May 10 2012 2:00pm

Rothfuss Reread: Speculative Summary 10: The Road To Newarre

Welcome to the last of the speculative summaries of my no moon left unturned reread of Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles. This post is about the things we think we know, and it contains extensive spoilers for all of The Wise Man’s Fear and The Name of the Wind — these discussions assume you’ve read all of both books. This 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.

So, while we’re waiting for Pat to answer our questions, not to mention finish writing D3, let’s consider the things we feel sure about. We’ve had a lot of speculations and a lot of crazy ideas in the course of this very close reading, but there are some things on which we pretty much have a consensus. (I could do a much longer post on things where we do not have a consensus and which we’d love to know!)

1) Meluan is Kvothe’s aunt. I first suggested this, on the grounds that we know his mother was a runaway noble and we know Meluan’s sister ran off with an Edema Ruh. Then Alekhia found absolute proof of it in the song:

It’s worth my life
To make my wife
Not tally a lot less...

“Not tally a lot less” = “Netalia Lackless”. I don’t think there’s any serious disagreement left on this one.

2) Newarre is in Vintas. GBrell really nailed this one down with absolutely masses of evidence:

Newarre is most likely in western Vintas, probably on the southern border of the Eld.

The first piece of evidence we have is Kvothe/Kote’s admission that the Scrael come from the east and his surprise that they’ve “made it this far west yet.” He “thought the mountains –“ presumably would have stopped them or slowed them down.

Looking at the map, we see that the only significant mountain ranges that could have held them back are the Stormwal mountains in the far east and possibly the Eastern Cealdish range. Mountains in the Commonwealth are on the western shore (and Newarre is clearly not a port community) and none in Yll appear to run north-south.

C12VT in Thread 1 pointed out this suggests a far western location, but I think that’s a slight overreaction. More likely is the idea that he’s decently west of a mountain range (or that the mountain range is westerly), rather than on the other side of the continent.

This leaves us with three countries that border a sizable mountain range: Ceald, Modeg and Vintas.

We can rule out Ceald because a) no one appears to be speaking Siaru (unless they all are and Kvothe isn’t mentioning it) and b) “grown Cealdish men don’t give away money. . . . They don’t even buy things if they can help it” (NotW, 223). This isn’t behavior we’ve noticed in Newarre. Also, I haven’t noticed any descriptions of the “ruddy complexion and dark hair and eyes” that characterizes a full-blooded Ceald (NotW, 226).

Here are the arguments for why it’s Vintas:

The smith’s prentice states that the “king’s coin” is not “a silver noble” but “a whole gold royal” (WMF, 18). The soldiers who attack Kvothe learns of his apparent wealth by asking to break a gold coin, a “whole royal.” (WMF, 891). This is confirmed to be Vintish coin when Kvothe discusses having “two gold royals, four silver nobles …” after being dismissed by the Maer (WMF, 927). We know that “beer is three shims and a private room costs copper,” but that doesn’t provide us with much as “shim” appears to be used generically to mean a small amount of money (NotW, 44).

Chronicler carries a “whole silver talent … in a jar of ink,” but he travels extensively and, as he noted, it’s more a “luck piece” (NotW, 20-21).

Next, Bast has on his shelf “[r]ings of horn and leather and woven grass” (WMF, 985). Coincidentally, those are the exact three examples used by Bredon to describe how the common folk (presumably of Vintas) use rings.  (WMF, 444). [...]

Now why I believe Newarre is on the Southern edge of the Eld.

This is going to be accomplished by a curious triangulation.

First, Kvothe, when he first meets Chronicler at the Inn, asks him, “How is the road to Tinue?” We know this is an idiomatic expression (NotW, 273), but Chronicler reaction is confusion, followed by “I wasn’t heading to Tinue.” This implies that they are currently somewhere close enough to Tinue for that expression to be literally askable.

Second, when Kvothe fakes having a bum knee in the beginning of NotW, he mentions that he got the “wound” “on my way through the Eld three summers ago. … It’s what made me give up the good life on the road” (NotW, 29). Counterpoint: the farmer that gives Kvothe a ride to Tarbean mentions “this side of the Eld” as an idiomatic expression, so the giant forest is well known.

Third, when Abenthy is talking to Arliden and Netalia, he asks them what the village-folk are afraid of. In Vintas, they reply “Fae” and “Draugar,” neither of which we’ve seen mentioned by the villagers in Newarre. They are scared of demons, however, much like the people of Trebon. According to Arliden, people in Atur are scared in demons.

So we’re looking for somewhere that’s in Vintas, near Atur, Tinue and the Eld, which gives us a small jutting of land south of the Eld, bordering the Small Kingdoms, but quite close to the Aturan Empire. It also is fairly west of the Stormwal Mountains.

I think this is absolutely conclusive, and nobody has argued with it since it was first proposed.

3) Susan Loyal noticed, when reading the section immediately after Kvothe’s troupe are killed:

In Chapter 19, Fingers and Strings, Kvothe says: “Make no mistake. I was not myself. At least I was not the same person I had been a span of days before.” I just read over this as metaphorical, because it’s such common usage to describe trauma and grief. It may be literal. Kvothe lists the gates in the mind that protect the mind from extreme pain: the gate of sleep, the gate of forgetting, the gate of madness, the gate of death. (In Skarpi’s story [...] Haliax says these gates are closed to him.) Kvothe says repeatedly, from the beginning of his time in the woods to the point in Tarbean where Skarpi is arrested, that his mind is sleeping. He also refers (it seems somewhat inconsistently) to things that are locked behind the gate of forgetting. His parents’ death and the Chandrian seem to be behind the gate of forgetting most of the time. Sometimes the memories rise, however. And then you have his recounting his troupe’s role in the Midwinter celebrations as if his memory was completely unaffected. This seems to me like some of the inconsistencies in the Kote/Kvothe split. His geographical location is one of the things behind the gate of forgetting, or so he says when he decides to find lute strings.

While we still have a lot of different theories about the whole Kote issue, I think we are pretty much in agreement that Susan’s right, it’s literal and not metaphorical, Kvothe went behind those doors in his mind, and that until Skarpi spoke his name and woke his waking mind, it was his sleeping mind that was in charge in the woods and in Tarbean.

4) Hands. Since Dr Food suggested that there’s something weird about Kote’s hands, it’s been really obvious, though I didn’t notice it before. I don’t think we’re agreed as to what or why, though we’ve spilled a lot of pixels on it, but I think it’s inarguable that something is up:

What I wanted to bring up was K’s hands. I’m concerned that he’s lost some of the function of his hands. He swears to Denna “by my good left hand” that he won’t attempt to uncover her patron. (He offers the right, she says she prefers the left.) Later, he swears to Meluan “By my hand, I will not speak of what I see to anyone.”

I wonder if Kvothe broke his vow to Denna and lost some function in his hands. Not all, obviously (he can make pie!), but maybe some sensation, proprioception, fine motor control. . . this would have a serious adverse effect on his lute skillz. When he’s trying to make a wreath of holly and stabs his thumb, it really doesn’t seem to hurt at all—it’s almost like he has to see the injury to know he’s injured. His reaction to this apparently minor setback is rather intense. (“All the laughter faded from his expression, and his eyes were hard and dark.”)

When Kvothe is examining the Lockless box, he feels the faint carving that he postulates may be Yllish story knots. Neither Alveron nor Meluan had noticed any carving. He explains “I have exceptionally sensitive hands—they’re necessary for my work” and he later clarifies this is for his music, as well as for his magic.

So, if something has happened to his hands (or to one hand) could that explain why “of course there is no music”?

and Trollfot adds an Amyr connection:

Kvothe bloodies his hand a lot. Auri washes him up in the Underthing and he cuts himself on purpose on that tree in the Ademre. Connection with thre Amyr and their bloody hands?

5) Which brings me nicely to 5, Lurking Canadian’s t-shirt theory:

I wonder if he isn’t already an Amyr. Not in the sense of secretly belonging to some secret society or something, but because he seems to have this compulsion to Do Good. He really isn’t moral in the usual sense (thinks nothing of lying, stealing and cheating) but then sometimes he decides some bad thing is his responsibility and he has to fix it. He’s nearly starving himself, but he feeds Auri. The dragon (not his dragon) is hopped up on goofballs (not his drug op), but he decides his his job to save Trebon (and feels guilty about the destruction it causes). When he saves the two girls in the next book, he makes sure to arrange marriages for them, then gives his horse to the one guy who broke his leg. It’s like he has this deep seated compulsion that always points him at The Right Thing, even though his conscious mind is kind of a scoundrel. In other words, he’s already somebody who will break any law or rule in the service of The Greater Good. He’s an Amyr. He just doesn’t have the T-shirt yet.

and Connor Sullivan:

this is probably a bad thing. Which is for example why the Duke of Gibea conversation cropped up in WMF: to Kvothe, chopping up people for the sake of medicine is, while unpleasant, totally justifiable; to others, there’s no excuse for such atrocities. The lines are clear between the do-gooders and everyone else. Leaving us to wonder what Good is going to end up making Kvothe do so much bad.

And of course, Auri finding Kvothe with bloody hands calls him her Ciridae and beyond reproach. We keep getting references to the Amyr being like knights of the Round Table, things kids want to be but adults know better, and then there’s the Duke of Gibea, and there’s Felurian saying there never were any human Amyr. There’s a lot we don’t know, but I think we agree that Kvothe is instinctively and automatically on the side of what he sees as The Greater Good.

6) I am absolutely sure from every single mention of opening things and lack of sense that between the events of the story and the events of the frame, Kvothe has opened something that would have been better left shut. We can argue about what, but I think it’s beyond doubt that this is the case.

7) Vorfelan Rhinata Morie this is written on the Archives. Wil translates this as “the desire for knowledge shapes a man, or something like that”. We’re sure that “fel” means “desire”, see Felurian. We’re sure that “rhinata” means man, see rhinta. And we know Temic is a language like Latin where word order isn’t relevant but word endings are, and Wil isn’t all that good at it. Shalter: 

When Wil says that Vorfelan Rhinata Morie means something like “The desire for knowledge shapes a man” and if we tag Vorfelan with “desire for knowledge” and Rhinata with man, then Morie would correspond to shapes. I couldn’t find a word anywhere that is used to signify a Shaper, but I wonder if we won’t find that whatever that word for Shaper is, corresponds fairly closely to Morie.
Then the inscription might be more like “With knowledge a man can Shape”.

Or “if you want to learn shaping, you’re at the right place”. This was Shalter, Thistlepong, Haleyal and Susan Loyal. Whatever it means, we’re sure it’s more than the obvious, and unlike Valeritas where we have no idea, we have ideas and we’re pretty sure they’re even going in the right direction.

8) Belanay is the district where the University and Imre are, it’s on the letter D sends and on the letter Kvothe sends Ambrose. It’s at one end of the Great Stone Road, and we know that Myr Tariniel was at the other end, in the mountains. It could however be Belen, the Underthing could be the ruins of Belen, a city from before the Creation War.

Further, TyranAmiros suggests that the one city that wasn’t destroyed was Tinusa, and is now Tinue, which is why people are always asking how the road there is. I think this is, if not proven, at least really solidly likely.

9) This isn’t exactly a thing, but it’s what has made this whole re-read possible. Ever since not getting the stories of the trial and the shipwreck, and even more since Felurian’s story about stealing the moon, I have felt sure that Rothfuss knows what he is doing and that it will all be clear later. Ryanreich said:

there are two books in one (well, six in three, anyway) and the apples and songs are windows into the second, hidden one.

I think all of us will endorse that. But that’s not a lot of actual conclusions is it, from a year’s worth of posts adn this amount of speculation! What have I overlooked?

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.

Travis B.
1. Travis B.
Thanks Jo! Another great well documented piece to add to the puzzle. Cannot wait for Pat's answers!
Katy Maziarz
2. ArtfulMagpie
I would add to #4, about hands...the 3-part silence sections always describe the third silence as being "in the hands" of the red-haired man in the inn...K. So one of the silences binding the Waystone is in K's hands. Whether this is simply because he no longer makes music with them or because of something more profound, we don't yet know...
Nathan Love
3. n8love
Thanks again for all of this, Jo. Regarding #8, I remember a general agreement that there must have been some sort of technological regression (stuff in the underthing, ever-burning lamps, ward stones, blades sharp forever, etc).

I'm ready for answers. I wonder if Pat found more than three or four questions he would even answer out of all of our blatant angle-shooting.
Travis B.
4. Faek
I don't remember if I've mentioned it before, but speaking of letters:

The letter to Ambrose at the end of the book is sent on a whim. It didn't make sense to me when I read it for Kvothe to be revengeful at this, and not in such a blatant way. Might this be a possible outcome?

The letter states that some women is with child, and Ambrose being the father. You can't make out who sent it. What if Ambrose comes to the conclusion that the girl is Denna? He has the money, means and mind to solve it by simply have her killed.

That would really mess up young Kvothe I think.
Alf Bishai
5. greyhood
The other things I can think of more fall into the category of Highly Likely. Bredon is Master Ash? K. is being used and will discover he's on the wrong side of Chandrian propaganda? Chronicler is up to something and Skarpi is part of it? The Waystone Inn has been modified for K.'s purposes? There's going to be a big reveal regarding the Yllish language - possibly K is going to learn it and read the spools or come into his own with naming/shaping, or something? Lorren is an Amyr?
Katy Maziarz
6. ArtfulMagpie
Also, regarding #7 and being slightly've said "rhinata" means man. I would say more specifically that "rhin" means man, being the common root of "rhinata," "rhinta," and possibly "rhinna." (Rhinna being the panacea blossoms of the tree in which the CTH lives....)
Travis B.
7. Dann_B
One thing i've noticed is that whenever Kvothe thinks about his parents, or there's a significant emotional moment for Kvothe when he really lays his soul bare, it's always about, or involves, his mother. E.g., when Auri finds him in his room after the plum bob; when the Cthaeh makes a direct reference to the things done to his mother; when he plays to Vashet in chapter 119; etc. It's tenuous, but it seems like the sort of subtle thing Pat might weave in. I'm wondering whether this is just underlining, or perhaps something more significant.
Travis B.
8. Rhintae
Why are we sure that rhinata means man? I proposed in that thread that Rhinta means Shaper. The skindancer asks, "Te rhintae?" This doesn't make much sense as "are you a man?" Asking if he is a shaper, however, would be important.

We know the Adem refer to the Chandrian as Rhinta, and that they think this is more accurate than "Chandrian" (seven). Again, this doesn't make much sense to say that calling them man is more accurate than calling them shapers.

Finally, we have the rhinna panacea from the Chteah. This is a fruit, not a man, but it does effect great change (i.e. shaping).

I don't think this changes much about our analysis of what "Vorfelen rhinata morie" means, but I think "morie" means man and "rhinata" means shaping.
Dave DeLong
9. davedelong
We can rule out Ceald because a) no one appears to be speaking Siaru (unless they all are and Kvothe isn’t mentioning it)
Also, when the posessed mercenary shows up in NotW Chp 88, this happens when the mercenary says:
"Aethin tseh cthystoi scthaiven vei."
"It's Siaru," Cob said knowingly. "Funny. He don't look like a shim."
Also, Kvothe asks if the mercenary speaks Aturan.

If Newarre were in Ceald, they'd all be speaking Siaru, and Cob wouldn't have suggested that the unknown language of the mercenary was the language they were all speaking. From Kvothe's question, it seems like their native language is Aturan.

Thus: Newarre is not in Ceald.
Lauren W
10. laurene135
@ 4.Faek
That certianly would be interesting and I wouldnt put it past Ambrose, but Bast said he met Denna two years before the frame story, so we know that if she did die, it was only very recently.
Katy Maziarz
11. ArtfulMagpie
"We know the Adem refer to the Chandrian as Rhinta, and that they think this is more accurate than "Chandrian" (seven). Again, this doesn't make much sense to say that calling them man is more accurate than calling them shapers."

But the Adem don't say that "Rhinta" means just plain "man." Shehyn describes a Rhinta as being "a man who is more than a man, yet less than a man." So perhaps adding -ta to the root rhin- makes it mean "un-man." Or "not-man." Or something similar. I could easily come up with possible man-related translations for all of the "rhin" words, really. "Rhinna" could translate to "man's cure," for example. "Te rhintae" could mean, "are you one of the un-men?" or "are you the correct man/man I want" or something like that, and it would make sense....
George Brell
12. gbrell

Thanks for the additional evidence. Although I've always read that statement from Cob as claiming more knowledge than he actually possesses.


I think I agree with Rhintae that the common "rhin" root probably refers to "shape" rather than "man." That would most likely make "Rhintae" = shaper (noun); "rhinta" = shaped (adjective that has become a noun); "rhinata" = shapes (verb). This still doesn't explain "rhinna." But it does if "Rhinta" denotes not just a shaper, but a specific kind of shaper ("master shaper," "shaper of worlds," etc.). "Rhinna" could then be "medicinal shaper."
Steven Halter
13. stevenhalter
I tend to go with "Rhin" being the man root with various modifiers as ArtfulMagpie mentioned.
The important part is that it definitely means something other than the innocuous phrase that Wil gives it and that something else involves having desire, knowledge and shaping.
Steven Halter
14. stevenhalter
I think we can agree that (much like us) Kvothe has no idea about what the greater politics involved in the world are in reality.
He knows that the Chandrian are real and that the Amyr are more than they seem to be in popular history.
He believes that the Chandrian are evil and that the Amyr must therefore be good as they seem to oppose them. This belief is based on rumour and shaky circumstantial evidence.
Steven Halter
15. stevenhalter
I think we can agree that the moon really does spend part of its time in Fae and part in the 4C world.
Travis B.
16. rakelly
Is it possible that Newarre is on the ancient Lockless lands?
Travis B.
17. kvothetheraven
Does anyone think that perhaps Kvothe is the last of the Ruh? Have we seen any other Ruh in his travels?The false troupe killed the real Ruh,the Chandrian killed Kvothe's troupe.....
Andrew Mason
18. AnotherAndrew
Well, (1) has been challenged, I think primarily by Thistlepong, on the grounds of Denna's very striking similarity to Meluan, which suggests that she may be the runaway sister. It seems to me that Laurian does indeed have to be the runaway sister, since otherwise the 'not tally a lot less' clue leads nowhere (and it's too obscure to be a deliberate red herring). But Denna's similarity does need to be explained. A Fox put forward the exciting idea that Denna may be the real child of Arliden and Laurian, and Kvothe a changeling of Fae origin. Since my comment on that thread seems to have sunk without trace I hope I may be forgiven for repeating it:

Might I suggest an amendment? Perhaps Kvothe is only half Fae, and his other parent is Yllish (hence the red hair).

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

(Update: there's also the fact that Deoch refers to him as 'a bit Fae about the edges' before he has been to Fae. This is the same phrase used later in the legendary version of the story about his meeting with Felurian.)

On the other hand, there's one big problem - his eyes. These (their colour, I think, not their changeableness) he says come from his mother, and certainly their being green with a gold ring is surprising enough that you'd think two people who had that feature were related. (Other green-eyed people: Mola, Elodin, Losine. I've no idea what to make of this.)
John Graham
19. JohnPoint
Jo, thanks again for the reread, it's been fantastic!

Andrew @18:
b. The fact that the book-collector - who is himself Ruh - initially assumes Kvothe is Yllish because of his red hair.
I think that it's a mistake to assume that Lorren's giller/scriv Viari is Ruh. He recognizes Kvothe as Ruh, mentions a few Ruh "passwords" (like "one family" and "i'd share news if I had time"), but that doesn't actually mean that he is Ruh himself, only that he's acquainted with the Ruh, and knows some of their culture. If he's well travelled and highly knowledgeable (perhaps a Namer, etc.), it's not unlikely that he would have that knowledge without being Ruh. Perhaps he travelled with them for awhile, or spent some time learning stories from a Ruh troupe (since he collects books/stories, it's certainly reasonable).

Otherwise, I think the speculation about Denna being the true daughter of Arliden and Laurian is intriguing . It would also explain part of Kvothe's fascination with her -- he sees the similarity to his mother (without realizing it), and is struck by it.
Ashley Fox
20. A Fox
This is how Sheyhn explains Rhinta:

"A man who is more than a man, yet less than a man"

"There are no such things as demons...But there are bad things in the world. Old things in the shape of men"

I do fall on the Shape tranlation, as it seems it is their shape that distinguishes them, not their similarity. It also makes more sense in other contexts re gbrell's points.

Curiosly shortly after K says:

"Shehyn, I have a great desire to know more of these Rhinta"

@16 if the above working out is correct, then its pretty certain.
Travis B.
21. Foxed
I'd like to again point out my theory that Kvothe's name isn't in the box. That's a bit too abstract for the story (I know, Shaping, but K is no Shaper). People have argued that it's not too abstract, but nobody's really argued over what I think is in the box:

His lute. That is, if Kvothe's name/identity/self is a SONG, he locked his lute, his precious lute, in the thrice locked box. Without his lute, he can't strum his Name. So when he splits his name in his mind, sealing his magic/skills away behind a gate of forgetting, he can't open the box again to get at his lute.

We've seen him play to bridge the gap between the Troupe episode and the Tarbean episode, and in Tarbean, we agree that he was sleeping. Until Skarpi called his Name.

Also, the Chandrian are Nazguls, the Amyr are Rangers, and you're welcome.
Skip Ives
22. Skip
@21 Not that I am completely sold on the theory, but here are some quotes to support you.

"My lute. My tangible soul" WMF CH.6

"And all the while burning inside me was the song, the song, the song." NotW Ch. 54

There are more, I'll add them when I have more time.
Andrew Mason
23. AnotherAndrew
JohnPoint: To me 'One family' sounds like a password that that Ruh
use with one another, so that for an outsider to use it would be
cheating. Of course, since he's Cealdish by birth he would have to be
Ruh by adoption (not necessarily his own: perhaps his parents'). But we
know that a lot of people are.
Justin Levitt
24. TyranAmiros
Great summary of the facts and theories so far! I'll just add that if "morie" is "knowledge", there's a play on words with the mythological Moirae, the fates. Since it's Kvothe's search for knowledge that leads to his fate, I think this might be intentional.

One random question--what sort of music do you think Kvothe plays? What would be its real world equivalent?
Ashley Fox
25. A Fox
Theres a song with Something Morie as the title...soz for being vague! Seem to recall its a sad song...
Katy Maziarz
26. ArtfulMagpie
"Theres a song with Something Morie as the title...soz for being vague! Seem to recall its a sad song..."

"En Faeant Morie." :-)
Steven Halter
27. stevenhalter
A Fox@25: The song is "En Faeant Morie". Kvothe describes it as stirring, but not much else.
Felipe Martins
28. felipem
I'd like to point out that Kvothe doesn't realy care that much for one lute, it's not like it's unique. If you're right, it'd be much easier for him to buy a new lute from a traveler and playing it, instead of opening the thrice-locked-chest.
Alf Bishai
29. greyhood
@20 Shehyn, I have a great desire to know more of these Rhinta"

Wow! What a catch! What if this is the direct translation of vorfelan morie rhinata? Or how could shape fit in?
Julia Mason
30. DrFood
Denna looks like Meluan?

They are both described as having pale skin and lips "red without the benefit of any paint." However, Meluan has chestnut hair (dark red!) that is "artfully curled" and Denna has dark hair that falls perfectly straight, such that the tip of her ear will pierce the smoothness of it if she tilts her head.

Hmmm. They both have dark eyes, I believe. Still, my mental pictures of the two women are worlds apart, probably because I'm projecting big curls onto Meluan's dark red hair and Denna's thinner straight hair is so different from that in my mind's eye.
Jeremy Raiz
31. Jezdynamite
I was just about to write exactly what you wrote about the lute. You took the words right off the tips of my fingers. Even if K is in hiding, I'm fairly certain he could find a way to buy a lute somewhere (or get someone to buy one for him) without giving away his identity to onlookers.

On the other hand, being heard playing any lute (and him being a master lutist) would surely mark him as Kvothe, rather Kote. And this fear would stop him buying any instrument, which lends credibility to the lute being one object in his Roah chest.

I'm fairly sure that thistlepong found "matching pieces of text" in the books (nearly word-for-word) that makes people think D looks very similar to Meluan. Does anyone have the comparison handy?

What about for general consensus:
"Viari is an Amyr."
Based on:
- wearing swords on university grounds and (I think also) in the archives (without being forced to remove them by Lorren)
- the scars on the backs of his hands that discolor his Cealdish skin
Andrew Mason
32. AnotherAndrew
Here we go:
Her hair was arranged to display her elegant neck to good effect, revealing the emerald teardrop earrings and matching necklace at her throat. Her lips, as always, were red without the aid of any paint. I looked into the deep brown of her eyes.
She was dressed in grey and lavender, and her curling chestnut hair was pulled back to reveal her elegant neck. Her mouth was full and red without the benefit of any paint. Her dark brown eyes were gravely serious.
The first is Denna. The second is Meluan.
Katy Maziarz
33. ArtfulMagpie
However, Meluan has chestnut hair (dark red!) that is "artfully curled" and Denna has dark hair that falls perfectly straight, such that the tip of her ear will pierce the smoothness of it if she tilts her head.

Two things here...I don't see "chestnut hair" and picture "red." I picture "rich glossy medium brown." It may have red or gold undertones, but is basically more brown than anything. Also, to me, "artfully curled" implies that it has been artificially curled and then arranged (as by someone with straight hair) rather than that it is naturally curly... :-)
Julia Mason
34. DrFood
Another Andrew: thanks for the quotes! I should have just kept refreshing this page instead of searching through all of Thistlepong's posts. Oh well, I've now learned that I have NOT read every comment, as I said before, because the arguments on WMF part 25 went on, and on, and on. . . .

So, we have elegant necks, red lips and dark eyes. I dunno, how else do you comment on a neck? Graceful, I suppose. I maintain that the most common meaning of "chestnut" as a hair color is reddish brown. Think Felicia Day, although perhaps that goes by auburn. I hadn't thought much about words for red hair until I went to England in 1987 and was told that my own hair color was "ginger.". Since then, I've paid a bit of attention.

I see the fact that Meluan and Kvothe both have the red hair mutation (hers overlying brown hair and brown eyes, his overlying pale hair and green eyes) as more subtle hints about their family relation.
Ashley Fox
35. A Fox
Dont know how this will hold up, but...

Valeritas seems to be Tema (or Temic) which is modeled after Latin.

Emeritus means professors (or sometimes soldiers) who have honourably retired. Emerei: earn, obtained by service, merit. itus being past tense and plural.

Valere means to be of worth.

So perhaps Valeritus means 'those who were of worth'.

(Puts a dint in the theory that Iax is behind the four plate door ...or does it? ;P )

EDIT my Latin was never great, and as grown rustier. So I think 'itus' is actually an active plural

'Those who are worthy'

Which corresponds with students knowing of the door, but not what it contains, and Elodin awknowedging that it exists when K is promoted. This leads me to think that once a student reaches a certain level they become worthy of knowing more. What level? Gilthe? Master? Is this general, or specifically Naming? Is what is behind the door knowledge for those who are worthy, or the resting place of those who are worthy? Are these people former masters etc or yet older still? Teccam?
thistle pong
36. thistlepong
I would add to #4, about hands...the 3-part silence sections always describe the third silence as being "in the hands" of the red-haired man in the inn...K.
I don't recall anyone pointing that out, which makes you pretty damn cool.

Rhinata/Rhintae/Rhinna/Rhinta and Vorfelan Rhinata Morie

I'm betting Morie, like in the song, is more related to desire, Vorfelan to knowledge, and Rhinata to shaping a man.


I'll just reiterate that I was a pretty solid Laurian Lackless booster for most of the year. I don't know that something that Alekhia posted on multiple forums days after the book came out is incredibly obscure, but I can appreciate that it's not obvious. The theory follows all the classic plots, is supported by the text, and could technically be a subversion if the missing heir actually creates his own royalty by assassinating the current monarch, &c.

I also poopooed the Denna is Netalia theory early on precisely because there was no evidence for it, particularly in the face of the above. After all this time, it's hard to take Kvothe as the missing heir seriously. Pat's comments about messing with epic fantasy, the stories he mentions repeatedly that hinge on misunderstanding and tragedy, and in text suggestions that the story isn't going there seasoned with restless rereading encouraged another look at Denna.

Three identitcal descriptors with the woman at the center of the story are something careful readers shouldn't ignore. Sure, we could dismiss it like DrFood does, but folks frequently bring up other more tenuous physical similarities in other characters. The description of lips alone should be enough a flag to at least call it a red herring, while all three plus unknown ages for Meluan and Netalia should set up dueling herrings. One dies on Day 3, hopefully.

For the record I'll be satisfied with either, or neither.

Indeed, I though I'd engaged Andrew's theory about a half Faen protagonist at the time. It'd be artful if one of the rumors he admits is entirely false is somehow partly true. I just tend to think Laurian would be the Faen parent, what with the inconstant green gold eyes. I never got the impression either Arliden or Laurian was Yllish or even slightly related. Netiher of them knew the language nor did they teach even a word to Kvothe. Plus, that frees up Netalia's identity...

Oh dear. That went on. Viari isn't Ruh. Kvothe, the folks in Kvothe's stories, and even the impersonators refer to the Ruh with possessive pronouns: your family, my family, our family. Viari refers to the family. He is, as Wil says, something entirely different from a scriv. Not only is he the most likely Amyr, but he knows a Yllish and travels the world for a living. I'd love to read his story as much as I'd love to know what happened on Shep's farm. I sort of regret not asking what happened on Shep's farm.

A Fox@35
You know, that along with Fela's dream about the old dead king finally made me believe Iax could be behind it. I still don't think it makes a lot of sense if Elodin's implying Kvothe could eventually earn the right to see what's inside, though. Seems awful dangerous even for trusted Gil'the who know how to behave themselves.

Valaritas has been cast as an initiation. Masters will acknowledge it exists to Re'lar. Puppet implies it is of no concern to students. That definitely implies a graduation.
Travis B.
37. Mirasol
TyranAmiros@24 re: Real world music. There is a song by Roddy Woomble called "If I could Name any Name" that always makes me think of Kvothe :) The album it's from is even called "My Secret is My Silence" !
Travis B.
38. nae77blis77
@36 and the other Denna/Lackless fans.

If I am not mistaken wasn't the run away Lackless in line for the throne before Meluan? Thus making her the older sibling. Unless Denna is older the Meluan I don't think it holds much water. Though she still, of course, could be another illegitimate offshoot off the lackless family tree.
Jo Walton
39. bluejo
D is Kvothe's age, approximately. She can't be Meluan's missing older sister. Nor has she any knowledge of Ruh customs, as anyone who had been seduced by one ought to have. Nor does the Bechdel scene support this reading. She could, however, be related to the Lacklesses. I agree the description is suggestive. I was trying to imagine a way in which she could be Kvothe's sister, which would be appropriately tragic, and I just found out that in parts of the US first-cousin romance is considered incest. Interesting...

I don't think Kvothe being Meluan's nephew makes him a lost heir to anything, necessarily. And we know that he has faked his death and disappeared to become an innkeeper, not been recognised as the One True King -- and the Lacklesses are not in any case kings, they are nobility. I don't think it would get him much. "Gosh, you're the nephew of the wife of the second most important noble in Vintas, that must be nice."
However, I concede from the discussion here that this is not as agreed upon as I had thought.
thistle pong
40. thistlepong
I think, despite my relatively mild protestations, that you could still consider it agreed upon.

The text doesn't explicitly say Netalia was an elder sister. The information's broken up among multiple sources. We assume that "eldest heir forsakes all family responsibilty" is the same as "young Netalia Lackless had run away..." But really, in the latter her parents disown her rather than her forsaking anything.

I assume if he'd wanted a particular interpretation, he might have been less ambiguous. It's a lot like how he answers most questions about Auri: "If I wanted you to know more about her, I would have told you."
Steven Halter
41. stevenhalter
Yeah, PR is being all sorts of coy with us. He's planted multiple red herrings and then painted them blue. And then some back red.
I like Netalia as Lackless for the various reasons listed. Since there are lots of Lackless branches out there, it is always possible for Denna to be related in some way.
@Jo (have you been reading the Making Light thread perchance?). The myth of demented banjo playing inbreeding back country folk is fairly deeply rooted in American folklore. A hefty percentage in the US are affronted at the thought of first cousins marrying and don't understand there are vanishingly small problems with it from a genetic standpoint.
Andrew Mason
42. AnotherAndrew
Oh gosh. OK, a few points about the Denna/Meluan/Laurian thing.

1. No matter who his mother is, Kvothe isn't an heir under most rules, since his parents weren't married. That's not to say he couldn't possibly inherit; there are historical precedents for illegitimate children inheriting thrones and lordships when no other heir is available (e.g. William the Bastard, Duke of Normandy, better known as William the Conqueror), but it wouldn't be automatic.

2. We're told that Netalia's running away left Meluan as sole heir; a possible reading of this is that previously they were joint heirs (in which case Netalia could be younger). There are lots of precedents for this; it was for a long time English law that there was no primogeniture among women, so that if a nobleman had daughters but not sons, his estates were divided between them. (Of course, we have hardly any idea what the law of inheritance in Vintas is actually like; but it's dangerous to take a particular pattern and assume it applies everywhere; historically it has varied a lot.)

3. Denna could be older than Meluan, in the sense of 'born earlier', if she has spent a lot a time in the Fae. (Indeed, I think some people have hypothesised that she's a lot older still - two hundred years older, or the like.)

4. That said, I still think the Netalia/Laurian identification is the right one - it's not just 'not tally a lot less', but that a couple of lines earlier Arliden actually calls her 'Tally', as a name.

5. Regarding the similarity between Denna and Meluan; the question is not how likely it is two people described in such terms would be related (to which the answer is presumably not very; lots of people have red lips and dark eyes, and I guess quite a few of them have elegant necks). It's how likely it is that someone would use those same words to describe them if he didn't, perhaps unconsciously, see them as similar. How often do we comment on people's necks at all? And he also mentions the jaw as something notable in both cases.

6. But I'm beginning to wonder if the Denna/Meluan thing may after all be a red herring. Consider the order in which things happen. Kvothe meets Meluan, and strongly feels he has seen her before, but can't think where. He describes her in language that recalls Denna. Perhaps we are meant to think that this point 'Ah, Denna!'. Then we are told about her sister running away with a troupe, and the name 'Netalia' is mentioned, and if we are very clever we may notice the connection with Arliden's song, and draw the conclusion that it is not after all Denna whom she reminds Kvothe of, but his mother. Unfortunately, we had been alerted to the (hypothetically) correct solution before we reached the red herring, so never ran up the garden path designed for us. Perhaps.

Though the possibility that all three are related certainly remains.
Steven Halter
43. stevenhalter
Here's a thought. What form will the opening and closing parts of D3 take? I will speculate that D3 will begin with a silence like D1 & D2.
Will D3 end with silence? I'm not sure about that at all. It would be nicely symmetrical to end in silence, but it could also be a nice breaking of symmetry (and possibly leading to eucatastrophe) to end with an explosion of sound.
thistle pong
44. thistlepong
Andrew, that post makes me long for a "like" option. Well thought, coherent, considered, and acknowledging the evidence on both sides despite a personal stake in one. Bravo.

Shalter, I think it'll end with silence. Specifically the third silence in the hands of Kvothe. Magpie's post has really gotten to me. I think we'll understand what is so terrible it must be thus contained. I thinly it'd work in a catastrophic, eucatastrophic, triumphal, or tragic ending. Even if he pulled himself together and
Steven Halter
45. stevenhalter
thistlepong, My guess is that it will end with a silence, but I can see how it could work out with an opposite.
Like the ringing final chord from "A Day In the Life", the final part could be a drawn out sound implying completion rather than a final silence implying ...
Travis B.
46. mr. awesome
A Fox@35

I would phrase it as "Those who were once worthy" or something similar, implying that the people behind the door were traitors of some sort. Valaritas also sounds like Valor, so maybe it's about fallen heroes.

Also, I feel like it would be weird if there were living people behind the door. You don't build a prison inside a library or a library around a prison. It seems more probable that there are artifacts or ancient lore or something else inside, which has something to do with "those who were worthy". The idea that there is a secret prison holding immortal super powerful creatures in the middle of a school is a pretty weird one.
Ryan Reich
47. ryanreich
@shalter (41): One instance of cousin-cousin marriage may not be a big deal, but as a habit, it can get bad. Take a look at that family tree... I say this as one whose paternal grandparents are second cousins; nonetheless, the idea bothers me. Incest taboos are based around emotional family rather than physical anyway; it's just as discouraged to marry an adopted sibling as a real one. I've never actually heard of anywhere (in the US) that doesn't consider first-cousin marriages incest, probably for this reason.
thistle pong
48. thistlepong
Ryan, technically a majority of the US allows first cousins to marry. And it's legal in Canada and Europe.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
49. tnh
Ryan, Patrick Nielsen Hayden recently posted a long entry about this at Making Light. I recommend reading the comment thread as well.

Charles II of Spain wasn't a product of simple cousin marriage. The Habsburgs had been marrying cousins to cousins -- and, more significantly, nieces to uncles -- for generations. I've seen more than one source that said that when you calculate the cumulative amount of consanguinity in his lineage, it's the equivalent of full siblings marrying. there's more inbreeding than you would get from full siblings marrying.

(I should have checked before posting. It was worse than I remembered.)

Logically, what the eugenicists should have been trying to abolish was hereditary wealth and power, since it's a social pattern that's actually been shown to cause toxic levels of inbreeding.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
50. tnh
By the bye, does anyone else read "Newarre" as "N E warre", i.e. as "anywhere"?

Just checking.
Jo Walton
51. bluejo
TNH: It's both "anywhere" and "nowhere" -- there's a direct joke in the text about being in "the middle of Newarre". And it's not on the map.

But it's neither anywhere nor nowhere, it's in eastern Vintas, as demonstrated so ably by Re'lar GBrell above.
Travis B.
52. Spirit Theif
If Kvothe is part Fae, I think Arliden is more likely to be the Faen parent. It would parallel the story of Illien being in Fae, and make more sense. It was Arliden that found Laurian on some dark road and seduced her, IIRC. She's (probably) the human daughter of the Lacklesses, she is met by a mysterious man on a moonless night, then BAM! Half fae Kvothe. If that's correct. It makes up for the Faeness about Kvothe, and could explain the eyes, if Laurian's are just plain, unchaning green.

Also, about a name being locked in the thrice locked chest. Personally I think this is most likely. It would be a great parallel for Ludis being locked in the box, or Iax being behind the doors, his name trapped. Not sure if it would be Kvothe's name, though it'd be a great Chandrian parallel, especially if the Chandrian's sign is what they loved the most. Some one speculated that their signs were what they loved being taken from them (blight would be a gardener, ect). So kvothe's hands are taken away with the alteratoin of his name.
Ryan Reich
53. ryanreich
I don't think any of my other comments have gotten that much immediate response!
Christopher Johnstone
54. CPJ
@ 52. Spirit Thief

That was my suggestion way back when. I still think it's a strong possibility. It could be that Kvothe is 'Chandrian' in the frame story through some (rather foolish) action, such as killing one of the Chandrian (and taking his or her place) or unlocking some power, and that the price is the loss of that he most loves. Thus, silence in his hands is his 'sign'.

I was also wondering whether anyone had thought about how Denna changes her name for different people, and how she appears to have named herself 'addictive' as far as Kvothe is concerned. I'm drawing this from Denna / Denner / Dennerling / denna-leyan (fae that behaves as if it were on Denner?), and the full phrase 'denner resin', which seems to imply denner means either 'additictive' or 'drug' or similar, but probably doesn't mean 'resin' exactly unless the meaning has vanished and 'resin resin' is what it is called now, in a fashion I guess.

I'm thinking about how early in Name of the Wind, I think on Denna's a and Kvothe's second meeting, Denna appears to debate internally whether 'Denna' will be the right name for Kvothe, then settles on it.

It's lead me to wonder if Denna was (even back then) an unconcious namer in the same way that Kvothe seems to have been an unconcious music-mediated namer when he was alone with his lute.

Anyway, just thoughts.

At one point I was also planning on trying to pull together the various 'mythical' faerie things mentioned in both books to see if there were any patterns. I can quickly put something together now, but it won't be very deep for lack of time.

We have:

'Then he started gathering old faerie-stories too, legends about bogies and shamble-men.' TNotW

'A ghost wants revenge, a demon wants your soul, a shamble-man is hungry and cold.' TNotW

'Sim here studies faeries and piksies. Wil there believes in all manner of silly damn Cealdish sky spirits and such... "I'm big on imps and shamble-men myself.' TNotW

'ogres, trow and dennerlings' WMF

'The were four chapters on demons' WMF

'There were pages on the shamble-men, rendlings and the trow. The author recorded songs about the grey ladies and white riders. A lengthy section on barrow draugar.'

There'll be a few others in there I've missed no doubt, but pulling these together we have:
- Demons
- Ghosts
- Bogies
- Shamble-men
- Faeries (Fae)
- Piksies
- Cealdish sky spirits
- Imps
- Ogres
- Trow
- Dennerlings
- Rendlings
- Grey ladies
- White riders
- Draugar (in connection with barrows)

A few of these strike me as throw-away names that appear only once or twice, in particular I think bogies, piksies, ogre and imp fall into this category. For completeness, bogies is English and is derived from boo/bug/bwca (probably) and just means a frightening goblin or ghost. Piksie is an alternative spelling of pixie. Ogre is a confused word that is probably Italian in distant origin and may be related to Orc(o). Imp is from implet, a broken off branch, and the meaning is 'a branch broken from the devil'.

None of these strike me as important in the world of Four Corners, though I could be wrong of course.

Ghosts are interesting. They appear in stories a lot, but there is no convincing evidence that ghosts actually exist in Four Corners.

Shamble-men, Dennerling and Draugar are mentioned repeatedly. All three could be local glosses for skindancer. Shamble-men are cold and hungry, and presumably shamble and look like men. By inference, Dennerlings act like they are high on Denner and one of the inn patrons thinks that the thing that was sort of like a Skindancer might have been a man high on Denner. Draugar is an Anglicization of Draugr, reanimated corpses in Norse folk legend. Draugr were sometimes drowned men returned, sometimes sorcerers returned, but not very closely associated with barrows in actual folklore so far as I know. Anyway, they were hugely bloated blue- and black-skinned corpses shambling around, often cold and hungry (and wet if drowned). In some later stories they are presented as a comical nuissance for a hero to get rid of. In earlier stories they are clearly terrifying and difficult to kill (in one story a Draugr is 'killed' by breaking its back, weighting it with a stone and dropping it into the sea). Sounds like a skindancer perhaps?

Rendlings are possibly another term for skindancers (or something similar). The meaning seems to be 'a rending thing'.

Trow are earth-faeries from the Shetlands and Orkneys. The name is almost certainly from Troll (and incidentally 'Drow' used by DnD is a variant spelling). I'm unconvinced these are real in the Four Corners, but they are mentioned a lot.

Grey ladies in English folk tradition are ghosts, but here I wonder if they are something else? They are mentioned alongside the White Riders. Could these be Angels and Amyr, or the singers that were mentioned, or the Sidhe? The White Riders feel Sidhe-ish to me, but then again, we've no evidence that the Sidhe are not an entirely female troupe of Fae - they could be the Grey Ladies?

Given that the Chandrian looked to the sky just before they fled in tNotW, I wonder if the Cealdish sky spirits are not as 'damned silly' as suggested. Angels perhaps? Grey ladies, whatever they may be? Singers?

This leaves Faeries (Fae) which seems to be a reasonable recollection of some term or another that was once used for Fae (though 'faen' is considered childish by Bast at one point).

Demons are a big bag of mixed up confusion. I think we can be reasonably sure demons don't exist, rather they are confused recollections of dark fae creatures of some sort or another.

This does sort of case doubt on Angels too. I wonder if all the references to Angels are the same in reverse (mixed up recollections of good fae), and/or metaphorical. Was Kvothe's killing of an angel an actual killing of an angel or someone angelic? For someone angelic, I'd wonder about Auri. Why Kvothe would kill Auri, I can't fathom, but barring killing Denna, I imagine killing Auri would mess him up pretty badly.

So, all in all, not much here, and perhaps someone else has already done this? I haven't manged to read all the comments all the time, so it could be this has been walked through more thoroughly elsewhere?

Lauren W
55. laurene135
@ 54. CPJ

I really like what you're doing here. I'll have to go crack open my book again to try find some text too.

However, one thing that I think we know for sure though (off the top of my head) is that "piksies" is just another term for the Fae. When Kvothe is talking to the CTH, it refers to Felurian as a piksie. So perhaps it's just an older term for the fae?
Christopher Johnstone
56. CPJ
@ 55 laurene135

I missed that one. Well spotted.

Skip Ives
57. Skip
I read the CTH's piksie as a variation on pixie, the "ks" making the term even more diminutive than the word said straight. So I read it as the CTH being dismissive of Felurian, not being specific about the type of fae creature she is.
Travis B.
58. Rossamund
@ 54. CPJ, & others

Could "rendlings" be the scraelings? - they do "rend" the flesh of their victims.

I also wondered about Denna's name being similar to denner resin.

I don't see K killing Auri - however, Auri sacrificing herself to save him, or maybe getting killed as an innocent bystander, seems more likely to me.
Lauren W
59. laurene135
@57. Skip
True true. It was diminutive. But I kind of took it like "manling." My thought is that piksie is not a specific type of fae, but a slightly pejorative term for the fae. So it may be and old pejorative term for fae, or an old term for the fae that is now somewhat derogatory.
Andrew Mason
60. AnotherAndrew
Thanks for the kind words, thistlepong!

When I suggested the half-Fae theory, I intended it as a variant of A Fox's changeling theory - so it shouldn't be taken to imply that either Arliden of Laurian is Fae (or Yllish). The idea would be, for instance, that an Yllish man wanders into the Fae, has a child with a Fae woman, and this child is then substituted for the newly born Lockless heiress, Denna, daughter of Arliden and Laurian. (Many variants are possible.) And while the eyes are a problem for this theory, I still think it has some things going for it, notably Devi's 'I beat you like a red-headed stepchild'.

Reaarding eyes, by the way, it's interesting that near the beginning Arliden talks about eye colour - you can identify a grandmother's eye colour by looking at her grandchildren. Here, of course, it's a metaphor for the diffusion of stories, but one wonders if it's meant to have some literal significance as well. We aren't told most characters' eye colour as far as I can see, so when we are, perhaps it's there for a purpose.
Christopher Johnstone
61. CPJ
@ Skip & Lauerene135. You're probably right that Piksies is meant to just mean Fae. The spelling is an actual English/Cornish variant spelling of Pixie, so I'm unsure whether it should be read as diminutive exactly or just outright insulting (or both). In any instance, it seems to be dismissive.

That makes me wonder a bit about 'Trow' too now. Maybe that's also just a general term for Fae, either countrified or not very polite.

@ Rossamund

Could "rendlings" be the scraelings? - they do "rend" the flesh of their victims.

Seems a good theory. Nothing else we've met so far has the habit of rending things (that I can think of offhand anyway).

Also, I agree that Kvothe isn't likely to kill Auri (unless accidentally?). She was added into the story on one of the editing passes, so it'd be interesting to see how she weaves into the story.

Also, also, is Rossamund a reference to Monster Blood Tattoo? That's a fabulous series that isn't well enough known outside of Australia. Maybe we could prod Tor to do a re-read of MBT? (Or a first read for some people).

@ AnotherAndrew:

'I beat you like a red-headed stepchild'

A step-child would have one actual parent and one adoptive parent. The idea was bouncing around in the thread that Kvothe's father was not his biological father, but his mother was his biological mother.

My suspicion is that his mother's actual identity may be important on the principal that there seems to be a door of stone and other odd things on Lackless lands (and the box). If the Lackless's are ancient guardians of something, and if only a Lackless can open or unlock something, then it feels quite possible that Kvothe will be in a position where he is able to open something that no-one expects he should be able to.

That isn't to say that the switching/changeling theories aren't also just as likely. Pat is playing so many chords here that any one of them could resolve into the song.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden
62. tnh
Jo @51: Well, I am answered. As I'm sure you can tell, I'm still trying to catch up on this series
Travis B.
63. Rossamund
CPJ @61:
You guessed it: I'm a big fan of the Half Continent! The zoomable map on that author's website is the exact opposite of the map for this Rothfuss series! What I wouldn't give for a zoomable map of the Four Corners...
Lauren W
64. laurene135
@ 61. CPJ
"My suspicion is that his mother's actual identity may be important on
the principal that there seems to be a door of stone and other odd
things on Lackless lands (and the box). If the Lackless's are ancient
guardians of something, and if only a Lackless can open or unlock
something, then it feels quite possible that Kvothe will be in a
position where he is able to open something that no-one expects he
should be able to."

That makes me think about the part where the sailors try to teach him knots, and K says while he had trouble tying them he was good at untying them.

I'm in more support of K being a step child rather than a changling. Primarily because I think his parents would notice if suddenly their dark haired daughter is now a red headed boy. Unless there was some sort of memory wipe.

But also I just feel he's a lackless.
Stephane Dauzat
65. Zolt
I'm a bit skeptical about any theory involving Kvothe not being Arliden's biological son. His talent for music might be acquired rather than inherited, but he clearly has his father's hands. Red hair seems to be a Ruh trait too.
Lauren W
66. laurene135
@ 65. Zolt

That is understandable, but then how could we try to explain Kvothe being a bit fae before WMF?

As pointed out by others, he's been said to be a bit fae, as well as his eye changing. So it seems like there is something amiss with his early past.
Travis B.
67. nae77blis77

I asked Pat this during a book signing for WMF. My question was "How do the inheritance laws work in the 4C world? I mean, does someone have to be legitamate to inherit?" He said depends on the country etc, I clarified I was curious about Vintas in particular, his response was a smug smirk, and he answered "Good question."

Now this is of course ambiguous, but i'm leaning toward Kvothe at least being eligable through his mom, thus higher ranking than Ambrose. Although I admittedly had this theory to begin with, so take it as you will.
Travis B.
68. ryan7273
I was also wondering whether anyone had thought about how Denna changes her name for different people, and how she appears to have named herself 'addictive' as far as Kvothe is concerned. I'm drawing this from Denna /
Denner / Dennerling / denna-leyan (fae that behaves as if it were on Denner?), and the full phrase 'denner resin', which seems to imply denner means either 'additictive' or 'drug' or similar, but probably doesn't mean 'resin' exactly unless the meaning has vanished and 'resin resin' is what it is called now, in a fashion I guess.
While I agree with the similarity between Denna's name and Denner and have always wondered a bit about that, I doubt that Denner means "addictive" or "drug". In the text, the drug is also referred to as "ophalum" and is said to be made from the sap of denner trees. In this case denner resin makes sense as a common name since it would be easier to remember than the learned name of ophalum. We can't really make guesses as to why the tree was named Denner, but it was likely done so before anyone realized that it's sap was addictive.
“They’re harvesting Goddamn ophalum here,” I said. “I’m an idiot for not seeing it sooner.” Denna started to say something, but I cut her off. “Don’t talk. Keep eating. As much as you can stomach.”
She nodded solemnly, her eyes wide. She chewed, choked a little, and swallowed the charcoal with another mouthful of water. She ate a dozen mouthfuls in quick succession, then rinsed her mouth out again.
“What’s ophalum?” she asked softly.
“A drug. Those are denner trees. You just had a whole mouthful of denner resin.” I sat down next to her. My hands were shaking. I lay them flat against my legs to hide it.
I really like where you're going with the rest of your post. I don't remember seeing anyone dive into the names of the various creatures from folklore, before.
Dave Mattingly
69. blackwyrm
I think that Auri might be the very personification of the moon, that Jax/Iax loved/stole. It's the moon's name that is trapped behind the four-plate door, which leaves Auri (a shadow of the name) free to roam underneath the University. Elodin is trying to (re)capture the name of the moon, and is surprised to see that K already has a relationship with her.
Travis B.
70. JonathanWhite
Rhin = Shape

En Faeant Morie

Do we have any possible translations? it seems to me that "en" could be translated as "in" - anyway, it's probably some simple article or preposition. "Faeant" has to be something to do with the Fae - maybe the fae world, or fae inhabitants? If we take Morie to be man, then you would get something like "A man in the Fae" or "A man among Fae" or even "A Faen Man" - all of which could describe a stirring song. We know men don't belong in the Fae; it's all set up for a tragic ending. It also provides a parallel to Kvothe himself - as some other commenters have mentioned, it's "the sort of thing Rothfuss would do."

In any case, all of those translations make sense to me with Morie = man. It could make just as much sense if Morie were desire, but I'm choosing to assume - as Jo pointed out - that "fel" and desire are tied together, in which case the "desire" part would be contained within "vorfelan." Morie as knowledge or shape wouldn't make as much sense.

Therefore, I am advocating the root "rhin" as shape and "morie" as man. "Rhinata" could easily be the 3rd singular form of the verb "to shape."


"We know Temic is a language like Latin where word order isn’t relevant but word endings are, and Wil isn’t all that good at it."
I agree with Jo that in Temic, word order probably doesn't matter, which is why there could be a more meaningful alternate translation to "the desire for knowledge shapes a man." But imagine you're Wil. You don't know the language very well, you're not going to be picking up on subtleties, etc. Chances are, your first attempt at translation is going to be word-by-word. Assuming "rhinata" is shapes and "morie" is man, when you translate "vorfelan rhinata morie" word-by-word, you're going to get "the desire for knowledge shapes a man." It's the instinctive, "amateurish" way to translate. Especially if you're translating for your friend (Kvothe) whose first language is Aturan (English), it makes sense that you would translate it word-by-word with English sentence structure. Therefore, the simple fact that Wil isn't that good at the language advocates "rhin" = shape and "morie" = man. In simple terms, what I'm saying is that his non-skills are giving us inadvertent word parallels.


To me, "rhinta" could just as easily mean shaper as man, with the "ta" suffix equivalent to the "tor" suffix we have in English (borrowed from Latin, equivalent to Spanish "dor") to turn verbs into do-er nouns (factor = make-er, victor = win-er, dictator = dictate-er, navigator = sail-er, etc.).

It's possible that as Artful Magpie pointed out, the -ta, the -na, and the other suffixes could modify the noun "man," but that doesn't make nearly as much sense to me than -ta, -na, -ata as verb suffixes in context with other languages I know. Nouns go with prefixes while verbs go with suffixes, in general. If rhin is man, it would make more sense for ta-rhin to mean un-man than for rhinta to mean un-man. Take "inhuman" as an example. Now I know that since Temic is a fictional language, those rules aren't necessarily binding, but I strongly agree with the Temic-Latin parallel, in which case "rhin" is almost certainly a verb root ("shape") and not a noun ("man"), for the reasons and examples I have provided above.


So those are my three theories why "rhin" is shape, not man. They are by no means foolproof, but in my opinion, it's going way too far to say that "We’re sure that 'rhinata' means man".

I am now realizing I would like to add one more small theory - according to the rhin = man theory, "rhinata" (in the phrase) and "rhinta" (Shehyn's Chandrian) both mean "man." It makes much more sense for -ata and -ta to be two distinct suffixes to change the verb "rhin" (shape) in different ways (in the phrase, "rhinata" = "shapes" ; Shehyn's Chandrian: "rhinta" = "shaper"). You can append that onto theory 3, if you've gotten this far.

In any case, I think the "rhin" translation is very open for discussion.
Ashley Fox
71. A Fox

::strong agreement, respect, small smile::

Lol, thats it. Suffixes, Prefixes!! Sorry I was never really taught grammatical labelings, more of an instinctual knowing, all non diadactic and what not. But yes, that, thats the burr I couldnt name.
Steven Halter
72. stevenhalter
JonathanWhite@70:That's a well reasoned argument for rhin = shape. I actually like the Wil being unskilled portion the best. Hopefully D3 will give us some more clues to nail down the shape/man root. It could still easily go either way.
thistle pong
73. thistlepong
I think maybe translating rhinta as shaper undermines your argument and makes a rather sweeping assumption about the Seven. It's certainly a noun form but it's accompanied by articles and defined as "old things in the shape if men." If you're translations are otherwise sound, "shaped" might be more appropriate.
Travis B.
74. JonathanWhite
It's possible that rhinta is a perfect passive particle form (shaped) of rhin that evolved into a noun. I think what's in question is the way the Chandrian are described. It could still go either way - they could be described as "shaped" from men - by Tehlu, maybe, who knows. Or they could be described as "shapers." I think it's possible that when Selitos cursed him, Haliax became a Shaper, and then the ones who followed him became six more. It would make sense, because we know the Chandrian have superhuman abilities, and we suspect they're not all bad (Felurian tells Kvothe the same was true of the shapers: "they were was not all bad at first"). It would make even more sense if Haliax is somehow connected with Iax (their names seem to suggest it), because we know Iax is The Very First Shaper, according to Felurian.
Travis B.
75. PT
Jo, one thing that has bothered me is your reading of Kvothe's opinion of Gibea. (IMO) Kvothe DOES see the Duke's actions as atrocious, but the massacre happened and some fantastic books were written because of it. Kvothe simply thinks that something bad has happened and you cant change the past - its best to make some good of a bad situation. The greatest insult would be the destruction of those books as it makes all the deaths pointless.
Steven Halter
76. stevenhalter
PT@75:Kvothe certainly thinks that Gibea's works should be used. What he thinks about Gibea is not quite so clear cut. The most relevant passage seems to be (Kvothe's thoughts):
I wanted to point out that Gibea wasn’t necessarily corrupt. He was pursuing the Amyr’s purpose, the greater good. While his experiments had been horrifying, his work advanced medicine in ways it was almost impossible to comprehend. His work had probably saved ten times that many lives in the hundreds of years since.
So, Kvothe thinks that Gibea's experiments were horrifying but that horror does not (to Kvothe's mind) make Gibea corrupt. Kvothe is very much showing his "ends justify the means" thought and his liking of "for the greater good."
Not exactly a ringing disparagement of Gibea. The problem with this train of thought is that it assumes that Gibea couldn't have used some other means to come up with his journals and this seems to be quite unlikely. You don't need to vivesect unwilling people to study anatomy. There was a lively discussion on this section.
Andrew Mason
77. AnotherAndrew
I think it depends on how we read 'corrupt'. If we take it simply as 'bad', then Kvothe is here approving of Gibea. But one can also take it as 'gone wrong': and then Kvothe's point can simply be that Gibea isn't an Amyr gone wrong, becaus he's doing what all Amyr do - pursue the greater good - and there was never any presumption that they would use virtuous means in doing so.
Lauren W
78. laurene135
@ 75-77
Yes, it greatly depends on how we read 'corrupt.'
My impression was that when Kvothe said he wasn't necessarily corrupt he was refering to the fact that Gibea wasn't killing people for the mere pleasure of it. He was acknolodging that Gibea's acts were gruesome but his motivations were not. I also agree with PT. What happened happened and it can not be changed, so Kvothe's thoughts are you might as well take from it what you can.
thistle pong
79. thistlepong
I think we're meant to note that Kvothe reckons vivisection twenty thousand unwilling victims is, you know, all good. That's, well, wrong. More to the point he doesn't care either way. It's just evidence supporting his Amyr theories.
Jennifer Backstrom
80. Goldilox71
On the subject of Kvothe's opinion of Gibea: when Denna sings her song about Lanre, and Kvothe is trying to describe it to the reader, he says he "could not have been more stunned if she had written a hymn praising the Duke of Gibea", which implies that he does indeed find Gibea rather horrifying and evil--on a par with Lanre/Haliax.
David C
81. David_C
@47, 48, 49:

I have no citations to back this claim, but I believe that a lot of early anti-incest laws were essentially property law. Too many close marriages gives rise to complicated edge cases on who has the right to inherit what.


French literature and films are full of cousin-cousin relationships : Cousin / Cousine being a mild example
kineta chien
82. kineta
One of Kvothe's statements to Chronicler is that he's "killed men and things that were more than men. Every one of them deserved it" Given the Adem's description of the Chandrian/Rhinta being "a man who is more than a man, yet less than a man." it might be fairly safe to guess that he's kill at least one of the Chandrian. Also, as to whether they are 'misunderstood', I think the scene where the Cthaeh taunts him with the description of Cinder killing his parents in graphic detail - and Felurian telling him that Cthaeh tells the truth, I think it rules out them being secretly good.
Steven Halter
83. stevenhalter
kineta@82:The Cthaeh never actually says that Cinder or any of the Chandrian killed Kvothe's parents. It is very careful about what it explicitely says. When dealing with oracles in general, you have to read what they say very carefully.
Travis B.
84. Slasha56
I think we can settle that right away:
1. The Chandrian were involved in the deaths of Kvothe’s troupe. One of the seven talking to Cinder (The Name of the Wind Chapter 16: Hope):
“Back by the fire, a bald man with a grey beard chuckled. ‘Looks like we missed a little rabbit. Careful Cinder, his teeth may be sharp.’”
2. Cider did indeed kill Kvothe's parents. The Cthae talking to Kvothe (Wise Man’s Fear Chapter 104) The Cthae):
'“ Since you ask sweetly, Cider is the one you want. Remember him? White hair? Dark eyes? Did things to your mother, you know. Terrible. She held up well though. Laurian was always a trouper, if you will pardon the expression. Much better than your father, with all his begging and blubbering.”'

Someone may say that the Cthae was lying but Felurian tells Kvothe in the same Chapter:
“the Cthae does not lie. It has the gift of seeing, but only tells things to hurt men. Only a dennerling would speak to the Cthae.”
Katy Maziarz
85. ArtfulMagpie
Slasha56: That's already been discussed a couple of times, and I do think the consensus from those discussions is that you can't take anything the Cthaeh says at face value, even when it seems straightforward.

Why? Because the Cthaeh phrased all of that rather carefully. He says that Cinder is the one Kvothe wants and describes him. Then, without ANY names or pronouns attached, says, "Did things to your mother, you know." The Cthaeh rather carefully did NOT say "CINDER did things to your mother." The combination of "Cinder is the one you want" with "did things" implies that "Cinder did things" but doesn't actually specify it. And in the second paragraph, never once does the Cthaeh say, "The Chandrian did nasty things to your family because they could. The Chandrian left you alive because you were lucky." No, he just says "they." The exact "they" he means is, again, implied to be the Chandrian, but never specified to be them. Just because the Chandrian were at the scene of the killings after they were over is not proof that they were the ones who perpetrated the killings. Innocent until proven guilty, circumstantial evidence, and all that...

But regarding the Cthaeh...If you were thousands of years old, more malicious than the human mind can grasp, bound to utter honesty, and extremely fond of screwing with people's heads for mysterious reasons of your own, I think you'd have a few tricks up your sleeve for very carefully implying untruth while at the same time being scrupulously honest...
Steven Halter
86. stevenhalter
In Chapter 9 (A Civil Tongue) of Patrick Rothfuss' The Wise Man's Fear, the Master, randeur asks Kvothe the following admissions question:
Brandeur looked down at the papers before I’d even finished speaking. “Your compass reads gold at two hundred twenty points, platinum at one hundred twelve points, and cobalt at thirty-two points. Where are you?"
He is referring to a trifoil compass. A trifoil compass works by using some magical properties of that world by aligning with three objects at known locations. Rothfuss doesn't supply any more info here, but he does supply a map. At a later point in the story we find that clocks are divided into 60 minutes and so, it isn't an unreasonable guess that they also use a base 360 degree circle. If that is the case, then you can plot the three directions given above as rays in a polar coordinate system.

If you then take the map of the Four Corners and overlay it with the coordinate map and rotate things a bit, you can arrive at an image that looks like:

In this case, I choose to align the "gold" direction with The University and the "platinum" direction with Atur. You can see that this places the "cobalt" direction a bit off from Renere. It also places the cobalt ray pretty much right over where we think Newarre may be.
If all of these things are correct, then the answer to the admissions question is where the lines converge.
Travis B.
87. fatcatfan
Reading over all these speculation posts today, I was struck by this regarding Kvothe's hands:

Kvothe's oath regarding his "good left hand" was tied to uncovering Denna's patron. The CTH made sure to comment on her patron, telling Kvothe that she was being abused. Was the CTH's intent to cause Kvothe to break his oath, thus ruining his hand(s)?
Travis B.
89. Audion
So with regards to the Chandrian and killing Kvothe's parrents I think it really boils down to one thing. If Kvothe really "wants" to know who killed his parrents, then the trueth that the CTH tells him would be in direct relation to that. He'd be lieing (though some would say mis-direction I suppose) to say that Cinder is the one he wants if he Wasn't the one who "did things to her".

Subscribe to this thread

Receive notification by email when a new comment is added. You must be a registered user to subscribe to threads.
Post a comment