Sep 27 2012 2:00pm

Rothfuss Reread: Speculative Summary 14: This Far West

Rothfuss Re-read Speculative Summary 14: This Far WestMy ridiculously detailed reread of Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles is over, but the speculation goes on. I’m going to post the occasional speculative summary of cool things posted since last time. 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, and frankly they won’t make the slightest bit of sense if you haven’t. This post is 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! IID3Y = Is it Day Three Yet?

Useful links: The Sleeping Under the Wagon post. The re-read index. The map. The timeline. Imaginary Linguistics.



Let’s start with Shalter on agendas:

But, in the meantime, yeah there are a lot of agendas out there. The Chandrian have one. Haliax in particular seems to have something in mind.
The Amyr (who/whatever they are) have the “Greatest Good” thing going on.
The Fae probably have a number of competing agendas.
The Tinkers have an agenda.
The various human political rulers have agendas.
The Cthaeh has an agenda.
The Masters at the University have agendas—probably both mundane and more interesting.
Kvothe wants to find out who killed his parents and what he can do about it.
Denna almost certainly has an agenda beyond writing some songs.

The Creation War and its various causes and effects, movers and shakers, does seem to be the crux of everything.
Exactly what that crux is can be a myriad of things at this point, and that is what is beautiful.



The Chandrian

Clairerocks finds evidence that the Chandrian spend a lot of time separately:

When Haliax says, “I am glad I decided to accompany you today. You are straying, indulging in whimsy. Some of you seem to have forgotten what it is we seek, what we wish to achieve.” it also indicates that theory discussed by Kvothe’s parents and Ben is probably true: that the Chandrian don’t always attack as the full 7, which is why all 7 of their signs don’t show up in every tale.

We also know that Cinder is on his own in the bandit camp. We have no idea how many of them show up at the farm in Trebon.

L-Train suggests that Kvothe did hear his father’s song but has put it behind the doors of stone (well, memory and dream) and hasn’t got it back:

he dreams that his father plays the song about the Chandrian - i think that either the mystic nature of the stones were such that he dreamt what happened while he wasn’t there, or his mind is sheltering him from the memory. It could be that his mind has stored away the memory of his father’s song deep behind the ’door of forgetting’, so that he actually thinks that he was playing in the woods when really he stayed long enough to hear his father’s song before going to gather plants...

Which leads to the possibility of remembering it:

perhaps in the future he breaks through and remembers the song, which holds important secrets about the nature of the Chandrian...

This could happen, but I don’t think it will be this easy.

Keller Scholl wonders if Haliax is Iax:

Haliax is perhaps actually two words, joined together. Hal Iax. It would explain why he has the various forms of the moon around him: He stole it. It would explain why he is hated: He began the creation war. What do others think? What would Hal mean?

No idea what Hal would mean - anyone? The problem with this theory is that Haliax is definitely Lanre, and Lanre was on the other side of the Creation War from Iax as best we can tell. Maybe “Hal” means “just as bad as” or “Bane of”?

The only other “Hal” I can think of is in “Hallowfell” where it seems to be part of “hallow” meaning “holy” with “fell” meaning “hill”, though you know it could mean “hollow hill” just as easily, think of Borrorill. Who knows though, it could be “Just as bad as” plus “evil.” (I remember my ex-husband quipping once that fell walkers are really different from fell riders.)

Futureminime, on Trebon:

I think Cinder moved in his army (we see them later in WMF) to pillage the wedding. Ash being Amyr would beat D “for the greater good” because it really WOULD look suspicious if she got away uninjured, and he runs through the fae while they look for history.

The problem with this is where did the army come from and where did they go to? They’re bandits, human and killable, there would have been traces of them and Kvothe would have found them. It’s possible that Cinder moved them into and out of Fae, or moved them by the same method the Chandrian use to move about, but if so why didn’t he take them with him the night of the storm attack in the Eld?

But this does raise the question of how a maximum of seven people, with magic and weird knack-signs, could kill an entire wedding party, and for that matter an entire troupe of Edema Ruh. They’re killing using physical means as far as we know?

Dozier thinks the Trebon attack could have been faked:

I think it’s very possible that someone is setting this up to look like a Chandrian attack. I also think Denna is supposed to assist him in reaching this conclusion.

I don’t think so because of Nina and her drawings of the vase. Unless you think that’s faked too, but that would be very elaborate. Who would fake it, seventy miles away from Kvothe and with no guarantee he’d even hear about it? And what would they gain by it?



I had a thought about Ben. We’ve discussed the possibility of Ben being somebody else, but whoever he is, he’s also actually Ben, as the Masters at the University recognise his name and Lorren accepts the inscription in the book. This means he really is an Arcanist called Abenathy, whatever else he is. That doesn’t stop him being an Amyr or a friend of Skarpi’s or Master Ash, of course. We know he’s a real Arcanist - he has his guilder. We also know he’s using his real name, or anyway the same name he used at University.

I was also thinking about the “trap” laid for Ben. If the Chandrian laid the trap to get him away from the troupe before killing them, then Ben had to be sufficiently powerful to be a threat to them. Interesting.

We’ve talked about the possibility of the Tinkers trying to mend the world and whether Kvothe has made that better or worse - my bet is on worse with a side bet on eucatastrophe in D3. Where’s Ben on that?


The Fae

I’m going to repeat Thistlepong’s neat summary on the moon and boxes:

We know from the frame that the moon is still moving. At the beginning of NW there’s no moon. At the end of WMF there’s moonlight. So, regarding Jax’s box and the Loeclos box, one of the following must be true. Thery’re not the same, or he doesn’t open it.

But I am sure from every time Kvothe talks about doors, opening things, his insatiable curiosity and just his inability to be wise rather than clever that between the story we have and the frame (i.e. in D3) he has to open something he should have left closed.

It doesn’t have to be the moon, but I do think there’s also considerable evidence that it is. That doesn’t mean it has stopped moving, because as Thistlepong says, it is. But I think it must be related to the moon, because for one thing, things out of Fae are coming into the world in profusion - the scrael, the skindancer thing (“Te rhintae?”), possibly even Bast. The system Felurian tells Kvothe about the moon affecting the times you can move between worlds was mostly keeping the Fae things in Fae and keeping the 4CW safe from them. This isn’t the case by the frame.

JohnPoint says:

Bast and Kvothe speak about the Fae in presnet tense (e.g., Bast says something along the lines of “they don’t even share a border with us” when he’s talking about the skindancer). So that indicates that, whatever he did do, Kvothe didn’t destroy the Fae, or cause the two worlds to merge.

But maybe if he opened the Doors of Stone it caused the position of the gates between the worlds to shift from “open with moonphase” to “always open”?



Tox has a really good new theory on how K’s alar might have broken:

What if whatever betrayal he suffered constituted an irreconcilable challenge to his ability to believe. I can imagine his certainty with regard to a few things already being core to Kvothe-in-the-story. Destroy one and he undergoes the existential crisis, unable to really believe in anything without doubt anymore.

I like this because it explains how it would sometimes unreliably work—breaking the bottle of wine—but not when he tries it during the skinchanger attack. If he can’t believe, he could still Name, which doesn’t use alar. But renaming himself Kote could mess up the Naming too?


Re the thrice locked chest: my money is on it containing all of his “kvothe” possessions. His lute (which he needs to play in order to “nap out of it” — whatever “it” is), his shaed, his rings, his candle and key etc. I believe that he locked them all away. From himself, and from “prying” eyes.

Is it D3 yet?


Structurally, Ash should probably be Cinder. Kvothe should come into conflict with Cinder and both should be destroyed or, in Tak terms, removed from the board. We know Kvothe faked his own death, so he’s effectively gone. We know there’s a rumor of a new Chandrian and folks are coming around to Folly being Cinder’s sword. I know there’s sparse evidence, which gbrell’s articulated. It’s something else he wrote that twisted me, though.

What if rhinna and roah have a unique ability to trap? Okay. What if it doesn’t have to be a unique ability? But yah, what if the chest is a trap?

I can’t help thinking the Seven are immortal and unkillable, either as a result of Selitos’s curse or consuming the rhinna flowers. In that case all Kvothe could hope to do is hold Cinder. He suggests to Bast that someone might be in there. Folks assume it might be Denna, but that would be serious dickery, especially for someone he talks about even now with a fond sadness.

What points to Cinder? The story really gets going when he mounts Folly on the roah board: folks come to the inn, Chronicler happens by... Anyway, y’all know I think Selitos is the Cthaeh and how the mountain glass in the Loeclos keeps him in place. So how about the sword on the board firmly and finally holds Cinder in check? Maybe it’s even the third lock? Heck, the third lock should even be silver in color, according to the tinker’s pennies thing.

Wow. I don’t believe a word of it, but I can’t disprove any of it.


I always took the part of the Jax story where he locks the moon’s name to be embellishment for the sake of the story. A name reflects the total understanding of something. Or more accurately, a name IS the total understanding of something. You can’t trap your understanding of something in a box. I don’t think it would be possible even in this world where a thing’s name lets you manipulate said thing.

What I think is more likely is that Iax shaped the moon’s name, changing it and therefore the moon’s very nature. I don’t quite know how this could be done, except to say that it might have to do with the magic Denna is so interested in: that of writing something to make it true.

“You can’t trap your understanding of something in a box.” Well, you can’t in the real world, but maybe you exactly and precisely can with magic, and maybe that’s what K has done.

KCC4291 goes on to consider K’s problems with magic as akin to impotence:

I think his problems are not physical, but psychological. Basically, I think he has performance anxiety. I think he tried to use his abilities once for something big, like saving someone’s life, and failed. Now he questions everything and his confidence is shot, but he can still do it when no one’s around or when he doesn’t have time to think about it.



More Dozier suspicions about D and Trebon:

some other suspicious things:
1. “it’s my job to know things about you.” why is that her job? why else would she even be sent to this wedding?
2. she conveniently supplies the exact explanation of why the Chandrian attacked that he’s looking for
3. She specifically keeps him from going inside the farm. what is in there that she doesn’t want him to see?
4. Master Ash wants her to play they 7 stringed lyre. (lyre= lyra?) and why specifically 7 strings?
5. her story is inconsistent. Master Ash beat her after the attack (to validate her in the eyes of the townspeople). Therefore, she has to know he’s ok. Also there were only 26 people in the wedding party. seems like the chandrian could have easily realized one was missing and killed if that was really their goal. was this story is specifically designed to mirror kvothe’s?

It would be an incredibly elaborate fake, with the rotted pump handle and everything, and it doesn’t lead to anything. Cui bono?

However, I agree that her story is inconsistent and that saying “her job” is to know about him is very dubious and needs clarification. What’s going on with D is one of the things I am most looking forward to finding out in D3.

Dozier again:

6. I wonder if there’s something in her hair to make him be honest? she consistently calls him out on his lies. and then there’s this quote:

“Listen Kvothe, I’m sorry.” Denna sighed and ran a hand through her hair. “I shouldn’t have pushed you. It’s none of my business, really. I know what it’s like to have secrets.”

I almost told her everything then. The whole story about my parents, the Chandrian, the man with black eyes and a nightmare smile. But I worried it might seem like the desperate elaboration of a child caught in a lie“

as if the act of her running her hands through her hair makes him more compelled to tell the truth.

Is this the first time when D messes with her hair and it has an effect? This is before she goes to Yll and starts braiding ”lovely” into it. But I think Dozier is right here, it does something.

And Futureminime again, on Master Ash’s motivations

the sponsorship has something to do with him training a Singer from D and that Ash might be the angel K kills to get his hearst desire, D.

Could be. But Amyr aren’t angels. Ruach are angels. Which isn’t to say Master Ash couldn’t be Ruach - have we thought of that at all?




I can’t help but think the decreasing number of bodies between Ambrose & the throne is solid evidence that, well, he’s the eponymous king of the Kingkiller books, yes. Which I see that everyone takes as a given, I just wanted to say yes, me too.

I think that, but it’s far from a universally held belief around here.

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

Steven Halter
1. stevenhalter
On Ben: I've always had a feeling that Ben's part in the story isn't done. As Jo mentions, it seems that he was put out of the way before the troupe is destroyed and that seems to indicate he would have been a problem of some sort.
Kvothe's comment that:
As you can see, I don’t think anyone could have built a better snare for Ben if they had tried.
Is interesting as it seems to be a remark he is making to Bast and Chronicler (and us) and thus is a rare emergence of the frame into the non-frame story. Also, it seems both ominous and incomplete.
Or, maybe he was just some guy they met--but I don't think so.
Jo Walton
2. bluejo
Shalter: "Snare", like setting a snare for a wild animal. And yes, it does seem to be a frame intrusion, or anyway a real time remark. Mostly we're very up close with Kvothe at the time -- but this is the beginning of the pulling away and distancing that marks the death of the troupe and Kvothe's subsequent weird brain state.
Travis Bingaman
3. tanda77
Jo, Do you think if we all banded together we could get some actual news about D3? I mean, Could we get a peak at the cover or something? We need some kind of growing susurrus like banging on a glass at a wedding. I just need a taste.
Steven Halter
4. stevenhalter
Jo:That's true. I just quickly reread that chapter and the next and it does seem that as Kvothe gets closer to the death of the troop, the narrative takes on more marks of distance. More bits of talking to rather than strictly telling the story until finally we get:
Let us pass over the time I spent alone in the woods that evening, playing games that children invent to amuse themselves. The last carefree hours of my life. The last moments of my childhood.
And Kvothe's long moment of breakage.
I hadn't noticed that as a stylistic choice on PR's part before, but it works very well in adding little pebbles to the rolling avalanche that happens.
And yes, "snare" is obvioulsy a carefully chosen word here.
Jo Walton
5. bluejo
Tanda77: There won't be a cover yet because Pat hasn't finished writing it.

He did however confirm in a recent interview that the title will be The Doors of Stone... which we sort of knew, and which strongly suggests that this is what Kvothe is going to open.

I do however have a great plan for what I'm going to do as soon as it is available.

But it'll be another year I should think.
Matthew B
6. MatthewB
The Tinkers have an agenda?

Could someone provide some evidence of that one? The Tinkers seem to me more like forces (side effects?) of nature - miniature servings of prophecy that you pay attention to when they show up, but not really actors in their own right.

Then again, a classic beautiful game tactic would be to manipulate someone else into acting in your best interests while they believed that you were either a neutral observer or a helper in their own endeavors.
Steven Halter
7. stevenhalter
MatthewB@6:We've had a few discussions about who or what the Tinkers are. They (and/or their mules) could be disguised Fae or some other party like the Ruach. Or some mixture of both and there are probably some who are just people selling stuff.
The ones who show up with just the right things at just the right times, do seem to have an agenda in being there. People in the 4C do fail, so Tinkers are selective about just who they help--it doesn't seem to be random. Now, whether there is one agenda or more depends on who they really are.
The point of the agenda list is, of course, to show that things are complicated--much more so than the Kvothe in the non-Frame imagines them to be. There are a large number of actors and neither we nor Kvothe know what is driving them. This allows us to speculate and allows for a freedom of action for the story that is being told. When D3 comes out, some of that freedom will be removed, so D3 will add some constraints that we are not aware of right now.
Mordicai Knode
8. mordicai
The idea that the Doors of Stone might not actually exist but ENTIRELY be an aspect of Kvothe's Memory Palace is...

...huh. Wolfeian.
9. SouthernCross
On Denna: I have two opinions on the, for lack of a better phrase, "hair magic". She clearly "wrote" lovely into her hair with the idea of a "kind of magic thats just writing things down". Whether she actually thought she could make it work or it was just wishful thinking is anyones guess.

As for the idea that she effected Kvothe magically by running her hand through her hair I believe thats a case of reading too much into something. I can personally attest to the fact that there is something magical about a pretty girl running her hand through her hair. I have more than once fallen prey to that very spell.
10. Soda
I have a question that's been bugging me since the last time I read WMF. Towards the end of Chapter 148:
"How reassuring," she said. "Do you bring them all h-" She made a little gasp as she slipped down the side of the stone. She caught herself just as I was reaching out to help her.
"Bring them what?" I asked.
"Roses, fool," she said sharply. "Or have you turned that page already?"
What's the word that Denna was going to say that begins with an "h"? It's probably not significant, but I can't help wondering if there's something hidden here.
11. soupytwist
4. Master Ash wants her to play they 7 stringed lyre. (lyre= lyra?) and why specifically 7 strings?

Well we do know something else that features the number seven... but what the Chandrian could possibly have to do with the lyre I don't know. The only thing I can think of is that the number seven itself has some kind of magical significance. (Maybe seven is a number that brings power? Could working magic using the number seven bring in/involve/affect the Chandrian in some way?) I can't think of anything else that indicates that in the text though, I'll have to search through when I have my ebook copies available again...

I love everything about Thistlepong's theories even though I also don't really believe it. I thought the significance of Folly was first the name, and second its use as an actual sword, so either revealed as having been part of Kvothe's big tragedgy or taken down and used in some sort of climactic battle situation. But the idea of it as having some additional magical significance is appealing!

Soda: I assumed the word was 'here'...
Steven Halter
12. stevenhalter
Soad@10:"here" is what I would guess also. She is asking if Kvothe brings all his dates here. But then she decides not to put her foot in her mouth and spoil the mood at that point.
Mordicai Knode
13. mordicai
The Haliax/Iax connection really resonates with me on account of the "moon" iconography. That makes a lot of sense.

Oh man, I had a brilliant brainstorm last night about this series, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was. Fudge.
Mordicai Knode
14. mordicai
Thistlepong: the rumor of a new Chandrian? I don't know what that is! Can you fill me in?

For me, I hear "rumor of a new Chandrian" & I assume-- well, that Kvothe kills Cinder, but because of Whatever Magical Shenanigans Man Was Not Meant To Know, Kvothe also becomes a Chandrian, filling the quota for seven? & that is the arrow into the future the Evil Tree shoots?

Also, I do like the idea of Kvothe's alar being broken-- the things about hard steel, & hard steel breaking is a good indicator of that-- I mostly read it a little more plainly than that. That Kvothe has some fatal illness-- cancer or something-- that is just eating his body from the inside out.
Steven Halter
15. stevenhalter
mordicai@14:The "rumor of a new Chandrian" is from Chapter 6 (The Price of Remembering) of TNotW, as Chronicler says:
"Some are even saying that there is a new Chandrian. A fresh terror in the night. His hair as red as the blood he spills."
Kote replies:
“The important people know the difference,” Kote said as if he were trying to convince himself, but his voice was weary and despairing, without conviction.
So, Kvothe's tale has gathered rumors--some of them transforming him into a Chandrian. But, as K says, the important people know the difference. Of course, knowing the difference between exactly what? A Chandrian and an Arcanist? A Chandrian and a mess of rumors? A Chandrian and something else?
thistle pong
16. thistlepong
From bluejo's OP:
No idea what Hal would mean - anyone? The problem with this theory is that Haliax is definitely Lanre, and Lanre was on the other side of the Creation War from Iax as best we can tell. Maybe “Hal” means “just as bad as” or “Bane of”?
The only other “Hal” I can think of is in “Hallowfell” where it seems to be part of “hallow” meaning “holy” with “fell” meaning “hill”, though you know it could mean “hollow hill” just as easily, think of Borrorill. Who knows though, it could be “Just as bad as” plus “evil.”

The prefix hal- indicates salt. For years (yah, wow) I couldn't make sense out of Salt-of-Iax. I began to sort of dismiss the whole connection between Haliax and Iax. After all, these are contemporary names from one storyteller with an agenda; stories Kvothe can only correlate because he's encountered a guy called Haliax. What does Iax have to do with Alaxel, y'know?

It should make sense from an author biography standpoint. It shouldn't be an accidental meaning. Pat has remarked about wanting to do a cross-cultural survey of salt in grad school and being thwarted by his advisor, who suggested he examine salt in Shakespeare. There are several salt references in the text so far: the salt he gives to Auri, "all the salt in me," and not insignificantly related to alchemy (Ambrose mixed Sim's salts.)

Turns out the connection is pretty solid alchemical symbolism. For Paracelcus, all being was threefold: salt=body, mercury=spirit, sulfur=soul. So Haliax would symbolically be the Body of Iax.

That sort of reifies a position I was quite resistant to: namely that Haliax is, as some have theorized, an actual agent of Iax in the mortal. In that framework, Iax would be the spirit. We don't have to look to hard for the soul. The parallels set up between Kvothe and Lanre and Kvothe and Jax are, I dunno, blatant. Fits rather well with Jo's conviction that Kvothe will open something and the notion that he might do it without knowledge of the consequences.

The Cinder-in-the-Box theory was playful, as I think I mentioned initially. A possibility to be considered. This is less so. The books are as full of alchemical imagery as they are clever deployment of tropes and cliches. It takes kind of a long post to explain Haliax, though...

*An update on the red sulfur/white sulphur thing: you can't reduce white sulfur with mercury because white sulfur is mercury

**salt, sulfur, and mercury are the principles Pat referred to in our admissions interview, the same ones Sim talked about during the plum-bob incident
George Brell
17. gbrell

Well, where else would he study "comparative female anatomy"?
Mordicai Knode
18. mordicai
16. thistlepong

Oh, I like that idea-- the alchemical reagents as lit motifs, hey, I've ready the Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz-- but I think you might be applying it too literally. Salt-of-Iax is interesting, though...but I don't think I buy the actual division, & especially not the bit with Kvothe, though...I will say that the Lockless connection might actually be a thread connecting the story of Lanre to Kvothe. Hm.
Mordicai Knode
19. mordicai
15. shalter

Oh that DOES sound like a muddled confusion of rumors, then. That said; it is entirely possible to me that Ruach/Chandrian might be the same thing, but with a philosophical split. Or heck, the Amyr might have split into Ruach & Chandrian?
John Graham
20. JohnPoint
Mordicai @14: In one of my admissions questions, I asked Pat:
Is there a way of repairing a Ramston steel blade once it has been broken?
And amazingly, he replied to me.:
Well, you could. But it wouldn’t be a really good blade afterwards. No more than if you had a really high-quality knife in this world (Like a real katana or some Toledo steel) then broke it and repaired it.
In case it wasn't obvious from my initial question, I wasn't really asking about a knife, but rather an alar like a bar of Ramston steel. Thus, Pat's reply tells us that if Kvothe's alar is actually broken, it can't truly be repaired.

Unfortunately, this doesn't answer the question of whether it's broken or not, but if so, we won't be seeing a return to "SuperKvothe." Which wouldn't be too surprising, as we've been told many times (both in the story from Kote, and in real life from Pat) that this is a tragedy. His recent interview (that Thistlepong linked to a week or so ago) once again makes it clear that he wanted to write a post-fall (or at least, post-epic-events) story, as told by the "fallen" hero. I'd bet that's what we have here -- though I do trust that he'll finish the story well so that we're satisfied with how it ends.

Soda @10: I also read it as "here." What she is really asking him (or starts to ask him) is if she is still precious to him. "Is this our special spot, or are you just bringing me to the same location that you take all these other girls...etc."

Note also that this point (where things are becoming tense between them) is one where Kvothe doesn't help her when she slips -- he tries, but she has already recovered and doesn't "accept" he hand as he reaches to catch her. Contrast this to Trebon or the Maer's garden, and it's obvious that their relationship is not what it was/could have been.

Gbrell @17: good point. his attic at Ankers would hardly be the appropriate place...
George Brell
21. gbrell

I read the answer Pat gave slightly differently. I completely agree that the Q/A are about Kvothe's Alar and not an actual knife. But Pat's answer, alluding to real swords, is that it can't be patched, not that it can't be remade. To truly repair a broken sword, it must be melted down and reforged.

And what is re-Naming but remaking or re-shaping?

I think the story is a tragedy, but what if the ultimate endpoint is not Kvothe's death, but his rebirth?

This is a bit philosophical, but Kvothe is a character that is absolutely defined by the history of his own life and his people's life. He is Ruh through and through. His childhood is defined by troupe life, their murder, his childhood in Trebon. He has been made, by fate or circumstance, into something.

What if re-Naming changed that? What if it made someone forget parts of their past or parts of their character? Lanre was re-Named to Haliax (I believe prior to Selitos' pronouncement and that Selitos merely confirmed the change) and lost his compassion for all persons save Lyra; that compassion drives him and is continually breaking him for his failure.

It's a small leap, but I believe that Kvothe's own "break" has to tie into Denna, who is hinted to be dead. What if curing that break would require cutting off her impact on his life? Re-Naming himself to be Kvothe-sans-Denna? Wouldn't that be a tragedy even as he regains the powers he appears to have lost, to have great power but no reason to drive its use? He would be the inverse of Lanre/Haliax, who gained great power as he sacrificed the outside world, sacrificing his personal happiness to regain the power he once held.
Mordicai Knode
22. mordicai
21. gbrell

I would like to see an honest to gosh tragedy, though. Not "thing we say is tragic but secretly has a happy ending" or even the modern Anofsky "this is basically pornography about sadness" but real tragedy.

...which is why the "Kvothe as Chandrian" theory appeals to me.
Steven Halter
23. stevenhalter
mordicai@22:A full on actual Greek tragedy would be pretty interesting.
It is possible that event has happened. Kvothe becomes Kote, lots of people die and the skrael are released upon an unsuspecting world. All sometime before the events of the frame story.
The frame story then holds something--possibly redemption, possibly vengence, possibly more tragedy, ...
So, with the two stories, Kvothe and Kote we get a tragedy and we get a x? Maybe.
24. menelmakil
@En Temerant Voistra:
While I am not too fond of interpreting fictional languages based on real-world vocabulary, this title always felt to me like "About Your Recklessness".

"En", as in "En Faeant Morie", functioning like "Of ..." or Latin "De ..." in book titles;
"Temerant" like Latin "temerarius" (reckless, thoughtless, imprudent, foolhardy, temerarious) and "temerator" (reckless person);
"Voistra" like interpreted in previous threads indicating something second person plural.

It certainly sounds like something Elodin tries to convey to Kvothe (and possibly some of his classmates), and which Kvothe can probably not learn in the library.
25. Goldfrapp

One of the "decreasing number of bodies between Ambrose and the throne" is Maer Alveron and another is Meluan Lackless, according to Sim in Day One. Ambrose cannot be the killed king unless the Maer and his wife are already dead.

K frequently reminds us this is a sad story. I think Maer is the killed king and Ambrose is the Penitent King.
Mordicai Knode
26. mordicai
25. Goldfrapp
I think Maer is the killed king and Ambrose is the Penitent King.
Oh woah, that makes a lot of sense. Or you know, Ambrose killing the Maer & Kvothe's last family-- Lackless-- could drive Kvothe over the edge.
thistle pong
27. thistlepong
Oh, I like that idea-- the alchemical reagents as lit motifs, hey, I've ready the Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz-- but I think you might be applying it too literally. Salt-of-Iax is interesting, though...but I don't think I buy the actual division, & especially not the bit with Kvothe, though...I will say that the Lockless connection might actually be a thread connecting the story of Lanre to Kvothe. Hm.
Not really thinking in terms of leitmotifs with the alchemical imagery. It's not so much a recurring theme if it's buried like this. A few other readers pointed out possible connections along those lines, trying for a 1:1 application of common alchemical symbols. Like pairing each of the Chandrian with one of the seven metals/planets, for example.

Another clever reader looked at the prologues and wondered if a traditional structure stretching from Chaucer through Lewis to Rowling might be at work. It's more this literary alchemy that I've been looking at. You wouldn't, and I don't, look for the symbols and draw conclusions therefrom. You might look at the theories folks have presented and notice that the symbolism seems to agree. That's what's going on in #16. No new theories, just some potential support for old ones.

Lanre's nominally linked to Iax via Haliax. Toss an iron penny into any of the, what, fifty threads on Tor alone and you're likely to hit a post about that connection. But, like Jo says, the stories in aggregate seem to imply they were on opposite sides of the war.

What we think we know about Iax suggests an intemperate use of power. That provides more noetic link between Iax and Kvothe. They're of like mind, as it were: curious, goal oriented, unmindful of consequences, inattentive, intelligent, and creative.

What is a lietmotif is Kvothe's oft-repeated interjection of his facility with untying knots, bypassing locks, and openning that which was closed. By which we come to the suspicion that he'll open the Loeclos Box, or Valaritas, or (vaguely) the doors of stone. The latter is probably the title of the third book, and folks tend to suspect Iax is the enemy set beyond them following Drossen Tor.

Anyway, all of that only really says, "Hey, Lanre and Iax and Kvothe are textually linked." All the Salt-of-Iax post says is, "Yah, and the alchemical imagery suports that link." If only applying it literarily is applying it too literally, I guess I'm guilty?
Jeremy Raiz
28. Jezdynamite
Regarding the moon

If we assume opening the Loeclos box releases the moon from its wandering between the Fae and mortal worlds, I can't see why that is inconsistent with the moon's behavior in the mortal world in the frame story.

With the box open, I assume the moon would still wander the night sky in the frame story (in the mortal world) - like it does in our world. I'm guessing it probably did this before the Creation war - before Iax/Jax stole part of its name.

I just assumed it would no longer be visible in the Fae.

Or am I missing something?

With this in mind, I dont think thistlepong's summary below is correct:

"We know from the frame that the moon is still moving. At the beginning of NW there’s no moon. At the end of WMF there’s moonlight. So, regarding Jax’s box and the Loeclos box, one of the following must be true. Thery’re not the same, or he doesn’t open it."

The Loeclos box and Jax's box can be the same box, and it could have been opened prior to the frame story, and the moon's wandering in the frame story can still be valid.

The gates/doors being permanently open

I really like the idea that, without the moon, entering or leaving the Fae is either much harder (i.e. most Fae are trapped in either the mortal or Faen realms - which may explain why Bast is still with Kvothe?) or that the gates are now wide open to any mortals as long as they know the location of the gates (doors of stone/waystones?).

Another thought occurred to me. If the doors are permanently open without the moon's wandering between worlds, I wonder if mortals can still unwittingly wander into Fae on a moonless night?

One rule for Faen folk, another for mortals

A moonless night and a full moon night are stated as part of the "when" and "where" a "mortal" can enter the Faen world on their own. But do those same rules apply to Faen folk? Do these same rules even apply to "mortals" leaving the Faen realm?

Felurian manages to send Kvothe back to the mortal realm 3 mortal days after he first enters her realm. I doubt it's still a full moon in the mortal realm when Kvothe returns (he gets to Crosson 3 nights after he chases Felurian).

If thats true, then different rules apply for travelling to the mortal realm when a "Faen person" wants to travel to the mortal realm or when they want to send a mortal back to the mortal realm.

Could Felurian only send Kvothe back at that time because he seems to have Faen blood (e.g. evidenced by his changing eyes colours, his enhanced magic in the Faen realm)?

Does anyone have any thoughts, ideas or evidence on whether a Faen person can travel at will in either direction between both worlds?

10. Soda/shalter/gbrell

I also think she's about to say "here".
29. robocarp
On relation of Haliax to Iax

As thislepong mentioned in #16, hal- is the Greek root for salt, and we know Rothfuss uses real-word foreign roots, such as tu (= you) in Siaru, and Ruach (= breath, wind). So it seems a reasonable guess that Haliax means "salt something". Since -iax is the rest of the word Haliax it seems a reasonable guess that Haliax means "salt of Iax", as thislepong said.

But I have another theory. Lanre already has a connection to salt: he tells Selios, "I sow salt because the choice is between weeds and nothing". With this quote in mind, I would say -iax means "to sow" or "sower". Thus, Haliax means "sower of salt", and that would seem to be a good thing for Selitos to christen him at that point.

Taking it one step further, Iax's name also means "sower". I think that's an apt description of him, as both "sower of the Faen realm" and "sower of discord". For all we know, Iax might not even be a name but an epithet. Considering Iax's evil, it may be that his actual name became taboo and people (e.g., Felurian) refused to utter it. But that's only speculation.

So, to summarize, my theory is that Haliax has no actual connection to Iax except that they are both sowers of some sort.

On the Ruach

At risk of nitpicking on a tangential point, I don't think the Ruach are angels. Some of the Ruach were changed into angels (the Singers, probably) but rereading Skarpi's story there's no indication that those Ruach were angels before Aleph uttered their long names. At first I thought Ruach might mean "survivors", until I learned the Hebrew origin of the word, which made that unlikely.

I think the simplest explanation is that Ruach is the term for what people were before they became Men and Fae. The Ruach in Selitos' story are not human, if you believe Felurian, because she said there were never any human Amyr, and most of those Ruach became the Amyr.

Which brings us to the next question: is Master Ash a Ruach? I think yes. I believe that Ash is Cinder with 99% confidence, and knowing what we know about the Chandrian, Cinder was a leader who betrayed one of the eight cities. Since the people who lived in those cities were Ruach (by my theory) it would make Cinder a Ruach.

Which raises other questions. How was it that the Ruach became Men and Fae? Felurian was presumably a Ruach when she sat eating silver fruit on the walls of Murella; now she's a Faerie. Men and Fae both have characteristics distinct from Ruach. Faeries can't tolerate iron, wheras Ruach could. Men seem to have much shorter lives. What happened? It must have happened in the aftermath of the Great Betrayal and Creation War, which we know very little about. (I'm still not even sure what side won.)

Another question is whether any Ruach besides the Chandrian still live. One theory I have is that the Adem are Ruach, and remained Ruach rather than turning into Men because they were neutral parties in the Creation War. This could explain their ideas about reproduction; perhaps that is how Adem reproduce because it's how Ruach reproduced.

On tinkers

I believe tinkers are simply ordinary people who travel and fix things, and that their "power" is only metaphorical. They are revered in the FC in much the same way that firemen are revered in our world today.
John Graham
30. JohnPoint
Jez @ 28 -- one of the Jax/Iax stories is (Hespe's I believe...?) prefaced with "back then the moon was always full and in the sky at all times" or something along those lines. Granted it's a story, but it implies that the moon didn't actually move through the phases like in our world.

Though that could just be poetic license to indicate that it's before the Creation War, or it could be a bit of forgotten history.
31. robocarp
I would like to add one thing concerning the Ruach. I think evidence points strongly to the people before the Creation War being neither humans nor faeries, but that they turned into humans and faeries sometime after the Betrayal. Thus much of my speculation about the Ruach is not speculation, really. The only question is whether Ruach is the correct term for these people, or if Skarpi means something else by Ruach. And if so, what?
Jeremy Raiz
32. Jezdynamite

Thanks. I found it and you are right. Even though it is just a story there could be truth to it.

I'm still very confused with the waxing and waning of the moon, and the various proposed shapes of the planet/world of the 4Cs.

I can't get my head around accepting that the "4Cs moon" rotates around the 4Cs planet/world without also accepting that the "4Cs moon" also changing it's phases naturally. I struggle to accept that the waxing and waning of the moon was only caused by Iax.

I can sort of get my head around Iax stealing a small part of the moon's light (or its appearance in the night sky) by trapping part of its name, but even that I struggle with.
thistle pong
33. thistlepong
Felurian answers most of the questions about the nature of the Ruach and the moon.

The Ruach were the people of the pre-Creation War empire.
“long before the cities of man. before men. before fae. there were those who walked with their eyes open. they knew all the deep names of things.” (Felurian)
These are Skarpi's Ruach. Some of them went shaper, no longer content to know the names of things but seeking mastery over them. Incidentally this mastery is the only reasonable criterion we can equate with "skill in names:" Aleph, Iax, Lyra, and Selitos kinda haveta be shapers.
Most of the Ruach hung back from Selitos, too. They were afraid, and they did not wish to become involved in great matters. (Skarpi)
Aleph, Selitos, the original Amyr, Tehlu & Pals - all Ruach.

Shehyn implies the Adem might descend from the non-obsessed Ruach. Of the empire, Skarpi's Ergen, she says:
They were what Ademre was before we became ourselves.
The moon wasn't moving. Then it was. Now it is.
there was but one sky. one moon. one world, and in it was murella.
“but still one moon. and it all round and cozy in the mortal sky.”
“this shaper of the dark and changing eye stretched out his hand against the pure black sky. he pulled the moon, but could not make her stay. so now she moves ’twixt mortal and the fae.” (Felurian)
Jax had no trouble following the moon because in those days the moon was always full. She hung in the sky, round as a cup, bright as a candle, all unchanging. (Hespe)
Regarding the permeability of the boundary between Faen and the Mortal in the frame versus the narrative, I don't see much evidence for any difference. Felurian's major point is that the crossing can be accidental from one world to another during new/full moons. The worlds are close, the border can be crossed and recrossed intentionally at those times as well as breached plus or minus a few days. Miss the window or don't know the way back and you're stuck for a little over a month and a half reckoned in 4C time.

She implies it's not exactly rocket surgery, though:
“have they the will, and know the way. there are a thousand half-cracked doors that lead between my world and yours.”
The scrael shows up on a moonless night. The next night Kvothe finishes off its friends. The commander-cum-shambleman that robs Chronicler picked up his black gunk in the same timeframe. "Demons" aren't common in the frame. Only Cob takes them remotely seriously, and the others basically agree that talking about the thing they took to the priest will brand them as crazy.

(@Jez, a wizard did it)
((EDIT: and the box is, like, either metaphor or allegory, as is the folding house))
(@robo, Haliax names himself)
Jeremy Raiz
34. Jezdynamite
Thanks thistle. I have a few reservations (though your comment about "a wizard did it" made me chuckle). But I'll save them till I've thought it through a bit more.

The time between successive full moons is about 72 (and a bit) 4C's days, right?

Also, when you say "The moon wasn't moving. Then it was. Now it is.", are you are referring to the waxing and waning of the moon? Or are you referring to the trajectory of the moon across the night sky?

Are you saying the moon always moves in its trajectory across the night sky but was initially always a full moon (i.e. the moon in murella's time didn't "move" between the Faen and mortal worlds) until Jax/Iax got involved? Or that the moon is always in the same spot in the sky - irrespective of whether it is full or not - (irrespective of whether its daytime or night time) and it doesn't orbit the 4Cs world?
Jo Walton
35. bluejo
Jezdynamite: That's what I pictured. Rising and setting, but always full. Like the sun is always full. (Now I want a sun that waxes and wanes...)

The problem with this literally is the term "synodic period" absolutely implies serious real astronomy.

But ignoring that for a moment, it's time for Imaginary Astronomy! Imagine the 4C world flat, with the full sun and full moon passing over and under it, on rails, or in chariots pulled by horses. Then the spherical Fae world is invented at a 4th dimensional angle to it, and the moon's rail is (in the sky) along a seam between them, with the moon itself sometimes entirely in one and sometimes entirely in the other, and most of the time part visible from either side.

I'm actually visualising this as a special case of a tesseract, and it does work.
Steven Halter
36. stevenhalter
@Jo:Yes, that's pretty much what I've been picturing. Since PR answered that he wasn't given to hyperbole, I've been picturing a flat 4C and a spherical Fae.
As you say, the moon and Sun work out nicely with that arrangement.
37. storeygal
Wow, you guys sure take this seriously! Interesting points to ponder but--from the outside looking in--all I want to know is WHEN will the final book be available?!?

Also, is Bast K's son by Felurian? (Time works differently in the Fae.)
thistle pong
38. thistlepong
Also, when you say "The moon wasn't moving. Then it was. Now it is.", are you are referring to the waxing and waning of the moon? Or are you referring to the trajectory of the moon across the night sky?
I'm saying that initially the moon was fixed. Then someone (collectively assumed to be Iax) changed that. And that that change persists through the narrative and into the frame. Hespe's quote implies the moon was there day and night, neither rising and setting nor changing phase. I dropped "a wizard did it" 'cause, in this case, it's true. We're kind of trying to make sense of a creation myth, here; a story 5-6000 years old in a setting where magic is objective reality.

I once described it as "looking for Inana in stories of Orpheus, Isis, and Dante." I recently found confirmation: Comics Online podcast (s12e5; 1-4-12; around 21:00)
"Part of the enjoyment is the slow uncovering of the mysteries of the world, something we get very little of in this world and our real lives. Boy, I really wish I knew how, like, the ancient Sumerian story of Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth really tied into Gilgamesh and the Old Testament, but we never really get any definitive answers on that. We just get some fairly good guesses.
Whereas in my world that's one of the things that Kvothe is interested in and he's trying to dig up over the space of time. So part if the reason that you don't have all of the answers that you want is because that is some of the stuff that is still coming in the third book, and later books."
I enjoy the imaginary astrophysics, but I'm credulous enough to take from the text what is in the text, I 'spose. We're keen to goggle at the scientific-ish elements of the world, like maybe sympathy being quantum entanglement and maybe it and naming being electromagnetic. But the sympathic magic Frazer describes is essentially the same thing that appears in the books; it just works better. Alchemy is looking more and more akin to historical tradition. Pat himself cites both fictional and real world traditions of naming magic. Even the everburning lamp has historical precedent. Why would we willing accept immortals, fire from nothing, weather control, and a prisoner in a tree with all the prescience of Augustine's God while resisting the possibility of moon that works differently?

There's a Grimm's Fairy Tale called, simply, "The Moon," that might even be an antecedent. Folks from a moonless land steal a stationary moon is from a neighboring kingdom and, when all is said and done, the moon ends up moving in phases.

35/35@bluejo and shalter
Does that arrangement allow for normal moon effects to act contunally on the Mortal? It would be fantastic if that solved for all the variables we've wondered about. Or does it not even matter for the tides of a flat 4C?
39. robocarp

Correct, I confused it with Selitos calling his long name. But the theory I described works as well if Haliax names himself, no?

Something I just noticed: Selitos seems like he might have the moon in his name (sele- being the Greek root for moon). Wonder what the implications of that would be?
thistle pong
40. thistlepong

It's a guess. There's no real reason to think Iax means "sower," but we could explore the theory anyway. You'd need to account for his name being "sower" and not sower-of-something-that-fits-with-whatever-theory-you-like, though. Sower alone has some pretty powerful Western reverberations, yah? It's name synonomous with Jesus in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Does that fit your theory?

I suppose it knind of does, taking into account Jo's admonition that Lanre and Iax were prolly on opposite sides of the war. We'd have to radically reconsider our interpretations of those sides adn their relative merits.

On the other hand, according to wiktionary, jax means left/left hand/left handed/left eye/sinister. Those all resonate to some degree with what we've been told so far.
Wallace Forman
41. WallaceForman
Theory of the day: The Cthaeh is Selitos

1) Bast says that Lanre spoke to the Cthaeh before the betrayal of Myr Tariniel and Iax spoke to it before the stealing of the moon. In Skarpi's story, Lanre speaks to Selitos immediately before the sack of Myr Tariniel. In Hespe's story, Jax speaks to a Selitos-like hermit before stealing the moon.

2) The Cthaeh is not Iax. Bast says that Iax spoke to the Cthaeh, which would mean they are separate identities. Moreover, Iax is "shut beyond the doors of stone" according to Felurian. The Cthaeh, on the other hand, is stuck in a tree. Selitos, too, is a different person than Iax, according to Skarpi's story.

3) Why is the Cthaeh stuck in a tree? Unclear. But according to Skarpi's story, Lanre bound Selitos in place so that he could not move or speak. Subsequently, Selitos seems to throw off Lanre's power. But perhaps Lanre's physical binding was more permanent than Skarpi's tale lets on.

4) What power does the Cthaeh have? It says, "I see. I know.... At times I speak." Felurian too notes that "it has the gift of seeing." "Seeing" is a power quintessentially associated with naming. Moreover, it is exactly the power that Selitos possesses. He is, according to Skarpi, "a man who lost his eye and gained a better sight." Before gaining this better sight, only Aleph, Lyra, or Iax had greater powers in naming (including seeing?) than Selitos. After Selitos gained a *greater* sight, his powers in seeing would have been extremely strong.

Sub-theory: Bast is wrong about the Cthaeh - I do not think it sees the "future." Instead, I think it just sees in the same way that all E'lir do - it sees the true nature of things, i.e. true "names". We have already seen that understanding the nature of things can look quite a bit like being able to control complex events in the future, most clearly in the duel between Aethe and Rethe, when Rethe strikes Aethe with a bolt of silk floating in the wind.

Sub-sub-theory: Perhaps this is why Kvothe has changed his name (and perhaps his true nature) to "Kote."?

5) "Maybe this Cinder did me a bad turn once." The Adem suggest that there was one traitor in each city. If Ferule was the traitor from Myr Tariniel, he would certainly have done Selitos harm. Note that Lanre is never specifically identified by the Adem or Skarpi as being affiliated with Myr Tariniel. Possibly he is affiliated with Belen (he defends that city from attack in Skarpi's story). Denna, however, identifies Lanre as the betrayer of Myr Tariniel, so perhaps Cinder merely played an ancillary role in the sack of Myr Tariniel, or perhaps the Cthaeh just resents his participation in the general conspiracy.

6) Bast says, "There isn't anything worse than the Cthaeh." Also, "It's... it's a monster." This fits with Denna's description of Selitos: "Selitos was a tyrant, an insane monster..." Note also that in Denna's song, "Selitos' words were cruel and biting," much like the words of the Cthaeh itself.

7) A few more random echoes between Selitos and the Cthaeh. In Hespe's story, the Selitos-like character asks Jax, "Are you sure you won't consider staying for a month or two? You could learn to listen just a bit more closely." Thousands of years later, the Cthaeh says much more bitterly to Kvothe, "Come back. Come back. I've more to say. I've so much more to tell you, won't you stay?" Also, Skarpi's Selitos lived in a high tower, while the Cthaeh is stuck in an extremely tall tree.

That's it. Convincing?
42. robocarp

Of course it's a guess, like a good deal of things written here, and if it's less believable than hal- meaning salt, it's only a matter of degree. I do have reason to believe -iax means sower, just not as strong of one.

I would say Iax's leadership role in the contruction of Faen is sufficient enough to gain him the epithet "Sower", yes, and would be somewhat in-line with Christian symbolism. Iax's stealing of the moon also seems to be in-line with Dante's use of the word "Sower". And in general, Iax seemed to be an instigator, doing things (good or bad) just to provoke reactions. So, yes, I think "Sower" would be an apt name for Iax. But we don't have to go that far.

The real point I was making here is that, if the hal- in Haliax does mean "salt", it almost certainly refers back to Haliax's own line about how he sows salt. That doesn't depend on whether -iax means "sower", "man", "sinister", "emphatic suffix", "suffix meaning like", or "random cool sounding phonemes"; or whether Iax and -iax are related. But it is a reasonable guess that if hal- refers to one word of a phrase, -iax would refer to the other word.

Iax meaning "sinister" would be a good guess, too, although I can't find the Wiktionary entry you refer to.
44. ryujin
A knee-jerk reaction to the Hal-Iax name connection. Apologies if this is a common theory or has been mentioned/discounted already.

The story we get from Kvothe as a kid is that Lanre looked for knowledge/power where it was best left alone. I always thought the source in question was the Cthaeh.

Even if it is though, assuming a grief mad Lanre went around seeking all sources of power at his disposal, if he talked to Cthaeh what would it tell him to help him get Lyra back? (To the worst possible effect)

I would guess that he should consult the greatest of the forces of his day. Lyra was dead - Aleph unsure. If Iax really had managed to trap the moon - and surely that was the greatest piece of naming yet known then- Lanre would go to him and seek power. Perhaps he stole Iax's abilities from him, gaining the power of his naming. If he could name/shape the moon maybe he could do the same for death or Lyra's life.

Sorry rambling and not sure if that made sense. Love the analysis and ideas here!
thistle pong
45. thistlepong

part 3 doesn't parse - Selitos turns up in another place in Skarpi's second story.

part 5 is probably incorrect - folks tend to figure Cinder was on another city; one for each of the seven (or eight depending)

part 6 is... neat! Monster is such a common word I didn't realize how infrequently it was used.

part 7 is half neat/half internally inconsistent with part 1 - the tree is a bad pairing with the tower/the city, while the cave is a good one.

I like the theory, of course. I mentioned it in the bit Jo quoted in the OP. For more support check out the following:

JohnPoint's stunning theory about the contents of the Loeclos that got the ball rolling -
My first attempt at articulating it -
A second attempt at sharing it elsewhere -

"Sinister" was old Armenian transliterated. "Left eye" evoked "dark and shining eye" in a waffling handwavey sorta way for me. Iax in both Felurian and Hespe struck me more as a person unaware of consequences rather than a provocateur.
Anon Nimous
46. hades
I've always had a suspicion that Selitos was Skarpi. Can't think of much evidence for it though.
Mordicai Knode
47. mordicai
32. Jezdynamite

I'm not sure we'll be able to find a consistant cosmology, but I don't think that is a bad thing; I think a psychical cosmology & a spiritual cosmology might be incompatible? That is, the same way Ferulian used moonlight to stitch Kvothe's cloak, & he couldn't quite grok it until he stopped trying-- that might be in effect, here.

41. WallaceForman

Wait, are we sure that the Cthaeh isn't just an evil tree? The like, "Mirror Mirror" Treebeard?
Wallace Forman
49. WallaceForman

I saw your Westeros post a bit after I put mine up. It's good stuff! I'm surprised the theory hasn't gotten more coverage, or perhaps I just haven't been reading discussions of the Cthaeh here carefully?

I have more to say re: Selitos' mobility but I'll have to get to it later.
Steven Halter
50. stevenhalter
Thistlepong@38:Rothfuss doesn't really say much about how the tides act in 4C. The word is used a number of times, so they do seem to have them. I can imagine that if the moon is a gravitational object, then it would cause tides just as our own does.
If the moon isn't a gravitational object, then other effects could cause tides in a flat world. A slight wobble could do it, for example. Or, it could be some interesting magical effect. That is the problem, of course, we can make up things that seem to fit (hey imaginary science!) but until PR lets us know or drops some more substantive hints we can't know too much.
Maybe after D3 comes out we can get some better "scientific" answers from him about the nature of the universe.
Steven Halter
51. stevenhalter
WallaceForeman@41&Thistlepong@45:Part 6 is quite interesting. I still think the Cthaeh is the Cthaeh and Selitos is separate, but the parallel language is, interesting.
If think that Selitos did found the Amyr as in the text. I don't think they are the nice guys that Kvothe thinks they are, but they did start with a clear purpose. Thus, from certain points of view, both Skarpi's and Denna's stories are correct.
Steven Halter
52. stevenhalter
mordicai@47:Yes, the Cthaeh is the creature that is in the branches of the tree, not the tree itself. Kvothe catches glimpses of this creature as they talk.
Mordicai Knode
53. mordicai
52. shalter

Oh I guess you are right; I read that as more of a "Kvothe keeps LOOKING for a something in the tree, because of his observation bias," but your reading makes more sense.
thistle pong
54. thistlepong

Three different sources in the text agree that the Cthaeh is not a tree. So we don't really have to rely on one interpretation versus another of the encounter itself.
I am no tree. No more than is a man a chair.
I found something in a tree. It called itself a Cthaeh.
This isn’t a problem for the most part, as it can’t leave the tree.
Interesting fact:
Cthaeh is the only words that's ever capitalized in Felurian's voice, and it's capitalized every time.

I'll admit to some selection bias regarding the Selitos/Cthaeh theory. The three big questions that nagged at me were:
"What's in the Loeclos?"
"Whither Selitos?"
"What happened at Shep's farm?"
Johnpoint helped elegantly satisfy two of those. It's reasonably well supported by the text. Thanks to Wallace there's more to suggest it than I thought. But I did have to toss treasured ideas about the Cthaeh, Selitos, Iax, and Lanre along the way.

I don't think the Cthaeh actually conflicts with the goal of the Amyr: to confound Lanre and any who follow him. The only post-entrapment encounter we know anything about sets our protagonist more firmly against the Seven. I'm even willing to give the Amyr the benefit of the doubt at this point. They're making hard choices after consideration. The Edema Ruh have no reason to love the Amyr and yet Illien's greatest work celebrates them and the Sceop story presents them favorably.

JezDynamite added it to the Kingkiller Wiki this summer. I hadn't paid any attention to the various Wikis for awhile since they generally referred to Cthaehs (plural) as evil trees. That one, at least, seems to be getting better. It's on Tor and Westeros, which represent about like 60-70% of the existing discussion... in English anyway.
Mordicai Knode
55. mordicai
54. thistlepong

That is decisive as heck. To explain my logic, "I am no more a tree than a man is a chair" to me implied something more like possession, & I distrust Kvothe's perceptions of things, but Bast is a fairly authoritative voice.

Of course, now I am thinking Bast could be the Cthaeh...
thistle pong
56. thistlepong
A recent set of posts back in Sleeping Under the Wagon (Dimitra & A Fox) along with robocarp's here got me thinking about the variety of near or exact matches we can find for many of the proper nouns in the series, including the playful ways we attempt to squeeze meaning with Imaginary Linguistics.

Someone asked Pat if he did it on purpose at a reading and pursued it a little bit and the answer he gave, a story about Carceret not being Latin and Devi not being Hindi, seemed to say no. But like many of his story answers, it left every other example wide open. All of our guesses, wiktionary finds, and translation discoveries can't be correct, of course. But the sheer number of wind/air/breath related possibilities in particular make me think it can't all be accidental, either.

The Name of the Wind was fourteen years in the making, twice as long as Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. The number of meaningful names and literary devices in that book (and series), whatever one thinks of Rowling's prose, is a little mind boggling. It's kind of ridiculous to assume that something Pat testifies to reading and revising once every two months isn't laden with that species of artistry.
thistle pong
57. thistlepong
Edit: Double Post
58. robocarp

Felurian's own name is also capitalized in her voice; also the word I.

This fact made me suspect that Felurian and the Cthaeh are the same being, but only for 2 seconds because that's ridiculous.
59. ObNixi
I love the discussions here... its kinda like crack for me!!!
Bruce Wilson
60. Aesculapius
Hello All,
Glad to see things are still ticking over in here! :o)

Re. Denna and messing with her hair...
6. I wonder if there’s something in her hair to make him be honest? she consistently calls him out on his lies. and then there’s this quote:
“Listen Kvothe, I’m sorry.” Denna sighed and ran a hand through her hair. “I shouldn’t have pushed you. It’s none of my business, really. I know what it’s like to have secrets.”
I almost told her everything then. The whole story about my parents, the Chandrian, the man with black eyes and a nightmare smile. But I worried it might seem like the desperate elaboration of a child caught in a lie“

as if the act of her running her hands through her hair makes him more compelled to tell the truth.

Is this the first time when D messes with her hair and it has an effect? This is before she goes to Yll and starts braiding ”lovely” into it. But I think Dozier is right here, it does something.
Looking back at this passage, got me wondering -- she is suggesting that she was pushing him about his secrets and then apologises, saying that she shouldn't have done this as she runs a hand through her hair.

I wonder if this is implying that she was already using some form of subliminal suggestive manipulation, such as the Yllish braiding technique that K notices later in WMF. Was this something along the lines of a braid saying "tell me the truth" (and is that what she really meant by "pushing" Kvothe?) but, at this point in time, K simply didn't have the knowledge to recognise it for what it was.

I don't think it's the act of running her hand through her hair that is compelling K; rather, it seems to me that when she runs her hand through her hair as she apologises, K is actually seeing D surreptitiously undoing whatever magic she had been using and thereby breaking the subliminal (magical) suggestion she had been using...? This is why K almost told her everything -- but then didn't.

I realise that this event pre-dates her trip to Yll, at least as documented in the narrative, but then it doesn't necessarily follow that she couldn't already use such a technique. If true, then this would seem to suggest that D has a much deeper grounding in these sorts of skills than we might have previously suspected.
Sahi Rioth
61. Sahirioth
@ Aesculapius (60)

Now this is a theory I like! However, it is problematic that this "hair-handling" situation occurs before Yll if we're to use it as evidence for the theory. I sort of got the impression that Denna had not been to Yll before the visit she tells Kvothe of, and that she went there because her patron told her to. Do we actually know what the reason for or purpose of that trip was?

Also, do we have other instances in the book where Denna fiddles with her hair in some way, and Kvothe is (semmingly) entranced? Or for that matter any place where he looks at her hair, specifically, and just stops whatever he's doing or gets an idea all of a sudden?
Sahi Rioth
62. Sahirioth
@ Storeygal (37)
Also, is Bast K's son by Felurian? (Time works differently in the Fae.)
I couldn't find that anyone answered you yet, so here it is:
This just occurred to me: due to the odd flow of time in the Fae, Bast
could be Kvothe's grandson. Through speculation here it's been more or less established that he's not Kvothe's son, due to him being introduced as "son of Remmen". (Then again, that could be a lie, or 'Remmen' could be what Kvothe is called in the Fae.) But what if Remmen is Kvothe's son by Felurian?
The above quote is some speculation on my part after having read the posts and LOADS of comments talking about the possibility of kinship/blood-ties between Bast and Kvothe.
thistle pong
63. thistlepong

Sort of? Searching on an android device, there are 264 instances of "hair" including words like chair, so this isn't a post about all examples. But for the first fifty chapters there's a notable one. On the way to Imre in Roent's caravan, D touches her hair and Kvothe delivers those first seven words, honestly.

Take it with a grain if salt, though. All the women have errant strands of hair and they all touch it. Further complicating the theory: 0 instances of "braid" in NW.

Might be like Adem hand talk where it didn't exist until WMF and resonates backward. At least there Elodin was notably gesturing all along, though.
Mordicai Knode
64. mordicai
58. robocarp

Or simply that she only attaches importance to important personal nouns? Like, Ferulian cares about FERULIAN, but also, you can't deny the importance of the Cthaeh.
Sahi Rioth
65. Sahirioth
@ Mordicai (64)

No offense meant, especially not if you are dyslexic or the like, but try to make sure you spell Felurian as it's supposed to be, since when you let the 'r' and the 'l' swap places, you get something very close to "Ferule", which is the (Adem?) name for one of the Chandrian. Got me confused a few times... =)
Bruce Wilson
66. Aesculapius
Re. Denna (again!)

Thanks, Thistlepong -- I had a really strong memory that D touching her hair came up during that first trip in Roent's caravan -- but I couldn't remember it well enough to give details!

As you say, it's relatively non-specific given that similar descriptions are equally valid for other female characters in D1.

Interesting though, especially the association with the first time the "seven words" motif occurs!
Jo Walton
67. bluejo
I don't think that Iax-Jax-Jakis (Jackass) is a coincidence. I think that's carefully set up.
Bruce Wilson
68. Aesculapius
Agreed!! I've been wondering about that since I first read the books!

It just seems too close to be coincidental.
Mordicai Knode
69. mordicai
65. Sahirioth

Hrm, no offense taken, but now I wonder if that IS in fact accidental...I mean, on Rothfuss' part. I mean, we are deep into Iax/Haliax/Jakis connections here; maybe there is in fact Felurian/Chandrian bleed?
Bruce Wilson
70. Aesculapius
Re. 38, above (Thistlepong)

"So part if the reason that you don't have all of the answers that you want is because that is some of the stuff that is still coming in the third book, and later books."

I'm amazed no-one has yet commented on this directly...! That statement is both awesome and horrifying in equal measure; excellent that we have the reveals to come in D3 but implicit there is also the fact that some of our obvious questions will NOT be answered in D3 and that we will have to wait for subsequent books about the world of the 4C to get all the answers we seek...!!

Could this be the suggested book (or series...?) about the older woman that PR has mentioned before, or does he really mean a proper follow-up series about K after D3 has ended...?

(Edit: corrected the error with the italics)
George Brell
71. gbrell

I think Pat has confirmed both a) the book (or possible series) will be about Laniel Young-Again, a folk legend in the Four Corners who became an adventurer after having a family/reaching middle age and b) that he will write further stories in the 4C universe, but that this story (presumably Kvothe's story) will be three books.

And I for one never assumed we'd get every answer. As a long-time Wheel of Time fan/speculator, part of me almost prefers existing in constant suspense.
Mordicai Knode
72. mordicai
71. gbrell

I for one am looking forward to a book about a hero who isn't, like, 16. Stupid teenagers!
73. robocarp
64. mordicai

I'm sure it's something like that. Felurian's odd orthography is too obvious for it to hold any deep secrets.

However, a typo you made (or was it?) now has suggested something very strange to me. Felurian is more or less a simple metathesis away from Ferule. Now, it THAT a coincidence? Are we getting carried away here?

(Note: metathesis = switching two sounds)
Bruce Wilson
74. Aesculapius
@71, gbrell

Hi - yes, I remember what he's said so far about closing off this current story with the end of the trilogy and the possible series about Laniel (a very interesting and very different concept).

The terminology and the phraseology of the whole section quoted by Thistlepong (@38) just made me think of a reference to more books specifically relating to K rather than possible information gleaned from other books set within the 4C.

I guess I just read more intent into those few wrods than might really be there -- obviously just wishful thinking on my part...!
Steven Halter
75. stevenhalter
Jo@67:It is very tempting to see the Jaxi as an alternate/rival Lockless.
George Brell
76. gbrell

And interestingly, wouldn't Iax -> Jax -> Jakis be the reverse of "traveling rabble" -> ravel via "metaplasmic enclitization"?

Though that'd be yet another worn fantasy trope; having two characters who hate each other descended from a long-standing blood feud (though I guess to really be trope-y, Ambrose and Kvothe will have to ultimately come to a begrudging respect ... crap, Pentitent King). Unfortunately, I just spent way too long searching TVTropes for the proper page and can't find an obvious name.
77. Holmelund
Any news on the blogs Patrick promised us?
He said he would do about a month after the survey replies but it has been far longer than that.
thistle pong
78. thistlepong

cycle of revenge
feuding families
neither have aversions or inversions afaict

And it would play out in the as above, so below layering of the story: prank war/family feud/Creation War. I do hate it when structural tics suggest something I otherwise dislike. I suppose if it was true but irrelevant that would avert the trope.

I thought Laniel Young Again was for Subterranean Press, from the first Worldbuilders auction. Explores Modeg, which we won't be seing in the KKC.

Pat and Nate Taylor are (were?) in talks with Dark Horse about graphic novel version of "The Boy Who Loved the Moon." The full version, not Hespe's lowbrow campfire version.

I'm hoping for crumbs, to be honest. One or two clues to support or damage existing theories. I mean, gbrell frigured out Trapis was a Tehlin apostate. Some stuff will slip.
thistle pong
79. thistlepong

He will never write those blogs. That is okay.
Steven Halter
80. stevenhalter
@76:Yes, in a way. In the story no one has co-located those terms, but we do here all the time. Iax and Jax this and Jax or Iax that could yield Jakis as the shorthand. Since we are handed the word Jakis, we didn't get a chance to linguistically conflate them through a metaplasmic enclitization. :-) However, that process could certainly have happened in the 4C.
One difference in the usual feuding families trope whose descendents automatically dislike each other is that we haven't seen any evidence that there have been feuds between the various Lackless branches and the Jaxians. So, here we have more two ancient orders that have mostly forgotten their purpose whose descendentds don't like each other.
In this case, we could conjecture that if Kvothe hadn't ended up poor and stayed as an Lackless, he might have ended up a spoiled noble and gotten along with Ambrose.
Steven Halter
81. stevenhalter
Speaking of linguistic evolutions, I thought I would pull this thread forward from one of the older posts:
257. Barman WesleyWaystoneInn : @250. thistlepong, I've always believed that all components of our story, even pre-creation war events, take place within the same boundries, more or less. I think one of Skarpi's stories mentioned how the world was "broken and changed" after the creation wars, but that can mean the Sheer has always existed. I've been looking into Lady Lacklesses' "black dress" lately. It seems ancient names remain unchanged, except for the switching of vowels. Therefore, bloc becomes black, and a clever twist of wording changes drossen to dress, again with vowel switching. In this context, it would make sense that the Lackless estate is near the Sheer, which was once the fabled location of the huge battle. Whatever Lady Lackless is hiding seems to be beneath the family estate. We know Kvothe claims to have "stolen princesses back from the barrow kings". What better place to have barrow kings than the place where "more people died than are alive today"?
258. shalter : Barman@257: "drossen to dress", Oooh, that's clever. So, we have:
Seven things has Lady Lackless Keeps them underneath her black dress--> Keeps them underneath her blac drossen Blac of Drossen Tor Not sure if the Lackless estate has to be near the Sheer, but I'll bet that whereever it is, there is a nice hill/Tor. I like that there would be barrows at the battle site and so the Lockless estate occupies the former battle site. This lends even more wieght to the box containing the stone that Selitos jabbed his eye out with as the Lockless estate now becomes contiguous in space with the battles. Nice!
Mordicai Knode
82. mordicai
73. robocarp

Yes, that is exactly what I'm wondering!
Steven Halter
83. stevenhalter
@73&@82:We haven't really seen enough Fae names to know what sorts of conventions exist in their personal naming practices. The Fae seem to be a mixture of Ruach (+ other originals?), created and born to Fae people. Felurian predated the creation war and so is presumably a Ruach. Where Ferule fits into this mix is a very good question, but one to which we don't have a complete answer.
thistle pong
84. thistlepong
I'm delighted by the speculation that Cinder facilitated Kvothe's sexual awakening.

However, without some kind of textual support or evidence of coincident motivation, it's only funny.

shalter@83: Ferule and the other Rhinta would be Ruach as well. At least we have more reason to think so than not.

EDIT: repaired an incorrect autocorrect
Mordicai Knode
85. mordicai
83. shalter & 84. thistlepong

Unless "Ruach" isn't a static state? Like, the Ruach had to CHOOSE to be Fae or Human? Or had that choice made for them when the worlds split?
Steven Halter
86. stevenhalter
thistlepong@84:Yes, they are most likely Ruach. I can envision a really interesting story though where there were all "shaped" beings in Fae and they joined Lanre in some sort of nihilistic revolt.
thistle pong
87. thistlepong
His fingers were ice, but the way he performed Thousand Hands was strangely familiar. Had I dreamed about this? As I settled back the thought refracted, like a flaw in a precious stone.
Dave West
89. Jhirrad
I'm listenting to Pat's show on Geek and Sundry, The Story Board, and he just said something very interesting about the nature of his story telling. I think it's something which we should think about when discussing any of this, because it goes right to the nature of the story we're reading. I'm going to paraphrase here, and I apologize if I have something a little bit off here.

His comment is that Kvothe's entire story is about the discovery of truth, in everything. He said he's not sure if that's just Kvothe's story, or if it's his issue and the way he writes (he commented that he won't really know until he writes something that is NOT Kvothe), but that it was clear that in his opinion, the real base of the story more than anything else is Kvothe's search for truth.

Just some food for thought...
Dave West
90. Jhirrad
Still listenting to The Story Board...Something to note. Pat has now specifically said that Auri is not an important piece of any plot arc in the story. There's been talk that she would killed by Kvothe, but based on this comment, I think that's been debunked. He says that yes, she is important, but why she is important is because she makes the story more beautiful.
thistle pong
91. thistlepong
That mirrors a comment from, I think, around the release of WMF. She's not important to the plot, but she's important to Kvothe. I can't believe I'm two episodes behind on a three episode show.
93. Didactylos
Please forgive me if this was mentioned already. I confess to having not read all of the comments. Also, I don't really have any support for this beyond "How cool would it be if . . ."

Let's consider the possibility that the Maer is considerably more complex than he seems. We're told explicitly that he's subtle. He tells Kvothe that he was enamored of the Amyr as a youth -- enough that he did research looking for details. Presumably his family was "rich as the king of Vint" at that time as well, so he may have been able to dig quite extensively. He never actually tells us what he found; Kvothe interjects and the Maer just agrees.

Now for some wild speculation. Suppose the Maer found something. Suppose further that he found references that lead him to the Lackless Box. Kvothe takes the Maer's word that Meluan's the only gal for him, but maybe he's courting Meluan to gain access to the box.

Let's have some more wild speculation. If he's interested in the box, he's probably been interested since his youth. He's forty-ish during WMF, which makes him in his twenties when Kvothe is born. If he wanted access to the box in his youth, he should have courted Netalia. Oh, wait. She runs off with a Ruh. (As an aside, what if she had better reason for running away than Arliden's silver tongue. For the record, I don't think she needs one. Rothfuss seems to like the idea of the Ruh charm -- or perhaps it's just Kvothe that entertains that rather romantic image?) So what's a young Alveron to do? He could hate the Ruh, but that doesn't seem to be his current feeling; he's quite tolerant, for a Vint. Or, he could use his considerable wealth/influence/subtlety to keep tabs on Netalia and her Troupe. I'm not suggesting that he had spies tailing them or in their midst, or that he sent Ben (!), or that he was still corresponding with Netalia (!), or anything. But he probably knew about where they were, that she had a red-haired son, that he was impossibly precocious, maybe even that he was spending a lot of time with an arcanist. He might have known his name. Then he looses touch with them. Maybe he knows they were killed, maybe not. Maybe he's been conducting his own investigations. I don't really think so, but it doesn't matter much for this particular thread of Imaginary Logic.

Then, three-ish years later, he hears about a red-haired Ruh at the University with a silver tongue. Could it be Netalia's son? Did she tell him about the box? There's a bit of a delay between Kvothe becoming a rockstar in Imre and the Maer sending his letter to Threpe, but news takes time to travel (common aphorisms notwithstanding). So, how can the Maer have a look at Kvothe and maintain his subtlety? He also needs Meluan to get to the box. How can he get Meluan? Would a trouper's tongue work a second time? He's Arliden's son (we assume), after all. So he sends for Kvothe.

Kvothe's tongue is everything he'd hoped for, and Kvothe doesn't recognize his aunt either. The Maer can't ask about the box until after the wedding, of course. That would not be subtle.

How does this color our reading of the poisoning and the bandits? I haven't thought this out well, but . . .

If Alveron was reading entirely the wrong sorts of books, he might have come to the attention of the Chandrian. They can hardly turn all the fires blue and run him through with a sword and still be dismissed as superstition (even in Vintas); that only works in rural areas. Of course, this doesn't resolve why he isn't poisoned to death. Personally, I tend to favor the Jakis theory, but I'm also hesitant because it seems too plausible without being the sort of perfect and awesome that Rothfuss seems to do so well.

As for the bandits, I really like the idea that they're after the Lackless Box. Alveron knows they're formidable. If he's as knowledgeable as this theory assumes, he might suspect there's more to them than just bandits. He might even suspect something about their leader. Even if he doesn't, Kvothe's little band is hardly appropriate to send against what we're explicitly told about the bandits, unless the Maer knows something about Kvothe. We could also trot out the Amyr conspiracy to shape (Shape?) Kvothe: they sent him Ben, they sent him to the University, they sent him to Severn, they sent him to the Eld. (They sent him to . . . Felurian? Surely not.)

One last line of pursuit. The Maer is definitely interested in the Lackless Box. It's been mentioned that perhaps it's the Maer who tries to open the box (or something else he shouldn't). If he's also obsessed with the box, this seems all the more likely. Maybe Kvothe has to kill the Maer to stop him. The Maer's already a popular choice for the eponymous killed king. Suppose Kvothe hesitates, or otherwise fails to completely stop some opening. That would allow us still to have a partial moon, and some Fae incursion, and lots of guilt. There'd be even more guilt if Kvothe thought he was using the Maer to find information, but it was actually the Maer who was using Kvothe to find information. Imagine if Kvothe ended up accidentally giving the Maer the items/information needed to open the box (or whatever), then he had to kill the him for it, but he hesitated and something awful escaped, and that put Ambrose on the throne? We could work Denna into that mess almost anywhere. I can already hear the Ctheah laughing.
Jeremy Raiz
94. Jezdynamite
thislepong, bluejo, shalter, mordecai:

Thanks for the info about the moon. I like the tesseract theory. Jo's well explained example makes sense in my head. But I'm trying to work out how a flat world could work. I'm guessing the best answer to that is: I should use my imagination?

I'm rereading WMF, and I just got past Hespe's story. I'd forgotten that Jax can only see the moon and stars when he wears the tinker's spectacles.

thislepong - there are points in there that refer to the moon moving in the night sky (though always full) i.e. not being fixed in one spot.

"Jax brought out the crooked piece of wood and, piece by piece, began to unfold the house. With the whole night in front of him, he was hoping to have it finished before the moon began to rise.

But the house .....than he expected. By the time the moon reached the top of the sky, he was still far from being finished."

Also visible only at night:

"What brings you out to my corner of the sky?"
"I am trying to find the moon."
"That's easy enough...We see her most every night, weather permitting."

Hopefully I find corroboration by Felurian later in the text. Rather than only Hespe's story as a reference.


Wow, thanks for reposting that. That is brilliant. I love that. I'm going to add that to my likely theories. Absolutely brilliant.
thistle pong
95. thistlepong
Double Post
thistle pong
96. thistlepong

Ah, thanks. I never have time to reread whole chapters lately. Is there anything about phases or do we assume, given the available information, that it was always full?
Wallace Forman
97. WallaceForman
Here is the note I promised before re: Selitos’ mobility

First, a note on the reliability of our sources. I don’t think that too much pressure should be put on particular details of the lore-stories that we have encountered. This applies even to Skarpi’s stories. Kvothe disparages Skarpi (like Chronicler) as a “rumormonger,” which suggests to me that he found certain aspects of Skarpi’s stories to be unsatisfactorily lacking. Skarpi himself admits to fudging the details. “All stories are true... But this one really happened... More or less. You have to be a bit of a liar to tell a story the right way. Too much truth confuses the facts. Too much honesty makes you sound insincere.” So the fact that Skarpi talks about, for example, Selitos’ “high tower” does not mean he isn’t really referring to the legend of the tall tree in which the Cthaeh is trapped, no more than the crooked house in Hespe’s story is really just a crooked house, and not the Faean realm.

So here is what we know about Selitos’ “mobility” from stories.

In Skarpi’s first story, Selitos lives in Myr Tariniel, which is in the mountains. Selitos watches over the mountain passes, from his rooms “in the city’s highest towers.” After Lanre comes to Myr Tariniel, Selitos agrees to “walk with him outside the city.” “Together they walked the mountain paths.” Then Lanre binds Selitos with his power, and he cannot move. On the next day, “Selitos found he could move.” He “turned” to Lanre. He speaks with Lanre. He “stooped” to pick up a rock. He “stood upright.” Selitos puts out his eye and curses Lanre. Lanre leaves. “Selitos bowed his head and wept hot tears of blood upon the earth.” The story ends without him leaving the city or walking away.

In Skarpi’s second story, we start halfway through. From what we can infer, there is some sort of assembly of the “Ruach” before Aleph at an unspecified location. Selitos “stood forward,” speaks, “bowed his head,” and talks to Aleph. Some of the Ruach “went to stand with him.” Then Selitos “went to Aleph and knelt before him.” Then Tehlu stands forward, talks to Aleph, and kneels. “Others came forward.” Aleph blesses Tehlu and his companions and then “the fire consumed them and they were gone forever from mortal sight.” The story ends abruptly, there is no sign that Selitos, unlike Tehlu, has left or disappeared.

In Hespe’s story, the Selitos-like character is a hermit, living in a cave near a mountain road. When Jax arrives at the cave, “he came to his feet.” Then he “brought him water.” He is barefoot and does not accept shoes from Jax. The hermit tells Jax “I found this cave when I was out chasing the wind.... I decided to stay because this place is perfect for what I do.... I am a listener.... I listen to things to see what they have to say.” The man looks at Jax and his packs, but he does not walk any further or leave the cave.

Conclusions we could draw from this? Thistlepong suggests that Selitos was still free after the sack of Myr Tariniel, but was bound by the blood on the stone. Alternatively, he may have been bound by his eye itself, as Denna’s story seems to have him tearing out his eye without the aid of any definite stone. Alternatively, the stone may be symbolic. Perhaps it is amber from the sap of the Cthaeh - the blood of a tree.

I think another position is defensible - that Selitos was the Cthaeh all along. In all of the stories, Selitos is trivially mobile: he goes for a walk by the city, he walks up to Aleph, he brings Jax food, but he never travels anywhere. Skarpi’s second story, I think, can be written off as mostly just a dramatization. Surely there was no assembly of “all the people” (if that is what the Ruach are), and if anything can be metaphorical, going forward to speak to god can be (if that is what Aleph is supposed to be). We never see Selitos leave any place he is in, and in at least two of the stories, the place he is in is a fundamentally important place for what he does/who he is (the cave, the tower.) There is no sign that he was at the Blac of Drossen Tor, which ought to have deserved his attention.
98. Ziggelly
...I've always kind of assumed that Jax had been talking to Teccam.
Wallace Forman
99. WallaceForman
Teccam's persona seems to have been grafted onto the Selitos-like (my assertion) character in Hespe's story. References to him suggest that he is a more recent figure - part of the historical record of the 4C, rather than prehistorical.
thistle pong
100. thistlepong
I remember discussions of Teccam from several threads. The sort of condensed response without quotes from the text is: several of Teccam's written works survive into the present, he has a popular consensus visual representation and is sort of revered/respected at the University. All of this points to his having lived sometime in the last 2000 years. The destructiuon of Caluptena sort of contstrains him further, but that's debatable.

Off the top of my head I remember Theophany and Underlying Principles.
Theophany: a visible manifestation of a deity
Theophany is basically an encounter with god, or gods. The wikipedia page for theophany is pretty thorough. It even mentions Philip K Dick and Valis.* In any case, Teccam looks less like a philosopher and more like a religious figure.

And probably an alchemist, given the other title. Before I go looking for all the quotes, has anyone else already done that?

(*I dunno if anyone would be interested in this, but just in case. Pat's a Dick fan. Tim Powers, the fella who taught the writing class Pat won from Writer's of the Future, appears in Valis as the character David. He also credits the Inkling Charles Williams as both inspiration and model. John Granger cites Williams as primarily responsible for bringing literary alchemy into the twentieth century and introducing it to C.S. Lewis. There's a fair chance this is what Pat's talking about when he refer's to being an alchemist or dabbling in alchemy in his bios.)
thistle pong
101. thistlepong

That's a really interesting theory. I'm wondering if you'll adress some quibbles.

Given the tree's location, are you positing Myr Tariniel was a Faen City/Location?

Are you positing Skarpi II takes place in Faen?

Your final paragraph seems to state, once again, that the Cthaeh is the tree. How do you account for the denials and refutations?
Mordicai Knode
102. mordicai
97. WallaceForman

Actually, not REALLY related, but I am thinking that Aleph & Tehlu & the other Ruach provide another possible "transformational" element. What if Ruach who stay in the Fae become Faen, but the ones who left for the mortal world became gods? Or hell, even just people? What if that is a creation myth, if you look close enough?
Steven Halter
103. stevenhalter
mordicai@102:I think that in a way the whole thing is a creation myth. The current world of the books is (in a way) a creation of the Creation Wars. All of the people who were involved at that time participated in this creation.
Now, from another point, I think that creation has continued and reverberates to the current story as the effects of the War are not yet done.
Kvothe's search for the truth as regards his parents murder becomes enfolded within the larger story of this creation.
John Graham
104. JohnPoint
Didactylos @93 --

I like it! I don't think that we have any confirmation about it, but it's a nice speculation.

Let's consider another option about the bandits and the Eld -- if the Maer knows that Kvothe is a Lackless (and has figured out that Kvothe himself doesn't know), then he may well have sent him on a long intended "fools errand" to keep him away during the wedding (when Lackless relatives/servants would be around, many of whom would also know that Netalia had a red-haired Ruh son, since they did visit noble relatives once when he was a child). Once he knows (or speculates) that Kvothe doesn't know his ancestry, it might be best for him --and everyone else --to remain in the dark about it. Otherwise, he could perhaps make an inheritance claim, or something like that (even though Netalia had been disinherited). So, perhaps the Maer wasn't speculating about who/what the bandits were after.

Though I think that your speculation -- that they were hoping to get the box -- is a good one. Otherwise, their reason for being in the Eld seems rather uncertain. What's their plan -- just get a bunch of his tax money? Attempt to destabilize his regime? Why? However, if they knew that he was courting Meluian, and figured that she would eventually head through there with the Loeclos box on her way to Severen, well, that goes a long way toward explaining their plan for the whole banditry...

Particularly if they want to get their hands on the box to be able to have some control over the Cthaeh.

Very interesting speculation indeed!
thistle pong
105. thistlepong
Hadn't Meluan been in Severen for some time when he sent Kvothe off?
Steven Halter
106. stevenhalter
thistlepong@105:Yes, she was there as Kvothe had been writing all of the Maer's lines for him to use in courting. It was only after she accepted that the Maer sent Kvothe off to hunt bandits.
Why Cinder is hanging out in the woods with some scruffy bandits is a question that clearly needs an answer. If getting the box was their purpose, then they blew it pretty badly.

Why does a Chandrian wait in the woods?
Jeremy Raiz
107. Jezdynamite
About those bandits in the woods: does anyone find it weird that the map (supposedly marking the bandits location in the Eld) is "locked" in the Maer's lockbox?

I mean, if Cinder setup the bandit group, why does he need to lock up the map with all the Maer's gold? I doubt he needs to keep the map safe from the other bandits. Perhaps he's worried about getting lost in the Eld and the map is their only frame of reference?

I assume Cinder would have taken the key when his bandits stole the box, otherwise he'd probably also need to be another "Edro" expert or an expert lock picker.

Where are the other three lockboxes that Cinder would have stolen from the other three tax collectors that were also waylaid? Surely all of the lockboxes would be in the leaders tent. Unless they are being delivered somewhere else and the map is needed to find the camp's location again...

I doubt Cinder would give the gold-delivery duties to one of his bandit veterans (the temptation to steal the gold would be unbearable) and he'd most likely deliver the gold himself. But who would Cinder deliver the gold to?

Alternate not-so-good theory: Could Cinder have been sent the box (including the map of where to setup the military camp) by the Maer with the Maer's intentions to capture the Loeclos box? The gold is probably supposed to be the promised wages (held until the job is done) for the seasoned veterans and to arm/equip Cinder's small military encampment.

Is the Maer the only source of information that says four of his tax collectors have been waylaid? This could be just a Maer invented story.

We do know, however, that there has been serious trouble on the kings road as evidenced by the lack of work and lack of caravans coming through the Eld. But that doesn't mean that any actual tax collectors have been waylaid.

I doubt the bandits would need to go to any town to restock. The caravans they raid would have enough goods in them to keep them more than adequately supplied.
Jo Walton
108. bluejo
And another thing that's odd is the Maer telling Kvothe to keep their mission secret. You'd think you'd want the bandits to know they're being hunted so that they'd stop or go elsewhere, like those campaigns against fare dodging on the metro and anti-shoplifting where they tell you they have people looking out. The reasons for secrecy superficially make sense, but do they on examination?

Also, do they for a Chandrian led band?

Cinder could be freelancing, but if not, how does it advance the cause of the Chandrian to be leading bandits in the woods?

I can't believe I'm actually asking "What's their plan?" but I am.
George Brell
109. gbrell

I've always assumed they were instructed not to announce themselves for a couple reasons:
1) The Maer has managed to keep the whole affair relatively secret. While there are rumors that roads are bad, Kvothe hadn't heard of the tax collectors being accosted. Widespread rumor that the Maer can't protect his own employees would make it open season on any tax collector or justice.
2) If you warn a group of armed bandits that someone is hunting them, they might not run way. Instead, they might start hunting you. This is the argument Kvothe uses on Dedan on the way to the Eld.

Jo, I think you're right that for minor offenses like shoplifting, you can spread rumors to combat the offense. But when you're engaged in a capitol crime (penalty for banditry is death), the calculus of punishment is already pretty heavily weighted. I'd bet those persons are more likely to fight than flee.

What's more confusing is that the Maer had started providing escorts for his collectors. Depending on how you read it, it sounds as if he's lost a dozen guardsmen to bandits. Why he thinks five random mercenaries can automatically handle them is confusing.

Re: The Chandrian's plan. We can try and connect the banditry to the Lacklesses, whose lands are in the north based on the random comment from the Maer when he assigns Kvothe the task. More simply, the plan seems to be to cause instability, particularly amongst the common people (who are taxed repeatedly to pay for the missing collectors).

What if Kvothe's kingkilling actually brought about exactly the chaos the Chandrian were attempting to achieve? Would give some context to this comment: "With all the hell that’s breaking loose in the world these days you can believe people are telling old stories more often. If the Chandrian are listening for names, I don’t doubt they’ve got a slow din of whispering from Arueh to the Circle Sea.”
John Graham
110. JohnPoint
Thistlepong @105 --

Yes, she had (as shalter point out @106), but the wedding would be the key time to keep Kvothe out of town -- that would be when all the pomp and circumstance would happen, and the most likely time that someone would id Kvothe.

Alternatively, it's possible that he was hoping to get rid of Kvothe permanently...
Steven Halter
111. stevenhalter
Jo@108:"What's their plan?" -- That's an excellent question/observation. I was mulling that tonight and came up with the following. According to our suppositions (one line at least), Lanre is corrupted by the Cthaeh and the downfall of the cities ensues and he becomes Haliax--the unsleeping always sane immortal. Now, presumably in the few thousand years of unsleeping saneness, he has come across just what the Cthaeh is and what it has done to him. So, he knows that any plan he comes up with is doomed to follow the Cthaeh's desires. Thus, he comes up with no discernable plan. He follows some random method and dispatches the other Chandrian to do things that, in aggregate, will accomplish whatever it is that Haliax wants to achieve, but without Haliax picking what their actions are going to be. Actually doing this could be a bit involved, but he does have a few thousand uears to perfect his technique (or as far as he thinks). Of course, since he was corrupted, his goal may turn out to be the same as the goal of the Cthaeh or ... and so on. Dealing with true oracles is a tricky business.
thistle pong
112. thistlepong

Oh, I got that bit. The two speculations don't mesh well. The Maer wanted Kvothe out of the way. In one sense it doen't matter much if it's for the reason Kvothe gave or the one you suggest.

It's just that the bandits trolling for the box seems strained. As shalter said, they would have clearly bungled the job. And a month or whatever later they're still out there with a fortified well supplied encampment. I guess just I don't feel that it "goes a long way toward explaining their plan for the whole banditry..."

Off topic, the envelope, sealed by third parties and notarized, which I have pressed to my forehead contains the information (lots of oms and handwaving) that there will be a wedding in the final third of Day 3 which Kvothe will most likely miss. This wedding will turn out to probably have been important. He will draw conclusions from second or third hand sources and act impulsively.
Gordon Vandenberg
113. gjamesv
Ok, prompted by this latest post I'm rereading AGAIN and I'm not sure if this has been already covered but... A line on p. 238 of the hardcover caught my eye. It's just after Denna presents Kvothe with his new lute case and Kvothe describes himself thusly "Denna I am the king of good ideas gone terribly wrong." I thought thought to myself "Huh, Kvothe as a king?" Another thing that caught my attention a few chapters earlier, in the frame, was the toast to Shep. Someone's suggestion is for the second toast is to toast the penitent king to which K flatly says "No" almost as if he really couldn't stand the guy. A bit forward for the as yet reticent innkeeper trying to keep his cover don't you think? So here comes the wild speculation and the complete abandonment of grammar. Things we know: 1) It's called the Kingkiller Chronicles 2) Kvothe staged his own death 3) Ambrosse is in the line of succession of Vintas 4) The Lackless family is too but ahead of the Jackis(sp?). Things we are pretty sure of: 1) Ambrose's father is killing off Vintas nobility to better his claim 2) Kvothe is the bastard child of the elder daughter of the Lackless family 3) K changed his Name as contrition for and act he cannot countenance. So my thought is it’s Kvothe, as a long lost Lackless, not Ambrose who gains the throne first. And of course Kvothe in his arrogance makes a horrible mistake and is backed into a corner that he can only escape by staging his own death. The king that Kvothe "kills" is himself. Thereby clearing the way for Ambrose's, his mortal enemy and possibly Denna’s killer, succession to the throne. An act he cannot forgive himself for. Necessitating the Name change, the hiding, yadda yadda...
114. Didactylos

Perhaps I misjudged the timing of the box and the bandits.

I was under the impression that the wedding happened while Kvothe was in Ademre. I guess I just assumed that the box was transported near or after the time of the wedding. (I wouldn't have thought Meluan would have brought it with her to begin with, and I wouldn't have thought she'd have sent for it prior to the engagement.)

In that case, Kvothe would have dispatched the bandits prior to the transit of the box.

I don't know exactly how long they spend hunting the bandits, but Kvothe leaves Severn the morning after the Maer and Meluan "pledged a formal troth." Kvothe describes the location in the Eld as "four days of hard walking," which jives with the description of their trip to the Pennysworth, and Penny says, "about three span back," when referring to Kvothe after his Fae excursion. So, three-and-a-half span, which is under a month, right? Stapes's makes the comment:
“It’s been two months since the betrothal. . . . Not a bit less than proper.”
which isn't clear, but I took it to mean that the wedding was recent.
thistle pong
115. thistlepong
More from bluejo's OP:
But this does raise the question of how a maximum of seven people, with magic and weird knack-signs, could kill an entire wedding party, and for that matter an entire troupe of Edema Ruh. They’re killing using physical means as far as we know?
Kvothe kills nine folks, among them three mercenaries, alone. The ratio was far better for the Seven versus Greyfallow's Men. Like Kvothe, they apparently chose the time and place for the attack. The wedding might have been easier. In that case the attackers knew ahead of time, had a scout, and a lot of folks had been drinking.
Dozier thinks the Trebon attack could have been faked:
I think it’s very possible that someone is setting this up to look like a Chandrian attack. I also think Denna is supposed to assist him in reaching this conclusion.
I don’t think so because of Nina and her drawings of the vase. Unless you think that’s faked too, but that would be very elaborate. Who would fake it, seventy miles away from Kvothe and with no guarantee he’d even hear about it? And what would they gain by it?
I'm not saying I necessarily agree with Dozier. However, I could definitely fake a Chandrian attack. Regim Ignaul Neratum would provide the characteristic creeping shadows and corrosion. Just storing it requires intense cold. Naptha would defoliate the area. Firedamp would tinge the flames blue.

Since a lot of folks tend to suspect Ash is either Chandrian or Amyr, we can ask how the Amyr might benefit. Their entire remit is to "confound the plots of Lanre and his Chandrian." Why not continually throw the Seven under the bus while furthering your own agenda? The vase has eight figures, three of which we get a good description of. One of those is easily identifiable as an Amyr. Kvothe interprets his presence and stance as a rebuke. Another observer might not. Better to eliminate it and everyone whose seen it, y'know, for the greater good. It's a two for one sale at Trebon: the Seven are implicated and the Amyr exonerated.

Kvothe learns just enough from Nina and her drawings to reaffirm his own already deeply held beliefs and set him more firmly on a collision course with Cinder. It doesn't have to be faked 'cause it furthers Tehlu&Pals and/or the Amyr's agenda either way.
Steven Halter
116. stevenhalter
Didactylos@114:I read back through WMF Chapter 139 (Lockless) again this morning. That is the chapter where Meluan and the Maer show the Loeclos Box. I note that this chapter is after all of Kvothe's adventures and so we don't know that the box was with Meluan all along or if she had it brought after the wedding. So, it is possible that the bandits were awaiting the shipment of the box when Meluan had it brought.
I'll admit to liking this as a reason for having a Chandrian in the woods, but since we don't know the timings, it is hard to say one way or another at this point.
Wallace Forman
117. WallaceForman
@101, Thistlepong:

Good questions, here is my best attempt to answer them.

Was Myr Tariniel/Selitos in the Fae?

Actually I think there is some good evidence that it was.

First there is the bleed between the different names. The city’s name is Myr Tariniel, but Denna refers to the city as Mirinitel, and then Kvothe, in Sceop’s story, talks about a place called “Faeriniel,” which has the “iniel” of Myr Tariniel, and scans like Mirinitel. The name Faeriniel itself suggests a connection between the Faean realm and Myr Tariniel. Curiously it is a crossroads, which sounds a bit like Tinue however (where all roads lead). Set that aside.

Next there is Arliden’s poem:

Like a drawstone even in our sleep
Standing stone by old road is the way
To lead you ever deeper into Fae.
Laystone as you lay in hill or dell
Greystone leads to something something ‘ell’.

“Myr Tariniel” fits “something something ell.” I’ve always assumed that the greystones mark the doors into the Faean realm. I'm not sure if that is the consensus here. This poem certainly suggests that, and I believe there are other signs in the book, but I’ll leave the claim at that. In any event, the poem may suggest that the way to Myr Tariniel is by following the greystones into the Fae.

Then there are the references to “seven cities and one city” drawn explicitly by the Adem and implicitly by Skarpi. What is different about the one city, Myr Tariniel? It is unscarred by war and protected by Selitos, but is that enough to designate it as somehow fundamentally different from the others? Maybe it was just the capital city of Ergen, or perhaps it was different because it, unlike the other seven cities, was in the Fae.

Finally there is Hespe’s story, in which Jax begins to unfold his house in the hermit’s cave. The hermit is not happy about this and makes him stop, but he cannot fold back the house more than it has already been unfolded. Assuming the hermit is Selitos and the cave is or is near Myr Tariniel, this story may suggest that Myr Tariniel is on the cusp of the Fae, or in it, against the will of Selitos.

Note: As I argued before (@97), I am skeptical that the "assembly" in Skarpi's second story actually happened as described, so I am not really making any claims about its location.

As for the relationship between the tree and Selitos, all I can do is speculate.

I agree that Selitos himself is not the tree - but I think the tree is more than just a prison he is trapped in. Skarpi’s story suggests that the tower helps Selitos see, and in Hespe’s story the cave helps the hermit hear. Did Selitos find the tree and decide to live there because of its properties? Did he shape the tree himself as a body that would put him in better touch with the world? Has he always been bound for as long as he found the tree? Did Lanre bind him there? (“May all your powers fail you but your sight.”) Did he bind himself when he cursed Lanre? Was that the sense in which he put out his eye? Was he bound there by Tehlu for refusing to sign on to Aleph’s project? My favorite idea is that he has been bound in his own place of power by Lanre, but I think these are all plausible possibilities.

One more thought: why did Lanre visit Selitos? To betray him, perhaps, but maybe he also sought to be healed, either by the rhinna, or by the tree’s power to inflict madness. Apparently, neither were sufficient.
Mordicai Knode
118. mordicai
113. gjamesv

I don't buy it; doesn't Chronicaller say "I was on the street where you broke his body; the cobblestones are still shattered" or something?
Ashley Fox
119. A Fox
Blimey, I could have sworn I had commented here but apparently not. Lots of comments, and interesting convo, but no notifications.

A little while ago I posted in spec 8; I have a Patron, connecting Dagan and Cinder. One of the qoutes there could possibly tie in with Jezdynamite's wondering at the map in the box in the Eld.

Dagan and the Maer are looking at maps when K first encounters them. Then there is the map found in the box of gold. The Maer suspects that there is a guard leaking info-presumably of where and when the tax collecters will be. What if Dagan is Cinder, the map is the info of said whereabouts.

Cinder follows Haliax's orders-their plan (!)-if he is Dagan it seems that the Maers actions (Marrying into the Lackless, gaining access to the box, and whatever else he is up too-and he is up to more) falls in line with their plan.

But stealing tax money is a sure way to draw attention, and goes against the Maer. The Maer is also disturbed when he hears how strong the bandits were, and that their leader disapeared (after his warning of magic in the Eld when he sent K away). Together they imply that whilst some of what the Maer is up to is in line with their plan, the Maer is not. Bandits ensure that his focus is divided, that he has to put resources into quelling bandits. It could also antagonise relationships between the Maer and the King. It is, after all, the Kings Road.

(long post (examaining agendas of players old and new which all seem to be interconnected in the Maers court circling the Lackless) mostly deleted-argh)

@117 since when does the tree induce madness? That is the CTHs bite...which also implies it is not a tree. Trees dont tend to have mouths with which to bite ;)
thistle pong
120. thistlepong

No. That's the sandy-haired traveller (the Simulacrum in the Keyser Soze theory:)
“I saw the place in Imre where you killed him. By the fountain. The cobblestones are all shathered.” He frowned and concentrated on the word. “Shattered. They say no one can mend them.”
There's plenty of disagreement about whom him signifies.

FWIW I'm not on board with 113 either, but there are too many assumptions to address.

(breaking this up so it don't get lost... too many threads where it happens to one of us and then another, and another)
Wallace Forman
121. WallaceForman

Noted. The thought stands as corrected.
John Graham
122. JohnPoint
Thistlepong @112, and Didactylos @114 --

My interpretation has always been that the Loeclos box came with/to Meluian at/after the wedding, not when she first came to Severen.

Since it's an ancient -- and relatively secret - relic of the Lackless family, I find it highly improbably that she would take it with her during her initial trip. Afterall, she didn't intend on marrying the Maer (as far as we can tell) when she initially went -- she was there for the other events that the Maer mentioned to Kvothe (I don't remember off hand exactly what his reason for her visit was...)

So, there would be no reason to take the family treasure with her -- I highly doubt that she regularly travels with it. Rather, once she agreed to marry the Maer -- and thus move more or less permanently to Severen -- we can presume that she would then consider moving it to be with her.

Alternatively, the Maer may have asked about it and convinced her to bring it post marriage.

Regardless, if the bandits were looking for the box, I don't think that they clearly bungled the job since it likely hadn't come through yet.

Edit for typo
thistle pong
123. thistlepong
(And it totally just happened.)



Iff Selitos was always the Cthaeh and always trapped in the tree/tower/cave, at least going back to Iax, then the tree/tower/cave would have to be in Faen or Faen perhaps constructed around it. I'm intrigued by the "trivial mobility" theory, but I guess I have to disagree.

I do think Selitos is the individual Iax, Lanre, and Kvothe speak to, but I think he was bound after the Betrayal. I think your comment about the relative locations of the cave and the unfolded house lend some support to Myr Tariniel fitting into Arliden's poem. I suppose we should be skeptical of each story in its turn, but dismissing aspects of any of them because they don't fit a particular theory doesn't seem like the wisest course.

Regarding your final comment ::sincere agreement::
“I hoped, perhaps, that you would join me in what I aim to do.” Lanre spoke with a desperate longing in his voice.
“Will you kill me to cure me, old friend?” Lanre laughed again, terrible and wild. Then he looked at Selitos with sudden, desperate hope in his hollow eyes. “Can you?” he asked. “Can you kill me, old friend?”
He clearly came hoping what he knew was true was not true. He came hoping Selitos could, if not help or heal him, stop him. And he came to raze Myr Tariniel.
thistle pong
124. thistlepong
I doubt A Fox needs my support, and maybe she wouldn't even want it, but folks should definitely check out her post from Summary 8. I wouldn't call it unassailable, but at the moment it's the best look at Dagon presented anywhere, supported by the text and tending to solve a number of riddles elegantly.
Ashley Fox
125. A Fox
Thank you Thistlepong, you are certainly one of a group of people who have earnt my respect over the course of this reread so cheers!
126. Marco.

I'm extremely skeptical that Kvothe is the king killed, because.....

It would require everyone knowing that Kvothe killed himself. If this is the case, can anyone imagine a set of circumstances where they would refer to him as a "kingkiller" and not a suicidal king (or something similar)?

I think the smart money is on the king who is killed being the father of princess Ariel. (Mentioned in the frame story when Kote offers to tell the truth of the matter to the kid running off to join the war.) Have we met Ariel (under a different name) or the King yet? Maybe, mabye not - I have no idea. But I'd bet good money against long odds that this is how it turns out.
127. Marco.
Regarding princess Ariel, possible hairbrained theory:

Auri is princess Ariel, studying at the university. She gets betrothed against her will to prince insert name here. Because of this she cracks and goes into hiding. During D3, prince insert name here, now king insert name here shows up demanding what is his, and drags her off. Kvothe goes monkey poo, king killed, nickname earned.
John Graham
128. JohnPoint
A Fox -- I should probably post this on summary 8, but I like your analysis. A lot.

Marco @127 -- I (still) harbor a strong impression that Auri is the girl that Ambrose caused to disappear sometime prior to Kvothe arriving at the University. It's only mentioned once (fairly early on) but Sim et al. are warning Kvothe about Ambrose, and someone mentions that there was a girl he was interested in, and she "disappeared." The implication is that he may have murdered her, but it's not stated, and it's not definite. I've always associated that story with Auri.

I know it's probably not true (given what else we have speculated about Auri over time), but it would explain many of her characteristics, as well as her amenity with Kvothe (both as "victims" of the same Jackass Jakis).
Ashley Fox
129. A Fox

I do lean toward Roderick Calanthis being the King that is killed. The succesion plots, the toe to toe power stance with the Maer, easily enables for this situation to develop. K is already tangled in plots within plots centred around this side of the map, and showing his folly. And of course there is the ominous fate of the sipquicks.
Steven Halter
130. stevenhalter
As I mentioned over in Summary 8, I think there is definitely something up with Dagon. He is presented as far too odd a character with Kvothe having specific reactions to him for him to just be a guard.
I don't think I am convinced that he is Cinder (although it is possible), but rather think he is from one of the other factions.
I wonder if he couldn't be from one of the other groups that the Chandrian were afraid of (the Amyr, the Singers or the Sithe) and which could also possibly have interfered in to troupe incident. Kvothe may have seen him there and still not be able to recall him to his waking mind.
thistle pong
131. thistlepong
We'be been over the Amyr angle and by comparison there's much less to it. Your post sort of sums it up: he's odd, maybe he's an Amyr. There's some artfully vague parallelism with the eye and his drive. But there's less motive, no objective clues, and no relationships. Or at least nobody's done that work.

I mean, I'll have to look myself to be convinced. I hope folks will tear at it and that A Fox will address that. But from here it looks like the text trumps our feelings.
Wallace Forman
132. WallaceForman

Well I'm suggesting that he was in/at the tree/cave/tower, not necessarily bound there, at the time Jax/Iax visits, and that his power was centered there. I think the binding may come later - possibly with Lanre, but I'm uncertain. I do think that the tree ought to come before the Faean realm, as Iax is supposed to have visited the Cthaeh, not merely Selitos, and if Hespe's story has it right, that visit comes before the construction of the Faean realm. So the Cthaeh certainly existed before the Fae, in a tree or otherwise. Also, we know that shapers were active and socially acceptable before they created the Faean realm and stole the moon, so the tree certainly could have been constructed before the Fae. And if the moon could be brought into the Fae, why not the tree?

Note that I don't dismiss Skarpi's second story because it doesn't fit the theory. Everyone could indeed have gathered near the Cthaeh to talk to Aleph. I dismiss its details because it seems more like a dramatization than something that actually happened as such. Rather than all the principals gathering in one place and ernestly declaring their future intentions, I imagine that the various parties formed over time, organically.
133. Marco.

fill in "ambrose" in the "insert name here" blanks, change a couple of details and we're in agreement

That being said, Rothfuss has hinted a few times that Auri isnt essential to the plot, but is there because she's important to Kvothe
Ashley Fox
134. A Fox

I do have an idea here, with the new possibilities in light. Just an idea, mind :)

Oldest Factions; (Knowers) Aelph & the CTH.
Old Factions:The chandrian/ the amyr/ the singers/ the sithe.
New Factions: Often have agenda's concerning the old factions, perhaps even for/with. Others have their own (Jakis) but whose plots intercept plots to do with above.

Lets say Dagan represents the Chandrian.
The Maer has an interest in the Amyr, even pursued it. But when he became Maer he decided suddenly not to bother looking further? He talks to K as if he is testing him, not just on character but on ability, belief system...and often of how far you would go for such ideal. Perhaps he did continue looking...and found them. He is actually seeing if K is worth initiating.

During the Amyr's heighday, through the Aturan Empire they conquered much, if not all of the Lackless lands. They also tried to surpress Yll, the Adem, Ceald, Modeg; all countires with knowledge or customs concerning the chandrian, faen, Aelph. They also murdered Arcanists. Vints supersticious atitude toward the Arcanum strongly suggests that they have held over many of those beliefs.

So the Maer is an Amyr, one who marries into the Lockless clan.

The sithe? Bredon. His pagan rituals, and all the things I've waffled on before. Yll, Bredon Beer, the owl and Tak, a beautiful game, known by Felurian. The juxtoposition of kind and cruel in his nature, also like Felurian, like Bast. Ash has been proven, via various translations, to be of the tree variety, rather than of a fire. An element of nature which is always present in descriptions of the Fae, even the smell of their magic.

The singers? Well K is ruh, he sang Felurian's name. Later, he also shares the star on the brow as did Tehlu&Pals during their transformation into beings beings who 'sung songs of power'. (His potencial confronted with temptation to a different path?)

Caudicus represents the almost childlike (in comparison) plots of the new players, Jakis. Succession plot.

Stapes...I think he may be a subtle link to the Knowers. Links to arcanum. Arcanum a bastion against the Amry, one in which the knowledge of their enemy has been removed...or kept hidden. Lorren, Puppet, Elodin if K were to follow their advice I imagine D3 would go down differently, certainly some of events we have seen would. Much like Tinkers offer with their goods. Stapes loyalty to Calanthis, and suspicion of Dagan; if Roderick Clanthis doesnt die, the penitant King would not arise.

Im trying to imagine it as a game of Tak, within Tak, within Tak...
Steven Halter
135. stevenhalter
thistlepong@131:The main textual evidence supporting someone by the Maer being an Amyr is of course the Cthaeh statement:
"Not many folk will take your search for the Amyr seriously, you realize," the Cthaeh continued calmly.
"The Maer, however, is quite the extraordinary man. He's already come close to them, though he doesn't realize it. Stick by the Maer and he will lead you to their door."
This doesn't point directly to Dagon being an Amyr, of course, but then when later the Cthaeh states about Cinder:
..."That's right, I suppose you don't need me to tell you what he looks like. You've seen him just a day or three ago."
At which point Kvothe realizes the bandit leader was Cinder. If Dagon was Cinder, it seems likely that the Cthaeh would have hinted at that or at least that some Chandrian was near the Maer. As A Fox has pointed out, there is something off about Dagon and so all of that, combined with the above is what leads me to lean towards his being an Amyr.
Any of these or just a plain guard are entirely possible.
136. ziggelly
I find it unlikely that the Maer knew that he was a Lackless. * For one, the Lacklesses don't normally live in the Maer's court. How would he have heard about this red-haired baby of Netalia's (I can't see the family wanting that to be common knowledge; a child out of wedlock - to a Ruh, no less - would be pretty friggin' scandalous)? For another, Kvothe specifically says where her family lived; the Four Crossings, or something similar, iirc. He likely would've mentioned it, at least in passing, if it were any of the places he visited or heard about while in Vintas. Or maybe he did and I forget? Somebody? Anybody? For a third: if anybody would've had cause to recognize him, it would've been Meluan, seeing as how he's her nephew. But, if so, then her actions in the book make absolutely no sense.

*Heck, for that matter it hasn't even been confirmed that Kvothe is Netalia Lackless's son. It just seems way too obvious. I keep remembering how Mazrim Taim in Wheel of Time was totally, indisputably Damandred for quite awhile. But good ol' reliable story-teller Robert Jordan (god rest his soul) totally faked us out.

For one, though Meluan has a "strong resemblence" to someone he can't place, she doesn't have Kvothe's (and his mother's) green eyes - she's got brown eyes. And dark hair. And pale skin. And is gorgeous, smart, well-spoken, graceful, and stunning; when she enters a room every eye turns to look at her... she's got many many men fighting over her... she's a fan of poetry and music... is this sounding vaguely like anyone we might know? Kvothe even wonders, briefly, if he'd seen her at the Eolian. Personally, I can see Denna running away from a life of nobility to live, briefly, with a group of travelling preformers. Can't you? She knew the words to Sir Savien, and Kvothe knew she was lying about how she knew it... ;D Remember, also, that this was the girl who happily visited the Maer's garden with Kvothe, but backed out the moment that he suggested he introduce her to the Maer and Meluan.
137. storeygal
I've only recently acquainted myself with your speculations and certainly haven't followed all the threads, so if I sound like I'm barging in on a spirited-but-closed conversation. . . I am.

I asked whether Bast could be Kvothe's son BECAUSE of the Remmen (Prince of Twilight***ahem***) connection. The inside narrative is told from Kvothe's own point of view, but the frame is delivered in third person, suggesting that there's a lot within his own history that Kvothe (ironically, given one of the meanings of his name) doesn't know but that the author--in the fullness of time--will be divulging. An unacknowledged son is a perfect occasion for sort of a backward "Hero's epiphany" (instead of "Holy crap, you're my dad!" it's "Holy crap, you're my son!"). Bast calls Kvothe "Reshi"--diminutive of "Remmen"? Also, the rhymed couplet prose so prominant in the Felurian episode was actually established by Kvothe's mother shortly before the troupe's deaths. Do we have an earlier incident that I missed? Is it significant?

For reasons not entirely clear even to myself, I always assumed that the Amyr hid in plain sight by becoming the Ruh. Maybe because our first (is it?) exposure to "all for the greater good" is from Arliden (when he offers to repair young Kvothe's torn shirt).

Has any or all of this already been tossed about? If so, my apologies.
138. Didactylos
A Fox @ 134 Re: Master Ash and his translations.

I'm not convinced that the translations of "Master Ash" as tree-ish preclude it as a play on Ash/Cinder. It's profoundly difficult to translate such word play, and, if it is an allusion, I doubt Pat was thinking about translations when he first wrote it. (At least, I wouldn't have been. If he was, well done that man!)

Assuming the translator asked about it (the text already strongly suggests a tree-ish translation), and assuming it is a reference to Cinder, then Pat's choices are either to translate it as fire-ish, in spite of the surrounding text, and give away the connection; or to translate as tree-ish and lose that bit of foreshadowing. I know which I'd choose.

That said, the thought of Cinder dancing with D is more than a little discomforting.

storeygal @ 137

Interesting. I assumed Arlidan's "greater good" comment was because of the research for his song. Also, you'd think that if the Ruh were the Amyr, Arliden wouldn't have as much research to do. Or was that part of his duties? Is that what led him to Netalia?

That would make Kvothe a Lackless and an Amyr, rather like some specualtions about the Maer.
Ashley Fox
139. A Fox
@138. I think we do have to give the translations weight. Pat, after all, had an entire secret forum for his translators to discuss such things and ask what questions they needed to to make all his hidden refs and nuances available-as much as possible-in other languages. We have actually had one of these lucky tanslators comment here before.

The ash leaf is an odd incidance. When Ash (fire) is considered folks are happy to leap to the connection of Cinder, but even after the translation was revealed it was just a null proof, rather than looking at what it could still mean.

Personally I do not see the Ruh being Amyr (as a group, its always possible for individuals). The Ruh were hunted during the height of the Arturan Empire/Amyr, much like other groups. They have traditions around the waystones, around knowledge the Amyr seem to want to surpress. They supposedly know all the stories, and we have seen they know stories about Fareniel. Arliden and Laurian pursuing their song, unguided and struggling, although an Amyr version.
Sahi Rioth
140. Sahirioth
Re: Bast as Kvothe's son?

Storeygal said:
Bast calls Kvothe "Reshi"--diminutive of "Remmen"?
.. and as I said earlier in the comments above (62), answering her theory about Bast being Kvothe's son by quoting an earlier post I made, the ONLY way Bast could be Kvothe's son by Felurian is if Remmen is another name for Kvothe (or Felurian, but I doubt that's likely). This is, of course, if we assume that Bast being "Remmen's son" is true. Previously I didn't subscribe to the "Bast, son of Kvothe" theory, but Storeygal's post makes me reconsider somewhat. But it leads to another implication:

If Kvothe is Remmen, he is or was either the Prince of Twilight, or, if Bast is the Prince, Kvothe was at some point King of Twilight (or fathered a child with the "Queen of Twilight", whoever that may be). That's cool as it is. However, if we couple this with the thesis that the king that Kvothe killed is himself (by faking his own suicide)... Well. I do realize it's farfetched.
thistle pong
141. thistlepong
(or fathered a child with the "Queen of Twilight", whoever that may be)
Assuming storygal's a she in the same way one might assume I'm a pong, I believe the following is implicit in her observations, and indeed all theorizing about Bast being Kvothe's offspring:
“This is a story of Felurian. Lady of Twilight. Lady of the First Quiet. Felurian, who is death to men. But a glad death, and one they go to willingly.”
I underlined the relevant bit just in case.
thistle pong
142. thistlepong
So, um, we tend to take Denna's living-and-breathingness as evidence of a lot of things: that she's working for or with the Chandrian and/or that her version of the Lanre story lacks a the Chandrian-come-and-kill-you bit come to mind.

I might have missed this, or forgotten it, so forgive me if it's already been put forth and dismissed.

What if the reason Cinder's near Severen is that the Seven are closing in on her? I don't have the usual ton of quotes and direct examples, but...

She moves around a lot, without warning. After the Trebon massacre, she has to get out of there and is all to happy to wander off wherever with Kvothe. She's been all over the world composing her song. The day after she performs it entire for Kvothe, she leaves town.
143. Futureminime
I'm a little short of time so I'll just put this:
Tempi = little iron
Reshi = little (re)shaper

also - on ben

"I was also thinking about the “trap” laid for Ben. If the Chandrian laid
the trap to get him away from the troupe before killing them, then Ben
had to be sufficiently powerful to be a threat to them. Interesting."

Doesnt that seem counter intuative? We need to set a trap he wont overcome to seperate him from the troupe, because he is so powerful?

My guess is this: Ben is actually just Ben, he is a namer (a rare thing these days) and from my best guess he is the reason Kvothe's father is known at the university upon admission.

If someone is hiding books on the Amyr it would make sense that information could be sent back about someone writing the wrong kind of songs. It may have even been that Ben went looking for help, and thats the reason Cinder had to leave early
144. Futureminime
me again!

Not sure if its been mentioned

"There aren’t any barrows around here,” I said. “People
build barrows in Vintas, where it’s traditional, or in low,
marshy places where you can’t dig a grave. We’re probably
five hundred miles away from a real barrow.”

WMF Inside cover
'I've stolen princesses back from sleeping Barrow Kings'

Can someone give me some ideas please
Sahi Rioth
145. Sahirioth
@ Thistlepong (141)
Assuming storygal's a she in the same way one might assume I'm a pong
Well, I couldn't for the life of me come up with a fitting gender neutral pronoun, but now I'm gonna use 'pong' for that. Just because =)
“This is a story of Felurian. Lady of Twilight. Lady of the First Quiet. Felurian, who is death to men. But a glad death, and one they go to willingly.”
I underlined the relevant bit just in case.
Yes, I did realize that. The reason I didn't explicitly state that the "Queen of Twilight" is Felurian is because there is a chance, however small, that another female entity of some kind is the ruler of "the twilight zone" in the Fae, and Felurian just inhabits it. We simply don't know for sure.

@ Thistlepong (142), Re: Denna moving around

I like that theory - not the part about Cinder's presence in the Eld as a result of closing in on Denna, but certainly that she moves around so much because her song, and perhaps questions related to it, have set the Chandrian on a Denna-hunt.
146. db3006
Dagon. I believe Dagon is one of the Chandrian. He is described as bald or with a shaven head (nothing about a beard). In NW, K recalls who was present after the attack and sitting around his parent's fire.
“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.”
In WMF Alveron, Stapes and K are having dinner when Dagon comes in. K wants to run and hide. I believe K instinctively knows Dagon, as one of the Chandrian but has yet to make the connection. “When his eyes (Dagon’s) touched me, all the deep feral instincts that had kept me alive on the streets of Tarbean told me to run. Hide.”

Sir Savien “Greatest of the Amyr”. His story is somewhat similar to Lanre’s. In NW after his command performance at the Eolian, K cries. “I cried for Sir Savien and Aloine for love lost and found and lost again, at cruel fate and man’s folly.”

Therepe. He has to be important. He is the connection to the Maer, which cannot be a coincidence or as casual as it appears. Threpe asks K the strangest question after his performance at the Eolian, and he follows it by giving K seven talents (I don’t know what to make of it, but I think it’s quite significant).
“But before I go, I need to ask you one last question. How many years did Savien spend with the Amyr? I didn’t have to think about it. ‘Six, three years proving himself and three years training.’
Does six strike you as a good number?
…’You are right. But six years with the Amyr means he came back to Aloine on the seventh year.’ He dough into a pocket and brought out a handful of coins of at least three different currencies. He sorted seven talents out of the mess and pushed them into my surprised hand.”

Meluan: Could it be she hates the Ruh because Arliden chose her sister instead? According to Maer “I have it on good report that Meluan Lackless is fond of music and sweet words.”

Ben: We will see Ben in D3, K tells us it would be years before he sees him again.
Mordicai Knode
147. mordicai
135. shalter
"Not many folk will take your search for the Amyr seriously, you realize," the Cthaeh continued calmly. "The Maer, however, is quite the extraordinary man. He's already come close to them, though he doesn't realize it. Stick by the Maer and he will lead you to their door."
Wait, I assumed this was Bredon, personally. Or that Lady Lackless is? Or I guess the poisoner Arcanist, or the butler...
Steven Halter
148. stevenhalter
Mordicai@147:Yes, Bredon is the usual suspect. Just pointing out Dagon ad a possibility. And note that Amyr could be plural. Maybe everyone's an Amyr. ;-)
149. tricky
Just a couple of bits that I've thought of while chatting about it with a friend that I don't think I've read about here (although I might have missed them).

Firstly, has anyone asked if the Waystone Inn is actually build *around* a waystone? The black stone fireplace is described as being in the centre of the room and IIRC Kvothe says something like 'it goes all the way through the building'. If waystones are keeping him safe in some way, then how better to be close to one?

Secondly, has anyone addressed the bit where Kvothe swears on "his name, his power, and his good left hand" that he won't track down her patron? Because in the frame the things he seems to be without are indeed those things, so maybe that's why.

Finally, carrying on from that second point, if Denna is the moon and her name's still in the box in the frame, then could it be that Kvothe (as Kote) returns her name to her in the third book, giving her back her power, thus allowing her to free him of his oath (returning to him all his awesome skills and allowing them to go on a joyful Chandrian-killing romp together) ?
150. DB3006
Dagon, fits. He of course knows Cinder, and it fits with one of the above comments about the map and how it gets in the box.
I am with you Salter, Cth does say "them" about the Amyr.
151. tricky
Also, just regarding Denna being interested in "writing something to make it true". We know from Felurian that grammarie is the art of making things be, and we know that Pat likes fake etymology bits, so does grammarie=writing magic=etymology of grammar?
Sahi Rioth
152. Sahirioth
@ Tricky (149)
All three points have been dealt with in previous summary comments, if I'm not mistaken. Regarding point number two, see the discussions on Kvothe's hands and seeming lack of proprioception. Regarding point number three: that seems like far too cheery (and yet grim!) a eucatastrophe for a series which PR has overtly stated is a tragedy.
thistle pong
153. thistlepong
New blog about a new story, "How Old Holly Came to Be." in a new collection due in 2013, preorders open.
154. DB3006
@ Thistlepong (153)
Great to have a new story. But I guess no D3 next year.
thistle pong
155. thistlepong
shalter@135 ...
"That's right, I suppose you don't need me to tell you what he looks like. You've seen him just a day or three ago."
At which point Kvothe realizes the bandit leader was Cinder. If Dagon was Cinder, it seems likely that the Cthaeh would have hinted at that or at least that some Chandrian was near the Maer.
We sort of relentlessly parse the Cthaeh’s words based on Felurian’s assertion that it doesn’t lie, and Kvothe’s (mis)reminder that it couldn’t. Just as the bit you quote doesn’t necessarily point to Dagon, neither does it preclude previous exposure.
“I’d say it was a twice-in-a-lifetime-opportunity meeting up with him again.”
That probably shakes A Fox’s theory a little more seriously. In any case, the similar wording she’s pointed out along with gbrell’s additions are pretty compelling. Maybe the theory can withstand interrogation and maybe it can’t.

At this point in the conversation I’m all ears for new ideas, even if they aren't entirely correct. Sometimes they uncover or make obvious some bit which we've ignored out of convenience, confusion, or carelessness. What's Cinder doing in the Eld? I wouldn't call our previous speculations entirely satisfying.

so if I sound like I'm barging in on a spirited-but-closed conversation. . . I am.
Also, the rhymed couplet prose so prominant in the Felurian episode was actually established by Kvothe's mother shortly before the troupe's deaths.
Welcome, belatedly, to the discussion. It's not closed, but it helps to shout, as above, or drown the discussion in solid examples. To whit, can you show us the parallel between Laurian and Felurian in verse?


Barrows, Vintas, and barrow kings.

One possibility is that it’s a version of the Levinshir arc. Kvothe talks about the variety of damsels and assailants attributed to that tale, with princesses featuring in some. It took place in Vintas, so it’s not too much of a stretch.

Another is that is has something to do with Valaritas, since Fela suggests it might be a tomb for a king. I think that’s really all there is to that one.

Finally, there have been various suggestions about Vintas itself, all of which require other assumptions. For example, if the Sheer is the ancient site of Drossen Tor, Alveron is effectively king over the largest barrow in history. In a technical sense, he is anyway due to the fire that ravaged the area of town at its base; but the epic way is more fun.

Another assumes Roderic is the king killed and that the Princess Ariel that Kvothe mentions is his daughter.

Sir Savien “Greatest of the Amyr”. His story is somewhat similar to Lanre’s. In NW after his command performance at the Eolian, K cries. “I cried for Sir Savien and Aloine for love lost and found and lost again, at cruel fate and man’s folly.”
I guess you’re suggesting a parallel between Savien and Kvothe as well?

This has come up before. It actually has three parts:

Lanre (& Lyra) - lampshaded by Abenthy
Savien (& Aloine) - lampshaded in your quote
Kvothe (& Denna) - tied to the others with their performance, Kvothe’s admiration or the song, and his general tendency to behave carelessly.

Minor echoes include:
Arliden & Laurian’s careless exploration of the Chandrian
Aethe & Rethe’s tragedy of pride
Jax & Ludis vis-a-vis the resultant Creation War

So far the similarities have only been pointed out. Do you anything to add?
156. Marco.

I'd guess time is running out for D3 to happen in 2013. If I remember correctly, there's about a 9 month lag from Pat says book is finished until we're holding it in our hands. Maybe Pat is playing coy and he's going to announce any day now, but I get the impression from his interviews that he's still too far off to make a guess.
Steven Halter
157. stevenhalter
At this point in the conversation I’m all ears for new ideas, even if they aren't entirely correct.
Absolutely! Everytime I think that maybe we've covered everything, someone will suggest something new or at least a new angle.
Jo Walton
158. bluejo
Is there any magic we know of by which curses work?

Name, power, good left hand... it's a gesa (geas, geasa) and while we're all familiar with it from fantasy, we haven't seen anything like this at all in these books.

And it doesn't have to be magical. It could be psychological.
Steven Halter
159. stevenhalter
Jo@158:Whatever was done to Kvothe to send him into the "Tarbean funk" seemed to involve naming in some fashion as Skarpi seems to snap him out of it by saying Kvothe's name.
Then, when Selitos dooms Lanre to become immortal, unsleeping and sane, that also seems to be done via naming. That one seems like a real curse.
Those are the two incidents I can think of that are like cursing.
thistle pong
160. thistlepong

Lanre came to Myr Tariniel as Haliax with no door barred to him: awake, aware, sane, and undying. Selitos had nothing to do with that. Selitos yoked him to shadow and cursed his name.
Steven Halter
161. stevenhalter
thistlepong@160:You are right. Seitos curse was:
A great silence descended, and the fetters of enchantment fell away from Selitos. He cast the stone at Lanre’s feet and said, “By the power of my own blood I bind you. By your own name let you be accursed.”
Selitos spoke the long name that lay in Lanre’s heart, and at the sound of it the sun grew dark and wind tore stones from the mountainside.
Then Selitos spoke, “This is my doom upon you. May your face be always held in shadow, black as the toppled towers of my beloved Myr Tariniel.
“This is my doom upon you. Your own name will be turned against you, that you shall have no peace.
“This is my doom upon you and all who follow you. May it last until the world ends and the Aleu fall nameless from the sky.”
Selitos watched as a darkness gathered about Lanre. Soon nothing could be seen of his handsome features, only a vague impression of nose and mouth and eyes. All the rest was shadow, black and seamless.
In any case, that certainly sounds like a curse applied by naming.
162. DB3006
Shalter, another view maybe that K got out of the "Tarbean funk" when he remembered and was able to understand who killed his parents after
hearinng Skarpi's story.

I am thinking along the lines of Threpe, his reasons for asking such question in his first meeting with K, and why it could be important.
163. Futureminime
I'm a bit behind in the reread (only really up to end of NoTW so it this has been covered please tell me and I'll find where :) 3 parts:

1. Interested in your theory on the sleeping mind. I was wondering if Haliax being unsleeping could be duplicitous with this as well as not sleeping.

2. Similar with Kote, I think that he has locked who he is behind the Door of Forgetting like when he was young and afraid. I think the Door of Forgetting is actually locking parts of the of your memory in your sleeping mind, and that that "Edges" which allow access to the sleeping mind for Naming, and that this is the reason he could beat 5 faelings but lose to 2 thugs. There was no real chance of death and he realised this. I think we've seen each event wake his mind a little, once he even whistled!

I'm conflicted because on one hand I think this could all me done with some careful sympathy but there seems to be so much evidence that K has changed his true name with the Kvothe to Kote, even through his true name is Maedre at least in Ademic.

3. Lastly - What names would you think PUPPET knows :P?
He seems like a namer to me, a little missing in the head but he is allowed fire the the archieves (so I assume he knows the name of Fire) maybe he knows the name of books (I think he just has a knack of knowing where things are through) and probably the name to open the 4 plate stone door.

The last one is of course just me being hopeful
Steven Halter
164. stevenhalter
As I was commenting on a Tehlin question of Jo's in spec summ 4, a thought occured to me that there is another possibility (well there are lots) for what type of being Dagon is. He could be an angel.
This would be a nice reversal of trope. We fall naturally into the idea that angels are beneficial fluffy things and so we don't look for things that don't look like that. This gives a slight twist to the angels being unseen. They aren't really unseen, we just don't see them for what they are as we don't expect them to look like that.
Kvothe feels like he has seen Dagon before. This could be either from Angels and Chandrian being related (from opposite purposes) or from having seen Angels--possibly at the troupe massacre.
Kvothe kills an Angel. I like the idea of Kvothe having to fight and kill Dagon and having Dagon turn out to be an angel in the reveal.
If I had to pick an angel, it would be:
And beside her came Andan, whose face was a mask with burning eyes, whose name meant anger. NotW ch 28
As we have:
"Dagan looked at me with dark, dispassionate eyes. His face was hard and sharp and emotionless. I surpressed a shiver." WMF p.374

" As Dagon stepped into the room his eyes flicked toeach of the corners, to the window, to the other door, breifly over me, then back to the Maer. When his eyes touched me, all the deep feral instincts that had kept me alive on the streets of Tarbean told me to run. Hide. Do anything so long as it took me far away from this man." WMF p.439.
Levi Stribling
165. lpstribling
Anyone know when the Doors of Stone is projected to release?
Steven Halter
166. stevenhalter
lpstribling@165:No, there isn't a projected release date as of yet.
167. Marco.
“This is my doom upon you. Your own name will be turned against you, that you shall have no peace. “This is my doom upon you and all who follow you. May it last until the world ends and the Aleu fall nameless from the sky.”

My guess is that this is the "plan" of the Chandrian.

We also know Kvothe kills an angel, and blames himself for the state of the world.

Add to this Kvothe's flippant life story - trouped, traveled, loved, lost, trusted and was betrayed.

My official guess for D3: Denna convinces Kvothe that Lanre was wronged (loved, trusted), Kvothe tries to right that wrong, kills an angel, undoes the curse of the Chandrian and by doing so unleashes all sorts of nastiness on the world. (lost, and betrayed - she was lying)
Jeremy Raiz
168. Jezdynamite

I'm nearly at the end of Felurians chapters and she (and Hespe) both refer a few times to the moon always being full in the mortal sky (before events in both of their versions leading to the moon starting to wax and wane in the mortal world).
Steven Halter
169. stevenhalter
I see Pat has won the David Gemmel Legend Award for Best Fantasy Novel. Pretty neat and the award is a big axe. He has a picture of it over on his blog:
Ashley Fox
170. A Fox
@ Shalter re 164 Thats an iteresting idea. But there is counter evidence. In tarbean K is saved by 'angels'/singers. When he is beaten and left to hypothermia in the snow he sees a vision of beings with fiery wings, which matches Scapi's story, before the people dressed as Encanis and co turn up.

In your quote Dagan inspires the fear K felt in Tarbean, yet his (possible) experiance with a/s is one of saving.

Also their invisibility seems to not be The Invisible Man type, but rather one of perception. Powerful namers can see them etc. Also the instances in which they are alluded to (troupe massacre, Cinder in the Eld) the are shown by said folk gazing into the sky.

Odd thought. 'Alue fall nameless from the sky'. I think there is an easy assumption that the Alue equate to stars (much like Ludis to the moon). But what if, in fact, the 'angels'/singers are Alue? As in Alue already existed and these were the model on which Aelph based the transformation..or trancendance. A shedding of mortal fesh and all that.

And could this relate to K 'killing' an angel?

(Apologies for lack of tarbean quote, I dont have a bloody clue where my NotW is!)
thistle pong
171. thistlepong
Here ya go. Books are heavy, smell funny, and they disappear.


In my delirium, I imagined death in the form of a great bird with wings of fire and shadow. It hovered above, watching patiently, waiting for me….
I slept, and the great bird settled its burning wings around me. I imagined a delicious warmth. Then its claws were in me, tearing me open—


They came to Aleph, and he touched them. He touched their hands and eyes and hearts. The last time he touched them there was pain, and wings tore from their backs that they might go where they wished. Wings of fire and shadow. Wings of iron and glass. Wings of stone and blood.

That the aleu might be the angels is interesting, but pretty tenuous. They're certainly in the sky and bear a connection to Aleph. And it's fun to think about the nameless ring alluding to killing an angel. I'm just wary of positing another faction or group to fill in the hole. There's also the other clause, "after everything is gone," to consider.
Sahi Rioth
172. Sahirioth
Re: Aleu/Aleph

I always interpreted it as the Aleu being "followers of Aleph" due to the likeness of name. Aleph being the "first" of the Aleu (and thus the "angels") because his name is the name of the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet (and synonymous with the Greek 'alpha'). There's another thing I was curious about regarding Aleph, as well. I'm sure it's been talked about, but how and where and why does the creation myth with Aleph as creator start? What I'm referring to is
In the beginning, as far as I know, the world was spun out of the nameless void by Aleph, who gave everything a name. Or, depending on the version of the tale, found the names all things already possessed.
That's quoted from NotW, p.52, Gollancz UK paperback ed.
Dave West
173. Jhirrad
I'm going to go totally off-topic here for something which I just found. It was awesome and full of win (as so many things regarding Pat are) and while it's likely been mentioned before here I don't feel like searching for it and unfortunately have only been more or less back into the comments of the re-reads recently.

I harmlessly Googled Door of Stone release date this morning. Not that I thought I would get a real answer, but just for fun. I found that there is already a whole page on Goodreads for the book, with literally THOUSANDS of reviews. For a book that is not yet published. Someone else noticed this early on - Pat. Here is his extremely clever and humorous response. It kind of made my morning.
While it's nice to see folks out there giving this book five stars, and in some cases even reviewing it, I'll admit that I'm kinda puzzled.

After thinking it over for a while, I've realized there's only one explanation for this:
Time travelers love my books.

This is strangely reassuring, as it lets me know that, eventually, I do finish my revisions, and the book turns out good enough so that I still have a following out there in the big ball of wibbly-wobbly.... timey-wimey.... stuff that I like to think of as the future.

I would also like to say, future readers, that I appreciate your taking time to read and review my books. It's really flattering knowing that even with time-travel technology at your disposal, you'd rather read my stuff and mention it here on goodreads, rather than, say, hunt dinosaurs, get drunk with da Vinci, or pants Hitler.

Secondly, I'd like to say if you're The Doctor, and you're reading this, I would make an excellent traveling companion. I know you normally tend to hang out with pretty young women and robot dogs. And honestly? I respect that.

Still, I bring certain things to the table. Humor, witty banter, and a beard that will allow me to blend in seamlessly with any pre-industrial Germanic culture. I'm also an excellent kisser and play a mean game of Settlers of Catan.

Just throwing it out there.

Lastly, if any of you happen to have a digital copy of the book you'd like to e-mail me, I'd really appreciate it. I'd love to see the five-star version of the book, because right now, the one I'm toiling away at is about a three an a half-in my opinion. It would save me a lot of work if I could just skip to the end and publish it.

Sincerely yours,
Steven Halter
174. stevenhalter
I think that we are seeing that PR has very carefully laid a bunch of threads around just what the theology means (as pre-history) and just who (and where) the various groups are. Some of these threads will prove very solid in hindsight and some will melt like cotton candy.
It's fun trying to sort them, though.
thistle pong
175. thistlepong

weird... Igot that as a result for "patrick rothfuss bredon didn't exist" since it was easier to search for that to find the blog post than searching his blog...
Ashley Fox
176. A Fox
LOL, Thistlepong, and cheers for the qoutes!

So looked up we do.

1. area
2. region
3. feild
4. (electromagnetism) band (wavelength band)

Which has interesting connotations with some of our other musings. I tried to dig a bit deeper. Which has proven quite hard. Nonsense or PDF's Im not gonna pay for about hyperfine structures. So I looked into that a little (and stumbled across the many, many holes in my knowledge of physics...specially when I read a heading like 'Qubit in ion-trap quantum computing'. But there was something in the astro-physics section (on wiki, did look elsewhere but despite wiki's faults it does offer a nice summary).

"As the hyperfine splitting is very small, the transition frequencies
usually are not optical, but in the range of radio- or microwave

"In radio astronomy, heterodyne receivers are widely used in detection of the electromagnetic signals from celestial objects. The separations among various components of a hyperfine structure are usually small enough to fit into the receiver's IF band. Because optical depth varies with frequency, strength ratios among the hyperfine components differ from that of their intrinsic intensities. From this we can derive the object's physical parameters"

There does seem to be something there. In conjunction with Pat's feasable magic with laws, and dipping into various other sciencyness in similar fields.

Well...then I wondered what if hyperfine structures and copper were related. They are. In some way. Copper potein, type 1, hyperfine splittings. Blue colour.

ok. And then there is this picture. (excuse the origins, i followed a link on comments on a post on Pat's blog..)

Ignore Pat's grumpy face (which proves he's a sexist and probs a terroist too!) and check out the physics squiggles on the blackboard. They also appear in relation to my searches in elctromagnetism and hyperfine structures.

Steven Halter
177. stevenhalter
A Fox@176:The stuff on the blackboard is a drawing of the U and the physics stuff is calculations of specific heat--
Q = mc\Delta T = Heat energy liberated for a teperature change of mass
and 4/3 pi r^3 is the volume of a sphere.
These are all three things that could be useful to a student at the U.
Steven Halter
178. stevenhalter
A Fox@176:The alue being part of an electromagnetic band seems to be a Finnish derivation. Did you actually see a link from alue to qubits?
Qubits are quantum bits for example, for a quantum computer. Rather than being just exactly a zero or a one like in a classic computer, the qubit is a superposition of those states. I can go into more detail if you really want.
If alue really linked up with this in some amusing route, I would be really happy as it would point in a particular direction for things involving Fae/mortal and the abilities of the Cthaeh.
Jo Walton
179. bluejo
Jhirrad: Thank you so much for posting that, it's wonderful.

What he doesn't realise is that if a time traveller sent him a copy of the book it would be a paradox and the world would cease to exist and the aleu fall nameless from the sky -- and speaking of which, well spotted Thistlepong!
180. menelmakil
A Fox @176: They're called Aleu, not Alue.
Ashley Fox
181. A Fox
@Jo. :D I feel like my whole day (cerebrally, speaking) has been occupied by those themes!

@Shalter...the qubit bit was in the section on hyperfine structures. Being that, it seems, to be a key part in energy storage? Go poke, I have no doubt you'll make more sense of it than I.

(I am really quite tired.) Beings without matter, who can fly on wings of fire. They are not visible and yet some can percieve them. Cinder cocks his head as if listening to something. Alue, wavelength. Frequencies. EMR. wave/particle duality. Photons exciting matter with entropy on the flipside.

Oh bloody hell. Heat death of the universe!

Are wavelengths considered to be free energy?

Could this be the alue falling nameless from the sky and world ending?
Ashley Fox
182. A Fox
@180. That's amusing. But still there are some interesting possibilities into a possible nature for the a/s. Either way, it's been fun.

Shalter what is your particular direction for faen/CTH? Curious. :)
Steven Halter
183. stevenhalter
A Fox@181:We have seen Haliax's goal being described as the destruction of the world. Whether this is true or disinformation, we don't know--but let's run with an end of the world goal.
We have seen a couple of stories with Aleph being the creator or starter being. In one he is ascribed as the original namer (either finding or creating). It is this naming of everything that starts the world rolling.
It would seem like the way to undoing the world would then be unnaming it. If you remove the name of everything then you are left with nothing. Now, you could leave it at that or you could then rename things and have a whole new universe that corresponded to your own desires.
Exactly what the nature of this original naming event/being (called Aleph) corresponds to is something we would have to leave to conjecture at this point.
But, if Aleph really did name everything perfectly, then it could be said to have removed entropy from the system--resulting in a system that was perfectly predictable. Someone (like say the Cthaeh) who was skilled enough with naming could use this to see into the future.
By breaking names, Haliax would be increasing the entropy of the system--making it in more unpredictable. At perfect entropy (chaos) it ceases to be a system.
I'll post on how this all could relate to quantum systems a bit later.
Steven Halter
184. stevenhalter
A Fox@182:One story trajectory I would find delightful would be if the whole thing turned out to be a science fiction story rather than a fantasy story--but one in which at the point of the story it doesn't matter much.
We see some hints of this in that the Ruach seem to have been much more developed in terms of magic/technology. The whole system could be seen to be the end result of Clarke's third law.
Steven Halter
185. stevenhalter
A Fox@181:To answer your specific questions:
Wavelength is the distance between two contiguous wave crests. Generally, electromagnetic radiation is classified by wavelength into radio, microwave, infrared, visible spectrum, ultraviolet, X-reays and gamma rays. So, one way in which the Aleu could be invisible is to fall outside the spectrum of visible light.
Free energy is the energy available to do work--in the "heat death" of the universe there would basically be no energy available with which to do work.
A hyperfine qubit is one way to create qubits for a quantum computer. Basically, ions are confined within an electromagnetic field. The energy state (very small == hyperfine) of the ion represents a qubit and can be measured at a later time with a laser. So, it is in one sense a way to preserve an energy state. This can then be used for quantum computing purposes.
This part ties into one possible extrapolation of my post @184. The whole of the 4C could be a virtual world running in some very powerful computer. Powerful namers are able to effect the state of the machine in which they are running. Aleu is the primary OS (or programmer). Fae could be thought of as a subprocess that Iax was able to kick off. Iax is then a master hacker.
I don't have any evidence for this particular interpretation other than finding it an interesting fit. A purely traditional fantasy (flat world supported by whatevers, ...) world also fits fine.
186. Talgian
Very minor question, I apologize if it has been asked before. Do we know why not knowing the word pomace (as in apple pomace) has been bothering K for two years? (WMF Nook pg 21) He's only been in Newarre for one year.
thistle pong
187. thistlepong

JohnPoint observed that the comment could refer to "two apple seasons," which would be consistent with their presence in Newarre.

On the other hand, the timing correlates with Bast's, um, apprenticeship and the event that precipitated the hiding. Some folks see mire fantastic alternatives to the explanation above.
thistle pong
188. thistlepong
Considering the possibility that Cinder's in the Eld 'cause the Seven are closing in on Denna and the possibility of her patron having ties to or being Amyr, might her song be bear baiting? A plan to lure them out into the open?
“Any man that’s half awake can spot a trap that’s laid for him. But to stride in boldly with a plan to turn it on its ear, that is a marvelous thing.” He smiled without any of the grimness leaving his face. “To set a trap and know someone will come in wary, ready with a trick of their own, then beat them. That is twice marvelous.”
Ashley Fox
189. A Fox
@shalter...I was perhaps being to referential, lol. Heat death of the universe is hilarious! Honestly I think the bizzare Naming that science uses throws me more than anything! Also...Have you read Otherland by Tad Williams? Your heory is reminiscent of it, and story. If you have interests in this area you may want to give it a read-that and its a good book!

@Thistlepong. That and the Maer's reaction to the actuality in the Eld. Yes K chasing bandits was a conveniant way to get him out of the picture for awhile, yes taxes going missing is a valid issue....but the rumours of magic, mmm. Was this idea initialy the Maer's? Or did someone perhaps drop hints or info that led to this? Someone like Bredon...who has rumours of pagan rites. In which case perhaps the Maer sending K also worked to see if their is a connection between pagan rites/magic and Bredon/'s hints? And srve's Bredon's trap in above suggestion?

A tangle of political plots and layered games...
190. Sniper
I think the reason the chandrian leave Kvothe alive... is because they need his blood. In one of the lackless rhymes it mentions things that 'stand before the lackless door' which I am guessing means bar the way, rather than physically stand before.

Seven things stand before
The entrance to the Lackless door
One of them a ring unworn (The greystone circle)
One a word that is forsworn (I've no idea, but caesura pops into my head because of the reference to it being 'a sharp word not for swearing' in another poem)
One a time that must be right (Utter guess... a solar eclipse, since haliax has allot to do with the moon, and they are rare)
One a candle without light (No idea at all)
One a son who brings the blood (Kvothe is, as far as I am aware, the only male progeny from the direct Lackless line)
One a door that holds the flood (I thought this was the ring of greystones, but then I remembered the four plate door, but does that have locks? Fela drempt there was a King behind it, but maybes its a King's powers. I expect the flood was the things defeated in the ancient war, or The Fae, or both.)
One a thing tight-held in keeping (The thing inside the Lackless lockless box, probably a peice of the name of the moon, which is just about the worst card you can get in a tarrot deck, and is sometimes called 'The Crisis' which just screams disaster to me.)
Then comes that with comes with sleeping (no idea again, sleeping mind?)

So... does anyone have any ideas on the candle or the word forsworn or the thing that comes with sleeping?

191. Sniper
Had a little bit of a look into a total solar eclipse being the time that must be right, and you'll never guess the maximum length of time eclipses can last. Yup, about seven mins. Considering there are seven chandrian and seven things standing in the way of this door and Kvothe speaks in sevens, (and do you remember trip rolled sevens? weird) I'm pretty sure that thats it. It could also tie in with something horrible happening to the moon, to ensure there are no more eclipses and thus no way to put it right.
The moon that passes infront of the sun in a total solar eclipse is also
actually a new moon, which is completely black during the night. A night with no moon.
Steven Halter
192. stevenhalter
sniper@190:Kvothe has made a couple of oaths during the course of the work--especially the one to Denna involving swearing on his hand or the one to Felurian on coming back to her.

Sniper@191:That seven minute time is for here, of course, we don't know the relative speeds/distances of the Sun and Moon in 4C-land.
thistle pong
193. thistlepong
Sniper@191 (shalter@192)

The moon is not there to block the sun. It's probably JezDynamite's interest in it in this thread that finally made this click for me. It's a night with no moon, not a dark one.

Even here, you can look up and see the dark moon every twenty eight days. I searched, just to be sure, and there's no instance of eclipse in either book. Tentatively, this is one of the places where he's showing off. "I know how stories work," and all that.
Steven Halter
194. stevenhalter
thistlepong@193:Right, eclipse's aren't mentioned in the book.
A moonless night in the 4C (in the non-frame anyway) is one where the moon is entirely in Fae. A full moon in the 4C is one where the moon is entirely in the 4C and absent from Fae. The reverse would be true in each case.
Jo Walton
195. bluejo
New post coming tomorrow, by the way.
thistle pong
196. thistlepong
A reminder to take a beat?
Jo Walton
197. bluejo
Thistlepong: Actually a reminder to myself for next time. Yesterday is where I need to start checking this thread from...
198. robocarp

The more I read and think about it, the more I am sure that there is no concept of simultaneity between Faen and FC. There is no "same time" in the two realms, and the only thing connecting time in the FC and "time" in Faen is that you can travel from a certain point in time of one and arrive at a certain point of time in the other. But while you're in one there is no saying how much time is passing in the other, and it's probably true that you have some control over time whenever you pass through a gateway. I strongly suspect Felurian deliberately set Kvothe back in FC only a few days later; she probably could have set him a hundred years in the future if she had wanted.

Furthermore, it doesn't seem like you ride the moon from one realm to the other, and it seems to be possible to travel between the two realms in either direction whether the moon is new or full. I suspect that the phase of the moon is more about control of the paths between the worlds: on full moon you have full control, on a new moon you have none.
199. robocarp

"A word that is forsworn" is probably using "word" in the sense of "vow". A word that is forsworn is a vow that is broken, which brings to mind Kvothe's vow to Denna, but it doesn't have to be that.

"Time the must be right" could just be the phase of the moon.

The only thing that comes to mind for candles is Taborlin's candle; don't know why it would be without light. However, taking cue from the indelicate version of this poem, where the word "candle" was used methaporically to refer to something shaped like a candle, perhaps in this poem "candle" also refers to something (else) shaped like a candle. Like, maybe, a sword.

"That which comes with sleeping" is most obviously a dream: behind the Lackless door is a thing of dreams. It could also be easing of pain, which seems to be a recurring theme.
200. robocarp
I'd like to throw this one other thought out there before the next thread. There's a character from the stories that I think might hold some important clues, about the past especially, who I don't think we've been talking enough about. It's a pretty important character, who is mentioned all throughout the novels, and in fact, was the first heroic character mentioned at all.

I am talking about Taborlin the Great.

I realize that "character" is a bit of a stretch, since Taborlin is only known from stories, and might not even exist in universe. In a sense, Tab is to FC what Robin Hood is to us. However, Robin Hood's legend grew out of a real bandit culture in medieval England, and even if Taborlin or any particular person he's based on never existed, I still believe the stories have some truth.

Robin Hood ostensibly lived 600-800 years ago; for this reason my first guess would be that Taborlin lived about the same number of years BK. But it seems like such a waste to place such a character at such a recent time (which we already know a few things about), and anyway, the Chandrian the Taborlin fights seem to be a bit different from the Chandrian we know.

So here begins my wild guessing: Taborlin the Great is actually based on the person who (according to Shehyn) didn't lose the Lethani and betray a city, or, perhaps more likely, was someone from that city who resisted the Chandrian. In the aftermath of the betrayal, the Chandrian would have set themselves up as rulers of what remained of the Ergen empire. This is what the situation seemed like in Marten's story when Taborlin opposed King Scyphus (with a suspiciously similar name to Cyphus the Chandrian who bears the blue flame). Taborlin's efforts (no doubt assisted by the Amyr and friends) brought about end of the Chandrian as worldly rulers; thenceforth they would have to act covertly, and strike like lighting from a clear blue sky, rather than rule from a throne. It is in this world that things such as the Lockless box and Yllish writing appear.

Here are the characteristics of Taborlin the Great. I wonder what significance they all have.

- a Cloak of No Particular Color, which has many bottomless pockets
- a key
- a coin
- a candle
- a copper sword
- knows the name of all things

An interesting one is the coin. As we know, the Cealds invented currency only 2000 years ago, so it seems like Taborlin would be more recent than that, but that could just be later additions to the legend.

As for the word "Taborlin", I can't think of any word that resembles it, except that the last two syllables kind of sound like "Belen", which I'll opine is coincidence.

Last note, I like to think that Taborlin the Great was a human (not a Ruach or whatever the pre-Creation-War people were), and was so great because he was a Man who entered the world of legendary beingsand defeated them.
201. Sniper
Good points :)

Another thing that is really bugging me, is where were the Sidhe when Kvothe visited the Cthaeh? If that is their ONE JOB, how could they possibly fail in it so often...

Bast mentions that the Sidhe also kill everything that has had contact with anything that has had contact with the Cthaeh. He might be exaggerating but if he is not... we know that Halix/Lanre visited it and Halix/Lanre cannot die. Yet Halix/Lanre is wandering around having contact with others. We know he can throw the Sidhe off somehow and that is how he has survived their capture and we know he is being hunted by at least one group.

So are the Sidhe neglecting to gaurd the tree whilst they chase after Halix, are their forces split, or did they get outside help to deal with him (the Amyr maybes)?

I'm going to assume that the Sidhe are not Tehlu and his six cohorts because I'm pretty sure that his lot are the namers and chandrian are the shapers that were fighting long ago. I am also pretty sure that it was Thelu and friends that were persuing the Chandrian when they first meet Kvothe. So why werent the Sidhe at the tree, where could they possibly be?
202. Sniper
@ 193. thistlepong
@ 194. shalter

There is a mention of something that seems like an eclipse, when Skarpi is telling the story of Lanre "Selitos spoke the long name that lay in Lanre’s heart, and at the sound of it the sun grew dark and wind tore stones from the mountainside."
thistle pong
203. thistlepong

You're right, that doesn't fit precisely. The moon, at that point, given the information we have, shouldn't be there. A smattering of possibilities come to mind. Night's coming on. It's a good parallel for for what befalls Lanre and day and night come and go throughout the story. Or stormclouds, which pair well with wind tearing at the mountains. Or Selitos pulled the moon, which would be delightful.


The sithe have more than one job:
Their oldest and most important charge is to keep the Cthaeh from having any contact with anyone.
They also go do stuff:
I know the Sithe used to ride out wearing holly crowns when they hunted the skin dancers. . . .

It's still odd that they're missing when Kvothe swings by, as Bast points out. Either they've "failed so often," as you say. Weird. Or the Cthaeh hasn't been bound to the rhinna tree since before the theft of the moon. Less weird.

Seems unlikely that they'd be Tehlu and the eight other Pals. The Sithe wear magicked holly crowns, ride /(horses)/ and hunt with bows. Tehlu&Pals are invidisble with like six wings and sing songs of power.


There are a lot of thoughts about the who/when of Taborlin in the Timeline thread. The matter certainly isn't closed, though. Every time I think I'm gonna post something about Taborlin, I'm confronted with my disorganized notes and the significance of that first story to the shape of the Chronicle overall.

ex - the features of Taborlin, in no particular order:
(Prison without windows or doors)
(Blue Flame)
The Names of All Things
(Fire & Lightning)
You could probably throw demons in there, which we know to be Faen. So I tend to agree that he, if he was, was a man.

I think the common popularity of the story tends to confine him temporally more than anything else. Oren Velciter is comparably known, but he's still alive. Tehlu has a religion that rode a conquering empire across the known world to keep him on people's minds. And even then Wil calls him a pagan diety. Illien, the other big name, is no more than a thousand years old, either. After that, the oldest names are the founders of Ceald, found in history books; known only to Arcanists. Then it's a scattering of unknown legends told by the very old: Skarpi and Shehyn. Skarpi's sort of an unknown quantity, telling ancient stories with modern names. Shehyn is relating treasured cultural traditions, passed down orally; the names are different and some of the details forgotten.
204. Nameless
Tarbolin may be identical to the scary guy on the artifact from the Farm.
He is the only individual reported to struggle with the Seven and although they can trap him, they do or annot kill him.
205. robocarp

I used to think about Taborlin the Great more or less exactly the same way you describe it, and it still wouldn't surprise me if it were true. But here's a bit of rationale for why I think Tab's story might be a little older than we thought.

All we know about Tab is from folk tales, which means there are two separate questions to consider. 1. What do the people who are telling the tales understand about them? 2. What clues can the folk tale give us about actual historical events? They are separate questions, but the answer to #1 could shed some light on #2.

If you were to ask the people of FC what time frame Taborlin the Great stories were set in, what would they say? Based on the fantastic content of the tales, I'd say educated people would place Tab at the earliest fringe of written history, the same as we would place legendary figures like Abraham and Theseus. (Compare the stories of Taborlin and Illien. Tab was fighting demons with magic swords and thunder. Illien was taming bears with music. It suggest Tab was a lot older than Illien.)

Now, it doesn't mean the folk tales necessarily originated at that time, nor that any real-life people it was based on lived at that time, but if the story is set at that time it's reasonable to wonder if it contains clues about that time.

I have a meta reason for suspecting the Taborlin story is old as well. There's a 3000-year-long gap in the timeline, and I find it hard to believe that PR would leave so few clues about it. All we know for sure is that someone put something in a lockless box, and that some people in Yll started writing with knots. Taborlin's story seems to be the only thing that might have other clues about that time.
Ashley Fox
206. A Fox
204 I wouldnt embrace the term identical, but the idea of Tarbolin as some sort of Ciridae poster boy is amusing.

On the candle without light....on the vase one of Haliax's symbols is a candle with a dark flame. Possibility?
207. Sniper
@ 203. thistlepong

Interesting idea that the Cthaeh isnt currently bound to the tree, but I don't think it would stay there if it had the chance to go out and cause more grief.
Does makes me wonder exactly how it is bound to stay in the tree though.

@ 206. A Fox
Yes, I have the feeling its not literally a candle though.
thistle pong
208. thistlepong

You misunderstood. Read that sentence as, "Perhaps the Cthaeh was not always bound to the tree, specifically perhaps it was not so imprisoned when speaking to Iax and Lanre." I reckon, and have explored this at length previously, that it's bound by the Loeclos box.
209. DaveS
I've never read much into Denna's line that it's "her job" to notice things about Kvothe, and I'm surprised people generally seem to do so.

She says the line in a direct response to one from Kvothe that it's his "job" to notice things as he's an arcanist, following which she says it's her "job" to notice things about him, which I've always taken as an oblique reference to how much he means to her - and when have these two been anything but oblique when talking about their feelings for each other?

Anyway, the "job thing is initially raised by Kvothe not Denna, and didn't strike me as any more literal than "I'm a kid, it's my job" from the film Uncle Buck. I'm not saying it's not significant, it could be a 'hidden in plain sight' revelation about Denna, but I certainly don't think it's as obviously suspicious as people seem to have concluded.
210. Catz
Just a few quick thoughts.

It has been mentioned that the Sithe kill even those who have had contact with those who have had contact with Ctheah. It has also been mentioned that we are not entirely sold on K's version of events. So what if it were the Sithe who killed his troupe? They were killed for singing the wrong sort of songs, but perhaps that had more to do with them learning about Lanre/Haliax.

Also, do we have anything that clearly points to Kote meaning disaster? I ask because it would be far more troubling if it really meant "seven" and one of the other words meant disaster. We know word order is not important in cealdic...
211. Audion
Ok, so I know a lot of people keep painting the Ctheah as the main bad guy in the stories and as the root of everything that went wrong. I understand what he can do, in that manipulating K he got the worst possible outcome he could. But.. that doesn't mean it has to be a world ending disaster. It's entirely possible that the worst he could do is cause the broken table Bast smashes in the Inn when he finds out K talked to the Ctheah! It's all conjecture, just because someone can pick the worst outcome of the future doesn't mean they have as many options as everyone gives credit to.
Maybe things just were sped up, that K would have gone to the Adem at some other point and the Cth just sped things up.

Also, I know Patrick doesn't put things into his books he doesn't pour over first, but sometimes things happen for the reasons stated. Everyone keeps giving secret meaning to a lot of things that happen to K, such as Ben being "snared" and plots with Denna to find out about him and all.. honestly, I can't see him as that important for any reason.

Just my 2 cents. I've read the books 3-4 times now and while there is a ton of depth and a lot of questions, I don't see some massive scheme or plot in any of it.

Other than what Denna is really after. That I'll grant is anyone's guess.. I suppose even if it is as an agent (but I still don't think it's one that is Expressly to keep tabs on K)
212. Reedie
Some thoughts on agendas:

The second book sets up the Cthaeh as a major player in Kvothe's story. We are--I think--supposed to leave the book at least a bit worried that the Cthaeh turned Kvothe into a plague ship carrying misery back with him. This line of reasoning fits with the endpoint of the plot we already know: Kvothe opens the Pandora's Box (or takes a nibble of the apple) and unleashes pain and suffering on the world. Since Kvothe so far doesn't seem like the kind of chap who dreams about inflicting misery on humanity it makes sense to think of him as unwittingly becoming the agent of another. So let's start by considering what that plan might be.

Since the Cthaeh appears to try to manipulate Kvothe it's worth noting that the Cthaeh does not appear to be aligned with the Chandrian. Why is this? Aside from the personal antagnoism of the Cthaeh to Haliax, the Cthaeh is "perfectly malicious," would not the Chandrian be an ally in its war against good?

I think the answer here is that the Cthaeh appears to have the goal of maximizing *suffering*. Haliax himself suffers endlessly because he can never sleep. And he seeks to alleviate this suffering by ending *all* suffering in the world. And the way to do that is to salt the whole earth, to end all life. If all life were ended there would be nothing for the Cthaeh to inflict misery upon.

And so we are left with an evil that is divided against itself ideologically. One presumably evil faction, the Chandrian, seek to destroy the world. The other factions wants to keep the world intact, but make it as bad of a place as possible to be.

Considering this, the Cthaeh's influence on Kvothe does not actually have to be as bad as it seems. The focus within the story is on the limits of the Cthaeh's power, and on the philosophical problem with fatalism. But just as important is that the Cthaeh may seek to use Kvothe to frustrate the purpose of the Chandrian. The Cthaeh and Kvothe could thus be allies of a sort. I will get back to this point at the end.

The other main faction we know of is the Amyr. The Amyr apparently seek the "greater good," which seems to roughly equate to utilitarianism with all of its classic problems. It is worth it to torture one person if in doing so you can save a million from the utilitarian perspective. In fact it would even be possible to justify the goal of the Chandrian from the perspective of the Amyr. If the goal is to maximize the good, and the world is inevitably bad, it makes sense to destroy the world.

The Amyr appear to be potential allies against the Chandrian, but ideologically their positions are actually not that far apart. The Amyr believe that there is enough good about a living world to preserve it. The Chandrian think the "greater good" lies in the destruction of all life. At their core though, both factions seek utilitarian ends.

What is missing from the series is a fourth faction of deontologists, i.e. folks who think that the right thing to do is to follow some set of moral rules. The closest we get to that is the concept of a beautiful game, and I think we would be reading far too much into that to speculate that it represents another major faction operating in this universe.

If Ruthfus wants to take it, he has the option of having a complex ideological war over the fate of the universe without there being obvious sides of right and wrong. The Amyr, the Cathaeh and the Chandrian all have goals in tension with one another and which are not exactly good or benevolent as most people would think of that. In such a universe there is a great deal of opportunity to make complex alliances, and for Kvothe to become a pawn of forces beyond his control.

One thing that bothered me at the end of book 2, is that Kvothe tries apparently for the first time to actually get into the box he has presumably used to lock some part of himself up. Why would it be the first time? What has Kvothe learned that would make him change his mind about wanting to lock away whatever he has hidden? The only thing he has learned about so far is about the Cthaeh, and on its face that knowledge would seem to make him *hesitant* and not eager to regain power. He has just learned that he is a plague ship, he should seek to destroy and not liberate himself!

But what if Kvothe has seen my point about the Cthaeh. Kvothe appears to already be very fatalistic about himself, and to start the story conceiving of himself as someone who is destined to do terrible evil. But if the Cthaeh has manipulated him to prolong the suffering of Haliax and stave off victory of the Chandrian, Kvothe's fate is potentially much more complex and presumably much more under his control. He may not be a pawn of evil against good, but rather someone who has been manipulated by a particular side in a much more complex game. Knowing the players, Kvothe may now conceive of himself as being able to be more than an unwitting pawn.
Jo Walton
213. bluejo
Catz: We do know that Kote means disaster, it gets translated that way by Kilvin. Kvothe says he knows all the words except "kote" and Kilvin says it's "disaster".
214. 112233ryan
Kvothe will get his memory back. In NoW children are singing a song about the chandrian, this must be the song his father wrote.
Dave West
215. Jhirrad
112233ryan @214 - That is not correct at all. What they are singing is just the standard nursery rhyme, which is well known to all there. They aren't singing whatever song that Arliden was writing.

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