Nov 29 2012 2:00pm

Rothfuss Reread: Speculative Summary 16: You May Have Heard of Me

Patrick Rothfuss Re-read on, Speculative Summary 15: Stick by the MaerMy obsessively 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. But we welcome new people who have read the books and want to geek out about them. 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.

First, this month’s “Pat is awesome” story. At World Fantasy in Toronto, I met a twelve year old kid whose father was a fan of mine. The kid was a fan of the Kingkiller Chronicles, so naturally that’s what we talked about. He’d met Pat earlier in the day, and asked him various detailed stuff, as you would. And he’d asked him about the currency, and Pat pulled two copper jots out of his pocket and gave the kid one. I immediately asked him how good his Alar was, and whether he could make the other jot, still in Pat’s pocket, rise into the air. He said his alar was like a bar of Ramston steel. He’s a great guy. Go donate to his charity.


Kvothe: Mary Sue?

I’m going to start this time with the allegation that Kvothe is a Mary Sue. “A Mary Sue” for those who don’t know the term, comes from Star Trek fanfiction. It’s a useful term for a reader insert character who is just so perfect she* can do everything and solve everything and everyone loves her. Characters like this are generally deprecated, and there’s a useful discussion of why on Making Light. The real problem with Mary Sue is that she’s a wish fulfillment character who gets everything easy, and that’s a detriment to story.

(*The pronoun “she” includes “he” in this context.)

Now there’s a lot about Kvothe which does recall the classic Mary Sue. He’s better than everyone at everything. Well, not everything—not alchemy, and not tact—but he’s the best at Sympathy and music and he learns the Adem fighting and everybody loves him. There’s the whole Felurian thing, which we have talked about at length. And he’s so very clever, and a dab hand at untying knots.

There are a pile of reasons he’s not a Mary Sue—Rothfuss being conscious of the problem for one thing. But the real reason he’s not and cannot be a Mary Sue is the frame. In the frame, Kvothe has failed. He’s lost D, he’s lost his mastery, he’s lost magic, he’s lost his name, he’s like a cut flower waiting to die. And the frame informs everything in the story, it’s the resonance between the frame and the story—the multiple stories—that makes these books so great. Kvothe needs to shine brightly in the story—which he is telling—because of the darkness of the frame, he needs to have the hubris because we know he’s getting the nemesis. What we have is tragedy.


Aaron in D3

Brilliant suggestion from Kaizoku:

I think Aaron believes Kote is Kvothe. It’s been remarked that he’s pretty smart, so I think he could pretend to not believe it. This way he can’t bring down the authorities on Kvothe, get his thousand royals and a duchy, and save his village ( from poverty ). Maybe we’ll see Kvothe being killed in the third book in this manner. I wouldn’t like to see it happen though, at least not this way.
... But think! This completely explains the need for that scene in the book, which would otherwise be irrelevant and have no effect on the plot.

Well, even without that it would be character development for K as JohnPoint points out:

1) Kvothe really is starting to become the innkeeper (whether by acting a convincing role or because his name is changed, etc.) He can’t convince Aaron of the truth because it isn’t true anymore (he actually is someone else) or because he is so deep into acting the innkeeper that he’s actually starting to become the mask (as per Bast)

2) He is both concerned about Aaron, and feels responsible for the war and every life that is lost due to it. He’s willing to risk his annonymity to save Aaron from going off to war, and he feels (and perhaps is, though I’m not entirely convinced of it yet), that everything sits squarely on his shoulders.

The scene adds to our understanding o frame-K, his mindset, and his sense of guilt for the cataclysm.

Remember that this story (the KKC) is Kvothe’s story. Not just who he was, but who he became. His frame mindset is a very important part of who he is today.

and WickedKinetic:

the Aaron scene is a very important part of the story, illustrating a great many things. 1- K feels responsible for the war and general state of things, 2- K is still morally and empathically ’good’ in not wanting some local kid to go get killed in the war, 3- his guise is so good that people won’t believe the truth when its in front of their face, won’t even consider it for a second.... also the currency bit mentioned above. It is a very valuable scene even if Aaron is not a significant character.

And yet it’s out of character, isn’t it? Breaking character that way? Most of the time he’s so careful to stay in character, even to the point of getting beaten up by the soldiers. Maybe he wants Aaron to bring the authorities to stop Chronicler? Or something?

This feels—this feels like the kind of thing Rothfuss does, like the Bast/soldiers thing.


in order to convince A, all K had to do was ask Chronicle or Bast to support his claim. Between the three of them, A would have easily been convinced. Unless A has a role in the thirdd book which involves this scene. It seems wrong to throw away A in a scene like this after mentioning him several times in the previous book. And it’s a bit of a stretch that he runs off to war without even waiting a single day.

I like this theory. Kaizoku, you’re promoted to E’lir in the Department of Imaginary Sympathy.


He may have a part to play, we may find out what happens to him, but I don’t see him showing up with all the King’s horses and all the King’s men to collect the reward money for finding someone everyone believes is dead....

I can. I really can see that happening in the frame part way through D3, but if it does it will be because K wanted it to.


Aaron really only needs to suspect that Kote is Kvothe. The Innkeeper confessed. Aaron’s bluff call could be read as a cover: “If you really are...” His voice trailed off, but his expression turned it into a question. I’m skeptical, but he could be considering the relative value of 1000 royals and nobility versus one and the promise of death. Lying’s in his family. He breaths iron every day. It’s improbable but not impossible that he played it off legit.

Aaron has all day to mull it over, maybe even discuss it on the road. Given that time to take it all in, he could convince himself if not others. He’s got the confession, Kvothe’s behavior with the scraeling and the shambleman/draugar/skindancer, his sudden uncharacteristic interjection into Cob’s story, the “demons” conversation, and the strange new sword on the unimaginably expensive mounting board.

That last one might make one wonder at the expense and cleanliness of the Waystone itself: windows, keyed locks in every door, the dumbfounding selection, black stone hearths. Moreover, used only to aggravate Elodin, our innkeeper isn’t stingy around town in general: hiring the Bentleys, taking quite a bit of mutton off the Orrisons’ hands, commissioning brass ringed barrels.

Aaron would be able to present a story worth checking out to anyone who heard it.

Chapter two (Holly) also has some direct parallels with chapter 151 (Locks) which might illuminate the “why” of the scene. I’ll throw out the relevant one first for folks like to get bored by formalism. Kvothe’s failure to convince Aaron, the failure of his “legendary silver tongue,” parallels his failure to open the Thrice Locked Chest. In a sense, it’s even the failure of a third necessary part. In chapter 2, he’s got the hair and the sword, but no magic. In chapter 151, he’s got the iron key and the copper key, but no... probably magic considering the open/edro commands.

Lest the casual observer look at the above and mutter, kyxxs, coincidence, imagery and incident are reversed or repeated across both chapters as well. Chronicler comes downstairs in the morning in chapter two, unpacks his paper and pens, and receives the holly crown from Bast. He cleans the pens, puts away the paper, and tucks the crown in his satchel before heading up at night in chapter 151. These are the only two chapters where holly and the holly crowns appear. In these two chapters, Bast and Chronicler have their moments alone together to discuss Kvothe. In fact, they use awakening language in both conversations. Finally, for this post anyway, these are the only two chapters in which thorn is used, and the only two in which both thorn and blade of grass appear.

At the very least, I’m beginning to see what took so long, and what will take so long for Day 3. In order to get back by the end of Day 3, Aaron had to leave on the morning of Day 2. For structural reasons, he had to leave in chapter two to parallel the second to last chapter.

I agree with GBrell, that’s brilliant.


Netalia Lackless

DarlinKaty suggested that Meluan might be Netalia’s daughter rather than her sister, and I explained:

No, Meluan can’t be Laurian’s daughter and Kvothe’s sister because she refers to her sister who ran off with the Ruh. She’s his aunt.

GBrell pointed out:

Unless lots of Lacklesses run off with Ruh. But that would probably tend to downplay the scandal.

And I thought, well:

What if it had happened every generation since the Creation War? That would explain all the songs...


At some point you’d think they’d figure out those Ruh boys are trouble.

Yeah, really. But you never know!



Galathel notices something we missed at the time:

In NW there is a scene of Bast recalling her beautifull ears. And in WMF Kvothe takes her for a walk in Maer’s garden at night. Moonless night, mind you. ;) “Denna peered out of the hedge toward the path, and I looked at her. Her hair fell like a curtain down the side of her head, and the tip of her ear was peeking out through it. It was, at that moment, the most lovely thing that I had ever seen.” This lead me to the theory, that Bast is more closely connected with Kvothe than it seems.


My crazy Denna theory is that she is actually Lyra, and a fourth power in the story, although a hidden/subdued one. When Lanre brought her back he also cursed her with immortality/reincarantion. Most of her power and ability is sleeping and only some of it leaks out in the form of Fae-ness and abset-minded yllish spells.

Truthfully though, I find the normal girl trying to get by with a little borrowed magic more likely.



Unscene says:

It’s amazing how many potential poet kings there are in the story.

And I don’t think that is in any way a coincidence. Rothfuss wants us tying ourselves in knots.

Jhirrad considers the possibility of a Faen King being killed:

The King that is killed. We have speculated extensively regarding who the King is named by the story. We almost always come back to someone in the human/mortal side of T4C. I can vaguely recall mention of the possibility of it being a faen King, but that never seemed to catch much traction. After going through the end of ch. 99 more carefully, I’m starting to believe that it might the case however.

Here’s what we know that leads me to this conclusion:
Kvothe has involved himself in politics of some sort to the point that a war was started.
He killed a King. (Was this the beginning or end of his political involvement? No idea, but it’s an interesting question.)

These two pieces, along with ch. 99, lead me to believe the King was from the faen courts. Here are some things which Kvothe says in this chapter which push me in this direction:

“All I knew for certain after hearing Felurian’s stories is that I had no desire to ever entangle myself in even the kindest corner of the faen court.”

“[T]he Fae are not like us....We are not the same...they are profoundly, fundamentally not the same...We forget it at our peril.”

Peril is a particularly strong word which Pat uses here. It is in fact the only time he uses that word in this book. It appears once in NotW, in the Tehlu story. Knowing how carefully Pat chooses each and every word, it leads me to believe it is important here.

We haven’t seen anything of the Faen court, and we haven’t heard much about them either. We do know Bast is a prince.

I think there’s quite good evidence that it’s a king of Vintas who is killed—possibly not Roderic though. We know (thanks GBrell!) that Newarre is in Vintas, and we know that it has a Penitent King and a war. Something caused that, and Occam’s razor suggests to me that it was the kingkilling.


Doesn’t Kvothe kill Roderic Calanthis?

I thought the poisoning of the flits in the Maer’s room was pretty open foreshadowing.

Well, maybe. I think it’s most likely to be a king of Vintas.

Jhirrad has a thought on the Penitent King:

The Penitent King. I know there has been a great deal of discussion about precisely who this is. Many have conjectured Alveron. I’m not certain what all the other theories out there are regarding that character. However, as I was reading through NotW yesterday afternoon, something stuck out to me, especially after reading the discussion re: Bredon as Ash. In Chapter 22, A Time for Demons (sorry, I only have a Kindle version in front of me so I can’t give a page), after “Encanis” has given Kvothe a full silver talent and rushed off, Kvothe hides himself as “Tehlu” and his coeterie pass.

Tehlu stood tall and proud in the back of a wagon drawn my four white horses. His silver mask gleamed in the torchlight. His white robes were immaculate and lined with fur at the cuff and collar. Grey-robed priests folled along beside the wagon, ringing bells and chanting. Many of them wore the heavy iron chains of penitent priests.

Emphasis added. We know that at one point in history the Church had a large hand in governing in Atur. Let’s also recall that Simmon is the 4th son of a duke. The third son is a priest. See WMF, Ch. 39, Contradictions. “...he has three older brothers and two sisters. The first son inherits. The father bought the second a military commission. The third was placed in the church.” That is, in fact, something which commonly took place in medieval/rennaissance families. First son inherits, second son is a soldier, third son is a priest. Maybe our Penitent King is one of these 3rd sons that was sent to become a priest, became a penitent priest (which I don’t think is mentioned anywhere else in the text other than this one scene), but ends up inheriting through the death of his elder brothers. Being such a devout Tehlin, that would necessarily put this king on a path to collide head-on with Kvothe in some way, this evil magic user who has already been brought before the iron law for his “Consortation with Demonic Power, Malicious Use of Unnatural Arts, Unprovoked Assault, and Malfeaseance.” Also, if the war is, as many have suggested, one between the Fae and mortal realms, it is not much of a stretch to think that such a conflict could have been started/perpetuated by a heavily religious leader, Lhin?

Honestly, it was thinking about Pat’s incredibly delicate and obsessive choice of words that led me on this path.

I think we’ll have to wait and see but it could well be.


An Angel and a Demon

DarlinKaty says:

Isn’t his “heart’s desire” to learn the truth of the Chandrian? It is what motivates him throughout the whole story. It’s why he wants to attend the University, it’s why he goes to the Maer and much more. He even chooses this pursuit over Denna once in a direct way, I think. And certainly several times indirectly. Perhaps it is knowledge of the Chandrian that causes him to fight a demon and kill an angel. If those things really happen in DT.

I think those things will happen in DT, and I think when they do I will hyperventilate. But I don’t know if knowing the truth of the Chandrian is his heart’s desire. Stopping the Chandrian might be. We get that phrasing from Chronicler, where does he get it from? A story, or a song? Or... This seems like a productive area to think about.


I think the angel he has to fight is Denna because we are allready seeing them come at cross-purposes in WMF.

But that would need her to be an angel. Is there any useful evidence that she might be? Would a Ruach need a patron? Would an angel let herself get beaten by Master Ash? And if so, would an angel believe she deserved it? We don’t know enough about angels. And as for demons, we mostly know that they don’t exist, except for the Chandrian and things out of the Fae, and the draccus—there are a whole lot of things called demons that aren’t, and whatever Kvothe tricked could be anything. It could be Bast.

And Thistlepong sums up everything about our one declared demon, Encanis:

The possible identities of Encanis have been discussed. I think the three major theories are Encanis as Encanis, Encanis as Haliax, and Encanis as the Cthaeh. Encanis in Trapis’s story shares the shadowed face and black garb attributed to Haliax at the end of “Lanre Turned.” He also shares the general Chandrian signs of frost and blight. His reaction to iron points to Faen association, as does characterizing him as a demon.

The confusion of characteristics as well as the general timeframe Trapis provides confounds current conjecture. A reader can successfully support several identities and convincingly refute none of them. Trapis is a Tehlin apostate, reciting from imperfect memory a story derived in part from The Book of the Path. His story, though, resonates with both “Lanre Turned” and Shehyn’s account.

Folk have written about how all of these may be versions of the same story, culturally relevant to the speaker, but only partially accurate. This theory’s actually quite likely. given Pat’s comments. It’s also possible that they’re iterations on a theme in a conflict spanning five or six millennia. Or both.

I’m getting some serious Baader-Meinhof for the Encanis/Cthaeh connection lately, though, so I figure it’s worth exploring. Take as given the aforementioned tree imagery and the prescription of truth.

Encanis shares serpent imagery with the Cthaeh. compare “motionless as a snake” and, “Encanis hissed. his voice like the rasp of stone on stone,” with “Kyxxs” and, “I thought I saw a sinuous motion among the branches.” The serpent imagery reverberates with the ideas of deception and truth. The serpent figures from many of our mythologies don’t lie outright, but reveal partial truth to goad the listener; this, in fact, is pervasive throughout the Chronicle. Encanis and the Cthaeh share a fondness for alliterative cursing. Compare “bite and break you” with “blood, bracken, and bone.” Both Encanis and the Cthaeh create conflict, Encanis “setting men to murder one another” and the Cthaeh’s influence “is like a plague ship sailing into a harbor.”

Their names bear a curious reflective relationship. Encanis suggests canis, or dog, which has little to do with our shrouded demon at first glance. I mean, Tehlu hounds him and runs him down, and that’s sort of funny. But as before, with serpent, we might think in terms of image and cosmology. Contemplate the associations of Anubis, Cerberus, and other guardians of other worlds. Consider the Cthaeh as a reflection of Encanis in the outer darkness (Trapis) or Hell (Daeonica,) which we know to be Faen—the immanent other world that’s either above, below, or ekpyrotic to the Mortal. Encanis might translate as in/of/one dog or even behold dog, the latter further suggesting the sight of the Cthaeh.

Cthaeh, on the other hand, evokes the Mortal via it’s similarity to khthon/cthonic—in/under/beneath the earth. Having mentioned the tree connection, this is how we reconcile the pit into which Encanis is thrown and burned. Ritual sacrifices of living creatures by cthonic cults involved burning the body whole in a pit. The ligature of a and e is called aesc, or “ash tree” after the Anglo-Saxon rune. Might be coincidental or purposeful, marking Denna’s patron even as we remain unreconciled as to whom Ash is.

Thus Encanis and the Cthaeh mirror one another nominally and symbolically across worlds as well as sharing common imagery. As above, so below. I rather like it.

The connection might also narrow down the range of possible suspects in the bad-spy-novel-where-everyone-is-someone-else sense. As much as we have consensus on anything, we generally view Iax as the first shaper, he who pulled the moon, and he whom is imprisoned beyond the doors of stone. Felurian not only refuses to speak his name, but implies he’s unreachable in Faen. This strongly suggests The Cthaeh is not Iax. Further, she refuses to speak of the Seven at all, while she’s willing to discuss the Cthaeh. And we know Haliax has been recently active in the Mortal, eliminating him as a candidate.



Dessert, on Naming and Shaping:

I was always under the impression that shaping was the creating of new things, whilst naming is the manipulation of existing things. Shaping means making a new star, creating a new species of tree with glowing fruit or designing a new world with it’s own set of physics. Naming means stirring up a storm, or suppressing a faeling’s power.

That’s compatible with what we know, but we don’t know enough to say if it’s right.

Shalter, on Naming:

A Name is a very precise thing in 4C-land. The languages extant within the 4C probably lack the precision to convey a Name. Thus we see Elodin’s explanation of the Sleeping Mind and Kvothe envisioning a musical stream in his battle with Felurian.

And, notice that Ademere adds additional precision through the gestures and maybe Yllish knots were along a similar bent—the more precisely you can model a Name, the more likely you can manipulate the named object.

We’ve talked about Kvothe’s musical Naming, but how about gesture and touch? Maybe the best way to Name something would be a song and interpretive dance?


A Moonless Night


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.

So the other way round for the Fae? But if the gates are more open now—with the scraelings etc coming through, what does that mean?

Robocarp, on the making of the Fae:

Felurian said of the Faen realm that it was “wrought according to their [the shapers’] will. the greatest of them sewed it from whole cloth.”

Key point: she says it was “wrought” and “sewed from whole cloth”. That is, it was made from pre-existing land, not constructed out of thin air. The Shapers must have taken land from somewhere, moved it sideways into another dimension, and then shaped into the Fae. The obvious question is, where did the land come from?

I looked at the Four Corners map to see where ground zero might have been for this hypothetical move, and to my surprise I saw something that fits, namely the Reft, the large bay south of Tarbean. “Reft” is an archaic past participle of the word “reave”, which is a verb that could mean “to steal, carry off forcibly” or “to tear apart, break”. Both of which could be an apt description of what the Shapers did to the land.

So let’s run with it. Is there any evidence that Faen was originally part of the FC? I have a couple ideas. In Hespe’s story, Jax talks to a tinker before setting off on what appears to be eastward on The Great Stone Road toward the mountains. The tinker may represent the Cthaeh, who Bast said Iax spoke to before stealing the moon. But that raised the question of how the Cthaeh got into the Fae, which was apparently constructed after Iax spoke to him (according to the chronology of Hespe’s story). Now here is a possible explanation: the Cthaeh and it’s tree were part of the land that was moved sideways into the Faen realm.

Speaking of the Great Stone Road: it ends in Imre on the FC map, but if you were to extrapolate it westward, it would go very near to the Reft. Suppose the Stone Road once did lead past Imre, and was part of the land that was moved into the Fae. Is there any evidence for that? Yes: when Felurian is leading Kvothe into the darkest part of the Fae, they actually walk on a stone road for awhile. It seems like an odd place for a stone road: the darkest part of the Faen realm. Perhaps it was there before it was the Fae.

Wow. I like that.


I think you’re onto something important. First of all, Iax ’stole’ the moon, and this caused the war. So the idea that he literally stole a chunk of land fits in.

Here’s a variation of your idea. The Fae realm may be a single, razor-thin vertical slice of the FC—a cross-section—that was stolen and then laid out in the-time-dimension-converted-to-space, hence the realm of Twilight, etc. That sliver-thin cross-section—from sky to crust—would actually have the appearance of a cloth. It could have been folded like a cloth, tucked into a box, and later unfolded just like a cloth. It was then dragged through the missing dimension of spacetime to give it the third-spatial dimension (think of an accordion expanding), but it’s not really a spatial dimension, it’s time. So the Fae realm is the same sliver at different times of a singe day, only time has truly been converted to space. Such a process could be described as ’sewing from whole cloth’.

Over time, this new landscape could have developed a varied topography we associate with a normal three-dimensional space.

I know this doesn’t explain the CTH’s presence in the Fae realm. Ah well. Maybe the cloth included a cross-section of the Wheel as well, taking the CTH with it. A Wheel dragged through the time dimension would look like a cylinder. The tree trunk? I know that’s a stretch. But it’s semi-congruent with Roah being iron-like.

More likely, Cinder tossed him in there. His name does suggest mastery of iron.

And, and Pat refused to mark the location of Caluptena on GBrell’s map at a signing. And he specifically wouldn’t tell me where it was when we were doing the Admissions questions — it was in the list, and I mentioned it as one of the things we really really want to know because we’re odd that way, and he said he couldn’t tell me because it would be a spoiler. So if Caluptena was there, and wasn’t there any more, well, that would make sense, wouldn’t it?


Taborlin the Great


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.

And we’ve talked before about how Auri gave Kvothe all those things—a coin, a candle and a key, anyway. Not a copper sword, yet anyway. And of course he consciously has the cloak in emulation of Taborlin.


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.

Now there’s a new thought.

Thistlepong wonders when Taborlin was:

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.

Really good question. He’s from after the Creation War, and there are Chandrian—or at least blue flame—in at least one of his stories.

Robocarp in response, thinking he’s older:

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.

I think he’s a myth. I think he’s exactly and precisely a myth, because Rothfuss is doing this whole thing with stories and what stories are and stories as clues and what Kvothe’s father was doing with Lanre and what Kvothe’s doing with the Chandrian and all of this, the Creation War, and the Lackless rhyme and so on, and all the distorted stories about Kvothe himself. Some stories are clues and some are distortions and some have to be just stories. Taborlin seems to me the most fairy-tale like, and the most used for explaining how the magic system works and the least solid in time.




Rereading the CTH passage got me thinking—it tells him not to call them that and so does Shehyn. Why? Is it that it’s inaccurate and they know it? Maybe by calling them Chandrian all you’re really doing is calling them by some general term like “cursed” or “undead”.

As far as we know, it means “the seven”, which certainly isn’t precise.

And Hang, on what the CTH says:

When the CTH is talking to K about his parent’s death, he says that his father begged and cryed, saying that probably to hurt K, but what if his father did that not because he was affraid but because he knew that was what he should do.
This may be a long shot, but what if while searching to write the song he discovered something about the Chandrian and the fact they are afraid of Tehlu and the angels, what if he also discovered that they can actually listen the prayers?
So, when he was “begging” for his life, just like the CTH said que did, he was trying to call upon Tehlu and the angels, that would explain why Haliax looked into the sky(angels falling from the sky) and the Chandrian went away from the camp, they were afraid .
That would explain why Cinder looked to the sky and then vanished, because Marten was praying so the angels were coming.

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I think this counts as actual confirmation that it was Marten’s praying that scared Cinder off. Hang, you are hereby promoted to E’lir in the Department of Imaginary Sympathy.

DB3006 thinks Cinder has been in the Eolian, or maybe Ankers:

“Why cant’ you find this Cinder? Well, that’s an interesting why. You’d think a man with coal-black eyes would make an impression when he stops to buy a drink. How can it be that you haven’t managed to catch wind of him in all this time?”

So Cinder has been buying drinks where K plays? I would say yes. AND if true, it cannot be a coincidence.

Another Andrew takes this even further:

perhaps Kvothe has met all the Chandrian (except possibly Haliax) in the course of his wanderings. And in that case Devi, ’the Demon’, is a possible candidate for being one of the female ones.




In re salt: There is mention of “hal” being salt, and the possibility of Haliax being something like the sower of salt. There was also some discussion re salt, sulphur, and mercury, going back to something Pat had mentioned. While I don’t want to overstate the importance of salt, I think it’s REALLY important here. In trying to get information on the Chandrian from Felurian (at which Kvothe was wildly unsuccessful) she (Felurian) says, “I do not jest...I swear this by my flower and the ever-moving moon. I swear it by salt and stone and sky. I swear this by singing and laughing, by the sound of my own name.” WMF Kindle version, Ch 99.

There are a couple of interesting things to me here. First, the pride of place to which salt is being given. Not only does she swear by it, but does so in the same line as she swears by the ’ever-moving moon’ and ’the sound of my own name’. It would appear this is a very powerful oath indeed. Also, the way she combines it with stone and sky. I’m not sure as to the significance of this right now, but I’m sure that it is significant.

And me:

People get it from Tinkers. Well, and from caravans. There’s a mention near the beginning of the price of salt being up in Newarre and people wishing they’d bought it anyway.

What Felurian is swearing by is her flower, the moon, salt stone and sky, singing and laughing, and her own name. I think we have four things that are central to Felurian herself — her name, singing, laughing, and her sexuality, which are all close to her absolute identity, and four world-things, the moon, salt, stone and sky. The ever-moving moon’s significance we sort of know. The other three things come together, as if they’re linked, as if they are elemental. The triplet rolls well on the tongue, too, I can imagine swearing that “Salt, stone and sky!”

A Fox:

ky: Aleu falling nameless from, Tehlu&Pals inhabitig,lightning falls from.

Stone: Heart of, Waystone, Door of, Selitos’ eye-taking

Perhaps Salt, Sky & Stone are liken unto our Earth, Air, Fire, Water (and has overtures of the Celts).

If so, that’s a very interesting consideration of elements. We know Stone is a Name—Fela learns it, and similarly Fire, which isn’t on that list.


What I was reading was the scene where Kvothe looks at the lockless box. When asked to guess what the box contains he says “something smaller than a saltbox”. Given the meaning of Hal-, I’ll leave the conclusions to you.

But we know Haliax’s name—Alaxel, Lanre. Dessert thinks it’s Iax’s name—though if that, why not the name of the Moon, which in Hespe’s story gets shut in a box?

Given the nature of the box (containing iron and copper), then it is likely Iax is of fae nature. Additionally, when the Maer suggests cutting open the box Meluan replies, “I would sooner think of salting every acre of our lands.” This ties in with our salt sowing ideas of Haliax. Also, when you consider the nursery rhyme line “In a box, no lid or locks/Lackless keeps her husband’s rocks,” the Maer/Meluan are in some interesting company. Another from the rhyme: “She’s been dreaming and not sleeping,” this reminds me of Haliax (thousands of years without sleep).

Certainly there’s a salt/box connection going on there.


Princess Ariel

JohnPoint has a crazy theory:

What if Fela is... Princess Ariel.

What do we actually know about her? Not a whole lot about her background, honestly. We know that she is wealthy (such that she can have a fancy cloak made for Kvothe, has a private room, nice clothes, etc.), so she is probably “upper middle class” or noble. We know that she has skill Naming and sculpting. We know that she is beautiful, relatively young, and has been at the University for several years. But we don’t know much more (at least that I can think of off hand.)

So, what if she is Princess Ariel, in disguise at the University?

There are several ways this could play out.
1) perhaps the Killed-King is Fela’s father. He doesn’t approve of Sim as a SO for Fela, and has him killed. Kvothe goes on revenging mode, kills the king, starts the war. The penitent king, (the Maer?), puts the price on Kvothe’s head, he fakes his death and goes into hiding etc.

2) Sim and Fela get married and inherit the thrones, and become K&Q of Vintas. Ambrose has Sim, or both Sim and Fela, killed and blames it on Kvothe (this not only brings A closer to the throne, it eliminates Kvothe’s best friends and causes him to be blamed for it — fairly genius on Ambrose’s part...). Kvothe figures it out, kills Ambrose in Imre — cracked stones and all, fakes his death (pulls a Peter Pettigrew?), and goes into hiding.

3) Due to royal customs, arrangement, decree, etc., Fela has to marry someone else. Sim challenges him to a duel and is killed. Kvothe seeks revenge against either the king, Fela’s other suitor, or both. King-Killing ensues.

4) I’m sure there are other, but those come to mind off hand...

She’s Modegan. However, that doesn’t stop her being Princess Ariel. What do we know about the Modegan Royal House? It’s the oldest in the world. But what Kvothe says is that he’ll tell us the truth about Princess Ariel. If she was Fela, wouldn’t he say “how he saved Princess Ariel’s life”? Because he really did save Fela in the Fishery that time.

She could totally be Princess Ariel of Modeg and nothing to do with the king Kvothe kills.

I’ve been laid low and not on the site as much as normal, and I was distressed to see some impoliteness needing moderation on the last comment thread. This has always been a very civil discussion, even when we absolutely disagree, let’s keep things polite, please.

But also on the previous thread, some pictures of 4C rings and pendants, well worth checking out.

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.

John Graham
1. JohnPoint
Great summary, Jo, as always!

Two things come to mind off hand.

1) re Naming and different types of naming.

Quite some time ago, I proposed that many different types of actions are Naming -- singing, dancing, the ketan, etc. My original post is here and it was discussed a few other places as well. All the different types of actions (speaking, singing, doing the ketan, dancing, writing, tying knots, etx) are ways of imposing ones will (Alar...) on the universe -- thus, Naming.

2) re the Fae and "whole cloth"

It's important to note how Pat uses the term "whole cloth." He uses is to mean "entirely new," (see here for a link) which indicates that the Fae was NOT created from the mortal, even though that's a neat idea.
Steven Halter
2. stevenhalter
Pat is a great guy (good story Jo). I got my copy of the Princess Whiffle from Sea Lion books on last Friday. Amusing and I have a grand neice who could play the part quite well.
thistle pong
5. thistlepong
(To whom it may concern: Tor can be pretty hard on posts with links. Try posting the site without hyperlinking it.)
John Graham
6. JohnPoint
Edit: link troubles and double post, which (appears to have) finally showed up...
7. Foxed
I've been fond recently of the theory that the Lethani is Adem naming. Don't know if it's my own theory or not.

A spec in this post mentioned the Adem gesture and the Yllish knot as attempts to more accurately name, which reminded me of the theory.

The Lethani action is naming the move with a gesture. It would be like shouting out the word PUNCH and having that shout actually punch someone. Performing a Lethani punch Names the punch, and you perform a perfect punch (or perfect step).

As for the king, since the Fae are legendary creatures in the 4C world, I wouldn't consider a Faen king. The masquerade hasn't been broken, and we get the feeling from the text that the killing is an historical fact.

As for the angel, I'd consider our Angel candidates to be no more literal angels than the draccus was a Dragon slain.
Jo Walton
8. bluejo
Foxed: Literal angels -- well, I think you can perfectly well say that for literal demons, but we have some evidence (Skarpi's second story) for literal angels.

And we know Skarpi and Chronicler are friends, and we know that Skarpi and Kvothe have to meet in D3. So whatever Chronicler knows -- and we're in Chronicler's POV when we get that bit about angels and demons -- might well connect to that.
Ashley Fox
9. A Fox
Nice to see a new post. On Aaron remember seeing this but never got around to posting.

I do believe the place they are traveling too is the same place that Scarpi is waiting for Chronicler-who will be late by the time they get there.

There is the possibility that Scarpi, finding out they are from Newarre, asks after Chronicler, or perhaps even Kote, and pulls out the goings on from Aaron. What if Aaron then tells him of Ks revelation? Starts to beleive it himself perhaps?

Im a bit poorly at mo and just cannot be bothered to find my notes, but I put this together awhiles ago by jotting up the distances/directions that Chronicler mentions in the very begining before the Scrael attack and a couple of snippits from the early Newaare sections. I may even have posted it before??

Also I cant help bu have a suspicion that D is there too...but thats really not based on anything. Can't you just see her raising a brow at the Selas K grows?
Pamela Adams
10. PamAdams
Kvothe: Mary Sue?

Actually, I think that Kvothe in the main story is a Mary Sue- but he's Kote's Mary Sue, not Rothfuss's.
Ashley Fox
11. A Fox
68. A Fox view all by A Fox | Sunday March 11, 2012 09:51pm EDT Flag | Bookmark | Edit

Again, compliments to Thistlepng on your very comprehensive work. A few niggles: The land cracks and the sky changes. Here I think we can safely add that the landmass of Yll is separated from the larger landmass/continent of the 4c's. On the map the water that separates the two is called The Reft and the coasts of Yll and the Commonwealth are similar in shape. I believe this is of significance. I believe that Iax spoke to the Ctheath before he shaped Faen. Re. Hespes story. "some said the boy was born under a bad star, that he was cursed, that he had a demon riding his shadow" Cursed, ill-luck-bad choices/negative consequences are associated with CTH. Demon is a common idyiom for a fae/magical creature. Shadows are strongly linked as a sign of CTh's influence.

Felling night is the central point of ref for time.)
-3 years ago you did not have to worry about locking your door (The Event, or the effects of the Event had not yet occured)
-1 1/2 years ago K and Bast arrive in Newware
-There is a levy. Spring.***
-4 months b4 FN the Roah for the mounting board is ordered from Aryen
-There is a levy.Summer.
-2 moths b4 FN the roads get paricularily bad.
-2 span before Felling night/scrael the last caravan passes through Newarre. Inflation. Dangerous roads.
-Previous Cendling something happens on Sheps' farm that makes him desire an amulet that protects from Demons and such
1. Night. Silence (Autumn)
2.Felling Night. Scrael bought to Waystone.
3. Night. Gossip-The Penitant King** having a difficult time with rebels in Resavik.Villegers/whitnesses buy iron.
4. Day. Chronicler robbed outside Abbots Ford.*
7. Mounting board for Folly arrives. (under hot iron the Roah wood smells of "old leather and clover") . Caravan arrives. K is recognised. 8.Caravan leaves. Kote gets iron. Closes inn early. Night. K performs some sort of summoning for the Scrael (scent of burning hair and rotting flowers). Chronicler arrives at fire. K kills 5 scrael.
9. Waystone. K agrees to tell his tale.

* Chroniclers journey. Linwood-Abbots Ford-Rannish-Newarre-Baedn-Treya

He gets robbed just before AF. He then continues, tries to buy a horse in AF and Rannish. Rannish is 'less than'' 30 miles from Newarre. He then walks for two days and is halfway to Newware where he meets K. Ive allowed for Chronicler to arrive at AF the same day he is robbed, a day to Rannish, plus the two days walking. Obv the day for Rannish is an est. As I said Im only just starting to note these details down, but if/when the day is mentioned later in the frame we should be able to work out the above correctly.

**There are also Penitant priests in the Tehlin church who wear chains of iron.


Thats my old post. In case anyone wanted the working out :P Ive also left in a few bits that seem relevent to the most recent discussions (just caught up on last thread....)
Bruce Wilson
12. Aesculapius
Just a thought based on the comments regarding the Cthaeh's words regarding Cinder:
“Why cant’ you find this Cinder? Well, that’s an interesting why. You’d think a man with coal-black eyes would make an impression when he stops to buy a drink. How can it be that you haven’t managed to catch wind of him in all this time?”
Have we considered compiling a list of all the people who have bought. K a drink up to the point at which he meets the Cthaeh? Is there a candidate in there for a Chandrian in disguise...?

That's a very specific phrase to use; I know we all feel that the Cthaeh's reference to meeting Cinder "twice in a lifetime" refers to the events relating to the attack on the troupe and then the bandits in the Eld but I wonder if it's worth looking at who has bought K drinks all the same?
thistle pong
13. thistlepong
re: Kvothe: Mary Sue?

He actually addressed this in an interview. What follows is kinda long and it's my amateur transcription. The TL:DR summary is that Pat wasn't familiar with the term until after NW was published (me neither, tbh) and those are his favorite characters. He's unapologetic. Oorah.
Uh… I think you’re absolutely right. I think. I think community is very comforting, but I think it has a huge homogenizing effect. Um, I ran into… This was very early on when I started going to a few conventions. And, uh, I ended up at a table and all these people knew each other and they were kind of part of the same writing group. And they started… talking about Mary Sue characters. And, y’know they were talking and everyone’s like, “Oh, Mary Sue.” Oh! Actually it came about because somebody had read my book. It had only been out for maybe a couple’a months. And I was really, I was nobody. But, uhm, a guy had read my book or an ARC of it. And he goes, “Oh,” he goes, “Yah,” he goes, “That was a pretty good book.” He goes, “Your main character’s a bit of a Mary Sue.” And everybody started talking. And then, I said, “What’s a Mary Sue?” And everybody at the table looked at me like I said, like, “What’s a dog?” Y’know, or, like “What’s water?” And, and they all started to explain to me that Mary Sue’s always the best and Mary Sue is so good at everything and blah blah blah blah blah. And, they were all in complete agreement with each other in this group mind they had. (host and Pat have a laugh) I remember thinking. And they, and they, just, and they, they beat up the concept of this extremely competent character to such a vicious degree. And, and, y’know, and I’m nobody. I’m just kind of like taggin’ along to dinner with these people. So I kinda nodded and smiled. And all I could think was, “Maaan, I never wanna read aaanything that you guys write,” because the, the, the violent reaction to that Mary Sue character is obviously this useless, whiny gimp character that I’ve seen so much of. And (sigh) and I’m, like, a lot of my favorite characters possess these characteristics that people use to define them as Mary Sue. It’s like Cyrano de Bergerac, um, Odysseus, um, I mean, like, Gandalf. Y’know. (laughter) Are they all Mary Sues just because they’re so hyper-competent? But, I think you’re right, if I’d grown up, or if I’d learned to be a writer going to these conventions and being exposed to those ideas, it would have steered me away from writing Kvothe, this main character the way that I did. Aaand, ah, I think that would have been a real shame. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with an exceptional person. I wanna read books about exceptional people.
(Trey’s Variety Hour #22 2/8/2012 approx. 38:23-41:18)
Jo's link should come with a warning similar to the one I posted before linking to TVTropes. Thank FSM a broken link snapped me out of it.
14. Fester
I heard that interview, too. PR had did agree with the term Mary Sue, but it wasn't brought up in the sense of wish fulfillment, only in the sense of an exceptional individual. There's a significant distinction there. I don't think the people he was talking to put much thought into the term.
(First post. Big fan of this discussion)
15. mutantalbinocrocodile
Re: Princess Ariel.

One thing I have never seen mentioned on this blog is: what if Kvothe has been accused of raping Princess Ariel? He is frequently at pains to dissociate himself with any suggestion of sexual violence, and even says of rape that it is one thing that will never be said truly of him. That phrasing strongly implies that it has been said falsely. The connection with Ariel is admittedly tenuous, but if we're looking for a woman that Kvothe could be rumored to have attacked, she is 1) presumably well-known, and 2) someone he wants to explain "the truth" about.

All sorts of possible connections with direct or indirect Kingkilling.
Steven Halter
16. stevenhalter
Mary Sueness: Kvothe has never struck me as a Mary Sue. As Jo notes, we have the frame where he has clearly lost in some number of ways.
Then, if we look at the story, he is a very good singer, has a very good memory and has a strong alar. Having a good memory lets him pick up some things fairly quickly and memory and alar certainly help at the U. After being immersed in Lethani martial styles, he is able to perform at a modest (by their standards) level. That isn't surprising--full immersement (plus training in thinking at the U) should give that result and it really just means Kvothe wasn't hopeless to start with.
He has more adventures than is usual, but he is driven by his desire to find his parents killers.
He doesn't know much about Alchemy and isn't that good at math. He has been terrible at catching on to Elodin's teaching style until the very end of WMF. He is almost certainly being manipulated by a variety of players without his being aware of it. He has no clue about Denna.
- -
17. hex
Re: Chandrian
As far as we know, it means “the seven”, which certainly isn’t precise.
Maybe CTH and Shehyn dismiss that name not because it's unspecific, but because it's a mischaracterization. What if the number is wrong, or just circumstantial?

Let's say the number wound up at seven over a long period of time. If that were the case, someone who was around when it was just four or five for a thousand years might find all of the fuss about the number seven ridiculous.
Steven Halter
18. stevenhalter
Since wanton speculation is kind of our thing, I noticed this on Pat's blog:
If win my critique, for example, it can’t happen until mid-February at the very earliest. I’m busy with revisions, and I simply won’t have time
before that.
Now, he doesn't say what he is revising or where in the revision process it is, but having something he is revising that he will be done with around mid-February is a good thing.
By the way, the blog post is about various people (including PR) who are donating critiques as part of worldbuilders.
19. Marco.

I think you hit the nail on the head with the term "mischaracterization".

The CTH's full line: "You would do better to call them the Seven though. 'Chandrian' has so much folklore hanging off it after all these years. The names used to be interchangable, but nowadays if you say Chandrian people think of ogres and rendlings and scaven. Such silliness."

This is pretty much a big blinking neon sign that the reality of the Chandrian does not match their reputation. Add Denna's research to this and I'm pretty comfortable saying that The Big Reveal of D3 is going to be Kvothe finding out he was wrong about them.
John Graham
20. JohnPoint
@ 19 re "the big reveal": I agree. This isn't a story of good vs evil with the Amyr = Good and the Chandrian = Bad. Kvothe's assumption thereof is almost certainly to be challenged.

Since Tor had so much trouble with my post yesterday, I'll try again here (and not include any links...):

Re Naming: Quite some time ago (post 18 on WMF Part 22, I believe) , I speculated that the Lethani/Ketan is about figuring out how to perform a physical act of Naming -- essentially, imposing ones will (Alar?) on the Universe by action, just as verbal Naming and musical Naming are ways of imposing will. For Kvothe and Sheyn, the "single perfect step" is an example of this, and ties in with Foxed's explaination @7. Before, I also speculated that we might have pictoral or spatial Naming, and writing or knotwork Naming might be one example of this. We didn't discuss it much at the time, but it bears some thought or analysis.

Re "whole cloth" and the creation of the Fae:

I posted this in the last summary (post 149 on spec summary #15), but Pat uses "of whole cloth" to mean something that he created entirely out of his mind (see my earlier post for a quote and link to the interview). To me, that indicates that the Shapers created the Fae entirely de novo, and not out of some part of the Mortal. (Though I think that theory is intriguing.) The Fae realm was completely new.
Steven Halter
21. stevenhalter
JohnPoint@20:I lean towards that interpretation--the Fae realm is an entirely new creation. But, as you say, the other has fun aspects.
22. sandman
Under the Moonless night heading
"Speaking of the Great Stone Road: it ends in Imre on the FC map, but if you were to extrapolate it westward, it would go very near to the Reft. Suppose the Stone Road once did lead past Imre, and was part of the land that was moved into the Fae. Is there any evidence for that? Yes: when Felurian is leading Kvothe into the darkest part of the Fae, they actually walk on a stone road for awhile. It seems like an odd place for a stone road: the darkest part of the Faen realm. Perhaps it was there before it was the Fae. Wow. I like that."

WOW. I like this too. Well done.
It absolutely stuns me the things that some of you pick up during your reading of the books. Things I glanced over or completely missed and when going thru these posts it hits me yeah, how could I overlook that? why didn't I think of that? Enlightening details that further add to the overall enjoyment and I thank you all for sharing and enhancing my understanding of the overall story.

Pat is surealy a genius for including all of the infinite details and havimg planned out his story down to the littlest details. Simply awe-inspiring and amazing.
23. Audion
I almost think that Scarpi is the opposite of the Cth. Think about his meeting with K as a kid, he only told the two tales and spoke a few words to him, which everyone has speculated broke K out of his minds own paralisis. So what if Scarpi can see the future, and spoke the few words he knew would set K on his path? Perhapse the Cth broke part of that by sending him on another slightly altered path. In D3 when they meet, Scapi could again set a pebble rolling to change things again to a less than bad outcome. We already think Scarpi is older than he seems, consorts with Tehlu personally and is most likely a Namer. His power could be proportional to his ability to wander. The Cth simply has more power because he's fixed. Just something to ponder.
Carl Banks
24. robocarp

I didn't even bother posting the funnest aspect of my Faen theory. When I originally came up with it, I imagined the Shapers stole almost a whole continent to make the Faen realm. They only reason they didn't take the whole continent was that they wanted a perfect circle to work with; so they took the largest circle they could.

The only thing left of the original continent was its four corners....
John Graham
27. JohnPoint
Robocarp @24:

I like it. A lot. Aesthetically, it's genius. It doesn't "square" (sorry...) with the whole cloth comment, but it's great nonetheless.
28. Agk
I think that Haliax is searching for the way to complete the Faen realm. We know iron can exist there, but it is anathema to everything there. Maybe when Iax shaped the Faen realm, he had to find namers who knew the shape of each of the important 'elements': Wind, fire, stone, salt, and others. The primary forces of the 4c world. The Chandrian remain in the mortal realm to find the last of the remaining names: iron, the thing which can still harm the Faen.
Sahi Rioth
29. Sahirioth
Off topic a bit, perhaps, but a chain of association beginning where the previous comment ended got me to thinking. What do we know about beliefs concerning death and the afterlife among the people of the Four Corners? It occurs to me that if everyone has a true/deep name, then perhaps they also have a soul (or the name is their 'soul'). If so, where does it disappear to upon death? Lyra brought Lanre back from the dead, supposedly, so if there's such a thing as souls in the FC, it can't just dissolve upon death, right? Do the Tehlins believe in 'Heaven'? Do other religious groups? Do people in general? Does Kvothe? Are there any indications, in the novels, that such a place as Heaven (similar to the Judeo-Christian notion) exists? Which begs the question: since the Faen realm is linked to the Four Corners' world, are there other, 'parallel' planes of existence/worlds which are hinted at in the novel?

(I know, it's just a lot of questions, but I figured it was best to get everyone going so lots of us would be looking at the same time... Hopefully.)
Ashley Fox
30. A Fox
Well there are the four doors of the mind the last of hich being death.

The fact that it is a door implies it leads to somewhere, but where is not described (literally...)

There are also the singers. It is debatable on whether they are only visible to some, or whether they inhabit a co-existant plane, of which only the powerful can percieve (linking Names as a parrale to soul?).
31. Audion
This is a bit off topic, but I was re-reading things and has anyone mentioned the fact that K's father might have been Amyr? Look at the facts, he tells K when he ripped his shirt it was "all for the greater good" and he DID marry a Lackless if what we think about K's mother is true. Then him writing his song makes a lot of sense, even if it was just something an Amyr put him up to.
Or even K's mother putting him up to it and She's the Amyr? Lot of possibilities in that.
thistle pong
32. thistlepong

I didn't think anyone else was interested in that. Cheers.

The bones are that heaven and hell exist, at least in language. Hell is not only referenced as a place, but as a place in relation to God. And Lanre is rumored to have suicided in order to search for Lyra in the land of the dead as well as having returned from death.

Hell is Present in all manner of cliches: /verb/ like hell, /five W’s/ the hell, hell/ish//ly/, /verb/ the hell out of /noun/, make your life (a) hell, like hell, hell (as introjection), hell to pay, hell of a /noun/, /verb/ as hell, chance in hell... And this ugly one delivered by Hemme:
“Now that the gates of hell are closed,” Hemme said in his normal, rougher tones. “We can begin.”
So, hell is linguistically pervasive in the same manner as it is in the contemporary United States. While we can't draw specific conclusions from this, we can infer a widespread conception of hell as a referent. Hemme's quote firms up hell as a place and nudges the Tehlin Church a bit closer to historical Abrahamic traditions.

Still, it could be just a story that the metropolitan secular populations deploy as a habit; again like contemporary speech. Daeonica presents hell not only as a specific place, but one with the common fiery staging.
“It was like watching Tarsus bursting out of hell. You came through the fire and I knew everything was going to be alright.”
We don't get too many lines from the play, but we do know that Tarsus sells his soul, ends up in hell at some point, and leaves again in what reads like an escape. Again, we have to infer from context the details of the transaction, but the purchasing party is almost certainly a demon. That's another nudge towards our conventional picture.

It occurs to me that I implicated Tehlinism without any real backup, mostly 'cause I knew it was coming.
“Nell, what in God’s hell are you doing letting him up? I swear you haven’t got the sense God gave a dog.”
Trebon is a small town with a big church in the heart of Tehlin country. Kvothe's trick with the wheel suggests divine intervention to them. That's all a way of asserting that God, here, is Tehlu. God's hell, then, is also Tehlu's. I think we can safely say that according to the most widespread an influential religion in the Four Corners, hell exists. The souls of the victims of demons, willing or otherwise, and probably the wicked end up there after death.

Heaven is a bit trickier. It shows up once in the entire work to date.
“Someone half clever might dub you Pitch or Scuttle, ill-favored names. Or Slate, a sedentary name. Heaven forbid you end up Blackie, that’s an ill-fitting name for a prince like you.”
If anything, it's the same cliche use as hell which might lead to the same conclusions. I'm almost inclined to suggest it's accidental, like a typo that never got excised. We give a lot of credit to PR with respect to word choice and take him at his word about obsessing over it. But we also know, with confirmation, that errors slip into the books.

So, with one inconclusive appearance and nothing at all to corroborate our assumptions when churches, angels, and hell are present, I'm guessing there's no heaven. We encounter quite a few Tehlins, and even a version of Tehlu himself in Trapis's story. Heaven, indeed any succor in or from a life lived virtuously, is notably absent.

We know Trapis is a Tehlin apostate, of course. However, that's the version of the story Pat chooses to share. Tehlu, and by extension Tehlinism, merely threatens and bullies folk into right livin'.

Now, is all that just a story, or are there souls?

We know the soul-as-commodity exists in a well regarded fiction and with respect to the popular conception of demons. It's a thing that can be bartered or stolen. It's also present interchangebly with person in phrases like "didn't a soul" or "good soul." Typical cliched uses include "bottom of his soul" and " out his soul." More rarified yet still material are Kvothe's metaphorical "my lute, my tangible soul" and his likening of Denna's voice to a portrait of her soul.

Somewhat different from the fungible soul is the personal soul, my soul. Simmon makes an oblique jesting reference to his soul. Skarpi, however, in a Tehlin context, seems to take his soul rather seriously. Alveron refers to his romantically.

None of this really tells us anything about the relationship of the soul to the body or an afterlife, though. There are, luckily, a couple lines that suggest both.
“Poetry is a song without music,” I said loftily. “A song without music is like a body without a soul.”
Here Kvothe's just being a bit douchey, but it establishes plainly the concept of a dual nature. It's also not isolated.
Some thought fire would frighten him off, some thought salt scattered on the grass would keep him away, some thought iron would cut the strings that held the soul to his dead body.
This is a nested reference in story within a story within a story that's culturally insensitve to everyone but the Ruh, in this case Vints, but the multicultural support for a soul and a body is there. Between those two quotes, we can tease out that the soul is necessary for true life and separates from the body at death.

If only there were a way to determine whether this was all linguistic artifact and superstitious dogma, right? I think there is. All of the above suggests a human belief in the soul. But the individual with the most interesting lines about the soul isn't human; it's Bast.
“How odd to watch a mortal kindle
Then to dwindle day by day.
Knowing their bright souls are tinder
And the wind will have its way.
Would I could my own fire lend.
What does your flickering portend?”
We could probably devote a whole summary to torturing meaning out of his song, but the significant bit is that the being from parallel plane (or ekpyrotic brane) appears to believe in the human soul, too. And, by implication, his own.
“I leave it to Pater Leoden to distribute the remainder of my worldly goods among the parish, as, being an immoral soul, I will have no further need of them.”
Bast's actually lying here and probably poking a bit of fun at the local priest. On the other hand he's acknowledging himself as a soul, rather than being in possession of one.

That's an arduous slog to conclude that there's probably a real immaterial soul for both human and faen. There might be an afterlife, indiscriminate and likely entirely grim. To be honest, though, I don't find the characters to act as if there's either.
Ashley Fox
33. A Fox
I have to admit I had always just subbed Faen for Hell. Tehlins believe that Fae are demons, it was simply the next step.

'Gates of hell' vs waystones.

Tehlu's path, choosing the right way. Mortal vs Faen. (Mortal used loosely, you know what I mean!) Good path casting out demons/fae, embracing the tehlin faith...bad way in support of demons/fae leading to hell/faen.

On Soul: Shamble-men, notably the soldier that had previously robbed Chronicler. It would seem as if they 'cut the strings' (Puppet?) of the soul, seperating it from the body they then inhabit. Or at least displaces the soul. The body also appears quite dead, bar the animation, hints at rotting, impervious to wounds....can a mortal bosy survive without a soul?

“I leave it to Pater Leoden to distribute the remainder of my worldly goods among the parish, as, being an immoral soul, I will have no further need of them.” (NWp680)

Putting aside Bast's joking. This does seem to imply that if he WAS a moral soul (in a tehlin context) that he would have need of his goods again. Implying rebirth....?

The doors of the mind seems to be an older left over, dealing in tangent with the ability to manifest power as it does, and the fact that Lanre knew and was barred from them. It also seems it was this door that he was rumoured to have ventured through in pursuit of Lyra. And, as Haliax, cannot now go through.

I would be very curious to hear of the death practises beliefs of non tehlin countries; Adem, Ceald, Yll, Modeg. And somewhat of the Fae, though it seems their longevtivity/immortality would negate this somewhat.
Steven Halter
34. stevenhalter
Nice work, Thistlepong and A Fox. So, it seems that a belief in mind/body dualism is fairly widespread in the 4C and that there has at some point been a belief in a Hell and possibly a Heaven.
We don't seem to have much in the way of how this ties into current religious belief, but since the Tehlan stories don't reference these things, it seems possible they are linguistic holdovers from older religions.
thistle pong
35. thistlepong
I made the jump from Faen to hell pretty early, too. Going through all that, though, I'm not sure it makes sense anymore. So I left it out. It's difficult to make sense of Faen as a realm of the dead, for example.

The four classical doors of the mind present another problem. It's not that Haliax can't pass through the door of death, it's that he can do so freely. Yet it offers no solace, no release. So, that experience, his experience, is fundamentally different form everyone else's. This might imply a sort of change in state, of consciousness, upon death.

A remote possibility is that the immanent presence, the life, in Faen is the result of it being continually ensouled by the dead. I sort of feel like that strays into fan fiction, though.

The connective work isn't considered in the text, either by the characters or in the expositional asides. I also don't have much, er, faith in Pat's intentions, there. The worldview he presents is profoundly materialist. I mean that in the best way possible, though: the good or ill we may do is only here, only now; and that's all that matters.

I managed to track down some comments on belief. He grew up Christian and then rejected the church. He lost faith as he got older and he's implied that sort of faith is childish, uncritical. At the same time, he appears to have missed the importance of the soul in Harry Potter. I actually had to run his interpretation by my wife 'cause that's frankly crazy. Crazy, but not impossible I guess. Her background was similar, her response was similar though less ardent.

Anyway, I think we get the soul as taken for granted in KKC but uncertain because that's where the author's at - material secular humanism. Maybe with shades of Buddhism as he struggles to reconcile lost faith.

And, because none of the characters actually ask these questions, it can't be that important. Can it?

Regarding the living religions of the 4C, excepting the church of Tehlu, he's no more willing to talk about them than he was about the dead ones in the Admissions interview. In fact, The answers I got about the Aturan Empire were a response to a question about belief in the Shald.

What we have for them are Manet mocking Wil for believing in Cealdish sky spirits. Those could very well be Tehlu & Pals. They fit.

We might get something about Modeg when "How Old Hanna Came to Be" comes out, I suppose. I have a feeling Yll's probably important but no sense of whether we'll get anything about it.

Folk tend to romanticize the Lethani and I'm not sure why. It's got some hints of a higher purpose, but it's a practical and specific philosophy. Beating folks up in a bar is of the Lethani 'cause it advances the reputation of the Adem...
Sahi Rioth
36. Sahirioth
Re: last part of the previous post
The Lethani, as I interpret it, is concerned with 'right thinking and right action'. This I understand not as right in the moral or ethical sense, but righteous. So, for example, vigilante justice à la Batman would be of the Lethani. Beating up a bully in school, to prevent said bully from bullying innocents, would be of the Lethani. It is righteous, but not necessarily morally right. Nonetheless, the Lethani would state that one should always act in accordance with the Lethani. Sort of.

EDIT and addition: The Amyr 'the ends justify the means' all-for-the-greater-good, Ivare Enim Euge, I suspect goes far beyond what is acceptable by Lethani standards. What do you guys think?
Steven Halter
37. stevenhalter
thistlepong@35: 1) Whatever PR's epistemic model may be, we should be quite careful about not reading it into the books unless we have direct evidence that it should be. It is quite possible to have no belief in souls and to write about a world in which they (or any other sort of mythology) exist.
2) Where does he talk about souls and Harry Potter? Just curious.
Wallace Forman
38. WallaceForman
I really like Robocarp's idea. Whether or not Taborlin is the culprit, I suspect that there is or was a seventh lost Chandrian out there somewhere, and that Lanre/Haliax/Halaxel is being misidentified as one of the Chandrian, when in fact he is their master.

This fits not only with the Adem story, but with the general confusion over the number of the Chandrian, the Cthaeh's unwillingness to call them the Chandrian (there are only six now?), and Selitos's desire to pursue "Lanre and his Chandrian" (rather than "the Chandrian" or "Lanre and the rest of the Chandrian" or even just "Lanre and the Chandrian"). Could it also explain mirrored confusion in Trapis's story as to whether Encanis is one of the first seven to refuse Tehlu's choice of the path?

One problem with this theory is that it takes for granted the narrative (suggested by both Selitos and the Adem) that there have always been a fixed number of "Chandrian" (Lanre's followers). The Cthaeh casts some doubt on this theory when he singles out Haliax as being five thousand years old.

Perhaps Lanre/Haliax has been alive for a long period of time before the creation war, so he is a different age from the other Chandrian? That can't be right - because the whole 5000 years the Cthaeh mentions are sleepless, and Lanre presumably had normal sleeping habits before becoming Haliax. Perhaps the Cthaeh only meant to emphasize that Haliax alone has been alive for 5000 sleepless years? If not, by negative implication, the other Chandrian are not 5000 years old, either younger or older, so the number of Haliax's followers may have changed over time. This might be another explanation for the variation in the traditional number of the "Chandrian".
thistle pong
39. thistlepong
steven, surely you know that I know that. There's a fair bit of text there establishing the conclusion before I even mention him. It just happened that what we see in the text was pretty similar to how he presents rl. It's also in line with the Admissions interview.
40. Reedie
I hope that something like this is right. There are many things I really like about these books and which I think they do very well. Denna is not among them so far. Denna as a character seems to be little more than an extension of Kvothe's fantasy girl. She's sexy, likes music, and needs him to save her from a mysterious patron. And note that while she is something of a musician, she is carefully not enough of a musician to challenge Kvothe's enormous ego about his musical prowess. She's illusive, and always leaves just before things might get a little stale, returning before he can start forgetting her. The idea that Kvothe's "loves" her is--at this point--ridiculous. You can't love a fantasy. Kvothe has no real relationship with her from which love could form, he simply has fantasies and dreams. To be sure, these feelings could ripen in to love, but as a love story the whole thing is a bit of a kludge.

The two weakest areas of this series are Denna and Felurian. And the problem does not appear to be that Rothfus isn't interested in writing about three dimensional female characters, because he has written up such characters.

That problems goes away, however, if Denna is a trap, a third power, or some other source of real betrayal. Suddenly all of those weak aspects of her character are explained in a way that potentially advances the plot. I truly hope that Rothfus isn't going to turn her into nothing more than a Helen whose pretty face launches Kvothe on a war for revenge.
My crazy Denna theory is that she is actually Lyra, and a fourth power in the story, although a hidden/subdued one. When Lanre brought her back he also cursed her with immortality/reincarantion. Most of her power and ability is sleeping and only some of it leaks out in the form of Fae-ness and abset-minded yllish spells. Truthfully though, I find the normal girl trying to get by with a little borrowed magic more likely.
Steven Halter
41. stevenhalter
thistlepong@39:Sure, I just tend to be a bit pedantic on that point.
Jeremy Raiz
42. Jezdynamite

Hi Reedie. Welcome to the reread.

Your take on Denna triggered something that I'd forgotten.

One thing that suprised me about Kvothe and Denna's relationship is the number of times that Kvothe lets Denna down. i.e. when either Kvothe "stands-up Denna" or "leaves Denna (normally) without warning".

From Denna's perspective, I think Kvothe did these things to her:

1. Left her after 5 days on the road together
2. Doesn't go and find her in Anilin
3. Rescuing Fela from the fire instead of meeting Denna on their date
4. Left Denna outside Trebon to kill the beast (without leaving a note)
5. The unanswered multiple letters she sent Kvothe when she was away researching in Yll, the Small Kingdoms, Vaeret, Andenivan, etc (he only got one letter and he never sent a response - I think).
6. Went on the Maer's bandit killing expedition with no goodbye. (Imagine the number of times she tried to find him in Severen but couldn't).

And I think there are a few more but I don't have my books with me at work.

Seems like Denna isn't the only one known for leaving...

For someone like Denna who attracts suitors like flies, Kvothes "leaving behaviour" mixed with his other more endearing traits (including non-pressured, easy going friendship) would be totally foreign to Denna. I'm not surprised Denna would fall for Kvothe at some stage.

I can empathise with Denna regarding her confusion in regards to her feelings for Kvothe. She's seen or heard about:

a. Kvothe hug a beautiful woman (Fela) - who'd just given him a beautiful green cloak - a day or two after Denna/Kvothe's missed first date when Kvothe didn't show up.
b. Kvothe sleeping with numerous young women around town after returning from Severen.
c. Kvothe's sexcapades with Felurian (being told in stories and sung)

I wonder, with this all in mind, if I can make more sense of Denna's cryptic "Boy girl stone water" story towards the end of WMF...
43. Audion
Reedie@40 I'd say Denna is being purposfully left as an enigma to set up day 3. Kvothe himself is mostly an enigma to those around him, why should He know all the hidden secretes of those around him? PR has said that Denna's tale would be just as good as Kvothe's, and I think that speaks volumes about who she is and what she's doing.
Many theories have been bandied about, but my personal favorite is she is the anti-kvothe. Meaning Kvothe believes he was wronged by the Chandrian (and I think he has been, though many are not sure because he never actually SAW them do anything and the Cth was ambigous about it all) and so is looking for the Amyr to help him. Denna then I think was wronged by the Amyr and is looking for the Chandrian to help HER. This would of course put them at odds when they finally tell each other their history.
Whatever happens, I'm sure PR has quite a few curveballs to toss us on top of everything we've guessed!
George Brell
44. gbrell
@32.thistlepong: “Now that the gates of hell are closed,” Hemme said in his normal, rougher tones. “We can begin.” (NWp274)

This line, ignoring its assumedly-intentional misogyny, always struck me as being out-of-character. There is no Eve/original sin equivalent that we've seen in the 4C to connect female sexuality with immorality. We have virgin birth and a patriarchal origin mythos, but there is no Abrahamic tradition that we've heard to connect the female sex with damnation.

Skarpi's "angel" story also provides an interesting context, though we should question whether any of it would align with orthodox Tehlinism. It specifically mentions:

"Fair Geisa, who had a hundred suitors in Belen before the walls fell. The first woman to know the unasked-for touch of man."

It also is interesting in that it genders the angels (usually presented as neuter in the Abrahamic tradition).

On an unrelated note, I'd also be interested to hear Rothfuss' interpretation of Harry Potter.
Steven Halter
45. stevenhalter
gbrell@44:If you send me your email, I will forward what thistlepong sent me. Just click my profile to see my email.
thistle pong
46. thistlepong
@41 And I'd be absurdly hypocritical if I didn't appreciate pedantry.
47. Dessert
'This is my doom upon you. Your name will be turned against you, that you shall have no peace.'
'This is my doom upon you and all who follow you.'

Is this why Lanre can't sleep? Everytime someone says his name he feels a surge of pain (a weaker version of what we see him do to cinder in D1). This would give more reason for their propaganda war with the Amyr. It would also explain why they kill anyone who says their true names.

As and aside:
How do naming battles work?

Lanre's attempt to 'bind Selitos by his name would be as fruitless as a boy attacking a soldier with a willow stick.'
This suggests you can have a power/skill level in naming.

However, naming is an imprecise art, reliant on the ever unreliable sleeping mind. Can everyone learn to name? Is naming an innate skill?

Selitos thinks to himself that Lanre had no gift for names, suggesting the latter. I'm not really sure where to take this, Kvothe out-named Felurian, despite his youth and minimal training. Elodin knows more names than most, did he just spend more time learning? or does he have an innate aptitude.

If it's as inbuilt as it seems, it's kinda lame. It adds to the Mary Sue nature of Kvothe. On top of his excellent memory, etc. He's also an awesome namer.
Sahi Rioth
48. Sahirioth
Re: affinity for naming, Dessert @47

I've always assumed that talent in naming is quite opposite to talent in (for?) sympathy, say. Your skill in sympathy would supposedly be higher with more practice, and starting early should help - since you need to cultivate a conviction that sympathy actually works, i.e. Alar.

Naming, on the other hand, is not about conviction, but the sleeping mind. A lack of rigid belief in the structures and rules of the world would perhaps become less of a constaint on the sleeping mind. My theory is in line with what has been presented earlier by some posters here: Elodin is good at naming because he 'cracked' at some point, whereas Kvothe is good at it because he is ignorant about the world in general. (Bear in mind I am oversimplifying quite a bit here.)
thistle pong
49. thistlepong
Is this why Lanre can't sleep?
No. He comes to Myr Tariniel sleepless.
All is lost to me, no Lyra, no sweet escape of sleep, no blissful forgetfulness, even madness is beyond me. Death itself is an open doorway to my power.
Bruce Wilson
50. Aesculapius
Could this be the law of unforeseen consequences...?

Is Lanre's unfortunate state; hated, hopeless, sleepless, sane; the side-effect of whatever enormous feat Lyra pulled off in order to rescue him from Death? By pulling him back from beyond the last door, she denied him all the others and effectively created a being who was "undead" (but not in the Hollywood vampire way)...?

On a slightly tangential path, I also noted a couple of other things about Shehyn's oral history of the Chandrian; I'm sure we've commented on it before but it seemed pertinent given the ongoing discussion about the nature of the Faen Realm and the Four Corners:
"Seven names have been carried through the crumbling of Empire , the broken land and changing sky."
This just adds a bit more credence to the idea that the land was physically changed. I wonder in which order those events occurred? The crumbling empire and then the broken land and changing sky...?

One other thing occurred to me whils reading that passage and the Ademric rhyme about the names of the Seven; we've discussed quite a bit about the etymology of Jax/Iax and Haliax. Given that the Adem name the "Lord of the Seven" Alaxel, which is subtly but distinctly different in its construction, then maybe there simply is no connection...?

Assuming that Alaxel is probably an older and more accurate version of the name, maybe Haliax is a later corruption that ocurred when the two, by then, legendary figures of Iax and Lanre/Alaxel were, at some point, compounded into a single mythical character...? Ironic, given that, as far as we know, the two were originally implacably opposed to one another!

Now, this then feeds into the debate on Skarpi and who he is and how old he might actually be. If, as we might suspect, he has much greater knowledge then he is letting on, then why would he get such a key name wrong? Maybe he didn't; maybe Haliax became accepted for the leader of the Chandrian and is just a much safer name to use than the true name of Alaxel?

Why then, does Cinder also refer to him as "Lord Haliax"? Probably for much the same reason that Haliax refers to him as "Cinder" — all of the Seven will have acquired less significant calling names over the centuries and they will equally avoid using each other's true names
Steven Halter
51. stevenhalter
Imaginary Linguistics people may find the following article on Wired of interest:
It talks about the steps a group used to decipher the manuscripts of a secret society.
Ashley Fox
52. A Fox
EDIT in ref to Thistlepong @49. Had some trouble with log in/capchas!!

Mmmm so in light of the recent convo that qoute could take on new meaning (or at least perhaps bolster some older theories.)

Iax was locked beyound the doors of stone. The waystones ect are often thought of an option here. But what if they actauuly refer to the door of death, the final door of the mind? Stone is symbolic of immutability. Death is the final ending (in terms of the current form of life). Perhaps it means that Lanre killed Iax at Drosson Tor (Or Lyra did whilst he was battling the great serphant (CTH?).

But Lyra called him back from that door...perhaps leaving it open enough that Iax was not wholly put beyound it.

Lyra dies. From keeping Lanre alive? An ongoing battle with Iax? Was Lanre bitten by the serphant/CTH?

Anywho. Hal-iax. Salt of Iax. Perhaps the door to death is open to him is becuase of some bonding (liken to the shamble men) between his body/name and Iax. The dark power comes from beyound the door, keeping it open.

Note the others are closed to him-places that we know are used to protect the sleeping mind, which is very much under attack/symbiotic with Iax. Hence the true name change from Lanre to Haliax...

Aelph, finder/Namer, creator figure. CTH destructive...dark power...death?

@Aesculapius One thing we must not forget is that we have not heard the Adem name for Iax, or the 'one' that sheyen will not yet speak of. It may bear the same relationship to Alexel as Iax does to Haliax. Or it may be the CTH :P I suspect we will find out in D3
thistle pong
53. thistlepong
Aesculapius@50 re:Alaxel &c.

I was going more for symbolic or literary connection than actual with "salt-of-iax," though once that's established it realizes what folks have been asserting for awhile. The trouble with quibbling over Alaxel versus Iax is that we don't get an old name for Iax. There must be one, right?

Skarpi's story also presents the story as Lanre's face-heel-turn. Heck, the chapter's called "Lanre Turned." The basic conclusion, born out through the story, is that he rejects his previous allegiances. So, it's not really a contradiction. On the other hand, I'm all for interrogating Skarpi's motives.

I'd guess that the the changing sky coincides with the pulling of the moon into Faen. Whether you wanna mark the crumbling of the empire at the philosophical division between Knower and Shaper or the devastating Creation War or the Betrayal is probably a matter of preference.

On Belief:

Sovoy utters the phrase, "Gods all around us," on Kvothe's first day. Chances are Modegan are polytheistic. Interestingly, then next and only other time the phrase is uttered is by Bredon. Y'know, with the mysterious pagan rituals on his northern estates... realtively close to the Modeg/Vintas border. It may be nothing more sinister than and older tradition normal in another nation.

Gods, plural, shows up in plenty of contexts in plenty of mouths. Near as I can tell, the church of Tehlu is the only monotheistic religion; and then only kinda. Deoch, for example, casts Yll as polytheistic with, "Gods of my fathers."


Ambrose should make El'the in Day 3.

From the last thread, concerning the age of the University and it's various incarnations, I think we can say it's three hundred years old. That correlates directly with the end of the Aturan Empire and it's corroborated in Fela's discussion of cataloguing in the archives.
Ashley Fox
54. A Fox
Uni is 300 yrs old. I have to disagree. At the height of the atruran empire they were burning arcanist-being folk trained in the arcarnum. 300 years just seems, relatively, a small amount of time...Elodin's knowledge of what the arcanum used to be also implies something older.

IMO after the Arturan Empire fell the uni flourished into what we recognise in the present time, relief after the removal of threat/violent check of power.

during the talk of maelifisance (sp!) isnt there a 500 yr reference somewhere? That may very well be misremembered! K ponders on the need for this rule and so too am I, I dare say it would further hint at the uni's timeline.
thistle pong
55. thistlepong
A Fox, the last public case if malfeasance was 100 years ago. Tehlins still burned folks with knacks 200 years ago. I meant the current incarnation of the University was probably 300 years old. I suspect it was re-established following the collapse of the Empire. There's suggestion that this is the third incarnation, I think.
- -
56. hex
@50 I read Lyra's resurrection the same way. She brought him back from the dead, and as an unintended consequence, screwed with his relationship to forgetfulness/sleep/madness/death.

Re: Haliax/Alaxel, I chalked up the differences in names to the way names change between culture, and over time. The Adem versions of each of the seven are slightly different than the other accounts. The names are old ones, and most likely originated in at least one different language. I'd add to that, that these names are explicitly not written down, and are recited with extreme infrequency. The conditions are good for corruption even in a society with a strong oral tradition.

One slightly confounding piece of evidence is the conversation between Cinder and Haliax right after the murder of the Ruh troupe. Haliax refers to Cinder as Ferula, which is very close to the Adem's name for him- Ferule. In that instance the Adem version isn't exact, but it's pretty close. The problem is then that Cinder responds by calling him Lord Haliax. What does that mean? We've got a couple of different options:

1) Haliax is the original form of address, corroborated by Skarpi's story, making the Adem version similar, but more corrupt.
2) Alaxel is more correct, Haliax is a later corruption, and Cinder either knows better than to use the more precise name, or is being petulant (which would be hilarious)
3) Typo *grin*

#2 makes some sense. If The Seven can tell when their names are being used, it's not unreasonable to use nicknames. Skarpi doesn't need them knocking on his door every time a kid asks for Lanre's story. Maybe the use of their untrue names helps hide their signs, and vice versa?
John Graham
57. JohnPoint
@56 re Alaxel vs. Haliax:

Additional support for your #2 being correct: Bast's reaction when Kvothe recites the Adem story.

Bast is not bothered when Kvothe used "Haliax" multiple times (in reference to the attack on the troupe, the story by Scarpi, the comment by the Cthaeh, etc.), but he's quite upset when Kvothe recites all seven of the Ademic names from Sheyn.

I take that to mean that the Ademic names are accurate, or nearly so. (Also, in reference to Ferula/e, Kvothe may be intentionally mispronouncing Cinder's name when he tells about the troupe, since he knew that he would recite the Ademic story as well. Or Cinder may be dead.)
Bruce Wilson
58. Aesculapius

Yes, the point that Hex lists as #2 is pretty much the point I made @50.

As to the difference between Ferule and Ferula, consider also the possibility that in the hands of an expert namer, subtle changes in inflection and intonation may make all the difference in the way the power of a name is manipulated. Subtly different versions of a Name may give deeper control over the thing — or person — being named.

Thistlepong, yes, I agree; we don't get a clear name for the greatest of the Shapers. Felurian refuses to name him. Bast does directly refer to *Iax* — but is this because he knows who Iax is independent of the story K is telling or is he just referencing K? The feeling I get, given the way he talks about Iax meeting the Cthaeh before it all goes awry, is that he *does* have some prior knowledge of the tale and of the name Iax.

What amuses me is that PR, on every occasion, has artfully avoided telling us directly who this great Shaper / Enemy beyond the Doors of Stone actually is. We are all working from the cumulative circumstantial evidence that Jax and Iax are likely the same person and also the prime suspect for the origins of this moon-thief and enemy.

I appreciate the salt references but is not also possible we are being misled and that Iax just means, for example, "enemy" and Haliax could mean "shadowed enemy"....?

It would be tropes-to-the max (which is hardly PR's way) but I still harbour a sneaking suspicion that Iax, Taborlin and Illien could all turn out to be K. Maybe he does haves lot to atone for after all?!

Roll on Day 3 — speculating is just getting fustrating now. :o)
Carl Banks
59. robocarp

How about:

4. Haliax = regular name, Alaxel = true name


That PR carefully avoids naming the enemy sealed behind stone doors, and that circumstantial evidence points to Iax, is probably evidence that it isn't Iax.
Brandon Lammers
60. wickedkinetic
I've started listening to the audio-book to get a different perspective, and thoroughly enjoying it - I would highly reccomend it... at any rate, I just got past the point where Denna sings the song of 7 sorrows - and I must say I'm betting unreliable narrator Kvothe is ABSURDLY wrong to trust the Scarpi story as more factual and accurate than Denna's extensive in-depth research.... The 'truth' if any truth can be accurately known regarding legends has to be somewhere in the middle. How can Lanre be the one hero that saved the world and also the one who turned into evil-superman and was condemned by the Selitos guy - how do we know who the good guy or bad guys were?

We don't know anything about Scarpi except he showed up in Tarbean, told a few stories, and then the church took him away. the book is on record as saying all stories are true, even the ones that aren't (or something along those lines)

also count me as a convert, Bredon is master Ash - he has to be up to something, and all the clues really stand out when you're aware of also indicates that though Denna may think K is her 'secret' Ash/Bredon is very aware of who K is and what he's up to
thistle pong
63. thistlepong
(This was a first draft of post 46 that was blocked by and reposted later by a moderator on hir own initiative. I'm removing it because the formatting's messed up and it's an unnecessary duplicate.)
thistle pong
64. thistlepong
I always filed ferula under, "The fact that you heard me say anything is probably a good sign.” Particularly in light of SusanLoyal's theory about what was going on at the time. That it also tidily fits the Adem prohibition is gravy.

Might be an amusing tangential, tendentious reason as well.
The soft voice went as hard as a rod of Ramston steel. “Ferula.”
Cinder’s quicksilver grace disappeared. He staggered, his body suddenly rigid with pain.
“You are a tool in my hand,” the cool voice repeated. “Say it.”
Cinder’s jaw clenched angrily for a moment, then he convulsed and cried out, sounding more like a wounded animal than a man. “I am a tool in your hand,” he gasped.
Rothfuss, Patrick - The Name of the Wind
Okay, that's not really amusing. However, when juxtaposed with the following, it's transformed.
He hurried over to Ron, bent down, tapped Ron’s leg with his wand, and muttered, “Ferula.” Bandages spun up Ron’s leg, strapping it tightly to a splint. Lupin helped him to his feet; Ron put his weight gingerly on the leg and didn’t wince.
Rowling, J.K. - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
I don't think this has come up before. A quick search suggests that's true.

Despite his cooling feelings at the end of the series, Pat's a big fan. He recommends the series alongside his standards like The Last Unicorn, Cyrano de Bergerac, and Beatrice’s Goat on Amazon.
"Say what you like, these are fun books to read. I read the first three in four days when I was miserable in grad school. It was like a lovely vacation from my life and helped keep me sane."
The series of blogs for beliefnet* I mentioned earlier also indicate engagement above and beyond, "I liked them."

The aforementioned grad school took place between 1999 and 2001, which coincided nicely with the publication of HPPA, which was enough to playfully suggest homage. But Pat provided hard dates in an early blog comment. I'll paste the whole thing, 'cause, y'know, it addresses stuff that'd surely come up.
One of the things I’ve been happy about is how FEW Harry Potter references my book has attracted. I was worried that everyone was going to say, “Oh boy, another HP rip-off.” The fact is, I started writing the trilogy in 1993, finished it in 2000, then read Harry Potter in late 2001. I was pretty irritated at some of the similarities, as it made me look like a hack….
Now, please don't think this is about hackery or theft. It's more about an obsessive revising a story we know was shaped differently in 2000. The speculative fan biographer slash literary archaeologist in me imagines Pat reading the passage above and checking the meaning of ferula.
latin - "rod"
genus of 170 species...
The Romans called the hollow light rod made from this plant a ferula. Such rods were used for walking sticks, splints, for stirring boiling liquids, and for corporal punishment.
The ferula also shows up in mythological contexts. The main shaft of a thrysus (staff carried by Dionysus and his followers) was traditionally made from this plant, and Prometheus smuggled fire to humanity by hiding it in a ferula as well.
The thrysus became the papal cross...
We've done that, banged on about ferule and to a lesser extent ferula from time to time. But in late 2001, Wikipedia was still in its infancy. You can bet if he spent time looking it up in a university library, it stuck. And really, there's a lot of ferula business going on in the text. In addition to all the Cinder reverberations, silphium is genus ferula. The runes for iron and binding are fehr and ule.

Anyway, the best bit is that even if one inspired the other, ferula in NW isn’t a straight crib from HPPA. It’s oppositional: one for aid, the other for harm. The effect is similar to Crucio in the Potterverse, but it’s in line with the Roman usage nonetheless. I laughed, loudly. I probably would have laughed harder had I read them in the proper order.** It’s used in humorous juxtaposition to the original, which he praises for its own humor.

*the real links are dead, and posting the wayback info got me spam filtered...

**Yes, I'm like the last person to read Harry Potter
Sahi Rioth
65. Sahirioth
Re: runes for iron/binding @64 (Thistlepong)

While it may be that the whole 'fehr' and 'ule' thing is a hidden 'Ferule', there's a rather obvious reason as to the name of the rune for iron. The Latin name for iron is 'ferrum', from which the French 'fer', same meaning, is derived. 'Fer' is pronounced in French exactly like an English speaker might assume that 'fehr' should be (I assume this, at least, because the addition of an 'h' to me suggests it's not pronounced like the word 'fur'.)
Bruce Wilson
66. Aesculapius
Robocarp @59 re. Iax and misdirection:

Yes, I'm inclined to agree. But if not him, then whom...?
67. Sandman
Everyone, please forgive me for being totally off-topic however, Ipost this here as you are the most informed and most dedicated group on the subject that I know. If anyone knows it has to be you.

Is there a site that has Kingkiller Chronicle trivia? I'm such a huge fan that I'd like to be a trivia buff as well.

And lastly, do you know a place that has a list or collection of the best or most favorite quotes from the series? I've compiled some of my own and found others online but was curious if there was a one-stop-shop so to speak.

thistle pong
68. thistlepong
Sandman, I think goodreads has both. If you have a newer Kindle, folks share highlights and comments.

Sliding further off topic, a lot of folks seem to love the golden screw story without realizing it didn't originate with WMF.

I wonder how obscure trivia questions would have to be for some if the Tor posters. Which of the following is a typo? Who's fifth in succession in Vistas? Is Chronicler's cipher semasiographic or glottographic?

@66 It's fascinating how things come back around. Maybe he "was the most powerful namer of anyone alive in that age."

gbrell@44 re:Hemme

That's pretty much why I grouped it with the cliches. We understand it but in text it's a bit insensible. I think there's corroboration for the gendered angels, even post transformation. In any case, the Ruach weren't sexless.

I left contact information in your shoutbox if you still need the HP articles.
- -
69. hex

I'm going to have to agree with you that Haliax = regular name (nickname, "safe" name), Alaxel = true name. That makes the most sense. My apologies to the Adem for doubting their oral tradition
George Brell
70. gbrell

That PR carefully avoids naming the enemy sealed behind stone doors, and that circumstantial evidence points to Iax, is probably evidence that it isn't Iax.

I think the problem with this argument is that it invalidates every other observation about the books. Circumstantial evidence is still evidence.


Shalter was kind enough to provide them, but thanks. I'd love to discuss his "soul" article at greater length, but I'm not sure this is the right venue.
Carl Banks
71. robocarp

The circumstantial evidence isn't the point. It's the carefully avoiding revealing something. Anyway I was joking (more or less).
Ashley Fox
72. A Fox
@66 the CTH. I just can't shake off all the subtle refs that share similarities with it's indicaters/power.

On a side note I'm reading Tad Williams' Shadowmarch/play at the mo and the shared notions are startling.
Andrew Mason
73. AnotherAndrew

The circumstantial evidence isn't the point. It's the carefully
avoiding revealing something. Anyway I was joking (more or less).

Well, perhaps he's carefully avoiding revealing it so as to give us the pleasure of working it out. It does take some working out: you have to put a reference to 'doors of stone' in Skarpi's story together with a similar reference in Felurian's story, a book later, and then link that with Hespe's story in order to get the name. We may find the links easy to see, but the average casual reader isn't going to spot them.
John Graham
74. JohnPoint
Two things:

1) re Skarpi (e.g., in reply to @60) -- in frame, Kvothe also (almost) implies that Skarpi's story was incorect. When Chronicler first indicates that he and Skarpi heard the rumor about Kvothe being in Newarre, Kvothe's reply is along the lines of, "Him... rumor-mongers, the both of you!" (I'll try to post the actual quote when I get home.) This could be taken as him saying that Skarpi spreads (incorrect) rumors or stories. Thus, his version of Lanre Turned was wrong.

2) This is off the current topic, but a thought came to me when I was looking over the early chapters of NotW last night.

What if Bredon is the Earl of Baedyn-Bryt?

a) We've located Newarre in northwest Vintas, with some degree of certainty.

b) Chronicler was heading to see the Earl of Braedyn-Bryt, whose estates are located within 3-4 days' travel of Newarre, thus also in northern Vintas.

c) There is a town of Baedyn, where Chronicler was thinking of being able to get a new horse.

d) There is a town (place location?) of Bredon, where they brew beer that is consumed in the Small Kingdoms.

e) The Small Kingdoms are located adjacent to northwestern Vintas, thus near where we've located Newarre.

f) Bredon (person) is a highly placed noble in Vintas -- potentially an Earl -- and has estates in northern Vintas, not too far from where Newarre is located.

g) "Bredon" and "Baedyn-Bryt" are rather similarly pronounced -- condensing it to two syllables from three, and a transfer of the consonate "r" from the end to the first syllable makes them virtually identical.

So, perhaps Bredon is the Earl of Baedyn-Bryt, and Kvothe chose Newarre partially to be relatively close to him, for good or for evil. This could be applied to anyone's pet theory about Bredon. (If he's Master Ash, K chose the location for revenge-ish intentions. If he's a "friend" of Kvothe -- Amyr, Fae, or whatever -- the location may have been chosen for future support.)

Sidenote, wasn't Baedyn-Bryt formerly a Lackless posession/title? Does that support Bredon being Aculeus Lackless? Thoughts?
Alf Bishai
75. greyhood
A thought about glamourie. One of the farmers commented on Bast's boots. 'Nice boots!' In fact Bast has hooves. So the use of glamourie (if that's what it is) makes people think the thing you're you're creating an illusion of is really fantastic. Do we see other examples of this? Where someone comments on how amazing something is, but there is reason to believe the truth is otherwise? (K with D). We know Felurian must be using this, because wouldn't she really have hooves too? Or are the hooves fake also?

If K. is part Fae, is it possible that he too is being concealed somehow? We know about the eyes. What about the hair?

Is Haliax in shadow glamourie? I can't wait for that reveal. That's going to be a picture of Dorian Gray moment.

Rambling, but I can feel there's something to discover here.
Steven Halter
76. stevenhalter
JohnPoint@74:I like that Bredon idea. As you say, we don't know what significance it has, but it is tantalizing.
Sahi Rioth
77. Sahirioth
Re: Bredon - isn't he a Baron? Or did I just pluck that out of nowhere? I'm pretty sure his title is mentioned somewhere, though...
Re: Glamourie and hooves - Bast having hooves doesn't in any way indicate that Felurian has them, since the two are not necessarily related or even of a similar type of Fae-creature
Steven Halter
78. stevenhalter
Sahirioth@77:It's quite possible to hold numerous titles at the same time.
thistle pong
79. thistlepong


Bredon's title, if he has one, isn't mentioned.

In the narrative, the Lackless (re: Aculeus) holdings are no longer an earldom.

When he's hassling Kvothe for buying Bredon beer, Wil comforts him for being a pregnant Yllish woman. The implication is that though consumed in the Small Kingdoms, it's a Yllish product. Yll comes out of nowhere there, so it's either an informational line or formally necessary. Given the artistry if chapters 2/151, the latter seems unlikely.
John Graham
80. JohnPoint
@79 --

1) I agree that the speculation re Bredon/Aculeus is tentative at best, but it seems that the title of Earl of Baedyn-Bryt could still be held in the Lackless family, even if the Lackless title itself is no longer an Earldom. (Similar to how Prince William is both the Duke of Cambridge in England and the Earl of Strathearn in Scotland, though the titles are separate.) Perhaps the Earldom of Baedyn-Bryt was officially split from the Lackless estates, but the property and title were kept in the family or later returned through marriage. Afterall, we have the bizarre relationships of fealty, where one can technically owe fealty to oneself:
“My mother once told me she knew a man who owed fealty to himself.” I said. “Owed himself a share of his own taxes every year, and if he were ever threatened there were treaties in place demanding that he provide himself with prompt and loyal military support.”
Perhaps that referred to Aculeus --Kvothe's grandfather? -- himself.

2) I'm not certain that the implication is that Bredon beer is brewed in Yll:
“Bredon beer.” I shifted the rags I used to pad my lute so they wouldn’t rub against it.
“Bredon,” Wil said, his voice thick with disdain, “is closer to bread than beer.”
Sim nodded in agreement, making a face. “I don’t like having to chew my liquor.”
“It’s not that bad,” I said defensively. “In the small kingdoms women drink it when they’re pregnant. Arwyl mentioned it in one of his lectures. They brew it with flower pollen and fish oil and cherry stones. It has all sorts of trace nutrients.”
“Kvothe, we don’t judge you.” Wilem lay his hand on my shoulder, his face concerned. “Sim and I don’t mind that you’re a pregnant Yllish woman.”
This could be read as either: 1) it's brewed in Yll, or 2) that the small kingdoms are part of what used to be Yll, and are still culturally considered Yllish (as we've discussed before). Honestly, I read the second interpretation as more likely. Kvothe directly links pregnant women to the small kingdoms, which Wil changes to Yll. The parallel structure of the concepts (pregnant women from a place) implies that the Yllish here refers to the culture in the small kingdoms.

It's like if I were expressing my admiration for green Guiness* and had the following conversation: "Guiness is great. In Boston, they dye it green for St Patrick's day," and someone replied, "We're not judging you. We don't care if you're an Irish mobster..."

The imlication would be that I am of Irish cultural extraction and live in Boston, not that I'm actually from Ireland (since I'm refering to a practice that occurs in one location with a culture that originated elsewhere).

*note: I don't actually like green beer...
thistle pong
81. thistlepong
*It's okay, John. We don't mind if you're lace curtain kiss me Irish ;)

1) It was mostly to clear up the ambiguity in @77. I take your point, of course. There's also the quibble that Kvothe refers to "brewers in Bredon" when he gives it to Auri.

2) Are there any other hints that the Small Kingdoms bear a Yllish cultural imprint?
Steven Halter
82. stevenhalter
I like the idea that the Small Kingdoms had a Yllish imprint as I am now picturing Yll in the role of Greece to the Aturan Rome. Thus, the Small Kingdoms could have had Yllish roots as colonies, much like there were numerous Greek colonies throughout the Mediteranean.
I've got zero evidence for this, beyond the tiny beer reference above, but I like the symetry of the idea.
83. New Reader
I'm not sure if this has been said before, but seeing the above post and how Encanis is being portrayed... I honestly always thought Encanis was the Chandrian (Can = Chaen) but the Tehlu-friendly version. I suppose this may not make too much sense if you try to line up all the facts from both stories, but I took all Tehlu stories with a pinch of salt. (Like the Chandrian are what everyone is afraid of, and since Tehlu being one of many angels has been converted to pretty much just one powerful being, I figured they mushed all the Chandiran together to form the traditional Devil.)

Talking about salt, I remember my history teacher in middle school telling us this story: A man has several daughters and asks if they love him. The older girls all say they love him with flowery descriptions, etc. The youngest says "I love you like meat loves salt." He banishes her because that's not very nice. But she ends up marrying the king (of course, I think it's a fairy tale, one I obviously don't remember properly) and invites her good ol' dad to a feast at the wedding. There are two feasts - one with meat properly stored with salt and one served using meat with no salt. Of course, the second meal is rotting. Then her father understands her wisdom and also her love for him. The End. What I'm saying here is, salt is pretty darn important! And that's why I always thought salt was mentioned so much. Of course, I may not be reading into it enough, but that's my two cents for today.
John Graham
84. JohnPoint
thistlepong @81 -- lol. Thanks. ;)

I don't remember any other hints that the small kingdoms were related to Yll off hand, but there was some speculation about it here awhile back... let me see if I can find it --

Ah, here it is: AnotherAndrew on post 52 of WMF part 26:
The relation between Yll and the small kingdoms is a bit mysterious - notice the jump from 'pregnant women in the small kingdoms' to 'a pregnant Yllish woman'. Perhaps the Yllish culture extends further than the actual country of Yll: we know that Yll is the small bit that escaped being swallowed up by the Aturan empire, so the small kingdoms may be the bits that were swallowed up, but emerged when the empire broke up.
I don't think it was discussed any further, but the idea stuck with me. AFAIK, the Bredon beer comment is the only direct linkage but it makes some sense, particularly with the overall historical pattern: the Aturan empire crushing Yll under its heels, leaving only part of an island as still politically "Yll."

A real world parallel would be Ireland, Wales, or Brittany -- 2000 years ago, the entire British Isles were (along with most of western Europe) Celtic. The Romans, followed by the Angles and other Scandinavians, conquered the area and pushed the Celts to a few small corners. We still refer to these areas (Ireland, Brittany, Wales, Scotland - to an extent) as Celtic cultures.

So, I suppose my example @80 should have been: "Don't worry, we don't mind if you're a Celtic hooligan" or something like that...
- -
85. hex
Re: Pregnant Yllish Women/Beer

For what its worth, a polysaccharide in barley can stimulate the production of prolactin, which plays a role in lactation. Women drinking beer to help milk production was once a real thing, and probably still is in some places. I seem to recall darker/thicker beers were preferred for this, presumably because more barley is retained in the brewing process.*

The beer in question need not at all be related to Yll. It could be that it is just a part of the Yllish culture to drink the beer.

* Disclaimer: I am not a biochemist, historian, cultural anthropologist, brewer, pregnant, or a woman. Or Yllish.
Ashley Fox
86. A Fox
Braedyn Bryt. I do think there is some merit to this although I dont necessarily think its a lockless line.

Look at the variatins of Lockless, specificaly its evolvement from Locleos.

It could follow that Braedyn Bryt is an older name, from closer to the creation war (1000-) and that Bredon is the more modern variation post Aturan Empire and divisions of land/power.

Ive posted extensively of Bredon before and much of what I drew together can apply here.

Going with the assumption/theory that Bredon (person) is indeed of Bredon (place/product). If his family is as old, or there abouts, as the Lockless it is quite possible that they have legends passed down concerning pre-Aturan E' to CW eras. Then there is the connection to Yll which is situated with those countries/powers that resisted the Arturan E/Tehlin church and have beliefs that are more in keeping with the reality of Fae/n.

Another possible connection between the small kingdoms and Yll is D's letter. Whatever other possible meanings that may lay within it, she certainly does draw a connection bewtween the two.
Sahi Rioth
87. Sahirioth
@ Hex, 85

I just want to say, I absolutely LOVE that disclaimer:
* Disclaimer: I am not a biochemist, historian, cultural anthropologist, brewer, pregnant, or a woman. Or Yllish.
And I don't know if you did this knowingly and intentionally, but I think it oozes Pat Rothfussicity... Rothfussiness? Rothfuzz? It seems to have red feet. Yes.
Wallace Forman
88. WallaceForman
Random, possibly banal, thought about Taborlin-as-lost-member-of-Chandrian theory.

It's striking that Taborlin is exactly what the Amyr and the Chandrian aren't - a relatively ancient story known to everyone in the 4C. Kvothe, meanwhile, has taken a tact opposite to that of the Amyr and the Chandrian. Where they carefully pruned away any record of their past deeds, Kvothe has wildly promoted his own mystique, to the extent that he has become a sort of latter day Taborlin, and even coopted some of Taborlin's mythos.

The Amyr and the Chandrian clearly have some purpose when they hid away their own stories. This may have been purely practical, but perhaps there was some deeper magic too it? Does controlling ones own story give some sort of power? Did the creation of a vibrant Taborlin tradition inherently frustrate the obscurantist ends of the Amyr or Chandrian? Or did these parties build his legend themselves? Clearly there are story tellers out there with some sort of agenda - Skarpi, and Denna's patron.

One thing seems clear: Taborlin's story grew so big that it swept up information about the Chandrian, information that might otherwise have been forgotten. Kvothe's seems to have done the same, even before Chronicler entered the picture.
89. Dessert

I took it that they were seeking to rename themselves, but to do so they much leave behind their past selves. Much like Kvothe went into the middle of nowhere before putting on his barkeeper mask. Your external life reflects your name, so to change your name you must change yourself.

Also, Kote=coat? I don't know the actual pronunciation of Kote though...
- -
90. hex

*takes a bow* I aim to please. Not intentionally redfooted.


Part of Selitos's curse on Lanre (or was he Haliax or Alaxel at the time?) is that:
This is my doom upon you. Your name will be turned against you, that you shall have no peace.
If someone still knows his name, the curse continues. My reconning is that if he can destroy all evidence of his past (or obscure it adequately with his own version) his name might be forgotten and the curse lifted.

Kvothe had to promote his mistique, as you put it, as a way of gaining some social cachet. Kvothe's "name" (not necessarily true name) had no inherit power to it like the name of a noble might. He needs this power for his own defense against Ruh bigotry, and to achieve his Amyr/Chandrian research goals.

If Taborlin was responsible for spreading his own story, I wonder what his need for social leverage was?

@89 Re: Kote

It's pronounced with a Cealdish accent, of course. Despite that I suspect that it's more often pronounced with a northwest Vintas drawl these days.
Andrew Mason
91. AnotherAndrew
Since we know Kvothe is one syllable, I would take it Kote is too. So it would indeed sound quite like coat.
thistle pong
92. thistlepong
Exactly like coat in the audiobook, in fact.

I also wanted to stress how valuable your admonishment in @73 is in general. It shouldn't be a cooling force on speculation, but neither should we reject a theory only because it might be too obvious.
Ryan Socha
94. chaosmosis
RE: Weddings

I think that there will be a wedding in the next book as per the previously mentioned pattern. I think that this wedding will be Denna's.

The reasons I think this:
1. It's the logical extension of Denna's character development.
2. The final wedding needs to be important to Kvothe.
3. It sets the stage for an awesome tragedy.

She'll be pressured into it because of some combination of the following: a) her patron wants it b) her (economic) well being requires it c) Kvothe is a jerk d) hidden motives.

There are a number of ways that this could play out. One that immediately comes to mind involves cross-applying the theory that Denna is some kind of lost/disowned noble girl. Then, she would be married to a king. She might not exactly want to be married, but maybe she didn't know what else to do.

Of course, then Kvothe steps in, being the "heroic" white knight that he is, and decides that the best solution is for him to kill the king. This causes a political crisis and gets Denna killed, somehow. Maybe she even commits suicide or something tragic like that.

I think it fits very nicely with the kind of stories that we've seen so far.
95. Dessert
I like that, a coat can be taken off.
Ashley Fox
96. A Fox
@95 lols

@93 Shudder. I really hope not. Making Denna into some vacuous victem would be awful, stereotypical tripe. I dont think D is the type to stick around and do something she doesnt want to do, nor do I think she doesnt have enough intelligence to thik of a way not to marry someone she was unwilling to marry (She's no Sansa), she's not the sort to want a hero, and I think she would be far more likely to run away in a situation like that rather than kill herself.

If D was to get married it would,most definately, be her choice.
Ryan Socha
97. chaosmosis

Denna is not a wholly free and autonomous wonder being. She's forced into situations that she doesn't like because of her beauty and possibly because of her past. Throughout the series so far, Denna has slowly been acquiring more burdens and more stability and more obligations, and this has been pushing her apart from Kvothe. Denna doesn't dislike these obligations, but neither does she like them in and of themselves. Rather, she percieves them as desirable alternatives to her present life.

I doubt that Denna would marry someone without wanting to, but I don't doubt that Denna would want to marry someone if she found it instrumentally useful and they weren't a total monster.

You say that you don't want Denna to become a victim. Too bad, that's inevitable, the frame story makes it clear that *something* bad happens to her which Kote dislikes, and IMHO it's probably her death and Kvothe probably feels responsible for it. Why? Because I can't really imagine Kote existing in such a passive state if there's still any possibility he can see Denna again.

(Side insane crazy theory: what if Kvothe tries or considers trying to pull a Lanre by bringing Denna back from the dead at some point? That would be interesting. That would fit the parallels. I have doubts and consider this theory crazy because something like that is totally beyond Kvothe's power level and because I don't think Kvothe is yet close enough to Denna to be irrational enough to try to bring her back from the dead, although this is Kvothe we're talking about so maybe I'm wrong here.)

Additionally, it's not necessarily the reality of the situation that matters. It's not actually necessary for Denna to do anything against her will in order for a similar sequence of events to occur, all that's really necessary for my theory to function is that Kvothe perceives things as though Denna is in trouble and so Kvothe acts like the white knight that he is and tries to save her, even if he doesn't necessary know all of the relevant details of her situation. I think that a version where something like this happens is the most probable version of my idea, actually, because it ends the relationship between Kvothe and Denna in a way that perfectly encapsulates the problems that they've had within it throughout the series.
Ashley Fox
98. A Fox
You equate an itelligent woman who makes her own choices with a autonomous wonder being?! Sounds like a person to me.

I have a rather different perspective to you it seems.

"She's forced into situations that she doesn't like because of her beauty and possibly because of her past. "
-In part I agree, however. D does not have to string men along as she does. She chooses to. That choice may very well be one heavily influenced by her past experiances, and negative expectations. But she could easily get a job somehwere, say in one of the laundarys or with an honest patron, that did not involve men in a sexual/flirty sense. But then she would not be able to travel/pursue her goal.

"Throughout the series so far, Denna has slowly been acquiring more
burdens and more stability and more obligations, and this has been
pushing her apart from Kvothe."
-It has been noted in this reread that D has her own goals. We do not know what they are. Its all very mysterious. Writing magic and yllish knots are likely to be a part of it. she is pursuing this goal, much like K s pursuing his. I wouldnt necessariy say this is 'stability' though certainly her patron offers her some stability, as well as furtherence of her goal. Much as the uni offers K the same. It is not these things that push apart K and D but rather their personalities, and pursuits of their goals. Possibly their goals, and origins of such, themselves.

"Rather, she percieves them as desirable alternatives to her present life." -This may be a side effect, but it seems the attainment of her goal is why she is doing what she is doing. The temporary improvement of her circumstances is not the goal.

"I doubt that Denna would marry someone without wanting to, but I don't doubt that Denna would want to marry someone if she found it
instrumentally useful and they weren't a total monster"- Exactly. Her choice. As opposed to 'not knowing what else to do'.

"You say that you don't want Denna to become a victim. Too bad, that's inevitable, the frame story makes it clear that *something* bad happens to her which Kote dislikes,"
- I said it would be a great shame if such a stereotype was used.
-I do not think its inevitable. No more so that any of the characters suffering as clearly there is suffering on the horizon. Also there are some that think as you do, that D dies. I am not one of them. It seems to me when he speaks of her, and the growing of the Selas that K remember's her fondly. His retrospective account does not try to hide how much she sought him out or let him in, or how much he hurt her, or ignored her ability to choose for herself.

"Because I can't really imagine Kote existing in such a passive state if there's still any possibility he can see Denna again."
-Perhaps frame K, wit his perfect step, has attained some wisdom and has learnt how to respect her choices.

"Kvothe perceives things as though Denna is in trouble and so Kvothe acts like the white knight that he is and tries to save her, even if he
doesn't necessary know all of the relevant details of her situation."

-this is a much more probable ammendment. Kvothe has already started down this path, with the CTH's urgings, in his view of D's relationship with her patron. He sees the violence as a sign of victemisation as opposed to a choice she is making much like his choice and pain experianced, in earning the Ketan/the whippings at the uni.

- I would not apply the label, or characterisation of white knight to K. But then, I do not view the Amyr's motto as a good or right thing.
Carl Banks
99. robocarp
Just throwing a question about trust out there. I think most of us would agree that some, perhaps a lot, of the information we've been given in the novels is not reliable. However, it's not clear which information is bad. Therefore, I was wondering if anyone has sat down to make a heirarchy of the trustworthiness of different characters to help discern good information from bad.

I've made a hierarchy (included below), but it's just a rough sketch right now. Since I don't want to taint anybody else, the hierarchy is enshaedn: not quite invisible, but you have to look carefully for it. :)

This scale rates trustworthiness from 5 = absolute trust to 1 = very little trust.
5: The Cthaeh
4: PR the Author, Felurian, Elodin, Kilvin, Magwyn (Saicere's history), Abenthy, Chronicler, Denna
3: Kote, Kvothe, Wil & Sim, Fela, Shehyn, Puppet, Maer Alveron, Breadon, Hespe (Iax story)
2: PR the Blogger, Caudicus, Skarpi, Trapis
1: Bast, Maer's Court

Notes: Most people start at 3 and move up or down. The hierachy considered all forms of misinformation. People like Wil & Sim I credit with complete honesty but poor sources. People like Skarpi I credit with great sources but also mendacity. As for Denna, I just have a feeling she's way more knowledgeable than she lets on (as we saw when she played corners).

And yes, I do rank The Cthaeh as more trustworthy than the two people narrating it. Why? Because I believe both PR and Kote would take extra care when narrating the Cthaeh's words.
Carl Banks
100. robocarp
For the record, I have no objection if anyone posts bits and pieces of the hierarchy I posted without a shaed. I just wanted to given anyone else who wanted to make a hierarchy a chance to do it without seeing mine.
Ryan Socha
101. chaosmosis

"You equate an itelligent woman who makes her own choices with a autonomous wonder being?! Sounds like a person to me."

Denna is a person but she doesn't exist external to the institutions and customs of the societies of the four corners, and those contrain her significantly. The impact of those institutions constitutes a huge part of her character. Denna doesn't fit the abstract sort of wonderful lalala awesome Mary Sue feminist amazing model that you want her to, at all. Denna is portrayed more realistically than that.

"But she could easily get a job somehwere, say in one of the laundarys or with an honest patron, that did not involve men in a sexual/flirty sense."

It's heavily implied that no, she can't, or at least not while living the kind of life that she wants to. I actually think there's an explicit discussion in one of the books about how pretty semstresses and the like will almost certainly get raped.

I think that you view Denna as much more of a free spirit than I do. I see her as someone who constantly trades her freedom away in exchange for power (which offers her a different type of freedom). I think that marriage is something she would do if she was put within the right circumstances. I doubt Denna wants to continue as she has been for the rest of her life.

"It has been noted in this reread that D has her own goals. We do not know what they are. Its all very mysterious. Writing magic and yllish knots are likely to be a part of it."

The magic knots and the secret patrons are the means that Denna uses to achieve her goals, I don't think they're automatically tightly coupled to the goals themselves. I think that since Denna didn't show any signs of mysteriousness until after she interacted with Ash it's likely that she's just a pawn in that game.

I think her goals are probably the obvious kind of things, Occam's Razor. She wants to be safe and to not be under anyone else's control any more than she has to. She wants to be happy. She wants to help people. That's probably more or less it; even if there is also a magical angle involved with those goals as well I don't think it would be the primary focus in Denna's mind.

"This may be a side effect, but it seems the attainment of her goal is why she is doing what she is doing. The temporary improvement of her circumstances is not the goal."

Why don't you think that her goal is related to the improvement of her circumstances? It seems like her life is obviously rather difficult and it seems reasonable to assume she wants to fix that.

I'd agree that she has certain side constraints on the means she's willing to use to achieve her goals, such as preserving her own freedom, but I think she's been sacrificing these side constraints more and more as her story has continued.

Denna doesn't really do anything unless her patron orders her to do it. There's no reason to think that she has some secret agenda and that she's anything more than a pawn and Kvothe's love interest. Very little of the story talks about Denna, trying to portray her as this spectacular heroine seems unwarranted to me.

"Exactly. Her choice. As opposed to 'not knowing what else to do'."

Choices can be made in the context of uncertainty; I don't understand what argument you are trying to make here.

"I said it would be a great shame if such a stereotype was used."

I view it as more of a subversion, actually. And I think that even if it was stereotypical it could still have interesting meanings given to it by Rothfuss. "Stereotype" is just a more negatively connoted word for trope, and tropes exist for a reason. In the right hands, even extremely hackneyed tropes can become extremely interesting and meaningful. The classics are probably a pretty good example.

"Perhaps frame K, wit his perfect step, has attained some wisdom and has learnt how to respect her choices."

That's a possiblity, but I don't think Kvothe could ever transition to Kote as long as Denna was still alive. Denna made him so active. Also, I have my doubts about whether even Kote is mature enough to leave Denna alone, given how obviously in love he is with her.

Kote seems to be very passionate and romantic when discussing love, and he strikes me as the kind of person who believes that if you're in love then you really don't have any choice about whether or not you'll pursue that person.

"I would not apply the label, or characterisation of white knight to K. But then, I do not view the Amyr's motto as a good or right thing."

You probably don't know that "white knighting" is a term used by feminists, both academic and informal, to discuss males who ignorantly charge in to "save the day" for females. This might explain some of your reaction to my earlier comments.
thistle pong
102. thistlepong
You probably don't know that "white knighting" is a term used by feminists, both academic and informal, to discuss males who ignorantly charge in to "save the day" for females. This might explain some of your reaction to my earlier comments.

Be careful, there. No matter how clever the sarcastic ad hominem, it's still just bullying, chaosmosis.
Wallace Forman
103. WallaceForman
@99 The Cthaeh is so cryptic that it almost doesn't matter whether it is telling the truth, and some of what it says is downright deceptive (Laurian was always a trooper). No doubt when D3 arrives we'll find everything it says to have been true, but that does us little good in the meantime.

I would place Skarpi as more rather than less reliable. No doubt he wraps ups his story in metaphor, omits crucial details, and inverts important truths, but he gives us a very solid chunk of lore which we can parse, with some care, against the fragmentary information from the other scattered sources.
thistle pong
104. thistlepong

This sort of thing has come up before. I can't really see the point in obscuring it, but whatever.

The most reliable part of the fiction is the third person omniscient narration of the frame. Like, it's unquestionably autumn, or nightime, or there's moonlight. Characters act and speak, images appear and disappear, light falls, noise sounds.

The second order of reliability includes the thoughts and memories presented in the frame. We see inside the minds of the characters. There's an element of bias inherent there, but that they think thus is true.

Kvothe's narrative, the titular chronicle, should be assumed to be accurately transcribed. So much so that it's pointless to speculate on it. Kvothe demands it. Chronicler agrees to it. Kvothe checks it and even edits it at one point.

Within the narrative we have to make judgement calls. However, as we're in Kvothe's PoV, those things Kvothe experiences firsthand should be held in highest esteem. These were the events that took place, those were the stories as told. There are reasons to doubt or question the narrative, but those lay always in the interpretation of events: I knew X, noun was adverbly verb, etc. Those evaluations can and do turn out to be innacurate, and are therefore revealed to be less reliable.

Following that are events related as eyewitness accounts. Felurian falls here just as much as Fela describing her date with Ambrose. Any I statement by a character referring to events outside Kvothe's experience.

Next any retelling of a story told as a retelling. Hespe, Kvothe, Shehyn, even Denna. Assume some degradation over time, but also assume a tradition.

Finally any story without a cited antecedent. Yah, that drops Skarpi, Trapis, Marten, and Cob all the way to the bottom. But it makes more sense than arbitrarily assigning trustworthiness.

When I built the timeline I discovered something unexpected. Taken at face value there are no contradictions regarding dates and the order of events that cannot be easily resolved. Most, in fact, are corroborated across accounts. So, while we tend to suspect everything, we also have evidence supporting a measure of encompassing trust as well.

After that, there's not much to recommend one storyteller over another. The best way to go about it would be to look for those stories which are supported versus those which are contradicted. For corroborated stories, those parts which match - ex. ancient empire, betrayal - would be ranked highest. For contrary stories, we'd wanna consider the context.

I think that's where much of your list belongs. Is Skarpi more accurate than Denna? Is Shehyn? Is Hespe more accurate than Bast? Is Wil's take on Tehlu more accurate than Trapis's? We need to ask without emotion. In Heart of Stone, as it were.

I'm curious about your ranking of Pat Rothfuss the blogger. Would you care to elaborate on that? And are you including the vidcast host, podcast guest, and print interviewee under that umbrella as well?
Ashley Fox
105. A Fox
"Denna doesn't fit the abstract sort of wonderful lalala awesome Mary Sue feminist amazing model that you want her to, at all."

"trying to portray her as this spectacular heroine"

Sigh. Do not put words into my mouth. Do not make assumptions or exagerations, try actually reading and responding to what I have said. It helps to engage in the conversation. Awknowledging D as a woman who makes her own decisions, about her own life (rather than merely as an adjunct to K/the plot) does not catapault her into the ridiculous notions you were conjuring. It makes her into a character. PR himself has stated that D's story would make a good story, from her perspective. This is further evidence (aside from the actual in book evidence) that she is more than a female victem/cut out love interest that enables the male charas/protag.

"It's heavily implied that no, she can't, or at least not while living the kind of life that she wants to."
- Im am glad that you have conceded the qualifier, as I pointed out.

We see women working as barmaids, shopkeepers, caravan merchants, singers, acters, farm hands to name but a few. Other roles are implied via the presence of such buisnesses or the mentioning of such. None of these involve the sex trade, each could earn a living and have varying levels of respectability/security. D is capable, if she wished she could get a job as such. she chooses to live the way that she does- or is driven to by her desires, unwillingness to be tied down. When she does work as such it is for a reason and for the duration that is necessary.

"I actually think there's an explicit discussion in one of the books
about how pretty semstresses and the like will almost certainly get
raped." Um, where? Perhaps you are conflating the options D layed out to the girl she resued.

"I think that marriage is something she would do if she was put within
the right circumstances. I doubt Denna wants to continue as she has been for the rest of her life."

And what are the 'right' circustances? The security, wealth, love that you believe are her goals? She has had these offered to her countless times. We know that Sovoy loved her, would have married her. The Mogedean noble would have offered her security. Not all of the men she's seen with are like Ambrose. However we see how in the wealthy inn she hates feeling trapped and beholden to a man. she does not want to marry for such. She wants to earn her own security..Again we see this with K's offers to get her a different patron. She has found a patron, on her own terms and is satisfied with this, she does not want the gain of such to be the boon of a man. In the conversation with the girl she rescues we see why: She believes inevitably they will ask for a price she is not willing to pay...or simply take that. It seems as if she is stuck in a cycle (as you say, due to her surroundings and the effect they have on her life. But also due to her own personal experiances) and is trying to use that cycle against itself. She is using her patron to get what she wants, as she provides services (the song at least). It is a contract. We see, corners, that she is intelligent. She considers the downsides worth the results, which impliies thier contract is mutually beneficial.

It is also wrth noting that when she has the emerald jewelry, which she could live comfortably off for a good while, or even set herself up neatly with, she chooses to spend it on others. This reinforces the idea that it is not material wealth/security that is her goal.

You cite the forced marriage due to her noble staus. If she is a noble it seems clear that she has left obligations like that behind.

"The magic knots and the secret patrons are the means that Denna uses to achieve her goals, I don't think they're automatically tightly coupled
to the goals themselves. I think that since Denna didn't show any signs
of mysteriousness until after she interacted with Ash it's likely that
she's just a pawn in that game."

Patron. Singular.

- She is looking for something. She did not find it in Tarbean, nor in Anilin-which was as expected (!).
-Magic is connected to it in some way. In the Eolian we see her questioning the boys about magic (another point in which her intelligence is noted), it is more than mere curiosity...she is disapointed with their answers as it is not what she is looking for.
-She questions writing magic.
-The pears.
-Her ring as Yllish knots on it. When K finally returns it to her, she acts as if it is no longer important-implying that it once was. Something she has learned in the interum has presumably caused this that interum she has been to Yll.
- Her trip to Yll was not for her patron, it was funded by him and is presented almost like a reward, her payoff. The small kingdoms may be part of this, or it may be her travels through them were for her patron.
-When she rescues the girl from rape she demonstrates some skillz.
-When she is angry at K she says she knows more than his precious uni. We know the work for her patron is researching geneologies and constructing her song. So, is this knowledge, or seeking of such, part of the bargain? To what purpose?

Becuase of the pro-Lanre stance of her song, in the same scene as her apparent greater knowledge it has been suggested that the event in her past has something to do with the Amyr, that they hurt her much as the Chandrian hurt K. another possibility which I have suggested is that the knowledge she has is to do with Faen (oh, the disapointment because they wer'nt describing glamourie, grammerie...Felurians examples of the creation of the shade does not seem to be so much an exchange of energy but weaving the energy itself?). Lanre turns aginst his own side, the side that had been stuffing folk beyound tDoS, the side that later, literally, demonised the Fae.

It is also worth noting that one of the things K imagines, and gets excited over the possibilities of, when the prospect of the Maer's patronage is before him is the possibility of going through the various old libraries in nobles manors/cities ect. Denna has had this.

Even so, it still does not tell us what her goal itself is...though certainly it necessatates her journey, again, paraleling K's own.

On pawns. No and yes. No in that she is pursuing her own goals much as K is. Yes in that there is plenty of evidence that they are being maniupulated/pursuits used in the games of others!

"I think her goals are probably the obvious kind of things, Occam's Razor."- You beleive occam's razor is her goal? ::jokes::

"She wants to be happy. She wants to help people. That's probably more or less it" Lets put the good, meek little girl in a bonnet shall we. Of course that is her primary focus. Im glad you didnt say she wanted to make babies. D is cleary very much driven by something greater than this.

"It seems like her life is obviously rather difficult and it seems reasonable to assume she wants to fix that."
-Why? Whose to say it needs fixing? What if she is exactly where she wants/needs to be-as she indicates she is. Or at least on the path she deems necessary. Sounds like you're in danger of white knighting -_-

"but I think she's been sacrificing these side constraints more and more as her story has continued."
- How so? Do you think K has? Do you view, say, a job contract as constraining your freedom. If you wanted to travel and your job contract offered travel would you say that constrained your freedom further? Or would you say it actually enabled you, if making necessary sacrifices (like time, effort ect) to achieve this?

"Denna doesn't really do anything unless her patron orders her to do it."-Really? A patron is not a slave owner. We know for large tracts of time she was not even in contact with her patron, and yet we know she carried on traveling, making her own choices of what to do, who to see ect rather than twiddling her thumbs.

"Choices can be made in the context of uncertainty; I don't understand what argument you are trying to make here."
-Yes they can. However a woman marrying against her will becuase she didnt know what else to do is extremely passive. The woman is little more than a lump who gets passed bewtweens men's hands, incapable of altering or deciding her own life. This is not a subversion. This is a stereotype, in a trope and a terrible one at that. Nil point. Minus 10.

"Denna made him so active"-huh? K is at his most uncertain around Denna, and at his most active when he gets a lead in the pursuit of his goal (gallavanting of to trebon, chasing felurian, ditching the Maer's party and going to Ademre) or when he gets all righteous/bloody handed (Fela in fire/draccus/bandits/false ruh/Denna's ring).

"Also, I have my doubts about whether even Kote is mature enough to leave Denna alone, given how obviously in love he is with her."
-Ouch. Be careful there. So if someone is in love with someone they cannot leave them alone? And this is down to immaturity? Totally disregarding whether the object (ahem) of affection reciprocates or not? That has nothing to do with maturiy. Also, huh? One of the key frictions bewteen in-story K and Kote is the retrospective maturity.

"if you're in love then you really don't have any choice about whether or not you'll pursue that person."
-Same as above though this is definately creeping into rape-justification terratory.
Ashley Fox
106. A Fox
@ Thistlepong. Was going to have a poke at this line of talk next. but now I dont really think I need to.

"The best way to go about it would be to look for those stories which are supported versus those which are contradicted."- This. Key.

And if they are contradicted, how and why? Is this an intenional perversion, with an agenda? Tehlin Book of the Path, K's Chronicler. Misremembered or devolvemnt/conglomeration? I.e Tarbolin, Kvothe. Or a matter of differing perspective, and thus somehwat harmless/irrelevent. I.e. K's opinion of D as beautiful, Bast calling him on it pointing out her nose.

The very fact that such above examples exist within text suggests to me that Rothfuss is challenging the reader to cross reference, to dig for the truth and that evidence of the truth is indeed within the narrative.
107. chaosmosis
@ 104

You're misreading my statement without justification, and that's rude. I think it's clear that A Fox misunderstood what I meant by the phrase "white knight". Pointing that out was necessary for communication to continue in a productive manner. How else do you think I should have handled that situation, if not by pointing out the meaning of the phrase "white knight"?

@ 105

I think you make a convincing case that Denna is pursuing things more important than just material well being. I'll concede that point, but I don't think it indicts my overall reading of Denna's situation or the probability that she gets married. If Denna gets married, it will be for reasons other than security, but I still think it is likely that she will (try to) get married in the last book.

I disagree about the extent of Denna's autonomy. You seem to view the pressures on her from outside society as trivial, and I frankly am having a very hard time understanding how you come to this view.

1. The conversation Denna had with the whore seems to show pretty clearly that being a woman in the Four Corners is extremely difficult. You seem to not count that conversation as legitimate evidence and I don't know why.

2. Denna is harassed by men everywhere she goes, in my reading of the book. I do not understand how your reading could be different and still faithful to the text.

3. You say that there are examples of women who are not being controlled by men. I think that this is not true. We see women in circumstances when they are not currently being controlled by men, but this is not evidence that women are usually left alone by men. Just because women "on screen" within the book aren't constantly being harassed doesn't mean that women within the reality of the book. I think the conversation that Denna had with the whore is much more important evidence than this, and that your conclusion is wrong.

"However a woman marrying against her will becuase she didnt know what else to do is extremely passive."

I think you're characterizing this wrongly, or perhaps more accurately I phrased my understanding of what would happen badly. By "doesn't know what else do to" I didn't mean to suggest that Denna would be being passive, but rather that Denna would make a tough choice within a difficult situation.

"Ouch. Be careful there. So if someone is in love with someone they cannot leave them alone? And this is down to immaturity? Totally disregarding whether the object (ahem) of affection reciprocates or not? That has nothing to do with maturiy. Also, huh? One of the key frictions bewteen in-story K and Kote is the retrospective maturity."

I don't understand how your first three questions are responsive to the argument I made. You're saying that my understanding of love is wrong? Why do you think that it is wrong? I think that there is a competing interpretation much like the one that you describe, that says love is selfless, but I don't think that is necessarily the correct interpretation and don't understand why you take it as self evidently so.

Kote seems passionate about Denna, but not about anything else. Therefore, I think he would be less mature about Denna than he is about everything else. Kote thinks about Denna differently than he does much of the rest of his past.

"-Same as above though this is definately creeping into rape-justification terratory."

It's not rape justification because Kvothe would be pursuing the reciprocation of love by Denna as opposed to the possession of Denna. He would percieve her as a person, not an object.

Accusing me of justifying rape through my reading of Kvote is an unfair way for you to forclose future discussion and an unfair justification for people to ignore my arguments, one that they'll react to by rejecting my view with automatic reflexes internalized into them by society.

Aside from simply being factually wrong and argumentatively polemical, your tactic is logically invalid both because my opinions are not the same as Kvothe's and because argumentum ad consequentums are logical fallacies.
Ryan Socha
108. chaosmosis
For some reason it's not allowing me to edit my previous comment.

I wanted to say to A Fox that I did use some sloppy characterization which was meant to be humorous but which was also unfairly exaggerated. The exaggerations were meant to highlight the differences between our positions, not to unfairly portray you as ludicrously and obviously wrong.

I still feel that my characterization of your understanding of Denna was accurate in a very rough sense, if my statement isn't interpreted literally, which I think it very clearly wasn't meant to do.

However, despite this, I understand why you didn't like it and why you felt I was putting words in your mouth. I would probably feel similarly if I recieved a comment like that. That's why I chose to use more neutral and less hyperbolic language in my above response. Sorry.
Carl Banks
109. robocarp

Thanks for the long answer. I agree, more or less, with your procedure. I disagree that your procedure is enough.

First of all, I agree that the internal self-consistency is exceptionally good, and that indicates that almost all of what we're given is good information (or obviously bad, such as Cob). My hierarchy is designed to tease apart 98% confidence from 96%.

Now the hierarchy I made was not, as you say, arbitrary, even though it is preliminary. I started, more or less, looking at it from the same angle you describe, examining what things are corraborated, and what things are contradicted. Skarpi and Shehyn, for example, are downgraded (to first order, at least) because they gave a conflicting stories.

However, your process ignores evidence of people's credibility. I'll give you an example of what I mean. Here is Kvothe's conversation with Skarpi after he heard the Creation War story:
I started to leave, then stopped. "Is is true? The story." I made an inarticulate gesture. "The part you told today?"

"All stories are true," Skarpi said. "But this one really happened, if that's what you mean." He took another slow drink, then smiled again, his bright eyes dancing. "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 there you have it, Skarpi all but admits some parts of his story are false. Furthermore, we can tell which parts might be exaggerating: the ones that make a better story. Names of the Creation War cities? Probably true, since changing their names would not enhance the story in any way. "More people died at Drossen Tor than there are living in the world today"? Makes a better story, and hard to believe, therefore highly suspicious. (I flat-out disbelieve it, myself.)

By your criterion, however, which ignores everything but corraboration and contradiction, there is no reason to disbelieve it. I'm not aware of anything in the story that contradicts the possibility that more people died in Drossen Tor than are alive in the world today, so we must therefore accept it as generally true. I think that's a mistake.

Another point, if a character is known to give bad information, does that make other things they say less reliable? I would say yes. The angels in Skarpi's second story are given fantastic, myth-like attributes, rather than human descriptions. Skarpi seems to have borrowed them from later Tehlin mythos (perhaps to make a point that Tehlin mythos is related to his story). But if we ignore Skarpi's reputation and only look for corraboration and contradiction, we won't find any, so we have to accept it as generally true that Geisha had a hundred suitors and so on.

Point is, just looking for corraborations and contradictions of individual stories is not enough, we have to look at the knowledge and motivations of individual characters to help gauge trustworthiness. Hence, a hierarchy, and my question, because I'd be interested to hear arguments for why certain characters would be more or less trustworthy.

Now a quibble with one of your details. The Frame Narrator may be omniscient but he is not infallible. In general, he will maintain a certain level of caution not to make mistakes or introduce false details, but for certain passages he will take more caution than usual, and those passages could be the dialogue of certain characters. Therefore, I absolutely do think that a character in the story can be more reliable than the Frame Narrator in general. Similar argument can be made for Kote, plus we have the added possibility of Kote deliberately lying. This is why I've listed PR and Kote as lower trust than some other characters.

As for PR's blogs (I'm including Q&A and other external statements as well), I think he's deliberately toying with us sometimes. He expects us to believe that it's a coincidence that the word he chose for a certain race is also a Hebrew word that in once sense can mean "wind"?
Ryan Socha
110. chaosmosis
@ 109

I don't think anything that you have is inaccurate, but it seems fairly imprecise. I think you need a few more levels. The problem, of course, is that there's always room for more precision.

What purpose were you hoping that the chart of trustworthiness would achieve? It seems like, rather than creating a generalized scale 0f trustworthiness, it would be more efficient and more relevant if we simply made arguments about trustworthiness in specific contexts relevant to specific arguments. Otherwise, evaluating "how much" precision is good becomes very difficult.
thistle pong
111. thistlepong

I'm delighted to have the conversation. I think you mean that my procedure lacks granularity at the bottom rather than that it's incomplete.

I'll try to address some broader concerns and then delve into why I find specific rankings problematic.

Within the covers of the books, all of the fiction takes place, first, and only, within the frame. Everything Kvothe relates is bound by that narrator, at every level of the story. That narrator isn't bound by Kvothe, though. Essentially I'm helplessly confused. I'm interpretting your post as suggesting that Chronicler might not have been robbed.

I don't remember a specific denial about Ruach. However, I'll take your point. I've learned to ask my questions sorta carefully, I'll admit. He seems to favor the ambiguous answer over the direct one. I can't say I suspect deliberate falsehood, though.

I'm fond of citing an answer to a question I witnessed directly about language and names when imaginary linguistics flies a little loose for my taste. But it was phrased poorly, answered with a similar example, and pretty much dodged. Did he choose Ruach deliberately? Yes. Did he choose Tempi and Meluan for their musical connotations? I dunno. I don't know how to ask.

Evaluating credibility is difficult. I desperately wanna use an example other than Skarpi just because he tends to have a low flash point. Again, whatever. He's almost ideal.

Skarpi is telling stories to children in exchange for wine money in a seedy bar at the Tarbean docks. He confesses to dissembling. He gets publicly beaten and arrested for heresy. Internally, he's the least trustworthy character; Pat covered all the bases.

But yah, you're right, I take those elements of his stories which are uncontradicted to be more reliable than those that are. I don't allow my impressions to enter into it. So when I contemplate Drossen Tor I'm awed by the dead rather than incredulous. When I hear a story about Lanre that's actually about Selitos, that's contradicted by another story about Lanre and Selitos, I'm inclined to question it.

Deciding that's just too many dead folks or sexual partners because it's difficult for you to swallow is arbitrary. I suppose my decision to assume accuracy is, too. It's less encumbered or contingent, though. And it can work for everybody. You might doubt Skarpi and another poster might trust him for visceral reasons and you'd have completely different heirarchies.

Anyway, the answer to your intial question is yes. To the extent that the following provide information or insight and represent themselves as truthful, from most to least reliable:

The work bound between the covers.
The author's commentary related to that work.
The author's commentary related to literature.

The frame narration.

Jake, Graham, Shep, Aaron.

Within Kvothe's narration it's a mess. There are a lot of characters and, y'know, I tend to want to place them. Folks are more reliable in one situation and less in the next. In general, using a few names as examples, it would look like this:

Felurian. (eyewitness)
Abenthy. (corroborated infodump)
Elodin. (prodigy, master, former chancellor)
Denna. (with the resources and access to travel and study)
Hespe. (story tradition)
Skarpi. (tavern tale)

For something specific, like Myr Tariniel:

Bast confirms Myr Tariniel, Lanre, and the Cthaeh.
Denna confirms Lanre and Selitos.
Shehyn confirms the outline, Tariniel, and the Seven.
Skarpi is only veracious to the extent he's confirmed above.
Steven Halter
112. stevenhalter
Good discussions over the weekend.
re Denna: Denna's tale has largely been unseen by us. We see the points where her journey intersects Kvothe's through the filter of Kvothe's knowledge and experiences at the time. We also get the brief view of her life outside of Kvothe as Kvothe played the Peeping Tom and watched her save the girl.
Thus, exactly what Denna's real tale is going to turn out to be is veiled from us at this point. I agree with A Fox's analysis that Denna has her own tale and that tale would be just as interesting as Kvothe's if it were the tale that was being told. Kvothe doesn't understand her at all at this point in the story.
Steven Halter
113. stevenhalter
re: Hierarchies of narrative trust--All of the discussion is good here. Skarpi's comment that all of the tales are true can be unpacked a bit more in that what we have is a work of fiction and so is completely false altogether also.
PR has given us a very internally consistent world and so we have some expectations of D3 maintaining that consistency. This allows us to attempt the various thought experiments that we have attempted as we go and to try to reason through the clues that have been given to date with some expectations of them being useful.
However, we don't have D3 and so almost any of our expectations could prove to be false and parts of the story that we think true turn out to be not and vice versa.
PR has set this up so that we as readers may have our expectations overturned, but has also set things up so that Kvothe in the narrative (along with others) may be undergoing radical changes in their own perspectives within the story line. Good stuff.
114. Marco.
@ A Fox

But also due to her own personal experiances) and is trying to use that cycle against itself. She is using her patron to get what she wants, as she provides services (the song at least). It is a contract. We see, corners, that she is intelligent. She considers the downsides worth the results, which impliies thier contract is mutually beneficial.

I think the CTH disagrees(emphasis mine):

"Poor girl, she's tied to him so tight. Thinks that's all she's good for. Wouldn't leave him even if you asked."
Steven Halter
115. stevenhalter
Marco@114:That is a very interesting passage. Well, all of the Cthaeh segment is interesting but, here's a bit more from that part:
“Two days ago he used his walking stick. That was new. Welts the size of your thumb under her clothes. Bruises down to the bone. She’s trembling on the floor with blood in her mouth and you know what she thinks before the black? You. She thinks of you. You thought of her too, I’m guessing. In between the swimming and strawberries and the rest.”
The Cthaeh made a sound like a sigh. “Poor girl, she’s tied to him so tight. Thinks that’s all she’s good for. Wouldn’t leave him even if you asked. Which you won’t. You, so careful. So scared of startling her away. And well you should be too. She’s a runner, that one. Now that she’s left Severen, how can you hope to find her?
“It is a shame you left without a word, you know. She was just beginning to trust you before that. Before you got angry. Before you ran off. Just like every other man in her life. Just like every other man. Lusting after her, full of sweet words, then just walking away. Leaving her alone. Good thing she’s used to it by now, isn’t it? Otherwise you might have hurt her. Otherwise you just might have broken that poor girl’s heart.”
The Cthaeh is not saying exactly what it is that she thinks is "all that she's good for". As always, it is very careful with the things that it is leaving unsaid--so exactly which point the Cthaeh is making here (and exactness is very important) is not clear.
Also, on re-reading I notice that when it switches to Denna, the Cthaeh is saying declarative things that Denna is thinking like:
"She thinks of you. "
While with Kvothe it immediately says:
You thought of her too, I’m guessing.
Note the "I'm guessing" qualifier there with Kvothe. A very interesting question then becomes, how does the Cthaeh know what Denna was thinking in that moment? We can imagine that at some point in time she tells someone what she was thinking at the past moment or some other such mechanism. Or, does it have some more direct means of knowledge about D?
116. Marco.
It's part of what makes Denna such an enigma. Sometimes she's written as confident and in control, and then we have this passage. (Thanks, BTW for pulling in the whole passage. I was too lazy.)

You're absolutely right that we need to be careful with what was unsaid by CTH, but I think Occam's razor applies here: It's most likely that she's a victim of abuse with self esteem issues. My guess is that the 'strong Denna' we see is just the face she shows the world.
George Brell
117. gbrell

I've always read the "I'm guessing" not as a statement, but as a taunt. We don't know the mechanics of the Cthaeh's "omniscience," but it's reasonable to believe that it can either read thoughts or see the future with such specificity as to reverse-infer them. If we take it as purely accurate, it's the Cthaeh implying that it's not omniscient (or perhaps pointing out its own flaw, which it has minimized to the point that it's actually gloating, which seems to fit more with its beard-stroking evil nature).

I've always read the line as digging at Kvothe because he clearly wasn't thinking about Denna prior to the Cthaeh's mention (in fact, her name never comes up in the Felurian section until the Cthaeh mentions it). This ties in with the Cthaeh's very first comment in this "section" of the conversation:
"Speaking of desires, what would your Denna think? My my. Imagine her, seeing you here. You and the piksie all tangled up, at it like rabbits."
The Cthaeh, in my opinion, isn't making statements about Kvothe, he's using his statements about Denna to turn Kvothe's actions.
John Graham
118. JohnPoint
Interesting discussions over the last few days.

@116 re Occan's razor and the Cthaeh:

I think that we have to be particularly careful when applying Occam's razor to the Cthaeh. If what we know from Bast and Felurian is true, then the Cthaeh is an omniscient and maliceous being who tells absolute - literal - truth. As such, the words must be completely true, but the context and implication behind those words do not have to be -- indeed, the implication may be intentionally wrong.

Remember, Occam's razor states that when comparing otherwise equivalent theories, the one that makes the fewest assumptions should be chosen. In other words, simpler theories should be chosen unless more complex ones provide greater explanatory power.

The omniscient/maliceous part of the Cthaeh tells me that simple explainations interpretations of its words are immediately suspect.

gbrell @117 ::agree::
Steven Halter
119. stevenhalter
gbrell @117:Yes, the Cthaeh is clearly goading Kvothe here.
The "I'm guessing" vs. declarative statements about Denna can be taken many ways. One way, as you point out, is that it isn't related to the Cthaeh's omnisience, but is just part of the goading. Another possibility is that it is an edge case and is showing us a glimpse of the Cthaeh's avenues of knowledge.
I found it interesting in that I hadn't noted that particular bit of discrepency before now. The Cthaeh is a tricky, tricky creature.

JohnPoint@118: Exactly.
120. Marco.

The omniscient/maliceous part of the Cthaeh tells me that simple explainations interpretations of its words are immediately suspect.

Of course they're suspect. But is a more complicated version that requires us making up things to fill in the gaps less suspect?
121. Rich C
I've lurked here a long time and this is my first contribution. Also, while I've searched the various reread threads, I may have missed someone brining this point up, and if so I apologize. Anyway, I'm wondering why Chronicler is being regarded - both by thistlepong and robocarp - as being as trustworthy or more trustworthy than other characters. I'm surprised by this because it seems to me that we have evidence that Chronicler has lied to Kote/Kvothe about himself. I don't have the books with me, so I'm paraphrasing and can't provide references, but anyway the evidence goes like this:

1. In the first morning after Kote battles the Scrael, Kote asks Chronicler his name, insists really on an actual name and not "Chronicler", and Chronicler replies that his name is Devan Lochees. Kote recognizes this name as that of the author of Common Draccus, the famous debunking of dragons, and Chronicler acknowledges his authorship of this text, even saying that he himself was disappointed that dragons don't exist.

2. Soon after being admitted to the University, Kvothe goes to the library, and is informed that he only has access to Tombs, not the stacks. So he goes to Tombs, fills out a request for books on the Chandrian, and sits down to wait. He picks up a book from one of the shelves to read, and its Common Draccus. This would appear to indicate that (at least at this point) that Kvothe is younger than the author of Common Draccus, both because Kvothe is younger-than-average to be admitted to the U, since Common Draccus had been published and achieved sufficient renown to be placed in Tombs.

3. In WMF, when Kote/Kvothe makes it clear that he's not going to tell the story of his trial in Imre, Chronicler is audibly disappointed, and says (of the trial story) "That was the first story I heard about you when I came to the University." This would seem to imply that Kvothe's Imre trial occured before Chronicler attended the University.

4. It therefore appears that one of the following must be true:

*Chronicler wrote Common Draccus before attending the university, which seems extrememly improbable for many reasons, including Chronicler's own claim that he was insufferable when at the University, but subsequently traveled and became less full of himself (or something like that).

*Chronicler misspoke when he said that he heard the Imre Trial story after arriving at the University (and he heard it much later), or I have misinterpreted this statement and Chronicler is referring to some much later trip to or sojourn at the University, not the period when he was a student there.

*Chronicler is lying about something (writing Common Draccus, hearing the Imre story), and is less reliable than other characters who are not evidently lying about something.

One minor and very weak of further support: Chronicler studied with the Master Namer at the U, and, while not having much talent for naming, did learn the name of iron. The frame text seems to imply that the Master Namer when Chronicler attended the U was Elodin (and the Master Namer's comments about Chronicler, as related by Chronicler, seem like the kind of thing Elodin would say). But when Kvothe arrives at the University Elodin has no students, is not teaching any classes, and seems not to have taught any students for quite a while (perhaps not since returning from the rookery). It seems like, though I don't know that we can say for sure, the class Kvothe & Fela take with Elodin is the first naming class he's taught since his breakdown. This suggests that either Chronicler is old enough to have been to the University and worked with Elodin before his breakdown (which is consistent with authoring Common Draccus) or is young enough to have attended the U after Kvothe, when Elodin is back to teaching (consistent with hearing the Imre Trial story after arriving at the U).
122. Marco.
I'd be OK with him writing the book before the university. During K's admission, they made sure to point out that it was for "continuing" ones education. Agree that the "first story I heard" comment makes it seem odd.

You know what's always bugged me about the chronicler though? The scene where Kvothe gets beat up by the two soldiers. The Chronicler spends the whole scene crapping his pants, but he's enough of an Arcanist that he knows the name of iron. (which Elodin says is more than one student in 1,000 achieves)

Why didn't he help?
George Brell
123. gbrell

Help by doing what? Neither of the men were using swords in the fight. The text isn't clear on whether they are wearing metallic armor (though based on Kvothe's ability to punch them, I'd guess not). What use would the name of Iron be?

Oddly, for something that appears so central to the series, we still have very little understanding of what Naming actually allows one to do.
Sahi Rioth
124. Sahirioth
Re: Chronicler's age
I interpreted Chronicler's line about visiting the Uni as a return to the place. Other commenters appear to, as I do, assume that he is older than K. Recall, if you will, that K knows who Devan Lochees is, and that he and Skarpi are acquainted, but did not at the end of WMF.
125. Marco.

i should have been more clear- I wasn't suggesting that he name iron specifically, more that he use something in the Arcanists bag of tricks (most likely sympathy)

Being a person that accomplishes something that one in 1,000 university students do tells me that he was a pretty exceptional student, and I'm guessing that an exceptional student at the university would be able to devise something to keep a thug at bay.

After all the talk from Kvothe about the mental fortitude it takes to do what they do, it just seems odd to me that he'd be too scared/shocked to act.
Carl Banks
126. robocarp

Bast and Felurian cannot both be correct about The Cthaeh. Felurian says it never lies, Bast says it's omniscient. An omniscient being incapable of lying cannot ever claim to be guessing about anything.


Thanks for your inputs. Yes, I agree this "hierarchy" isn't priority queue where whenever two characters are at odds you always take the higher one. It's like ranking sports teams; it doesn't mean the higher ranked team always wins.

I'm happy to agree to disagree on the importance of character in evaluating truth, but I think you go too far to call all of this evidence arbitrary. Some evidence of it is less concrete than others but it doesn't means there's no rationale behind it.
127. Audion
Change in subject here, I was reading the chapter where K is attacked by the thugs before he goes chasing off after the Chandrian in NoTW.
Back in NoTW re-read part 11 it was briefly touched on but then no one talked much about it. My crazy thought was that Pike put the guys on him. The logic goes something like this: Pike found out K left Tarbean, maybe saw him (doubtful) maybe he was the one Trapis had go round up K's things. It rankled he got away, but life goes on. Then, as he got older, became a thug or a dock worker whatever. Gets into a fight, trounces someone.. then one of his friends ribs him for that skinny runt who got the best of him once. Pike hires some people to go get him, tells him he was on the road to Anilin.
That fails, they come back say the couldn't find him.. so Pike gets the old blanket he had stashed somewhere, nabs a K hair and sends them off again.

Ok, so that's all a stretch, just where my mind went in a flash while I was reading. Heh, not likely but a fun fancy.
Carl Banks
128. robocarp

Here's a list of what we have so far:
- Physical manipulation (many times: Kvothe and Abenthy with the Wind, Fela with Stone, Exa Dal with Fire, Taborlin the Great, etc.)
- Understanding patterns (Kvothe at the Latantha tree)
- Some sort of binding but without relying on a sympathetic relationship (Chronicler bound his iron to Bast)
- Causing pain (Felurian to Kvothe(?)-I never noticed it before but it looks like she tried to counterattack, but Kvothe shrugged it off)
- Disarming someone, nullifying their magic (Kvothe to Felurian) (? the disarming effect might be secondary though, Chronicler undid Bast's glamourie but probably didn't call Bast's true name)
129. Audion

Also don't forget that for most namers they seem to have to be in the right state of mind for it. Chroniclor was concentrating very hard on Bast before he named Iron, and didn't really think about what he was doing.
Maybe he was just to startled. Also, it Would potentially be malfeasience (sp?) if he did something.
Carl Banks
130. robocarp
An idea I had while answering gbrell's question:

Sympathy is a kind of Naming magic. It doesn't invoke a Name explicitly, but rather uses the Name of one object implicitly for a similar object. Basically, the more similar two objects are, the closer their true names are. An arcanist can command object A to call object B using A's own name, and if the names are similar enough B will respond.

This would mean Naming allows one to do similar things as Sympathy, except without the need for sympathetic bindings.
thistle pong
131. thistlepong
I don't have time to properly present this, so I hope the bones make sense. What's "the worst kind of tragedy?" Initially, I was convinced it was killing his beast friend. Some of Pat's comments push in another direction. Many folks think it has to do with Denna. Some, like chaosmosis, think she dies. That's tragic, but the circumstances should have to be, I dunno, special. Some, again like chaosmosis, suggest Kvothe "pulls a Lanre."

On the face of it, though, that's triumphal; not tragic. It's actually kind of moving and remarkably consistent with the story. Itallics indicate the changes.
In the midst of silence Kvothe stood by Denna’s body and spoke her name. His voice was a commandment. His voice was steel and stone. His voice told her to live again. But Denna lay motionless and dead.
In the midst of fear Kvothe knelt by Denna’s body and breathed her name. His voice was a beckoning. His voice was love and longing. His voice called her to live again. But Denna lay cold and dead.

In the midst of despair Denna fell across Denna’s body and wept her name. His voice was a whisper. His voice was echo and emptiness. His voice begged her to live again. But Denna lay breathless and dead.
Denna was dead. Kvothe wept brokenly and touched her face with trembling hands. All around people turned their heads, because the bloody field was less horrible to look upon than Kvothe’s grief.

But Denna heard him calling. Denna turned at the sound of his voice and came to him. From beyond the doors of death Denna returned. She spoke his name and took Kvothe in her arms to comfort him. She opened her eyes and did her best to wipe away his tears with shaking hands. And then she drew a deep and living breath.
Where's the tragedy? Well, in the original Lyra dies. We have no idea why. Maybe she traded her life, perhaps unintentionally, for Lanre's. Her death is on his hands. And it's terribly sad. Worse, his life is kind of messed up with the restless thing.

Perhaps "no door can bar my passing" isn't something he sought, but a consequence of his resurrection. I'm gonna have to result to gallows humor the keep my spirits up, here. "Yah, I brought my husband back to life but damned him to eternal suffering. And I'm gonna die and there's nothing either of us can do about it. Bummer."

I think the bit where Bast heals Kvothe by exchanging his health for Kvothe's injuries hints at this as a possibility. It's not rock solid or anything. It is tidy, though.

He's fading away. He's waiting to die. He's a nest of rumor.
Then rumors began to spread: Lra was ill. Lyra had been kidnapped. Kvothe had died.
Too late he learned the havoc a thoughtless twenty three year old with a sword and a fistful of names and a mind like an iron hammer can wreak, not just on the world, but on his loved ones, even his own heart.
Steven Halter
132. stevenhalter
robocarp@130:A powerful namer can pretty much do anything at all--like create an entire pocket universe. If you really understand the names of things you can manipulate them (shaping) into a new form.
In Kvothe's battle with Felurian he mentions that he could have brought an end to her but that would be a shame.
Chronicler gives no indication of having anywhere near that kind of naming power.
thistle pong
133. thistlepong
We've also seen his response to being robbed before. I imagine that's typical. That he get's to see what this innkeeper will do is Christmas.
Steven Halter
134. stevenhalter
thistlepong@131:I rather like the idea that Lyra "saved" Lanre but in so doing doomed herself and cursed him. That's got a nice tragic Greek feel to it.
It could be that Kvothe attempted the same feat, with similar results, but I would guess it won't just be a rehash of the Lyra/Lanre story. There will be something different about it.
We'll have to see if PR really does go all in on a fullblown tragedy--there are very few of those in modern writing.
thistle pong
135. thistlepong
Agreed (mostly). That's just seemed like the quick and dirty way to present the idea.
Steven Halter
136. stevenhalter
For a public service announcement of possible interest here, Jim Hines has been doing a fund raiser for Aicardi Syndrome at:
At various money goals he does poses from various speculative covers--showing their somewhat ridiculous portrayal of female posing.
Of interest to this is forum is that at the $5000 goal, he announced ( that a group pose by himself, John Scalzi, Pat Rothfuss, Charles Stross and Mary Robinette Kowal will be done. This mornings number is: $4728. So, if you want to see PR (and the others) doing an interesting pose and support a good cause, please do so.
137. Audion
I guess I always read it as Lyra brought him back and everything was fine, no ill consiquences. But, when Lyra died Lanre "sought power where power should not be sought" and it was That pact that kept him from sleep/madness/death. All the doors were barred to him in that pact.
At least that's what you get if Skarpi's story is correct. If he's just spinning things, then maybe what Lyra did Was the reason. I'm also fairly sure that Denna is dead, one way or the other. Either she died because of something K did, or she sacrificed herself and took a "bullet" for him. I forget the exact quote but K says that to many people have died because of him already.. and I don't think he just ment in the war.
- -
138. hex
Perhaps "no door can bar my passing" isn't something he sought, but a consequence of his resurrection. I'm gonna have to result to gallows humor the keep my spirits up, here. "Yah, I brought my husband back to life but damned him to eternal suffering. And I'm gonna die and there's nothing either of us can do about it. Bummer."
This is where I was going with 56. Lyra brings back Lanre, permanently. Something happens to Lyra (dies?) and Lanre with no ability at naming is powerless to stop it. Lanre turns. He goes on a rampage ending at Myr Tariniel, by which time he seems to have acquired quite extreme naming abilities. He destroys Myr Tariniel and asks Selitos, as a friend, to kill him.

Lanre hasn't gone crazy (that door is barred as well), so there's some rationale to his actions. My speculation is Lanre is looking for a way to end his torment of an eternity without Lyra. First he acquires fantastic naming abilities to bring her back, as she did for him. He is either too late, or can't, so he looks for a way for him to join her in the hereafter. For that he needs to die, but that is proving to be difficult. Maybe this is when he changes his own name to make death accessible again. No dice though- he's still not got enough mojo. He needs another powerful namer, one as good as Lyra.

Selitos, Aleph, Iax, and Lyra were roughly on par with one another in ability, but Iax is locked away, Lyra is dead or otherwise inaccessible, and Aleph is likely unreachable if he exists at all. That leaves only Selitos. Was the destruction of Myr Tariniel a gamble to goad Selitos into killing him?
Steven Halter
139. stevenhalter
hex@138:"but Iax is locked away" -- Iax is the all time Naming champ (from what everyone says). So, what if Haliax believes that he needs to free Iax in order to end his own curse(s). Very interesting possibility.
George Brell
140. gbrell

My point is that while there is a reasonable relationship between the passive acts of Naming (e.g., Kvothe's understanding of the Letantha, Elxa Dal's immersion of his hand in flame) and the active acts of Naming (e.g., Fela's creation of the stone ring, Kvothe's multiple callings of the wind), we have not yet had a good explanation for what I term the "binding" acts of Naming.

Kvothe's battle with Felurian makes sense as an example of an active act of Naming since as 132.stevenhalter points out, Naming something is control.

But what doesn't make sense is the transposition of the named element onto a different target. The premier examples of this in the series are Chronicler's use of Iron on Bast and Lanre's use of Stone on Selitos. Bast is not made of iron (and due to his Fae nature, almost certainly carried none on him) and Selitos is not made of stone. Yet both were affected by attributes of those elements: Bast placed in pain and Selitos held still as. Kvothe refers to the former as a "binding of iron" (hence the name I've used to describe the category).

I've postulated previously that this ability is the second level of Naming denoted by wearing a ring on one's right hand.

I've also assumed that the use of this kind of Naming on Bast via Iron would nullify his magic as an side-effect rather than a direct effect. He loses his glamour due to his "contact" with Iron, which is in keeping with most Fae mythology.

Random aside: "The Binding of Iron" is actually the title of Chapter 11 of NotW and describes the chapter where Kvothe first learns sympathy even though that phrase is never used in the chapter. This actually could tie in with your comment at 130, though I would reverse the definition and assume that Sympathy allows one to approximate a sliver of the things one can do with Naming.
John Graham
141. JohnPoint
Steven @139 -- That makes a lot of sense aesthetically. From Skarpi's story, Lanre can't end his suffering on his own -- even after becoming Haliax -- nor could Selitos. But perhaps Iax would be able to, as the greatest of the Shapers, if he were freed from behind the doors of stone (whatever they be).

Here's a brief timeline of events:

-Lanre fights for the Empire against the Shapers (Iax?)
-Blac of Drossen Tor: the enemy (Iax?) is defeated (dies?), and is set beyond the doors of stone
-Lanre dies
-Lyra resurrects Lanre
-Lyra dies (possibly by trading her life/power for Lanre's)
-Lanre is deathless, sleepless, sane, renames himself Haliax trying to escape to death
-Haliax goes to Selitos for help, Selitos is unable to help him
-Haliax seeks to find/resurrect Iax, spends 5000 years trying to do so

If Kvothe releases Iax (or somehow assists Haliax in doing so), then that could potentially explain the "blurring" of the mortal and the Fae - Iax resumes shaping the Fae, begins to bring back extinct creations (skin-dancers, etc.), and the war resumes.

This also opens the possibility for Skarpi's stories being metaphorical -- even if Lanre turned after the war was over (and didn't directly cause the destruction of the last cities), he is effectively trying to restart the war, and so must be opposed (hence, Tehlu, the Amyr, etc.)

Though I'm not sure that this explaination explains the Chandrian's suppression of all knowledge related to themselves, unless that is a "side project" (prevent use of their names, and thus minimize pain from the use thereof).
- -
142. hex
stevenhalter@139 Freeing Iax could be one alternative for Haliax, except there's no evidence that that's what he's up to. I'm not discounting it, but what little we've seen of the Chandrian has suggested that they're trying to obscure their history... and rob tax collectors.

Another piece of information I left out of my last post re, "Why Myr Tariniel": according to Bast, "they say" that Lanre spoke to the Cthaeh shortly before he betrayed MT. What did the Ctheah tell Lanre that motivated him to go there, and burn it to the ground?
143. Sandman

- Understanding patterns (Kvothe at the Latantha tree)

also when he was sitting in the Hall of Wind after being stabbed and thus placing his hairs on various leaves to mask his whereabouts Kvothe mentions the wind blows in a very complex pattern. Actually a pattern of multiple patterns..........

or something like that. This is from memory ...........
thistle pong
144. thistlepong
then that could potentially explain the "blurring" of the mortal and the Fae
What blurring of the Mortal and Faen?

Felurian pretty much says the barrier is easily permeable and has always been. The mercenary fits the description of a shambleman or a draugar depending on where you're from, and Bast questions his own guess about what it was. Sure, it's Faen. But they've always been dropping by.

There were several hundred years where single minded imperial force was actively hunting them, which might have cut down on casual visits. Things have been easing up over the last three centuries, though.

It's a little odd that two creepy crawlies showed up in the same month. I'll grant that. On the other hand, they showed up in proximity to Kvothe and Bast, a legend and a Faen expatriate.

There's no mention of Faen abroad in the world. Just a grinding war, rebels, and deserters. Even unscrupulous soldiers. Things are plenty dangerous without assuming some change in the Faen/Mortal relationship.
Steven Halter
145. stevenhalter
thistlepong@144:I would guess that JohnPoint is referring to the scrael and the draugar. The draugar is a Faen creature--albeit an unusual one and I don't think needs any further explanation than you provided.
I think the scrael will be proven to be a different sort of thing. My theory is that they will lie behind one of the doors (or the door) that Kvothe opens in D3. To hazard a guess, it will be the door of stone behind which Iax was imprisoned.
John Graham
146. JohnPoint
Thistlepong @144 --

"Blurring" was probably not the best choice of words, but the phenomenon I'm refering to is mostly the scrael and the skin dancer. Perhaps, as you say, these are just examples of the boundary being permeable as it has always been, but it seems different to me.

Both visits seem to be outside the range of "normal" Faen visits -- Kvothe effectively says that the scrael are new (he expected the mountains to slow them down, and was surprised how far west they were), and the last skin dancers were hunted down by the Sithe hundreds of years ago (which -- if that's what it was -- is why Bast isn't positive about the id. He assumes there's no chance that it could be, since they're extinct in the present.) Combine that with the its apparently archaic speech, and it says that there's something abnormal going on.

Maybe, as you indicate, they're only in Newarre because Kvothe/Bast are there (is the skin dancer an assassin and the scrael a "smart missile," all sent by someone in the Fae to kill Kvothe -- I suppose it's a definite possibility), but regardless they seem to be out of the ordinary to me. Particularly considering the temporal discrepencies (speech, confusion, and simple presence at present) of the presumed skin dancer.

I also don't think that the normal temporal shift between the mortal and the fae could explain the skin dancer's presence. Kvothe and Bast must be intimately familiar with the differences: if time running differently could explain it being there, then they would postulate that as a solution, and not be surprised to see it. Therefore, something/someone is reanimating/re-Shaping extinct Fae creatures, or has altered the temporal relationship between the two realms.
Steven Halter
147. stevenhalter
JohnPoint@146:I like that point (that I should have recalled) that the skin dancers are supposed to be extinct in Fae. It could be they are also coming from a place that has been sealed off--from Iax's place of imprisonment.
By the way, my general idea is that Iax is imprisoned in a separate pocket world, distinct from either Fae or mortal.
John Graham
148. JohnPoint
Stevenhalter @147 -- that's another distinct possibility. In Skarpi's story, we see Lanre slay the beast, the battle ends and then "the enemy was set beyond the doors of stone." We tend to assume that "the enemy" here refers to Iax, but it may mean something more like "Iax and his army," or "Iax, the scrael, and a bunch of skin dancers," or even, "Iax's army, since Lanre had slain Iax himself..."
149. dozier
Re: heirarchy of trust
The reason trust worthiness is important is because very few facts are universal. Things that are very clearly stated in one version r just as clearly omitted in another. If we're digging for truth and lining up what's confirmed by more than one source, this is a brief list of what we have.

What we know (2 or more sources)
1. There was a creation war (skarpi, fel
2. Iax/jax took or stole the moon (bast, campfire). Also felurian confirms that someone stole the moon, although she does not say who.
3. Near the climax (not end) of war, 8 cities remained. Myr tyr was one (skarpi, adem)
4. 6 betrayed their cities and joined haliax, becoming chandrian (skarpi, adem)
5. At some point, selitos and lanrr were on the same side, but one of them switched (denna, skarpi). An evil being corrupted someone and that person became the first of the chandrian. (Skarpi, adem)
6. The war was between creatures who were not human (adem, fel)
7. The amyr were formed (skarpi, fel)

What we don't know for sure: (only one source)
1. The creation war was between namers and shapers (fel)
2. The creation war began because the moon was stolen (fel)
3. Haliax is lanre (skarpi)
4. Selitos formed amyr (I think this is confirmed else where but I don't have the books.

And then things that no story states clearly
5. Assuming the war actually was namers vs shapers, we don't know which side lanre and selitos were on
6. We do not know that iax and selitos were ever on different sides.

Basically only one source clearly states what the war was actually about. The adem story doesn't clearly say there was a war at all. This is when trust comes into play. Bast admits in the framework iax stole the moon but felurian distinctly never says. If we trust her more, then there's reason to believe there's a gray area here. If we trust bast more, then we use this as a fact to help fill in the rest of the story.

The problem with a first person narrator is everything is one sided so its impossible to judge who is trustworthy. Sure sim and will seem nice, but is it impossible for Ambrose to be bribing or blackmailing them somehow? If I was bent on ruining someone's life and had unlimited resources that's what I'd do. Everyone suspects denna will betray kvothe, but why not those two?
150. Dessert
Re: Lanre

Lanre lost Lyra to treachery and deceit. Although he blames himself.

Lanre's discourse with Selitos is revealing.
"Was I accounted a good man,Selitos?"
You were counted among the best of us. We considered you beyond reproach."
"Yet I did this."

Lanre has clearly been shaken by the events leading to Lyra's death. Someone he believed beyond reproach betrayed him. My first conclusion is that Lyra was in love with another man, one that Lanre trusted completely. I find that unlikely, given their love that spans the door of death.

Then I'm stuck... Who could it be that betrayed him?
thistle pong
151. thistlepong

Would you consider going over why Alveron can't be Ash again; or linking your original which I cannot find?
George Brell
152. gbrell

I don't think I ever wrote a post on that topic, but I'll check the archives. My first thought is that Denna's comment upon seeing the Maer (while visiting his garden with Kvothe) is "So that's the Maer ... He's shorter than I imagined." This either means she's never seen him before (so not her patron) or she's dissembling. Given the tenor of the resulting conversation, I don't think she's hiding things in this instance.

Also, Denna describes her patron as a "surprisingly good dancer" and "quite graceful." Both of those descriptions come prior to the Maer being cured. In fact, they immediately precede Kvothe and the Maer discovering Stapes removing the dead calanthis/hummingbird. So unless he was "graceful" while ill (and appearing aged beyond his years), the pairing doesn't really make sense.
thistle pong
153. thistlepong

Thanks. I'll have to take a close look at the timing on that. I was dealing with a preponderance issue that needed some reigning in.


I wanted to take a sec to respond to the red-named folks.

New Reader@83 re: salt

Yah, it's pretty important. That's enough for it to feature in oaths and curses and receive multiple mentions. You're absolutely right. However, Pat calls himself an alchemist, the books are full of alchemical symbols, and appear to be structured alchemically. The salt related post was part of that. Like Ademic words, symbols can be multivalent. That kind of covers Encanis, too.

Rich C@121 re: Chronicler

Thanks for joining in. Moreso for being civil and comprehensive. Chronicler's older than Kvothe, so there are a couple common assumptions. First, that he attended the University, took some time off, and returned; thereby missing Kvothe's time there. That's supported by this:
“In brief, I had a snit and left the University looking for greener pasture. Best thing I ever did. I learned more from a month on the road than I had in three years of classes.”
Or that he's referring to coming to the University collecting stories about Kvothe. That's supported primarily by the fact that he travelled to Newarre on a rumor.

Elodin doesn't teach classes when Kvothe arrives, it's true. Sim and Wil confirm it and they've been there for a bit. We can probably assume he hasn't held classes since leaving Haven. However, he does have students. Fela, for example, had been working with him for awhile before the class. It's possible others had, too.

I rank him highly because he's a public figure with a reputation, some University education (enough to know there are no demons, only Faen), and he doesn't actually put forth much information. Odd, I know. But we get inside his head out in the frame. He can be wrong in there, but not mendacious.

Audion@127 re: Pike

Well, it's only Kvothe's assumption that it was Ambrose. And I love encouraging this kind of thing 'cause sometimes a strange and wonderful thread teases out. So I'll note that one of those thugs is named Tam, same as one of Trapis's kids.

Unrelated to the above, I'm intrigued by your tendency to see opposites in the text.

dozier@149 re: lists
Things that are very clearly stated in one version r just as clearly omitted in another.
I support your project, but there are inaccuracies. This is chunked the same way your post is.

1. Skarpi, Bast. And Pat, which is a big deal for me but less so for robocarp. Felurian doesn't name the war.
2. Bast. Felurian doesn't name it. Hespe doesn't connect it to the war.
3. Skarpi - 8 cites/Myr Tariniel; Shehyn - 7 & 1/Tariniel; Denna - Tirinitel
4. This is really only the Adem, Skarpi's require inferrence and the "Lanre and his Chandrian (seven of them)" is messy
5. I think they both say Lanre razed MT. Skarpi says "Lanre and his allies." Shehyn likewsie implicates Alaxel rather then another party.
6. Skarpi actually mentions men at a couple points. Shehyn just says they weren't what they are now. Felurian is the one who clearly says, "before men. before fae"
7. Skarpi - Selitos founded the Amyr. Felurian - there were no human amyr.

1. old knowers (not namers) and shapers (F)
2. The Old Knowers made war on Faen (F)
3. Yup.
4. Yes ("Tehlu's Watchful Eye")
5. An excellent point that never gains any traction.
6. Also technically true.

Regarding the war and the theif, even if we trust Felurian more, Bast still fills in omitted details. The contradiction there is Skarpi, who calls Selitos the champ with names.

Basically, you trust the frame over the narrative, then. And I agree with you in part. So far, Sim is the only one Kvothe trusts. Thus, he's the only one who can fill, "trusted and been betrayed." I kinda doubt the bribery angle, though.
John Graham
154. JohnPoint
Re Elodin and teaching (e.g., @ 121 and 153) --

It's also possible that Elodin taught classes before he cracked (in addition to having students). After fully qualifying as an arcanist, he stayed at the University for awhile as a giller, then eventually became Master/Chancellor. So it's certainly possible that Chronicler was his student long before the narration, left the University, and later returned to hear stories about Kvothe.

Side note, when Kvothe is first at the University, Elodin is technically listed as teaching "Unlikely Maths" with the course meeting place/time listed as "everywhere/now" or something along those lines...
thistle pong
155. thistlepong

::grateful delight::
::snoopy dance::

Excellent memory. So he does teach.
Steven Halter
156. stevenhalter
I've always loved the class title Unlikely Maths. It is fun and possibly very meaningful.
I think that Elodin was available for teaching anyone who really wanted to be taught--note Kvothe's quest to get him to teach something.
John Graham
157. JohnPoint
thistlepong @153:
Or that he's referring to coming to the University collecting stories about Kvothe. That's supported primarily by the fact that he travelled to Newarre on a rumor.
I like this idea. Chronicler is just that: a Chronicler. He roams the 4C seeking out stories to chronicle, so it makes sense that he would have traveled to the University in order to hear stories about Kvothe. His comment about hearing stories at the University could well refer to that -- a "fact finding" mission, and not his time as a student.

Re Elodin:

I always loved the title "Unlikely Maths" too. It just makes me crack up every time I think about it...

I'm also thinking about Kvothe and Elodin's first one-on-one encounter. Elodin first called the wind when he and Elxa Dal were arguing; Dal refused to teach Elodin the advanced bindings, and Elodin got pissed and shouted the notw. Which makes me wonder if this was Elodin's strategy during his first discussion with Kvothe: refuse to teach him, insist that he's too young, that Ruh make poor students, that Kvothe can't handle it, etc., and see if Kvothe gets angry enough to wake his sleeping mind. However, Kvothe kept his trouper tongue and didn't allow himself to get upset. As such, Elodin was testing him -- as K guessed -- but the test was different than what he assumed. Instead of testing his persistence/dedication, Elodin was testing Kvothe's sleeping mind.

(Edit for typos)
Steven Halter
158. stevenhalter
JohnPoint@157:I think that is exactly what Elodin was trying to do. Well, that and seeing if he would just go away. Every bit of teaching Elodin does is aimed at accessing the sleeping mind.
159. Zizoz
I don't think Wil or Sim would betray Kvothe. He calls them "the best sort of friends. The sort everyone hopes for but no one deserves, least of all ". I doubt he would say that if they had betrayed him, even if he didn't think himself deserving of their friendship.
Carl Banks
160. robocarp

I don't see the difficulty myself. I don't think it's stated anywhere that a binding always requires a sympathetic relationship between the things being bound, only sympathetic bindings do. So there's no reason Selitos couldn't be bound to stone with Naming magic

Furthermore if you assume that the power of Naming is a superset of the power of Sympathy, we probably even know the nature (and name) of the binding Lanre used: Parallel Kinetic Motion.

A little bit more difficult is Bast's reaction to being bound to iron, but it could just be that Fae can't tolerate iron whether it's non-magical, physical proximity, or a magical binding. It doesn't necessarily mean the Namer is using a special transporting magic. Chronicler could simply be using a basic binding to draw a bit of heat from Bast's body, something that would hardly affect a human, but it hurts Bast because of his sensitivity.


Where does Felurian say Ergen made war on the Fae? She certainly never mentions Ergen by name. As far as I recall she said the Knowers made war on the Shapers, and even that was implied. ("and with it came war".)
thistle pong
161. thistlepong

Brandon Lammers
162. wickedkinetic
D3 musings (part 132 or so) - I think the story consistently shows Kvothe to be a very selfish and obsessive person. He likes his friends, he is infatuated with Denna, he tries to support Auri (though I think we will find that him taking care of her is totally unnecessary - though it shows a positive side of his character) - but when the opportunity comes to learn ninja-ism or he catches rumor of blue flame he takes off running and doesn't leave a note - dissappears for over a year and survives a shipwreck and never sends word - who took care of Auri while he was gone (if she in fact actually needs looking after) -

I think Kvothe's priorities look a little like this

1 - Kill the Chandrian (find/learn everything possible about them, the Amyr, and related (singers/sythe/etc)
2 - Become Taborlin the Great (learn martial arts, naming, sympathy, sygaldry, chase Felurian, jump off roof, etc)
3 - Be Ruh to his bones (learn every song, story, child's rhyme, legend, myth, and be able to perform them whenever needed)
4 - Get a Gilder - become a full-fledged arcanist - (if only to get access to the knowledge he doesn't yet have access to, and maintain access to the archives etc etc)
5 - Denna (if not busy doing other things, may wander around once or twice a month hoping to bump into her)
6 - Friends (auri, Fela, Sim, Wil, Mola etc) - someone to drink and kill time with and ask for favors (put them all at serious risk as part of his
malfeasance-ish actions against Ambrose)

He has much higher priorities than D, and D probably has a similarly complicated list of life-driving obsessions (there's a reason she's tied to this patron, researching all these ancient legends, learning her own magics and secrets and yllish knots) and perhaps her higher priorities or K's abandonment or betrayal lead her to marry another....

I think some big day 3 'things to think about' :
Any significant members of the big travelling party that come to the Inn the night before Chronicler shows up - where Kvothe is recognized and identified - does the drugged/drunken man come back with help to collect the price on his head?

does part of K's beautiful game involve Chronicler Lochhees meeting with the VIP in Badn'Bryt? does K have unresolved issue of his own with said VIP? will they find a way to get there on D3 together? as a Lochhees if K is a Lackless they are likely loosely related - is Chronicler possibly the son who brings the blood (or some other heirloom key to opening the Lackless door) if the 7 items were split among the 7 various Lackless spin-off families? I'm wondering if that's what K has in his chest......
Gaillard VD
163. gaillard
I was thinking a little bit about knacks the other day and in particular Kvothe's knack for opening things.

What if knacks are hereditary? Could "a son who brings the blood" in the Lackless family refer to the passing down of the knack? Could the Lackless family use this knowledge to devise something like the lockless box that could only be opened by someone with the knack? Whenever I read the scene with Kvothe trying to open his own chest, it makes me think he did something like that.

Now some silly speculation on how this fits into the rest of the story.

The other person in the story with this particular knack is Taborlin the Great. Could he or at least the actual person the stories are based on also be part of the Lackless family? From the stories he appears to be someone who came up against the Chandrian and was able to thwart them. If he was the leader of the city that did not fall and that city is Tinue, it all fits nicely as that would be the oldest parts of the Lackless lands.

Abenthy explained that not all that long ago (100 years?) knacks were still considered demon signs. Could this be why many of the Lackless family wanted to disassociate themselves from the name?

Admittedly there is little evidence to back any of this but thought it would be fun to share anyway.
George Brell
164. gbrell

I think you're stretching the word "binding" if we interpret:

"Silanxi, I bind you. By the name of stone, be still as stone"

as binding Selitos to Stone. It's categorically a different construction then the other two examples, which are commanding an existing element/person ("Aeruh, I command the air. Lay leaden on your tongue. Selitos, I name you. May all your powers fail you but your sight.").

I will concede that this is Skarpi's story, so it may be a dramatic flourish, but there's no evidence that he bound Selitos to an actual stone.

Furthermore if you assume that the power of Naming is a superset of the power of Sympathy, we probably even know the nature (and name) of the binding Lanre used: Parallel Kinetic Motion.

But my comment was that sympathy allows one to "approximate" some of the abilities of Naming.

Everything we know about them suggests that they aren't related at all. Naming changes continually, while each sympathetic binding has a single phrase associated with it, regardless of the constituent elements being bound. Indeed, given Elodin's explanation of the sleeping mind, Naming isn't trained so much as awoken, whereas sympathy is clearly the result of hyper-specific training.

And even if it was a parallel kinetic binding, we have evidence that that isn't sufficient to stop movement. Kvothe's failures with the original design of the arrowcatch suggest that binding to stationary objects absorbs only about a third of a moving object's momentum (this could, admittedly, be due to a number of factors, so I'm happy to hear counter-argument).

I think your theory re: Bast has the problem that it's a binding of iron, not a binding with iron.

Also, if it's sufficient to merely connect the Fae and the iron, why doesn't Chronicler just use sympathy? (Bigger question, if he's at least a Re'lar, why haven't we seen him use sympathy, which he would've needed to learn the basics of just to make E'lir?).

Chronicler notices something odd about Bast, but per Kvothe's commentary afterwards (which Chronicler doesn't confirm), he's never met a Fae before. So what was he trying to accomplish? Presumably to reveal Bast's true nature (unless we think he was actually trying a "near-suicidal attack"). So why does he use the name Iron unless the name has some relationship with the ultimate effect?

On a somewhat separate note, do we have any evidence that sympathetic links are bi-directional? I.e., if I connect a drab (1) to another drab (2), does moving (2) move (1)?

If we examine Kvothe, Sim and Wil's explanation of sympathy to Denna, you'll note that when Wil initially demonstrates parallel kinetic motion, he has to give "his" drab (1) to Denna for her to move drab (2).

There may be some evidence of bi-directional linkage in the bloodless, but I don't think it's particularly concrete, though again I'm happy to hear counter-argument.
Carl Banks
165. robocarp

I have no answer to your overall point, since I was simply opining that a new, unknown Naming power isn't necessarily needed to explain some of what you call the "binding acts of Naming", if you postulate that Naming powers are a superset of Sympathy but without the limitations. I agree there's no evidence for it, we don't know what Lanre really did to Selitos or Chronicler to Bast.

I'll answer two of you more direct questions though.

And even if it was a parallel kinetic binding, we have evidence that that isn't sufficient to stop movement. Kvothe's failures with the original design of the arrowcatch suggest that binding to stationary objects absorbs only about a third of a moving object's momentum (this could, admittedly, be due to a number of factors, so I'm happy to hear counter-argument).

The 1/3 maximum transfer is the limit for a sympathetic binding. A hypothetical kinetic motion binding done with Naming wouldn't depend on a sympathetic relationship, therefore it wouldn't matter that the objects being bound are only 30% similar; you can still get 100% transfer.

Also, if it's sufficient to merely connect the Fae and the iron, why doesn't Chronicler just use sympathy?

Because Bast and the iron pendant are too dissimilar. Sympathy depends on similarity between the objects being bound; binding a small piece of iron to Bast at 0.1% or so probably wouldn't hurt him. But a hypothetical binding done with Naming wouldn't have the limitation that the objects being bound are similar, the binding could be 100%.

Again, not saying that this is the case, only that what I've seen of Naming is sufficient to explain these things if you postulate that it's a superset of Sympathy but not subject to its limitations.

Last thing, my theory that Sympathy is a form of Naming was a bit of whimsy I threw out there, so take with a grain of salt. But theory is that you command object A to "Move, in the name of object B". If A and B are similar enough, then A's name is similar to B's name, and A will respond to the command. The "magic words" themselves aren't the name; the name comes from the object.
- -
166. hex
It's not much, but in a Worldbuilders post on Pat's blog, he gives away one minor detail about D3:
Or maybe you decide you’d rather use your own name after all. And it turns out that works wonderfully, because your name is Ferrel and that’s exactly the sort of name that would fit on a Vintish Courtier, and I happen to be tweaking the Vinish section of the book right now anyway….
The context is that he is auctioning off a cameo in "book three".

So D3 has us back in the Vintish Court...
thistle pong
167. thistlepong

We'll definitely be seeing Renere, the three part city and the Calanthis court. Not sure I realized until now that all the cities so far were two part.

A round of scutten says the Calanthis livery is red.
- -
168. hex

And Renere is to be a three part city. Any particular reason their livery will be red?
Steven Halter
170. stevenhalter
The flits (calanthis) are described as red and yellow.
thistle pong
171. thistlepong
See, I was gonna say red and gold or red and yellow, but I was a bit skittish. Thanks for posting that, stevenhalter.
John Graham
172. JohnPoint
hex @166 --

Unfortunately, the post on the worldbuilders blog doesn't tell us anything about D3 -- that's the exact same verbage that Pat used a few years ago when he had an auction/drawing for a cameo appearance in WMF... so, we can't draw any concusions from it (other than Pat is overworked and didn't feel like rewriting a good post...)

Here's a link to the original auction:
Ashley Fox
173. A Fox
Oh definately red and gold.

Perhaps it is the time of year but it brings to mind the Holly King and the Oak king. Two halves of a whole in battle and sucession. The literal sucession after the King's death.

The hint that there may have been an actual Holly King via Bast's holly wreathed riders.

Which would be an interesting linking of symbols from story to frame. Is K gearing up to take the mantel of Holly King and defeat the Oak King at midsummer? (If we take the levies to be at the begining of each season this is in keeping with the timeline.) Mmm.

Re Name of Iron. In the section under question i took the meaning to be that Chronicler had Named Iron itself, awakening and encompassing all that Iron is. All that Ironyness had a magnified effect on Bast due to the Fae's relationship with iron. Its curious that although Bast was not stopped by it, his glamour was stripped away.

Alchol and water. Fae and mortal. Glamourie and Naming. Iron having a parralel effects as Copper does to Namers.
thistle pong
174. thistlepong

All true. Yet he's told us for sure we'll be in Vintas again. Right conclusion, wrong data.

A Fox@173

Half the time I have go look something up when you post. It's a good thing. Did you mean Midwinter?

The frame's taking place in autumn. When the Holly King begins to regain his power. It's also the auspicious season to perform the opus alchemicum.

I don't remember is the narrative starts there, too. He does head to Tarbean in autumn, though. There's a nice symmetry there.
Jesse Sayers
175. Fluvre
More evidence for the world being wrong.

In the first Basics of Sympathy lecture Hemme assigns a student to do an essay on the differences between sympathy clocks and more arbitrary clocks that used harmonic motion.

In the first Basics of Sympathy lecture Hemme assigns a student to do an essay on the differences between sympathy clocks and more arbitrary clocks that used harmonic motion.

Arbitrary is a very strange word to use there because pendulum clocks can be very accurate, the guy who invented them made some that lost as little as 10 seconds a day. And they are consistent in their changes. One thing that will effect a pendulum clock is the local gravity. If a piece had been taken out of the world to make fae, or if the world wasn't spherical then harmonic clocks would be much less accurate and more arbitrary.
176. Audion
10 Seconds a day is huge. If the sympathy clocks are anything like GPS, and I can assume that using magic would give you a high degree of accuracy, you're talking about a +/- in time in the nano seconds a day. In fact, the total loss or gain in time over 100 years is still measured in nano seconds. So 10 seconds a day IS arbitrary, and no two pendulum's will be the same either. I would assume you can make two sympathy clocks exactly the same. That would be the "arbitrary" point in this.

Also, I think we'd have been able to figure he was going back to Vintas at some point anyway. The Cth told him to stick close to the Maer. We're fairly certian his Aunt is there.. and I'd also imagine anything that happens with Ambrose would only be multiplied by him going there if he's there too. Imagine the giddy delight if Ambrose caught K in his own seat of power?
Jesse Sayers
177. Fluvre
10 seconds is huge by our standards, and 10 seconds consistent not arbitrary. Also the inventor got the accuracy to 10 seconds in the late 1600's, and others had it down to under a second by 1721. They were used as the standard for timekeeping till WWII. The best pendulum clock is accurate to 200 microseconds a day. With refined metals you can make 2 pendulums essentially the same. No different from the refined metals used in the fishery. They can be very accurate, and how they change times is not arbitrary it is very predictable.

Rothfuss's careful use of language makes arbitrary a very strange word to use there.
Patrick Stultz
178. Audion
I agree that you can get them accurate, but then you have to worry about where it's placed, a slight earthquake can throw them off.. they have moving parts that can wear out (though the sympathy clocks may as well). Even at 200 mS that's still 5 minutes a year you continually have to account for.
I would also urge you to use caution, as it WAS Hemme who said this, and he's an elitest. If it's not made with Sympathy it's crap.

*edit* Also you can't use one on a ship or take it with you. I don't think it's been said how portable the sympathy clocks are.
Ashley Fox
179. A Fox

How have I not read 'The Golden Bough'? It would go wonderfully with my Culpeper.
thistle pong
180. thistlepong
@179 lol

Chapter 3. Sympathetic Magic page 11
If we analyze the principles of thought on which magic is based, they will probably be found to resolve themselves into two: first, that like produces like or that an effect resembles its cause; and second, that things which have once been in contact with each other continue to act on each other at a distance after the physical contact has been severed.
181. Dessert
173@A Fox

The iron could merely have disrupted his concentration on maintaining the glamourie.

Also, re:
"Or maybe you decide you’d rather use your own name after all. And it turns out that works wonderfully, because your name is Ferrel and that’s exactly the sort of name that would fit on a Vintish Courtier, and I happen to be tweaking the Vinish section of the book right now anyway…."

Ferrel, Ferule. Vintish courtier. Is he giving us a hint about Bredon?
Wallace Forman
182. WallaceForman

Oh interesting. I just noticed that the first butterfly that Kvothe sees the Cthaeh kill is red and gold. I wonder if that's significant? If all the colors are signficant?
Bruce Wilson
183. Aesculapius
With PR, anything is possible; I wouldn't be at all surprised to find some sort of significance in the colours of (all) the butterflies.

I'm resisting the temptation to dash off and look them up right now (gotta do Christmas baking with the kids!) -- but I know I'll end up doing it before the day is out...!
Jesse Sayers
184. Fluvre
Actually the clocks could be made so you could take them on ships. And I'm not arguing that we can't make them better but pendullums were good enough in our world for hundereds of years through the industrial age. But "arbitrary" is the key word here, and in our world pendulum clocks aren't arbitrary. Changing because of an earthquake isn't arbitrary. They are in a different time period as well, and we have no idea how accurate sympathy clocks are. I don't think it's a major thing but just strange phasing.
thistle pong
185. thistlepong
I’m gonna stick to red and gold if Aesculapius is volunteering for all the colors. This could use some editing, I'm sure. But family calls.

I'm working on the assumption that The Kingkiller Chronicle is structured alchemically. Put very simply it's a three part structure represented by black, white, and red. If that's the case, the third book should have a lot of significant red. Since we know he’s going to Renere and there have been more than a few allusions to Roderic Calanthis, I made a leap.

What's terribly interesting to me is that this tends to work on a literal level without resorting to to the alchemical symbolism. And yet, the assumptions I made based on my understanding of that symbolism and the structural necessities that should arise from it align surprisingly well. I couldn’t be more certain, now.

A fair number of folks think Roderic Calanthis is the king, killed. And between WallaceForman and stevenhalter I think that line of inquiry just ossified. Here are the relevant passages that link the flits and the royal family and literally predict their colors.
“Tiny, bright things, yellow and red,” I held up my fingers about two inches apart. “They’re thick in your gardens. They drink the nectar from your selas flowers.”
“Oh. We call them flits.”
“But it’s a little rough on the poor little calanthis.”
“Beg pardon?” I asked.
“Our Stapes is old-fashioned,” Alveron explained with a smile. “And more educated than he cares to admit. Calanthis is the Eld Vintic name for them.”
“I could swear I’ve heard that word somewhere else.”
“It’s also the surname of the royal line of Vintas,” Alveron said chidingly.
Having them thus connected, it’s incredibly interesting to note the opening action of the Cthaeh.
But my eye was caught by a single large red one, crimson shot through with a faint tracery of metallic gold. Its wings were bigger than my spread hand, and as I watched it fluttered deeper into the foliage in search of a fresh flower to light upon.
Suddenly, its wings were no longer moving in concert. They tumbled apart and fluttered separately to the ground like falling autumn leaves.
I can’t really see it as a coincidence. Kvothe’s already killed calanthis, colored red and yellow. Now we have the Cthaeh opening with a precisely color-coded killing. “The red ones offend my aesthetic.”

As the conversation progresses the Cthaeh encourages Kvothe to range further afield, to travel to the edge of the map for information. Part of his decision to go to Ademre is based on this. And there, ultimately, he receives the sword. He becomes the clever, thoughtless armed sixteen year old Abenthy discussed with him.

I think the Cthaeh set Kvothe on a collision course with Roderic. I think one of its machinations is Roderic’s death. I think Saicere is in Kvothe’s hands for killing, specifically for breaking the Calanthis line.

But, y’know, don’t take my word for it. As always, look to the text. The background we need is all there.
Ever the good friend, Wilem stepped in with a distracting question. “What is that pause you keep doing?” he asked. “It’s like you can’t catch your breath.”
“I asked that too,” Fela said, smiling.
“It’s something they use in Eld Vintic verse,” Sim explained. “It’s a break in the line called a caesura."
Note that it’s Eld Vintic verse. Note that Calanthis is the Eld Vintic name for flits. Note that the royal line, Alveron’s word chosen rather than family, bears an Eld Vintic name. Caesura is meant to break an Eld Vintic line.*
Vashet took the scabbard from the wall and sheathed the sword. Then she turned and held it out to me. “This is named Saicere.”
“Caesura?” I asked, startled by the name. Wasn’t that what Sim had called the break in the line of Eld Vintic verse? Was I being given a poet’s sword?
“Saicere,” she said softly, as if it were the name of God. She stepped back, and I felt the weight of it settle back into my hands.
Sensing something was expected of me, I drew it from its sheath. The faint ring of leather and metal seemed a whisper of its name: Saicere. It felt light in my hand. The blade was flawless. I slid it back into its sheath and the sound was different. It sounded like the breaking of a line. It said: Caesura.
The symbolic killing is set to become a violent reality.
How can I say this so you can understand? Saicere was a fine name. It was thin and bright and dangerous. It fit the sword like a glove fits a hand.
But it wasn’t the perfect name. This sword’s name was Caesura. This sword was the jarring break in a line of perfect verse. It was the broken breath. It was smooth and swift and sharp and deadly. The name didn’t fit like a glove. It fit like skin. More than that. It was bone and muscle and movement. Those things are the hand. And Caesura was the sword. It was the both the name and the thing itself.
Saicere is meant for killing. For cutting down in the prime of life. Kvothe puts it to use almost immediately on the road to Levinshir. But it has a greater destiny ahead.
“I could not help but notice that you are armed,” he remarked, disapproval heavy on his voice.
My hand went unconsciously to Caesura. It was at my hip now, rather than over my shoulder. “Is there aught amiss with that, your grace? I have understood that all men keep the right to gird themselves in Vintas.”
“It is hardly proper.” He stressed the word.
“I understand that in the king’s court in Renere, there’s not a gentleman would dare be seen without a sword.”
“Well-spoken as you are, you are no gentleman,” Alveron pointed out coolly, “as you would do well to remember.”
I said nothing.
“Besides, it is a barbarian custom, and one that will bring the king to grief in time."
The last line, of course, has been the pivot on which the speculation that Roderic is the eponymous king turned. It's quite glaring what with the barbarous Kvothe and the disastrous foreshadowing. However, up to this point we haven’t been able to put together a solid literary case for it. There are a lot of kings, potential kings, and schemers. Now, we have a pretty much bulletproof connection between Saicere and Roderic Calathis.

*That break isn't exactly visually obvious in the Kindle version or the hardcover. However, a poster at Westeros (link) succintly compared it to Old Norse Eddaic poetry and Tolkien's Sigurd and Gudrun a few weeks after WMF was published. Pat's "The Lay of the Eastern King," which appears in Clash of the Geeks, is printed with wide spaces in the middle of the lines to emphasize that pause.
186. xzravenzx
on the case of whats in the thrice locked chest I think we can assume it is Kovthe's name, because when Kvothe tells the story about the Chronicler he states that the king has his name "written in a book of glass hidden in a box of copper (lackless box in kovthe's case?). And that box is locked in a great iron chest."
could Kovthe's thrice locked chest be locking his name similar to how the does king in his story? Also sorry if this point has been made before oh and i was quite sleepy when i wrote this so i might not make any sense :(
Wallace Forman
187. WallaceForman
Re: Butterflies

The conjecture I wanted to make is that the Cthaeh is foreshadowing deaths to come in the Vintish line of succession. I can only find indifferent evidence to support this.

Butterflies at Cthaeh's clearing: "purple and black, or blue and black, like those in Felurian’s clearing. Others were a solid, vibrant green, or grey and yellow, or silver and blue."

Cthaeh's Dead Butterflies:
* One Red-Gold (offends Cthaeh's aesthetic)
* Blue (also identified as irridescent blue-black; no more red ones, blue is ever so slightly sweet)
* Blue (also identified as sapphire)
* Unidentified (presumably blue?)
* One Blue & One Purple (purple - too much sweetness is cloying, as is willfull ignorance)
* Three Green

Red and Gold could be Roderic. The Maer's colors are ivory and sapphire, which could fit with the description of the blue as sapphire (but as blue-black?), but two or three blue butterflies would still be unaccounted for. Meluan Lackless wears an ivory and violet dress, which could be identified with the purple butterfly, but I found no indication that these are her colors. Is her sweetness cloying? Hardly. Is she willfully ignorant? About her sister? The Loeclos Box? Ambrose also wears purple boots and gloves at one point, green at another, and ivory and blue on at least one other occasion, but I can't find any mention of Baron Jakis's official colors. Baron Greyfallow's colors are green and grey, but I doubt that he is Vintish.

Anyway, just a shot in the dark. There may be limited significance in the colors, some other significance, or none at all.

ETA: For reference, the Vintish peerage:

"You've got the royal family, the prince regents, Maer Alveron, Duchess Samista, Aculeus and Meluan Lackless....”


"The entire Surthen family was lost at sea two months ago. Ambrose won’t shut up about the fact that his father’s (thirteenth) from being king."
- -
188. hex

That's beautifully put together. It makes me wonder who might the other butterflys represent, as WallaceForman lays out@187. Doesn't the description of the Cthaeh's tree include a carpet of wings around the base?

Kvothe only learns the true nature of the Cthaeh in the frame from Bast. Though what he learns probably did little to improve his outlook, the important thing is there are still important facts he doesn't have. The story is a tradegy, but maybe there's a glimmer of hope for Kvothe's redemption?
Steven Halter
189. stevenhalter
thistlepong@185:Very nicely done. I like that chain of reasoning quite a lot.
George Brell
191. gbrell

I'll echo the support for thistlepong's wonderful theory. One other point that would fit into this nicely is that Kvothe could gain entry to the Roderic's court through the Maer's pseudo-writ of patronage. This ties in with the line: "By omission it made it clear that neither was I in the Maer’s service, nor were we bound to each other."

The Maer becomes the Penitent King because he is publicly attempting to atone for aiding the Kingkiller (whether sincerely or not). The rebels are those nobles who believe that the Maer intended Kvothe to kill Roderic and that his pseudo-writ is nothing more than a legal trick to avoid liability.

I will say, however, that if this is correct, I'm now inclined to think that the battle in Imre is separate from the Kingkilling. Whether it's the obvious (Ambrose), the fated (Cinder) or some third party we've yet to meet, I still don't know.
John Graham
192. JohnPoint
@ Thistlepong -- Great evidence, and nicely constructed. I think you're definitely on to something here.

@ Gbrell 191-- That's a good observation; I'm leaning toward this being the case as well, and I think you're right that the Imre event and the kingkilling are separate. The Imre event could also be the "fought an angel to gain his heart's desire" part of Kvothe's legend.

ETA: One thought just came to mind: could Roderic be Ash? Have we considered him before? Not sure whether I buy it or not, but it struck me as a possible reason that Kvothe would have for kingkilling (either intentionally, or not.)
George Brell
193. gbrell
Was re-reading parts of WMF and noticed a couple details. Wondered if anyone here might have any thoughts on them.

“It’s not the sort of ring you wear,” Bredon said uncomfortably. “It’s quite the other sort of ring, actually.”

What exactly is the "other" sort of ring. I'm familiar with the phrasing, but this makes it sound like there is another category of rings.

I caused a bit of a stir when I stepped into the circle of light in front of the masters’ table. They had heard the news and were surprised to see me alive, most of them pleasantly so. Kilvin demanded I report to the workshop soon, while Mandrag, Dal, and Arwyl argued over which courses of study I would pursue.

Why would Mandrag care what courses Kvothe took? The only mention I can remember of him taking chemistry (or alchemy) occurs when he chooses to take it after being re-admitted. He previously considered studying under Mandrag to make Re'lar, but Sim and Wilem warned against it. We also have pretty detailed lists of Kvothe's class schedules (due to his crashing from taking too many) and I don't remember chemistry ever being included.
thistle pong
194. thistlepong

Thanks. I'm glad it made some sense despite its thrown togetherness.


Without looking closely, I'm loathe to interpret easch butterfly specifically. The carpet could represent a collection of deaths over the course of the Cthaeh's tenure in the tree, but...


I've been an advocate of separation of king and Imre for awhile now. Kvothe's kind of a murderous little terror, so I'm not worried about collapsing stories together. And it's, um, unlikely a king would be there. My eyes popped a little when I read your post and realized mine might have the side effect of supporting that.


So far there hasn't been anything in the text to support Roderic as Ash. If any of what I said is right, the colors would be wrong, for example. And he'd have to be leaving country and court with unusual frequency; which would be anachronistic even for Pat.


It sort of raises the spectre of outright mendacity again. Kvothe comes to the University knowing at least two operations of alchemy that he learned from Abenthy. He's familiar with alchemical texts throughout the story, from early in NW to the Frame. His "as above, so below" joke is the foundation of alchemy.

Essentially, though, you're right. He only takes, and drops, chemistry.
John Graham
195. JohnPoint
thistlepong @194

I agree that there isn't really any textual support for Roderic=Ash, but I don't agree that your points against the possibility are conclusive either. The idea of a "king incognito" is certainly the type of trope that Pat likes to invert, so it's definitely a possibility that he could be doing it here as well.

If red and gold are indeed the Calanthis colors, that doesn't mean that Ash would wear them -- going around incognito would seem to necessitate that he wouldn't wear his royal colors and livery. Similarly, Denna doesn't meet her patron too often, particularly outside of Vintas; most of the time, he sends her correspondance or has other ways of getting in touch with her, so he wouldn't necessarily be leaving court/country that frequently.

That said, I don't really buy it myself -- I'm more likely to go with Bredon or Cinder as Ash, but it would provide one possible reason for kingkilling...
thistle pong
196. thistlepong
Well, i think you might notice a significant difference, at least in length, between the posts I mean to be conclusive and those that are not. In this case, though, the absence of textual pointers toward Roderic should, rather than suggesting a connection between story elements, encourage us to look elsewhere.

Regarding the colors, I wasn't referring to Ash himself, actually. Denna wears blue and white exclusively after confessing her patronage agreement to Kvothe. It's a nearly invisible detail. However, a fair amount of text is devoted beforehand to the concept in the context of Kvothe's troupe, his search for a patron, and the explanation thereof to Wil and Sim.

What interests me about that is that it points solidly at Alveron. It's an argument tangential to this one, but there's almost as much pointing to him as there is to Cinder or Bredon. He meets the only description that might be of Ash. He carries a walking stick for which his need waxes and wanes; and for which wanes coincidentally with the Cthaeh's proclamation. He's certainly cruel. He certainly views power as a game, according to the inherent versus granted conversation with Kvothe. Denna's own hints that her song might be for the Maer, that Ash is at least as secretive as the Maer, heck even that he's graceful obliquely call Alveron to mind. Prior to his current illness, he'd been healthy for almost a year, freeing him up for travel; for developing a relationship with Threpe, for being in Imre and Trebon? And the morning after Kvothe's fight with Denna, Alveron sends him away on a mission he's not exactly well suited to.

And yet, as gbrell (152) notes, there's no textual clue that Denna recognizes either party when they happen upon Meluan and Alveron in the garden. It does seem rather unlikely that he spends much, if any, time travelling. Again, nothing in the text suggests he does. And so, in the face of all of the above, I guess he's probably not Denna's mysterious patron.

So yah, my comments about Roderic weren't meant to be conclusive. But it's also kind of a shot in the dark, isn't it?
John Graham
197. JohnPoint
Yep, it was definitely a shot in the dark (as I implied when I first proposed it @192), and I certainly didn't mean that you were trying to be exhaustive in your response to it.

Hmm, Denna wears only blue and white after she obtains Master Ash. Wow -- that's an interesting catch! ::respectful admiration:: As you say, points toward the Maer, but there are conflicts with that as well...

Sidenote: if anyone has a chance to ask Pat a question in the near future, please consider asking him what are the official heraldic colors of the Jakis' family...
Bruce Wilson
198. Aesculapius
WallaceForeman (@187) has pretty much covered the details of the Cthaeh and the deceased butterflies but a few things intrigued me:

There is only one red and gold butterfly and then it starts killing blue ones, noting that there were no more red ones. Interesting. If we follow the logic of the suggested foreshadowing, is this telling us that Roderic Calanthis is the last of that particular branch of the royal line...?

There's a reference to "the royal family" at the start of those listed as heirs apparent but we don't know how many people that includes, nor do we really know how the rules of succession play out in Vintas. I can't make the numbers of butterflies fit directly into the numbers of heirs because I don't think we have precise enough details to be certain where those named individually would come after "the royal family" and the "prince regents" (or should that be "princes regent"...?!).

I'm also intrigued by the portent of the purple butterfly; not only does the Cthaeh say that it is cloyingly sweet but it also notes that it is envious of this butterfly's innocence and lack of care — although it finds too much sweetness cloying and likewise "willful ignorance." Do we know of anyone who might be said to be wilfully ignorant...? Are the butterflies *just* about deaths that are to come or could they represent a more broad foreshadowing of events that K is yet to encounter?

On another note, I'm also intrigued by the possibility of the Maer as Master Ash. He wouldn't have previously been in my top few suspects but the subtle detail of the colours of Denna's clothing and the possibility that he might fit the few physical descriptions we have are very interesting. Is he still looking for the Amyr after all? Does he know more than he's letting on about the Leoclos box? Is that why he really wanted to marry Meluan? Either way, it's still a union of two very old and powerful Vintish families and there have to be some secrets worth finding in their respective archives. It puts a whole new spin on the "stick by the Maer" comment.
Steven Halter
199. stevenhalter
I like this extra thread of meaning being teased out for the butterflies and the colors thereof. I don't think it is mentioned whether Roderic Calanthis has any direct hiers or not; with not as the answer that would be extremely cool in this case.
My guess would be that the Cthaeh is using the butterflies with multiple purposes. Here we are seeing colors as foreshadowing and perhaps influencing objects of orachular import. I think it is also using the butterflies to influence things by their absence--the butterfly that wasn't there may make all the difference.
And, maybe, just maybe, sometimes a butterfly is just a butterfly.
Patrick Stultz
200. Audion
Oh, I'm torn if I like the idea that the Ctheah is using the butterfly effect here... how.. cliche.. hah
thistle pong
201. thistlepong
Audion @200

The butterfly effect is all the Cthaeh's got. I mean, it's explicitly all it's got. If even one of the butterflies is actually symbolically relevant, then it's more than just a sight gag.


J'accuse! An entire post to justify the final line!

I think I've asked this before, but we get new screen-names all the time. Is anyone qualified to analyze Sim's and/or Felurian's meter?
Steven Halter
202. stevenhalter
Here is a bit of Felurian (lines and then syllable count):

the moon has our two worlds beguiled, 10
like parents clutching at a child, 9
pulling at her, to and fro, 7
neither willing to let go 7

when she is torn, half in your sky, 8
you see how far apart we lie 8
no matter how we long to kiss, 8
the space between us is not ripe for this 10

The stresses in the even numbered lines read as iambic two me (Unstressed + Stressed) while the 7 lines are a mixture--four syllables in iambic followed by three in Anapestic (Unstressed + Unstressed + Stressed). So, Felurian is mixing things up but is maintaining poetic structure on the fly. Now, some of this depends on how she is actually speaking. Being a Fae, she could stress things differently than me.

(The final line on 199 occurred to me about half way though the post and was just too fun to pass up.)
Patrick Stultz
203. Audion
Thistlepong @ 201

I get that, just a bit heavy handed for Pat is all. He's usually a bit more subtle, even with the blatent stuff he tells us in K's narative. Since everything K says is leading us to understanding, I get why the snippets of time at the university or on the road come to us. They either shape his decisions or are the consequences of them leading up to the acts he's renound for.. So at times things Have to be blatent, as he's laying it all out for us.

But the Cth is just a part of that, and while Pat's a fan of stories within stories, (and I actually like the idea of the colors being representative btw) I think it's a bit over the top. I'm torn right now as to if I want the idea to pan out, and if I want it to just be a random act of violence (or eating I suppose).
Sahi Rioth
204. Sahirioth
@ Stevenhalter (202)

Wait, what? To me it seems your syllable count and your stress is off, as is your meter analysis.
the moon has our two worlds beguiled, 10
like parents clutching at a child, 9
These two both have 8 syllables, iambic (alternating unstressed and stressed, beginning with unstressed, for those who are not familiar with the term). This is how I read them (stressed in capitals):

the MOON has OUR two WORLDS be-GUILED (8)
like PA-rents CLUT-ching AT a CHILD (8)

Then the ones with seven are also iambic, albeit with the first unstressed syllable omitted (like a rest in music notation). The last one (with 10 lines) can be read as iambic, albeit strained. Thinking very much in musical rhythm myself (thus giving iambic a "shuffle feel"), I instead instinctively stressed it as so:

the SPACE be-TWEEN us is NOT ripe for THIS

If you imagine them as triplets, the words are grouped like this, with blanks being rests or and the first word finishes the triplet that begins in the previous line:
205. HoneyBakedPiglet
A few of my own musings in no particular order:

Cinder is Denna's patron and she is his apprentice. Kvothe kills Cinder in the next book and takes Cinder's sword for a trophy. Its the one mounted on the board labeled Folly. I decided Kvothe considers killing Cinder to be folly because there is a new Chandrian - Denna got promoted since she was Cinder's apprentice.

Bredon is Kvothe's grandfather, Aculeus Lackless. The pagan rituals associated with waystones are interactions with the Fae realm. Bredon is known to perform those same pagan rituals so I assume he is familiar with the Fae. He also says "without let, lien, or obligation. A freely given gift." which is the same phrase Bast uses. I'm thinking the Lackless box contains a piece of the moon and that Iax is shut beyond the Lackless door. The Lackless were entrusted to keep watch over him and the piece of the name of the moon he stole.

The scrael in the first book were brought in by Bast. The structure of the conversation between Bast and Kvothe after Kvothe killed them was the same as the conversation between them after the mercenaries attacked at the end of WMF. Bast had said he has several plans in the works to reawaken Kvothe in addition to bringing in Chronicler.

The door that holds the flood I think is a lock as in lock-and-dam. A dam holds back a flood and the lock is a "door" between the upper and lower parts of the river. I don't think it means that specifically. Just a roundabout way of referencing a lock. Somehow you make a lock in the door.

Kvothe tricks a demon and kills an angel. Devi is called Demon Devi. She's always wanting to get into the archives. He tricks her somehow but the only way for Kvothe to keep what he gets is to show her into the archives. This crushes Auri's spirit and either drives her out or Devi duels her and kills her and Kvothe blames it on himself.
Nisheeth Pandey
206. Nisheeth
I like the theory about scrael being brought there by Bast, and I can't remeber it being referred to earlier.
The others have been pretty much discussed before.
Steven Halter
207. stevenhalter
Sahiroth@204:That's why I mentioned that these lines depend very much on how Felurian is accenting them.
For syllables (as spaces):
the moon has our two wor lds be gui led
I hear 10 here in American Midwestern. To elaborate, the American Midwest is mostly rhotic in accent--the r's are pronounced very plainly. So, world sounds like whirled and not like wold. Given that Pat is from Wisconson, I was assuming a similar accent for him (although as I mentioned that may not be the way to speak them).
Now, for stressing purposes, I would agree that the stresses are as you put them in that line:
and that line is definitely iambic.
This line,
pull ING at HER, to and FRO
I hear 7 syllables with accents as capitalized. The first 4 are clear iamb's with the last three having two unstressed rushing to the last stressed -- Anapestic. I don't feel a need to omit the first unstressed syllable.
All that being said, has anyone heard Pat read these? Quite curious.
thistle pong
208. thistlepong
I'll check Podehl's audio when I get the chance. Thanks to both of you. With the caveat that I'm pretty bad at meter, I have to ask about the last line:

neither willing to let go

I can't help reading it as:

NI-ther WIL-ing TO let GO

Which, I think, is trochaic? And that might resolve:

PULL-ing AT her TO and FRO

Apparently dropping the last syllable makes the rhyme strong, or masculine. At which I'm derailed into the Ferulian fanfiction from Summary 14... So, I'll have to come back to it.
Steven Halter
209. stevenhalter
thistlepong@208:That would work also. As you can see, without knowing the intended dialect, we can arrive at a bunch of stress points and pronunciations.
N(ee)ther/N(eye)ther -- lol
George Brell
210. gbrell

While a lot of those theories have been discussed before, I think two of those theories (Bast bringing the Scrael and Devi/Auri being the Demon/Angel) are ones I hadn't considered before.

I would also push back on Denna assuming Cinder's position as a Chandrian since nothing I can think of suggests you can "inherit" into the position and the Adem poem suggests that the seven Chandrian are the original seven betrayers. This also stems out of my belief that Folly is not Cinder's sword (which has been discussed extensively before). Though it gives a nice spin to: "Some are even saying that there is a new Chandrian."
Jeremy Raiz
211. Jezdynamite

I really like your theories on "Bast bringing the Scrael" and "Devi/Auri = Demon/Angel". I think they both work very well.
212. Dessert
Devi wants to get into the archives to get to the four plate door.
Sahi Rioth
213. Sahirioth
@Stevenhalter (207) & Thistlepong (208), re: Felurian's rhymes
This line,

pull ING at HER, to and FRO

I hear 7 syllables with accents as capitalized. The first 4 are clear iamb's
I beg to disagree - stressing "pulling" on the 2nd syllable is rather unnatural, and in general stressing the 'wrong' syllable in a poem or song tends to be the mark of a poet/lyricist having forced the word in when it doesn't really 'fit'. Perhaps it's because of my fanboi-ness (yuck...) for PR, but I doubt he'd do this. I'd say keep your stress in that line, with the exception of shifting it to 'pul' in "pulling", and you've got a nice triplet pattern there. Or, better still, to keep the rhythm from the first two iambic tetrameter lines, Thistlepong's solution:
Which, I think, is trochaic? And that might resolve:
PULL-ing AT her TO and FRO
Also in Thistle's post:
Apparently dropping the last syllable makes the rhyme strong, or masculine
Actually, as far as I've understood, it doesn't. The rhyme is masculine because it is a rhyme of only one syllable (at least that's the Wikipedia definition). Compare true-shoe (masc.) with broken-spoken (fem.). It's true, however, that sometimes one may drop the last syllable (thus not conforming to meter exactly) in order to allow for a masculine rhyme - it's not the dropping of the syllable which makes it masculine, though, is it? (Or there may well be a broader definition I'm unaware of!)
Sahi Rioth
214. Sahirioth
Again, @ Stevenhalter (207, 209)

I forgot this:
the American Midwest is mostly rhotic in accent--the r's are pronounced
very plainly. So, world sounds like whirled and not like wold.
My English is a "mid-Atlantic" - that is, a mix of British and American. Most Americans have a hard time placing my accent, though (apparently I'm from Philadelphia, New York, Washington state, and Wisconsin all at the same time). Relevant here, though, is that I do speak with a rhotic accent. And that does not necessarily make for two syllables in 'world'. Not does it make 'whirled' two syllables. (In fact, non-rhoticity would not change stress or syllable count either in this particular poem.)But I think I understood what you meant - is it like this:

"world" pronounced as "wor-old" with a barely noticeable second 'o' (or better yet, a schwa, which I've no idea how to write here)
"beguiled" as "beguy-eld" (again, schwa rather than e)

If so, the extra syllables make perfect sense, and I get what you're trying to say. But it would also make "child" out as "chi-eld" in order to rhyme, and it certainly breaks the rhythm due to the 10/9 syllables. Also, if we make the assumption that Felurian has the same accent as PR (lol), it might be pertinent to point out that Pat's accent (from what I hear in the Story Board) is not 'extreme' enough to pronounce the words above as suggested.

Regarding this:
without knowing the intended dialect, we can arrive at a bunch of stress points and pronunciations.
Your statement is, of course, true, and a good thing to point out. The example is odd, though - no matter which way neither is pronounced, the stress is the same, and so is the number of syllables (2). Or am I missing something here ::tired uncertainty::
Sahi Rioth
215. Sahirioth
Third post in a row, but a necessary one: Having proofread my previous two posts, I realize I come off as a bit (a lot?) arrogant and high-and-mighty. It was not my intention. I apologize.
thistle pong
216. thistlepong
Naw. I reckon a lot of my posts come off that way. I read a lot of other posts that way, too. I think ::fair certainty:: that's why A Fox came up wih the hand gesture tags.

My wife's gearing up to teach some poetry following the break and took a look at the lines in question. We'll scansion the bulk of Felurian's verse and compare it with the audio, time permitting.

A couple notes. I totally get why stevenhalter counts, say, world, as two syllables. World has two syllables. So does our. That's not something up for debate. However, when we were discussing it, my wife scoffed. You almost always scansion it as one.

The meter isn't consistent, at least n the page. In a four line sample we identified iambic tetrameter, catalectic trochaic tetrameter, and dactyllic trimeter. So stevenhalter's point about pronunciation bears examination.

That doesn't constitute a critical jab at Pat or anything. For example, if we find twenty meters in twenty lines that nonetheless flow nicely, I'm more likely to conclude he's showing off than writing bad verse. ::shameless:: In some earlier interviews he had to distance himself from Kvothe and talk about poetry at some length. And anyone who's heard some of his at least suspects he cares deeply about it.

Oh. Dropping the last syllable in the final trochee in a line of a trochaic tetrameter makes it "strong" or "masculine" when it creates a one syllable rhyme. You preserve the tetrameter stresses, but rhyme on the stressed syllables. I sort of wanted the whole thing to conform to catalectic trochaic tetrameter 'cause Oberon and Puck speak that was in a couple scenes; and it would have been, I dunno, delicious for Pat's faeries to reference that.

I didn't explain it well, or at all, 'cause I was distracted by The Ring of Ice.
Steven Halter
217. stevenhalter
Sahiroth@213:Yes, "wor-old" with a schwa (it would be nice if our little post editor let us do "odd" letters oh well) but "beguy-eld" as "be-guy-eld" and with a schwa.
One source of confusion is that in the first post @202 I was trying to just count syllables as I was speaking them. This is can be quite different than where the stresses are placed. I didn't want to try to put stressors above the lines as our format options are limited here; the capitalization is a decent compromise.
I like the line as:
PULL-ing AT her TO and FRO
Sahiroth@214:N(ee)ther/N(eye)ther was a reference to the pronunciation and not the syllables/stresses. I switched contexts there as thistlepong had posted
NI-ther WIL-ing TO let GO
which I would have read as
NEE-ther WIL-ing TO let GO
and immediately took me into the classic pronunciation song and a meta reference to our conversation.
For what its worth, from hearing Pat at Worldcon and on various podcasts, his accent (or lack thereof from my point of view) sounds exactly like mine.
Given this, I am picturing/hearing Felurian as being extremely precise and carefully pronouncing every syllable as she is speaking to Kvothe here. She is trying to be very very clear and that's where I am tending towards hearing here with an overly emphasized pronunciation. But, I could be wrong, of course.
thistlepong@216:Yes, your wife is correct with usually scansioning world as one. I have actually heard some English accents with world as a single syllable -- like "wold."
I recall Pat either saying or writing somewhere that he couldn't sound like Felurian--lending some credence to the idea that there are some odd things going on here. But, I would be interested in hearing how he reads them accent/syllable wise. And, yes I think he is being very careful with the poetry. It's not at all a bad thing to mix the meters (if that is happening). It would be fun if he was calling out to Oberon and Puck here, if just briefly.
Steven Halter
218. stevenhalter
Sahiroth@215:No problem, we're just having a fun talk about poetry/speach.
I always assume the best intent here. The correct emotional intent is difficult to convey properly out here in the 'nets. And (thistlepong) yes, ::strong agreement:: that's why A Fox added the hand gesture tags.
George Brell
219. gbrell

Loving the discussion and would contribute more if my knowledge of poetry scansion extended past high school and wikipedia.

Have we considered analyzing any of the Kvothe-Denna verse exchanges?
thistle pong
220. thistlepong

Depending on how Felurian goes? I started off curious about Eld Vintic following the Calanthis thing. Sim kind of looks like he's extemporizing Kalevala meter, for example. But the rules for that are... difficult, arcane. So I'm kinda glad stevenhalter and Sahirioth started with something frankly easier.
thistle pong
221. thistlepong
Must be double post day. If you post the K/D sections you'd like analyzed, preferably with a page# it Kindle loc, that might expedite things.
George Brell
222. gbrell

There's a whole dramatic section near the end of Ch. 147 ("Debts") in WMF. Looking at it, my reading would be that it's mostly free verse, but there are two four line stanzas that seem to attempt more formal meter. The first starting with "I used to hope they'd disregard the book with age" and the second starting with "You must forgive these men of mercenary thought."

But please continue with your original task and I'll make a college try on the passages that intrigue me.
Steven Halter
223. stevenhalter
thistlepong@220:Yep, that's exactly why I started with Felurian--I had it in mind that it was simple iambic before I started. Although, in retrospect, Sim's may actually be easier. Also, the Felurian is easier to find. Do you have a chapter for Sim's verse?
George Brell
224. gbrell

First Sim verse is in Chapter 28 ("Kindling"), second is in Chapter 33 ("Fire"). Those are the two I remember.
Steven Halter
225. stevenhalter
Here is Sim from Chapter 28 (WMF):
Sought we the Scrivani || word-work of Surthur
Long-lost in ledger || all hope forgotten.
Yet fast-found for friendship || fair the book-bringer
Hot comes the huntress || Fela, flushed with finding
Breathless her breast || her high blood rising
To ripen the red-cheek || rouge-bloom of beauty
He is patterning Eld Vintic verse here. The space breakings in the lines almost certainly denote caesura. With all of the alliteration, I am thinking Old English poetry (Beowulf):
in worold wocun, || weoroda ræswan,
Heorogar ond Hroðgar || ond Halga til;
hyrde ic þæt wæs || Onelan cwen,
Heaðoscilfingas || healsgebedda.
þa wæs Hroðgare || heresped gyfen,
(the formatter strips out extra spaces here so I put in || for caesura)
The Kalevala follows similar patterns--except it is in Finish and I don't read that at all.
John Graham
226. JohnPoint
Very interesting conversation over the last few days. Unfortunately my knowledge of poetry is minimal at best (gbrell @219 -- I'm jealous of your high school poetry knowledge! Mine doesn't really go past about 6th grade...)

Anyway, this topic ties in nicely with something I've been tempted to examine over the last few months, but haven't yet had a chance to explore. I'll throw it out there and see if anyone want to pick it up: I would be very interested in identifying all of the hidden verse in the two books, and seeing if there are any overall patterns. For example, does Pat use verse to emphasize hidden clues? To subtly emphasize something important? As character development for specific characters? Just for fun?

Obviously, there are the Felurian and Kvothe/Denna passages, but there are quite a few others as well. Two that come to mind: when Chronicler first asks Kvothe for his story, K responds with rhyme:
"Old wine, smooth and pale? Honey mead? Dark ale?
Sweet fruit liquor! Plum? Cherry? Green apple? Blackberry."
When Deoch first warns Kvothe about Denna's nature (fire discussion), Kvothe's reply about not being burned is in rhyme:
"Deoch, my heart is made of stronger stuff than glass. When she strikes she'll find it strong as iron-bound brass, or gold and adamant together mixed. Don't think I am unaware, some startled deer to stand transfixed by hunter's horns. It's she who should take care, for when she strikes, my heart will make a sound so beautiful and bright that it can't help but bring her back to me in winged light.”
And I know there are others, those just come to mind off hand. So, the question: is there some pattern? Any reason that these passages in particular, are in verse?

(I have always felt that the first one, about the alcohol offered at the Waystone, was a worldbuilding quote or commonly known rhyme, but don't know -- it could fit into another pattern.)
Alf Bishai
227. greyhood
A friend of mine once wondered out loud if someone could write a 'poetical' - like a musical, except characters break into poetry instead of song.
Carl Banks
228. robocarp

That would drive Kvothe nuts, wouldn't it? Come to think of it, for someone who claims to hate poetry so much, Kvothe has a pretty decent knack for rhyme. (In fact, it might be a knack in the technical sense.) I wonder if he's actually singing the verses he's rhyming? Doesn't seem like it. So he's unwittingly composing something he hates on the fly. How ironic.

(Note: I don't think K really hates poetry, I just think he says he does.)

As for "poeticals", it's been done. A lot. In fact most of the classic plays are in verse. In Shakespeare, they often they broke into rhyming as well, especially in the comedies.
Steven Halter
229. stevenhalter
JohnPoint@226:That would be an interesting collection.
thistle pong
230. thistlepong

This is both too long and, again, thrown together. A sackful of nobles says Tor won't allow all the links but we'll see.

First, Beowulf and Old English in particular are a good supposition, particularly when that's what your familiar with. Tor's own review of Clash of the Geeks (link) by John Klima shared your recognition:
Rothfuss wrote in the style of epic poetry, which was weird because I’ve been reading Beowulf recently**** and I can say for certain that he has the style and tone of the epic poem down. It would have been easy for the content of this project to be quick-and-dirty, but it’s not.

**** My wife is taking a mythology class and they’re reading Beowulf, which just happens to be one of my favorite English-language pieces, so I decided to read it again. Really.
However, Pat blogged about the project (link) and referenced both the eddas and Tolkien. His language is sorta why I'm being particular about this. He clearly loves Tolkien, but, y'know, I figure one must expect to be held to one's own standards.
So there I am, utterly confusticated and bebothered. This is the first piece of short fiction I’ve agreed to write, and all I can think is, “What the fuck can I possibly write about this?”

This question spins around in my head for a couple days. I think, “Can I write a story about Scalzi and Wheaton playing D&D? Is that too geeky? A holodeck adventure? Too cheap? Do I dare write the absolutely forbidden, ‘It was all just a dream’ story?”

Then it occurs to me that I’m approaching this from the wrong direction. I shouldn’t be trying to turn this picture into a joke. I shouldn’t try to be cute or gimmicky.

No. The events taking place in this picture are obviously epic. My story needs to be epic. And since it can’t be epic in length, it has to be epic in form….

So that’s how I ended up writing a poetic edda. For those of you who aren’t complete geeks, an edda is an old alliterative poem. Like Beowulf. Or the old Norse legends Tolkien ripped off when he was writing the Lord of the Rings.

Once I knew how to handle the story, I ended up having a ton of fun with it. I even brought in a certain celebrity in a cameo role…

Of course poetic edda aren’t supposed to be written in modern English, so I ended up spending a ridiculous amount of time trying to get the meter right. But you know my motto: if it’s worth writing, it’s worth obsessively revising.
Going back to that post from ASoIaF (link), the commentor quotes from Tolkien's notes on eddaic poetry in The Legend of Sigurd & Gudrun. He specifies the surprising similarity between Pat's description of Eld Vintic and Tolkien's of Old Norse; in particular the physicality of the metaphor.
There remains too the impact of first hearing these things after the preliminary struggle with Old Norse is over and one first reads an Eddaic poem getting enough of the sense to go on with. Few who have been through this process can have missed the sudden recognition that they had unawares met something of tremendous force, something that in parts (for it has various parts) is still endowed with an almost demonic energy, in spite of the ruin of its form. The feeling of this impact is one of the greatest gifts that the reading of the Elder Edda gives. If not felt early in the process, it is unlikely to be captured by years of scholarly thraldom; once felt it can never be buried by mountains or molehills of research, and sustains long and weary labour.

This is unlike Old English, whose surviving fragments (Beowulf especially) — such at any rate has been my experience — only reveal their mastery and excellence slowly and long after the first labour with the tongue and the first acquaintance with the verse is over. There is truth in this generalization. It must not be pressed. Detailed study will enhance one's feeling for the Elder Edda, of course. Old English verse has an attraction in places that is immediate. But Old English verse does not attempt to hit you in the eye. To hit you in the eye was the deliberate intention of the Norse poet.
The poster admits imperfect familiarity with the form, but nowhere other than S&G and WMF saw such vital terminology. Looking at the introduction, the bits already quoted suffice, but the whole chapter could descibe Eld Vintic. In fact, he goes on to say that the most forcible and heroic of the Eddaic poems leap across the language barrier, echoing Sim's experience quite closely.

Ultimately Sim's poetry may not follow either rule set exactly. Even as unfamiliar as I am, I could start making a case for differences from both Beowulf and the Elder Edda. In fact, the argument for and against is already spinning a bit in the old noggin'. But I think there's a decent case for the descriptive framework probably being inspired by S&G.
In one of his lectures he said: ‘In Old English breadth, fullness, reflection, elegiac effect, were aimed at. Old Norse poetry aims at seizing a situation, striking a blow that will be remembered, illuminating a moment with a flash of lightning – and tends to concision, weighty packing of the language in sense and form . . .’
thistle pong
231. thistlepong

This is both too long and, again, thrown together. A sackful of nobles says Tor won't allow all the links but we'll see. (ed. We have seen, so no links.)

First, Beowulf and Old English in particular are a good supposition, particularly when that's what your familiar with. Tor's own review of Clash of the Geeks by John Klima shared your recognition:
Rothfuss wrote in the style of epic poetry, which was weird because I’ve been reading Beowulf recently**** and I can say for certain that he has the style and tone of the epic poem down. It would have been easy for the content of this project to be quick-and-dirty, but it’s not.

**** My wife is taking a mythology class and they’re reading Beowulf, which just happens to be one of my favorite English-language pieces, so I decided to read it again. Really.
However, Pat blogged about the project and referenced both the eddas and Tolkien. His language is sorta why I'm being particular about this. He clearly loves Tolkien, but, y'know, I figure one must expect to be held to one's own standards.
So there I am, utterly confusticated and bebothered. This is the first piece of short fiction I’ve agreed to write, and all I can think is, “What the fuck can I possibly write about this?”

This question spins around in my head for a couple days. I think, “Can I write a story about Scalzi and Wheaton playing D&D? Is that too geeky? A holodeck adventure? Too cheap? Do I dare write the absolutely forbidden, ‘It was all just a dream’ story?”

Then it occurs to me that I’m approaching this from the wrong direction. I shouldn’t be trying to turn this picture into a joke. I shouldn’t try to be cute or gimmicky.

No. The events taking place in this picture are obviously epic. My story needs to be epic. And since it can’t be epic in length, it has to be epic in form….

So that’s how I ended up writing a poetic edda. For those of you who aren’t complete geeks, an edda is an old alliterative poem. Like Beowulf. Or the old Norse legends Tolkien ripped off when he was writing the Lord of the Rings.

Once I knew how to handle the story, I ended up having a ton of fun with it. I even brought in a certain celebrity in a cameo role…

Of course poetic edda aren’t supposed to be written in modern English, so I ended up spending a ridiculous amount of time trying to get the meter right. But you know my motto: if it’s worth writing, it’s worth obsessively revising.
Going back to that post from ASoIaF, the commentor quotes from Tolkien's notes on eddaic poetry in The Legend of Sigurd & Gudrun. He specifies the surprising similarity between Pat's description of Eld Vintic and Tolkien's of Old Norse; in particular the physicality of the metaphor.
There remains too the impact of first hearing these things after the preliminary struggle with Old Norse is over and one first reads an Eddaic poem getting enough of the sense to go on with. Few who have been through this process can have missed the sudden recognition that they had unawares met something of tremendous force, something that in parts (for it has various parts) is still endowed with an almost demonic energy, in spite of the ruin of its form. The feeling of this impact is one of the greatest gifts that the reading of the Elder Edda gives. If not felt early in the process, it is unlikely to be captured by years of scholarly thraldom; once felt it can never be buried by mountains or molehills of research, and sustains long and weary labour.

This is unlike Old English, whose surviving fragments (Beowulf especially) — such at any rate has been my experience — only reveal their mastery and excellence slowly and long after the first labour with the tongue and the first acquaintance with the verse is over. There is truth in this generalization. It must not be pressed. Detailed study will enhance one's feeling for the Elder Edda, of course. Old English verse has an attraction in places that is immediate. But Old English verse does not attempt to hit you in the eye. To hit you in the eye was the deliberate intention of the Norse poet.
The poster admits imperfect familiarity with the form, but nowhere other than S&G and WMF saw such vital terminology. Looking at the introduction, the bits already quoted suffice, but the whole chapter could descibe Eld Vintic. In fact, he goes on to say that the most forcible and heroic of the Eddaic poems leap across the language barrier, echoing Sim's experience quite closely.

Ultimately Sim's poetry may not follow either rule set exactly. Even as unfamiliar as I am, I could start making a case for differences from both Beowulf and the Elder Edda. In fact, the argument for and against is already spinning a bit in the old noggin'. But I think there's a decent case for the descriptive framework probably being inspired by S&G.
In one of his lectures he said: ‘In Old English breadth, fullness, reflection, elegiac effect, were aimed at. Old Norse poetry aims at seizing a situation, striking a blow that will be remembered, illuminating a moment with a flash of lightning – and tends to concision, weighty packing of the language in sense and form . . .’
232. Bubbleset
I posted this to an earlier re-read, but I'm sure it's been lost to the mists. Beyond Taborlin, the other major mythic figure I think will factor into the story is Teccam. He has some connection to the university, either inspirational or actual, as seen in the stained glass window of him. He's credited with much of basic philosophy and his books are the primary required reading in Intro to Naming 101. Everyone quotes him. "He knew the shape of the world."

Then theres the story of Jax. It's widely assumed that the old hermit Jax meets is Teccam, and I agree. He's in a cave, chasing the wind, gaining knowledge, and teaches Jax in return. However I also strongly believe the old hermit is supposed to represent the CTH. He gives Jax the knowledge which lets him steal the moon. He half-heartedly attempts to stop Jax, seemingly knowing what's going to happen. Giving knowledge, but unable to impart wisdom or otherwise stop Jax from misusing the knowledge.

So my question is if there's a tie between the CTH and Teccam, as there appears in the Jax story, possibly being the same person. If Teccam was the leader of the ancient university, giving people naming and power, with several of his students - Lanre and Iax - going out and using that knowledge to cause great harm, leading to his downfall and imprisonment. The present-day CTH hints that the Chandrian caused him harm in the past.

We're explicitly told that the University is built on the grounds of an older, stronger University. And with elements like the Four-Plate Door and Underthing that it's hiding secrets from olden times. Given Teccam's academic stature and the ties to the University, it only makes sense to me that he was involved in that older University.
Carl Banks
233. robocarp

I hate to be the one to tell you you're way off base, but there's a big problem with your theories on Teccam. The theft of the moon and the Creation War predate existing historical records by a considerable amount (Kote and Skarpi both say this). Yet Teccam's written works exist and are known in Kvothe's time: strongly suggesting that Teccam lived within the historical period, which goes back two millenia.

At first glance it appears that this rules out Teccam as the hermit from the Jax story, but that's not so. The hermit definitely could be Teccam: the Jax story is just a story, and there's no reason the story couldn't contain an anachronism. I'd say it's quite likely that, since the person Jax spoke to on the mountain was portrayed as wise, he acquired attributes of Teccam (such as being a hermit) as the story passed from generation to generation. That's something to keep in mind when interpreting these stories: characters (and places, and events) don't necesasrily map one-to-one with historical equivalents.

OTOH, it's very unlikely that the real Iax spoke to Teccam before stealing the Moon, that Teccam trained Iax or Lanre, or that Teccam was part of the Older University (assuming the Older University dates to Creation War times, which we don't actually know).

Still, I think Teccam deserves a closer look for his potential role in the more recent historical period. Here is a summary of everything we know about Teccam (that I could track down):

* Lived barefoot in a cave. (This is his "classic pose"; it could be apocryphal.)

* Taught groups of students at his cave; presumably the students sought him out.

* Statue of Teccam in front of Hollows at the University. Also a stained-glass window in the Master hall depicting him. Both depicting "classic pose".

* Wrote Theophany, which seems to be a fundamental philosphical text, sort of like Plato's Republic would be to us.

* Theophany contains this advice: "There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in a storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man."

* In Theophany he defines a secret as true knowledge actively concealed, describes them as painful treasures of the mind, and distinguishes between secrets of the mouth and secrets of the heart. Simplifying, the former are secrets you want to tell, the latter secrets you want to bury in your heart. Seems to be one of Teccam's less popular ideas.

* Wrote Underlying Principles. Not a long book, but thick. Assigned to Kvothe as pre-reading for Elodin's Naming course, which means heaven knows what's actually in it.

* Had a theory of narrative septagy. Septagy seems to be a word PR made up, since a Google search on the word only brings up the quote from NotW. My best guess is that it's related to "septage", the stuff inside a septic tank. The obvious thought is that Teccam theorizes that as stories pass from person to person, they acquire waste, but I think it's more subtle than that. In a septic tank, bacteria is actually used to treat the waste, so the theory could be that a story has an essential truth that second-hand details won't necessarily derail.

* Opined that wine is the only alcoholic beverage suitable for reminiscence (mainly because it's relatively low alcohol content).

* Claimed that nothing in the world is harder than convincing someone of an unfamiliar truth.

* Said, "No man is brave that has never walked a hundred miles" and some more cool stuff about how much you learn on the road.

* Did NOT say, "Too much study harms the student". That was Ertram the Wiser.

* Also did not say, "...some things are past valuing: laughter, land, and love are never bought." That was Gregan the Lesser.

* Is credited with inventing or describing some kind of winch (that relies on simple sygaldry, since it's made by lower-tier students in the Fishery).

It seems doubtful to me that Teccam was really a hermit teaching from a cave; the very fact that Kote calls it a "classic pose" suggests that it's a bit of apocryphal legend about the guy. That, however, seems to be the biggest similarity between him and the Cthaeh. Teccam's philosophy doesn't seem to have much in common with the Cthaeh, even in an ironic sense. (Anyone else have thoughts about this?)

There are a couple eyebrow-raisers though. Teccam's mention of "a night with no moon" is maybe a hint that he knows a little more than he lets on: he's not just doing thought experiments but is giving advice based on special knowledge he has. (One wonders if that's one of his secrets of the heart.) Also, Teccam's winch connects Teccam to magic, and since it's sygaldry it connects him to the (new) University. Assuming the winch is something properly credited to him, of course.
Steven Halter
234. stevenhalter
thistlepong@231:The Elder Eddas also work well of course--Old English and the Elder Eddas and others all seem to be related to common old Germanic roots.
It would be interesting to know more about Vintish history to know which branches are mixing and transforming therein.
235. Dessert

* Said, "No man is brave that has never walked a hundred miles" and some more cool stuff about how much you learn on the road.

Cthaeh is fixed in place, seems like he wont be learning much on the road.

* Did NOT say, "Too much study harms the student". That was Ertram the Wiser.

The fact that Teccam didn't say this is interesting to note. It suggests Teccam had unorthodox learning/teaching methods. This can also be seen through other mentions of him.

I like to think he was an estranged academic who lived parallel to the university (hence the teaching at his cave rather than at the university). It was only later on that his works were accepted into the university.

It's more likely he just predated the university though (maybe even founded it).
236. Bubbleset
@robocarp I agree that his real presence in the "modern" 4C seems to weigh against him being involved in the Creation period, but I mainly think the matches between his description otherwise and the hermit in the Jax story have to be more than coincidental. Alongside his quote about the moonless night that gives book two its title and the reverance Elodin gives for his books, he seems to be more than just a standard academic, at the least a namer with knowledge of the Fae. Additionally, every time I read it, Kvothe's quote about Teccam knowing the "shape of the world" seems significant in light of all we know now of shaping/naming and the nature of the world.

Though your Plato mention may shed more light than you think. Plato's writings are what we have today, but it was Socrates, who never wrote anything down himself, who is usually credited as the founder of western philosophy. It's Plato's transcriptions of Socrates that give us what we have now. Beyond the books under his name, a ton gets attributed to Teccam, likely more than should be, possibly explaining the Jax story. Kvothe reveals as much when he mentions the quotes misattributed to Teccam. But that does suggest that Teccam has some deep, older relevance that would give his name that kind of power. It could just be his academic contributions, but could be something else.
Carl Banks
237. robocarp

Don't get me wrong: I agree the clues point to Teccam being more than a mere philosopher. I just don't really think one of those "mores" is being the hermit in the Jax story, except by secondary association. Besides the chronological problem, the hermit and Teccam don't exactly share a philosophy. Teccam wrote, "A long stretch of road will teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet introspection," which is completely antithetical to the hermit's worldview. (For that matter it's antithetical to Teccam's own "classic pose", which is another reason I find that pose dubious.) Teccam seems to have more in common with Jax.

However, the resemblance of Teccam's classic pose to the hermit's lifestyle is too similar to ignore. It could be a coincidence. It could simply an anachronism (never minding the hermit's philosophical differences). It could, as I said, be that the person Jax spoke to became more Teccam-like as the story was passed on. Or, it could be the other way: Teccam's classic pose could be purely apocryphal and borrowed from the hermit in the story (which we assume was more well-known in earlier days). I'm actually leaning toward this one.

One other thing I just noticed (I'm sure I'm not the first): In the Jax story, one of the things Jax won from the tinker was a walking stick. Hmmm.
Dylan Thurston
238. dthurston
Patrick Rothfuss just posted a widget that does currency conversions in the Four Corners currencies:
One confusing part is that Vintish currency has two parallel systems above the Bit, one base 8 (with a Round at 16 Bits) and one base 10 (with a Royal at 1000 Bits). Presumably someone introduced a partial currency reform at some point. Also note that there are three different currency systems with at least one variant of "penny".
thistle pong
239. thistlepong
Well, that was distracting... It's been so long since he first talked about that on the blog that I can't remember how to search for the entry. Perhaps he'll post the calendar before 2012 closes.

Regarding the Vinish currencies, at least according to the widget, everything from Halfpenny through Royal is the Round system; and everything from Haft to Five Reel Piece is the Reel system.

Rather than currency reform, I think they're separate systems. Remember that Alveron retains the power to mint coins. I don't have a sense of which is his and which is the official Calanthis currency, though.

Aaron might provide a clue, but ymmv:
“And they ain’t just giving folks a silver noble for listing up anymore. These days they hand you over a royal when you sign up"
The anymore could simply be a recent change as hostilities increase. However, it's also a system switch.

+ It really drives home what an economic powerhouse Ceald is.

++ It looks like, in addition to all the praise and gifts Pat heaped upon the developer, he also got Tuckerized as Lord Arlait Brinke. Man, if that's the browncoat ball name, too...
thistle pong
240. thistlepong
The widget has several clickable portions with easter agg nerdery that weren't obvious from a phone:

All four column titles in the upper table say something about that currency.

The first section of text at the bottom expands into an exchange rate table. (this one was obvious)

The second section expands into a description of the Quiat Auriam.

Good stuff. Devi's afoul of local, Commonwealth, church, and International Law. The Tehlins aren't all bad.
241. Zizoz
"++ Yll has a currency! Modegan currency has no international exchange rate, which clears up why Sovoy's tuition was the only one not in Cealdish coin."

Where is this from? I'm pretty sure I clicked everything on the widget -- I used the tab key to make sure I got them all...

If you click on "Vintish" at the top you'll find that "Vintish coin is less a coherent, rational system of currency, than it is the product of an unhappy marriage of several obsolete related coinages". To me that doesn't suggest attempted reform but that the two systems developed alongside each other.
Patrick Stultz
242. Audion
@239 Thistlepong

I like the idea of dual persons coining money. That fits nicely, I'd say that the Maer would have the Reel system, if you remember K sold the book of dirty stories about the nobility for reel's. BUT, the Maer did give him 100 Silver Bits for the hunting of the bandits.

Plus the cost or riding the lifts in Severn was a "full silver eighth-bit" or a "thin silver bit" for the horse lifts.

So with the price of things in the city I'd lean more to the non-reel prices.

I only briefly looked through, maybe someone else is up to a more thourough investigation.
243. Zizoz
The two Vintish systems only diverge above the bit. Halfpennies, pennies and bits are part of both systems; quarter bits, rounds and royals are exclusive to the round system, and hafts, nobles, reels and five reel pieces are exclusive to the reel system.
244. Fester

In favor of the Maer minting the Royal system, the Maer's taxes recovered from the bandit camp were Royals. I doubt that Royal is the coin in which the taxes were paid, so after collection it seems reasonable that they'd be converted to the Maer's currency. I don't consider this definite though.
245. Fester
Sorry for the double post. If I'm right @244, then the Maer is the one coining Royals. Since we know that the Royal is also the denomination that's given by the King to soldiers from the two who attack Kvothe towards the end of WMF, that would imply that the current King is from the Maer's line, and not Calanthis.

What this could mean about the Penitent King, I don't know.
thistle pong
246. thistlepong

You're right of course. And looking back dthurston not only pointed that out but differentiated the two.

and @ 241
Please do not inquire as to Yllish and Modegan currencies, as we only deal in the proper coin of civilized nations.
We can infer, then, that Yll and Modeg have currencies. And, in fact, we know Modeg does since Sovoy's tuition is in strehlaum and Kvothe pulls one out of his purse in WMF. By no international exchange rate I mean their currency isn't governed by the treaty. Presumably there wouldn't be that much variance from country to country and they'd tend to balance exhange rates according to the Cealdish gold standard. It's just interesting. Technically, Modegans could also lend gold unlike the signatories to the Quiat Auriam; which would put them into conflict with Cealdish moneychangers. Hence the language above.

We proabably even know enough about the world to guess why Modeg didn't sign. Their royal bloodline probably predates the foundation of Ceald as a nation. Their wealth and culture is thousands of years old. Their language and customs survived the expansion and dissolution of the Aturan Empire. I can't imagine them allowing themselves to be subservient to a nation of miners and merchants.
247. Zizoz
@246: D'oh. I was too busy clicking on stuff to read everything on the main page!
248. Matt Pe
I'm finding a lot of evidence that Vintish Currency is at the very least strongly based on Spanish Currency circa 1850. Interestingly, Isabella the II changed the Spanish currency system in 1859 from a base 8 system to a base 10 system. I'm foreshadowing with that comment.

Let's start with the economic system before 1850.

In Spanish Currency at that time there was a coin called a Doubloon. This coin got its name because it had a portrait of Ferdinand and Isabella on it (i.e Royals). The value of this coin changed but in 1849 was worth 80 reales de vellon. As it happens, there was a one reales de vellon coin and it was called "a bit". There was also a two reales de vellon coin commonly called "a quarterbit". You'll note that these coins exist in Vintish Currency also.

Given that in Vintish Currency; eighty bits equals a Royal and two bits equals a Quarterbit, I think it at least strongly suggests that a Vintish Royal is a Spanish Doubloon, a Vintish Quarterbit is a Spanish two reales coin( aka a Spanish Quarterbit) and a Bit is a one reales coin(aka a Spanish Bit). This much I'm certain about.

In Spanish Currency at this time, there was also a coin called a Spanish Dollar otherwise known as "a piece of eight" because it was made up of eight reales. However, it was made up of eight reales de plata fuerte, each of which is equal to two and a half reales de vellon (as of 1737). This would make it worth twenty reales de vellon and would make it equivalent to the Silver Noble. Given that Reales de Plata Fuerte were silver, it makes sense that the Silver Noble is made up of these reales.

This is as far as I've gotten which means I still don't fully understand how the Ha'Penny, Penny, Round or Reel in Vintish Currency correlates with Spanish. Still, I think that the definitions for Bit, Quarter Bit and Royal are solid and I think that the one for Noble is correct. Even if I'm wrong about the Noble one, then the value of the piece of eight would be equivalent to the Round which means one of the two pieces of Vintish Currrency is explained.

I don't have all the answers but I think it's enough to strongly support my theory.
thistle pong
249. thistlepong
Matt Pe@248

That's fantastic. You''re fantastic. Please continue looking into that. It's certainly enough to make the case, but a full exploration, if it pans out, would be invaluable to future nerds. ::profound seriousness, deep affection::
Roger Pavelle
250. RogerPavelle
I'm now down to rereading the speculative summaries (and therefore almost caught up). I wanted to ask two liguistics questions that have occurred to me during the reread now, though, since I they are more real-world terminology than "imaginary linguistics."

1) I have seen the term "eucatastrophe" used in many threads, but don't see it in either my college dictionary nor my copy of the OED. What does it mean (or why is it different from a regular catastrophe?

2) Back in Part 8 was the following post:
64.thistlepong @56,59 In the audiobooks they are: Ih-leer Ray-lar Ell-theh Gill-theh The apostrophe is a quick pause, sometimes drawn out for emphasis. For example, E'lir varies a little with speaker and tone. Ben says Eee leer when he's condescending Kvothe.

My question is whether the quick pause that is mentioned can be considered a caesura. If not, what is the correct term?

- Roger
Steven Halter
251. stevenhalter
RogerPavelle@250:1) Eucatastrophe is a term that J.R.R Tolkien used to describe a story in which the protagonist does not meet a bad end. Eu (good) + catastrophe (the final tragic resolution). At this point, we don't know if K's story will turn out well for him or end in tragedy.
2) The apostrophe is often used in fantasy. In well thought out imaginary languages, it is usually used to indicate a glottal stop or sometimes an unpronouncable (by humans) portion of the word. In less well thought out systems, it is sometimes just used because it looks cool.
Since Rothfuss seems to have thought things out, it seems likely to be a glottal stop.
thistle pong
252. thistlepong
Hiya, RogerPavelle. Glad to see you’re sticking with it. I figured a lot of your posts would be addressed as you worked your way through.

@250/251 re: part 2)

Listening to the audio again in light of the poetry discussion, I kind of regret my word choice. It’s less a glottal stop, as there’s no cessation or intake of breath, and more a vocal stress. They could easily be ellear and raylar, but the apostropocalypse versions seem more immediately pronounceable. Pat’s talked about that being his greatest concern with names and the made-up words. Hell tells us how to pronounce Kvothe, for example, right at the beginning specifically to avoid the RAYstlin/RASStlin debates of his youth.

With that in mind, I’m inclined to throw the Arcanum ranks into stevenhalter’s just-looks-cool category. Since they’re alone in their fancy punctuation, I reckon it’s a knowing nod to a genre convention. Their rarity, in fact, acts as a formal marker both pointing to and justifying their mysterious meanings. Pat’s also pretty open about how these are not languages like Tolkien’s, but bits and pieces with a rudimentary grammar and a sense of looking and feeling right.
Roger Pavelle
253. RogerPavelle
@251, 252 - Thanks for the answers. It's always good to improve my vocabulary.

And, the read-through just keeps raising more questions, but I'll try to finish with it before posting some of them.

- Roger
Carl Banks
254. robocarp
I have nothing handy to base this on, but based on Elodin's description of the origins of the Arcanum, it seemed like it was a "secret" society when it started, by which I mean not too secret to deny its existence but secret enough to want to keep their terminology obscure. I figured the ranks were just that: they just left out some sounds of regular words to obscure the meaning a bit. Thus the apostrophe used just as it is in English. E'lir might be the Arcanum's version of "frosh".
Ashley Fox
255. A Fox

Eucastrophe. A quick google would surfice. A term coined by Tolkien. Essentially everything looks likes its inevitably about to go tits up...then doesnt (ie Frodo giving into the ring spelling Saurans victory...only to have gollumn trip into the fiery depths with it).

Caesura. I would say no. It is a feature or poetry/music. Not singular words. If the // throws you it may be easier to think of ; The ' in re'lar etc seem to more refer to intonation/stress. Without the reader may be tempted to roll the e ino the l and so saying something more like 'reller'. Whereas with the Re is Ree and the lar, well, lar! E ascending, drop to the roll of the 'L'. (Is it just me or does that sound like rap? brap)

However. The origins of the language from which they arise are hazy, it may very well be that the terms we are familiar with are corrupted shortenings of older, longer names. This does not feel right to me. The way the words are presented in text implies with enough knowledge of anciant languages then the students could work out the meaning (implying that the word is still, at least, similar to its origins). There is also the aspect of the stone dropped into a deep well. The terms have many meanings, each attaining greater meaning the further one looks.
Sahi Rioth
256. Sahirioth
Re: apostrophes used in fantasy lit

I've read a LOT of fantasy novels in my time (and I'm sure I'm not an exception among the people posting here). When it comes to apostrophes used in names/made up languages, glottal or other stops seem to be the most common linguistic function. But there's a wide spectrum, really - the ones I can think of right now are:

Glottal stops
Slight pauses (like a mini-caesura if you will)
Indication of something missing (like in English, e.g. "don't", or circumflex in French, indicating that an 's' was once there, e.g. "hôpital")
Looks cool/exotic
Indication of a non-describable or non-pronounceable sound
Mute vowel (I don't know if this is the term, but it's similar to aspirated consonants, e.g. N'kado (pronounced almost as 'Nuh-kaw-doh') or 'Glare (like 'uh-glare') - similar to how the Indian Krsna (without diacritics here) is usually transcribed Krishna due to the 'vowelization' of the r)

All but the last all applicable to the Arcanum ranks, no?
Ashley Fox
258. A Fox
EDIT Deleted for irrelevance (post too long!) though I will take a moment to apologise for the format of following posts, for some reason they reaaly wanted to be bold!
Ashley Fox
260. A Fox
So I also had a little poke around on the currency widget thingy. Numbers are not my forte so its the text that has captured my attention. And PR has planted a lot of info, both explicit and inviting extrapolation, that could flesh out a lot of our understanding and theories. This post is probably going to be a bit hectic as there is just so bloody much, but I would like to invite some (more) discussion. Im going to C&P the extracts here to make things easier...

"Cealdish Currency "Until this point barter was the most common method of trade. Some larger cities coined their own currency , but outside those cities the money was only worth the weight of the metal. Bars of metal were better for bartering, but full bars of metal were inconvenient to carry." Ben gave me his best bored-student face. "You're not going to go into the merits of representational currency, are you?" I took a deep breath and resolved not to pester Ben so much when he was lecturing me. "The no-longer-nomads, called the Cealdim by now, were the first to establish a standardized currency. By cutting one of these smaller bars into five pieces you get five drabs." I began to piece two rows of five drabs each together to illustrate my point. They resembled little ingots of metal. "Ten drabs are the same as a copper jot; ten jots-"

Vintish Currency "Vintish coin is less a coherent, rational system of currency, than it is the product of an unhappy marriage of several obsolete related coinages. And, as always, when relatives marry, the offspring tends to be ugly, deformed, and of interest only to those who have spawned it." -- The Quiat Auriam, second amendment. Generally attributed to Velaket Faras"

Aturan Currency "Strictly speaking, the Penance Piece isn't a true part of the Aturan currency, and as such is not included in Quiat Auriam, and has no fixed exchange rate. Despite this, it proves a remarkably stable coinage, and tends to hold its value better than more official Aturan coin. This is unsurprising, really. As Atur has a proud history of debasing its coinage , while the penance piece can always be exchanged for a small loaf of bread anywhere in Atur , and in many of the nearby towns as well. While only a fool would hand control of the nation's currency over to the church, the fact remains that the Tehlins have succeeded where the government of Atur has failed so frequently. The size and composition of penance bread, sometimes called a Piner's Loaf or Bregan Bread, is regulated by the Tehlin Church, and they deal harshly with anyone giving short measure, or debasing the flour. And one is forced to wonder what might happen if all governments gave thought to the bellies of their citizens, and focused on the free-grown gold of fields of wheat, rather than the cold and lifeless stuff the grasping Cealdim cling to." [b]-- Tillen Andra: The Road of Iron and Gold

Common Wealth Currency "Yes, our proposed system is somewhat unwieldy. Yes, it contains much that is somewhat archaic, and leaves behind much that is traditional and comforting. This is the price of coherence. But it will be OUR coin. And if every small duke and Barron strikes his face on the flat of it, is that not perfect? Is this not the coin of many different peoples come together, choosing to rule themselves jointly? Free at last from the shackles of Empire? [b]Because I tell you, if we do not have our own coin, we will all be shackled again. And while the Cealdish chains might be of gold, they will prove as strong and cold as Atur's iron has ever been." -- From Araman Ashbride's monograph - Shackles of Empire
Ashley Fox
261. A Fox
In our timeline it is unclear what happens in the 2-3 thousand years post CW. Scarpi's story indicates that the survivors were fractured. Putting aside invisible folk and Fae, we know these are roughly divided thus: The Amyr (not human) and their Ruarch followers, Aelph and Ruarch followers, those Ruarch who held back from choosing a side/path. From the Adem we have a fourth group, those who were hunted across the lands presumably by one or more of the above groups which led to their ostracisation. (Amyr seems most likely as it seems they have a monopoly of overt power, and possibly control of the only city that did not fall-possibly Tinue-the free city. They also seemed pretty keen on warring with them during the Arturan reign).

The Ruh, The Cealdim and the Adem all have a period (or way in Ruh terms) of nomadism. I have suggested before that the Adem are the remnants of Lanre's army. I still think this is likely, and gives reason for the gravity in which they pass down the stories of that time, their avoidance of singing could also be seen as a renouncing of power (sing songs of power, the sowrd keepers reaction to K calling her shaper of names) and perhaps their embracing of the Lathana. Given Cealdish beliefs of a God which seems to correspond with Aelph and their sky spirits it seems likely that they were those who stood with Aelph and his 'proposal' to seek justice rather than vengence. The fact that their origins are nomadic also reinforces the idea that the location of said summit (if it truely was so literal) was won as a seat of power for an alternerative viewpoint-ie the Amyr, whom we know had the might of the only remaining great namer (excluding Aelph who seems, well, a bit absent (unless he is the hermit in Iax's story? The father like figure sighing as his children make their own mistakes to learn from.) The Ruh? Another faction that differs from the Amyr perspective: The know all stories, preserving truth? They sing, remembering power? Anywho lets put them, and the Adem aside.

The refed parts of the new passages highlight this division in initial power, in that it provided a head start for certain cultures. As the Cealdish star is rising there are already 'large cities', the context in which they are spoken of is as established. After/during the CW we know the land and sky was changed, possibly accounting for the rift, all but one city was sacked and if the burning of MT is anything to go by, to such and extent that their habitability would be minimal. In the war more people died than currently alive in the 4c's (in narrative). Scarpi's story, Trapis' story both imply a gathering of refugees on the cusp of a dark age whilst civilsation recoups and re-establishes. In these conditions the labour of people would be valuable. The shift to a nomadic lifestyle examplifies how some groups could not maintain a argricultural lifestyle-possible due to further fractional pressures.

One city survived: The group inhabiting this would immediately have a head start...they would not have to expend labour establishing shelter, or the disparity of far flung settlements. their labour could be concentrated on food production, enabling security, wealth, trade yadda yadda. (Which makes 1b seem a rather cruel dig!)

Looking at the map, and new passges, we can see how groupings of ideas spread and firmed into boundaries. MT fell, more war ensued, things got wrapped up somehow. From MT Selitos could see that one city remained. If MT was at the end of the GSR, and he in the mountains with Lanre, if those mountains where that tongue of the Stromwal then he could concievably see Tinue...or a least a lack of deadly portententious pall over where T was. T is a relatively short distance from MT...the wounded and weary would be more likely to survive such a journey. From this headstart, via trade and healthy breeding folk, this security of power could spread, enabling nearby groups to flourish...or at least grow at a faster rate. It seems quite likely that such groups would have cannablisised the remnants of the old cities: either taking the materials and building there own dwellings nearby, or using the foundations and material to build new atop the old IE the Underthing. Such cannbilisation would be far less labour instensive, and cheaper, than starting from scatch.

The Adem were chased, trying to settle and so displaced. Modeg as the oldest royal line, Locleos, Calanthis, Sovoy's line. Cershaen and Renere spread from Tinue, pushing the Adem over the mountains. They establish cities and grow. Each as its own coinage which implies that these were more akin to city states who share a basic perspective (us good, Adem bad?) rather than a fast alliance. Such coinages which are considered obsolete in modern vint.

The Cealdish were also pushed out, though it seems less violently (but the general anti-cealdism implies that this was not an amicable split). Its also worth noting that even when nomads, the area they roamed was very defensible, hemmed in by the Shalda mountains. The GSR could give those T way a relatively easy access to most of the 4c's but given the limited resources such a natural barrier would be enough to ensure that land attacks were not very feasable...should such attacks be considered.

Of course their currency (banks) later ensures, somewhat, that this will not happen.

Larger cities also implies smaller ones. The GSR would provide a central spreading point from the cluster of power T way west. Artur, Anilin, Imre, the Uni, Tarbean.
Ashley Fox
262. A Fox
From the buttons on PR's Map: "The Great Stone Road ...while the Aturan Empire claims to have built the Great Stone Road , any historian worth his salt knows this is patently untrue. While at the peak of it's power, Atur certainly did much to improve the road, cobbling large sections of it, but old records clearly show the road existed long before Atur was an empire. In fact, the road seems to have existed long before Atur was even a country, or there was even a city of that name. Truthfully, its origins are lost in the dim reaches of pre-history, and therefore speculation on that subject is better left to storytellers than any self-respecting historian."

Tarbean. Some poets have even gone so far as to wax rhapsodic about the city of Tarbean. While their words tell us very little about the city, I believe they do reflect certain truths about poets themselves. The morning dew does not make Tarbean glimmer. When it settles it is quickly transformed to a slick coat of grime that makes the cobbled alleys dangerous to walk, and the walls of buildings unpleasant to touch."

Putting aside the K like snobbery of poetry, heh, I believe this demonstartes that Tarbean was a city that sprung up at a peak in the rise of civilistaions post CW. Power and peolple spread, and Tarbean being a port city was an important trade point. Junpui following. Its later sprawl and decay being endemic of its relationship with the Arturan Empire/Tehlin church. surving the fall of such becuase of its strategic trade importance, but not doing so unscathed. Tarbeans' continued relationship with the Tehlin church quite likely also helped.

The rise of Artur seems to mark a separtion from the growth of civilisation from the remnants of the Ergen Empire, into a new age. I believe this hinges upon the Tehlin church. Previous to this we see the power of T, locleos, and of course the Locleos box. Which has Yllish scrollwork. Modeg (withs its fairies), or rather Cershaen seemed to work with T in hounding the Adem out of the 4c. Such aspects relate to older knowledge of pre-CW/power of naming etc. Which are epressed by the Tehlin church. If Artur was a city founded later than C,R,T then it is quite possible that it was founded by yet another factions. One which hybridised the vengence of the Amyr, and the Idolisation of Tehlu. Akin to the Puritans. Perhaps the separation and founding of Artur was becuase these differences in belief. Artur would have the luxory of having a much better start than the earlier cities, already having strived to accumulate wealth etc. They would have already learned the value and power of food . Then there is their prime, central, location next to the GSR which gives them access to trade coming either way.

It is curious the relationship between state and religion. The Tehlin seemed to have fueled the rise of the Arturan Empire, but there is a marked separation. (The friction of which likely contributed to its downfall). Note the coin called Iron Link.I believe here we can see hints at how the change in amyr came to play. It seems that not only did that hybrid faction fracture and found the Tehlin church and Artur...but had its own aganda to ensure it's dominance over old knowledge/beliefs. Once it gained sufficiant power it systematicaly dismantled the Locleos, and so remnants of the Ergen Empire, then turned its voracious attenion to the other nations that held old beliefs/knowledge.

When viewed with these thoughts in mind Trapis' story and his confusion, make more sense. Its propaganda. As with the GSR , it shows some tampering. Trapis is unsure of how long ago his story happened, becuase the initial part of Encanis refers to fall of the Ergen E and the latter to the rise of skips out about 2000yrs in which the Tinue led the east back into civilistaion. The very same knowledge attempts to eradicate.

Even Modeg shows signs of suppression. There is a notable lack of strehlaum in the exchange, evidence of an independant currency (despite the Arturan incursions). "Please do not inquire as to Yllish and Modegan currencies, as we only deal in the proper coin of civilized nations." After the AE falls travelogues become popular, the implication being that such travel was simply not feasable before.

Such debasement(s) could very well have come from the seizing of wealth from the various countries they subsumed, differing qualities/weights of the metals used in such etc. Also techniques such as 'shaving' said coins, or simply melting them down and making smaller coins of supposedly the same value,could have been used to helpfund the wars they had runing on various fronts in pursuit of Tehlin dominance (Selitos' vengence). The replacemet of various coinage with Arturan currency would greatly devalue the prevevious etc.

This coupled with the stability and rise of Ceald/ish currency, the location in the far west leads me to belive that the Uni/Imre had its growth period between 2000-1000. During this time there was rising stability and growth. The Underthing explamilifies how an older city was cannibilised. The west was the first to fall in the CW, implying that either a) the 'enemy' of Lanre/Selitos etc originated from the west and marched east or b) there was strategic importance. Elodin implies that the Arcanum was the original Uni, that it was a place where Namers etc dwelled (old school with there rings power shown/hidden etc). Geographically they are in a good position, having adavatage of the GSR, but being at the end of it rather than a point on the way to somewhere desirable, and so accessing what trade did come down it. However the fact that it is situated at the opposite end does give it independance from the factions that reside within Tinue. The presence and growing power/alternative beliefs of Ceald to the north also help it to be more culturally diverse and to give it trading power-in that it has a choice of whom to trade with.

Im going to offer a tipping point here, in which the the tides of power shifted in favour of Temic (into Tema)/Tehlin and when the Arcanum started to become the Uni. The burning of Calputena. We know the uni/arcarnum already existed as they tried to rescue as much as they could. The oldest surviving ref to the Loecleos name is 1300. This pint also marks the point in which records (if pruned!) become much more consistant/available. And so I suggest that it was close to this date in which the burning took place. (Im also going draw a paralel between K's Amry T-shirt, Lorrens fury at the candle in the stacks and the foolish man that caused the burning of Calputena).

Which leads me to sabotage and cover-ups. 400 AE absorbs Vint, 30yrs later Gibea starts vivisection. Did the Amyr find something in Vint? 20yrs later the amyr move against Gibea. Had he lost his way, or had they found what they were looking for and needed to save face under political pressure? Either way 50yrs later they are disbanded and go underground. At this same time the ctalogue wars in theArchives commence, losing much knowledge. Later K, Wil & Sim discover a discrepency over who exactly disnaded the Amyr. Evidence of a cover up? The Amyr being disbanded by Nalto implies some for of state law, whereas the disbandment by the Ponifex implies some internal friction and/or arrangement.
Ashley Fox
263. A Fox
Quiat Auriam "During the Atur's decline, their coinage was debased several times in several different ways. The resulting economic chaos damaged the Tehlin church to such a degree that it has never recovered, and utterly ruined many old and powerful noble families throughout the empire. If that were not enough, the aftermath rendered insolvent nearly two thirds of all prominent merchant houses. This led to the near-collapse of the entire civilized economy. Trade ground to a halt, and large cities were quickly filled with people unable to find honest work, honest pay, or food that could be bought for their now-worthless coin. The result? Riots, chaos, starvation... and the eventual collapse of the empire. Records from this time are hugely unreliable, and as such much of what historians say is speculative. Gaverous claims 250,000 people died due to lawlessness and starvation: almost twice the number of soldiers killed on both sides of the conflict in that time. Vennia, ever the firebrand, holds the highest estimate, and puts the number at well over two million. Either way, this chaos is what eventually led to the Quiat Auriam. The treaty that gave the Cealdish government the exclusive right to loan and exchange gold coinage. A right they defend fiercely even to this day...."

This puts this era into a lot of context, and of course, throws in a lot of questions. The AE extends overmost of Modeg, the Lackless lands, Vint some of the commonwealth, a bite of Ceald (at least). We know the AE were at war with the Adem, a hot front. They were also attacking Yll. They were, at least, engaed in an ethical/wealth battle with the Cealdish. They, via the Tehlins were opposed to the Arcanum and burned its members. They hunted and murdered the Ruh. Gibea. Gibea seems to represent a turning point in the agenda of the Amyr.

The AE had reached to far,was relying on fiddling the ledgers to fund its wars...and the Amyr just walked away. Is it possible that they cut their losses (having found what they wanted), removed their assets from the AE and caused the crash? Taking advantage of the ensuing chaos to cover up their influence, dealings, search?

The common wealth. Well this seems to arise,or at least solidify post 200 . It is alsoindicated that this was very much a fluid conglomeration of the differen parts of various countries, including partsof what once was the AE. , divided between what was left of various noble houses . Including the various perspectives of our old factions...and the gathered knowledge and movement of the university. Tarbean proves critical here. A city once beautiful in the AE, now estranged and bloated with refugees (the creation of poor areas?) on the coast of the newly formed common wealth. The Tehlins still have a stronghold, and become tied up with the law (of which even the uni is still held in thrall of). Yet the desire for freedom from the AE is what fuelled the estrangement. It is curious how the anti-cealdish sentiment still runs strong despite the treaty, Quiet Auriam which, arguably would have been the thing that stopped a complete collapse of government. Also shows the continued influence of the Amyr.

It seems to me that the Amyr did not crumble with the AE. But rather used it like an ass to drag their wagon to the destination they wanted. Noticed that that said ass had contracted rabies and quietly went about dismatling the wagon and building a boat, erasing their tracks along the way. The Tehlin Church still maintains a great deal of power, so although they may have lost a lot of wealth (ahem), they the might of the law in their arm, the faith of the poeple, and enforce their version of history. I also think that Trapis story would have been heavily influenced by the collapse of the AE in turn (which is kinda ironic).

200+ See an almost industrial era. Growth into the 4c we recognise from the narrative, the firming up of borders, the reprieve of repression from the AE. The coomnwealth seems to have reached some concordace with the Uni: Sympahy is traded, maleafesace still a capital crime. The Arcanum fades under these pressures and lost (losing...) knowledge even as the Uni flourishes.

(is the copper penny that which is seen as archaic in the commonwealth coin?)

5000-4800 'Dark Age' Fracturing, nomadism, resettlement. 4800-3000. The Adem become the Adem. Nomadism in the west. East:Tinue, a remnant from preCW, is a focus of re-establishing culture/power.
Tinue, Cershaen, Renere grow into large cities. 3000-2000 East: Civilistation spreads along the GSR, settlements become cities: Artur, Anilin, Imre/Uni, Tarbean.
West. The nomads have reached a critical point in growth, possibly pressure from the expanding power of the east and begin to unite. Ralien is established.
2000-1000 West. Cealdish estabish their own currency, and thus their own power. The two dominant languages areTemic and Siaru.
East. The Locleos of Tinue control much of the lands around the Eld. This period in time is the height ofcultural expansion, and of their power.
Artur as apower is on the rise, in hand with the Tehlin faith.
Modeg is marginalised.
1000-200 The reign of the Arturan Empire.
-Human Amyr
-within 100 years the Locleos name is distorted, within 400 their power fractured.
- after this the AE rapidly absorbs other countires, attempts to invade/surpress/exterminate the Adem, Yll, the Ruh and maligns the Cealdish. It is worth noting that the Locleos box's Yllish knots in contrast to the Tehlin path.
-@-300 the Amyr are disbanded, coincidingwith the start of the catalogue war in the archives.
300-200 -The AE collapses.
- Modeg flourishes, its citizens now traveling again.
- The common wealth is founded, QA

I would like to take a moment (in an already *gasp* long post!) to look at the sources.

Vintish. Velaket Farras. This name appears elsewhere. But where? Please help, its drivig me crazy! Anywho 2nd ammedment. There is also an 8th. Does this reate to and a posible slow legal battle to try and revoke such a treaty?

Common Wealth. Araman Ashbride's monograph-Shackles of Empire. Now this is a curious one. Note the is merely says Empire, as a state of being, not the Empire as in a specific Empire. Could this be written by someone who is aware of the 4c history, of the Ergen empire? Of the various disparate factions and subsequent wars and atrocities? Perhaps someone who wishes for freedom from them all, for such disparate groups to find a cohesive and free way in which to live. Although rather melodramatic, the fact that they raise the possibility of a Ceadlish Empire could be seen as a continuation of the the pendulum of power that as swung across the land and between perspectives since the CW, or it could be seen as personal bigotry. The latter is someone supported by the fact that although hedging toward an almost communism it fails utterly in that it is the nobles/wealthy who will continue to hold power. I will also have to go-look [b]Ash, if he is male, could his nickname be master ash? Baha.

Arturan. Tillin Andra- The Road of Iron and Gold. So lots of pro-Tehlin subtext. Highly critical of the AE, but implies that it was the TC that provided the best parts. The Title: The Road has an obvious conotation with the GSR, and the way in which it empowered the AE/TC, it also has overtures of a path chosen. Iron seems to clearly link to the Iron wheel, the TC symbol, bane of Faen, and has connotations of strict authority. Gold-power, wealth, the monopoly of controling grain. The text seems to give a backhanded slap to Artur to some extent, the QA treaty to a greater, and outright hostility to the Cealds. From this we can deduce it is from modern Artur, and seems to be distancing itself from the excesses of the AE by maintaining the sanctity of the TC and its enduring power in Artur. Its also very emotive toward the poor, or those who are aware of the chaos that ruled when the AE collapsed (most, as it was only a few generations ago), strengthening its core base.

(I think thats pretty much what s been rattling around in my head. Hope it make sense and sorry for the colours...not really sure what hapened there! Oh and dates used ref Thistlepongs Timeline for any who are wondering!)
Roger Pavelle
264. RogerPavelle
I was happy and lucky that I found a copy of The Road to Levenshir at Half Price Books on Saturday (for those who may want to look, the complete title of the book it is in is "L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume XVIII"). While it is very close to the version that appears in Wise Man's Fear (chapers 130-135 in the US hardcover), there are some small differences or new information:

1) The original title of the trilogy was "The Song of Flame and Thunder." I can certainly understand the need to change it post Game of Thrones. I also can't help wonder if there was a Broken Tree somewhere in the story.
2) Spelling of the town's name changed (from Levenshir to Levinshir). I have not idea why or if it has any significance. We are told it is in Vintas.
3) The story makes it much clearer when and why Kvothe figures out the troop are not real Ruh
He returned in a minute or two and handed me a glass. I touched it to my lips. "This is excellent," I complemented him, seating myself on a convenient stump.

He tipped an imaginary hat. "Thank you. We were lucky enough to nick it on our way through Levenshir a couple days ago."

That gave me a little pause. "Nick it?" I asked, somewhat hesitantly. "I'm not quite sure I follow you."

"Have I been picking up the local dialect again?" He laughed at himself. "We picked it up easily, if you know what I mean." He game a conspiratorial smile.

"I forced myself to relax and return the smile. "I see."
4) In the story, Tempi was his sword master and the Lethani was called "The Way." So, Vashet didn't exist (as Pat has stated). Also, no mention is made of the Adem.

5) Kvothe didn't have a shaed. When he is stabbed in the stomach by Alleg, he says it was luck that saved him.
My travelling cloak had a tidy slice cut in it, but, more important, my belt was cut nearly in two where the leather was doubled over near the buckle.
6) The Homecoming chapter is much shorter, and almost all of the scene with the healer (and any mention of the Azzie/courts) are cut.

Surprisingly (since it is a short story), there is a single mention of Denna (Krin reminds him of her) even though there is no context for the name.
thistle pong
265. thistlepong
Amazing. I got the Writers of the Future version in my stocking but hadn't cracked it yet. I posted a ways back about The Years Best...2009 version. It doesn't have chapter titles, so I wonder what else is different. I'll be sure and get to that... sometime.

One of the things that jumped out at me was the presence of ugly people. Pat lampshades the beautiful women and we've talked, er, a bit about that. But there aren't any ugly folks in the novels. Sure, the men aren't lovely and there are some maimed folks, but they've been polished; the narrative is kind about their faces. Not so in TRTL.
Jeremy Raiz
266. Jezdynamite
Happy New Year everyone. I hope you all have a great year ahead.
Sahi Rioth
267. Sahirioth
@ Thistlepong (265)

The highlighting of beautiful women and bypassing ugly people might be due to Kvothe 'pruning' the story while telling it, no? Or it's just that he has more reason to remember pretty girls than ugly boys, I guess.

Oh and Happy New Year right back atch'all. May your 2013 bring with it... umm.. as many days as 2012? Yes. That.
George Brell
268. gbrell

That isn't a great New Year's wish since it's doomed to fail, 2012 having been a leap year and all that. But I'm sure we all appreciate the sentiment.

Happy New Year everyone! May 2013 bring a publication date for D3.
thistle pong
269. thistlepong
The highlighting of beautiful women and bypassing ugly people might be due to Kvothe 'pruning' the story while telling it, no? Or it's just that he has more reason to remember pretty girls than ugly boys, I guess.
Perhaps my post was confusing. I'm not challenging the novels. I'm highlighting a point of revision that illuminates an aspect I didn't notice about them until reading a version of "The Road to Levinshir."

In that version, some folks are described unkindly. Blemishes are dwelled upon, bodies are examined. It's nothing to do with the descriptions of women versus men, you see. It's that quiet "aha" moment when you realize there aren't any ugly people in the KKC because you got a glimpse of one and it was out of place.

It's nice. It's subtle, like the Cealdish racial characteristics. It's good work.

And Happy New Year to all you lovely readers!
Roger Pavelle
270. RogerPavelle
Happy New Year from me as well. May those who found success in 2012 have it continue and those who didn't find some of their own.

I FINALLY finished the reread after 3+ fairly solid weeks of reading. Wow has there been a lot discussed here. I'm sorry I didn't realize it was going on (or continuing) sooner. So, now to throw in my 2 jots worth on an assortment of subjects (sorry about the length):

The Map:
I am assuming that the color coding on the map can be considered accurate. It does bring up a couple of interesting items.

First, there is apparently a piece of the Small Kingdoms between Modeg and Vintasin approximately the same area people have speculated Bredon has his manor. If this is also where the town/city of Bredon (of beer fame) is located, it could explain some of the comments in the text about the Small Kingdoms using it to help pregnant women. This section also borders the Lackless lands (just north of Tinue). I don't know if there is any significance to that, but there has been enough Bredon=Lackless speculation to point it out.

The other part of the map I think is interesting is Yll. The map shows the island as being part of 3 countries (Commonwealth, Yll and Vintas). What I can't tell is whether the name Yll refers just to the country or if it also refers to the island itself (is there the equivalent of "Great Britain"). While people in the Vintas section of the island would say they are Vints, how would people visiting that area refer to it? I'm thinking specifically of when Denna visits Yll. Is it possible that she went to the Vintas part of the island and not the Yll part of the island? My assumption is that there are enough old people scattered around the island that she could have learned knots anywhere if she started digging a bit.

Bast (and unexpected consequences):
@205 talks mentions the possibility that Bast brought the scrael to Newarre. I agree with this and think it also possible that he also brought/created the skin dancer.
Consider the following:
1) Scrael shows up and kills Carter's horse (and possibly some local livestock). Kvothe then goes out (without Bast) and kills 10, getting fairly cut up in the process. Bast is annoyed about the injuries (and possibly not being able to watch). If Bast did summon the scrael, there were lots of unintended consequences and he didn't get what he wants.

2) The next attack in Newarre is the skin dancer. Bast is the first one to recognize it and tries to point it out to Kvothe. Breaks a bottle of elderberry wine and tries to set fire to the skin dancer (and fails) . After K fails Bast tries to stop it, fails, Shep is killed and Aaron finally kills it. If Bast summoned the skin dancer, he still didn't get what he want (K is still Kote) and there were even worse consequence in Shep's death (he liked Shep) and Chronicler getting injured (which he treats).

3) The third attack is the one by the two soldiers, which we know Bast arranged. He told the soldiers to not injure Kvothe, but after he starts fighting back they beat him up. Bast's reaction to this is fury, he takes the injury on himself. He later tells Chronicler that the Fae aren't known for their good decisions (quite possibly self referential in this case).

Denna (and a bit on Master Ash):
@196 points out that, after obtaining her patron, Denna only dresses in white and blue, and that this is a possible sign that Master Ash is the Maer (or Bredon). I want to point out an additional piece, which is that Denna's ring is also white and blue. However, because it is expensive, distinct and something that she had before Master Ash appeared, I am led to several speculations.

My first thought is that Denna is a bastard child of the Maer. I don't know exactly what the inheritance laws are in Vintas, but the fact that the Maer doesn't have an heir (for me) implies he is unaware of her. My guess is that Stapes (or, if you insist, Bredon) had her fostered somewhere and gave her the ring as a sign of who she is (for those who might recognize it) if/when an heir becomes necessary.

My second thought is that Master Ash might be an intermediary who was hired to look out for Denna. This could explain his extreme secrecy (to keep he from recognizing her actual patron).

I don't think Bredon is Aceleus Lackless. My main reason is the set of rumors Kvothe is given. Bredon is specifically mentioned (and the pagan frolics have a lot of detail). This implies that there is more to the rumor than just a single sentence. So, K (the narrator) presumably has more information on Bredon than he has given us. Also, there are separate rumors about the Lackless family. If they were the same person/family, why would Bredon have separate rumors about himself?

Andan (the angel whose name means anger):
Obviously the most sexually frustrated character in the books.

Letantha (sword tree):
The description of the tree reminds me of a weeping willow (albeit with blades for branches). This ties back nicely to Denna saying Kvothe is like a willow, bending but not breaking.

That's probably enough for right now. I'll post some more as I think of them.

- Roger
p.s. I had a couple of other posts in the speculative summaries that never had any responses. Is there a preferred way to repost or reference them here?
Sahi Rioth
271. Sahirioth
@ RogerPavelle (270)

Denna as the Maer's illegitimate child, and perhaps one he is unaware of? I like it! Opens up a whole new range of interesting possibilities. Because of PR's jeweller friends, we now know how Denna's ring looks, right? With 'knots'? (A google of "Denna's ring" will net you pictures.) Blue stone set in silvery metal. But white? I totally missed that, where is it mentioned?

The Andan thing I did not get. Is it a joke? ::polite confusion:: If not, what makes you say Andan is sexually frustrated?
Roger Pavelle
272. RogerPavelle
@271 Sahirioth
Andan thing was supposed to be a joke referencing Adem concept of Anger. Obviously didn't work ::shrug::

I think the jeweler who fixed Denna's ring said it was white gold (although silver translates to white in heraldry). The knotwork also makes me wonder if it comes from the Vintas part of Yll.

- Roger
thistle pong
273. thistlepong

The Andan joke almost caused a spit take, so it worked for some of us.
p.s. I had a couple of other posts in the speculative summaries that never had any responses. Is there a preferred way to repost or reference them here?
Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V

And edit based on any new thoughts you have. Since Tor's persnickety about links, we've developed a tolerance for it.
Roger Pavelle
274. RogerPavelle
Note: I copied this from the Creation War speculation thread (slightly edited), so the post references can be found there. Also, the page references are from the American hardcover of the book.

I've been pondering the Creation War a lot and thought I'd share my speculations/conclusions. Some of this reflects things gbrell mentioned in posts 6 and 51 above. It is also a longish posting.

Skin Dancers (as background to upcoming thoughts):
- Bast says that the Sithe hunted down the Skin Dancers (WMF p. 13).
- Haliax says that he protects the Chandrian from, among others, the Sithe.
- Trapis' story of Tehlu mentions that many demons would inhabit humans (and Bast tells Chronicler at the end of NotW that there are no demons, only his kind - presumably meaning Faen).
- As others have pointed out, Trapis' story also mentions that Encanis' face was covered in shadow (a definite similarity to Haliax).

I think it is reasonable for the above reasons to think that the Skin Dancers were in some way allied with the Chandrian side of the Creation War and had the ability to overcome, merge with or replace people's consciousness in some way, forcing the victim to do the skin dancer's bidding.

- In Skarpi's story of Lanre, Selitos claims there were only 3 others as good at naming as he is: Aleph, Iax and Lyra. However, Lanre/Haliax was able to control Selitos by use of his name.
- Also in Skarpi's first story is the line about Selitos seeing a darkness at Lanre's core.
- In Skarpi's second story, we find out about three factions: 1) Haliax and his Chandrian 2) Selitos and his Amyr (who want revenge) 3) Tehlu and his Angels (transformed by Aleph, working on his behalf, and dedicated to justice for all). As has been pointed out previously, however, it is reasonable to assume that Aleph and Selitos were working together previously.
- Felurian says the one who stole the moon is locked away behind doors of stone. The stories about the moon being stolen pretty much state that it was done by Iax, so he is the one locked behind the doors of stone.

From all this, my guess is that, after Lyra died (or was mortally stricken) during the war, Lanre went to Iax to find a way to resurrect her (possibly pointed in that direction by the Cthaeh). Iax overcame Lanre (possibly by becoming a skin dancer and infusing his power and consciousness into Lanre's body). The presence of Iax's power/influence would therefore be the darkness that Selitos sees in Haliax/Lanre. It would also explain why Lanre turned on his former allies, organizing the destruction of the Seven Cities.

Linguistic speculation in support of this:
First, consider the scene when Elodin asks Kvothe how he came to be "enshaedn". We know the word "shaed" refers to Kvothe's shadow cloak and what is asked is how he came to possess one. The word "enshaedn" has the object (shaed) at it's root, with similar prefixes and suffixes ("en" and "n").
Next, consider Kvothe's complaints about the Yllish language and how if the Chancellor owns his socks, the socks also own him.
So, if the word "enshaedn" has its roots in Yllish (or an older language), the word could indicate that Kvothe owns, and is also owned by, the shaed (hence the shared prefix/suffix).

Now, consider the name of Haliax that is given in Shehyn's story: "Alaxel". Presumably, the "ax" in the middle of this is related to Iax (to tie the two names together), and the prefix "al" and the suffix "el" modify the name. Since the modifiers are different, they probably don't indicate ownership. However, it strikes me that they are fairly similar to "ule", which is one of the Sygaldry runes for binding. Perhaps the name "Alaxel" therefore indicates that the person is binding and bound to Iax.

"Doors of Stone":
I agree with the others who have suggested that the doors of stone behind which Iax was sealed refer to waystones/greystones.
- Felurian says "but worst of all, my people dread the portion of our power we shed when we set foot on mortal earth." (WMF, p.671) (the same page is where she also talks about moving between the world of Fae and mortals).
- When Kvothe leaves Felurian he sees here "beside huge grey stones" (WMF p. 693)
- One of the books Sim uses to settle his bet on greystones with Kvothe says that triliths (two standing stones with a capstone) are gateways to Fae (WMF, p. 292). This one even explicitly says "stone door".

So, from these, I'm guessing that Iax was locked in the mortal world, which cut him off from most (but evidently not all) of his power.

Is the Chandrian's plan, therefore, to find a way to get him back into the Fae realm or otherwise keep the doors open so his power is not limited?

Random other speculations:
Felurian says Iax had a dark and changing eye (WMF p. 670), and it has been noted that Kvothe's eyes change with emotion, growing dark when he is angry. Several of the Adem comment about the darkness at Kvothe's center (similar to the darkness Selitos saw in Lanre?). Is it possible that the piece of Iax in the mortal world has invaded Kvothe (put there by Haliax when his troop was killed)? Could this be why there are rumors of a new Chandrian? Could separating this piece be what changed Kvothe to Kote (and why the ones who are important know the difference)?

- Roger
Roger Pavelle
275. RogerPavelle
Note: I copied and combined a couple of posts from the Speculation on Kings thread at the end of the Name of the Wind reread.

My thought is that Kvothe kills King Cyphus (the one who is mentioned in Marten's Taborlin the Great story). My reasoning is as follows:

a) Cyphus is the Chandrian of Blue Flame (per the Adem poem, with slight spelling differences) and Cob's Taborlin story at the start of NotW also has him going up against the Chandrian.
b) Chronicler notes there are rumors of a New Chandrian, implying it is Kvothe.
c) Maedre means Flame - the Red Flame of Kvothe could be replacing the Blue Flame of Cyphus. Also, as an interesting side note to this in terms of color linkage, there are two main colors of sympathy lamps, red and blue. The blue ones are the more dangerous ones to make, which might be why Kvothe says those who matter know the difference when Chronicler brings up the new Chandrian.
d) Cyphus was also one of the Chandrian present when Kvothe's troop was killed (he saw the blue flame), so that is an added motivation.
e) We've only had 3 of the Chandrian talk or described (Haliax, Cinder and the bald, grey-bearded man who I think was Cyphus). From the gun in the table perspective, all three should have some impact on the story and King Cyphus is the one who is being forgotten.

I also speculate that Cyphus makes more sense as Denna's patron than Cinder.
1) We know Cyphus was in Trebon (people saw blue flame) but there is no evidence that Cinder was there (although it is not clear if Cinder has a sign that isn't part of his physical description). Also, if Cinder is busy with the bandits in the Eld, how does he get to spend time in Imre and Severen with Denna?
2) If Cyphus = Master Ash, consider that after putting out a fire/flame, what is left is generally ash.
3) The Cthaeh says the Chandrian have had a lot of practice hiding their signs, so Denna not noticing that sign can be explained (though she does say it is too sinister a signal even for Mr. Ash).

- Roger
276. Marco.
I'm guessing that Iax was locked in the mortal world, which cut him off from most (but evidently not all) of his power.

Is the Chandrian's plan, therefore, to find a way to get him back into the Fae realm or otherwise keep the doors open so his power is not limited?

Love this. Bravo.
Carl Banks
277. robocarp
A Fox@260-263

Nice reconstruction. It's not the exact theory I'd come up with (I'd make somewhat different assumptions) but I think you threw up a lot of good ideas on what happened during The Gap. I especially like your ideas about the rise of Atur.

But I'll start with one thing I don't agree with. I think is not correct is to assign peoples of Kvothe's time to be unique descendants of groups we know of from the Creation War. For one thing, some, maybe most, people in the Four Corners could be descendants of the enemy of Ergen, whose origins are currently unknown. Another thing, there's an awful lot of time for peoples to get mixed up.

The exception to this is the Adem. That they are descendants (genetic and cultural) of people including Lanre's army is certain to me. They still own weapons that were used in the Creation War, still pass on a story that dates from the aftermath of the Creation War, and based on that story, their ancestors were allied with Ergen. It seemed like they didn't interbreed with other peoples too much (assuming they're even the same species). What if the word "Adem" means something like "outcast"? After the Great Betrayal most of the land was now occupied by the enemy, making the Adem outcasts. That would explain a lot. Could also explain the similarity to "Edema".

I like your idea about Cealdish religion deriving from the event where some of the Ruach stood by Aleph. Different witnesses to that event could have emphasized different aspects of it. A Cealdish ancestor would have emphasized Aleph's role; Tehlin ancestors would have emphasized the angels. (I don't believe the Cealds are descended from the people who stood with Aleph, however, due to the inconvenient fact that they were removed from mortal sight. Though that could just be Skarpi exaggerating things again.)

Moving ahead in time, the contrast between nomadic and civilized life I think is a great one and would explain a lot, but there's an interesting problem with an east/west split. According to Elodin, people in Yll were writing with knots when "we" (whoever Elodin means by that) were scratching pictograms on animal skin (paraphrasing). Written records go back at least 2000 years, and the Lockless box which goes back 3000 years may be decorated with an Yllish knot, which means that Yll was writing (and therefore civilized) during the Gap. But Yll is in the West. How would you resolve this? I see a couple possibilities.

The simplest one is that Yll was originally much larger and contained much land in the East. Maybe the present location of Yll is nowhere near its original location which might have been around Tinuë. (Kind of like the Holy Roman Empire, which is neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire.) That means Yll would have been in decline well before Aturan Empire ground it into the dust, since Vintas existed as a country at least 400 years ago and would by then contain Tinuë (well, surround it) and the lands where civilization started.

Second possibility: Yll became civilized secondarily. Civilization started in the East, as you say, but Yll became civilized itself and started to rival Modeg, Vint, and Tinuë (or whatever countries were there 3000 years ago).

Third possibility: Tinusa wasn't the surviving city. I have been pondering the idea that a different city survived. I've seen enough circumstantial evidence to be convinced that at least four modern locations derive their names from the Creation War cities: so even if Tinuë was named for Tinusa, it doesn't mean it was the surviving city. Based on your reconstruction, it seems likely that civilization was preserved in the surviving city, and evidence points to early civilization being in Yll, thus a good theory is that the surviving city was in Yll. In that vein, Antus, or perhaps Vaeret, might have survived, since there's some meager evidence one of them was in Yll. In that case, the east/west split of civilization might have been more of a north/south split.

Regardless, there was some split, and one of my theories is that the split fell along the lines of the belligerents in the CW: the allies of Ergen remained civilized (Adem, surviving CW city), the enemies of Ergen (barbarians, the "we" Elodin spoke of) were not. Until Ceald and Atur.

That was, as you say, a new era from the old CW civilization. At this point we're entering the historical period, and so there's less uncertainty about what happened. I think your posts did a good job summarizing what we know, while pulling interesting clues from the monetary history.

One thing to keep in mind: the Chandrian, the Amyr, the singers, the Sithe, and the Faeries are all out there during all of this period. Presumably they were doing something then, affecting things in some way. The Chandrian started out as military leaders: now they strike like lightning from a clear blue sky (though Cinder at least still leads bandits). When did they change their methods? Right after the Betrayal, or sometime later? Another thing: something BIG happened at some point in the Gap, resulting in something the size of a saltbox being locked in a lockless box. How does that fit into this reconstruction?

Finally, there's the issue of what species all these people are. Evidence is that the Ruach of Skarpi's story aren't Human, but today all people in the FC are taken to be human. Is there a Human/Ruach dichotomy, and does it fall exactly along civilized/barbarian lines, or some other lines? Did the Ruach die out? Can they interbreed, and do the offspring of Ruach/Human unions lose their "Ruachness"? Was magic involved changing Ruach into humans? Maybe I'll throw my theories about this question up soon, even though there are still sticky points.
Roger Pavelle
278. RogerPavelle
A couple more short thoughts on assorted subjects:

Kvothe's three lock chest:
We know the box is made of roah wood, which has iron running through it. It occurred to me that, rather than having a mechanical/sygaldry method of stopping people from hacking it apart (as Bast attempts), he might have used the name of iron to harden it to the point it wouldn't be affected by blades. This seems like a fairly simple use of naming since it would involve distilling (or enhancing) an existing attribute of the named item (in this case, hardening/tempering iron).

Trebon pot:
Sheheyn's story of the Chandrian says there were 8 cities, 7 of which fell to treachery and one that survived. I wonder if Trebon pot doesn't show all 8 of the people associated with these cities, the original Haliax and his Chandrian. This would presumably make the Amyr the one who remembered the Lethani and didn't betray his city. Would that be Selitos or someone else we haven't heard about yet?

What is in the Lackless box?:
My thought when I first read the book was that it was some kind of seed (round, hard and trapped in a sort of shell). If it was planted in the mortal world it might provide the Cthaeh a way to move between Fae and 4C.

- Roger
Ashley Fox
279. A Fox
(Warning. RL has been a bit full-on of late. I'm tired and I'm grumpy. If this comes through in post: apologies. Ive already deleted it a couple of times!)

@roger. Skin dancers. Agree there is something there, have speced along those lines myself, previously. However Lanre seems to very much remember his own life, and love of Lyra so that indicates that he has not been taken over by Iax. Also the time we see him, his character does seem to correlate with his character in convo with selitos.

Sithe hunted down skin dancers, Sithe stop folk from interacting with the CTH. Skin dancers havent been seen in faen for a couple of hundred years. It could be they were agents of the CTH, under his hame with attributes associated with such: the corruption, poisening. Perhaps the hunting down of them was part of their goal in restricting the CTHs influence.

(Ive posted a quote saturated post on following before-but cannot find it-theres also some refs to it ealier in this comment thread (about 60ish i think), and lots of lovely details and discussion in the CTH spec thread.)

The CTH may very well be the originator of the dissenion that led to the CW. the divide between use of power. It's mark is the darkness. From felurian we know its bite leads to poisening, indicated in the eyes.

Iax as a child was born under an unlucky star, ill fated. (The influence of the CTH leading notoriuosly to bad events). This ill-luck eventually led him to create Faen. Dark and changing of eye (the mark of the CTHs poisening).

At the blac of drosson tor Lanre battles the enemy (who is then set beyound the DoS). The being he battle is described as serphant/dragon like, bescaled and swathed in darkness.(An external representation of it's power-the power of the CTH). It is defeated and Lanre makes armour out of it's hide. (What if if it is not killed, but diminished and trapped in the tree, in faen, beyound the DoS-the enemy we have met). When next we meet Lanre he is haliax. He is under the shadows hame-the CTHs power (perhaps accounting for why it s still trapped in the tree, it has invested a great portion of it's power into Lanre, who is then trapped-in-circumstance by Selitos geas).

after when K meets the CTH, it taunts him over D, over his in-action and the consequences ect. For me this has echoes of Lanre and Lyra: Lanre blames himself for her death ect. and it is after this the Adem comment on the darkness within him. Here also we see serphant like qualities in the descriptions of the CTH.

The adem also speak of the poisening of the seven, so soon after we learn of the CTHs poisen.

In my rambling way (honestly I was trying for concise, hence the trunctuated nature, but there is just so bloody much!) Im saying that I think that Iax is somewhat of a red herring. He is set up t be readily accepted as the enemy, there are lots of indicators of such and yet this feel to blantant. There are also lots of indicators that show he was more akin to a puppet of the CTH and that it is the CTH who is the big bad. Felurians' reluctance to speak of that one changes context when you consider her reaction to K's visit with it, and its proximity to her home. The Adems story of that one must have emotional, temporal & physical distance from the names of the seeven-almost as if to say one so soon after the other was to say the one twice (and so call them down). It is also spoken of in a way that implies to me, that it holds a keener edge than that of the seven. Then there is, of course the lethani. If they truely were Lanre's army, that and their subsequent isolation may have lead to a retention of accurate memories of that time, and its true perils. Perhaps the Lethani was a way to combat the CTHs poisening. Argh I look foreward to the end of this statis, and the dawn of D3!

Cyphus as king killed. Nah. It seems (accurate, or garbled history) that that refers to when the seven held places of esteem within the Ergen Empire. Cyphus is no longer a king. even if you consider such an annoitment only to be void upon death, the greater view of the 4Cs is that he is a Chandrian, or demon. Not a king. K's legends involve him killing a king that is recognised as a king. There is also the civil war which implies the death of an actual, ruling, king. I aso believe at some point there was a reasonable deduction that the bald headed guy was stercus...a very long time ago, hazy memories.
Ashley Fox
280. A Fox
@robocop. :) What assumptions, if you dont mind? Curious.

"I think is not correct is to assign peoples of Kvothe's time to be
unique descendants of groups we know of from the Creation War."
Yeah. I didnt. Maybe that wasnt clear, sorry. What I meant, and tried to map out, was the flow of peoples, the groups that formed and thier core ethos, often as inspired by the events in which they formed. Of course there would have been pokets of people all over the place, and myriads of perspectives which I have not mentioned. I concentrated on the ones who left the greatest legacy (that we have seen).

"I don't believe the Cealds are descended from the people who stood with Aleph, however, due to the inconvenient fact that they were removed from mortal sight"
I dont read it that way. Tehlu&co were transformed-not everyone who stood with Aelph. As in: Aelph called forth Tehlu&co and Selitos with the offer to transform them into the 'singers'. Selitos turned the offer down in preference to a path of vengence, the others accpted. The ruarch split up into various groups according to whom they agreed with. Selitos taking up the fearful.

Personally, as the transformation happened after the doors to faen were 'locked', I beleive the ruarch were human, or rather what led to humans as we think of them. I also think this is tied into the comparative lack of 'magic'. Those with knacks or starong naming abilities having the blood of Faen/Old knowers/Namers. I also think this is what Gibea was looking for (or something along those lines). It is also quite possible that the Adems procreation beleiefs are correct. Perhaps fertile males are something that occured with the ruarch after mixing with other species. ::shrugs:: Lots of ideas, not enough info.

Also it seems as if the Great Betrayel was actually enacted by the Adem, they were allies and turned at the behest of Lanre, thus becoming the enemies of the Ergen renants, despised in light of Selitos vengence.

On Yll. I intenionally left it out, as I did the Tahl and to some extent Hallowfell. I was trying to weave in the new evidence with the old (probs went to much into CW era but felt it necassy as I was essentially trying to unravel to soci-eco makeup of 'present' 4cs). Yll, Tahl had nothing new.

Writing that post something did occur to me. Was Yll the enemy of the Ergen Empire? We ofen simplify the CW into a battle between Shapers and Namers. But this doesnt quite fit. Perhaps there were a few different divisions. Was Yll part of Ergen? Looking at the map it seems, as indicaed by the rift, that it was once part of the landmass. Felurian states it was the taking of the moon that led to certain conflict. Was that what caused the rift? Who would be most pissed off by that? Those in what is now Yll. Jax lived at the end of a broken road. What if when the land was whole, the road continue into Yll? Perhaps the story has got garbled somewhat. Much like my thoughts. The pervasiveness of Yllish knots suggest that it was this that was commonly used pre-CW. Perhaps it was Yll who was home to the Knowers, before the Namer/shaper divide. Perhaps Yll was opposed to any mastery (thier language).

Then there is Hallowfell: the sacred mountain. And the evidence of forts around the surrounding lands, and the first attacks hapening at that end of the country. What is sacred there? Who wanted it? Who wanted to protect it? Lots of questions/ideas...not enough info! :)

I think Tinue as the city standing is pretty solid, as is Yll being Yll and no transporting. I think the Eld grew over where the blac Drosson Tor was (perhaps also Fareniel? It was in the woods).
Roger Pavelle
281. RogerPavelle
@A Fox
A couple of points. First, Kvothe is noted to have changing eyes long before he meets the Cthaeh. If that is a sign of its influence, how did it affect him before he talked to it? Felurian also has changing eyes (as does Bast), and she is willing to talk about and name CTH but not "the enemy".

Second, I don't remember anything in WMF that links CTH to shadows. I will readily admit that I haven't read through the CTH spec threads since my feeling has always been that CTH is more the red herring ::comfortable disagreement:: and should be treated more as a sign of tragedy to come (as in Fae plays) than an active participant. I guess I am more influenced by Chronicler's logic when slapping Bast than Bast's worries about it.

Finally, about the skin dancers. According to Trapis' story, they could hide in people so effectively that no one realized they had "demons" living in them. Presumably their memories and attitudes were available to the skin dancers in order to let them pass so effectively ::hesitant assurance::. This outside perception is similar to what I am positing about Lanre/Haliax. I don't know if the one that attacks the Waystone Inn was too new an inhabitant or some new variation of skin dancer (since the others were wiped out), or if Trapis' description is faulty due to time distortion. I just think the last option there is the least likely.

- Roger
Ashley Fox
282. A Fox
Kvothes changing eyes: certainly. Eyes as windows to soul, or in kkverse an indicator of someones Name, thier power.

Scarpi looks into ks eyes when he names him. Elodin looks into his eyes on several occaisions when assesing him, notably when he calls him back after he has called the iwnd and goes dolally. the woman whos name i can never remember (!!) who is the Adems keeper of records/swords looks into his eyes.

K's eyes blaze a bright green when is power is upon him. Felurian and Bast also do sowith differing colours. I do not recall K's eyes described as black or dark. But I am rather scatterbrained at the mo.

There is also the possibiity that the CTH as marked, or become aware of him, via his encounter with Haliax. But that is reaching...although interesting in light of some of the descisions he makes.

I was refering to the darkness within K that is noted, much as Selitos notes within Lanre and makes visible for all to see (rather than be beguiled by his fair face).

It is precisisly Basts panic (coming from a folk that are mre intimatelly associated with pre-CW history than the people of the 4c-like Devan) and what the CTH represents that leads me to believe it is more fundamental.

Tapis's story. Well its not all that reliable for a start. everything should be taken with a hefty pinch of tehlin salt. Demons are a corruption of Fae: were those people, people..or fae, fae/people mixes. The hammer was iron, they screamed in agony at the tough of iron. It seems to relate more to the hunt of fae, than to skin dancers specifically. When K, Bast, Devan discuss skin dancers none are to certain of their knowledge as all of there disparte knowings come from times where info has not clearly passed down. For me as Bast is Faen, and more familiar with the skin dancers demise his info holds more weight.
Carl Banks
283. robocarp
A Fox@280
Lots of questions/ideas...not enough info! :)
I know, right? I'll post my own reconstruction soon, sticky points notwithstanding. It's been festering in my mind long enough.

I'll address your points in this post. First, now that you've re-explained what you meant w.r.t. the evolution of religion, I think we're in 100% agreement on that.

The Adem. I see now that by "Lanre's Army" you meant the army that attacked Myr Tariniel. But I took "Lanre's Army" to mean the army that fought with Lanre at Drossen Tor. Evidence (Saicere, Rhinta story) points to the Adem fighting alongside Lanre at Drossen Tor, but it never once occurred to me that the same people might have also fought with Lanre at Myr Tariniel. But now that I've heard that idea, I'm going to say, I still think it's a different army. So I guess I disagree on the Adem.

Another thing that never occurred to me is that Yll and Yllish knots might predate the CW. I'm going to have to think that over. I always considered Yll (and every other country in the FC) to have formed post-CW, and that Yllish knots were developed 3-4000 BK. But I can't think of any evidence that they didn't predate the CW. One thing I do disagree with is this claim: "The pervasiveness of Yllish knots suggest that it was this that was commonly used pre-CW". 1. I don't think it would necessary take that long; Aturan is spoken all over the FC and Atur is less than 2000 yeard old. 2. Yllish knots aren't really pervasive.

Last thing, I would not agree that Tinuë being the surviving city is on solid standing at all. I think it is our best guess, based on the fact that it's mentioned a lot and has idiomatic status as the place all roads go to, and the fact that it resembles one of the CW city names. (Perhaps also that it's a free city. Wouldn't it be cool if it's free status dates directly the back to the Creation War?) Basically, it seems like it ought to be the surviving city because it's important. But that's not evidence. So if some other theory comes along proposing a different city I don't think we can rule it out.
Roger Pavelle
284. RogerPavelle
On a slightly separate note, isn't Kvothe VERY guilty of malfeasance for killing the bandits in the forest? Even though banditry is punishable by death, using sympathy the way he did would still be punishable (and tales of those actions should have made it back to the University along with the tales of Felurian and him rescuing the girls in Levinshir). Also, the Maer specifically didn't give him a writ when he set out with Tempi, Marten & co., and the Maer's pardon covered the false troop, not the bandits in the Eld.

And, as a separate piece of curiousity, do the audiobooks have music/singing? Or are all the song lyrics recited as poetry?

- Roger
Carl Banks
285. robocarp
As I said, here are the assumptions I would make when reconstructing the events in the Gap (skip down to the numbered paragraphs for tl;dr).

Short aside to explain my assumptions. Modern mathemetics is (mostly) based on a set of eight axioms (which is mathspeak for assumptions) called ZF, they are simple statements about the properties of sets taken for granted. It turns out by using these axioms as "evidence", you can "prove" all the great and obvious conclusions of mathematics. (If you add a ninth axiom you can prove a bunch of useless, irrelvant stuff as well, but never mind that.) Here's the thing: mathematicians didn't start with these axioms. They arrived at those axioms by working backwards from numbers and their properties, and arrived at that set of axioms that "proved" what they wanted to prove.

I am trying to do the same thing with my assumptions. I am trying to work backward to find assumptions so that the known facts make better sense. There is no textual evidence for these assumptions; if there was they wouldn't be assumption.

The main problem I am trying to solve here is that the Creation War does not make sense. There's lots of puzzling facts. For example, Skarpi and Shehyn agree not only that one city survived Lanre's betrayal, but that its survival was significant, as if to imply the Ergen Empire would eventually win the war. But were are the aftereffects? What was the good of the Empire being left with hope? Why is the moon still split between mortal and fae realms? Why are the Chandrian still around? etc.

Here's the biggest problem. Felurian says the war was Knowers versus Shapers, and strongly implies that the Knowers were the aggressors, trying to stop the Shapers from shaping. Ergen, in both Skarpi's and Shehyn's stories, is clearly defending. Now, that's not unheard of for the tables to turn in war like that. Germany ended up defending in WWII even though it was initially the aggressor. But in terms of making sense, the more obvious resolution wins. Therefore, I go with the following assumptions.

1. Ergen is allied with the Shapers. Everyone (save one) we know of from CW times: Aleph, Selitos, Iax, Lyra, Lanre (at first, at least), and Tehlu are on the Shapers' side.

This neatly aligns Felurian's story with Skarpi's and Shehyn's. This also explains quite a few things about the Chandrian.

2. The main front of the Creation War was the Stormwal Mountains. The Knowers came from the East.

Kind of a default choice. This could set up some interesting plotlines in D3 if Kvothe visits the Tahl. Also, note that the Scraelings come from over Stormwal.

3. The difference between Shaping and Knowing magic can be seen when Kvothe is at the Lathanta tree. Knowing on the way in: seeing patterns and such. Shaping on the way out. (Things like binding would be middle ground but I'll go with Knowing. Binding is not mastery.)

And, what do you know, Aleph, Selitos, and Iax all do Shaping magic. So does Kvothe. So maybe that's part of why it was important Ergen won. And what else do you know: enemies of Ergen show no evidence of using Shaping magic. Lanre didn't do any shaping with Selitos on the mountain. The Chandrian don't. (Another enemy doesn't either.)

4. Bast is spouting off fairy tales that may or may not be true.

Bast has been wrong a lot. He's almost certainly wrong about the Cthaeh being omniscient. He's wrong about it being dangerous to utter the Chandrian's names once. He was probably wrong about the Sithe guarding the Cthaeh. He's also shady enough to lie to Kote.

There's one other assumption I feel less confident about, but here it is:

5. Ruach and Fairies are the same species, and are mostly allied with Shapers. Humans are a different species and are mostly allied with the Knowers. Not sure if they can interbreed.

With these assumptions in mind, here's how I'd reconstruct what happened between the Betrayal and historical times. Lanre and the Chandrian went west and offered to betray their cities to the Knowers (i.e., humans). The human armies destroyed most of the Ergen empire and occupied the lands there. Most of the surviving Ruach (i.e. faerie) inhabitants of Ergen fled to the Faen realm (which might not even have been intended as a place to live). I'd like to point out a parallel to Tolkien mythos here: humans cross mountains heading west and displace fairy-like creatures, who leave for their enchanted realm.

But one city survives--not Tinusa--in the present day location of Yll. Because that one city survived, the plan of the Chandrian (which I think was to attack Fae) was thwarted for some reason. The FC is now divided into the civilized remnants of Ergen in Yll, and the uncivilized, enslaved human domains ruled by the Chandrian. Thus the Creation War drags on for another thousand or two years, neither side being able to defeat the other.

Then something unexpected happens. From with the humans domains, which are uncivilized, near the city of Tinue, a Great revolutionary arises who is finally able to do something the Amyr, the Singer, and the Sithe couldn't: defeat the Chandrian. And this revolutionary does it using Shaping magic, which no one thought humans were even capable of. He couldn't kill the Chandrian, of course, but he could remove a large part of their power. And because this man was so good at opening locks, he was also exactly the man to create a box that couldn't be unlocked, and in this box he stored something that the Chandrian needed to gain their plenary powers back. Thus ended the Creation War.

After that, the efforts of the Amyr were to keep the Chandrian at bay, which for some reason, meant to keep their memory alive, in spite of the inconvenient problem that they'd show up and kill anyone who spoke about them too much. I suspect this eventually led to the Tehlin church among other things. But then the Aturan Empire rose and started getting cocky, grinding Yll to the dust because it wanted to erase the past, and the Amyr had no choice but to bring about its fall. But in the process the Tehlin church lost its power as well, and the Chandrian had their opening....
286. Thiloquine
A Fox@282

Skarpi doesn't look into kvothes eyes when he names him.
he seemed to adress the air infront of him...
...since he wasn't looking at me when he spoke, there was a moment of confusion
he purposefully does not look at kvothe, so as to not reveal his presence to the preist.
Steven Halter
287. stevenhalter
robocarp@285: I think there is a problem underlying several of your assumptions. The Knowers don't come from anywhere--they are already there. Shaping is a subset of Knowing (all Shapers are Knowers but not all Knowers are Shapers). The Knowers and Shapers are both Ruach and the Creation War is more of a philosophical civil war. This can be seen in Felurian's story.
Bast's accuracy about the Cthaeh remains to be seen. The failure of the Sithe to stop visitors from seeing the Cthaeh can be seen as not a failing in Bast's story, but as evidence to the support of the Cthaeh's power.
Many of the Fae are probably Ruach, but some are quite likely shaped creatures.
Where the beings called "humans" come from is (I think) an open question. Whether they are descendents of the Ruach, a separate species or a created (shaped) species remains to be seen.
I like the implied conclusion that the Amyr were forced to act in the dissolution of Atur by the Aturians grinding of Yll -- very interesting possibilities.
Nisheeth Pandey
288. Nisheeth
@284 RogerPavelle:
He definitely is. I remember it being speeculated, either here or in the ASOIAF forums that it would be what leads to him being expelled from the university.
thistle pong
289. thistlepong
stevenhalter, humans are probably the Ruach who wanted to go home and watch TV and play with their kids or whatever from “Tehlu’s Watchful Eye.” There's some suggestions to that effect in the text and a pretty good chance that was the other option Aleph presented.

robocarp, it's not really clear where you're starting from regarding your assumptions or why you're making the ones you are. I do like number 3, which isn't even an assumption until the part about binding. I agree that Kvothe's experience at the latantha exemplifies both notions. It also mirrors, in that it reflects in the opposite order, the duel of Aethe and Rethe.

I disagree that binding isn't in philosophical opposition to Felurian's description of knowing (or Kvothe's approach to the latantha, or Rethe's loosed ribbon.) The act of calling the name, of altering the world rather than according with it, is either shaping or just short of it. Lanre absolutely exerts power over - masters, if you will - air, stone, and Selitos.

RogerPavelle, there's no singing in the audiobooks.
Carl Banks
290. robocarp

When I said the Knowers came from the East, I meant their armies. The Shapers' domain was Ergen in what is now the Four Corners, and the Knowers (rest of the world) came from the East to try to stop them.

The Cthaeh gave away its non-omiscience by claiming to be guessing about something. If it's incapable of lying then it can't be omniscient. Chronicler also pokes holes in the omniscient theory in-story. I am satisfied it is not omniscient; it's just a faerie story. My theory is that the Ctheah is the greatest of all the Knowers (and it somehow got this power by forsaking the ability to lie). It knows everything about Kvothe because it knows Kvothe's deep name. Except, that is, for the stuff it was guessing about.
Steven Halter
291. stevenhalter
robocarp@280:Bast claims that:
“Reshi, the Cthaeh can see the future. Not in some vague, oracular way. It sees all the future. Clearly. Perfectly. Everything that can possibly come to pass, branching out endlessly from the current moment.”
This isn't quite the same as saying that it is omniscient. For example, it may only see the actions that are happening--not the inner thoughts of creatures. This goes along well with the "guessing" passage (my bolding):
“Two days ago he used his walking stick. That was new. Welts the size of your thumb under her clothes. Bruises down to the bone. She’s trembling on the floor with blood in her mouth and you know what she thinks before the black? You. She thinks of you. You thought of her too, I’m guessing. In between the swimming and strawberries and the rest.”
Here, the Cthaeh is stating things that happened to Denna. It does state that "She thinks of you.", but it may have "seen" her saying that at some point in her timeline. (It will be interesting if that is in the text somewhere).
Kvothe may never have actually said that he was thinking of Denna and so the Cthaeh could only state that it was guessing.
PR is walking a fine line with the Cthaeh--oracles are always problematic and dangerous if the text wants to maintain consistency.
Either there must be (1) some weakness (they aren't really accurate, people don't pay attention, ...) or (2) the conflict of the story is not what it seems to be. Case 2 is even more tricky.
thistle pong
292. thistlepong

Would you please explain what you mean in Case 2?
Steven Halter
293. stevenhalter
thistlepong@292:In case 2, the oracle really is oracular and can "cause" things to happen (we'll defer the whole nature of causality and determinism) but story tension is created through misdirection of the readers/characters expectations--much like an expert magician or through lack of detail.
In the current case of the Cthaeh, we don't know what its goals are nor do we know the full extent of its powers. Bast has stated that it is completely evil, but we don't know that for certain. If it were really true that the Cthaeh was utterly evil and fully omniscient and we knew that its goal was the destruction of the world, then there wouldn't be much story tension left--everything would be fated to end in ashes. Everything may end in ashes (and that can be a nice tragic ending), but at this point we have some (various) hopes that things may turn out ok for the world at least if not for K.
One possible method of misdirection is that Bast is wrong about the implied goal of the Cthaeh. We are left to assume that the Cthaeh wants destruction/suffering, but that may not fully be the case--then we can get an at least partially pleasant ending. By overturning our expectations about the Cthaeh's intent or about the stories outcome, PR can achieve tension.
For another current example of this balancing act that is going really well, see the books "Bitter Seeds" and "The Coldest War" by Ian Tregillis. The character of Gretel is an oracle and the actions thereof are quite amazingly well done.
Wallace Forman
294. WallaceForman

I think the identification of Ergen with the shapers is problematic because of Iax. Iax is pretty clearly identified as one of/the leader of the Shapers. Ergen and Lanre defeat someone and set them beyond the doors of stone - again, probably Iax. How do we square this conflict with an identification of Ergen as the shapers?

Some further thoughts: shapers created the fae, but probably not everyone living in the Fae was a shaper. Ergen, for all we know, spanned both the Faean and mortal realms. At times, Skarpi's description of the Creation war sounds like a civil war, or an insurgency. Perhaps we are drawing the lines on the sides too sharply - maybe "namers" like Selitos were capable of shaping, but used it only sparingly and, by their lights, responsibly. Or, they occasionally performed acts of shaping that they believed were acceptable but may not have been.
Roger Pavelle
295. RogerPavelle
It occurs to me that Bast may be both correct and incorrect at the same time about the Cthaeh's ability to see the future. We know from Felurian that those in Fae lose most of their power when they enter the mortal world. I wonder if CTH has a similar problem, meaning that is knows all that will happen in Fae but can only see trends in 4C. Or, possibly, it can see actions by Fae inhabitants but less concerning mortals (which would explain why it guesses about Kvothe, but raises interesting questions on why it "knows" what Denna was thinking).

- Roger
Ashley Fox
297. A Fox
Some interesting discussion, but my mind is frazzled from editing my own work (groan) and tomo a certain book comes I will read you all in a few days! ::excitement!::

@286. Apologies, I do not have acess to my NotW at the mo. Im pretty sure either in that section, or the one in which K and Skarpi first meet, there is a point in which there is some 'oooh, he looked into mine eyes'. Obviously thats not a qoute! I have a hazy recollection of when K asks for his story?
Steven Halter
298. stevenhalter
RogerPavelle@295:Bast is almost certainly correct/incorrect & truthful/misleading. Exactly what is what is another beautiful game.
Carl Banks
299. robocarp

I concede that that explanation of the Cthaeh's power is reasonable and would be congruent with Bast's claim. I still think Bast is telling faerie stories but I'll dial back the confidence on that one.


I reconcile that by suggesting the person Ergen and Lanre set behind doors of stone wasn't Iax. To wit: more than one person could have been sealed behind stone doors. I'm not sure "doors of stone" isn't merely a metaphor for death.

Also, note that Skarpi's story mentions Iax by name at one point (between two people who are known to be allies of Selitos), so it's not as if Skarpi is avoiding the name because of a taboo like Felurian was.
Patrick Stultz
300. Audion
The more I think about how PR emphasises things in K's narative that relate just to the story, and doesn't waste words.. the more I've convinced myself of the following:

K obviously opens "the doors of stones" somewhere. I'm guessing at Least the ones in the Archives. In there he learns something horrible, my current feeling is that it's something to do with the Chandrian.. possibly even that the Master's all are protecting them somehow. This would also account just as easily for why Lorrin wards off K from Childhood Fancies, and why the Stacks have been pruned so effectivly of information on either the Chandrian or Amyr.

This then leads to K doing something stupid and getting kicked out. He then goes to the Maer to lear more of the Amyr, and the Maer sends him to (whom else?) Ambros's family to find out what he needs. How poetic (pun intended) would it be if K needs Ambrose to find out the answers he needs?

This in turn leads to another (and possibly fatal) confrontation with Ambrose outside the Eolian. Or outside the Eolian where he shatters the paving stones was K's fight with one of the Masters, possibly Hemme, after what he learns inside the Doors.

Just a few thoughts, and all things I could definatly see PR doing to mess with K.
thistle pong
301. thistlepong
I suspect folks might be taking a breath before tomorrow's post or reading AMoL. For anyone paying attention, though, I have a question. What in the books seems out of place, random, or doesn't make sense?

Hopefully folks can be decent to those deigning to respond.
Nisheeth Pandey
302. Nisheeth
Exactly what do you mean by random or out of place?
I will look for some such things (I have some parts marked out), but the only two I can remember on the top of my head would be Some name (probably) mentioned by Denna when she is sleepig due to denner resin, and the Dracuss is going to Trebon.

The other was Kvothe saying that he would break the binding Chronicler made upon Bast. To me that doesn't make sense. He could have been bluffing, but yet, I found it noteworthy.
thistle pong
303. thistlepong
Nisheeth, your examples are great. I'm curious about individual experiences. robocarp stated that the Creation War didn't make sense; nor did the Cthaeh guessing. It's as broad a question as I can make it.
304. Kaizoku
I see that I've become an E'lir, which is pretty cool.
Maybe I'll do a Kvothe and get to Re'lar soon...
Anyway I've got another theory:
I think Faen people are extremely 'spontaneous' when it comes to changes in their emotions. It is hard to explain so I'm going to put in a bunch of quotes and examples:
This is what got me thinking:
He was getting too tangled up in the story. He can’t feel a thing
halfway. A little time away will give him some perspective. Besides, I
do have dinner to prepare, even if it’s only for three.
I have heard people say that men and the Fae are as different as dogs and wolves. While this is an easy analogy, it is far from true. Wolves and dogs are only separated by a minor shade of blood. Both howl at night. If beaten, both will bite.
No. Our people and theirs are as different as water and alcohol. In equal glasses they look the same. Both liquid. Both clear. Both wet, after a fashion. But one will burn, the other will not. This has nothing to do with temperament or timing. These two things behave differently because they are profoundly, fundamentally not the same.
The same is true with humans and the Fae. We forget it at our peril."
This supports the idea of Faens having super-quick changes in temper. They behave differently when confronted with a situation, and a minor offense could make a Faen guy go insane.
At the end of Book 1, we see Bast getting extremely pissed in a second, and, after making elaborate threats, offering Chronicler a nightcap and blankets.
And this:
“You’ll do whatever you can,” Bast said, his voice low. “You will draw him out of himself. You will wake him up.” He said the last words fiercely.
Bast lay one hand on Chronicler’s shoulder, his blue eyes narrowing ever so slightly. “You will make him remember. You will.”
Chronicler hesitated for a moment, then looked down at the circle of holly in his lap and gave a small nod. “I’ll do what I can.”
“That’s all any of us can do,” Bast said, giving him a friendly pat on the back. “How’s the shoulder, by the way?”
She made a disappointed noise of protest as I set the lute back into its case. “are you weary?” she asked with a hint of a smile. “I would not have tired you, sweet poet, had I known.”
I gave my best apologetic smile. “I’m sorry, but it seems to be getting late.” Actually, the sky still showed the same purple hint of twilight it had since I first woke, but I pushed on. “I’ll need to be moving quickly if I’m to meet ...”
My mind went numb as quickly as if I’d been struck a blow to the back of my head. I felt the passion, fierce and insatiable. I felt the need to have her, to crush her body to mine, to taste the savage sweetness of her mouth.
Only because of my arcane training did I hold onto any concept of my own identity at all. Even so, I only held it with my barest fingertips.
Felurian sat cross-legged on the cushions across from me, her face angry and terrible, her eyes cold and hard as distant stars.
Felurian giggled like a brook. “you learned from books.” She looked at me as if she couldn’t decide whether or not to take me seriously. She laughed, stopped, then laughed again. I didn’t know if I should be offended.
“You were rather good too,” I said hurriedly, knowing I sounded like the last dinner guest to compliment her on a salad. “As a matter of fact, I’ve read—”
“books? books! you compare me with books!” Her anger crashed over me. Then without even pausing for breath, Felurian laughed again, high and delighted. Her laugh was wild as a fox’s cry, clear and sharp as morning birdsong. It was no human sound.
Bast did look stricken. His face was pale, almost waxy. His normally cheerful expression was aghast. “Reshi,” he said, his voice as dry as autumn leaves. “You never told me you spoke with the Cthaeh.”
“There’s a lot of things I’ve never told you, Bast,” Kvothe said flippantly. “That’s why you find the sordid details of my life so enthralling.”
Bast gave a sickly smile, shoulders sagging with relief. “You didn’t really, then. Talk with it, I mean? It’s something you just added to make things a little more colorful?”
“Please, Bast,” Kvothe said, obviously offended. “My story has quite enough color without my adding to it.”
“Don’t lie to me!” Bast shouted suddenly, coming halfway out of his seat with the force of it. “Don’t you lie to me about this! Don’t you dare!” Bast struck the table with one hand, toppling his mug and sending Chronicler’s inkwell skittering across the table.
“Reshi, you need stitches,” Bast said. “And you need to let me do something about that tooth.”
Kvothe climbed off the stool. “I’ll just chew on the other side for a few days.”
Bast took hold of Kvothe’s arm. His eyes were hard and dark. “Sit down Reshi.” It was nothing like a request. His voice was low and sudden, like a throb of distant thunder. “Sit. Down.”
Bast made a sharp gesture with one hand, his eyes still hard. “I did not ask for your opinion, Reshi.”
The innkeeper looked down, uncomfortable. “It’s more than you should do, Bast.”
The dark young man reached out and laid a gentle hand on the side of his master’s face. For a moment he looked tired, weary through to the bone. Bast shook his head slowly, wearing an expression of bemused dismay. “You are an idiot, Reshi.”
Bast drew his hand back, and the weariness was gone.
Bast sighed, finally pulling his eyes away from the fireplace. “Think. The Cthaeh knows everything you’re ever going to do. Everything you’re going to say . . .
“That makes it an irritating conversationalist,” Chronicler said. “But not—”
Bast’s expression went suddenly furious. “Dyen vehat. Enfeun vehat tyloren tes!” he spat almost incoherently. He was trembling, clenching and unclenching his hands.
Chronicler went pale at the venom in Bast’s voice, but he didn’t flinch. “You’re not angry at me,” he said calmly, looking Bast in the eye. “You’re just angry, and I happen to be nearby.”
Bast glared at him, but said nothing.
Chronicler leaned forward. “I’m trying to help, you know that, right?”
Bast nodded sullenly.
“That means I need to understand what’s going on.”
Bast shrugged, his sudden flare of temper had burned itself out, leaving him listless again.
I think that Faens are far more prone to rapid changes in their emotions. They don't get a little angry, they get really angry really quickly...and they can calm down just as quickly.
Sorry for making this so long, but I though I'd need loads of examples to make this a concrete point.
Steven Halter
305. stevenhalter
thistlepong@301:That's a very good question and I think there are a couple of aspects I might split the question into.
There are a lot of things that aren't at this time understandable but which we have good hopes for seeing resolution in D3. For example, right now we don't know (for certain) why K doesn't appear to have all of his skills in the frame. In D3, we would expect this to be covered.
There could be things that seem out of place within the context of the story--like a Roman tribune wearing a wristwatch in some cheap Hollywood movie. Getting the math wrong for the triangle problem is an example of this in the books.
Then, there are things that actually fully contained storywise, but may seem to be questionable from a meta story point of view. For example, when Kvothe kills the bandits, people have legitimatelyquestioned if this was really needed/nice/in character.
Nisheeth Pandey
306. Nisheeth
Okay. I will look for other a bit later, but here is the extract referring to the first one.
I scooped her up, blankets and all, and carefully made my way down to the ground. I bundled her up again between the arch of the greystones. She seemed to rouse herself slightly as I jostled her around. "Denna?"
"Moteth?" she muttered around a mouthful of sleep, her eyes barely movind under her lids.
307. Marco.

The biggest thing that doesn't make sense is the chronicler. Several things for me just don't ring true:

1. How tough is he? On the one hand we have him crapping his pants when faced with a couple of soldiers, and on the other hand we have him smacking Bast across the face late at night. This does not compute for me. If he has the stones to confront a member of the Fae he's seen create a bird out on nothing and rip it in half, he should have the ability to deal with a couple of soldiers or highwaymen.

2. How skilled of an Arcanist is he? We know he has a name, which Elodin says is more than one in a thousand achieve. Let that sink in for a moment - one in a thousand. In my mind, this makes him a heavyweight. Feels odd to me.

3. His timing at the University. This has been discussed, but I still haven't heard an explanation I love for how Chronicler's Arcanist education fits into the couple of years since Kvothe left.

4. His conversation with Bast where he tells Bast he's trying to help him. Reread it - it feels suspicious to me. First, why would he bother to try to "correct" Bast's feelings about CTH, and second why is he trying to help Bast? Purportedly, he wants the story. If that is true why would he care about helping Kvothe come out of his shell?

5. I've mentioned this before, and it's related to #1 and #2, but I'm still really bothered by why he didn't help Kvothe when he was getting his ass kicked. He has the magical means to help - why didn't he?

The only thing I can come up with is that independent of Bast, Chronicler is trying to achieve the same goals as Bast. Only problem is I don't have the foggiest idea what his motivation to do so would be.
308. Kaizoku
I noticed an logical error in Bast's actions at the end of Book 2.
I think Bast sent those soldiers to threaten K so that K can beat them up and feel like a hero. But if K had pulled it off they might have spilled the beans on Bast. So it feels like a pretty weak plan to me.
And when did he do this? While we can assume that he found the soldiers after leaving Chronicler's room, it seems pretty flimsy. I just can't see him thinking, "Okay, now I'll go find a couple soldiers and tell them to rob Reshi". And he could not have made this plan earlier since for the plan to work Shep's wake had to be in progress thus allowing the inn to be empty, for which Shep would have to be dead, which did not happen before Day 1.
309. Kaizoku
Continued from 308:
And I doubt that the soldiers would hang around for more than a day to rob someone.
310. Kaizoku
@Marco at 307.
Chronicler takes a lot more initiative in WMF because he is pretty scared of Bast and doesn't know what Bast will do to him if K stays in depression which explains 1. and 4.
And 5. is easily explained. Imagine you're mugging someone and a bystander uses weird (to you) story book magic.
The soldiers would raise hell seeing this, and run out into town screaming about demons and stuff. The following things may happen:
1. Chronicler is run over by a mob or run out of town.
2. K's cover is blown.
3. More soldiers come and raise hell.
And I doubt that K would approve of killing the soldiers to silence them.
The fact that Chronicler was using his 'powers' for good will be entirely forgotten, especially given recent events with the Scrael and the Skin-Dancer that makes the village people far more wary of magic.
And Chronicler doesn't seem to have much expertise in physical combat. So all he can do is let K get beaten up and stop the soldiers before they kill K.
thistle pong
311. thistlepong

Each of your divisions might end up illuminating the text. I'm reminded that SusanLoyal's theory arose from a moment of tension as did the comparison of chapters 2 & 151. So, I'm curious about those moments that stick, stutter, or jar, however they do so. But, y'know, from other perspectives. I'm awfully familiar with my own.

It's motivated in part by the poetry discussion. (I'm aware I committed to something there and I intend to honor that. I really do.)

@Kaizoku, Marco, and Nisheeth: thanks. Those are all quite interesting.
Steven Halter
312. stevenhalter
thistlepong@311:That's a good example--the Tarbean interlude. At first as we mulled it over, it did not seem to fit and then out of that seeming tension, arose SusanLoyal's name awakening theory.
Thanks for recalling that as an example as at this remove, I had almost forgotten the original story tension therein.
313. Marco.

So he confronts him alone at night and smacks him in the face because he's scared of him?

Just doesn't smell right to me.
Nisheeth Pandey
314. Nisheeth
Just wanted to give you another example like the one youn posted:
At the end of NOtW, Bast first threatens Chronicler and then suddenly says that they can be friends.

3. One thing, that I think is possible is that he wasa student before Kvothe, then went out chasing the wind (as he mentions once). During that time, Kvothe came to the university, and then Chronicler came back some time after Kvothe was expelled.

He didn't need the Shep's funeral to be there. He could just have set up for another cause, but was saved from that by Shep's death. Or it could be his beautiful game, with him planning out everthing, from the Scrael to the mercenary (which would kill some-one) to the soldiers. :)


About the poetry, another example of poetry I don't remember being mentioned before was by Denna describing Kvothe (the first line refers to the other people that cling to her):
They come and go with little loss.
You are the glod behind the windblown dross.
Another thing to add to the second oddity I mentioned, the one about Kvother threatening to break the bnding, he also was somehow able to keed Bast held back with sheer strength.

Another oddity: Why mention the missing sailor when Kvothe was going to leave fro Severen? That seems entirely pointless, not something I have seen PR do much of.

And this is something I just noticed, Contrast between Denna and Kvothe:
During his time in Tarbean, Kvothe saw a kid being beaten in the alley, much like he was by Pike. But he didn't step out to save him.

In Severen, Denna sees a girl being abused(?) by a man in an alley, supposedly like she was (at least that is what I assumed by reading that part), but she stepped in to help her.

I think he knew that bast was more scared ofteh Cthaeh that he himself was of bast, and intended to use that fear against him.
thistle pong
315. thistlepong

I'm actually intimidated by that particular line from Denna. Where it's located. Its alchemical symbolism. The implications therefrom.
Nisheeth Pandey
316. Nisheeth
It is in WMF, Chapter 73, Blood and Ink.
Somewhere around location 9575 in the Kindle editon.
And I made a little mistake in quoting it. It was
They come and go with little gain or loss
You are the gold behind the windblown dross.
thistle pong
317. thistlepong
Yah, 73-4 is the middle of the book. Anyway, it's iambic pentameter with a point of tension in the first foot of the second line 'cause it's a trochee. Formally, that suggests that line, and in particular that foot, is significant. In this case it emphasizes Kvothe as strongly as possible. "You are the gold behind the windbown dross," marks him as the culmination of the alchemical process. The next line starts with, "Master Ash," which reinforces "windblown dross," the impure matter which must be cleared away. By itself, it's an odd turn of phrase. There it looks like a big deal.
Roger Pavelle
318. RogerPavelle
@301, 311
There are a couple of things that I find out of place or illogical:
1) Ambrose using malfeasance - There are so many other ways he could have punished the person who broke into his apartment (and broke/stole nothing). He could have hired thugs and made a dousing object from the blood (or had one of the masters make one if he couldn't). Malfeasance is 5 steps beyond what he should have done.
2) How can Kvothe remember all these very complicated sygaldry schemas (to the extent that he can make the Maer a gram having only done one before that)?
3) Why is Carceret allowed to hire herself out as a merc? She seems too hot headed/easily lead from the Lethani for the school to want her sent as a representative. For that matter, why have both she and Tempi been out of the school earning money but Pethe (who is much higher ranked) has not?

One other thing that I am confused about is which topics of study at the University are "magic"? I would classify languages, chemistry, medica and mathematic as sciences/liberal arts. Sympathy and Naming are "magic" in that they require something that is outside reality to perform. Where do sygaldry and alchemy fall? If Sim was standing behind me explaining exactly what to do, could I make an alchemical potion? Or, maybe closer, if Kvothe was standing behind him, could Anker have fixed his refrigerator (or made it)?

- Roger
319. Rich C
Thistlepong @303Things that don't make sense to me include:
* The story of Caudicus's death seems a bit sketchy to me. Caudicus knows he's been found trying to assisinate the Maer, manages to escape the palace, but then spends at least a few months hiding out in the Maer's territory, very near Severen? That seems like an implausibly risky decision, given that Caudicus seems like he'd have the wherewithal to get a lot further away.

*Why is there a candle in the desk at the Archives? Ambrose pulls it out of the desk, which (presumably) makes it seem to (the somewhat addled) Kvothe that its ok to use a candle in the Archives, but given just how not-OK that is, why is there one there at all?

*Maybe this is just an unanswered question, but why isn't Denna happier to have her ring back?

*As I mentioned @121, I think that Chronicler's response to Kvothe's decision not to tell the Trial story (and I still am unable to quote it exactly) roughly "but that's the first story I heard about you when I came to the University!", does not jibe with his apparently being older than and having attended the university prior to Kvothe. In other places, Chronicler mentions stories he hears at the University on return trips, but in the instance I'm referring to his language is different, I think, and may reveal a slip on the Chronicler's part.

*Sovoy's disappearance. I know Pat (flippantly) answered a question about this in the admissions interview, but it still seems odd to me.

*The apparent assassination attempt on Kvothe right before he heads to Trebon, where the apparent assassins say they want to avoid a mix up like what happened in Anilin. Kvothe thinks that Ambrose is behind it, but why would assassins hired by Ambrose head to Anilin? It seems like whoever hired the apparent assassins had them tracking Kvothe from Tarbean (from whence he took a caravan headed for Analin), but who in Tarbean would want to kill him, have the resources to pay assassins (plus have a hair of his), but not have a superior alternative way of getting him out of the way (which I assume the Tehlins who arrested Skarpi would have, for instance)?
Steven Halter
320. stevenhalter
thistlepong@317:The Denna verse is a nice clean example of iambic pentameter. The syllables and accents are nice and matching. Have you noticed if all of Denna's verse are in IP?
I wonder if the straightforwardness of the D verse is meant to convey something vs the more mixed nature of Felurian's verses. In other words, does each "poetic" character have a different poetic nature/mannerism/complexity?
Nisheeth Pandey
321. Nisheeth
Caudicus might have thought that best to hide close, maybe?

Regarding Sovoy, I think it is pointless to argue against Word of God.

About the last one, I remember having brought it up in the asoiaf forums.
If you look in the 20th page of thread VII (The Wise Man's Fear VII), JezDynamite gives a plausible explanation to the question.
322. Marco.
It's a plausible explanation for the Chron/Kvothe timeline conundrum, but it seems odd for Chron to say: "That's the first story I ever heard about you when I came to the University"

I would expect that most people would say "returned" instead of "came" if this explanaion is correct.

Perhaps the explanation is as simple as it's an error by Rothfuss, but it's also possible that he's intentionally obsfucating. (And I think this is the intent of the OP, to identify things that don't feel right - characters behaving unrealistically, etc - in order to try and find things in the text that may be hidden.)
Wallace Forman
323. WallaceForman
Loosely relevant to @291, @295, @300, @307 some thoughts on Cthaeh.

One possibility for the Cthaeh's power is that it sees not the future, but names, perfectly. One look at Kvothe, and it knows how his nature will drive him through the world. It knows exactly how to nudge him so that he will naturally strike the world in the manner that maximally achieves the Cthaeh's ends. (The way Rethe, similarly, might have been able to predict the path of a bolt of silk as it flew through the wind, but more complete.) Identifying the Cthaeh with Selitos reinforces this "seeing names" interpretation. Selitos was, above all, a powerful see-er and namer.

If the Cthaeh sees not the future but only names, it might have an important weakness. It may not be able to predict the actions of an entity whose name changes. In particular, it may not be able to predict the effects of shaping new names. Kvothe has changed his calling name to Kote, and there is some indication that he or someone else may have shaped a new true name for himself, or that his old name has in some way been broken.

Which brings us to Chronicler. There has been significant speculation that Chronicler is with the Amyr. If the Cthaeh is Selitos as was, then Chronicler may be affiliated with the objectives of the Cthaeh. If Kvothe has changed his true name to Kote, then the Cthaeh's goals may have been frustrated.

One interpretation of what Chronicler is doing, is that he is binding Kvothe back to his true name. This fits well with Bast's stated objective for Chronicler's visit. By telling the story of Kvothe, he is naming the essence of the man himself, and making that name more true. Most strikingly, when Kvothe refuses to tell the story of the trial at Imre, a story Chronicler considers quintessential of Kvothe, Chronicler himself reinserts the story back into the narrative, as best he is able.

Perhaps Chronicler can put Kvothe back on track for whatever purposes the Cthaeh, and by extension the Amyr, have for him, by binding him back to his name. Whether or not this would be a good thing depends on our understanding of the Cthaeh's purpose, and the reasons that drove Kvothe's name to break/change in the first place. Chronicler counsels Bast on the Cthaeh because he has a more clear headed understanding of the limits of the Cthaeh's power. But perhaps he also has a different understanding of its purpose: not malevolence for its own sake, but the greater good, whatever the cost.
Wallace Forman
324. WallaceForman
Things that stood out to me:

1. Kvothe's memory of attempted rape in Tarbean. It seems to incorporate details from the first fight with Pike where Arliden's lute is destroyed and also the rape of the boy just below Kvothe's Tarbean shelter - which Kvothe signals as one of his beginnings. Is this the unreliable narrator? Was Kvothe actually the boy that was raped? Was it not merely attempted, but successful?

2) Tarbean in general is weird. Kvothe has a number of interactions with characters that are given names, but never seen again. In particular, there is the interaction with Encanis/Gerrek and demon/Holly. Will we ever see any of these people again? Are they important? What significance does this or any of the other brief interactions in Tarbean have for the story itself?

3) I agree that Kvothe's mugging is strange because of the reference to Anilin, but I admit that it did not stand out to me at the time.

4) The ring of air. Is Kvothe wearing one? I am uncertain. The more likely interpretation is that Kvothe is messing with Elodin, but the episode seems rather open-ended.

5) The number of the Chandrian. Skarpi refers to Lanre and his Chandrian, and then Haliax and the Seven. These are awkward phrases if Lanre/Haliax are part of the Chandrian/Seven. The Adem story creates more doubt. Abenthy's certainty about the number based on mere linguistics seems like an authorial misdirect to me, especially given the enduring confusion regarding the number of the Chandrian.

6) Chronicler's age, chronology of his attendance at the university relative to Kvothe. Something seems weird or off about this.

7) Stapes's ring changes from silver to gold. Just an error by PR, no doubt.

8) The strangeness and constant contradictions inherent in the way Kvothe describes his time with Denna. After first meeting her, he states that he will never see her again. As he prepares to reintroduce her to the story, he notes that the story needs a woman (not just women in general) in it. Then he introduces three other female characters (Devi, Feli, Auri) instead of Denna, before taking another interlude after which he finally reintroduces Denna.

When searching for the singer at the Eolian, he knows (wrongly) that she cannot be as beautiful as her voice (though Bast thinks she is not quite as pretty as Kvothe makes out, and moreover casts some doubt in general on the description of the women Kvothe knows). Then he meets Denna again, and tells in narration that he does not want to lie about their meeting. Strangely, the meeting turns out to be more or less the way he claims would have been a lie to recount.

Later in the book, he identifies a woman that he knows is not Denna watching him in the crowd, but it is her. Camping near Trebon, he again contradicts himself by first hinting that his stay with her was not a story of two lovers in the woods, and then hinting that it was in fact such a story, before fading out. All very strange and hard to make sense of, other than that Kvothe does not understand what he is doing with Denna. In WMF, the confusion mostly takes the shape of missed letters.

9) I was struck, on one reread, that Kvothe does not hesitate to prepare to pull exactly the same trick with Vashet that he had attempted to pull with Devi (he steals her hair for a mommet).
thistle pong
325. thistlepong
Heads up!

Pat's doing a Reddit AMA @8pm cst tonight.

You can submit questions until then.
John Graham
326. JohnPoint
Great question thistlepong, and great answers everyone. Many of the responses are things that also strike me as odd or incongruous, though some of them don't seem odd to me at all. But that's the point of this exercise, isn't it?

One thing that I can think of (and haven't seen mentioned yet) is the logistics or magic behind telling someone something "three times." At at least two different points (one teasing, one formal) Kvothe tells Bast something "three times." Sim tells Kvothe various things "three times" when Kvothe is under the influence of the plum bob, and Kvothe obeys immediately. (Interesting note, Fela looks at Sim with surprise when he makes Kvothe stop and sit; is that a demonstration of Sim's power which Fela is seeing for the first time? Is there perhaps a tiny striking of the spark, which later kindles when he creates poetry to her?) And there are other places that it comes up as well.

So, is "telling someone something three times" magical (some type of binding or something similar) that allows someone with the right skilz to "force" someone else to do the desired action? Is it more a cultural/linguistic emphasis that conveys meaning -- like we might say "I swear it on my mother's grave" to indicate complete honesty? Is it some combination of the two (there is actual magic behind it, but only if you know what you're doing, while others use is as emphasis?) Or something else?

I'm think there is something true behind it (because of how it is used), but am really curious what exactly it is...
Roger Pavelle
327. RogerPavelle
@326 re: 3 times
I think this is a colloquial (rather than magical) way of saying "This is important. Pay attention." That seems to fit each instance where it is used. My only guess about why 3 times would be that for some people you need to repeat yourself that often for them to listen or think you're serious.

Interestingly, if I remember correctly, the first time we hear it is when Kote asks Bast to drug the caravan traveller who recognized him. This would imply that it is fairly universal or has existed for a VERY long time if it exists in both Fae and 4C.

- Roger
Carl Banks
328. robocarp

Number 8 seems strange to me too. Kote made his aside about women after we met Denna in the caravan, and I was expecting Denna to come back right away. But we didn't meet Denna again until several chapters and several women later. This has often made me wonder multiple times if Kvothe's real love interest (in the end) isn't Denna.

The thing I thought was out of place is probably the conversation where Kvothe eavesdrops on between Denna and the indistinct young woman. It seems to have served no other purpose than character development for Denna: it vaguely suggests Denna's history but gives us nothing concrete. Which is ok (not every passage needs to be world building or adventure), but it's not quite typical of Kvothe's narration.
thistle pong
329. thistlepong
disambiguations from the reddit:

Cthaeh: gender -
I'm glad you like the Cthaeh. I'm rather proud of him....

The Latantha: similarities to terestrial martial arts -
The Latantha is absolutely a soft martial art. Other Adem forms are not.
I think of it as closer to Yang style Tai Chi Chuan though....
*if you've seen Tai Chi or dabbled in it, chances are good it was Yang style


Tor Commenters: luminosity -
Yeah. From the glimpses I've seen, they've got some incredibly fucking brilliant people digging into the stuff.
Jeremy Raiz
330. Jezdynamite

Thanks for the heads up about the reddit AMA. I hope your question about the incident on Shep's Farm on Cendling gets answered tomorrow when he returns to the redit.

I doubt he'll answer my question about the prefix of "Tar-" in city/region names.
thistle pong
331. thistlepong
Wow, that's a lot of responses I wasn' really keeping track of. Thanks, y'all.

WallaceForman@324; re: #7

To the best of my knowledge, no one has asked him about that in a public forum. There are symbolic reasons why he might have done that and there might be a structural clue. But there are mistakes in the books, too.

Edit: Oh, hey Jez. Good to see you. Long odds on the Shep thing, too.
John Graham
332. JohnPoint
Roger @327:

That's exactly why I'm interested -- at times, it seems to be colloquial. At others, it seems to be magical (like when Kvothe is on the plumb bob. Here's one of the passages from that scene:
I was on my feet, my hands clenched into fists. "I'll be cut into pieces in hell before I let them stick me in Haven," I said, furious. "even for an hour. Even for a minute."

Sim blanched and took a step back, raising his hands defensively, palms out. But his voice was firm and calm. "Kvothe, I am telling you three times. Stop."

I stopped. Fela was watching me with wide, frightened eyes.

Simmon continued firmly. "Kvothe, I am telling you three times: sit down."

I sat.

Standing behind him, Fela looked at Simmon, surprised.
This feels like something more than just Sim being Kvothe's touchstone during the plumb bob. It feels magical, and Fela's response to Sim seems to verify that. But at other points, it's used almost jokingly. Also, as you point out, it appears to be part of Fae culture and 4C culture, which might mean it's a echo of older magic.
Nisheeth Pandey
333. Nisheeth
I myself took it to be as: when Sim said that, his voice was what made him calm down, not the phrase itself. The phrase just went ot to show how serioius Seim was.
Fela, I believe ,was surprised that Sim didn't feel afraid of Kvothe, but was able to speak commandingly to him.

Or it might be as you say, that these words have some power, like the shadow of a name.
Steven Halter
334. stevenhalter
JohnPoint@326: "The Hunting of the Snark" -- Lewis Carroll:
"Just the place for a Snark!" the Bellman cried,
As he landed his crew with care;
Supporting each man on the top of the tide
By a finger entwined in his hair.

"Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:
That alone should encourage the crew.
Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:
What I tell you three times is true."
The telling someone three times as a test of trueness is usually attributed to this passage. Three is the minimum number of independent voters needed to ensure a simple majority (no ties) and allow for redundency.
PR is probably aware of all of this background and is using it as both a playful callout and a useful technique here.
thistle pong
336. thistlepong
That was for stevenhalter. Y'all also don't wanna ignore the bit that precedes JohnPoint's quote where Sim actually gets frustrated the third time he has to admonish Kvothe about the same thing...
337. Jacob H.
First, let me apologize if my theorizing and such is a repeat of prior material posted--there's so much great stuff to go through here!

I believe that there is a high-ranking official in the Aturan Church that is a Chandrian in hiding. All of this boils down to the ways in which the Amyr and the Church were once really tight together, but that they eventually split apart. Skarpi's story of Lanre & Selitos suggests that the Amyr may not have been human (confirmed by Felurian), and he also notes that they were created to prevent Lanre/Haliax and his followers from corrupting or destroying everything. (I suppose I should also say that I'm trusting Skarpi's version pretty strongly, and if he's an Amyr, that could be unwise.)

Skarpi also tells us that Tehlu was the best of the Amyr, but not much else. If we assume that Tehlu was not really a person but that he could come in the guise of a person, much like the bad demon things that possess the soldier and killthe farmer at Kote's inn, then the story that Trappis tells about Menda and Tehlu becomes a key to understanding that Tehlu was not truly a human or a god--something the Church would not want if they want to preserve their power.

And, given that the Church broke the power of the Amyr, or were instrumental in its destruction, then it seems wise to assume that, like a worm in fruit, Haliax has gotten into the Church and is using it to turn the very real horrors of the Chandrian into the church "myths" that the people believe in.

Even more subtly, the story told by Trappis ends with Tehlu winning! This is a big problem for the Amyr, since if there are no more things like the Chandrian--which Incannus is clearly a representative for--then what is their point? They continue to do some horrible things, but for what reason if Incannus is gone? And of course you have the Duke of Gibea, who isn't doing any favors for the concept of "the greater good."

To return to the idea of "winning" against the "demons," I wonder if this is also something that the hidden Chandrian has added to Church lore, as the greatest trick the devil can pull is to make everyone think he doesn't exist. ;)

All of this leads me to believe that the Church sprung up around one of the Amyr, Tehlu, but not as a religious institution specifically--I suspect it was more of a supporting organization that gave the Amyr something to lean upon. And perhaps even something to channel themselves into? Hmmm.

Another couple of things I noted in Skarpi's story this time through include the fact that Iax is named as a peer of Selitos, which I think makes it difficult to assume that Haliax comes from him or is named for him. I'm not done with that theory, but I think it needs reframing or reconsideration.

Lastly, I thought for a while that maybe Iax made the fae realms or separated them out so that the world would be safer, but that honestly has nothing to do with the moon or the central truth of thestory Hespa tells, which revolves around dissatisfaction and the twist from love to obsession. So I'm still hunting there.
338. gjits
Regarding the Fae-Reft thing,

Vashet states that "Long ago, the Adem were upheaved from our rightful place. Something we cannot remember drove us out. Someone stole our land, or ruined it, or made us flee in fear."

Most people seem to be thinking that the Adem were displaced due to the Creation/Ergen war, like because of the fighting.

Perhaps, though, they formerly occupied the land that was the Reft, and indeed "someone stole land" in a quite literal sense.
Adam Price
339. Zuphlas
I've been following this reread for a long while without commenting, and I've got to say there's some impressively sharp observations and fascinating speculation going on. Thought I'd weigh in on some of the debates and maybe mention a few things that stood out to me on finishing my umpteenth reread the other day. Sorry in advance if it's too long or if certain points have been made before!

I was intrigued by some of the Denna speculation, especially the role that her story and quest could play in D3.

@112. stevenhalter "I agree with A Fox's analysis that Denna has her own tale and that tale would be just as interesting as Kvothe's if it were the tale that was being told. Kvothe doesn't understand her at all at this point in the story."

While I agree, I'd also tie those suggestions in with Kvothe's comments that he 'never understood the least part of her' and flag it up with regards to the idea that's been floated of Kvothe's retelling the story bringing certain things to light and acting as character development for him in the frame. They made me wonder whether in fact Denna's story *is* what's being told here, at least on some level - if in fact we don't get too much of Denna's whole rationale in the story of D3, it would seem entirely plausible to me that Kvothe is (perhaps subconciously given his wildly emotional reaction to Chronicler hearing that he's never understood her) telling Chronicler the story to try and figure out what Denna was up to and why. The realisation of actual reasons for certain of Denna's actions could well act as a catalyst to shrug off the 'Kote'. Further speculation without too much basis: the betrayal he mentions in the super short version of his story was Denna, and his retelling could allow him to see why it wasn't a betrayal after all, or mitigate the worse aspects.

On a side note, I've always loved the overlap in names between Denna/Denner resin/Dennerlings. I've always assumed that the Denner resin aspect was a nod to Kvothe's addiction to her, but the Dennerling link was one I was a bit more puzzled by. It could just be that it's a nod to her being like a fae to him, but one thing that I noticed this time through was Felurian's comment that only a Dennerling would seek out the Cthaeth. The first times I read it, I thought it just referred to them being evil, but in the context it's given in (with Felurian saying that it only tells things to hurt people) I wondered whether the literal in-text meaning there might refer to a Dennerling's propensity for self-destructive behaviour. A possible figurative or foreshadowing meaning is of course aligning Denna with the Cthaeth's objectives, which might well be significant seeing how Chandrian-assisting her current activities are.

The discussion of Lanre and Haliax also brought to mind a few things. I'm very intrigued to see if, as suggested by some here, that we're going to see a big switch from Haliax being seen as a more complex character with actions and goals that make more sense to us than Skarpi's story gives. The absolute stand-out line for me in that story was Lanre's cryptic comments to Selitos about the manner of Lyra's death; that he was betrayed but that ultimately it was all his fault. That definitely sounded like the trend/trope you see in fantasy for heroic figures to take on too much responsibility with respect to other people's choices, and go to destructive lengths to try and fix it rather than accept the choices people they've loved have made.

@142. hex - "Freeing Iax could be one alternative for Haliax, except there's no evidence that that's what he's up to (...) Another piece of information I left out of my last post re, "Why Myr Tariniel": according to Bast, "they say" that Lanre spoke to the Cthaeh shortly before he betrayed MT. What did the Ctheah tell Lanre that motivated him to go there, and burn it to the ground?"

Tied into the above point, I've always assumed it was to do with Lyra's death. I saw it as one of two ways - either he was told about their role in Lyra's death and it's an issue of revenge, or that the only way to bring Lyra back from the doors of death involves the doors of stone being open and the shapers free.

@150. Dessert - "Lanre lost Lyra to treachery and deceit. Although he blames himself. Lanre's discourse with Selitos is revealing.
"Was I accounted a good man,Selitos?"
"You were counted among the best of us. We considered you beyond reproach."
"Yet I did this.""

That part, 'accounted a good man', resonates with the 'for the greater good' theme for me. I did wonder whether it was the prompt for the Amyr to seek the greater good rather than follow heroes, but I wasn't sure how that would tie into him being 'beyond reproach' when we're told that the Cyridae were also regarded that way.

@193. gbrell - "Was re-reading parts of WMF and noticed a couple details. Wondered if anyone here might have any thoughts on them.

“It’s not the sort of ring you wear,” Bredon said uncomfortably. “It’s quite the other sort of ring, actually.”

What exactly is the "other" sort of ring. I'm familiar with the phrasing, but this makes it sound like there is another category of rings."

Note also that the Lackless door required a 'ring unworn'... I suspect that rings that aren't for wearing will be playing a larger role in D3.

@205. HoneyBakedPiglet - "Kvothe tricks a demon and kills an angel. Devi is called Demon Devi. She's always wanting to get into the archives. He tricks her somehow but the only way for Kvothe to keep what he gets is to show her into the archives. This crushes Auri's spirit and either drives her out or Devi duels her and kills her and Kvothe blames it on himself."

As has been said, I absolutely love this interpretation, even if I'm not sure if it's going to be the case. If it were the case though, would his 'heart's desire' revolve around the four plate door, and could that door be why Devi is so desperate to get back into the archives rather than the books as we've assumed...?

Finally, I love that Puppet makes remarkably good puppet versions of people who visit, which would be a particularly good sympathetic link with a bit of hair or blood (given that 'even the crudest mommet could be devasting'). I know Ambrose is a scriv and has probably come across Puppet - so there's a potentially devasting weapon for him there - but might there also be a puppet of Devi from her time there?
340. AdG
"I have talked to Gods"...

Skarpi (story teller, Dockside) is God.
342. mpark6288
I've been thinking about Taborlin the Great (he said self-importantly).

Taborlin the Great may be a mythic figure, but he is also discussed as being a real one--and the association of myths with real figures is a central part of the story Kote is telling in the framing narrative.

This made me think of the legendary Irish poet Taliesin, the Chief of the Bards. He is believed to be a historical figure, with 11 poems from the 6th century ascribed to him. But he is also a mythological figure, with other poets ascribing a mythic life to him. For example, one of the poems about him says:

I have been a multitude of shapes,
Before I assumed a consistent form.
I have been a sword, narrow, variegated,
I have been a tear in the air,
I have been in the dullest of stars.
I have been a word among letters,
I have been a book in the origin.

It almost seems like that poem should end with 'Perhaps you've heard of me.' He is also given a magical past in the Hanes Taliesin (Tale of Taliesin). He is said to have been a boy who stole three drops of a magic potion that gave him wisdom from a princess who was a powerful sorceress. While fleeing they took many forms, until he ended up hiding as a kernel of corn and she ate him--and then was pregnant with him.

The magical abilities, great wisdom, and possible 'mythification' of a real person into a legend make me think that at least part of the story of Taborlin came from Taliesin, which would fit in with Mr. Rothfuss' weaving of Celtic mythology (Fae, Sithe, etc.) into the story.

The name also bugged me for a bit, as there are other ones where we can more easily line up what the influence is. In addition to non-matches (the TAxpayer Bill Of Rights, for example), there is one that caught my eye. A Tabor is a kind of portable snare-drum, which has an interesting musical connection to both Taliesin and Kvothe. It also reminded me somewhat of Tamyrlin and the Amyrlin Seat from the Wheel of Time, so the name Taborlin could be another way of tying in to the sound of 'Merlin' without being obvious about it.

But Taliesin also has an interesting parallel with Kvothe as well. The name Taliesin literally means 'Shining Brow'. While this is allegedly because he had a particularly fair forehead, it does resemble Kvothe singing the Name of Felurian, with the star upon his brow.

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