Apr 19 2012 2:00pm

Rothfuss Reread: The Wise Man’s Fear, Part 27: Kvothe the Arcane

The Patrick Rothfuss Reread on Tor.comWelcome to my no moon left unturned reread of Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles. This week’s post covers chapters 143-146 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.

The end is nigh! I’ll do four chapters this week and four chapters and the epilogue next week, and that is it. And is D3 here yet? It is not! I can’t do speculative summaries for years on end (well, I could, but...) and I can’t start again at the beginning (well, I could, but...) so we’re going to have to stop. But at least I have thought of an awesome way to end this re-read. There will be a normal post next week finishing the book, then there will be two more posts on the following weeks. Wait and see.


Chapter 143 (145) is Stories

Ambrose is back — so Ambrose stayed away just a little longer than Kvothe did. I wonder if he also believed Kvothe was dead, or if he’d have heard rumours from the Maer’s court?

However, despite hearing that Ambrose is back and hearing Kvothe’s precautions and tricks, we do not see Ambrose directly or hear about anything he does, just his renewed presence.

Because of Ambrose, Kvothe makes himself a new gram. He also resumes practice of the ketan, in secret in the forest. He says this is because it looked odd the first time he saw it, but it also keeps it quiet. Is he expecting a physical attack?

Actually this mention of resuming practice, combined with how much Tempi practices, gives credence to Ryanreich’s thought about K being unable to do Adem fighting against the soldiers:

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.

He hasn’t been practicing, and it needs to. OK, I am now happy about this. I still think something has broken his hands as well as his name.

He fumbles questions on Spring term Admissions and gets money back from the bursar again. Sales of the Bloodless pick up. So Kvothe has plenty of money for the first time ever. He buys good paper and ink from Arueh. (Which he still has, or anyway has some more of. In caravan-less Newarre, he offers some to Chronicler.) Where is Arueh and why do they make good ink? He has six sets of clothes and two pairs of shoes. He also has his own set of engraving tools and an Yllish knot dictionary and two other useful textbooks — Herborica and Termigus Techina, one each for Medica and Artificing. He buys dresses for Auri, but doesn’t tell us what she gives him in the way of whimsical return gifts, which I think means the ones we do know about are relevant.

I love this little bit, where he’s ahead for once and can get things he really wants.

Then later in the term the Felurian stories and stories of his adventures in Vintas catch up with him. He delights in his notoriety and spends time in alehouses listening to people talking about him. (I immediately thought that this is a low tech form of ego-googling.) 

There are lots of distorted versions about him rescuing young girls, sometimes one, most often two, sometimes three, once seven. He rescues them from bandits, shamble men, Adem mercenaries, ogres, wicked uncles, stepmothers, and travelling players, but never Edema Ruh. He’s proud to say that. This analysis of how stories change and become myth is lovely, especially in relation to the whole story. (Did he even kill a king?) The stories end either with his fighting and killing the bad guys or with calling down fire and lightning like Taborlin the Great — which of course he did do at the bandit camp. In his favourite version:

I met a helpful tinker on the road. I shared my dinner and he told me of two children stolen from a nearby farm. Before I left he sold me an egg, three iron nails, and a shabby cloak that could render me invisible. I used the items and my considerable wit to save the children from the clutches of a cunning hungry trow.

Why is this his favourite? It tells us more about tinkers, always selling you the things you need to fix things, as we have seen. Is it his favourite because there’s no resemblance at all to reality?

The Felurian stories are of course more popular, and the details are closer to the truth because he wrote the song. Wil believes him, Sim takes a lot of convincing. What is Wil’s connection with Fae, I wonder?

Then comes the conversation when Wil and Sim and Kvothe discuss how old he really is and how much time passed in Fae — it couldn’t have been more than a year, in that three days. We talked about this when we talked about Felurian, but it hadn’t really occurred to Kvothe that he is older than he should be. He’s seventeen, or maybe eighteen, who can say?


Chapter 144 (146) is Failures

This chapter is organised thematically as Kvothe lists the things he failed at in Spring Term. First is Yllish, which turns out to be really hard. Tema is orderly and overlaps with Aturan.

Yllish shared nothing with Aturan, or Shaldish, or even with Ademic for that matter.

Thank you for telling us that! Take note, Department of Imaginary Linguistics. He does not say it does not have anything in common with the faen language, which he at least tried to learn.

Then he talks about the weird forms of genitives, where:

the simple act of owning socks somehow fundamentally changed the nature of a person

I do wonder if Yllish is an original naming language where everything matters. He tries to practice with Deoch, who isn’t much of a teacher. Deoch admits that his grandmother could read story knots. So Kvothe learns some vocabulary and some hazy idea of grammar and counts it a failure. But despite this, he is able to read the Yllish knots in D’s hair.

Next failure is advanced chemistry, where he doesn’t get on with the teacher though the subject is fascinating:

He told me to leave his class, calling me an irreverant dennerling with no respect for authority. I called him a pompous slipstick who had missed his true calling as a counting house scribe. In all fairness, we both had some valid points.

Look, they have slide rules! And Kvothe has a problem with authority, which isn’t a surprise.

Then he fails at mathematics, which Fela loves but he can’t get into.

Instead he works in the Fishery and writes an essay for Medica on the non efficacy of arrowroot. And he has pleasant but brief romances with women on both sides of the river. He says they were brief because he didn’t have much to offer long term, which seems both disingenuous and really weird to me.

In the Fishery, he has failed at creating new schema. Some of them wouldn’t work, some weren’t original, some of them need runes forbidden to Re’lar, and the one for reloading a ballista faster is a Bad Thing according to Kilvin. Now he asks Kilvin what metal could stand hard use for thousands of years, and Kilvin says he’s all for durability but that’s a lot to ask. Kvothe is thinking of Caesura. When he asks in a general way about old swords, Kilvin says they are made with old lost arts. He says people sometimes come across them, and he himself has a device to consume angular momentum (how? how?) four ingots of unharmable light metal, a sheet of frictionless glass, and a stone that stays just above freezing temperature no matter what. He says they are mysteries. Kvothe asks if it would be inappropriate to ask to see them. Kilvin shows him the warding stones that “somehow produce a thaumic and kinetic barrier”.

Kilvin says cleverness can be reproduced endlessly, mystery can not.

Leave mystery to poets, priests and fools.

Do I think Kvothe will take this excellent advice? Not for a picosecond. Also, where did these mysteries come from and who made them and why? Are they Grammarie, or Shaping or something else entirely? I mean they’re magic, but they don’t fit anywhere.

The chapter ends with saying that despite the other failures, Naming with Elodin was going well. They go to “ridiculous lengths” to wake Kvothe’s sleeping mind. They spend hours riddling. He reads Theophany while drunk on applejack. He wears a blindfold for three days. He stays awake for nearly five days, on lots of coffee. They go out onto the roof of the Archives naked in a thunderstorm and get stuck there all night. And it all kind of works, he calls the Name of the Wind three times. Once was with Elodin on Stonebridge, once was in the Archives, when for once he has the good sense not to actually call more than a whisper of wind, and then the third time pays for all and is described in the next chapter.


Chapter 145 (147) is Debts

Although we know in advance that he calls the Name of the Wind in this chapter, it takes a long time to get to that and is a surprise when it does.

It begins by saying that he hired a cart and went to Tarbean “on a lark”. He goes alone. He couldn’t have thought of affording this before. He says he spent the first day paying debts — a cobbler and a tailor, which we know all about, and an innkeeper who had let him sleep on the hearth some nights, which is news. Kvothe is surprised to feel a strange nostalgia for a place he hated so much. He also didn’t remember it smelling this awful. He eventually finds Trapis and is recognised, which means a lot to him. He gives him five talents and spends the rest of the day helping out.

People have accused me of being hard on Kvothe, so let me say here that I absolutely approve of this and think it is exemplary behaviour. He doesn’t just give the money and leave, he stays and does some pumping and some doctoring and buys Trapis shoes.

Then he buys some lovely writing paper — he doesn’t say if it’s in the shop where he pawned the book before. He writes to Ambrose saying “The child is yours” and threatening to go to Ambrose’s father. He drips water onto it as fake tears and signs it with an initial that could be B or R or F or P or E, then sends it to Ambrose. It’s a prank, and another debt he owes, and this is where the address of the University is interestingly given as Belenay-Barren, Central Commonwealth. He disguises himself and dirties the letter and finds Vintish merchants heading for Imre and tells them he has brought it from Vint and his ship is leaving and gets them to pay to deliver it, hoping for payment in turn from Ambrose. This place needs a proper mail service and soon! Then he returns the hat he has borrowed from a beggar to hide his hair and gives him the money the merchants gave him. It’s an elaborate and petty bit of mischief, and it’s kind of pointless in terms of reward for effort.

Kvothe says he expected the stories told about him to flare up and die down fast, but they kept on being told, and people in Imre and the University knew who he was, but nobody does in Tarbean. He has a bath and pays to have his clothes taken “to the nearest Cealdish laundry”. Then he goes down clean to the taproom where they are telling the story of how Kvothe killed the Black Beast of Trebon. The draccus, of course. He learns that he owns a ring of amber than can force demons to obey him — which of course is pure fantasy, and may still be in the rhyme about rings. (But I wouldn’t put it past him to buy an amber ring to fit the story...)

And that was the first time he heard the name “Kvothe the Arcane”. We heard it long ago when Chronicler said that Kvothe the Arcane and Kvothe the Kingkiller had different stories. And here again we have embroidery and elaboration — he can only bleed if cut with pure iron, he can stop arrows dead in the air. Well, he did invent the arrowcatch. Charmingly:

I was genuinely curious as to how I was going to stop the demon beast with my ring shattered and my cloak of shadows nearly burned away.

I wonder if, had we heard the end of the story, he would have done it like Tehlu? But the door bursts open and in comes D, dying of an asthma attack and Kvothe calls the name of the wind and says the seven words “I need you to breathe for me”.

This is my favourite thing that Kvothe does, being a magic inhaler. I am asthmatic myself. What a wonderful use for the name of the wind!

And people recognise him as Kvothe, and give them space. She says she always finds him where she least expects him, which is of course also true the other way around. She asks for a ride to Imre, and he agrees. Then he says that her hair is lovely, and then clarifies that her braid is Yllish for “lovely”, Her response is:

“You can read it?” she said, her voice incredulous, her expression slightly horrified. “Merciful Tehlu, is there anything you don’t know?”

He says it’s like a story knot, and she says it’s a damn sight more than “almost”. She’s irritated with him. and she takes the braid out. She’s embarrassed, and says people aren’t supposed to be able to read it and asks how he’d feel if he’d been caught wearing a sign saying “I am dashing and handsome”. But what is the point of wearing it if nobody can read it, unless it has an effect when people see it even though they can’t read it? I mean if they see it and think she is lovely? As a subliminal message?

Then they get into talking in couplets again, which is sweet. And they end up with her saying she has missed him and come back to this corner of the world hoping to find him.


Chapter 146 (148) is The Stories of Stones

Great title.

D and Kvothe go back to Imre and talk of “a hundred small things”. She says she has been to Tinue, Vartheret and Andenivan. (I don’t know why I even bothered looking at the map. Tinue’s on it, but I knew that. It reminds me of the map in Knowledge of Angels that has Jerusalem in the middle and doesn’t have the city where it was drawn.) He tells her what happened with the Maer — presumably the whole story that he didn’t tell Threpe, about the poisoning and everything, because he says she was ’properly indignant“. But they don’t talk about what happened between them in Severen. He says he was ”desperate to avoid“ reigniting their previous argument.

She has her harp and her trunk, and she must therefore be performing the Lanre song. He’s worried that she’ll play it in Imre, where it will spread, but he doesn’t say anything because he knows it will be a hard conversation — an impossible one, more like. He also doesn’t talk about her patron, even though he’s been having dreams about what the CTH told him. And they don’t talk about Felurian, despite talking about the girls and the bandit stories, and even though the Felurian song is more popular.

Then he says an interesting thing about silences, considering the silence of three parts in the inn”

silences that stretched too long, silences that were short but terrifyingly deep.

This is silence as an active rather than a passive thing, a presence rather than an absence. He says they were trapped in one when they got to Imre, and he

helped her carry her trunk upstairs but the silence was even deeper there. So I skirted hastily around it. bid her a fond farewell, and fled

I don’t see how you can bid someone farewell without breaking a silence unless it’s more of a metaphorical silence than a literal one.

That night he lies awake thinking of what he should have said. Then Fenton beats him in duels in Advanced Sympathy, and he goes to give D her ring back. She comes out with a picnic, and they go to a dell with a greystone. How many of these are there anyway?

She wades in the water and asks him if he knows the secret of stones. He says he doesn’t, and she tells him to listen. He’s tempted to kiss her but doesn’t. The story she tells is about a boy throwing stones and throwing away a girl as easily. He doesn’t understand it and neither do I. Anyone care to explain?

Then he tries to listen to a stone and she trips him, soaking him in the stream. Then he makes a magioc wave and drenches her. And they’re rhyming again, and she’s being enticing and he’s being an adolescent, because he knows what to do always with everyone except D. And they have a picnic. And he sees bruises and welts on her, and he thinks that this is the moment to mention Master Ash and abuse, and then she sees the scars on his back from when he was whipped and it totally derails the entire subject of enduring pain in order to get things. And then they talk about Kvothe’s love life and how he’s been cutting a swathe through the ladies of Imre, and she asks if they bring them all here. He asks her to love him, meaning it to come out as a joke but it doesn’t, and she says she won’t be one of many.

She braids her hair into “don’t speak to me” and then she loosens it when she sees him reading it. She must be doing this kind of thing all the time. I wonder how well it works? Then he gives her the ring, and she says she thought he was different, until she sees what it is, but even then the silence is back worse than ever.

And they go back.

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.

1. sandman
woohoo. been waiting for this. :-)
2. Sandman
Finally finished everything. The rereads adn the speculations. Great stuff. Lots of insights I had not thought of and plenty to confirm my own suspicions.

Thanks Jo, for doing the indepth rereads and thanks to everyone for the comments and thoughts.

On a similar, yet off-topic, question.... does anyone know if a similar reread has been done for Sanderson's Way of Kings? Rothfuss and Sanderson are two of the best and I'm eagerly awaiting the next installments for both.
Rob Core
3. robtcore
Hi Jo, excellent at usual.

I posted a variation of this a few minutes ago in the previous thread, but since you mentioned laundry again this week:
He has a bath and pays to have his clothes taken “to the nearest Cealdish laundry”.
I thought it might be at least tangentially relevant - or at least a little interesting.
(I'll leave out the actual links - I think they threw the last comment into the filer of spam oblivion. Cut and paste, if you like.)

BlueJo@33 (from last week) - 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:*/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 Munnelly
4. RobMRobM
Misc thoughts -

Being called by the chemistry professor an "irreverent dennerling" - true that he is "addicted" to D. Backhanded reference to the experience in Trebon?

K has not much to offer in the way of romance long-term because his heart is stuck on D. So he'll take a roll in the hay but nothing serious.

Yes, D's hair is intended to convey a subliminal message and enhance her charms. *this post is thoughtful and interesting*

Boy throwing stones and throwing away a girl - two options: extended metaphor about K's actions towards D; or, perhaps more likely, a softened version of how she was originally seduced by someone and cast aside, leading to her current situation, and implying she wants to be loved and not cast aside this time. In any event, he should have kissed her. Ugh.

Really well done chapters.

5. Binary Search Tree
I heartily support a thorough re-read of The Way of Kings.
Rob Munnelly
6. RobMRobM
@2, 5. That would take us until D3 is published, no doubt. LOL.
Steven Halter
7. stevenhalter
In addition to chocolate and laundries, they have more math than they really should. I mentioned manifolds as being out of place historically and slide rules being common enough to have a colloquial usage is out of place. But, it all goes along with their having fallen from a high tech/magic level rather than be developing on their own.
This also fits nicely with the"magic" artifacts. They are clearly from a time of higher magic-tech. Interestingly they are almost explainable--the frictionless glass could be a Bohr's Einstein condensate held together somehow, etc . Slaver stasis fields anyone?
Ryan Reich
8. ryanreich
I don't know of any such reread (of tWoK). Soon after it came out I thought I would do something like that on my my blog but I overreached and only was able to comment on one or two chapters. I was fairly critical of it, to be honest. Nonetheless, I've read that book three times. If there's interest (say, five people) I could pick it up again.

The stones story is suspiciously obvious to me: it seems like Denna could just be talking cryptically about herself and Kvothe. But why the "stone" metaphor? If Denna is like a stone, but "knows the feel of motion" unlike most stones, then what is a normal stone? A normal person? If Kvothe is the boy, then what people is he throwing away? But that doesn't work, because the boy gives stones to the girl, and Kvothe gives no people to Denna, and the boy throws the girl "as he would a stone", which implies that stones are not, properly, people themselves. What is it that Denna has none of, and Kvothe has but is trying to get rid of, and shares with her? I just can't match the details of this story with actual facts.
9. soupytwist
(Just finished reading these books and then spent far too long going back and reading all the posts much to the detriment of the actual work I have to do. So much awesome theorising!)

I absolutely think the braids in Denna's hair are more than just 'she put them in for fun'; we were very carefully shown not only that Yllish knots are an obscure thing that not many people know about, and that she's been doing them for a while now, and what would be the point of that if they don't mean anything? Maybe they aid a glamour/spell she's putting on Kvothe (his thing for her does seem... potentially more than just crushing), or she's sort of idly practicing them and she's learning them for some other reason. I would assume they help with magic of some sort though, maybe something she's learning from Mr Ash.

I think the story about stones was either related to Denna backstory or just flirting, and that the real point of that conversation was that they don't end up talking about any of the stuff that really matters plot-wise. It seemed very much like a moment where things Could Have Changed if they had only TALKED!
John Graham
10. JohnPoint
(We seem to regularly crash the Tor server on thursdays after the reread is posted...)

Soupytwist @9: Welcome! And I'm glad that I'm not the only one who spends time reading these when I should be working on other tings...

anyway, I think you're right-on about the braids, and the lack of real conversation between Kvothe and Denna. Sometimes I want to reach through the pages, grab them both by their shirt collars, and say: "TALK!" but then remember being 16 and how difficult it was to talk to someone that I had a crush on...

@Jo, three points:

1) I don't think Wil has any "connection" per se to the Fae. Instead, I think the Caelds have a cultural belief in the Fae that Sim doesn't. We get a lot of discussion about what one culture believes in and others find foolish (whether it's shamblemen, demons, the fae, dennerlings, etc), and read it as showing his cultural belief.

2) Kvothe's letter to Ambrose from Tarbean seems completely in character. It's petty mischief, and his payout isn't necessarily anything that happens to Ambrose in reality. Rather, Kvothe gets a little glow of satisfaction imagining Ambrose getting the letter and his reaction. The effort was pretty darn minimal (a sheet of paper, and a bit of time), and the benefit is rather long lasting. It's a prank, and he views it as fun. Of course, it could have real results too, if it caused Ambrose to rush back to Vintas or something like that.

3) I'm predicting that we'll see more about amber rings in D3. They've been mentioned several times already, so may well be able to do something...

Timeline question: before leaving to chase the wind, Kvothe mentioned that Ambrose had already left to go to Vintas. If he is just now returning, then how did he swagger around and imply that he caused Kvothe's ship to sink? He wouldn't have been present at the University when word got back about the ship. Or did I miss something?
James Hogan
11. Sonofthunder
Oh Kvothe and Denna...why can you two not just be true with one another !? Lovely chapters here - I think Denna/Kvothe chapters are always some of my favorite. Their verbal dancing never fails to delight me, although their failure to truly open up to each other never ceases to madden me. And I have to laugh at Denna getting upset over Kvothe "reading" her hair. Whether or not Yllish knots actually do anything, she clearly believes they hold power. And is embarrased to have Kvothe find her out!

Great chapters, thanks for the post, Jo!
Evan Langlinais
12. Skwid
I would follow a tWoK re-read, sure.
Jo Walton
13. bluejo
JohnPoint: Oh, good point. Ambrose must have been away, come back, and gone away again in order for that to make sense.

Everyone who wants a Sanderson re-read: I haven't read it once and have no plans to read it. This sort of intensive re-read can only be fuelled with pure enthusiasm, there isn't enough money to pay me to do it for something I don't really care about. I could draw attention to the desire for one to people at, but what it would really take is somebody who wanted to do it and was willing to commit the time.
James Hogan
14. Sonofthunder
Jo - true that - I can't imagine one doing a re-read this in-depth without that love and passion for the work! And just wanted to thank you again for this re-read- I have been sadly absent from pretty much every thread on here, but nevertheless I think I've read every one of your posts(and the majority of the comments!) and they've given me much enjoyment and increased my desire to read the KKC more deeply.
15. Trollfot
Continuing the capitalization discussion from last week since I finally got the translation today (Swedish).

I would like to point out that Denna has written more than one letter but this is the only one with weird and random capitalization. I've also looked through three books in Middle English (Shakespeare, Shakespeare and Malory) as well as Wordsworth and some older Swedish ones and the capitalization is never random. (Maybe Ww, but I think he rather picked out some extra poetic words and capitalized them.) Someone asked about modern German: they capitalize all nouns, months and weekdays. It is strange to me that Denna should just start doing it. Unless it is to show she's drunk.

As for the text. Interestingly, the Chandrian text from chapter 16 is NOT capitalized while Denna's letter is. Mistake or do the translator know one is meaningful and the other one isn't?

Places/towns, weekdays and coins are translated but I think this is normal for fantasy. Leaving English-sounding names in would break the illusion.

Re the letter, more or less the same words are capitalized as in the original. Not "Writing". Also, "Kist" is not translated. What does that mean, anyway?

If I knew knots with secret meanings, I'd probably use them for everything! Hair, clothes, shoelaces... I'm guessing the importance is how and why D learned the knots. If she's actually older than we think and they symbolize her old life, or if she learned them from a family member (grandmother?) so they remind her of someone she lost, or or...
16. soupytwist
Re-reading the post made me wonder if Ambrose doesn't actually have to be the king for him to have been the person Kvothe kills to get the name 'kingkiller'. Or he's actually a king in some kind of metaphorical/magical sense (has the bloodline of the kings? we don't know what Ambrose did with his time away from the University after all, maybe he went to Fae himself or found a princess to marry) or something like that. It would fit thematically if actually the whole series is named after a tale that is only kind-of true....

@JohnPoint: Thanks! And heh, yeah, their whole relationship provides a careful balance between going 'omg SO YOUNG' and wanting to shake them, I think. :)

@Trollfoot: OOOOH, I totally hadn't thought that Denna might know them because she's old enough to have been around when they were regularly used. Which I should have, given all the stuff about how she might have been in Fae or something for far longer than it appears.

(Do we know anything about how people look when they come out of Fae - does Kvothe look any older than he is in 4C-chronological time? I don't think we have any evidence on that except the not-really-evidence of Denna apparently looking the same age for longer than she maybe should.)
17. soupytwist
Oh wait, I was wrong about there not being any evidence on that last point: K in the frame is noted at at least one point as looking younger than he acts (I think there's a specific comment about his eyes looking older). Hmm.
Ryan Reich
18. ryanreich
Trollfot@15: I imagine "Kist" means "shit" in Siaru (Cealdish); the man who delivers the letter (who is Cealdish) uses it in just that way, and that's not our only example. Edit: Apropos of that, I do believe that Siaru has German-style capitalization. Perhaps this is a clue? Ceald has been notably uninfluential in the story thus far.

Setting aside the issue of Denna's weird capitalization, the context of her letter is worth considering. First, it comes with a seal bearing a "stag rampant standing before a barrel and a harp". Whose insignia could that be? The barrel suggests beer, as in Bredon beer, and the harp suggests that whoever it is, is her patron (who gives her the harp). The only other harps we've seen are Kellin's, her nobleman suitor from the beginning, and the one played at the Eolian back in NW.

The other weird context is that the rest of the chapter is Fela's Naming ceremony. Here we have two of the women in Kvothe's life both finally finding their words. What's the connection?
19. Dougg
Isn't there a point (maybe in NW, I don't have the book with me right now) when D asks whether there's a form of magic where "you write things down and they come true?"

Could this be what she is doing with her hair? It's a glamour, or a spell, and since no one can read them anymore, she believes that she's safe wearing them so blatantly.
20. logankstewart
I was thinking Denna's Yllish knots were like a form of writing and telling stories. Reminds me of when Denna asked Kvothe, Wil, and Sim if there was a type of "magic" where you could write stuff down and make things happen. Maybe she investigated (or perhaps she's incredibly smart and pieced together how to do sympathy) and somehow makes magic through the knots in her hair?

I personally think that "The Stories of Stones" is one of the hardest chapters to read through. Tough stuff.
Steven Halter
21. stevenhalter
I found the fact that there is a door on top of the Archives quite interesting. It seems like that could have been a much easier way for Kvothe to get in if he had bothered really looking.
It makes sense in a normal large building to have an acess to the roof, but somehow the library had seemed more mysterious without that access to me.
Steven Halter
22. stevenhalter
Kvothe seems to be hitting a phase (in Failures) that often hits gifted students. They run into something that is finally difficult for them (after everything being easy) and suddenly decide that it is the problem of the subject or the teacher. It couldn't be a failing on their part.
Steven Halter
23. stevenhalter
The story of the stones reminded me a bit of the story of Jax. The hermit scolds him for not listening and part of the story is about Kvothe not listening--not hearing what Denna is trying to tell him.
Another part is about Kvothe's yelling at her about her song. He is throwing stones at her after she opened up to her.
A thrid part is possibly about the alternate magic that Denna is learning. Listening to the stories of things rather than forcing them.

Three parts seems like a good number of meanings.
Steven Halter
24. stevenhalter
The nature of magic is another interesting subject. I'm typing this about a mile from the Roman Forum. It appears on my screen and then in a bit on anyone else's screen throughout the world who cares to look. That would be magic in all the history of the world except for this last little bit.
A couple of week's ago I had a nice chat with Ted Chiang about AI and ethics, but also about magic. He mentioned that his theory of magic vs. science is that a story is about science if you can use the scientific method on the operating elements. In other words, if you can propose an experiment (like turn on the light switch and the lights will come on) and it is repeatable by anyone (not just someone with a knack for it) then the story is really a scientific story--even though the particular science might not work in this universe. If scientific methodology doesn't apply then the story is fantasy.
Offhand, it seems like sygaldry firmly falls in the scientific side of this, sympathy is probably scientific (it depends if everyone can be trained to split their minds) and naming might be on the fantasy side as it seems most people can't name.
There are lots of ways to divide science/fantasy, but I rather liked this one and it seems to be revealing here.
Sean Newton
25. SJN
Perhaps someone has already mentioned this, but does anyone else think that Kvothe might not be entirely human? There is some evidence for it, I think, though it is a little roundabout. Here is what I am thinking:
In the second fragment of the story we hear Skarpi tell in the tavern in Tarbean, the one where Tehlu and co. apparently become angels, Skarpi also talk about how Selitos and the other Ruach refuse the honor, and instead become the Amyr. Combine that with the fact that Felurian says that there were never any human Amyr, and you can come to the conclusion that the Ruach are not human.
I saw the idea mentioned elsewhere that the Admre and Edema Ruh might be related peoples because of the similarity of names and back stories. Is it possible that the Ruach become, in some way, the Edema Ruh (and the Admre)? RU-ach, Edema RUH, is what I was thinking. And while they have been in the world for milennia, intermingling with the human population might make them half fae, or half whatever the ruach are. A bit of a stretch perhaps, but two pieces of supporting evidence:
1) Kvothe's eyes. We are told that they literally change color depending on his mood. This is a figure of speech, but this does not actually happen, as far as I am aware, to any human's eyes. His apparently do. The only other characters we see anything approximating this are Bast and Felurian, both Fae, whose eyes become entirely one color.
2) This one is a bit thin too. Kvothe's red hair we are told is a mark of his being Edema Ruh (by the adventurer scriv). The only person we ever see who can over match his Alar when he is not exhausted or otherwise off his game is Devi, another redhead ("us redheads have to stick together," or something along those lines. I loaned my copies of D1 and D2 out and don't have access to them) who also is a precocious trouble-maker/genius. So, perhaps in world being redhead marks you as being part Fae, or what have you?
I suppose it is all a bit thin, and may not fit into the plot terribly well, but I thought I would mention the idea. I am afraid I have not read all the theories in all the posts (which I do intend to), so it is emminently possible this has been advanced elsewhere and discarded. But I was too proud of myself for putting it together not to share.
26. towo
The silence on the way up to the Inn? Pretty simple, in my opinion. It's the silence of things people want to say, but can't - things they want to talk about, but are afraid that the other person might react poorly, making it all "go bad".

And the silence is the inn is the silence of escorting a girl you like up to her bedroom, being alone with her, but thinking that she doesn't want you, and before you embarass yourself, you hastily bid farewell to avoid spurting out an "I love you". It's all in line with being a teenager in sobby love where everyone looking in from outside is only having the "now.... kiss!" image in their head.

I wouldn't associate it with the three-parted silence, in this case.
27. Helanna
One thing I don't get is why Denna reacted as she did when Kvothe returned her ring. He says "I'd almost forgotten, I have a present for you." She gets upset and says "You too? I honestly thought you were different." I mean, all he said was that he had a present for her. He wasn't particularly pushy or anything, and he's given her presents before. Plus she was always encouraging him to push her a little harder. So why is it suddenly bad that Kvothe had a present?

I think this, and the constant mentions of a deep silence between them, is a sign that things have gone sour between Kvothe and Denna, and I suspect they're not going to get better. I'm assuming that Denna plays a major role in D3. With all the hints we have about her (asking about strange magic, the Yllish knots, knowing 'secret things', and I'm still suspicious about the "it's my job to watch you" line), I hold to the theory that she's caught up in some deeper plot that we've only seen hints of so far, possibly with the Chandrian or Fae. So I think a big part of the conflict in D3 is going to be between her and Kvothe, and I think (or hope) that we'll get to find out what she's been doing all this time.
Dan Layman-Kennedy
28. maestro23
Robtcore @3, I would guess that various industries in the 4C probably routinely use urine as part of a number of skilled-craft processes (e.g., dyeing, tanning), which was true for a very long time in our own technological progression and, if I'm not mistaken, is still the case in some places today. Sure, you can manufacture a chemical substitute, but why go to the trouble if the ideal substance is readily available for free?

(Tony Robinson: "If it's historical, it's going to involve pee, isn't it?")

We have an "ew, gross" reaction to that in part because we have a number of body-fluid taboos; but urine is not only utterly clean, it has remarkable disinfectant properties. No wonder the Romans made good use of it in laundromats.

shalter @22: The phenomenon you're describing is what a friend of mine refers to as "Smart Kid Syndrome." (And boy, did I have a bad case of it myself.) To me, it's both one of the most frustrating things about Kvothe, and a point of characterization Rothfuss gets discomfortingly spot-on.
29. kvodin
Who wants to bet me Kvothe and Denna go into the Fae together/meet there in D3. The power of strong marijuana and the influence of brilliant minds has brought me to this conclusion. In my current state of mind this makes so much sense to me but in words I could not possibly articule at this time.

Prehaps I am crazy and stoned. That is also an option.
30. old aggie
Re: D's breathlessness problem in "Debts" -

Am I the only one who thought that she had done the same thing K did in D1, binding his breath to the surrounding atmosphere?

What he does to save her sounds an awful lot like what Abenthy did for him way back when - the symptoms sound alike too.

Re: the Yllish knots in her hair -

I had taken her embarrassment more simply: since she thought no one could understand them, she was essentially putting things in her hair like we would use monograms, or maybe a saying on a t-shirt. It's acceptable in our culture to wear a shirt emblazoned with "Awesome" or some such, because people take it tongue in cheek, but the four corners doesn't seem like that type of place IMO. So she was embarrassed.

But if they are spells of some sort - what if she's got a knot hidden somewhere that acts like a gram? or that can hide her from the Chandrian? Intensely interesting idea.
31. olthar
I've just assumed that the writing magic comment D made earlier was in response to the using the knots in her hair. I imagine that she was either told or learned through observation that writing these can make the effect come true. I'd imagine that this would only be true in situations where the person actually can't read it. If it's something she learned through observation, then it is probably a placebo effect that somehow works along the lines of she wrote go away, and her body language / speech further suggested "go away."

The arguably more interesting aspect of it is that she is unhappy that it is recognized. She's been braiding or playing with her hair for a while now without anyone picking up on it. If she's doing this as a way of saying how she truly feels without allowing anyone to see or hear it, then her reaction makes sense. IF, however, she is doing it for the purpose of communication, then it is interesting that she is unhappy that it actually worked. Since the purpose of language is communication, her unhappiness at its working makes more sense if she is not trying to communicate with it. Or, more specifically, if she's been using this as a way of showing her inner self without actually telling someone aloud, K has broken her ability to do that around him, which means either he will know about how she actually feels or she can't be herself around him.

Since there is the silence, I imagine it's more of the latter. In addition to their earlier fights, she may not feel comfortable being herself around him because he can now read her where before he (and really nobody) couldn't. Being able to be "read" bothers her because she is extremely closed off. For all that she survives by being with others, none of them actually get to know her (constantly changing name for example). K finally has the ability to do that and she doesn't like it.
Nisheeth Pandey
32. Nisheeth
Why is this his favourite? It tells us more about tinkers, always selling you the things you need to fix things, as we have seen. Is it his favourite because there’s no resemblance at all to reality?
I think this is Kvothe's favoirite story because it resembles Tarbolin's?
He compares himself to Tarbolin a number of tiimes. Theres the Cloaks.
Then he thought of Tarbolin after he destroyed the Bandit Camp and so on.
33. Herelle
Two posts ago someone asked if there was some textual evidence of Denna being the heroine of the story. I didn't realise there was this post already, so I just put my comment to the last post here and add a second thought:
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.

I've found the part I meant, it's on p. 483 of NotW paperback:
"I held out my hand and she passed me back teh loaf of bread. "Well I'm glad you made it back." I said. "My Aloine" She made a decidedly unladylike noise. "Please, if either of us is Savien, it's me. I'm the one that came looking for you," she pointed out. "Twice."
Claire de Trafford
34. Booksnhorses
Ooh, I'm very excited about the awesome way to finish this! I've been reading along and usually not commenting because I can't make the amazing things you lot have come up with. I stand amazed at your talents :)

Thank you Jo.
35. Trollfot
Like the idea of Denna being the heroine! We know Rothfuss is trying to avoid fantasy clichées and it would be a fun way of doing so by letting the protagonist be a non-hero and the hot girl save the world.

Btw, I wasn't the one to come up with the theory of D being older than she looks. Don't want to take the credit =)
36. Narcissismo
Reading through these comments I was struck by something. Kvothe finally seems to be accessing his sleeping mind, insofar as lessons with Elodin are going well. If Yllish knots are a form of Naming, wouldn't they have links to the sleeping mind? Perhaps he struggled so much with learning Yllish directly, with a focused, Waking effort, because of that; his sleeping mind, however, picked up enough, and is active enough now, to start to read D's hair.

I can't remember if D was braiding all along, and he could only read it now, or if she just started recently. If it's the former, I suspect she was taught by someone (e.g. grandmother) when she was young: "this braid will make someone think you're lovely, that one will make them stop talking to you". She probably started doing it for fun/only half believing it worked, but the more she did it the more she found out that it was working.

Her experimentation with the braids would lead her to think it's magic (or maybe she was told it's a kind of magic), so when the "how magic works" discussion comes up, she asks if there's any kind of magic where writing things down (albeit in knots in her hair) makes things come true; she wants to see if she's right that it is magical.

I've been working my way through these for a while now, but this is my first post. I hope I can contribute something before the end!
37. Berkeley Hunt
I think we're all over looking how potentially powerful the knots could be. Denna is for all intents and purposes a lowly escort. Yet she not only finds and charms rich patrons, but escapes from them as soon as they want commitment. Successfully, for the most part. And she is chosen by the mysterious Ash, who must be important (whoever he is) to spread the story of the Chandrian.

I'd just like to acknowledge the weight of her accomplishments for a normal girl. I personally think her braids are magical. Probably the written from of naming. When she writes "dont talk to me" Kvothe spends a chapter in a silence Jo describes as 'alive'. I imagine it works via writing something, or braiding it, and then when people see the knots it affects their sleeping minds to reflect the knot. It actually seems like a form of shaping, to understand something and then impose your will on it.

Maybe Denna has her own individual style of naming, and knows the concepts of 'beauty' and 'enticing' but also knows things like 'wants to be left alone'. Seems like just the sort of thing a grandmother would teach her young granddaughter. Not things like 'give me money' which would be practical, albiet immoral, but just simple, little things which she uses to their best advantage.

Also Denna is strangely insistent when she askes about the writing magic. If she wasn't sure, or wasn't seriously thinking about her knots being the magic, I dont think she would have acted as stiff or strange that chapter.

I'm gonna put my hat in the ring with this theory. Bring on D3 to prove me right.
38. Sandman
@ #19 and 20 referring to Denna's braids,

I was thinking the exact same thing. It's good I finished reading the posts before I duplicated your comments. And I have to agree, I think this may be the form of "written magic" Denna was asking about.

Jo, if you haven't read the Way of Kings by Sanderson you should give it a try. It is phenomenal. Sanderson and Rothfuss are my two favorites and they are both a very close #1 & #2. Both series are very well crafted and painful to put down. I bought these 3 books at the same time. I finished them in less than a week! They were impossible to put down and totally captivating. I have never read page-turners like these three books (and I have read all of Sanderson's books - - yes, including the Alcatraz books) and they were all great. I have read both series multiple times with as much enjoyment and fervor as the first time! Suffice it to say, you should give Way of Kings a chance.

After finishing my first trip thru Kvothe's world I posted some comments on Rothfuss' blog and the same can be said for Sanderson. They are that unbelievable. You'll never forgive yourself if you don't read it.

If I may quote what I posted on Pat's blog:

One night while reading in bed my wife asked me if I liked it. I closed the book while keeping my place with my fingers.

I took a breath, looked at her and said, “It is great. I cannot put it down. The way he writes and the story he unfolds is just amazing. I am not actually reading a story as much as I am a part of it. I am living it and experiencing it as it happens. I am so totally focused and captivated that I can’t wait to turn the page and read what’s next. I just want to tune everything else out and just give him my complete, total, and undivided attention.

And then I realize……… it is too late. He already has it.”

My wife just stared at me and finally asked, is that written on the back of the book?” “No,” I said. “It is just how it feels.”

My wife said I should write that down and send to you so there it is.
Now looking back, it seems like a “catch-22”. I couldn’t wait to finish the books and now I can’t wait to get the next one. Which I’ll finish in a day or two and then beg for more……………
George Brell
39. gbrell
Re: Sanderson/The Way of Kings:

While I enjoyed it, I don't think it would stand up to this sort of word-by-word re-read. Partly because it's so unclear where the series as a whole is going (given that there's been one book out of a proposed ten) and partly because I didn't find it nearly as good.

I enjoy Sanderson's works (I think I've read all of his adult fiction) and beginning at his earliest work it's clear he's developed as a writer. But for all that I found large chunks of TWoK pretty pedestrian: Half of the Kaladin chapters are slogs to get through, Shallan's story is frankly uninteresting until the big reveal and the most interesting character, Szeth-son-son-Vallano, is criminally underused.

I think my other problem is that after reading the Mistborn books, I find the overt and covert religiousity in Sanderson's books to be insidious and off-putting.
Ryan Reich
40. ryanreich
Re: Way of Kings. Apparently, I like it; I've read it three times, and the third time was when I reread my own single blog post about the prologue (which was full of complaining) and thought it sounded interesting again. But I agree with most of what gbrell said, which I think can be summarized in "it tries too hard to be epic". Sanderson loves explicit world-building, and the book (which is apparently part of some gigantic multiverse thing that he is slowly unveiling) seems to be treating the world itself as one of the characters that needs developing. All this development (that is, setting-up) makes it very slow. If I reread it, it's not going to be a celebration; it will be an extended book review to see how much of this works.

The religiosity is certainly pervasive but only off-putting in that it is a little naive. It's like if I were to write a book where all my characters talked about math.

Since this blog is not about Sanderson, I will say no more about it. But I may post about it on my own.
41. Sandman
True. This is not about Sanderson. And I did not mean to derail this reread. I was simply asking if there was a similar reread on it and then later giving my opinion on him and his books to Jo as a recommendation. However, you are indeed correct and I shall say no more on the subject.

My apologies.
Ryan Reich
42. ryanreich
@41: Not a criticism of you! My post was the one off the rails, which is why I put on the brakes.
43. robingoodfellowe
Hey! I'm sorta new to posting but I've been following for a while and I thought I'd post up something I didn't see anyone else comment on. If someone else did say something please overlook this but in the NOTW when Kvothe re-meets (or meets for the first time?) he asked her for her name even though he already knew it. She refuses to give it to him stating that it will give him power over her. And then ask for his name. Kvothe propses that they trade names. I don't have the book directly in front of me but she basically says she can find out his name from Sovoy. To which Kvothe replies Sovoy can tell you my name but he can't give you my name. And then he gives her his name. At first I thought this was some more of their silly flirting but now I'm starting to wonder if there was anything more to it. Because like someone already commented this doesn't seem like the a rough patch they are going through with the picnic.This is a serious divide. This is a point where Kvothe realizes exactly how close they are or rather how close they aren't. And yet we know that somehow Denna betrays him. The way things stand now she doesn't really know enough about him to betray him. But if she literally has his name? I also noticed that in NOTW she rarely calls his name but literally half the time she does she's commanding him to do something...which he does.

@Bluejo I'm directing this to you because of your comments about Kvothe making stew. I've braided hair and even if you're good at it, it can be a very intricate time consuming process. I find it hard to beleive that Denna is able to braid a word in her hair that fast, even if she has been using Yllish knots for a long time
44. robingoodfellowe
Also since we're talking about story knots and Yllish I thought this might be interesting:
John Graham
45. JohnPoint
On Tinkers:

We've had a lot of questions about who and what exactly Tinkers are, and no real answers. Perhaps they're Menders who are attempting to Mend the rift between the mortal and the Fae. Perhaps they're some type of wandering magical people with their own agenda, perhaps they're something else.

Anyway, I'd like to throw a hat in the ring, and say that they might actually be Fae. I was just reading the Felurian chapters, and this caught my attention:
most fae are sly and subtle folk who step as soft as chimney smoke. some go among your kind enshaedn, glamoured as a pack mule laden, or wearing gowns to fit a queen. we know enought to not be seen...many of the darker sort would love to use you for their sport. what keeps these from moonlit trespass? iron, fire, mirror-glass. elm and ash and copper knives, solid-hearted farmer's wives who know the rules of the games we play and give us bread to keep away. but worst of all, my people dread the portion of our power we shed when we set foot on mortal earth.
Now where do we see pack mules laden? Ah yes, timkers... It seems like this could certainly be a reference to Tinkers. Tinkers appear to have magical ability (the ability to have what you need, and offer off you what you will need). The Fae lose some of their power when they're on mortal soil, but still retain some. Thus, Tinkers could be Fae, and retain enough of their power to know what you're going to need.

The passage that I quoted also tells us a lot about the Fae in the mortal: obviously iron, elm and ash, and copper knives (like Taborlin's copper sword) have power against the Fae. As do fire and mirror glass (possible connection to Selitos' mountian glass/obsidian rock to pierce his eye and break the curse?)

I'm also going to use this passage to confirm that the scrael are from the Fae -- Kvothe made sure that the townfolk followed the rhyme ("dig a pit that's ten by two, elm and ash and rowan too...") when they burned the "demon" scrael. Felurian confirmed that elm, ash, and fire have power against the Fae, so I think it's safe to assume that the scrael are indeed from the Fae.
Ashley Fox
46. A Fox
@ 37 some really great ideas! Only quibble I have, and with some earlier posters, is that she did not start using braids until after wintering in Yll, before that her hair was descriced as down, or up, or other simple styles. Although there is on going discussion re her letter; her mention of learning sailors knots is also a turning point after which braids were noted.

@45 great stuff! This ties in well with an theory from a while ago in which Tinkers were what became of the Knowers. We also thoerised that the Ruarch were the race before men, before Faen. Who then became the peoples we now aften the CW. Your obsivations sit well with these. That Tinkers are not mortal as the others are, if not en faen either. IMO the mystery that surrounds them empowers these ideas; we do not know how they become tinkers, whther they are born in a tinker family or are 'called', we do not know how they age, we do not see female tinkers, (oh gosh what if it is Tinker, singular, and its Aleph?!?) all tinkers seem to be a like, all tinkers seem to be knowers, the tradition not to offend them id likely originating of a fear/great respect implying that once they were more revered then they are now
Brandon Lammers
47. wickedkinetic
@45&@46 - love the tinker/Fae connection - until this point I'd considered them merely nice set-pieces, and good world-building - but a subtle hint like that, combined with the tinker's significance in the theft of the moon story - tinkers may become more significant than I expected.

similarly I think backloading all this 'Yll Yll Yllin' is definitely setting up Yll to be significant - there must have been something important and dangerous about them, and powerful, if they needed to be durn near eradicated....

about the door on the library roof - being that the library is the tallest building by far at the U - it would be a serious climbing (or flying) feat to use it as a way in. not that it might not happen in D3 - but reasonable that K would not have tried it during his banning.

another thought occurred to me - do we know how old the university is? we have this from the timeline:

-300 Alpura Prolycia Amyr The Pontifex disbands the Amyr *during Emperor Nalto’s reign
-300 to present Nine cataloguing systems in the Archives
-300 to -200 The Aturan Empire collapses

I find this very coincidental - if the university was founded AT THE SAME TIME the Amyr were disbanded... hrrrrrmmmmm.... and the university is 'for the greater good'.... this leads me to think that there aren't just a few Amyr hanging out at U censoring the library - but that the Amyr ARE the University - with their gillers and their secret collections --------- and they probably disagree amongst themselves on a great many things - hard to picture Hemme and his sidekick as Amyr but they had to become a 'master' somehow....

and bluejo - thanks for all your hard work on this - it truly has been like reading it all over again for the first time, only with a few hundred friends - a strange and wonderful experience since reading is usually such a solitary past-time....
Alice Arneson
48. Wetlandernw
Just a thought on Denna and her Yllish braiding, and why she's bothered that Kvothe can read it.

We're all pretty well convinced that Denna has some other "thing" going, which we hope we'll find out about in D3. It's quite possible that her "thing" requires a silent form of communication which is not know to anyone but herself and the person(s) with whom she needs to communicate. As mentioned in other regards, proficiency requires constant practice. She may be doing this all the time, partly to keep in practice and partly to maintain the habit of using it to communicate something other than what she's saying. At the same time, if it's supposed to be a secret method, it isn't going to work very well if there's someone around who can read it. If the "thing" actually involves or affects Kvothe but he's not supposed to know about it, so much the worse that he picks up on it.

That said, I do rather suspect that there's more going on with D using the knots than merely communication; she's learned the secret of combining the words with some "spell" (for lack of a better word) to make their meaning subconsciously understood as and when she wishes. Sounds pretty useful to me...

Sandman & Sonofthunder et al - a Stormlight Archive reread would be cool, and at the pace Sanderson writes, it could pretty much keep going for a lot of years, if you didn't try to do too many chapters in each post. :) I only wish I had the wherewithal (primarily time, also credentials...) to do it; it would be a lot of fun! If someone else did it, I'd probably chime in, though. (But not if it was done by gbrell. Would have to be someone who actually likes it. ;P) For what it's worth, though, I'd probably recommend waiting to do a reread until the second book is out and the publication date for the third is announced. A single book might not quite provide enough to work with in terms of theorizing and development.
Jeremy Raiz
49. Jezdynamite
Based on what thistlepong, shalter, gbrell and many others have posted in NoW reread number 7 (especially thistlepong's entry at @39) - I'm testing out a theory.

Does anyone feel the same as me about these translations?

"Rhinta" is a "shaped man" (more than and less than a man, old things in the shape of men, the Ademre word for the Chandrian).

"Rhinata" is "shapes a man" - from the expression "Vorfelan Rhinata Morie" above the Archives door. (translated by Will as similar to "with desire knowledge shapes a man"). Vorfelan probably relates to "with desire" and Morie to "knowledge" (also used in the song name "En Faent Morie").

"Rhintae" is "one of the shaped men" - the skin dancer addresses K with "Te Rhintae?" (Are you one of the shaped men? - which is my own guess).

"Rhinna" (the panacea on the Cthaeh's tree) is "shaper of men" - where shaping relates to fixing or healing or curing.

This all implies that these 4 similar words (potentially in different languages) have the same or similar origin.

I'm not certain if this summary is an original post, but either way, I'd be interested in what you think?
50. olthar
@45+46 Love the tinker's fey connection.

One further interesting note. The tinkers are used as a story convention by the people of the 4c much in the same way that putting a tree in the background is used as a story convention by the fae. So far the stories that we've heard that involve the CTH when told from the Fae perspective have a tinker when told from the 4c perspective (e.g. Jax/Iax escelating/starting the creation war). Tinkers and the CTH also play the same role in the stories. Tinkers give people exactly what they need, the CTH tells people exactly what they (from the CTH's perspective) need to hear.

The difference seems to be that the tinkers seem to be a positive force while the CTH is a negative one. While it is possible that emblematically tinkers are the 4c version of the CTH in stories and the stories that are negative from Fae perspective are positive from 4c perspective, thereby accounting for the differences, I'm not sure I believe that. In the CTH speculation some mention was made of them being the same thing, but (probably rightfully so) there was little elaboration on the point because the opposite roles of the tinkers and CTH suggest opposition.

Therefore, maybe tinkers are the Sithe working to counteract the CTH's negative influence. Bast asked where the Sithe were when he went to the CTH. Maybe the answer was that he had met one months earlier who had tried to stop the meeting by giving him items that would prevent it. Maybe in some way the salt, tinderbox, and blade could have prevented him from going to Fae, but his use of them in other avenues meant he went anyway. Killing everyone who made it to the CTH seems like a very poor strategy for the Sithe anyway. If the CTH knows all futures, then it can direct the conversation in such a way as to prevent the Sithe from killing the person who goes there. Therefore, a preventative strategy seems like a much better way of reducing the CTH's influence. If the person never makes it to the CTH, then there is no potential for the CTH to influence the person.
Steven Halter
51. stevenhalter
@49:Yes, the various "Rhin"s seem related as ways of describing the humanity of a thing.
Steven Halter
52. stevenhalter
@45:The glamoured as a pack mule is a nice catch. Not sure how we didn't note that.
I think that may explain some Tinkers, but I think there is something deeper than even that going on with them.
John Graham
53. JohnPoint
@52 shalter -- Thanks. I agree that there is something more going on with them, perhaps as olthar says @50. We should also think about the times that we've seen Tinkers firsthand in the story:

1) on the way to Trebon. This is before Kvothe a) sees the Chandrian damage, b) kills the dracus, c) what else happens there that could be important?

2) In the Eld. This is before Kvothe a) sees Cinder again, b) destroys the bandit camp by calling lightning, c) goes into the Fae and meets the Cthaeh, d) learns the Ketan, obtains Caesura, etc. e) ...???....

3) In the Frame at the tavern. This is before a) the scrael, b) Chronicler arrives, c) the skin-dancer d) unknown events from D3?

Are there any other times that we directly see Tinkers? Not that I can think of off hand... anyone?

Something else that comes to mind: the oldest drinking song is "Tinker, Tanner." We have Tinkers, and we have Tanners (around Trebon and the one from Hillesborrow [i.e. Trebon] in the paragraph about the Chandrian that we discussed last week.) Perhaps Tinkers and Tanners together become important? It's certainly hiding in plain sight. Do we ever get the chorus to "Tinker, Tanner" anywhere? Not that I can think of off-hand. I always assumed that it was a reference to the butcher, the baker, and the candle-stick maker in our mythos, but then again...
Ashley Fox
54. A Fox
Re. spec + 50.

The CTH/Aleph dictnomy works really well. Classic opposition to beings who See so clearly the know the Name of all things. Aelph using this in congunction to apparently cause creation, though perhaps that is a ref to actualily creating/shaping 'things'-such as the folk of 4C and faen perhaps? The CTH seemingly using this Knowledge to sow chaos.
Good/Evil (though we know that dictonomy is being steadily subverted into grey)
Aelph last noted in the 4C/CTH in Faen.

The King pieces in the beautiful game?
55. Chimikh
I think that K will kill Ambrose but A will not already be a king he will still be like 3 or 4 position away from being a king but then the other persons die and we see that K has killed a King !
I cannot believe this kingkiller name to be a false one. But I think that it has to be more than one king killed so I think that he has killed the Maer before he opened the lockless box and now the Repentant King is Sim.

Concerning D I think that she is either Amyr associated or Chandrian associated. The 2nd one seems more plausible because she has most probably seen the Chandrian at the wedding. Then that's why she is looking our for him.

Tinkers can be Angels too because they give help to the one in need and they know what they need even if they don't know it themselves (they give them a choice of a path : the tinker's path easier and least painful, and their own path harder)

Lastly :
I don't know about the "for the greater good" of the Amyr ... Lanre burnt a city for the greater good didn't he ? He thought that it was better for everyone this way. And if Lelitos really became the Cthae then it would most likely mean that the worst things could be done for the greater good. So then I ask myself this : Aren't the Chandrian people that lost everything they ever cared for that can't die anymore and can only try to live without ever remembering who they were waiting for their death. (Which could explain why they would kill anyone that really talks about them)

Finally a question : Isn't K a Chandrian that modified his name so that he could live without his curse, because we can already think that he has lost the thing that he valued the most : his hands ? his power ? his love ? himself ?
Don't know what you think of it.
57. master
Finally a question : Isn't K a Chandrian that modified his name so that he could live without his curse, because we can already think that he has lost the thing that he valued the most : his hands ? his power ? his love ? himself ?
personally I think the way to become a chandrian is to change your name. thats why haliax didnt want to be called lanre anymore. at his core he was a different person (since a name describes you, changing your name would change your description) and as a different person he wanted to be called something else.

sorry for the double post, but for some reason part of my text wasnt showing.
58. PT
Kvothe and Denna's silence, I dont think its anything magical nor sinister.

I mean, think back to when you were anywhere between 16 and 21 and remember what is was like flirting with a girl you really liked, and who really liked you.
You'd talk for hours, leaping from topic to topic, laughing, screaming, teasing and scowling at each other and the world is perfect.
You're both flushed in the face, with heart racing and eyes sparkling.

And then you realize that the end of the date is in sight and everything you've said over the last few hours was stupid and rediculous and juvenile and you cant remember a single thing youve said. You realize that you've wasted your opportunity to tell them how you feel, to make them love you - bescause you need seven words to make her love you. Chemistry can not suffice!

And now you start to think, what are the seven words that will make her love me? My time is short, it must be now!
and while you hunt down those elusive words you grow silently awkward and the silence thrives on this abundant diet of awkward and this makes her feel awkward and it becomes a silence of two parts.
59. Chimikh
I only thought that because they were namers they used their real names so of course his real name changed when his wife died because she was a part of who he was (dunno if it makes much sense). I don't think that he modified it himself, which is way harder and dangerous because of what Elodin said.

Another thing crossed my mind : What if in the Skarpi's story he modified the fact that it wasn't Haliax that destroyed all those city but it was Tehlu himself to find Haliax and kill him. I mean Tehlu was like an Amyr in this story trying everything for the greater good. So what if he destroyed city for the greater good. I'm sure he has the will to do this. I mean all those city are full of awful people and he has to stop the worst ever : Haliax so what if they all die in the process ?
60. lulfas
It’s an elaborate and petty bit of mischief, and it’s kind of pointless in terms of reward for effort.

As a man, there isn't many things that can make your guts twist in dread than even thinking about receiving a letter like this, much less to actually read one. While he might not get to see the reward directly, Kvothe knows just how much this will distract, annoy, enrage, and worry Ambrose. Add in the whole heir to the throne bit, and it becomes even a bigger issue.

Huh, just came to me. I wonder how a bastard child of Ambrose's would play into the ranking to take the throne? Even just as a rumor, talk about a little extra bit of havoc.
61. rossamund
This is a long shot, but I'll throw it out there:

What if Haliax isn't Lanre? - or isn't just Lanre?

What if, when Lanre died, he somehow met up with Iax, and Haliax (note the iax) is a kind of hybrid between the two?

I'm on my 2nd re-read now, so I'm kind of fuzzy as to where Iax is supposed to be now ... seems like I remember he's in Fae, not dead ... but you never know.

Re: D and the knots: I'm so glad these posts were written before I got to those parts this time through!

But also - would those spools of Yllish knots in the Archives have some kind of power too? K doesn't say anything about it.
Ashley Fox
62. A Fox

Lanre turns after Lyra calls him back from the dead. At this time he, and his host, are fighting the great, pivotel, blac of drossen tor. It has been postulated that this is the ringstones of farieniel. Even so, Lanre fought to set the enemy beyound the doors of stone. I have postulated that the dragon like beast is a former manifestation of the CTH. The symbols of his power; the eyes-dark and changing, the dark breath that consumes men (paraleling the effect of the CTHs words), the darness within Haliax that Selitos makes visable-the drakness that changes powerless ('magic' speaking) Lanre into all powerful Haliax. Shapers were battling so great feats of magic, fire and lighting, would abound.

We have often wondered what happened there.

You raise a good point, in the question of where was Iax? He is infected with the CTH. After stealing the Moon we do not hear of him. A reasonable conjecture is that he is in Faen, Shaping there or perhaps acting as a general of 'the enemy', whther from Faen or on the frontline like Lanre. Either way, at the latest, he would have been part of the enemy set beyound the dos. (Surely if he had stayed in the mortal some sort of story of his later actions, would pervade ie the chandrian.)

So we have two worlds, a doorway between, a doorway to death, Lanre dying fighting the CTH, Iax also passing into Fae, Lyra call of Lanre's name keeping him tethered to her world.

The CTHs power is manifest as a great darkness, normally percieved through the eyes (the window to the soul?). Iax's actions benefit the CTH somehow, he is entralled of it's power.

The CTH is at least hurt, perhaps even dying (if such things can dye), its body slain and left in the mortal.

No energy is ever lost, only reused.

The doorway between different dimensions: mortal, faen, death. Iax who shaped Faen out of whole-cloth, a piece of power woven and Shaped. The CTHs desire to survive/further its plans. Always Lyra singing (its how they did it them days ;) )Lanre's name, a thether of power. Iax Shapes the CTHs power into Lanre, healing him, changing, the CTHs power infecting him. Lyra calls Lanre back, turned.

We view the CTH as somehow trapped in the tree, but what if he is diminished, waiting the long game. The Sithe are not gaurding a prisoner, they are monitering an enemy who goes nowhere, seeking to keep it's influence from further spreading.

I do not view Haliax as a literal merging of two people, but as a sucession of the CTHs influence. But is haliax fighting for, or against this power that has infected him? He did, after all, ask selitos for Death. He cautions the chandrian on cruelty and sticking to thir plan.

What does the CTH want. Its power back from Lanre? Ensuring the spread of its power is across both worlds? Power? It eats the butterflies that are manifestations of various Fae's power. If my theories on what Faen is made out of hold... incidently the rawest/most awake power in Faen is the dark used to make the shaed-dark. Does that imply that the CTHs power is almost as primordial. The dark that consumes, and the dark that creates.

Muhahaha. Ive just realised what this could be annoyingly boiled down to. The CTH horcruxed himself within Iax and Lanre.

Yllish Knots in the Archives-I have wondered if these contain the stories of what the Amyr wanted to destroy, perhaps even the stories/knowledge itself. What were they trying to surpress by invading. The countires who were not completely taken over are often more linked with Fae. The ceald even have a God whose name is similar to Aelph, the God who was God before the Amyr promoted the Tehlin faith. Amyr that would originally known the truth of things.

Was it knowledge of powers from the creation war? Was it knowlege of Faen, did they want everyone to just forget what had happened, that such a place even existed? That the people there were deomons and needed to be killed. The tehlin faith is an indoctrination into the attempt of genocide against the Faen peoples. Vengence of such magnitude that they want them to be wiped from memory. But if this was the 'good' side why would they wish to hide their greatest victory? Unless it was not a victory, and shame motivates them.

If they spoke to any of these questions they would hold much power. The theme of the power and changing nature of stories is personified in their potencial.
63. marcon89
I don't have the books in front of me, so I don't know where everything is:

In one scene, where Kvothe, Sim(?) and Manet talk to Denna about "Magic", she asks them about making things true by writing them down. The guys have never heard of something similar and Denna quickly changes subjects.

Kvothe assigns this power to Chronicler, when he starts his legend about the famous Chronicler as a "present" to Lochees in the frame story.

Denna definitely wants something from Master Ash very badly.

I think that the Yllish story knots are such a form of magic Denna either is learning from Master Ash or would like to possess. Kvothe being able to read the knots might somehow interfere with that.

It would be something you would have to see, even or especially when you can't read it.
Ashley Fox
64. A Fox
Or feel? Is K's sleeping mind now learning to read the carving on the Locleos Box in memory? We know his memory is excellent, learning songs after hearing them once re Ruh training.

If the knots weave names into the threads of the story, then a person's sleeping mind would read it easily. Malcraf & Teccams theories again. Even if their waking mind could not comphrend, their sleeping mind is already assimilating the the knowledge.

Elodin et al are teaching K how to access that mind.
65. Chimikh
@62 : I think that when K came back from the CTH Felurian checked him for any wound. It would mean that if K were wounded then he would have been infected by the CTH (it's not by its words that it infects people but by biting them?) So then when Lanre gets killed by the big monster (possibly possessed by CTH or the CTH itself) then he would have been infected.
Probably the same thing goes for Iax. And then it would mean that Iax and Haliax are following the CTH plan. And then IAX would mean Cthae or infected by the CTH ? Don't know just an hypothesis.
66. ListenBright
I love the idea that Iax and Lanre's names were mingled under the influence of the Cthaeh. Haliax could mean "half Iax" the drive of Lanre and the power of Iax. They both lost someone dear and view life as not worth living.

Jo: Are we going to have a speculative summary before or after the re-read of the last chapter? I want to write a lengthy summary of speculations, musing, and connections.
67. Outthere
There are plenty of theories about how K got the Kingkiller moniker, and most of them are pretty plausible. That being said here's a pretty implausible one:

Is it possible that K earned this name by killing/renaming/forgetting who he really was? If we assume that he really is Meluan's nephew then he may have a claim to the throne at some point in the future (assuming his mother's estrangement with the family didn't nullify that claim). From there its not a huge leap to think that K himself coined the term prior to "killing" himself.

If I remember correctly, both Meluan and the Maer were listed before Ambrose (or his father) in line of succession. I guess I'm not really on board with this, just thought it was an interesting possibility. Hopefully I'm not reposting someone elses theory, and if I am I apologize...
68. RedCanuck
A thought about D and her reaction to K calling her hair 'lovely'. Perhaps K has always been immune to what D was saying with her braids, thus when he calls her hair lovely, she initially thinks that he has fallen prey to her spell. K has complimented her many times before without her becoming unhappy, so maybe it's only because his compliment exactly matches what she was braiding.
Jo Walton
69. bluejo
Listen Bright: I'm not feeling as if there are any subjects we haven't already had summaries of and where it would be productive. What do you think would be a good idea? I'm not saying no, I'm genuinely asking.
70. Chimikh
@67 : If i'm not wrong : K is before Meluan but after the Maer in the line of succession because he is Meluan's big sister son. So it would mean that if the Maer died and Meluan too (now that she is married to the Maer) then he would be the next king in line.

@68: That's exactly what I thought when I read these lines, I mean if she was afraid to be discovered she would have tried to stop herself but I only think that she tried to test him by doing another knot later. So now that she knows her knot doesn't work on him she is more happy (or afraid) because it would mean that he really is in love with her. I don't know if she really want him to be in love with her, if she really is here to look after him and make a report then it would be quite a bother to have him in love with her.
71. ListenBright
Jo: I'm facinated by all the different possibilities, example D as the moon, D as the wind, D as the "real" hero, K as a new chandrian or new amyr, etc. I am not saying you should do it. I would like to distil the massive amount of insights in all these threads into a meta-summary. I don't think there is too much new insights, I'd just like to see a meta-summary for folks who don't want to read the 1000+ comments to get up to speed.
Steven Halter
72. stevenhalter
ListenBright@71:An index of ideas would be very useful. You can always create a forum section--like the imaginary linguistics link to.
73. ryan7273
@10 I had the same issue with the timeline.
“Even so,” Wil said. “Ambrose is sensible enough to avoid admissions this term.”
“What?” I asked, surprised. “He’s not going through admissions?”
“He is not,” Wilem said. “He left for home two days ago.”
“It would have been bad coming from anyone,” Sim said. “But it was worst from him. I was half convinced he’d somehow arranged to sink your ship.” He gave a sickly smile. “He waited until right before admissions before he broke the news to me. Needless to say, I pissed all over myself during my exam and spent another term as an E’lir.”
AMBROSE HAD BEEN BLESSEDLY absent during the winter term, but when spring arrived he came back to roost like some sort of hateful, migratory bird. By no coincidence, the day after he returned, I skipped all my classes and spent the entire day making myself a new gram.

Given these passages, I can believe that Ambrose came back after one term, stuck around for a term or two and left again for reasons of his own. This would cause the timeline to work. Either way, it kills the theory that the man who was late back to the ship was meeting with Ambrose. Maybe he was meeting with someone Ambrose paid? Really not enough information there to know anything for sure.

@43 Braiding hair does take a tremendous amount of time, but tying a few simple knots does not. It would not make sense for each word/letter to take much braiding to produce. A single word like "lovely" or a slightly longer "Don't speak to me." isn't going to be much of a braid. Something that short shouldn't take nearly as long as braiding hair for aesthetics.

@30 I agree completely regarding D's embarrassment. I don't know if the knots are the writing magic she was asking about, but either way they weren't meant to be read by anyone else. She did it for her own amusement. Imagine how embarrassed Kvothe would be someone caught him wearing "I'm Taborlin!" underwear.

Re subliminal messages: The braids cannot work this way. Very few people can read yllish knots. Subliminal only works if your brain already has knowledge to work from. Even if the sleeping mind were working on it behind the scenes, it would take a good deal more like magic for this to work. If the knots are magic then they would not be using the same method we would think of when we use the word subliminal.

@16-17 Yes. It is mentioned that in stories sometimes people go into fae and come back the next day having aged considerably while others come back years later having not aged at all. The same can be said of stories about fairyland in our world.

@25 Stanchion also has red hair. It is also attributed to being Yllish.
74. ryan7273
bah! It didn't see fit to keep the coloring I did on my previous post - making my quoting of the text hard to read. Why included a feature if you can't use it. |slightly annoyed|

“Even so,” Wil said. “Ambrose is sensible enough to avoid admissions this term.”
“What?” I asked, surprised. “He’s not going through admissions?”
“He is not,” Wilem said. “He left for home two days ago.”
“It would have been bad coming from anyone,” Sim said. “But it was worst from him. I was half convinced he’d somehow arranged to sink your ship.” He gave a sickly smile. “He waited until right before admissions before he broke the news to me. Needless to say, I pissed all over myself during my exam and spent another term as an E’lir.”
AMBROSE HAD BEEN BLESSEDLY absent during the winter term, but when spring arrived he came back to roost like some sort of hateful, migratory bird. By no coincidence, the day after he returned, I skipped all my classes and spent the entire day making myself a new gram.
Steven Halter
75. stevenhalter
The hair braids could work either entirely magically--seeing them causes the magic to work. Or, they could operate under the "Ur-language" principle (also basically magical). The Ur language idea is that there is an underlying "natural" language that humans would recognize and respond to. It could be used as a programming technique. Neal Stephenson makes use of this idea in "Snow Crash." The existence of Naming supports this somewhat as Naming could be thought of as utilyzing the root language of the universe. Thus, Yllish writing could be a method of transcribing the language of Naming into written format. Since Naming is fluid as the subject is fluid this would require a complex (and possibly) magical script. We saw in Kvothe's lessons that Yllish is quite complex and self reflexive.
76. Herelle
Just another thought struck me: "made of whole cloth" and "knots", I mean, there are different ways to weave something, but it does involve knots. Maybe the story knots are some kind of shaping, not only altering the perception of something that already happened or influencing the future, but really creating something (being beautiful, seen, due to the braid and on a larger scale a world/faen made from whole cloth).
Skip Ives
77. Skip
@63. marcon89 - that is from Chapter 18 of WMF, and I agree that I think Denna is at least thinking to use her hair braids as magic in a Yllish fashion.

@ bluejo said "He buys dresses for Auri, but doesn’t tell us what she gives him in the way of whimsical return gifts, which I think means the ones we do know about are relevant."

Taborlin the Great possessed both rings of magic and tools: a key, a coin, and a candle. This is back from Chapter 1 of TNotW. Auri has given Kvothe: a key (that unlocks the moon) in Chapter 53 of TNotW; a coin (unlike one he had ever seen, to keep him safe at night) in Chapter 68 of TNotW; a wooden ring (to keep secrets) in Chapter 87 of TNotW; and a candle (with happy dreams in it) in Chapter 11 of WMF.

So, Kvothe at the end of WMF has much of the same gear as Taborlin. The cloak with many pockets and the magic sword are there too.

Kvothe also has rings of stone, iron, amber, wood, and bone on one hand; and blood, air, ice, fire, and a nameless ring on the other (Chapter 2 WMF). The stone, iron, air, ice and fire all seem to be rings made by a Namer, like the ring Fela wears. Which hand you wear it on seems to indicate a level of mastery (Left for a namer, right for something more. See, Chapter 43 WMF.)

The wood and bone rings are most likely the ones from Stapes and Lady Lackless. Blood could be a name like the first set, but I like it better as a reference to his constantly bloody hands, and the reference to the Amyr and Ciridae. The amber ring Will wished for in Chapter 36 of WMF had the same power and it seems to be a trope, so I'm unsure if we'll see it in actuality. As the books are fond of pointing out, reality never gets in the way of a good story.

The last, nameless ring, I would like to think is the one that Auri gives Kvothe. It is keeping its name a secret, and maybe Kvothe's name as well.
Kévin Khataei
78. Chimikh
"Tick Tock goes the clock And all the years they fly Tick Tock and all too soon Your love will surely die
[i]Doctor, brave and good He turned away from violence When he understood The falling of the Silence"

The silence in 3 parts remember me of this ! The biggest silence of all is surely the silence of the dead. I mean K is probably already dead. He died and came back... But to stop his destiny and not to become a Chandrian he changed his name and everything, he sealed his name away. He is not the man everyone wants him to be because this man is already dead.
Or he probably hid himself behind the door of death. Kvothe is dead and not willing to return. So only Kote remains
I mean he already got so many of Taborlin's aspects so why not take an aspect of Lanre : He cannot die.
Ashley Fox
79. A Fox
Ambrose timeline: I had thought that he had returned to uni after a term, and so there for winter, but had left about the time K was leaving Ademre to travel to Renere and kill the Prince Heir in a duel, as is a hot topic of rumour in the Maer's court upon his return. The duelist is not named, and it is Bredon who tells K.

This is obviously conjecture but it seemed odd the duelist was not named, and to fit in with the Jakiss' plot, and with Ambrose's arrival after K at the Uni.

@75,76 ::agreement::

Amber rings. When Felurian is considering what to gift K, an amber ring is something she considers making before settling on the shaed. This gives the idea of an amber ring possibilities beyound an idiom. Power over demons. Perhaps this is power over Fae, or going along the other rings prhaps it protects from other Fae by placing the wearer under the givers protection. all sorts of possibilities there.
80. Trollfot
"Then, if someone saw the writing, even if they couldn't read it, it would be true for them." Could work even for someone who can't read knots.

Btw, no ambiguity in "sleeping under the wagon" song in my translation. Doesn't really tell anything of course. Perhaps PRotz just didn't mention it in his translators' forum, or it's not important enough to try and preserve.
thistle pong
81. thistlepong
There at the bar, I learned many things. Apparently, I owned a ring of amber which could force demons to obey me.
So, at least in terms of stories, he already has it. I'm with Skip on that one, except that it's actually a part of Kvothe's myth rather than just something will mentioned. Felurian doesn't mention a ring specifically; she says: "another I would gift with amber, bind a scabbard tight with glamour..."

I dunno if this has come up here before, but a poster elsewhere pulled something we appear to have overlooked in the Viari scene. Instead of focusing on Viari's ethnicity or his recognition of Kvothe's, he focuses on his hands. For folks hunting for Amyr:
His hand was solid as a rock, and his dark Cealdish complexion was tanned even darker than usual, highlighting a few pale scars that ran over his knuckles and up his arms.
He thinks these are tattoos or the remnants thereof, as they coincide directly with the placement described on the Ciridae.

And this is just entirely random. The Taborlin template follows the first few major arcana of the tarot. The fools steps over the precipice, the magician controls the wind... I need to take another look at the fragments, but I though maybe someone out there might be interested in the idea.
Camilo Caceres
82. DoomDuck
On my initial read, I definitely interpreted Denna's Yllish knots as her aforementioned "written magic" - though whether it works or not is still up in the air as far as I'm concerned.

The two uses in this chapter ("lovely" and "stop talking to me") both work on Kvothe, though one has to wonder if they worked because they were magic or because of Kvothe and Denna's pre-existing situation. We don't have any proof, however, that Denna hasn't been using these for some time, and managed to influence Kvothe without his knowing. It's only now that Kvothe can read Yllish that we know she puts them in her hair. I think she even braids them almost unconsciously/ habitually he same way some people crack their knuckles or fidget, so I think she does it quite a lot. She's described at various times as playing with her hair/ braiding which could have been her tying Yllish knots, too.

That said, some inconsistencies:
Why hasn't anyone else mentioned the magical properties of Yllish knots?
Why is it magical, and how does it work outside of our current magical framework?
Why do the knots Kvothe has studied not had any obvious magical effects?

And some curiosities:
It's mentioned that the knots are supposed to be read by touch, and that Kvothe is an exception of sorts due to he way he's learning Yllish. Does that make a difference?
How does this tie into the Lockless Box exactly?
Yllish is described as changing the noun based on the verb which changes based on the noun - sounds a bit like naming where each "word" in Yllish contains all the details that describe that word. What does a person's name in Yllish knots look like, I wonder?
How/ Why did the Yllish make this language? What do we know about the Yllish?

thistle pong
83. thistlepong
We know that Yll was ground to dust under the iron heel of the Aturan Empire which apparently considered a small island a significant target. We know that despite being devastated, a good portion of their cultural identity survived in a way that whatever previously existed in the Commonwealth did not. We know they developed the first (surviving) recorded language, but neither why or under what circumstances.

I imagine the off hand description of possessives and verb tenses is an artifact of the translation process for NW. Iirc, Finnish similarly transforms object and possessor. English has 12 tenses; Spanish up to twenty. It may be related to naming in the text, but it's not unheard of out here.

I tend to think that iff the braids are working, they work regardless of conscious reading. I expect a good portion of Denna's dismay is related to Kvothe's unusal ability to sight read a story knot.

I do think the braids affect the viewer. At this point we can only infer their effect on Kvothe. The converstation in this section clearly changes tenor with the alteration of her braids. We could excuse that due to Kvothe's obvious knowledge of what they're meant to say. However, if we take a look back at chapter 73 and the destructive conversation following Denn'a song, we see the same thing happen. Kvothe struggles with his reaction, but prior to Denna changing her braid, he's desperate and equivocal. Following the change he's verbally out of control.
...hardly knowing what I was saying anymore. Angry words poured from me like blood from a wound...
He's cruelly honest about what he thinks of Denna for perhaps te first and only time.

He may revisit the spools in the archives again, but when he found them he said he had no real hope of reading them. Denna's clever braids may simply be short and direct enough to be comprehensible with a passing familiarity. I don't think anyone else knows, or at least believes, that Yllish may have magical properties. Denna knows secrets even the University doesn't.

John Graham
84. JohnPoint
thistlepong @81, re Viari: That was definitely my interpretation of Viari's scars the last time I read that scene. It seems pretty clear that it's an allusion to Ciridae tattoos. It's also important to remember that Viari is about the only person who wears a sword around the University (and when he returns from Ademre, Kvothe notes that it would be unusual and frowned-upon to wear a sword around).
85. Trollfot
Braids: When K and D meet in Severen, she has one braid that she apparently forgot and is surprised to find. After this discussion I think it spelled out something but didn't work, or something.

Colour: Someone above quoted
His hand was solid as a rock, and his dark Cealdish complexion was tanned even darker than usual, highlighting a few pale scars that ran over his knuckles and up his arms.
More evidence the Cealds are Mediterranian dark rather than black, right? With the tanning and all.
thistle pong
86. thistlepong
@85 Not necessarily, particularly in light of Taylor's art. Dark skinned people tan, too. I'm still flummoxed by the resistance to black Celads, but que sera.
Jeremy Raiz
87. Jezdynamite

"I do think the braids affect the viewer. At this point we can only infer their effect on Kvothe. The converstation in this section clearly changes tenor with the alteration of her braids. We could excuse that due to Kvothe's obvious knowledge of what they're meant to say. However, if we take a look back at chapter 73 and the destructive conversation following Denn'a song, we see the same thing happen. Kvothe struggles with his reaction, but prior to Denna changing her braid, he's desperate and equivocal. Following the change he's verbally out of control.
...hardly knowing what I was saying anymore. Angry words poured from me like blood from a wound...
He's cruelly honest about what he thinks of Denna for perhaps te first and only time."


You peaked my interest with this. So I went back and read the chapter and I think I noticed a few things and I'd love to hear your thoughts:

1. Denna had three tied off braids in her hair when she met K before the lead in to her singing, during her singing and up until the middle of the argument with K.

2. I can imagine the braids saying something like: "Be honest with me", which is what I would want from someone before playing them my first ever song.

3. Every comment K says to D (until she changes her braids) is his honest opinion. He doesn't lose control, like you said, and he also uncharacteristically admits twice that D is "incredible" - which strikes me as his honest opnion.

4. Each of D's reactions to his comments seem consistent with someone who believes they are hearing the truth. She is shocked when K tells her that he thinks Lanre is a Chandrian, she stares at him for a long moment, and then she tries to makes sense of "K's belief that he's telling the truth" by incredulously telling him "what kind of a child are you?".

5. K only changes his mood once Denna changes her braids and he goes out of control. I can imagine the new braids meaning: "Be brutally honest with me."


I'm not sure if this has been raised before but..........

I wonder if Denna has a knack for tying (braids/Yllish story knots) and she is perfecting it with her patron. She first learns that her braids are magical from her patron.

Perhaps her patron met her one day, saw one of the braids woven into her hair, became intrigued by its similarity to a Yllish story knot, decided to introduce himself and then woos her when he realises how he can use her.

Up until her patron telling her that there is magic in her braids, she could be oblivious to her braids being magical. To confirm what her patron tells her about her magical braiding technique, it might explain why she'd look for confirmation from "K and his friends" about whether a written form of magic exists that "makes things true".

When she realises her braids are magical, naturally she'd trust her patron more since he revealed this to her. It also explains her proficiency with braids (her knack) without needing to study knots (or Yllish) for years.

Denna's knack could mean she doesn't have to understand Yllish. Just like a person who has a knack for opening locks doesn't need to understand what type of lock is being opened or how the lock is made. Or a person with a knack for plants doesn't need to know soil or fertilizer.

This could give credence to Cinder being her patron and what might attract someone like Cinder to Denna.

This also makes me wonder if Yllish story knots are Cinder's method for hiding his telltale signs (the Cthaeh said the Chandrian are practiced at hiding their telltale signs). Other than Yllish story knots, Glamourie or simple deception/disguise, have we seen any other forms of magic to hide a person's appearance?
88. Escher
Rereading the first book at the moment... Is there a chance that D's story about a stone refers to when she saw Kvothe and (the beautiful) Fela together at the Eolian? Up until that point, Kvothe hadn't seen D with any other suitors after Sovoy (although the assumed patron was met within that time period). Maybe that's when D felt like she had been thrown away.
thistle pong
89. thistlepong
@88 I like that. At the moment I'll take your word for it but I definitely wanna check that out for myself. I read through it the first time as though she were talking about Kvothe. It's nice to know there's a solid basis for that with the added clever wordplay since Fela knows the name of stone. Thanks.
90. Escher
@89 I was actually referring to that encounter being the point where D felt like Kvothe threw her away like a stone; I didn't even think of Fela possibly being the stone.
thistle pong
91. thistlepong
Oh. No, I totally understood and agreed that Denna was referring to herself. I meant it was narratively and literarily clever to have Denna's analogy be about stones if she felt passed over for Fela.
thistle pong
92. thistlepong
ye olde double poste
Felipe Martins
93. felipem
Reading previous comments on this thread (specialy @87) I just though of something: What other time do we see K being brutaly honest, with even less reason then when D sings her song? When he tells the Maer about the false Ruh, of course. No one can explain his reaction, it was plain stupid of him. The catch is that just before that, Meluan shows him the Leoclos Box. And carved on the box there is an Yllish symbol. Hmmmm...
Steven Halter
94. stevenhalter
felipem@93:That's a very interesting observation. Just what is written in Yllish on that box? That would completely explain that part.
95. Hamilton
I've been looking for a website such as this for awhile now, imagine my excitement! I have gone over every post from you guys and am absolutely enjoying it.

I, myself, had not even come close to fancying the idea that the Yllish knots D braids into her might actually be some sort of glamour. I'm intrigued!
While we're on the subject of D, when K races to Trebon, finds D, they both notice the Chandrian signs ( i.e; rusted metal, blue flames, etc..), when the realization came to K that the Chandrian were indeed there he recites a children's song to D, "Denna grew paler as she realized what I was implying. She nodded and chanted the chorus softly to herself

See a woman pale as snow?
Silent come and silent go.
What's their plan? What's their plan?
Chandrian. Chandrian.

Now I don't know about you guys but... who would be old enough to know about Yllish knots? Chandrian. Who do we all know that has pale skin and comes and goes without a word; silent come and silent go? D, perhaps? She definitely didn't seem as terrified as one might when they realize how close they had come to meeting the Chandrian. Something to think about...

And if that is the case, then all the Chandrian can't possibly be bad. D having saved a prostitute from being beaten in WMF. A mean, evil creature like a Chandrian wouldn't possibly do that, right?

On to the Chandrian, "Who keeps you safe from the Amyr? The singers? The Sithe? " - Haliax
Are they all one and the same? Was Lyra one of the Amyr, a singer, a Sithe? Why would all these factions hunt the Chandrian? So many questions!!

And now our favorite character, Kvothe/Kote.
What's in his chest that's so valuable he'd have it thrice locked?
@ SJN:
His eyes DO change colors like those of the Fae! I never thought of this! If he IS of the Fae, how'd that come to be? Never was there once mention of his parents eye colors changing. And being of the Fae, if they were, they'd know without a doubt that you don't discuss the Chandrian.
So where'd he get it?
Red hair, there was mention in WMF that in the past those with red hair were burned as demons, why is that? What relates red hair to demons? Red hair and color changing eyes, I'd like to say they're significantly connected somehow. More questions.

Finally, since I'm obviously rambling, the Scrael.
"The innkeeper frowned. " They can't have made it this far west yet," he said softly......
The innkeeper's eyes were distant. " Scrael," he said distractedly. "I'd thought the mountains..."

The mountains what? If they're of the Fae why is he acting like theyre from just over yonder?? Can something have happened as to where the Fae and the mortal realm might have gotten meshed together? What's going on there?

I need answers, STAT! ;)
Steven Halter
96. stevenhalter
Hamilton@95:Alas, no answers until D3. It seems likely that Kvothe opened something to the east of Newarre. Since our current (pretty firm) theory puts Newarre in Vintas, the mountains are most probably the Stormwall mountains. A path into the darker parts of Fae is possible or maybe into whereever it is that Iax was imprisoned beyond the doors of stone.
97. A_Capricornus
I've been thinking about the knots and Denna, and here reaction when she realises that Kvothe can read them..

Let's say she has always been doing this, at least as since Kvothe met her. Saying things like "Beautiful", "adore me" etc. And she thinks thats the only reason anybody would think anything about her?

In WMF ; "Denna finally untied the blue string and began to unfurl the braid, her quick fingers smoothing it back into her hair.“You didn’t have to do that,” I said. “I liked it better before.”“That’s rather the point, isn’t it?” She looked up at me, tilting her chin proudly as she shook out her hair. “There. What do you think now?”
“I think I’m afraid to give you any more compliments,” I said, not exactly sure what I’d done wrong."

Almost like he is supposed to only find her lovely because of the braid, and not because she IS lovely.
-And this is how she controls all the men in her life, so know that Kvothe can read it, he has taken away her control.. or something like that..

This has been mentioned in an earlyer tread, or maybe a later on (i havent been reading after dates) but; The Aleu fall nameless from the sky = Auri? Has there been anymore speculatuins about this?
She is nameless, and nobody knows where she comes from..
98. Hamilton
Auri has always been a big mystery to me but nothing at all gives any clue as to who she is. She's not from the University I would assume because Elodin doesn't know her. Having been there so long you'd assume he would.

What I find intriguing about her is that she knows the amyr as the Ciridae. She gives K all these gifts like those of Taborlin, keeps referring to K as her Ciridae. Who is she and how does she know so many things?

I was thinking of this earlier, kinda along the lines of a written magic. The story of Taborlin the Great, K has read this story, and somehow his life is falling into place like he was Taborlin himself. Auri gives him the key, the candle, the coin, he's got the sword, the cloak... what's going on with this? Was the tale of Taborlin prophetic perhaps? Could we somehow glean the future of K from Taborlin??
99. Hamilton
@97** lol
100. A_Capricornus
Just a thought, it just seems to me with the reaction
“There. What do you think now?”,
that he isn't supposed to find her lovely anymore..

And back in the NTW Bast is arguing that she isn't a perfect beauty, which K seem to think she is.. And the only thing he could think about her when he saw her at The Eolian was
(We dont know how her hair is then, because its not described)
So maybe he doesnt see her with clear eyes from that meeting, but did when on the road. which might indicate that she leard the braiding after their first meeting..
Ashley Fox
101. A Fox
Ive mentioned this before (somewhere) but will again as the discussion is picking up again, you guys can see where it fits in too your thinking.

K does not instanly recognise D for quite a few times he sees her after their first meeting. She is always a girl he notices, then realises it is D upon closer inspection. I cant remember when this changes...

D's hair is always described in simple styles; loose, or swept up. Braids or hair fiddling is not mentioned until AFTER she has wintered in Yll. Her desire for a written magic shows that either A) she has heard of yllish knots in a vague way or B) her patron tells her of them/sends her to learn them becuase she asks him the same q and this further ties her too him. One of the things she is earning on her own terms (that they dont teach at the precious uni :P)

Does her learning knots coincide with K instantly recognising her?

SPEC: Elodins comments of the danger of changing ones name, D always changes her given name-but does this go deeper? Is she seeking a way to reinforce her name? If she really is a Lackless (changling, centuary old post faen, or any other theory around her lacklessness) and has since 'lost' that name, is this the part that is missing from her Name? Do the knots lend her more reality?

Oh actually, perhaps if she is a Lackless of some variety she has heard family rumours associated with their history. The lackless box has Yllish knots on it. So maybe a garbled version of this-a written magic that makes something come true-has been told to her, and so she seeks it. In a similar way to how K was raised on stories of Tarbolin and so seeks Tarbolin the Great magic....
Steven Halter
102. stevenhalter
A Fox@101:If she has been "knotting" her hair for much of the time, then it could help explain why Kvothe doesn't always recognize her right away. The knots make her seem slighlty different depending on which ones she is doing.
She could have even been doing the knots prior to asking about magical writing--she might not have thought of it as a magical system or she might have been trying to see what the University folks knew about it.
David C
103. David_C
Shalter @ 37
they have more math than they really should. I mentioned manifolds as being out of place historically and slide rules being common enough to have a colloquial usage is out of place.
Is this a theory that mathematics (and the rest of human scientific development) is strictly linearly ordered and that therefore mathematics must develop in the same order as Terran European mathematics?

To me, it seems quite possible to develop logarithm computation algorithms early, and then the major obstacle to slide-rules becoming widespread would be technological. It’s perhaps surprising that digital computational devices (such as abacuses) don’t appear in the story. They require a lot less technological precision. Perhaps this is also unconscious Euro-centrism.
David C
104. David_C
old aggie @ 30

Re: the Yllish knots in her hair -
I had taken her embarrassment more simply: since she thought no one could understand them, she was essentially putting things in her hair like we would use monograms, or maybe a saying on a t-shirt. It's acceptable in our culture to wear a shirt emblazoned with "Awesome" or some such, because people take it tongue in cheek, but the four corners doesn't seem like that type of place IMO. So she was embarrassed.
My thoughts exactly.
Steven Halter
105. stevenhalter
David_C@103:Actually, my theory is that the current 4C is fallen from a more advanced state of knowledge. The time before the Creation War seems more advanced technologically, magically and probably mathematically. Thus, what we are seeing are pieces left over from the more complex knowledge.
106. Bubble Burster
@95 - I noticed the exact same thing about the verse of the Chandrian rhyme in Tarbean that you mentioned. However, I'm pretty sure that it's just a slightly different version of:
See a man without a face?
Move like ghosts from place to place.
What's their plan? What's their plan?
Chandrian. Chandrian.
If this is the case, then the "silent come and silent go" isn't really referring to the pale woman, per se, but of all the Chandrian. Kinda confusing. But if you take that out of the equation, it could refer to a bunch of characters in the story. If you want to keep it in, it would still also work for Auri, at least. Not that I think Auri's a Chandrian.

In the Adem poem, "the pale Alenta brings the blight." So whoever the heck she is, she makes the flowers die. Now, Rothfuss certainly likes his flower comparisons, and K+D cannot seem to have a single conversation that doesn't somehow involve plants of some variety, but there's not a hint of any flowery weirdness around her at all except that she has a big thing about roses, obviously. Having flowers mysteriously dying around D all the time would just be far too obvious, and the Chandrian can probably cover their signs somehow if they aren't actively using magic or whatever, but there would have to be something, wouldn't there?
107. Kurosymph
"The stones story is suspiciously obvious to me: it seems like Denna could just be talking cryptically about herself and Kvothe. But why the "stone" metaphor? If Denna is like a stone, but "knows the feel of motion" unlike most stones, then what is a normal stone? A normal person? If Kvothe is the boy, then what people is he throwing away? But that doesn't work, because the boy gives stones to the girl, and Kvothe gives no people to Denna, and the boy throws the girl "as he would a stone", which implies that stones are not, properly, people themselves. What is it that Denna has none of, and Kvothe has but is trying to get rid of, and shares with her? I just can't match the details of this story with actual facts." Ryanreich

Hi! The entire reread is awesome!
Well, remember Kvothe and Denna's before leaving the Maer's city? I really need to check it again, but he was making a distinction between light words secrets, and secrets of the heart, which are grave and painful and only get heavier with time, 'like a great river-smooth stone'.
What if Denna was saying, Kvothe (or some former flame) gave her words that were like stones, words who get heavier like a burden she has to carry, words who hurt a little... even so the girl from the story would find them tossed carelessly her way, in the same manner she would be thrown away from him.
Denna and Kvothe would use the same metaphor separately, granted, but it wouldn't be the first time.
Kate Hunter
108. KateH
Okay, a couple things just screamed at me from the text of this section, and I don't see that anyone has addressed them.

First, the magic wave. Pardon me, but WTF?!? How did he do this? Sympathy? Water is incredibly heavy, and he had no other source to draw on but his own body. He moved enough water to raise the height from D's knees to about her waist - that's a lot of water. He's standing in water, and soaking wet from head to toe, which would already make him cold. There's no mention of him getting chilled further if he's using sympathy to do that. This doesn't look like sympathy at all to me. This is something else, but I couldn't even speculate as to what. A candidate for one of the magics that Pat says hasn't yet been named, I'd guess.

Secondly, when D comes up from the water after being knocked over by the wave, K describes her as looking "three-days drowned." Pardon me, but WTF again! A corpse that drowned three days ago is one amazingly ugly thing. What in the world is going on here that K would describe D in those terms? That's just beyond bizarre.
Steven Halter
109. stevenhalter
I think he is just using hyperbole--D doesn't really look like a rotten, crab eaten corpse.
For the wave, he is standing in the water so he has lots of linkage to it. The water is a stream and so it is moving so he could possibly be using the motion of the stream to provide energy to a stream wave. He doesn't mention turning cold or anything so he isn't using his own energy.
Carla Huybert
110. Unimaginative1
I think it's simpler than that. D falls down because she is standing in moving water, on slippery stones, and tries to trun to get away from the water Kvothe is splashing towards her. No sympathy needed.
Kate Hunter
111. KateH
@Unimaginative1, 110 This explanation doesn't work. K & D are facing each other, talking. He teases her with a line about someone who forgets to look behind them. She turns in time to see the wave but not brace herself. So the wave is coming from the other side of D from K's perspective. It can't be water he's just splashing at her. Plus, you can't splash enough water to rise from knee to waist on anyone larger than a tiny child.

@stevenhalter, 109 Okay, then what energy is he using? If he pulled the energy from the water moving all around him, then the water should stop moving or at least slow down. But since any given bit of water is being pushed by all the water behind it, upstream, redirecting any part of that motion by means of sympathy would require enough energy to stop the water in that channel all the way back to the source(s), including overcoming any drop in elevation - a simply stupendous amount of energy. Sympathy is just "moneychanging" with energy, as D discussed with K, Wil, and Sim.

Maybe it's hyperbole, but I still think it's terribly weird that K says that about D. He never says anything less than admiring about her appearance.
John Graham
112. JohnPoint
@KateH re "the magic wave": Hmm, interesting. I hadn't thought of it as a magic wave before, but rather as Kvothe seriously drenching via a simple splashing. However, rereading that part just now, I think that you could be right and he is actually doing something magical. However, if he is, I think that it's just sympathy.

First, we don't actually know which direction the wave came from. The line is "She turned in time for the wave to hit her. It was only as high as her waist, but it was enough to unbalance her." Which doesn't indicate whether she turned to see the wave, or turned away and the wave hit her from behind. However, she was upstream of Kvothe (after falling in, the current carried her to him), so if the wave came from behind her, it was coming with the direction of the stream.

Second, water has a whole lot of heat energy in it, as Kvothe indicated when he took the water from the hotsprings in Haert. So, it wouldn't be that difficult to pull enough energy from it to move a small wave of water. Plus there is the kinetic energy of the entire stream moving. He was likely able to use a kinetic binding, and converted some of the motion of the water (downstream) into vertical (wave) motion. It seems relatively straightforward to me, and similar to the sympathetic lifts in Severen. I don't think that the water would necessarily stop/slow down, nor that he would have to redirect all the motion of all the water upstream. If anything, it would add to the energy that he has available to pull from.

Not sure on the "three-days drowned" line. I'd vote with hyperbole (as in, "she was really wet, her hair was all over her face, and she had an indignant look on her face.") Otherwise, I've got nothing...
thistle pong
113. thistlepong
First, the magic wave.
Sympathy. Parallell kinteic motion.
I grinned at her and pulled my hand out of the water.
The river's probably the source
Most people don’t understand how much heat water holds inside it.
Secondly, when D comes up from the water after being knocked over by the wave, K describes her as looking "three-days drowned."

Yah, that's messed up. I checked out uses of drowned in the text and it's never used to actually mean asphyxiated by water, always just wet. I read right past it every time and probably never will again.

My first thought is that Pat thought it, pardon the pun, flowed. It's purple. That's the callous interpretation.

Another, more generous, possibility is that his descriptions break somewhere in the text and just get darker and more lurid, culminating in something like that.
Kate Hunter
114. KateH
Okay, you've all convinced me that I'm looking too hard at this one. Maybe it was sympathy after all. The cold water threw me off. But you're right, even cool water still has a lot of heat stored in it by virtue of high thermal mass. It's a little odd that this hasn't come up before. The baths in Ademre made intuitive sense as a sympathetic source because they were hot. But any large body of water that isn't frozen solid would have a lot of heat to give up through a good link. That makes much more sense than the macro-kenetic energy of flowing water.
Kate Hunter
115. KateH
@thistlepong, #113
Another, more generous, possibility is that his descriptions break somewhere in the text and just get darker and more lurid, culminating in something like that.

So are we thinking that D's a Fae zombie now? She really died as an infant and was reanimated by the Cth? Her glamourie's starting to slip? :P
thistle pong
116. thistlepong
Whahuh? I mean, as long as we're being sarcastic, sure. Why not?

On the other hand, if you're really wondering what's up with the description, that's place to start. D's obviously Netalia Lackless, not a Fae zombie. And Pat has a weird habit of using uncomfortable imagery to describe wonen when he moves beyond just adjectives.
Kate Hunter
117. KateH
Sorry. If it wasn't clear: yes, that was sarcasm. Not aimed at you, but meant in jest. That said, it does still seem very odd to me. I don't have any good explanation though, so wildly absurd speculation seems as good a pastime as any.

118. Navi
@KateH. This entire passage is describing the playfulness between Kvothe and Denna throughout that day. Don't overthink it. :)

Kvothe bound the water in his hands to the water behind Denna. His Alar provided the direction and scope of the binding (this is a fantasy novel so let's assume it's perfectly possible). Since it's a perfect link, the amount of energy he needs is the same as the total sum of the water in his hands and the one behind Denna. If we put some numbers here, i.e. 1L of water in his hands and 20L of water behind Denna then the energy needed is the same as lifting 21L of water (that's 21 kg of mass).

"three days drowned" is just an expression. No different than saying to a girl "you are as lovely as morning sunlight" or "it's raining cats and dogs". The girl is definitely not burning at 4000 degree. There are no mammals falling from the sky (I did hear about raining frogs though). It's just our way, our pattern of speech, which infuses an element of drama towards an otherwise normal (boring) statement. It is certainly more dramatic than saying "Denna is very very wet".
119. deebee
I see the "three days drowned" expression as equivalent to "like a drowned rat"-something people use light-heartedly to describe anyone looking wet and bedraggled. I`ve never actually had a picture in my mind of the bloated corpse of a rat either, it's one of those cliches which has lost its literal visual imagery and replaced it with the images associated with its common usage. So hyperbole rather than simile.

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