have stuck in my head ever since I read a scene in one of Lindsey Davis's early Falco novels where the protagonist has to . . . errrr. . . contribute to the laundry on the ground floor of his apartment.

(Ancient Romans used urine in laundering, if you either didn't know, or didn't click on the links above. A little more here : )

I hope that isn't how the laundries in the 4c work, but you never know.
(Although given the state of chemistry and alchemy at the University, they have probably progressed past that.)

Just an interesting, if pungent, tidbit.
Ashley Fox
108. A Fox
The why could very well relate to some of our/my suppositions. The motivations of the Amyr after the CW to take vengence on Haliax, to continue the war's goal of entrapping the enemy in Faen, behind the doors of stone. Lanre truned from this goal when he realised the consquences of shutting of Faen from the Mortal, continung the damage wrought by Iax. His attack on Selitos and the side he previously faught on was to stop them completely locking away Faen. A hundren half closed doors. His apparent desire to destroy the world is the need to destroy the known, selectively contructed one (a parralel to the inintial creation of Faen).

If the chandrians goal is to reuntite the two worlds, to reopen the doors of stone, and the Amyr are seeking to keep them closed and using genocidal tactics via the Tehlin church then for either one to suceed they need to stop/destroy the other. Before Lanre became Haliax he was the empires greatest general, such tactics that are decribed in the above post make much sense.

I do believe that the chandrian killed the troup/wedding party. The troup were unintentionaly perpetuating the Amyr's perspective, fighting their cause. They became the enemies of the Chandrian, and the powerful nature of stories is as dangerous a weapon as a sword. So they removed their enemies.
John Graham
109. JohnPoint
thistlepong @105: I think the real question is what's their plan? ;)

I don't have any answers, but do think that they're game is longer than we've seen yet, as I implied and you expanded in your post.

A Fox @108 -- it's definitely something to consider, and would make sense in several ways. It probably comes down to the discussion of "whole cloth" and how the Faen was created, as you discussed several weeks ago. I haven't returned to that discussion to see if there were any conclusions...

(PS what happened to comments 106 and 107? I can't see them...)
Rob Core
110. robtcore
JohnPoint @ 109 - 107 is mine - the links threw it into the spam queue.

I suspect 106 is also mine (double post?). I don't think you're missing anything.
111. Herelle
re Denna being the heroine
This is what I wrote in an earlier comment to NotW part 13 We're going to have to kill it:
"Also I suspect that Denna will be the hero in some part. Somehow I can´t really remember the part where the thought struck me. It was something about Denna saying she was Sir Savien and Kvothe Aloine because she found him and then I seemed to find more hints that way. I believe Denna will rescue Kvothe someway and get hurt/killed/captured because of it or has some other price to pay."
I tried to find the part in the book, but all I found was this: "Two hours I waited for my Savien to come... Finally, filled with despair, I decided Aloine could do the finding this time and damn the story." She smiled a wicked smile. (p. 424 paperback NotW)
I imagine Rothfuss smiling a wicked smile while putting that passage in there, if he is really telling us where his story is going.
112. Curtiss
I'd like to make a comment about the analysis of ch. 142 (sword and shaed). Jo mentions that trade with the tropics is rare at this tech level and I would argue it's not. Think about the East India Company. It was around long before the Industrial Revolution (which is the time period in which this story is set).
Jo Walton
113. bluejo
Curtiss: If you think this tech level is Industrial Revolution then I don't think I can have a sensible conversation with you. Do you see factories? Steam engines? Railroads? Any signs of industrial production?

I think it's mostly clearly Renaissance, the equivalent of Europe in about 1453, with a few odd bits here and there.

(East India Company was chartered in 1600.)
114. fatcatfan
"It’s odd that Kvothe really does think himself the equal of anyone. This isn’t bad writing or anachronism, because the other characters really don’t — they know their place or work on changing it, mostly. But Kvothe doesn’t expect to be treated the way he has been and doesn’t think he’s lucky to be walking away with his tuition paid."

This is totally in character for Kvothe. One of my first reactions when I started reading NotW was that Kvothe is an arrogant SOB, the sort of person who is smart and talented and has reason for some personal self-esteem, but lets his own personal pride occlude his shortcomings – a truly intelligent person recognizes what he still has yet to learn. He’s a teenager! PR did an excellent job of portraying it. Ultimately I get caught up in the story and like Kvothe, but if I stop and examine him as person, he’s not someone I’d likely choose as a friend. We also see that he’s not really all about himself in his interactions with his friends, so I guess the arrogance is just a façade, a defense. But enough psychoanalysis…

Kote is a humbler person in appearance, aspirations, and attitude it seems. While some of that new demeanor is surely related to whatever has changed in terms of his Name or Alar hiding or whatever, I expect we’ll also see that the devastation for which he blames himself is a result of his hubris, not just some angry reactionary lashing out or veangence, and so he has learned humility the hard way.
115. Guest12345
Who (or what) is Devi hiding in her room in the Bloodless chapter?
Laura Taylor
116. Lauranimal

Thank you! All through this reread... I have been waiting for someone to mention this! Devi's shock at seeing Kvothe "returned from the dead" seems somehow off. And normally should would invite him in. Not only did she rush him out the door... but she left it unlocked on purpose.

And this means she trusts the person who's in her apartments. Who is it? Denna? One of the Masters? Getting some alchemical mix from Devi to use for poisoning Herma? Someone that Kvothe has previously trusted?

She is full of shite! And she will be the one, perhaps of more than one... who will betray him.
z drake cupsford
117. zdrakec
Bredon swears by "Lord and Lady" - dunno if someone has already made this observation - Lanre and Lyra?
Kate Hunter
118. KateH
It's surely going to be significant that Bredon gets to read both Alveron's and Meluan's letters to K. Need I point out that we don't? Plus, K gives Bredon the scandalous report of his rumoured pagan frolics.

So Auri's gone from hiding from the moon and not liking it, to calmly sitting outside and staring at it. This is odd.

@Guest12345, #115 Yeah, I thought that was odd too. But she kept to her rule of not discussing business on the landing. This makes me wonder if she was expecting someone to come by. She might have left the door open for someone to pick something up, drop something off, or simply hide themselves. It's interesting to me that in NotW Devi's residence is described (p. 327) as "the room," which contains her desk, bookshelves and a canopied bed, and no mention of doorways to anywhere else. You'd think if there was a second room there, the bed wouldn't be in the first room entered from the street. But in WMF, she's got "other rooms" (plural) to search after she "discovers" she left the door unlocked. I wonder if her home got a handwavium upgrade from one book to another. Devi is a compulsive door locker. Every time K visits her, she bolts the door immediately, so something really odd is going on. No indication in the text whose idea it was to leave and go get lunch.

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