Jan 17 2013 2:00pm

Rothfuss Reread: Speculative Summary 18: A Good Cloak

Rothfuss Re-read Speculative Summary 18: A Good Cloak

My 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.

I just read both books again, straight through. It’s surprising how absorbing they still are, even after all this, and also what I’m noticing. (I’m almost tempted to start again at a chapter a week.) So this isn’t a standard speculative summary where I summarize your clever thoughts, this is all me.


Kvothe has had six cloaks in the books so far.

The first is given to him by Shandi for his twelfth birthday, it has lots of pockets but we don’t know the colour. He simply describes it as “lovely” and mentions the pockets. Shandi’s cloak was presumably lost when the wagon burned. He doesn’t mention having it in the forest, but if he did, then it fell to rags in Tarbean.

The second was the dark blue cloak he bought when he was leaving Tarbean after he pawned Rhetoric and Logic.

When you’re travelling a good cloak is worth more than all your other possessions put together. If you’ve nowhere to sleep it can be your bed and blanket. It will keep the rain off your back and the sun from your eyes. You can conceal all manner of interesting weaponry beneath it if you are clever and a smaller assortment if you are not.

But beyond all that, two facts remain to recommend a cloak. First, very little is as striking as a well-worn cloak, billowing lightly about you in the breeze. And second, the best cloaks have innumerable little pockets which I have an irrational and overpowering attraction towards.

This cloak, “only one owner from new” was burned when he rescued Fela from the fire in the Fishery.

The third cloak was Fela’s cloak, dark green and black, with little pockets. This is the cloak that got him into trouble with D, because it looked as if Fela was embracing him when she was putting it on him. He lost it in the shipwreck on the way to Severen.

The fourth cloak was the Maer’s gift, burgundy with lots of pockets, very smart but not really waterproof. He traded it to the Tinker on the way to the Eld in return for everything he needed and an old faded black cloak.

That black cloak was the fifth cloak. It didn’t have pockets so he sewed some in himself from material he bought in Cresson. He had it with him in the Eld and lost it when it caught on a branch as he pursued Felurian.

The sixth cloak is the shaed Felurian made for him from shadow, sewn with moonlight and starlight and firelight and sunlight. It billows without wind and keeps Kvothe safe to get back to Felurian. (Has he been back? If not, wouldn’t this be a good time?)

This is a lot of cloaks. The other thing about them is that having a cloak was one of the ways in which he is emulating Taborlin the Great, who had his cloak “of no particular colour.”


Three people in the books and three people only have eyes that change colour with their moods. Felurian, Bast, and Kvothe.

I’m not saying this is evidence of Kvothe having Faen ancestry, but it’s strongly suggestive, especially as there’s Arliden’s comment about grandchildren and eye-colour, in the context of stories. Eye-colour is hereditary in the 4C world, as it is here. Arliden, Laurian, and Meluan are not described as having colour-changing eyes.

I think there’s a touch of Fae about Kvothe, and I’d love to know where it comes from. We know very little about Laurian/Netalia’s parents, and nothing at all about Arliden’s. Yet they’re youngish parents, their own parents should still be alive. Netalia’s estranged from hers of course, but where are Arliden’s? It never seems to cross K’s mind.


We have three versions of Lanre’s story. There’s Skarpi’s story, which has Selitos as the hero, and which we’ve discussed at length. I think it can be reasonable seen as “The Amyr version.” I feel that Skarpi with his friends in the Church might be an Amyr himself—would that imply that Chronicler also was? It might.

Then there’s D’s version, of which we have only a very brief summary—that Lanre is the hero and Selitos a tyrant, and that she has done a lot of research. We also know that this song does not summon the Chandrian—it’s not the “wrong kind of song”, because it becomes popular and gets sung all over the place. We also suspect, because of Master Ash and parallels, that the Chandrian might want this version of the song out there as counter-propaganda. That doesn’t mean it’s true or not true.

And there’s the third version, which is what Kvothe gives Ben when he idiotically binds all the air in the world to the air in his lungs, Ben tries to talk to him afterwards about power and wisdom. He starts by asking Kvothe if he knows the story of Lanre, which strongly implies that Lanre’s story has a useful moral for this situation.

I thought of the dozens of stories I’d heard my father collect over the last year, trying to pick out the common threads.

“Lanre was a prince,” I said. “Or a king. Someone important. He wanted to be more powerful than anyone else in the world. He sold his soul for power but then something went wrong and afterward I think he went crazy or he couldn’t ever sleep again or...”

Ben says he didn’t sell his soul, that’s just nonsense. Now Ben ranks very highly in my hierarchy of trust, and it’s also not in the other versions. But what do we have as a summary of “dozens of stories”? There’s no Selitos, no cities, no betrayal—just somebody important who wants to be more powerful than anyone else and something went wrong with that so he couldn’t ever sleep again.

Ben abandons the attempt to use Lanre as an example and goes on to talk about power and damage. So he must have felt that there are parallels between what Kvothe did and what Lanre did. I think that has to be having lots of power and no sense of proportion. Lanre did something powerful and stupid, just like Kvothe did with the air, and just like that it was something he couldn’t undo—only with Lanre is was something nobody could undo. And Kvothe did something with sympathy to himself. Maybe Lanre did the same. What happens when you change your mind? I mean literally? Lanre wouldn’t have been using sympathy, which was invented at the University (according to Elodin). He’d have been using Naming or possibly Shaping. What happens when you change your name with Naming? Is this what Kvothe did? Is it what Lanre did—we know his name is Alaxel, or Lord Haliax, we do know it for sure isn’t Lanre any more. I think he changed his mind and changed his name.

We don’t actually have any idea what Lanre did in between the Bloc of Drossen Tor and the destruction of the cities. We don’t hear anything of D’s version of what Lanre did, and in Kvothe’s “dozens of stories” version it’s sold his soul for power, immediately corrected by Ben to not selling his soul.

Skarpi’s version doesn’t tell us either, because Skarpi is deep into Selitos’s POV. He mentions Selitos hearing rumours that something had happened to Lyra. But in his version, by the time Selitos talks to him Lanre has done something that means he can’t be killed in the long term—he can be killed but he will come back. He also can’t go mad or sleep—all four doors are closed to him, sleep, madness, forgetting and death. Lanre has broken the doors of the mind, and the only thing he can imagine can fix things is to destroy the universe.

I do hope this isn’t what Kvothe did, or anyway... if it is, I really hope that whatever is in the thrice-locked chest really is the V and the H. We have seen him sleep, though only once, when Bast was singing, but we have seen him sleep, so he isn’t a new Chandrian. Isn’t that a relief!

The other possible Lanre version we have is Tehlu vs Encanis, Trapis’s story, where the demons (and we know there are no demons) are driven out by Tehlu and the chief of them is bound on a wheel and burned and held onto the wheel by Tehlu. “Blackened body of God!” as people say. I think this is a different story, or anyway that it happened later—Tehlu is one of Aleph’s angels according to Skarpi, and Tehlu could have had a run in with Haliax at any point afterwards.

The Earl of Baedn-Bryt

Chronicler’s unreasonably worried about being late for a meeting with this guy. He’s not just another noble, he’s somebody important. He might be Chronicler’s patron? But Chronicler blanches at the thought of being late. And “The earl would be furious. No telling what it might take to get back in his good graces.” And Kvothe hasn’t actually said that he will let Chronicler leave at the end. We’ve talked about Kvothe deliberately delaying Chronicler or playing a beautiful game with him. But this earl is somebody significant. He’s meeting him in Treya. (Known to the map reading public as “Where?” And did you see Pat in his AMA say that Newarre was just down the road from Rannish?)

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.

Francesco Paonessa
1. ErrantKnave
Thanks for theories, Ms. Walton. You've given me a couple of new things to think over while I wait for Day 3.

However, I must be missing something. What are the V and the H?
Jo Walton
2. bluejo
He changes his name from KvOThE to KOTE, leaving out the v and the h. One theory as to what he's in the box is that it's his name, or part of his name. The bit at the end of WMF where Elodin freaks out at the thought of name changing has encouraged some people to believe this.
3. soupytwist
Ooh, interesting! The eyes thing does seem like it might mean something more than just that he is connected to the Faen side of things, thematically/metaphorically. I wonder if maybe it is some sort of special marker of either fate or magic. Like, if you are a certain level of powerful or important then that sort of warps things (magically maybe) and gives you some funky eye colour stuff.

The Taborlin thing is the obvious one about the cloaks, but maybe a cloak is going to be somehow important in Day Three? I can think of lots of ways a cool cloak with lots of pockets could end up being plot useful.
Jesse Sayers
4. Fluvre
Bast gives us another piece of the Lanre story. He tells Kvothe that Lanre and Iax both visited the Ctheah before the commited the acts that made them infamous. Scarpi told us that Lyra became sick after Drossen Tor. I assumed Lanre went to the Ctheah to get a flower to cure Lyra.

If he was too late with the flower I can see him wanting to destroy the world so he can die. If instead the flower lost some of it's power when it left Fae and entered the 4C world then he could want to either destroy the world or make it so that other magics work more powerfully in it so other people wont die. I mostly believe this because of his comment from Scarpi's story "Sow salt least the bitter weeds grow "(or something like that. )

Just had a thought though. If the doors of the mind are locked open and he can't stay on the other side of them then he could die, but would come back. And his sleeping mind would be pushed up making him a great namer.

I like the connection of the eyes to Arlidans description.
Jo Walton
5. bluejo
Also with eyes: in Levenshir one of the villagers says he has Ruh eyes. Nobody else ever does, and no other Ruh are mentioned as having them.
Pamela Adams
6. Pam Adams
You can conceal all manner of interesting weaponry beneath it if you are clever and a smaller assortment if you are not.

Clearly Kvothe took lessons from Vlad Taltos.
Ashley Fox
7. A Fox
Jo, Afraid I dont have access to NotW. But doesnt Viari (requistions, in case I've misremembered!) indicate K's hair and eyes whe he thinks K is Yllish, then Ruh?

Perhaps it is the colour combo, rather than changing.
Steven Halter
8. stevenhalter
When Felurian is telling the tale of the stolen moon she says:
this shaper of the dark and changing eye stretched out his hand against the pure black sky.
So, the person who stole the moon (presumably Iax) also had a changing eye.

I also wonder whether the eyes are really changing color or it is the general lighting, reflection and dilation of the eyes causing them to appear to change color. Kvothe mainly mentions color changes as his mood changes, and this would correspond to changes in pupil dilation.
My own eyes are green with various flecks and as the pupil dilates they can appear to change color as various parts of the iris are contracted/condensed. This is a fairly common occurrence for people with green or hazel eyes.
Steven Halter
9. stevenhalter
Changing the Doors of his Mind made me think of the doors of perception (break on through to the other side Kvothe) and thence to Blake's:
If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.
For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern.
And in Kvothe's battle of will with Felurian:
I felt as if this was the only time in my life I had been fully awake. Everything looked clear and sharp, as if I was seeing with a new set of eyes. As if I wasn’t bothering with my eyes at all, and was looking at the world directly with my mind.
The sleeping mind, some piece of me realized faintly. No longer sleeping, I thought and smiled.
So, in awakening his sleeping mind, Kvothe has changed his perception of the world. In order for Lanre to learn Naming, he may have ended up in a permanently "awakened" state. If his sleeping mind is always awake, maybe that doesn't allow his physical self to sleep.
Dave West
10. Jhirrad
A. Fox @7 - Re Viari, he actually only mentions the hair which made him think Kvothe was Yllish.
11. Marco.
These listings of recurring things reminded me of another we've seen a few times:

Mis-attribution of quotes/sayings/idioms. There's a few instances where someone gives a famous quote and Kvothe corrects them, either internally or externally.
I wonder if this is simply to demonstrate the fallibility of memory, or there's something more to it.
I'll compile a list when I have my books with me.
Francesco Paonessa
12. ErrantKnave
@bluejo, thank you for the explanation. Now I feel a bit sheepish for needing it. Elodin's comments also led me to believe that K did something to his name, but it didn't ocur to me that he could keep his first/true name locked up. If one can do that, there'd be implications for Lanre, and that means... I should probably go back and read the previous posts instead of jumping in at the middle.

Thanks again!
Jo Walton
13. bluejo
ErrantKnave: Lanre's name might be in the Lockless Box, and Kvothe's in the Thrice Locked Chest. Or, on the other hand, not.

Shalter: Felurian's eyes are mentioned as lacking in whites. But Bast's eyes have whites. I was also picturing it as the way green eyes change with pupil expansion, until I read the description of Bast's eyes when he's fighting with Chronicler and thought no, this is something real and alien or maybe magical.
Jeremy Raiz
14. Jezdynamite
Thanks for the new post Jo.

Two thoughts come to mind (actually 3, but stevenhalter with his "dark and changing eye" comment beat me to the punch).

On eyes: Laurian describes Kvothe as having "clear and bright eyes" that look like they want to swallow up the world (NW Kindle Chp12 Puzzles Fitting together"). Then her voice has a little quaver, Arliden comforts her and they sit in long-ish silence, while Ben (and an eavesdropping Kvothe) wait for the conversation to continue.

I wonder if something happened to Kvothe after he was a baby, to cause his eyes to start changing colour. And his mother's quavering voice, the comforting and the longish silence could be due to remembering this event rather than a parent's longing for days gone by.

On a new Chandrian: I think only Haliax is referred to as sleepless. So, even though we see Kvothe sleeping, Kvothe could still be a new Chandrian. I don't think sleepless refers to any of the other Chandrian.
George Brell
15. gbrell

Bast's eye-whites appear to be part of his glamour.

"The eyes that watched Chronicler were still a striking ocean blue, but now they showed themselves to be all one color, like gems or deep forest pools, and his soft leather boots had been replaced with graceful cloven hooves."

"When he reopened them they were solid blue, the color of deep water or the darkening sky."
Steven Halter
16. stevenhalter
Jo@13:Bast tells Chronicler not to mistake him for his mask. We know that Bast is using a glamour to hide behind. His eye changes could have something to do with that.
Kvothe isn't consciously maintaining a glamour.
Ashley Fox
17. A Fox
Cheers Jhirrard.

K's eyes change to extreme levels too. From a bright, vivid green like grass (powerful) to a green thats so pale it's almost grey (Kote, powerless). The actual colour changing seems to imply more than dilation/lighting.
18. Quintas11
I like to use bullets to keep my mind straight, this is where i'm at so far...
Things we know to happen to Kvothe in D3:
- Steal a princess back form sleeping Barrow Kings
- Get expelled from the University (did this technically happen already?)
- Tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during the day (did this already happen)
- Talk to Gods
- Kill a King
- Meet Bast
- Loose sympathy, naming, lethani
- Loose Ceasura, Shaed
- Obtain Folly
- Learn about Scrael
- Fake His Death
- Obtain a bounty on his head
- Discover new types of magic
- Break the world (cause civil unrest)
- Retire to inn

Things that will arguably happen in Day 3:
- Discover what is behind the doors of stone
- Denna tragedy
- Break the world
- Discover the Amyr (stick close to Maer)
- Obtain rings many kinds
- Encounter Abenthy
- Conflict with Ambrose (Ambrose gets closer to the throne)
- Confront Master Ash/Cinder?
- Discovers Sithe
- Conflict with Chandrian
- Discover his mom's identity
- Open the Lackless box
- Elodin and un-naming
- Return to Felurian
- Discover Waystones

please add to, correct, etc.
Steven Halter
19. stevenhalter
The eyes of Felurian & Bast certainly seem mystical in some fashion. Kvothe's color changing does seem outside normal ranges, but it is a bit harder to tell.
20. bfill
i think that the elodin talk about name changing is foreshadowing for lanre having changed his name, not kvothe, the whole idea of names in boxes seems contrived to me
Jeremy Raiz
21. Jezdynamite

You might like to add:

To the first part:
- Go to Renere (PR has confirmed will take place in D3)
To the second part:
- Kvothe learns more about Alchemy (and obtains the book "Celum Tinture"; which Bast is learning from).

Bast looks like he can change his eye colour using a glamour.

Do you feel its safe to assume that Cinder also has the skill of glamourie - to hide his black eyes (one of his telltale signs)?

K has seen the bandit leader (which is Cinder wearing a coif, which I think is a head covering that covers the sides, top and back but not the front) but K doesn't mention being able to see the bandit leader's eyes. I don't think Cinder would show his "all black" eyes to the bandits or an enemy and risk being identified as a Chandrian.

Would that imply that Cinder is Faen? Am I right in thinking that only Faen folk can cast a glamour?
thistle pong
22. thistlepong

Even if you started next week, a chapter at a time would take until, like late summer of 2018... Do you know something terrible you can't say directly?
::lighthearted (I think)::


I have to respectfully disagree with your list, indeed any list. He really only has to resolve Denna, the king, and maybe a handful of the preamble in chapter seven of NotW. Stacking stuff we want to see on that leads to confusion, fear, suffering, the dark side, bad prequels, and whatnot.
Carl Banks
23. robocarp

I have to agree with thistlepong, of the things you list in the "we know", I would only agree that 2 or 3 really have to be covered in D3 (kill a king, I think that's pretty safe to assume; meet Bast; maybe obtain Folly). I'm sure a lot of them will be covered, we just don't know which, so I'd list some of those under probably, a few under maybe, one or two under unlikely.

You know you listed "break the world" under both?

Also someone made a similar list on Post 79 of Summary 15 (which, of course, some of us similarly dissected) so you might want to have a peek at that and the ensuing posts.
Carl Banks
24. robocarp

Ruh eyes: that could mean the general shape of the eyes, not necessarily the color. (Compare it to, say, "Persian eyes" in our world. I would think "big and round", but not necessarily a particular color.)

So there is hope that Kvothe has some vestigal Faerie eye color even if he has Ruh eye shape.
25. Ryan H
It occurs to me that, assuming that we/Kvothe actually learn anything definitive about Lanre/Chandrian on D3, Skarpi's version needs to be fundamentally correct. After all, Skarpi is presented as someone who Kvothe is currently friendly with in the framing device. Chronicler's connection with Skarpi is viewed with amusement in NotW and at one point is is suggested that once he was in the University Kvothe should have sought Skarpi out. He is talked about as, at the very least, a lose ally.

I can't imagine any of this would be true if Kvothe had learned that Skarpi's story was fundamentally dishonest. I mean, Kvothe has based an enormous amount of effort on the strength of that story and if it turns out that, say, D's version is true and Kvothe has acted based on a lie that Skarpi would still be held in any particular favour by the time we get to the framing device.
Nathan Love
26. n8love
@16 stevenhalter
Kvothe isn't consciously maintaining a glamour.
Nisheeth Pandey
27. Nisheeth
I think that something like that was mentioned in the book. Was it when Kvothe tells the story of The Chronicler when Chronicler tries to goad the story of his trials out of Kvothe.
Steven Halter
29. stevenhalter
I was thinking on the cloaks last night. Taborlin is the obvious role model for Kvothe and we have seen other echos there--rings, sword, etc.
A couple of other people also occurred to me. One very important meeting that Kvothe had:
The voice came from a man who sat apart from the rest, wrapped in shadow at the edge of the fire. Though the sky was still bright with sunset and nothing stood between the fire and where he sat, shadow pooled around him like thick oil. The fire snapped and danced, lively and warm, tinged with blue, but no flicker of its light came close to him. The shadow gathered thicker around his head. I could catch a glimpse of a deep cowl like some priests wear, but underneath the shadows were so deep it was like looking down a well at midnight.
One could easily argue that Haliax is both wearing a cloak here (note the cowl reference) and is cloaked in shadows.
Then, a bit more metaphorical, the Amyr have hidden themselves quite well from the world. They have created a cloak of the destruction and disappearance in plain sight.
John Graham
30. JohnPoint
Re Ruh eyes -- I always took this comment to mean the mischevious glint in his eyes (which the townsfolk take to be "thieving"), and not the color or shape.

Re changing eye color: not many people actually notice his changing eye color -- when Denna first comments on it, Kvothe responds that the only person to notice it was his old teacher (presumably Ben). Others, like Sim and Wil, maintain that it's not useful to argue with Kvothe when his eyes "look like that" but they don't actually say anything about changing eye color. Most of the commentary about his eyes is in the 3rd person narrative, and they go from extremely pale to incredibly dark when he's angry.

Re Quintas11 @18 -- as others have stated, there are very few things that have to happen in D3. That said, I think that your first three have arguably already happened. 1) Road to Levinshir, 2) expelled for calling the wind (though it was overturned), 3) Anything in the Fae, particularly his trip into the Dark side of the Fae world.

Re Skarpi: In frame, Kvothe never says that he likes or agrees with Skarpi. Chronicler says that Skarpi is an old friend of Kvothe, but Kvothe just comments that they're both rumormongers. So, it's hard to read much re skarpi's reliableness from that.
Nisheeth Pandey
31. Nisheeth
@30, JohnPoint:
Changing Eye Colour:
I think this was after Denna notices (the one you referred to), but after Kvohte is in the Medica after having falled down from Ambrose's window, either Sim or Wil tells asks Mola Kvothe's eyes colour when he was brought in, and at that moment. He tells her not to argue with him when his eyes get dark.
Here's the quote:
"They are dark," she said, sounding surprised. "Dark Green. Like a pine bough."
Wil continued. "Don't argue with him when his eyes go dark like that. No good comes of it."
The things that must hapen in D3:
I don't think him saving two girls from a few bandits would qualify as "Saving princesses from sleeping barrow kings". I expect that to happen in D3 as well.
thistle pong
32. thistlepong
In one of the versions, he saves seven princesses. It's safely in the might-happen column. A couple things happen when such a list gets long enough. Folks begin to lament the impossibility of wrapping things up, complaining of bloat and invoking series creep. Or they weave odd fan fiction in order to accommodate more and more detailed speculation.

I don't necessarily object to any specific item on the list above, mind; but to the practice in general.
Nisheeth Pandey
33. Nisheeth
@32, thistlepong:
I had entirely forgotten about that. That could be what happened. Though, personally, I have a feeling it has something to do with Princess Ariel.
Nisheeth Pandey
33. Nisheeth
@32, thistlepong:
I had entirely forgotten about that. That could be what happened. Though, personally, I have a feeling it has something to do with Princess Ariel.
Steven Halter
34. stevenhalter
I see that Worldbuilders has passed $363,000--so the Lackless box will be built. Cool.
Jo Walton
35. bluejo
Lackless Box!

Thistlepong: I don't know anything you don't know, and the second I do I will post it.
36. Marco.
Well spotted. I've just adjusted my internal Skarpiometer from 50% confident to 80% confident.
Dave West
37. Jhirrad
I am also unjustifiably excited about the Lackless Box getting made. Somehow I doubt I will be able to afford it, and yet I also know that somehow one will find it's way to my home.

Lists like the one here @18 make me sometime remember that maybe we are too clever for our own good. Pat has been very clear that he's finishing in 3 books. In his AMA Reddit the other day, he did mention that it might be cool to write something in this world's early history, way, way pre-Kvothe.

We, on the other hand, have dragged so much meaning out of these books, we are probably in some cases over-thinking things. I know that when I play DM in various RPG's, I have a tendency to make a lot of really complicated stuff, and then a few that are in fact incredibly simple, just to throw the players off. You know, you can actually just open the door and go through it, rather than casting some sort of portal spell. Knowing that Pat is a gamer, I would not be in the least surprised to find that he has done some things similarly here. Made us think there was some deep meaning to some things, when in fact it's really very simple and just staring us right in the face. The difficulty of writing with simplicity like that is actually much higher in my opinion, than some other options.

Also, if A Memory of Light has taught me anything, it's not to expect answers to absolutely everything. Some things will be left to the imagination.

Ryan H @25 - I don't know that Skarpi has to be right at all. That is a false correlation in my opinion. I don't think Kvothe would be angry or permenantly distance himself from Skarpi just because he had things wrong. Let's also remember, that much like Denna spun the story of the Chandrian/Lanre a certain way with her song, so too is Kvothe/Kote spinning the tale in the way he wants it. I honestly don't know how much I trust the narrator, knowing that he is making sure he gets his spin on things, tells the tale the way he wants it. I don't think he wants to tell the truth,
"Ahhhh," Kote sighed out a long breath. Tat-tat, tat-tat, tat. "Clever. You'd use my own best trick against me. You'd hold my story a hostage."
"I would tell the truth."
"Nothing but the turth could break me. What is harder than the truth." NOTW Chapter 6, The Price of Remembering
I know we have brought it up before, but I'm going to do so again. What if Denna has it more fundamentally correct? Kvothe wants vengenance against the Chandrian, and will stop at nothing to achieve that goal. If Skarpi's view coincides with his, then all the better. It goes to the possibility of our having a narrator that is lying to us.

More to the point, Chronicler names Skarpi, "your old friend". Who knows how long it's been since that friendship was exercised, and whether events have led Kvothe away from it.

Also, can I say how awesome that is? I can't think of another book where I have to really think about and decide whether or not I believe that what I'm being told is "true". Maybe it's just not coming to my head, but for the most part within the genre, I have not encountered that. It's one of the things I love most about these books.
thistle pong
38. thistlepong
Hunh. A funny thing happened to me on the way to this post. A gamer, a computer scientist, a literature scholar, an engineer, an author, a genre fan, a mathematician, and countless other people walked into a book...

Did I say funny? I meant wonderful. They had a conversation.

edited for spelling: angineering sounds like a horrible profession
Carl Banks
39. robocarp

re: What if Denna has it more fundamentally correct?

Here's what I find amusing. Say you've heard two versions of the same story. One was told to you by a smart, savvy person who's been traveling around the world looking for clues. The other was told to you by a guy in a seedy bar in a bad part of a bad city, who was taking money from kids to buy beer. Which version do you believe?

Yet most people seem to take Skarpi more seriously. I'm not saying I don't believe the overall truth of Skarpi's story, but I could see him exaggerating things. Certainly he'll do it to make the story more dramatic: he all but admits to it. But I could see him slanting it for political reasons, too. So I could see how Denna's version (similar in the facts but from a different political viewpoint) might be more correct in some ways.

Quick aside. For no reason at all I'd like to share a couple things I have absolutely no reason to believe but I still like to think are true.
1. Denna's real name is Dianne, the name she gave to Kvothe after singing Sir Savien and Aloyne's song with him. She was telling the truth. Kvothe just goes on using Denna, and the fact that he gets her name wrong is related to his difficult relationship with her.
2. Drossen Tor took place at the present-day location of Trebon. All that iron they're digging up in Trebon is slain draccus skin.
Anyone else have completely unsupportable pet theories?
George Brell
40. gbrell

I read Angineering as the business of creating or curing anginas. Either way, enough to give someone a heart attack.

Completely understand the wonder.
41. Ryan H
@38 robocarp

re: Scarpi's believability, I think it depends on how much of our own speculation and conclusions we are willing to trust. I think it's pretty strongly felt that Scarpi 'Named' Kvothe in the bar and woke him up. Intentionally Naming a person is big magic. If that's the case, anything he says needs to be taken very seriously indeed. In terms of raw power and knowledge that puts him on the level of Elodin.
Ashley Fox
42. A Fox
Ah but power does not negate agenda. If anything it means there should be a greater examinaton of veracity/bias.

@ Thistlepong :: amused, appreciative agreement::

@GBrell. Groooan ha!
Roger Pavelle
43. RogerPavelle
@39 re: Skarpi's believeability
But before ten lines had passed her lips, I was stunned for different reasons. She sang the story of Myr Tariniel's fall. Of Lanre's betrayal. It was the story I had heard from Skarpi in Tarbean.

But Denna's version was different. In her song, Lanre was painted in tragic tones, a hero wrongly used. Selitos' words were cruel and biting. Myr Tariniel a warren that was better for the purifying fire. Lanre was no traitor, but a fallen hero.

So much depends on where you stop a story, and hers ended when Lanre was cursed by Selitos. It was the perfect ending for a tragedy. In her story Lanre was wronged, misunderstood. Selitos was a tyrant, an insane monster who tore out his own eye in fury at Lanre's clever trickery. It was dreadfully, painfully wrong.
-WMF Chapter 73 "Blood and Ink"
Even after rereading the section quoted above on Denna's song, it is not all that clear how factually different her version is from Skarpi's. It seems more a shift in tone but the facts are the same.

The real difference comes in knowing what happens next. Consider the example of Star Wars. What if you never saw the original trilogy and stopped the prequels right after Anakin joins Palpatine. You wouldn't get the part where he goes out and slaughters the Jedi schoolkids. You wouldn't get Darth Vader in fact ::literal, not idiom:: but rather the fall of Anakin from lofty heights and hopes. You get Lanre, not Haliax and his Chandrian.

- Roger
Carl Banks
44. robocarp
Ryan H@41

Skarpi's power makes it quite likely that he knows the truth, yes. Doesn't mean he's telling the truth.

So we go back to the amusing question. Given that they both know the truth, who is more likely to tell it correctly: a smart woman who recetnly traveled the world to dig up the truth, or a guy in a seedy bar in a bad part of town taking money from kids for beer? I'm not saying this is amusing because people are gullible for believing Skarpi. I think it's amusing that PR constructed a scenario that made a guy like Skarpi seem reliable. So reliable, in fact, the many people still take his story at face value, even when he said he said the story was true "more or less".
Ashley Fox
45. A Fox
Edit: @43 Roger

That feels a bit to much C&P with half of one version and half of the other.

When changing from one perspective to another you have to follow through. If Lanre is doing right then that casts Selitos, back to the Ergen's CW and destruction of the 'enemy' to the Amyr, in the role of wrong-doers. (perhaps part inspiring later works such as The Shackles of Empire). In this light spec such as Thistlepong's Selitos is the CTH* make more sense. Specially when in conjunction with Selitos' curse of Lanre-and the subsequent darkness that shrouds him, Name that calls him ect and D's 'biting words'.

Perhaps when Lanre was called back from the fourth door by Lyra, the others were left open. His sleeping mind was fully awake. He see's truely, he hears's truely, he speaks truely, he knows. Is this where the Lethani comes from? After this is he walks a different way, turning on what he once held true. Are his actions the right way for the right reasons?

In Scarpi's version it's worth noting that Selitos describes Lanre as Fair, part of the shaping of the curse. His version purports this is to show the darkness/ugleness that is truely within. But an older meaning of fair is:

"sense of "free from bias" (mid-14c.) evolved from another early meaning, "morally pure, unblemished" (late 12c.)."

*but how does the transformation and catching in a tree happen?
Steven Halter
46. stevenhalter
robocarp@44:That is an amusing trick--getting everyone to prefer the story of the seemingly disreputable person--especially Kvothe.
Alf Bishai
47. greyhood
As to K.'s paternal lineage...

Pure speculation, but I am betting on the shadow's hame being lifted to reveal a nice full head of red hair and big old green eyes...
Ashley Fox
48. A Fox
Thought. The Rhinna flower is a super purpose heal-all. What if the CTH is not bound to it in any magical sense, but rather for survival. Whether injured, or to stave off moratlity. A dark mirror of Lanre's longevity.
Roger Pavelle
49. RogerPavelle
@45 A Fox
What does C&P mean/refer to?

As for questions about which side is "right" or "good" in the Creation War, we haven't ever been told what it was about. I think it is possible for Lanre to have been on the "right" side and then to have been convinced/tricked into joining the other side because it was "right". The tragedy is that he might have done the "right" think in both instances but for the wrong reasons.

- Roger
50. Freelancer
@ Various

What Kvothe has to go by is the various tales he's heard, and his own experience. Since he has had a first-person encounter with the Chandrian, as well as the aftermath of Trebon, there are some things which can be considered reliable. So which of the tales most closely reconciles with what he has no reason to doubt? I think that Skarpi's has the most credible air to it.

And if I had to wonder who was a Chandrian hiding in plain sight, I'd put more on Denna's Master Ash than on Kvothe himself. Since Ash is the primary source for Denna's version, it is very likely to be self-serving.

That said, it is a leaning; I don't think any of the "versions" of history Kvothe has heard up to the current point of the story is completely accurate. Remember the girl's drawing of the urn from Trebon; the bloody Amyr is on there along with the seven, and she was more afraid of his image than any of the others. That throws a wrench in many commonly held beliefs of the day.

Thislepong @38

Hey, I represent most of that list, actually. What are you trying to say?
Alice Arneson
51. Wetlandernw
Well. Now I have to go read the books again.
52. Dessert
Re. Selitos is Cthaeh
"Out of love for Lyra, Lanre had sought knowledge where knowledge is better left alone, and gained it at a terrible price."

Knowledge that is best left alone is the Cthaeh's territory, suggesting that Selitos is not likely to be the Cthaeh. Also, the power he gained seems like something the "perfectly malicious" Cthaeh would bestow.
Ashley Fox
53. A Fox

1. We must always bear in mind that although it is clear that the Chandrian were there after the troupe's massacre and their signs indicate they were there at the wedding there is no proof they actually did the murdering.

2. Master Ash is not the primary source for D's song. He commisioned it. D traveled to libraries and what not all over the 4C. Her's is built up of layers of collarborated evidence. K fantasises about accessing those libraries. His knowledge is based mainly based upon Scarpi.

2b. Its worth noting that we do not actually know what view Arilden took. It may very well be that his was like to D's. He does call him Lanre not Haliax. Ben seems almost disapointed with K's blurbing, and changes his example.
Roger Pavelle
54. RogerPavelle
I've been wondering what made Arliden's song "the wrong type" where all the other stories and songs about Lanre/Haliax/Chandrian/Myr Tariniel are not (presumably). I think it might come down to linking Lanre with the Chandrian.

1) We are told there are lots of stories about Lanre. Also, when Skarpi is asking for story subjects, one is Myr Tariniel. So I think we can assume that each subject by itself is safe.
2) Skarpi tells the story where Lanre names himself Haliax. It is in a separate story that Skarpi links Haliax with the Chandrian (briefly, and we don't get the start of that second story). Kvothe separately ties Haliax to the Chandrian because he heard Cinder use the name.
3) Denna's song stops with Selitos cursing Lanre, same as Skarpi's first story. It becomes widely popular and safely sung all over the 4C.
4) We are told that Arliden started researching his song about Lanre but then switched to researching the Chandrian. He says something like "I think I've discovered the root story" (sorry, I don't have the book in front of me for a direct quote). I think it safe to say Arliden's song would have gone beyond both Denna's song and Skarpi's story to tie Lanre directly to the Chandrian.

While it is possible that K is right that he was also using Names in the song, I tend to discount that since it would feel distracting to not use the commonly used names for the characters. Rather, my guess is that it is linking Lanre to the Chandrian that made the song the wrong type.

- Roger
Carl Banks
55. robocarp

Part 2 of Skarpi's story did connect Lanre to the Chandrian, though. (Maybe it was not a clear enough connection for the Chandrian to bother murdering everyone at the bar, though, so they sent some Tehlins over to handle it? :)

Personally, I'm satified with Kote's quite explicit explaination for what the wrong type of song was. Only their true names matter--common names Cinder and Haliax are obviously safe to utter, as Kote does is all the time--so I don't see any difficulty telling stories. Skarpi, even though he connected Lanre to the Chandrian, and mentioned Haliax by name several times, didn't mention Haliax's true name (Alaxel) or any other true names.

A Fox@53

There are a few lines that make the most sense if the Chandrian did it themselves. One of the Chandrian: "Looks like we missed a little rabbit." Haliax: "Send him to the soft and painless blanket of his sleep." The Cthaeh: "Why did they leave you alive? Why, because they were sloppy, and because you were lucky, and because something scared them away."

This could be explained away as the Chandrian wanting Kvothe to think they did it, and a pronoun trick from the Cthaeh, but I'd say evidence points to the Chandrian themselves being the ones who did it.
Ashley Fox
56. A Fox
In that scene only two of the three old forces are represented.

Lets insert an amyr for fun. Tehlin's are not very tolerant of other branchings as we se with Trapis and the Justice's shutting down of Scarpi. And those are still pro-Tehlu/Selitos. The the fuel of Selitos' vow of vengence upon their founding. Add a big dash of Ruh hatred.

This Amyr hears of Arliden's song. Heae's that, like D's, it puts a positive light on Lanre. Undermining.

The Amyr slaughter the ravels. But a massacre like that may draw attenion, may suggest that an organised, unclaimed, militia was wondering around. The Amyr are disbanded, after all. A great way to cover up their tracks, and to rub their enemies face in the dirt; would be to call the Chandrian's true names.

Amyr exit stage left. Chandrian arrive centre stage with signs. Cinder wants to have some payback, needs to lash out. K enters stage right. Haliax restrains Cinder, gets him to send K away, sleeping: protected for awhile from what has passed.

Do the Amyr also call the singers, Tehlu&Co? Or perhaps did the troupe. Either way they come, and if they whitness the Chandrian at the massacre they will act.

Chandrian exit in darkness. Sinister as per curse.

So why doesnt D's song cause trouble? at the end of WMF only K has heard it. In frame it is well known.

D's patron has comissioned it. There is a good possibility this person is using it knowing it's political weight. Part of a beautiful game, perhaps.

K's Amyr T-shirt. Is this where is will see a cresendo in their conflict of interests? The betrayel.
Ashley Fox
57. A Fox
It's also quite possible that Netalia's presence was known, and her silence saught. The CTH talks of her suffering, if we strip away his implications, it could be seen as an indicator that she was tortured. What did they want to know? Anything to do with the Lockless box, I wonder?

I also wonder if thats why Cinder was with the bandits in the Eld. Set up a secnario that becomes typical: regular robberies. When the lackless box travels down that road on the way to the Maer's, it is hit by these common robbers, and the box stolen. The crime is bad luck, not seemingly part of a grander plot.

Oddly K both enables this...and throws a spanner in the works.
Roger Pavelle
58. RogerPavelle
@55 robocarp
Skarpi connects Lanre and Haliax in his first story and, in the second, connects Haliax and Chandrian. So, not a direct connection and spread over several days.

Also, the reason I don't buy Arliden using true names is that they wouldn't make sense to the listener. People know the story of Lanre. They may have heard Haliax. Few, if any, might know Alaxel. If you want to tell the true story of Lanre, you use the name Lanre so everyone know who you mean. If you use Alaxel, there's no connection to what they know. At best it sounds like you're plagarizing, or possibly just lazy because you're changing the name of the protagonist in a well known story and trying to pass it off as something new and profound.

That said, I suppose it is possible that he used true names for some of the other Chandrian since those are less known or more commonly associated with Chandrian (like Cyphus[Adem]/Syphus[Taborlin story]).

@57 A Fox
I like the idea of Cinder setting up the bandits to steal the Lockless box, but I'm not sure if the timing fits. Don't we hear about bandits in the Eld before Meluan shows up in Severen ::unsure shrug::?

- Roger
Carl Banks
59. robocarp

It you remember, Kvothe's parents once sat with Abenthy asking him for advice on the their names, so clearly they were interested.
John Graham
60. JohnPoint
Roger @58 -- three quick points:

1) The story of Lanre isn't that well know. Both Arliden and Denna had to dig in old, forgotten stories to find information about Lanre. Kvothe is aware of the story because of his father's goal, but not because of general stories (and remember, he's Ruh, and they "know all the stories of the world." Denna though the story was unknown and was surprised that Kvothe was aware of it.

2) One of Arliden's stated goals was to discover the true names of the Chandrian -- that's what he asked Ben, afterall. And, he indicated that he thought that he had found at least a few of them in old manuscripts. Possibly including Haliax's true name. [Edit: looks like robocarp got there first...]

3) The timing of the bandits in the Eld is uncertain. We do hear about bandits, but we also hear about there always being bandits. We also know that the Maer is contemplating getting married, and as he said, there's really only one suitable woman -- Meluian Lackless. It wouldn't be that difficult for others to figure that out too, and predict that she would be coming through. Also, remember that the Maer believes that someone in his guard/household/somewhere is sending information to the bandits -- or at least, he uses that as justification for sending Kvothe secretely with a small group. It's definitely possible that the banditry was cover for an attempt on the Lackless box. But it's not definitive either way. There's more speculation about this - and arguments both ways, in "Speculative Summary 14: This Far West"
Alf Bishai
61. greyhood
Fact No. 1 - Rothfuss is a hide-it-in-plain-sight kind of guy.
Fact No. 2 - Haliax's person is a big question mark
Fact No. 3 - Haliax's face is hamed with a big paper bag.
Fact No. 4 - I can't think of someone more hidden in plain sight than a guy with a paper bag over his head.

Isn't anyone interested in speculating what might be revealed when PR lifts the bag?

Fact No. 5 - K's lineage/race is also a question mark with all kinds of possible red herrings that also have question marks (Arliden, Meluan, changing eyes)
Fact No. 6 - we haven't seen anyone with red hair and green eyes.
Fact No. 7 - if I was Selitos, and a red-haired, green-eyed jerk just burned my city, I'd probably never want to see those red hair and green eyes again either.

Random thought - the bright star on a person's forehead when they Name with power - is this also hidden by the shadow? Does Haliax have one?

Finally, this is the definition I found for hame:

"'Hame' - One of the two curved wooden or metal pieces of a harness that fits around the neck of a draft animal and to which the traces are attached."

Is it possible the hame is for something? Not just a curse of darkness, but a kind of leash (yick)? No, not a leash., what's the word...hame.
Roger Pavelle
62. RogerPavelle
@60 JohnPoint
1) What makes you say Lanre isn't a well known story? My impression is that it was fairly common, or at least not unknown (maybe close to some Arthurian stories nowadays). It was tying things to the Chandrian that caused Arliden to take so long writing his song.
2) Arliden say he has found a couple dozen names and was asking Ben for help in figuring out which ones to use. So, some of the names may have made it into the song, but we don't know which ones or if they were "true" as opposed to "calling" names.

@61 greyhood
I think the word you're looking for is "yoke".

- Roger
thistle pong
63. thistlepong

You know why JohnPoint says Lanre's story isn't well known 'cause he told you. But you've read plenty of evidence yourself. Denna traveled all over the world researching her version. Arliden had been researching about eight times as long as he normally did for a song; and he described the difficulty himself. And Kvothe's summary was botched in Abenthy's eyes. All of that points to rarity and lack of clarity.
3) Denna's song stops with Selitos cursing Lanre, same as Skarpi's first story. It becomes widely popular and safely sung all over the 4C.
You’ve probably heard it, in fact. Most folk have. She ended up calling it “The Song of Seven Sorrows.”

That's a pretty intersting title. Folk have not all heard it from Denna. Kvothe figures he's safe using the Adem names on account 'a the likelihood of 'em bein' whispered all over the Four Corners. Just sayin'. How did they get out? How did they spread?

The most sensible assumption about Cinder's presence in the Eld is that the Seven are tracking (triangulating?) Denna, who moves around more often and over greater disatnces than Greyfallow's Men.

greyhood, you have the facts wrong.

1. Ninjas are mammals.
2. Ninjas fight ALL the time.
3. The purpose of the ninja is to flip out and kill people.

Yoked to shadow. Something the shadow-hamed. Bears the shadow's hame. The shadow is a burden he carries around with him. I could be wrong, but that's always seemed fairly reasonable.
Patti Hill
64. Zwitterion
Perhaps someone can be cloaked by a hame.

Do ninjas wear cloaks?

Here reintroducing the cloak as topic. When I read the two paragraphs Jo quotes from the book about why it is good to have a cloak while travelling I was reminded stongly of another indispensible item for the traveller. I can't be the only one to have thought of this - I am sure that in another impossibly detailed discussion it has come up - but I submit for your consideration the following quote:

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough. More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost." What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.
Patti Hill
65. Zwitterion
On the topic of the Chandrian and Names and what drew them to attack the troupers when they did, my son has a theory that Abenthy is an Amyr and that is why the attack happened only after he left the troop.
Steven Halter
66. stevenhalter
For your viewing pleasure? at:

PR, Scalzi, Jim Hines, Charlie Stross and Mary Robinette Kowal show their promised group cover pose:
"And thus did the five come together, prepared to endure great pain and sacrifice all dignity to support a very worthwhile cause and
simultaneously try to point out that, darn it all, some of our SF/F are just ridiculously sexist, you know?"
Steven Halter
67. stevenhalter
A Fox@48:That is the reason for the Cthaeh being in the tree that I lean towards.
Roger Pavelle
68. RogerPavelle
I guess I didn't express my question or doubt clearly. My impression has been that Arliden (and, I guess, Denna) were creating their songs based on compiling existing stories that were individually common.

Consider the real world example of Robin Hood. Many of the incidents in the life of Robin Hood are fairly well known, but they were originally in separate songs. There are songs about Maid Marion, songs about the death of Robin Hood, songs about his battle with Little John on the bridge, etc.

Now think of all the different Robin Hood movies there have been. Is the Errol Flynn Robin Hood the same as Russell Crowe? How about Ivanhoe, which tries to put the story in a historical context?

I think the time and research by Arliden can be explained because he was looking into the history rather than wanting to repeat the legend [edit to add Interesting side note: There actually is no historical basis for Robin Hood, even though there is such speficity in terms of time and place; it would have driven Arliden crazy ::wicked grin::]. He also got distracted/delayed by the Chandrian and the lack of stories about them. Denna's research could have been in the transitions between each of the "seven sorrows" as well as figuring out their order (and confirming which ones are correct for her story; Arliden found dozens of names, Denna may have run into similar issues). Neither of them had access to the Archives, so research had to take longer.

So, my question is whether there is any textual evidence that the general story of Lanre is not well known beyond the fact that two people took time to research it while travelling around the 4C?

- Roger
Roger Pavelle
69. RogerPavelle
For some reason, I can't edit the above comment to add an interesting side note. There actually is no historical basis for the character of Robin Hood, which is very surprising considering the level of detail that exists in the stories concering the time and location in which they are set. It would have driven Arliden CRAZY ::wicked grin::

- Roger
thistle pong
70. thistlepong
I think you're choosing to dismiss what's in the text as insufficient to disprove your assumption. And it may be. On the other hand, it's a bit of a waste to show difficulty over and over for no reason at all.

Part of the purpose of Cob's storytelling is to demonstrate the fragility of stories in the Four Corners. Taborlin and the Chandrian are recognizable names. Jax not so much. Chronicler, presented in the right situation at the right moment, can spread quickly. Kvothe's story, hardly a decade old, has no fixed narrative arc.

Lanre may continue to have name recognition, if that's all you're pressing for. But the fact that Kvothe has to ask for the story at all and only encounters the name again twice - once a year and a half later and again in the frame, from a fairy - again suggests unfamiliarity. Less like Robin and more like Erishkegal.

(Edit, phone went nuts and posted)

Anyway, isn't all this consternatin' over whether the "wrong sort of song" linked Lanre to the Chandrian? In the text, explicitly, Skarpi is the only one to do that in "Tehlu's Watchful Eye." You misrember it being Haliax.
Roger Pavelle
71. RogerPavelle
@70 Thistlepong
OK. I just checked and yes I did misremember. And never heard of Erishkegal. Although, with all the checking around I'm now wondering if Arliden figuring out their plan (at least partially) entered into the "wrong type" decision.

- Roger
Ashley Fox
72. A Fox
You are still ignoring the elephant Amyr in the room. Not only are stories subject to the vagueries of memory, they are also intentionally revised.

Rather than look to Robin Hood (Whom, imo, would be more akin to Tarbolin) we should look to Brigit. Once a celtic goddess. Ireland is christianised, and she becomes a Saint.

With our insights into 'magic' against Scarpi and Trapis' stories, and all the other Tehlin tidbits, we have a good idea of how Tehlu's story itself was, well, Tehlinised.

We have encountered the demons led by Encanis, the Tehlinised version of Lanre. We know what is commonly percieved as truth. Other countries that did not fall under Artur may very well have garbled stories left too. Such as Hespe's family's story of Jax. But these, there will be less of, as we know just how pervasive Tehlinism is.

Also, would Arliden have been able to access all that Denna did? She had to weight of a powerful patron, which could open doors that other's could not. I would say not, he was looking for stories like Hespe's. Denna was accessing records and old texts, where they had been hidden away from Archive like pruning. Arliden's troupe was on the move. There are far more flyspeck villages/towns than there are wealthy residents. When they were playing for such lofty patrons perhaps then Arliden would try and sweet talk his way between their dust jackets.

I wonder what sort of family stories Netalia would have told him?

And of course here I cannot help but wonder if Arliden's patron, the mysterious Greyfallow, had known of, or even comminsion Lanre's strory. Bredon is described as grandfatherly. As a boy he met him upon occaison, one of which Greyfallow girted him the toy soldiers (or something similar). Mmmm.
Alice Arneson
73. Wetlandernw
Having just started my reread, I noticed a seventh cloak - the one Kote is wearing when he fights the scrael pack. It's mentioned quite a few times (possibly just to emphasize that he's got as many layers of protection as he could) and it gets shredded in the process. I don't know that it's significant, but it is yet another cloak.
Ashley Fox
74. A Fox
A little aside. This amuses me after my little ramble down perspective way. Just give the names a KKC tweak.
John Graham
75. JohnPoint
Re Stories:

A Fox's point @72 can't be emphasized enough. The major metatheme for the whole trilogy (and much of Pat's body of work overall) is "story." This is a story about stories. Stories evolve over time and are intentionally changed. Stories are the frame through which we see the world. Stories are fundamentally what define us as human. Furthermore, stories fall into certain types -- tropes, if you will -- and the reality of an event is frequently changed to "make a better story." Kvothe says that multiple times, as do (presumably) Skarpi and Arliden. As the saying goes, "Don't let the truth get in the way of a good story."

Lanre is an old story, and mostly forgotten. Any "truth" we can glean from the versions we hear is subject to evolution and intentional change. And something about the story tends to cause murderous rampages from someone.

I predict that if we eventually find out the truth about Lanre, neither Skarpi's version nor Denna's version will be completely true -- they're both propaganda of one form or another and this isn't a story about Good vs. Evil with one right side and one wrong. Kvothe (at least during the narrative) believes it is, with Amyr=Good and Chandrian=Bad, but Kvothe has been known to be wrong about things. Afterall, a large part of what makes something a tragedy, as we've been repeatedly told this is, is when the characters act honestly based on the faulty perceptions.

Edit: A Fox @74 -- that's fantastic, and oh so timely. Bravo!
Alice Arneson
76. Wetlandernw
Reading through the book anew, with all the discussions in the back of my head, is really fun.

For what it's worth, in rereading the conversation between Ben, Arliden & Laurian, it sounds very much like stories about Lanre are fairly common. Not the full story in any one place, not anything like an authoritative version, but a multitude of bits and pieces of the story, picked up in villages and towns all through the four corners - enough that Arliden is convinced that "all the others" stem from a single original story, "a historical basis for Lanre." (And yes, those are direct quotes.)

I think it's safe to say that stories about Lanre, Lyra, etc. are fairly common - but they vary a lot. The fact that Denna and Arliden did their researches in different venues doesn't necessarily make one more authentic than the other - especially given the potential of tampering. Records in libraries might even be easier to find and "correct" than all the myriad of folk tales. Alternatively, false trails might be easier to lay in folk tales and song. It would depend somewhat on the mindset of the people doing the alterations.
77. djs1
I'm not positive if this has already been suggested (I haven't seen it in any of the summary posts) but I think there is a fairly obvious (potential) reason for the influx of Fae creatures into 4C. If Kvothe was able to open the Lackless box or something of the sort that holds a portion of the moon's name, it would stand to reason that the moon would regain control of herself, and would no longer be torn between the two worlds. If the moon chose to settle in 4C, then it would stand to reason that Fae beings would have easier access to 4C.

If I remember correctly a moonless night in 4C makes it easier to travel from 4C into Fae, while a full moon in 4C means it's easier to travel from Fae into 4C.
thistle pong
78. thistlepong
'Cept the moon's still waxin' and wanin' in the frame...
Dave West
79. Jhirrad
All of our speculation re Skarpi here just further pushes me to believe that Kvothe is "telling a story" rather than telling the truth. He is trying to rehabilitate, to whatever degree he can, his image and his legacy. So of course in his story the Chandrian all have to be evil monsters.

Also, re Skarpi v Denna on the story of Lanre. Someone mentioned that the song Denna sings is almost the same as the story Skarpi tells, with the difference being that in Denna's song Lanre is portrayed as a victim and a hero of sorts. Well that makes incredible sense when you think about it. It is much easier to get away with (from either side of this coin) making subtle changes which can affect how a character in a story is viewed rather than large, factual changes. Those are much easier to spot, and as such are much more likely to torn apart by others. If you make a character sympathetic (pun intended) that's harder to ignore so easily.
- -
80. hex
Until this thread, I hadn't really considered the similarities between Arilden and D. Both worked to create a song that got at Lanre's true history. That's about where the similarities end. D is commissioned to do research by her patron, and likely has access to people and material via the influence and power of said patron. Arilden can't stand court, and probably wouldn't do a lot of hanging around in libraries, even if they had let him in.

If one assumes that the Chandrian did indeed kill K's troupe, it follows that Arilden drew their attention by using their real names. D's version doesn't seem to be drawing the same attention. She's done her research, how did she arrive at the wrong names? It could be innocent- she got the name Myr Tariniel wrong, and Arilden struggled with the names himself. Another possibility is that the names were subtly guided, or not-so-subtly directed by Master Ash.

Re: Trusting Skarpi vs D's version. Why do we lean towards trusting Skarpi's version? Could it be that D's version was commissioned by someone we know to be secretive to the point of paranoia, and (we're led to believe) cruely beats her? Skarpi is downright avuncular by comparison. That doesn't make him right, but it does explain why we'd rather trust his version.
Dave West
81. Jhirrad
So I'm going back to look at the sections where we are introduced to Denna's song. Ch. 73 of WMF. First off, someone needs to get Pat to promise to release a full version of the song either in or after D3! Second, this story is important to her. Seriously important. Kvothe offers her the chance for someone like Alveron as a patron, and she turns it down, because "He knows things I need to know." I don't think we've teased much out of that line to this point. I'd like to bring it up for just that. I have a couple of thoughts:

1) First, we go back to who precisely Denna is. We've discussed it a lot. At one point I suggested she might be a Chandrian in disguise. If that's the case, then what could her patron have that she needs to know? If the prevailing theory of Ash = Bredon is correct, and we think that Alveron is an Amyr (even if he's not, he clearly has a lot of knowledge of them) then maybe as a Chandrian she needs the connection to Bredon to get information on the Amyr to protect herself and the other Chandrian.

2) We've never discussed the idea of who Denna's parents might be. What if she's a child of one of the 7? I have seen nothing that says they could not have children. Nothing which even implies it. Maybe she's Lanre's daughter. If she were, of course she would write a song that paints him as the tragic hero. Maybe the information she is seeking from her patron is a way to break his curse.

3) Back to who her parents are, maybe that's the information that her patron has. We know nothing of her past. It's clear her patron has some hold over her, and by the way she flees from place to place, my thought is the only thing that can is something in her past. Maybe her patron can reconnect her to that in some way, and that's the reason she wrote THIS song. Her patron wants the Chandrian viewed in a different light.
George Brell
82. gbrell

she got the name Myr Tariniel wrong

But that name is based on Skarpi's story. Denna calls it "Mirinitel." The Adem call it just "Tariniel." Bast calls it "Myr Tariniel" in the frame. And we believe it to be the origin for the name Amyr. But we have no authority for the actual name of the city.
John Graham
83. JohnPoint
Hex @80 -- people tend to trust Skarpi's story as true because Kvothe (in the narrative) trusts Skarpi's story. It's the first "full" version he hears, and it jives with his belief about his parents. He knows the Chandrian were at the massacre, and he assumes that they killed the troupe. He also says that Denna's version is wrong (etc.) however, that's what Kvothe in the narrative believes. We don't actually know what Kvothe in the frame believes/knows.

Similarly, there are many other times where Kvothe presents information that he knew (in the narrative) to be true, but later finds to be wrong. This would include the times that he knew he wasn't seeing Denna in the street, his knowledge that faeries didn't exist, etc. We tend to trust his comments like "deep down I knew the truth, that I would never see Denna again" (not a direct quote, but it's essentially what he says when he leaves Roent's caravan). However, he does see Denna again. We've dissected whether he was actually right (and D isn't actually the same Denna), but I lean towards Kvothe presenting information as he saw it at the time -- he believed something to be true, so he presents it to us as true. This can be cross-applied to Skarpi vs. Denna, and ties in to the question of whether Kvothe is a reliable narrator (which Pat has indicated is a "good question")

Wetlandernw @76: Ok, I see what you're saying about the story of Lanre. It's certainly possible that his character was better known that I thought. If that's the case, I interpret it as the character cropping up in different stories, with certain traits and commonalities. However, I think that the text supports the claim that the Creation War story was +/- entirely forgotten. Lanre's name might show up in a tragic or evil light, but it's ascribed to events that had nothing to do with Lanre himself. If Arliden did indeed rediscover the "historical basis for Lanre," it was the Ergen empire, Creation war story, and would likely have included him being reNamed.
Roger Pavelle
84. RogerPavelle
@80 hex
Re: Trusting Skarpi vs D's version. Why do we lean towards trusting Skarpi's version?

I don't know if we lean towards trusting Skarpi's version so much as Kvothe definitely trusts it and bases his subsequent action on that version.

@81 Jhirrad #2
I did speculate about Denna's parentage back in Summary 16: comment 270 (not sure how to link back to the specific post). My thought was that Denna is a bastard daughter of the Maer, based on her ring being white and blue (Maer's colors) and her education.

@79 Jhirrad
re: Kvothe's truthfullness in telling the story
I think there is a lot in the books that points to K not being entirely truthful in his storytelling.
1) He keeps reminding everyone that he is an excellent liar.
2) Bast says he doesn't care what lies K tells Chronicler as long as K doesn't lie to him (in the Cthaeh interlude).
3) I've always taken his "perfect step" to be an indication that he's been playing a role when acting as the innkeeper (it may be the think I liked best in WMF; the need to reassess everything in two books based on nearly the last sentence). I think he couldn't manage that if he hadn't been constantly practicing. After all, he also says it takes him a month or more to get back up to speed playing the lute after taking time off, and the ketan is possibly harder to perfect.

- Roger
Roger Pavelle
85. RogerPavelle
@83 JohnPoint
re: Lanre and Creation War
I agree entirely that the story of Lanre may have become separated from the Creation War. For that matter, I have no idea whether the Creation War itself exists (by that name, at least) as a story element in most of the Lanre stories.

Also, sorry for repeating what you said re: @80. It wasn't up when I started writing my previous post.

- Roger
Alice Arneson
86. Wetlandernw
John @83 - Oh, I absolutely agree that the true story of Lanre is unlikely to exist as such in folk tales. I also believe it is unlikely to exist in the libraries, either; the details weren't exactly well-documented and kept over the centuries (millenia? I don't remember) since the original events. That's why both Denna and Arliden were searching - they were trying to find all the stories they could find, trying to piece together the common elements to get at some semblance of what might actually have happened. Do we have any reason to think that one set of data would really be more authoritative than the other? In point of fact, do we even have real reason to think that what they found was substantively different? The same loose collection of fables and folk tales could be interpreted differently - and result in very different songs - depending on the bias of the writer.

All of which is mostly to say... I don't think we have enough information to definitively say that any of the versions (Arliden, Skarpi, Denna) we've run across are actually "the true story."

(Yes, I know we didn't get to read Arliden's version - but there's still no proof that he was, or wasn't, correct in his extrapolations, whatever they were.)
Steven Halter
87. stevenhalter
It's unlikely that any of the stories we have seen so far are entirely the "true" story. The creation wars & events happened roughly 5000 years before the current story.
It wasn't until fairly recent times that we have gotten more than vague myths from our own history of comparable time--luckily clay tablets wear really well and their decipherment proceded as well as it did. The average person on the street would still know essentially nothing of this time--Ereshkigal indeed.
For city names, just look at Istanbul--names can change radically over time.
Roger Pavelle
88. RogerPavelle
I understand what you're saying about the problem of time and myth. At the same time, there is the example of Schliemann and Troy. There is also the whole field of biblical archaeology, which has found historical evidence for many OT stories.

I'm not sure what point I'm trying to make, except that it is possible for "true" stories from far in the past to survive for thousands of years.

- Roger
thistle pong
89. thistlepong
D's version doesn't seem to be drawing the same attention.
Actually, one of the Seven is awful close to Severen after she plays it...


I kinda just wanna note here how much Denna looks like Meluan since we're casting about for parents and we, like, actually met Kvothe's. Both have been discussed, and re-examined, and there's no consensus. More's the pity.

Folk want her patron to be Amyr or Chandrian, for whatever reason, but neither is necessary for the story we have so far. Both Denna and Arliden could have become interested in the story and tried to plumb its secrets. I know people like that.

Myr Tariniel gets my vote: the kid in Tarbean, Skarpi, and Bast versus one each for the other two. And it fits the meter in Arliden's Waystone poem, for whatever that's worth. That's sensible, right?

On the more general subject of time and stories we're exploring, I wanted to comment that five millenia was probably a reasonable and purposeful choice on Pat's part. It places the Creation War almost outside time in the same way stories work out here. Stuff like the vedas and the pentateuch claim deeper origins, but we compiled or set down closer to 2500-3500 years ago. And that's without a magical war obliterating civilization in addition to a bookburning scythe of bastards trampling over the known world four thousand years later just to make sure. The example of Troy's more like finding the place where the Loeclos was made than Drossen Tor. In fact, that reminds me, even the quipu that yllish knots are eerily similar to are roughly similar in age out here to our in world assessment. In some earlier thread, I mentioned Pat talking about us not being able to know how Inana influenced Gilgamesh when asked about Kvothe's search for the truth. He's chosen this stuff, these times, deliberately.
thistle pong
90. thistlepong
Oh. I withdraw, to a degree, my objection to lists. We do know he's going to Renere. And, hunh, we apparently get the begining of Kvothe and Basts's relationship and early development.

roundabout 2:40
91. Dessert
Perhaps Lorren knows of Arliden because Arliden came sniffing for clues about Lanre.
Andrew Mason
92. AnotherAndrew
Reagarding Denna's story: one thing we should bear in mind is that she isn't trying to tell the truth: she doesn't believe that Lanre existed, or that any of these events really happened. When K. insists that it's the truth that matters, she dismisses this as absurd. Why then does she do so much research? Presumably just because, being inspired by an ancient legend, she wants to know as much of it as possible.

She does say, by the way, that her patron did some of the research. She also says, interestingly, that she came across the manuscript that started her off while doing genealogical research for her patron - I wonder what that might point to?

Incidentally, I found Kvothe's remarks about cloaks rather odd - it seems to me that the kind of cloak that has pockets would n0t billow effectively in the breeze, at least if the pockets have anything in them.
93. Marco.
Why then does she do so much research?


I think we're meant to believe that she's being directed by her patron.

Her patron has specified that he wants men to sing it for 100 years, so I think it's safe to say that he has purpose in wanting it to be known.
Nisheeth Pandey
94. Nisheeth
About how Lorren knows Arliden, this was Rothfuss's answer:
Arliden had a productive career as a songwriter, not to mention that he had a fairly high profile gig as the lead trouper in Greyfallow’s Men.
As such, we wrote a lot of songs, many of which were recorded and attributed to him. But there are a lot of songs in the archives that have been collected and aren’t attributed to anyone. Lorren was going to ask Kvothe for his assistance catalouging these before Kvothe had his hissy-fit at the end of Chapter 36.
thistle pong
95. thistlepong

Here's the quote;
“I found a version of it in an old book when I was doing genealogical research for my patron,” she said. “Hardly anyone remembers it, so it’s perfect for a song..."
Actually that clears up whether it's commonly know, as well; unless some ferocious pedant wants to question, again, whether the person who's done the most research on the story knows antyhing about it or whether she's trustworthy.

Anyway, Kvothe's the one who talks about it being sung for a hundred years, isn't he? Not Denna? Not her patron?
Steven Halter
96. stevenhalter
Roger@88:Troy and the OT are actually quite good examples of my point. I'm not saying that there is no truth in any of the stories; they all contain bits and pieces of facts. They all also (probably) contain bits and pieces that aren't facts.
As Thistlepong said @89, Pat is well aware of the process of turning stories into myths and the timeframes involved and alterations that often happen. He even shows this happening in a short time with the Chronicler tale.
So we shouldn't be surprised if all of the stories are both true and false--even eye-witness accounts such as Felurian and Haliax.
Dave West
97. Jhirrad
thistlepong @95 - No, it's actually Denna/patron who say that. Here's the line:
"Denna gave a too-casual shrug. 'He says he wants my first song to be something that men wil sing for a hundred years, so I doubt he'll want me to keep it bottled up forever.'" Chapter 73, WMF

What Kvothe says is a bit later, same chapter:
"You've probably heard it, in fact. She ended up calling it 'The Song of Seven Sorrows.' Yes, Denna composed it, and I was the first person to hear it played entire." Chapter 73, WMF
Alice Arneson
99. Wetlandernw
At the risk of being labeled a "ferocious pedant" - if Denna is correct that "hardly anyone remembers it," where did Arliden find all his sources? He certainly implied that he found a lot - tangled, unclear, and dodgy, sometimes, but a lot of it, over the course of two years or so.

If I say "hardly anyone remembers" based on my own experience and circles of familiarity, it doesn't authoritatively declare that hardly anyone in the entire world remembers. It only declares that I (whatever age I might be) haven't run across very many people who remember. Arliden has researched and written far more songs than Denna has; he just might be more experienced at teasing out old songs and rhymes, and piecing together the commonalities, and constructing a coherent story out of a lot of disparate pieces. Which is not to say he's always right; like Denna, or Kvothe for that matter, he was (likely) usually more interested in what makes a good story than in the historical fact - except that this time, at least, he really did seem to be searching for true history.

Which doesn't touch at all on the differences between Denna's version and Skarpi's version. We don't even know which version would be closer to Arliden's research, because we never got to find out what conclusions he reached - other than that Lanre's story was tied to the Chandrian. I just think it's a bit facile to assume that because Denna had better access to libraries, her research would necessarily be more valid. In the world we've been given here, the libraries are somewhat... suspect.
thistle pong
100. thistlepong
At the risk of oversimplifying, piecing together the story took Arl two years. Keep in mind I'm not challenging the veracity of any version at the moment. We don't need to confuse two points of contention.

Why struggle to assert that it's a common story when the text tells you it's not? When it's entirely absent from all the research Kvothe does? Forgive me, I don't understand.
101. Freelancer
Wetlandernw @99

Indeed. In fact, the malignant edits done to library copies of books regarding the Amyr, if not also the Chandrian, make them almost the least reliable source of historical information on those topics. Kvothe has adequately demonstrated this with the comparison of two copies (one long hidden) of the same text having drastically different contents regarding the Amyr, the Church, and the law.
Alice Arneson
102. Wetlandernw
thistlepong - I suppose it depends on what you mean by "common" in this context. I wouldn't suggest (and never have) that the farm folk are singing their little songs about him every day while they work their fields; merely that, if you go looking and you know how to look, it's not that difficult to find songs and stories about Lanre. One here, one there, mostly bits and scraps, and often mixed in with other legends and myths - but they're hardly rare or unknown. It's not like Arliden spent several years looking and only found a handful of people who'd ever heard of Lanre.
He'd been teasing old stories and rhymes from townsfolk for over a year wherever we stopped to play.
For months it was stories about Lanre. Then he started gathering old faerie stories, too, legends about bogies and shamble-men. Then he began to ask questions about the Chandrian...
That was months ago. Over the last half year he had asked more about the Chandrian and less about Lanre, Lyra, and the rest. Most songs my father set to writing were finished in a single season, while this one was stretching toward its second year.
So you have, what, six months or so? in which Arliden found enough stories to convince him that Lanre wasn't merely a myth, but an historical figure. You might not use the word "common" for stories about him, but I certainly wouldn't call them "rare." Denna's comment that "Hardly anyone remembers" isn't exactly counterevidence.

As for Kvothe's research, he couldn't care less about Lanre per se. He's interested in the Chandrian. What does that have to do with it?
thistle pong
103. thistlepong
"Lanre and his Chandrian?"

I began to admit impossible truths to myself. The Chandrian were real. Haliax was real. If the story Skarpi had told was true, then Lanre and Haliax were the same person. The Chandrian had killed my parents, my whole troupe. Why?
It rings hollow that he didn't look, but I'm a better researcher, I guess.

To what purpose is the denial of the text, though? What reading requires Denna's statement to be innacurate? Why is that important? This is what I want to know. It's an odd thing for so many to dig in their heels over.
Ashley Fox
104. A Fox
Yes. I thought you had been operating on that misassumption. We are not talking of the Archives. K's tried that and D is'nt a student.

WMF p. 352
"..searching the Archives for information on the Chandrian or the Amyr had little appeal. I had searched so long and found so little.
I toyed with the idea of searching elsewhere. There were other libraries, of course. Every noble house has at least a modest collection containing house-hold records and histories of their lands and family. Most churches had extensive records going back hundreds of years, detailing trials, marriages, and dispositions. The same was true of any sizable city. The amyr could'nt have destroyed every trace of their existance.
The research itself would'nt be the hard part. the hard part would be gaining access to the libraries in the first place. I could hardly show up in Renere dressed in rags and road dust, asking to thumb through the palace archives.
This was another instance in which a patron would have been invaluble. A patron could write me a letter of introduction that would open all manner of doors."

K to Maer in convo re Amyr p. 908
"As your grace pointed out, no matter how well spoken or well-educated I am, I will never be nobility. I lack the connections and the resources to research this thoroughly as I would like. But with your name to open doora. I could make a a search of many private libraries. I could access archives and records too private or too hidden to be pruned..."

On veracity & stories & what-not. The Ch. 'Kernals of Truth' links in nicely.
thistle pong
105. thistlepong
Now for something completely different.

Tangential to Sahirioth’s soul question a few summaries back, heart-of-stone has been kinda sticking in my consciousness. I looked pretty closely at Pat’s comments about Harry Potter and the sort of sparse information he’s given about his own experience of faith. I also happen to have done a fair amount of studying HP and am getting into Lewis and the other Inklings.

Anyway, heart of stone has a lot of implications for morality and the soul and whatnot. Here’s Kvothe on it:
Ben taught me Heart of Stone, a mental exercise that let you set aside your emotions and prejudices and let you think clearly about whatever you wished. Ben said a man who truly mastered Heart of Stone could go to his sister’s funeral without ever shedding a tear.
It’s a bit terrifying, and he ends up using it in situations where his motivation and/or the morality of his actions is dubious at best. I find it curious that it's not mentioned at the University or by any other Arcanist. I also find it curious that Devi seems to be in the throes of emotion as she kicks his ass, that Kilvin can drop eight bindings just to light some lamps.

I wonder if this skill Ben taught him isn’t unusual, even wrong?

Stones at hearts come up again:
Secrets of the heart are different. They are private and painful, and we want nothing more than to hide them from the world. They do not swell and press against the mouth. They live in the heart, and the longer they are kept, the heavier they become.

Teccam claims it is better to have a mouthful of poison than a secret of the heart. Any fool will spit out poison, he says, but we hoard these painful treasures. We swallow hard against them every day, forcing them deep inside us. There they sit, growing heavier, festering. Given enough time, they cannot help but crush the heart that holds them.
I wonder if this hardening of the heart, as it were, isn't part of Kvothe's problem.
thistle pong
106. thistlepong
Okay, I definitely need to make time for an actual read through.
I could hardly show up in Renere dressed in rags and road dust, asking to thumb through the palace archives.
we know he's going. We know what he's gonna do while there. I sorta wondered how he'd get access to old Rod, though. Thanks, A Fox.

Anyone else get the idea that his overblown descriptions of the Maer's letter were a bit... too... forceful?
John Graham
107. JohnPoint
thistlepong @103 --

I think that the disagreement arises because the text appears to contradict itself. Arliden is able to piece together many stories about "Lanre, Lyra, and the rest" and decide that it's all based on an old, true story which he is trying to tell. In contrast, Denna refers to "a version of it in an old book ... hardly anyone remembers it, so it’s perfect for a song."

On the one hand, Arliden's research methods imply that stories are relatively common. On the other hand, Denna states that hardly anyone remembers it (and consequently, it's uncommon.)

However, I think this is a false dichotomy. As I was trying to state @83, we can justify both these statements, and resolve the contradiction. Arliden was able to find stories about Lanre/Lyra/the rest with (relative) ease, but that doesn't mean that the "true" story of the creation war was commonly known (in fact, it implies that it was unknown, since it took him a long time to piece it together). Similarly, when Denna states that it's an old story that hardly anyone remembers, she's not necessarily saying that Lanre, Lyra et al. are unknown, but rather that the story of the war (the "song of seven sorrows") was fogotten. Denna may well have been familiar with the characters of Lanre and Lyra from other mythology -- we can't be sure from her comments.

A (purely hypothetical) example from our own mythology would be something like this: the characters of Zeus and Hera are relatively well known from the tradition of Greek mythology. Let's say that someone investigated all those old stories, linked them with other myths, and found some base story from which all the rest descended. (Zeus and Hera were real people who were the first ones to bring bronze technology to the Greek penninsula.) However, that "true" story about Zeus and Hera was long forgotten. As such, it would be possible for both statements -- that Zeus and Hera were relatively commonly known, and that it was an old story that hardly anyone remembered -- to be accurate. One refers to the characters of Zeus and Hera, the other refers to their "true" story.

(Edit for typos)
Roger Pavelle
108. RogerPavelle
Now I'm starting to wonder why Denna chose the name "Song of Seven Sorrow." Does she realize that Chandrian means "seven of them"? It also makes me wonder what caused Arliden to begin tying Lanre to the Chandrian (since he didn't have Skarpi to make the connection for him). On a slightly related note, are there other sevens in the book (Tehlin angels?) that might imply it is a culturally meaningful number?

And, what are the seven sorrows? I'm guessing that the last of the sorrows is Lanre being cursed by Selitos (since that is specifically mentioned as the end of the song). Do the other six deal specifically with Lanre and Lyra? Are they about the cities that fell (one each, implying that the fall of Myr Tariniel was the seventh sorrow)?

@103 Thistlepong
The section you quote is probably what confused me above regarding the connection between Lanre and Haliax being hidden and, therefore, dangerous (or "wrong") to make explicitly.

- Roger
Steven Halter
109. stevenhalter
Myr Tariniel and six other cities are ruined in the war.
George Brell
111. gbrell

Presumably the "Seven Sorrows" are the seven cities destroyed by the Chandrian. Especially if her song truly does portray the cities as better for being destroyed, perhaps she also portrays the city that was not destroyed (because one of Lanre's men "remembered the Lethani") as being the one righteous city deserving of salvation.

EDIT: Beaten to the punch.
thistle pong
112. thistlepong
I like, but cannot support: Lanre remembered the Lethani, spared his city, and struck MT and Selitos, who had initially set him on the wrong path.
Ashley Fox
113. A Fox
@Thisltpong. ::grin:: I also quite like the wink that is the 'not noble-I lack' Perhaps he lacks less than he thinks there. Forceful, yes. In a way. They can be read in different ways. say if we apply a Pentant King. Or if we compare i to their convo on the Amyr. And the fact that here is one of the few mentions of soul. And it is a soul bound. And it could be read that it is not bound to Meluan, she comes as an afterthought, in her distress.

What we must not forget is this was not Arliden's work alone. He and his wife, Netalia worked as a team. She is Lockless.
This brings to mind the ryhm K sigs and is chatised for. Perial/lackless dress. If Perial is the Locleos Matriarch then it is quite possible that Netalia had family knowledge of this, it however a corrupted form. The sting of her 'shame' being imposed to upon the faded cultural remnant of the child's ryhm show's not only how disintergrated the modern versions of such stories have become, but may well have fuelled her, and Arliden's, search fro the truth.

Arliden of the Ruh, knowing all stories, and not subject to a Tehlinised land, yet traveling through all.

There is a fearful symetry between Arliden and Netalia's combined knowledge (and avenues of such) and the potencial, and so far failure, of K and D's relationship. I think it is this that makes me thik that at some point in D3 ther wil be a moment when they clash and either become enemies or reveal the truth of one another. If they can get past that herdle they would make an amazing team. I never could shake that image of D strolling inot the Waystone. Perhaps it is a trap layed by both of them. she's off leading the rebels, setting the stones upon the board, and he patiently awaitsing the alignment of the peices.
Ashley Fox
114. A Fox
sorry if tha last seemed a bit random, comment 108 onwards were not up.Though well put. Something wrong happened to my internet/comp and my letters chugged out across the screen long after I had finished typing.

As an apology have some hat pin self defense. Is this what D is up to?
Carl Banks
115. robocarp

That's pretty much how I see it. Lanre was obviously not on the tip of everyone's tongue, but neither was he someone whose story archaeologists had to dig up. Not counting a small number of people with ancient knowledge, Lanre was just a obscure, tragic figure from unknown times, known mostly to folklorists. The wider story of the Creation War has clearly been forgotten or suppressed, though.

Anyway, it seems to me Kvothe's parents weren't really asking people about Lanre, per se. They dug up stories about the obscure but not unknown Lanre, reconstructed an original story that had him being connected to the Chandrian, and then started piecing together the Chandrian story. That's mostly what they were asking around about. There are stories of the Chandrian all over the place; unfortunately there were even a few stories with their true names.

By the way, I'll be a ferocious pedant for a second and point out that both of Kvothe's parents were writing the song, not just Arliden. Given the that we've had a couple minor gender controversies here we should be more careful.
Roger Pavelle
116. RogerPavelle
@109 - 111
I'm not saying that the sorrows couldn't relate to the cities, but is there actually any reason to believe so (other than Skarpi's version of the story)?

Why do you feel that the destruction of 7 cities that were wicked and corrupt would be considered sorrows (at least Myr Tariniel is described that way in the song)? Why wouldn't the sorrows be related to people who were wronged or betrayed, like the way Lanre is protrayed by D (making the seven sorrows actually the Chandrian)?

- Roger
Ashley Fox
117. A Fox
So, what? Lanre and the other Chnadrian did NOT turn. Selitos went do-lally and sent the armies to destroy his own city and theirs, blaming Lanre&Co who arrived to late to stop him. Excepting tinue?

Wallace Forman
118. WallaceForman
@107 Re:Diffusion of the Lanre story

I mostly agree with what you say here but I think the discrepancy can be cleared up further than this. Arliden was not collecting stories explicitly about Lanre, rather, he was collecting stories that derived their origin from Lanre, and then trying to extrapolate the original story from multiple data points. The stories were about Lanre in the way that Hespe's story is (I think) about Selitos. Likely Lanre's name never appears in the stories. He is a beggar, or a king, or a hermit, or a house wife, or a red-handed Amyr.

Kvothe, also, doesn't "know" any Lanre stories. He just tries to create a story from the fragments he has... like we are.

Re: Whose story of Lanre is right?

Skarpi admits that he is leaving out details. If he is with the Amyr, he undoubtedly has an agenda. Denna's version clearly isn't complete either though. Both Arliden and Skarpi agree that the story has something to do with the Chandrian, a possibility that Denna dismisses out of hand. We know that the story implicates the Chandrian from the destruction of Kvothe's troupe. This fact also demonstrates that the Chandrian are some sort of evil.

Given that the Chandrian are involved in Lanre's story, contra Denna, if Skarpi is factually wrong, he has to be wrong in a really dramatic way, like Lanre =/= Haliax. Lanre cannot be the "good guy" if he is the leader of the evil Chandrian.

A search for whose story is "right" may be a distraction. Kvothe implies that there were no significant factual differences in Denna's story, just differences in how the narration affiliates between its characters. Likely this is the key debate - not which of a set of facts is accurate, but which of numerous conflicting agendas is just, if any. We can't really make great judgments on this, when we don't know "What's their plan?" Arliden knew, but he never told anyone.
Roger Pavelle
119. RogerPavelle
I don't think there is a question about whether Lanre and Chandrian turned against Selitos. I think the question is why they did so (were they betrayed in some way as Denna implies?) and why they continue to work against him (what do they want?).

- Roger
John Graham
120. JohnPoint
Robocarp @115:
By the way, I'll be a ferocious pedant for a second and point out that both of Kvothe's parents were writing the song, not just Arliden. Given the that we've had a couple minor gender controversies here we should be more careful.
Good point. Thanks.

Wallace @118:
Lanre cannot be the "good guy" if he is the leader of the evil Chandrian.
We can't actually say that the Chandrian are evil. In stories they are portrayed that way, but we don't know much else. Narrative-Kvothe thinks they are, and we're led to believe so by the Cthaeh, but we don't know that. Cross-apply the "but they are quite nice to us" rhyme, and the point that this isn't actually a "good vs. evil" tale.
Wallace Forman
121. WallaceForman

As I said in @118, we should be confident that the Chandrian are "some sort of evil" from the fact that they slaughtered an innocent troupe of Edema Ruh. They also most likely slaughtered the Mauthen family.
Roger Pavelle
122. RogerPavelle
If the Amyr did the same thing, but said it was for the greater good, would it still be considered "some sort of evil"? I'd tend to say yes, but, since we don't know why they do what they do, it is hard to be definitive.

- Roger
Alice Arneson
123. Wetlandernw
thistlepong @103 – So sorry. I must have missed the memo that named you Arbiter of Observational Relevance. Do we use your shout box to get your approval before posting, or how does that work?
thistle pong
124. thistlepong

thistlepong @103 – So sorry. I must have missed the memo that named you Arbiter of Observational Relevance. Do we use your shout box to get your approval before posting, or how does that work?

Settle down, tetchy. They're just questions. I reckoned they'd have answers, yah?
Ashley Fox
125. A Fox
Wetlandernw. You are incredibly rude. You are not Cadsuane, you are not granted wisdom instantly upon just come across as antagonisitic. Needlessly.

We tend to explore arguments, and counter arguments, here rather than just ignore facts that are not convieniant.
Bridget McGovern
126. BMcGovern
@A Fox, Wetlandernw, and thistlepong: The conversation seems to have taken a bad bounce, here--I don't think anyone was claiming to be the Lord Expert on High of the Rothfuss Reread. Let's chalk this up to a misunderstanding in tone and leave it behind.
127. Marco.

I don't think we can say much definitively about the Chandrian. CTH tells us that there's "so much folklore" hanging off the name after all these years.

I have a high level of confidence that the BIG MISTAKE Kvothe makes in D3 will hinge on a faulty belief about the Chandrian. (Likely he'll be attempting to embody the spirit of the Amyr without understanding the consequences of his actions.)
Steven Halter
128. stevenhalter
WallaceForeman@121:If you look carefully you will see that we don't have any direct knowledge that the Chandrian killed anyone. We are certainly led to believe this through circumstantial evidence and the beliefs of Kvothe, but we don't know it for certain.
Wallace Forman
129. WallaceForman

That's a tough call, but I'd say that we as the readers would likely be invited to conclude yes. However, since the Amyr already supposedly fit that slot, it is unlikely that the Chandrian will fall into that category.


True enough, but I'm advocating confidence, not certainty.
Dave West
130. Jhirrad
WallaceForman @129 - I don't know that I can agree with you. If anything, it seems very much like Pat to pull something where both the Chandrian and Amyr are doing whatever it is they do for what they believe to be "the greater good". I think most of us would argue that the Duke of Gibea was evil and committed acts of evil based on what we know. It's very likely the Chandrian don't see themselves as evil, but rather trying to perpetuate some sort of better world.
Steven Halter
131. stevenhalter
WallaceForman@129:I am not at all confident that the Chandrian killed any of the people we have been led to think they have killed.
thistle pong
132. thistlepong

This will be nothing like my quote heavy posts. It’s basically fanfiction based on coincidences at this point, but... I agree with you. I feel it’s been set up rather well. The bits and pieces we get about both the Seven and the Amyr are full of mystery and contradiction. Kvothe’s persistence in referring to the Seven as the Chandrian when, like, everyone tells him it’s silly seems like a big clue.

I guess I'm not actually confident that the BIG MISTAKE is anything we've been speculating about. Or rather, surely the king thing sent him into hiding or whatever. But I'm starting to wonder if The fight with Denna over the difference in their stories wasn't the mistake he actually regrets.

I can’t shake the feeling that he made a choice to side with the Amyr PoV. He’s steadily justifying it through thought, conversation, action, and reflection. No remorse, only righteousness. He kind of lives in Amyr emblem, too; with the two story black flaming tower and all. He may see both points of view in the end. That might make living with the choice more painful, but also more important.


Really? I thought... hmmm... Would you be willing to talk about that a little more? I thought the Cthaeh's discourse on the subject had convinced you otherwise. And maybe the blood on Cinder's sword. ::deep interest::

Since we're experiencing increasing moderator attention, could you give us some advice on rescuing posts with links that get eaten by the spam filter?


It's just a feeling, based on Pat's comments and ambiguities in the text, but I tend to agree with Jhirrad that neither side is insensibly evil. The first time I read NW, I had huge problems with "Lanre Turned" and they've never subsided. Kvothe's description of Denna's version almost makes more sense of Skarpi's, illuminating Lanre's tears and weariness.

All the same, no matter how postmodern the representations are, I sort of hope Pat doesn't leave Kvothe adrift. Like, we might decide he's wrong, but he'll believe he is or was right?
John Graham
133. JohnPoint
True enough, but I'm advocating confidence, not certainty.
I'm both confident and certain that this is a tragedy of one form or another. Since tragedies frequently hinge upon mistaken assumptions, I advocate certainty when we can identify it and recognition of uncertainty when we can't.

As such, I think we can be certain that the Chandrian were present after Kvothe's troupe was slaughtered and confident that they were most likely at the Mauthen farm, however I am neither confident nor certain that they did the killing at either site. We're led to believe so and it could well end up true, but it could very easily be the mistaken assumption upon which this tragedy hinges.

Edit: looks like Jhirrad, Steven, and thistlepong got there first. Sorry for the duplication.
Bridget McGovern
134. BMcGovern
Thistlepong @132: Actually, it's the same amount of moderator attention as always--Irene and I both read through all the comments throughout the day, but only tend to interject when necessary. I know that the spam filter is annoying, but until we eventually switch over to a different CMS, there's not much we can do about it. Better an overactive filter than the hundreds of spam comments it catches every day--and in the meantime, we'll continue to free up stuck comments as quickly as we can.
Dave West
135. Jhirrad
Not only do I stand by my statement that the evil of the Chandrian isn't black & white in this story, I agree with stevenhalter that I am not entirely convinced that any of the murder we've seen which *WE* attribute to the Chandrian, was necessarily done by them.

We have cumlatively spent thousands of hours not only reading these books, but on our insanely detailed re-read here. I know that stevenhalter and I spent at least 50 hours combined (I use that number because I spent around 40 hours and while I feel confident he spent more than 10 hours I do not want to be presumptous) just putting together a base primer for the languages in the world. It's probably closer to 100, just for that one single piece. What does that tell us other than the fact that we are all singularly obsessed fans? ;) I think it tells us that there is a LOT in these books past the surface. That in order to really understand what is happening in this story, we have to go past the mundane and obvious. We simply would not be able to find as many details as we have if that weren't the case.

Getting back to the original point, it makes me extremely cynical when reading these books regarding anything that we seem to be given freely. I don't buy it. If you consider how much we've worked to get the information and knowledge which we believe we have, anything that is just given to us without said work seems suspect to me. From everything we've seen, all the interviews I've read/heard with Pat, I have come to believe that nothing in these books are meant to be taken purely at face value. That's why I agree with stevenhalter re the Chandrian, and am highly skeptical.
thistle pong
136. thistlepong

I suppose I meant presence in-thread, but failed to convey that. I appreciate it. I just would have preferred it had always been so hands on.

What I noticed when I took a quick look around is that some threads have benefitted from a quick turnaround retrieving filtered posts while, say, Summary 16 still remains full of holes. So, I'm asking what we need to do to alert appropriate parties. We have folks lament the situtation time and time again. We not only lose parts of the conversation, but sometimes folks give up entirely in confusion and frustration.
137. Marco.
"I can’t shake the feeling that he made a choice to side with the Amyr PoV. He’s steadily justifying it through thought, conversation, action, and reflection. No remorse, only righteousness"

I think this is highly probable, and it goes beyond Kvothe's actions and introspection - others see it too. I'm reminded of Elodin's "stop grabbing at my t!ts" speech where he comments on 'direct' and 'simplest is best', and the scene in the library where one of his chums(I forget which one) comments on how he gets things done.
Bridget McGovern
138. BMcGovern
Thistlepong @136: Understood. Looking at Summary 16, I just found and freed your comment (@63)--the only comments in that thread that now remain unpublished are duplicates of comments that were later published successfully. If you or anyone else runs into problems commenting, just drop us an email at's the easiest way of alerting us to the the problem.
Steven Halter
139. stevenhalter
TNofW,ch16:Cinder's sword:
His sword was pale and elegant. When it moved, it cut the air with a brittle sound. It reminded me of the quiet that settles on the coldest days in winter when it hurts to breathe and everything is still.
This section is supposed to be Kvothe's first hand account of seeing the Chandrian. Of course, all of the tale is actually Kote telling the Chronicler. Notice that in this first hand mention of Cinder's sword there is nothing about dripping blood. Pale and elegant. Seems like blood would be something to mention here.

TNofW,ch.27: Kvothe remembering in Tarbean:
I was remembering a man with empty eyes and a smile from a nightmare, remembering the blood on his sword. Cinder, his voice like a chill wind: “Is this your parent’s fire?”
Not him, the man behind him. The quiet one who had sat beside the fire. The man whose face was hidden in shadow. Haliax. This had been the half-remembered thing hovering on the edge of my awareness since I had heard Skarpi’s story.
I ran to the rooftops and wrapped myself in my rag blanket. Pieces of story and memory slowly fit together. I began to admit impossible truths to myself. The Chandrian were real. Haliax was real. If the story Skarpi had told was true, then Lanre and Haliax were the same person. The Chandrian had killed my parents, my whole troupe. Why?
Other memories bubbled to the surface of my mind. I saw the man with black eyes, Cinder, kneeling in front of me. His face expressionless, his voice sharp and cold. “Someone’s parents,” he had said, “have been singing entirely the wrong sort of songs.”
They had killed my parents for gathering stories about them. They had killed my whole troupe over a song. I sat awake all night with little more than these thoughts running through my head. Slowly I came to realize them as the truth.
In this "memory", Kvothe is recovering memories that have been supressed for years. He remembers that there was blood on the sword. Was there really or has he added that little piece. Recovered memories are notoriously suspect years after the fact. Notice the ending line "Slowly I came to realize them as the truth." Also, he hasn't yet been named by Skarpi here--everything he does in Tarbean in suspect.

What the Cthaeh says:
“What can you tell me about the Chandrian?” I asked.
“Since you ask so sweetly, Cinder is the one you want. Remember him? White hair? Dark eyes? Did things to your mother, you know. Terrible. She held up well though. Laurian was always a trouper, if you’ll pardon the expression. Much better than your father, with all his begging and blubbering.”
My mind flashed pictures of things I had tried to forget for years. My mother, her hair wet with blood, her arms unnaturally twisted, broken at the wrist, the elbow. My father, his belly cut open, had left a trail of blood for twenty feet. He’d crawled to be closer to her. I tried to speak, but my mouth was dry. “Why?” I managed to croak.
“Why?” the Cthaeh echoed. “What a good question. I know so many whys. Why did they do such nasty things to your poor family? Why, because they wanted to, and because they could, and because they had a reason.
“Why did they leave you alive? Why, because they were sloppy, and because you were lucky, and because something scared them away.”
What scared them away? I thought numbly. But it was all too much. The memories, the things the voice said. My mouth worked silently, questioning.
Strong implications here, but no outright statement. We've mentioned before that "Did things to your mother, you know." is quite different than "Cinder did things to your mother, you know." and it also doesn't say when or what things.
So, no direct statements or evidence. We and Kvothe are led to believe things but at this point they could be true or false. All of Kvothe's quest being completely wrong would be very nicely part of a tragedy.
- -
140. hex
Our attempts in determining the presumed lurking plot twist, we've turned Rothfuss into our own CTH. He's omniscient (with respect to the story), and completely truthful (after a fashion) and we've begun to believe that nearly everything he's written is duplicitous.

If the Chandrian don't end up being responsible for the wrong doing that we're lead to attribute to them, I won't know what to make of their part of the story. With an entire book to go, I'm not saying that Rothfuss can't come to a satisfying conclusion with the Chandrian being misunderstood, but with the available information it feels like a stretch.

I agree that we can't prove that the Chandrian are responsible for killing Kvothe's troupe, or the Mauthen wedding party, but if not them, who? Did Arliden discover something about Selito/Amyr, along the same lines as D? Did the Amyr need to destroy the pottery that the Mauthen's unearthed as part of their campaign to obscure their history? I suppose that's possible, but then what are the Chandrian doing at each crime scene after the fact? Haliax makes it sound like they're being chased, not the other way around. Kvothe's brief eye witness account of them does not make them seem misunderstood.
Wallace Forman
141. WallaceForman
@130, 132

Not "insensibly evil" perhaps, but some sort of evil nonetheless. Perhaps not in their own eyes, but I expect to be able to make the judgment at the end of D3 that they (Amyr and especially Chandrian) should not be doing what they are doing, and were wrong to do what they did. Maybe the Amyr really are just utilitarians, maybe not (Skarpi prefaces their objective as, specifically, punishing and foiling the Chandrian). I predict that the Chandrian will not think that they are justified, but rather that they will care more about their objective than about its consequences.


I try to avoid using the word certainty, since ultimately varying degrees of confidence are all that we can ever have. Although I agree in principle with you that Kvothe surely misunderstands something important, I don't see any particular reason to hone in on this particular event.

The evidence as I see it:

* Kvothe leaves his troupe for a few hours. When he returns, the troupe is all dead, violently murdered.
* A group of people, the Chandrian, (let us assume, unless this as well is a point of contention?), stands in the wreckage of the troupe. This alone would be very suggestive, but we have much more.
* At least Cinder is armed and dangerous. His sword is consistent with the wounds that will later be found at the Mauthen farm, also putatively a Chandrian attack. The wounds to the Ruh in Kvothe's troupe are not described in great detail.
* One of the Chandrian says "Looks like we missed a little rabbit." This seems to imply they killed the rest of the troupe.
* Cinder mocks Kvothe's dead parents. The Chandrian is callous and unmoved by the murdered Ruh. Their character fits the attitude of putative murderers.
* "Someone's parents have been singing entirely the wrong sort of songs." The Chandrian have a grievance and apparent motive.
* "This one has done nothing." But the others (Arliden and Laurian) had composed a song, hence their torture?
* "Send him to the soft and painless blanket of his sleep." Probable euphemism for kill him quickly.
* "You are as good as a watcher, Haliax." Indicates that Haliax watched the murders. What else might he have been watching, that the Chandrian participated in?
* Haliax lectures the Chandrian on their needless cruelties, more evidence that the group has just tortured and murdered the Ruh.

Hard for me to have much doubt after all this that the Chandrian are responsible. Any particular bullet point might have an alternative explanation, but in conjunction they provide very strong evidence. We also have corroboration from the supposedly infallible CTH, who tells us that Cinder did things to his mother, and that the Chandrian did things to his family. The CTH also confirms that the Chandrian intended to kill Kvothe but were scared away. We also have in frame commentary by Kvothe that the Chandrian must have heard his parents speaking their names, and then tracked them.

Against all this, what reasons do we have to suspect that the Chandrian did not kill his parents? The sneaking suspicion that Rothfuss is misleading us about something doesn't by itself give us a reason to have a lot of doubt about this event in particular, it should just lead us to be slightly more uncertain about all the things we think we know. I think that the known unknowns (What's their plan?) are big enough that we don't need to be focused on unknown unknowns (Who killed Kvothe's parents?).
Steven Halter
142. stevenhalter
WallaceForeman@141:First, note that I am not saying that the Chandrian did not do any of the killings--just that the text is strenuously ambiguous.
The Cthaeh does not confirm any of the things you say. So many Whys. Note that it says they--no specifics.
PR is being very very careful about leaving out specifics.
Note that in:
"You are as good as a watcher, Haliax."
Cinder says "as good as" not that he is a watcher. I think he is comparing him to someone whose role is that of a watcher--namely the Sithe.
As to who killed Kvothe's parents, well whoever is frightening the Chandrian would seem to be a suspect--the Amyr, the Sithe or the Singers. Angels would also work nicely.
- -
143. hex
Thanks WallaceForman@141, you did a better job expressing what I was trying to get at.
Alice Arneson
144. Wetlandernw
So... y'all are saying I didn't miss the memo? I can continue to make observations on the text without prior approval? Well, that's a relief! Because, you know, I probably would have done it anyway, and then Bridget would have to disemvowel my comments or something, and I hate wasting the moderators' time.

A Fox @125 – Wrong series.

Also: Who said that the “argument and counterargument” were not worth exploring? Who ignored “inconvenient facts”? Wasn't me.

JohnPoint @107 - Exactly. What stories are out there? What do they mean? What are the names used in them - if there are names? How accurate are they, individually and in aggregate? A passing remark that hardly anyone remembers a particular story isn't much to go on when looking at the larger story and the people involved in it. The "true story" is about events that happened 5000 years ago, during a time of great destruction, and which have been followed by more cycles of peace, war, civilization, destruction, culture and chaos. There are, inevitably, many stories remaining about those events; there is a very, very small chance that any of the stories are completely true.

Arliden and Netalia (thanks, robocarp!) were exploring the subject from one angle, trying to find the truth of the stories and the connections within them. Denna was exploring an arguably smaller story – or at least, the story she included in her song was definitely only part of the larger picture – using different source material. Did she find more, and realize that it was… not wise… to go further? Was she influenced, either subtly or overtly, in her slant on it? How about Skarpi? Did he have an agenda? What was it? Three different stories being told (or in the case of Arliden & Netalia, not told), but all based on unreliable, ages-old information which has been tampered with in one way or another. Some has simply been altered by time and retelling, some has been deliberately sabotaged, and who knows how many times – or by whom?

Denna had access to information which should have been more reliable – at least, we like to think that recorded data is better than word of mouth – but we know it was tampered with. Skarpi… well, we don’t know much about him and his agenda at all, except that Kote calls him a rumormonger. Presumably, we’ll learn more about it in D3.

I suspect that part of my reason for distrusting Denna’s version, while not trusting Skarpi’s either, is that I distrust both of their motivations. I have a lot more trust in Arliden and Netalia for that reason: they were, arguably, going for the truth. Obviously as a trouper, he was interested in simply crafting a good story; however, in his few comments about it, it looks to me like he had gone beyond merely “a good story” and was digging for the truth. If he could find it, it would make the best story of all – but he seems to have gotten too close to the truth, and Someone didn’t like it. Of course, it’s also possible that he wasn’t anywhere near the truth, and Someone simply didn’t like anyone asking inconvenient questions that might lead to the truth.

On a loosely related note… The Adem indicate that the Chandrian can hear their true names being used, and it is implied that they can triangulate on that usage within a couple of repetitions. Do the Amyr, or anyone else, have similar powers, that we know of? If not, how did Someone notice, find them, and kill everyone who might have heard the song Arliden & Netalia were writing? Unless, obviously, Someone is the Chandrian.
thistle pong
145. thistlepong

Thanks. If you look back far enough, I'm sure I posted the opening statements for the Chandrian's countersuit against Kvothe. It's always seemed circumstantial to me. It's interesting how positions have evolved.


Man, I would never spend that much time on a couple of books.

But, seriously, we should be skeptical of what we seem to be given freely. So, like, stevenhalter's summary of Cinder and the Cthaeh demonstrates ambiguity. ::complete agreement:: In some sense, though, we have to take the gifts given freely, without obligation, let, or lein, as they are. Mundane stuff like there's a King of Vintas and his name is Roderic Calanthis is surely unarguable. ::diffident, defiant:: And we should at least consider all the angles when exploring the story.

* "Send him to the soft and painless blanket of his sleep." Probable euphemism for kill him quickly.
I disagree. It's come up before, but I can recap. Haliax is barred from madness, forgetting, sleep, and death. He'd choose his words more carefully. In fact, his voice catches on sleep. This is one of those spots where we should be skeptical of what we're being lead to assume. Killing an eleven year old, not that I have any experience and Harry Potter aside, can't be that difficult or time consuming.


Thanks for the advice; @63 is a double post as well. I was remembering JohnPoint's struggle to post right after it went up.
Wallace Forman
146. WallaceForman

I'm familiar with that speculation, but I stand by what I say above: "Any particular bullet point might have an alternative explanation, but in conjunction they provide very strong evidence."
Carl Banks
147. robocarp
I'm satisfied that either the Chandrian did it, or the Chandrian and the Cthaeh both want to make Kvothe think they did it. (And if the Cthaeh is in on it, it had to use a cheap pronoun trick since it can't lie--probably.) Those (apart from unreliable narration by Kote) are the only two explanations that fit the lines we are given.

As for whether the Chandrian are evil: "evil" is a word often used to refer things you don't like about your enemies, regardless of any absolute moral or ethical standards. So the answer to the question, "Is X evil?" is "Yes, if X has an enemy".

But there are absolute standards. I'm happy to say the Nazis were more evil than any of the Allies, even though many Nazis probably convinced themselves they were doing it for a greater good. Likewise, I'm happy to label the Chandrian as evil, even if they think they had a good reason for it. And even if they did have a really good, totally justifiable reason for their killings, they still engage in "little cruelties". If it does turn out that it's a big conspiracy then all bets are off, of course.

Same thing goes for Kvothe BTW, but I'll opine that, for now, he did have more ethical justification for his killings than the Chandrian.
Carl Banks
148. robocarp
And a tiny word on unreliable narration by Kote.

When Kvothe leaves the University to seek out the Maer, he mentions that he left behind a half-disassmbled harmony clock. When he comes back to the unversity, he mentions seeing the harmony clock in his belongings, and trying to remember if it was in the process of taking it apart or putting it together. By the framing time, somehow he remembers he was taking it apart. Explainable, but it belies an imperfect memory, and possibly the willingness to form fake memories.

Personally, I think this falls under willing suspension of disbelief. Not that Kvothe has tremendous memory for detail such as exact words of conversations--that could be explained away by having an arcanists mind--but that he has this ability while admitting to forgetting details like what he was doing with his clock.

(Note: I don't actually remember if he was taking it apart or putting it together myself, and I don't have the Kindle handy. For that matter I'm not sure it's called a harmony clock.)
Steven Halter
149. stevenhalter
thistlepong@145:I agree that things like:
Mundane stuff like there's a King of Vintas and his name is Roderic Calanthis is surely unarguable.
are mundane facts that don't need argument. There is a university, Kvothe went there, ...
Bruce Wilson
150. Aesculapius
So many comments to make but my brain is fried after a godawful stressful day at work. Will try to put together something coherent tomorrow.

On another note, however, a truly fascinating edition of "In Our Time" on BBC Radio 4 this morning — and very relevant to our discussions. This may appear slightly tangential, but please bear with me...

For those unfamiliar, In Our Time is BBC radio programme which is a weekly broadcast of a live radio discussion on a topic from history, culture, religion, philosophy or science. The contributors are different each week but are always three senior academics specialising in the subject of the week and the discussion is chaired by the same, very erudite presenter.

There are many years' worth of back-catalogue are available online via the BBC website and the most recent discussion is available here:

The reason this is of note, and why it caught my attention when the radio was on in the background at home, was that today's edition was about the history, origins and interpretation of the Roman myth of the founding of their own city by the twins, Romulus and Remus. This is relevant to us as this is a real-world story that is well over two thousand years old but remains a relatively well known tale to those with an interest in history. Its origins, however, are not so well known or understood, even by experts in the field, and the true purpose and meaning of the myth remains rather hotly debated.

I apologise if the link is not available to those outside the UK but, if you *are* able to access the online version of the recording then it is well worth a listen to hear how a similar debate to our own plays out. It may even illuminate some of the discussions and, dare I say it, disagreements we have been having of late. I hope you can all get to listen as its really rather thought-provoking and I'd love to hear your comments on both the subject of the show and it's relevance to this re-read and discussion of PR's fictional millennia-old stories.
Carl Banks
151. robocarp
I feel bad about posting another crazy theory, but I found it to be unexpectedly tantalizing in that it could explain some of the odder, trickier evidence. I still don't believe one bit of it. This may be the craziest hypothesis I've seen here.


The war caused by the theft of the Moon wasn't the Creation War. There were two wars: the Creation War with Lanre and the Ergen Empire, and another war with Knowers and Shapers over the Moon. The Creation War happened first.

Some tricky things it explains:

Explains why Selitos and Iax appeared to be on the same side: they were. Knowing and Shaping weren't a thing yet. Explains why the Chandrian are feared in both Mortal and Fae realms: they were already the enemy before Mortal and Fae.

Remember how the Adem were wandering was through breaking land and changing sky? That referred to the construction of the Fae, which now happens after the Creation War. So now we don't have to account for broken land and changing sky happening twice.

Locloes box, 3000 years old. Some people drew parallels to Jax's box, but obviously they couldn't be the same box because Iax stole the Moon way before that. Guess what? Now the times coincide.

Note that the surviving city under this hypothesis is Murella.
152. Dessert
Re: robocarp@151
"Iax spoke to the Cthaeh before he stole the moon, and that sparked the entire creation war."
Patrick Downs
153. FlamingTiger

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154. Somebody
I find it very odd that you guys analyze the text to death, and are discussing the fact that PR is not one to give away things without a lot of work on the reader's part, and yet many of you seem accept that Kvothe's mother is Netalia Lockless without much question. I mean, I figured it on my first reading, and I'm usually a lazy reader who doesn't make connections like that unless they're spelled out for me in neon lights. 'Cause it pretty much was. I'm only saying... don't you all find it just a little too obvious? A few too many breadcrumbs to follow? The CTH would've been a wonderful scene to drop the bomb of Kvothe's supposed familial connections; so why didn't it? In fact, it said pretty much the opposite: "Laurian was always a trouper." And why wouldn't Kvothe know his mother's real name, or origins? Why would she change her name to Laurian in the first place? She disgraced her family, true, but she was never on the run, was she? Maybe this has already been discussed before, but I would like to hear your opinions.
Nisheeth Pandey
155. Nisheeth
I believe the primary reason for beliving Kothe's mother to be netalia is song his father made about her, teh Not Tally a Lot Less one. Saying it out loud makes it sound like Netalia Lockless, which is considered a near confirmation, I think.
Carl Banks
156. robocarp

I don't believe the crazy theory I just posted, but that isn't based on Bast's word. :)
Bruce Wilson
157. Aesculapius
@154: Indeed. The significance of Netalia Lackless and who she may be has been discussed in some detail during the relevant parts of the re-read of WMF (and at numerous other times too!). There are probably too many instances to direct you to all of them but a quick review of the appropriate chapters and speculative summaries would give you a flavour of the various theories.

I think it's fair to say that a reasonable amount of doubt still remains for most of us; the link to Laurian is a reasonable working theory but it's far from being set in stone.
thistle pong
158. thistlepong

Regardless of how you view yourself, we've found that the connection wasn't obvious for every reader.

It's a good idea. It's got a lot of circumstantial support. And it fits very well with what folks expect from epic fantasy.

The way I look at it, there's roughly equal support for both Laurian and Denna, which I brought up in Part 21. Specific to the way I tend to read are these sets of descriptions. The first is Denna. The second, Meluan.
Her hair was arranged to display her elegant neck to good effect, revealing the emerald teardrop earrings and matching necklace at her throat.
Her lips, as always, were red without the aid of any paint.
I looked into the deep brown of her eyes.

She was dressed in grey and lavender, and her curling chestnut hair was pulled back to reveal her elegant neck.
Her mouth was full and red without the benefit of any paint.
Her dark brown eyes were gravely serious.
It's certainly among those ambiguities Jhirrad and stevehalter are keen on. We're handed the poem, Laurian's past, and the teasing recognition. It took a year of overcoming predjudice and actually looking to find that bit above.
Andrew Mason
159. AnotherAndrew
Regarding Denna and Laurian:

a. 'Too obvious' is a dangerous argument to use, because it assumes everyone is reading in a clue-seeking spirit, as we are. I dare say many casual readers don't even remember that Meluan has a lost sister. As I mentioned earlier, diehard Harry Potter fans were insisting that Regulus Black was too obvious as the identity of the mysterious R.A.B, while ordinary readers didn't remember that Regulus Black existed.

b. I think one could argue that Thistlepong's clue linking Meluan with Denna is, if anything, more obvious - so it is just as likely to be the false path we were meant to follow. It just so happened that the Laurian clue (which comes later in the book) was spotted first and became widespread knowledge, obscuring this one.

c. The clue in Arliden's song is not just 'not tally a lot less', but that he actually uses 'Tally' as a name.

d. 'Laurian was always a trouper' can't mean that she has been travelling with the Ruh all her life, because she actually describes how Arliden rescued her from a hellish environment of some sort.

e. Of course, whatever the right answer is, we have to explain the clues pointing the other way. (Well, no, we don't, but there has to be an explanation somewhere.) I find it hard to see another explanation for the Laurian clues. Denna, though, can be a Lockless of some sort without being Meluan's sister. E.g: perhaps Laurian had already had a child before she met Arliden; this led to her being put in some sort of penitential establishment, from which Arliden rescued her. Or perhaps Denna is an illegitimate half-sister of Netalia and Meluan. And so on.
160. Marco.
"The CTH would've been a wonderful scene to drop the bomb of Kvothe's supposed familial connections; so why didn't it? In fact, it said pretty much the opposite: "Laurian was always a trouper." And why wouldn't Kvothe know his mother's real name, or origins? Why would she change her name to Laurian in the first place? She disgraced her family, true, but she was never on the run, was she?"

In order:
1. I think this, and several other instances of 'Kvothe must know this today, why doesn't he mention it?' are resolved by something he said to the Chronicler early in book 1 about his story not taking the straightest path. I don't have my book or I'd cite it but the upshot is this: Kvothe is performing for the Chronicler. He wants to tell a compelling story. Revealing key information before the best moment drama-wise goes against Kvothe's personality.
2. I'm comfortable saying that the split with her family was not amicable, so it's reasonable to think that she wanted to leave that part of her life behind.
3. See #2
4. Probably not, but who knows.
161. bluntos
"d. 'Laurian was always a trouper' can't mean that she has been travelling with the Ruh all her life, because she actually describes how Arliden rescued her from a hellish environment of some sort."
I always thought that meant that Laurian was a trouper before she was a Ruh trouper. The first mention of trouper being the below definition.
The OED gives these definitions of the colloquial uses:

trooper: A brave or stalwart person.
trouper: A reliable, uncomplaining person; a staunch supporter or colleague.
Because the Ct. says;
"Did things to your mother, you know. Terrible. She held up well though. Laurian was always a trouper, if you’ll pardon the expression."
It's just the way he says it, like a joke - I assumed the meanings of the word trouper were different. She was always a trouper, like she was a trouper before she ran away to be a Ruh trouper - maybe when she had to put up with Cinders attentions? I mean maybe the Ct. isn't refering to what Cinder did to his mother at the slaughter - but instead, somthing he did to make her run away? Beat her? Become pregnant with Kvothe? She held up well though.

This fits with a Bredon = Cinder theory if there was one of those around :) And Kvothe seeing Bredon as grandfatherly heh. But it's alot of maybes :) I'd love to know what you think.
Alice Arneson
162. Wetlandernw
bluntos @161 - I always assumed the Cthaeh was doing the play on words you described with the "trouper" business, because it makes perfect sense in context. (But it does rather come back around to an age-old discussion, and not unique to this series, about using puns in a situation where we are presumed to be reading something translated into English for our convenience. Not really something worth getting into, IMO, because if you don't allow for any English-language play on words, the writing will get awfully stilted.)

I do find the separation of events an intriguing notion, though - that perhaps Cinder "did things" to Kvothe's mother at a time other than the destruction of the troupe. It opens up all sorts of possibilities, although I've never read her as having experienced any terrible brutalities in her past. That's not much to go on; all we get is Kvothe's childhood memories of her, and she probably wouldn't have let him know about it anyway.

I must say, however, I really do hope that Cinder doesn't turn out to be Kvothe's father... Eww.
Bruce Wilson
163. Aesculapius
To follow on from 158 (Thistlepong) and 159 (AnotherAndrew):

The descriptions of Meluan and Denna are almost TOO similar; it almost reads like PR had thought "here's a fantastic way to describe the beautiful woman in this scene" and then went and used it again, later on, forgetting that he'd already used the same description in the earlier scene!


That said, I'm inclined to agree that, whichever way this falls, Denna or Laurian (or possibly someone else), the information in the narrative mis-direction does at least need to be intrinsically correct. The multiple hints and clues about a link to Laurian are hard to explain any other way, whereas Meluan and Denna may well both have elegant necks, chestnut hair, brown eyes and red lips — but it doesn't necessarily follow, based on just those features, that they look even remotely alike.

For what it's worth, yes, my money is on Laurian — but, at best, that's 0nly 60:40 or maybe 70:30 in her favour!
Carl Banks
165. robocarp
Re: trouper/trooper

How would Kvothe know how the Cthaeh spells it? When Kote narrates the story, how does Chronicler know which word is meant? And since Chronicler is spelling the words phonetically, does it matter?

If it's a clue about Laurian's past, it's a pretty cheap one. (It's kind of like video games where the solution to a puzzle would be obvious from the character's point-of-view, but are hidden from the gameplayer. It kind of messes with the immersiveness of it.) I would bet any money PR carefully chose the spelling "trouper", but it might signify how Kvothe (or Chronicler) understood it, not how the Cthaeh meant it. Or it might just be a cheap clue.
thistle pong
166. thistlepong
The descriptions of Meluan and Denna are almost TOO similar; it almost reads like PR had thought "here's a fantastic way to describe the beautiful woman in this scene" and then went and used it again, later on, forgetting that he'd already used the same description in the earlier scene!
That's an understandable reaction. I guess I didn't make clear that those lines don't appear together. I'll quote the page numbers a little later. I do wanna point out that I've actually demonstrated, a couple times, what folks often fall back on to support one assumption or another. The precision of the word choice, particularly in WMF, is astounding. He's not only concerned with "the difference between slim and slender," he's deliberately placing words to mirror one another across the book.

However, could you be on to something? I might conclude a mistake if the descriptors appeared in relation to other women.

So here's elegant neck:
Her hair was arranged to display her elegant neck to good effect, revealing the emerald teardrop earrings and matching necklace at her throat.
(WMF 93) *Denna
She was dressed in grey and lavender, and her curling chestnut hair was pulled back to reveal her elegant neck.
(WMF 913) *Meluan
Her long hair was pinned up, leaving her elegant neck and shoulders bare.
(WMF 251) *Fela
Nowhere else, but still a bit dodgy.

Brown eyes?
I looked into the deep brown of her eyes.
(WMF450) *Denna

She was strikingly lovely, with a strong jaw and dark brown eyes.
(WMF 452) *Meluan

Her dark brown eyes were gravely serious.
(WMF 914) *Meluan
That's actually it for women. Used for two women, two pages apart, in separate chapters, seems less likely to be a mistake over 200 revisions than a deliberate choice. Denna's eyes are also a striking portion of her (re)introduction:
“Her eyes were dark. Dark as chocolate, dark as coffee, dark as the polished wood of my father’s lute.
(NW 419)
And, of course, Arliden uses eyes for his metaphor on tracing the origins of stories:
“It’s like looking at a dozen grandchildren and seeing ten of them have blue eyes. You know the grandmother had blue eyes, too.
(NW 89)
Which is amusing because it leads, unfortunately, to the tangent that destroys all other tangents. Three characters have brown eyes: Denna, Meluan, and Bredon (387, 389, 390^2, 391). A lot of dark eyes. Six brown ones.

You'd think there'd be a lot of red lips, right? There aren't. They're exclusive to Denna throughout NW. Here's the (re)introduction again.
“Her easy smile could stop a man’s heart. Her lips were red. Not the garish painted red so many women believe makes them desirable. Her lips were always red, morning and night. As if minutes before you saw her, she had been eating sweet berries, or drinking heart’s blood.
(NW 419)
And the other two:
She smelled of strawberry, and her lips were a dangerous red even in the moonlight.
(NW 483)
Her lips were wet and redder than the apple.
(NW 561)
Following that striking association, the descriptor is dropped twice.
Her lips, as always, were red without the aid of any paint.
(WMF 432)
Her mouth was full and red without the benefit of any paint.
(WMF 453)
I'm gonna go ahead and stop there. Combing through lips and eyes and necks just to be sure is a bit wearying and still moreso to type out. I would have expected a couple more red lips or an surprisingly brown eye, but there aren't any. They're not accidents.
The multiple hints and clues about a link to Laurian are hard to explain any other way
Well, we do know Laurian doesn't look like Meluan even linguistically. And there are an awful lot of nobles, everywhere. And, y'know poetry is almost by definition polysemic (see below). Anyway, I don't have money on either horse. Maybe that's what allows me to see both of them?


a. This is the argument you made previously and it rings now, as it did then, absolutely true. I actually remind myself of it every time I wanna say something's obvious.

b. This is almost facetious. By your own admission you saw neither set of clues. I suppose you'll have to take my word for it that, even with a Kindle or two, figuring out what to search for to get below 100 returns was neither easy, obvious, or quick.

c. Or it's just metonymy? This is covered by e, though

d. This has been worked over. It can rest.

e. Laurian's clues are enigmatic, broadly applicable, or simply decent. Denna's are concrete, linguistic, and structural. I'm not actually advocating for either, but you must see how easy it is to dismiss one or the other. Positing a Luke/Leia thing to explain Denna's features, especially when Kvothe's and Laurian's match, is no less absurd than suggesting, "It’s worth my life / To make my wife / Not tally a lot less . . ." is Arliden, like, humorously lusting after a youngster rumored to have run away with some Ruh. In fact, the family's so old and wealthy that could explain the monetary metaphor running through it. And, damn, I'd make him sleep under the wagon for bein' that creepy, too.
Bridget McGovern
169. BMcGovern
@Thistlepong and Wetlandernw: I'm going to let Flaming Tiger at 153 be the final word on the topic. I've already asked that you get back to discussing the actual text--everything else is irrelevant to this thread. If you feel that you can't interact or can't disagree with one another and still keep things civil, then don't interact at all--there's room for everyone's opinions in this conversation. Thank you.

Aesculapius @168: Thank you trying to mediate, but this unfortunate digression has outlived its welcome--moving forward, anything not related to discussing Rothfuss or the text itself will be unpublished, until we're back on track.
171. bluntos
It's the phrase though, not just the word.
steve b
172. bluntos
Sorry, you have to google "always was a trouper" inluding the quotes, else you will get ABBA lyrics, >
John Graham
173. JohnPoint
Re eyes and Denna:

Kvothe specifically describes Krin as looking like Denna -- he remembered an almost physical shock at her resemblance to Denna, and claims that she had "the dark eyes of a young Denna." WMF Ch 131. I always understood this as a reference to her intellect and her anger at her capture, but it could potentially be something more.

Re Meluian -- her hair is described as "chestnut," which I always think of as a reddish brown; if so her family has an allele for red hair. Laurian would have had to have an allele for red hair, as well, in order for Kvothe to have "true red" hair. Nothing definitive either way on whether Meluian is his aunt or not, but it does provide a subtle genetic clue.
Roger Pavelle
174. RogerPavelle
Question: Do people think it was her calling name or her true name that Netalia changed when she became Laurian? If it was more than just her calling name, CTH could have been literal in saying she always was a trouper ::double meaning acknowledged::.

- Roger
thistle pong
175. thistlepong

I actually fussed and fretted over chestnut when I first went looking. I was sure there was something about Laurian's hair that would make a solid link to Meluan, in fact. Then I was sure there'd be something. Then I wasn't sure at all

So that's where I am. Not sure. Like with Ash. I can't dismiss outright all the whatsis pointing to any solution. I will, however, be on the lookout for similarities. Pale skin. This:
Her face was oval, her jaw strong and delicate. Say that she was poised and graceful. *Denna
She was strikingly lovely, with a strong jaw and dark brown eyes. *Meluan
Rather than, "Who is/was Netalia," I find myself wondering what each answer would mean, if anything.
Steven Halter
176. stevenhalter
RogerPavelle@174:I don't think we have seen any indication that Netalia is a namer. Of course, we don't have much info on Netalia so we don't necessarily know that she wasn't.
It is also possible that someone else could have done something to her name transforming her from Netalia to Laurian. This opens up an interesting can of worms. If Netalia was renamed and her memories potentially messed with, her life as Netalia may not have been as bad as she seems to allude to and her going with the troup may not have been as voluntary as we think.
177. Marco.
Elodin's reaction to Kvothe asking about a girl changing her name seems to indicate that you need to be a bit of a namer to pull something like that off.
John Graham
178. JohnPoint
thistlepong @175 -- yeah, I agree that none of this is definitive one way or another. I expect ::sincere desirous hope:: that we'll find out @D3, but in the meantime, the different options do provide interesting speculation about meaning.
Roger Pavelle
179. RogerPavelle
@176 stevenhalter
I don't know if you need to be a ::trained??:: namer to change your own name (or whether a namer could impose a new name on someone). I think that Laurian became substantially different from Netalia, due to both choice and circumstance (the life she leads after running away with Arliden). This is different from Denna changing her name every couple of week but remaining the same person. However, I'm sure how different it is from Kvothe giving Auri a new name; maybe Netalia was sick of her life as the future Lady Lackless and Arliden gave her a new one when he "seduced" her (I would use the more poetic "captured her heart," but couldn't fine that as an actual quote and it is too loaded in this context).

- Roger
Steven Halter
180. stevenhalter
Change your Name and the rest will follow.

Everyone is constantly in the process of changing as new information/events impinge upon the static Named entity/persona. This process is natural and is what differentiates a person from, say, a rock. So, the mundane change from Netalia to Laurian as she assumes the new life after running away with Arliden would be the normal course of events.
We saw that Haliax (probably) did something to Kvothe that resulted in the Tarbean interval and it wasn't until Skarpi (probably) restored Kvothe to himself that he resumed progress. So, it seems like peoples minds/names can be interfered with by external agencies.
In everything we have seen, we assume that Netalia ran off with the charming Arliden in a happy happy love story. What if the events were "caused" by a more nefarious action--possibly on Arliden's behalf. If he found an unscrupulous Namer and caused Netalia to fall for him (or to a lesser extent if someone did this without Arliden's knowledge (or Arliden could have been messed with also)) events take on a more sinister turn.
"Did things to your mother, you know. Terrible. She held up well though. Laurian was always a trouper, if you’ll pardon the expression. Much better than your father, with all his begging and blubbering.”
What if the Cthaeh wasn't talking about the murders at all here? Maybe the reason Kvothe never talks about his grandparents is that neither Laurian nor Arliden recall their parents or don't recall them as pleasant.
thistle pong
181. thistlepong
So one or both were sent to the soft and painless blanket of their sleep?

Here's the quote RogerPavelle was thinking of with the surrounding context:
He bound me with kisses and cords of chorded song. He robbed me of my virtue and stole me away.” She paused, “But he didn’t have red hair. Couldn’t be him."
She smiled wickedly at my father, who appeared a little embarrassed.
Binding. Cords. Robbed and stole. Embarrassment.

sevenhalter, I thought bitchin' for the first time in... ::amused nostalgia::
Steven Halter
182. stevenhalter
Yes--a Singer mayhaps, with red hair. I'm rather liking the idea that there is more to the "abduction of Netalia" than appears on the surface story. Maybe more than these two participants know.
Bruce Wilson
183. Aesculapius
We've discussed before K's apparent ability to express Naming through music; on his father's lute after the troupe are murdered, in song during his battle of wills with Felurian.

Could it be that the raw talent for this exists as something akin to a "knack" — is this a latent ability that truly great musicians can tap into when they seem to play with such emotional depth that it draws their audience with them; a kind of subconscious (Sleeping Mind) empathic Knowing but expressed as notes not words...?

Arliden might well be a case in point - did he really bind Laurianne with cords of chorded song (perhaps without fully realising the significance of what he was doing) as his playing expressed his (and her) love?

Kvothe inherited this skill or subconsciously learned it from Arliden (perhaps a bit of both) but then, being who he is, has taken this to the next level and beyond, going from a knack to full-powered Naming, even if, at first, he is not really aware of what he is doing.

The next leap is to wonder if this is a trait that runs through at least some of the Edema Ruh; Illien certainly springs to mind as a potential candidate. He certainly had the red hair — as far as we know ("Illien's fire").

In fact, on that subject, I still harbour suspicions that Illien and Taborlin the Great may turn out to be different aspects of the *same* individual. I can't really back that up with direct comparisons from the little information that we have but it's a gut feeling.

Certainly, from what we know of their stories, the two of them combined would pretty much make up what we think that K at the height of his powers would have been. A truly trope-ridden fantasy would have K pass through the Faen realm, or perhaps through some specific portal, to end up somewhere in a different time such that he himself is the origin of both the Taborlin AND the Iliien stories. Now, I very much doubt that PR is going to slap us with that particular scenario in D3 but I can't help wondering if there isn't going to be *some* connection back to K. The similarities are certainly pretty striking.
Steven Halter
184. stevenhalter
Aesculapius@183:Yes, it could have been Arliden intentionally or unintentially "enchording" Netalia. Or, it could have been some other party doing the renaming/rechording for the both of them.
Bruce Wilson
185. Aesculapius
Meant to add:

Red hair doesn't follow simple Mendelian genetics. It's a complex interplay between genes that code for two different hair pigments (eumelanin [brown] and pheomelanin [reddish]) and the expression of differing amounts of these produces individuals whose hair can be from a whole range of "brown" or "red" colours, from pale to dark.

The amount of red pigment may be mainly determined by one gene, MC1R, but there are actually many different MC1R alleles. Equally, other genes affect the quantity of brown pigment produced and this has a very significant effect on overall hair color.

The complex genetics mean that even knowing an individual's genotype does not allow for accurate prediction of phenotype and two brown haired parents can have a child with red hair but, equally, two red-haired parents can have a child with brown hair!

That's just basic human genetics. Who knows *what* the heck happens if you start to add Fae traits or Shaping into the mix...
Jeremy Raiz
186. Jezdynamite
Just a little note:

I've been told that if I like someone's books, and if I want to
understand their writing better, I should read some works by those who have inspired the author.

So, I've started reading some books that PR has recommended. I've just finished "the Last Unicorn" and I'm now reading the "Riddlemaster of Hed" by Patricia McKillop.

It's interesting....I'm about 60% through the first "Riddlemaster" book. It has naming as one of its main magical themes; a character called Lyra; and mysterious stars on a main character's forehead.
thistle pong
187. thistlepong
Hey, Jez. As you go through these, can you point to a link where he mentions the book? The Last Unicorn is all over, but I can't remember seeing him mention The Riddlemaster of Hed.
Jeremy Raiz
188. Jezdynamite
Hey Thistle. I can't access the link at my work - I'm surfing blind - but I think its this one from his blog:

Lance Schaubert refers to it too:

I'll check at home tonight if I posted the right link.
thistle pong
189. thistlepong
That's the one. I hadn't gotten that far yet. Thanks.
Nisheeth Pandey
190. Nisheeth
@Aesculapius, 183:
The idea that Illien was a namer puts Kvote's answer to Lorren's question, "Who was the greatest man that ever lived?" in entirely another light.
Though we aren't told about any reaction from the other masters, and Lorren just blinks.
Brandon Lammers
191. wickedkinetic
Illien is like Shakespeare in their world I think - he gets respect from everybody even if you're not into drama or poetry or iambic whatever-meter.....

Cthaeth is Encannis - Bound in the tree by Aleph or Tehlu or someone of similar relevance and mythos and power. very much like Satan in the tree of knowledge in the garden of Eden, complete with panachea flowers i.e. fruit of knowledge..... btw - I think the Aleph story should pre-date the Creation War stories - Ruach should have been pre-Fae and creation war - but perhaps the Tehlu-christ taking human form etc and then capturing and imprisoning Encannis could have happened anywhere on the timeline I suppose - similar to the Old Testament being 'old history' while the christ-on-earth is more recent history... could be separate events as others indicated - and it seems likely to me that the Cthaeh at one point was not stuck in a tree but someone found a way to contain or bind him there... clearly that had to happen after the creation of Fae and perhaps was the reason for the creation of Fae.? I'm rambling now so I'll stop...

Is Kvothe's Dad really his dad is an interesting question, but I haven't seen anyone provide any textual clues in that direction - other than the joking/teasing indicated in the text-quote from thistle @181.....

I'm betting the escape of natalia was either she simply did fall in love with Arliden when he came through the Lackless lands and ran off with him, or more like she ran off with him rather than deal with an arranged marriage to the Maer or Baron Jakis or some other very important/powerful person - and she was not interested in being some noble wife playing the Game of Thrones or whatever you want to call the politicking of nobility in a monarchy/aristocracy.

As far as Arliden - I'm betting his lineage is Ruhish, going back generations, but that the Ruh have some historical blending of Faen blood. Likely the Lackless due as well. It is strange that there is no reference in the troupe to any relations, the troupe is the family and blood is irrelevant perhaps? If it is the Family Trade though, you'd expect perhaps there to be an uncle or cousin or someone in the troop with a relevant blood-relationship to K and his Pa.

Rannish is referenced in the text - so he was playing coy there, giving the line you'd get from Old Cob if you asked him for directions. If I recall correctly, in describing the town in D1, I'm paraphrasing
'The blacksmith apprentice was 'that Rannish boy' for years, like Rannish was some far-off distant country and not the next town 10 miles up the road' or something along those lines....

I think Pat's just got a thing for cloaks, personally - almost a fetish maybe? He's reference on multiple occasions wandering his small-town at all hours of the night in a hooded cloak and wondering what people who catch a glimpse of him might think he's up to.... Not sure if there's a special relevance other than the final cloak being another piece of the Taborlin puzzle, along with Auri's gifts and the like....

Hopefully in D3 he will make himself a copper sword ala T-the-G and get all stabbity with Cinder.....
192. Sparrow
Uhhm, well I have never said anything here before... I did read this entire reread, and it is the most incredible thing. Absolutely. And I'm sure you've all already thought of most things that its possible to think, but I'm wondering...
did people talk much about waystones and greystones? If you did and i missed it, please ignore me.

But seems to me that the Chandrian can't attack where there's a waystone...
And I think that's why they didnt destroy the barrow hill pot, because it was buried with a some huge stones or something, wasn't it? But those farmer people moved them away? Did they?
And there's the song of what to do when the Chandrian come...... "stand alone, standing stone."

And Kvothe's inn is called the Waystone. What if he actually Named it to have the powers of a waystone? Maybe thats why it doesn't matter if he tells what he knows about the Chandrian. His safe inside the Inn. He SAYS he's safe because of the din of whispering, but I'm not sure if I believe what that guy is saying anymore...

And I think it was said lots of times that the archives looks like a huge waystone. Maybe it's more than just looks like, because if sure there's something awful trapped behind those doors of stone....

Anyway.. I'm sure that this isn't news to anyone, but still. I at last gave in, and said something here.
Steven Halter
193. stevenhalter
Jo posted a link to a wonderfully fun web gadget that lets you build pulp covers:
I couldn't resist:
Carl Banks
196. robocarp

Maybe the Chandrian are merely afraid to attack near Waystones. They seem to have enemies in the Fae, and attacking near Waystones means their enemies are close to them.
Carl Banks
197. robocarp
And now for a little Taborlin the Great chat.

My current theory on ol' Tab is that the legend grew out of the events surrounding the Lockless Box. One of my earlier theories was that he was based on the person who did not betray a city in the Creation War. These are really just guesses based on where he might best fit in; there really isn't a lot of direct evidence. Other than the Chandrian his stories don't contain any concrete people, places, or times (that we know of). However, I found a possible little clue in Marten's story.

The key is King Scyphus's purpose in capturing Taborlin in Marten's story: he wants to get Taborlin to promise his aid on something. What aid might King Scyphus want? Noting that Scyphus is very close in spelling to Cyphus, and that Cyphus was once a high-ranking official (like, perhaps, a king) in one of the eight cities of Ergen and was plotting to betray the Empire, it seems possible the King Scyphus wanted Taborlin's aid to betray an empire, but Taborlin, of course, was having none of it.

So Taborlin the Great might be based on the person who didn't betray a city after all, and this, at least, is a small bit of evidence for that.

Corollary. I doubt Lanre would have gone ahead with the Betrayal unless he thought he had all eight cities. This is suggested in Shehyn's story: the enemy (Lanre) poisoned seven others against the empire. But only six betrayed it. It seems that the person who didn't betray the empire was part of the conspiracy at some point.

And if Taborlin is based on that person, did Taborlin capitulate at any point? Wouldn't it be funny if Marten's story went on to have King Scyphus defeat Taborlin (maybe due to the ineffectiveness of his copper sword) and bring him over to the Dark Side, only for Tab to later have a change of heart.
Roger Pavelle
198. RogerPavelle
I understand the logic, but I'm not sure if the corollary works. First, I think it is implied fairly clearly that the enemy was Iax and that Lanre was one of those who took part in the betrayal.

I think the one who didn't betray his city was Selitos. The idea that he was part of the conspiracy at one point works well with the Amyr on the Trebon pot (memorializing his rejection of the betrayal/betrayers).

Question for imaginary linguists: It just ::literally:: occured to me that the name Taborlin could be tied to the town of Trebon (Trebon-ling?). Is this a reasonable ?declension? ::vocabulary uncertainty::

- Roger
thistle pong
199. thistlepong
Other than the Chandrian his stories don't contain any concrete people, places, or times (that we know of).
The first one contains both a Tinker and an amulet that functions similarly to a gram. Feltemi, one of the historians of the Aturan Empire writing after it's dissolution, wrote on them. Emperor Alcyon instigated purges of Tinkers, Ruh, and indigents travling on Aturan roads. Kote also mentions stories wherein Taborlin learned the names of all things at the University. This has always constrained my thoughts about the possible age of Taborlin.

So far, both of the more lengthy stories include only Cyphus's sign, though: blue flames. I'd just never ruled out the possibility that they'd continue acting on the 4C stage between the Betrayal and the present day. According to Marten's story, Taborlin would not have backed out of a promise to aid Scyphus once he'd given it.


Reading through Shehyn's story again, it looks like she's calling Alaxel the enemy.
"The enemy’s name is remembered, but it will wait."
"He poisoned seven others against the empire, and they forgot the Lethani. Six of them betrayed the cities that trusted them."
"Last there is the lord of seven..."
Tar-be-an seems closer to Ta-bor-lin off the top of my head. I haven't seen any reason to connect either, though. Really early on, someone put forth the possibility that the name came from Marlowe's Tamburlaine the Great, probably after looking for similarities between Dr Faustus and Daeonica.

It's not much of a stretch to guess that we'll get a third Taborlin sorty in D3. However, looking at the way the Taborlin stories are presented in the two books so far, I'm fairly certain it'll occur near the end on the book. In fact, pressed, I'd say the chapter right before the epilogue. Cob's story introduces the character, his tools, and the general structure: imprisoned, blue flame, break, and the names of all things. Marten's identifies Scyphus, broadens his tools, and actually shows a confrontation. The third one should have an ending. Maybe we'll actually get to see if robocarp's right.
Carl Banks
200. robocarp

The enemy many people believe is strongly implied to be Iax is the enemy mentioned in Skarpi's story.

The enemy of Shehyn's story is Lanre. Also, the one who did not betray a city was someone other than Selitos. Shehyn's story is very clear. Here's what she wrote (with my own comments in curly braces):
He {the enemy} poisoned seven others against the empire, and they forgot the Lethani. Six of them {referring unambiguously to the seven that were poisoned} betrayed the cities that trusted them. Six cities fell and their names are forgotten.

One {of those who were poisoned} remembered the Lethani, and did not betray a city. That city did not fall. {Selitos's city did fall. Therefore, the person who didn't betray a city was not Selitos.}
So. An as yet unnamed enemy poisons seven. Six betray, one doesn't. There are seven Chandrian named later. The six who betrayed a city account for six of those Chandrian. Therefore the as yet unanamed enemy must be the seventh. The enemy is Lanre (Alaxel) and no one else.
thistle pong
201. thistlepong

To further confuse things, a redditor pointed out something interesting:
We have seen Fae changing their eyes, but they always turn lighter in color, going fully blue then eventually white, which is pretty much the opposite of what Kvothe's do.
Ze further relates it to "this shaper of the dark and changing eye," that stevenhalter(3) and Jezdynamite(14) mention.

I have no idea what to make of that.
Carl Banks
202. robocarp

There's also the fact that one of Taborlin's tools is a coin, and coins probably don't predate the Cealdim very much.

It wouldn't surprise me if the Taborlin stories are set in more recent times, as you say, but I like to think about cases where they are not, because of the interesting possibilities it raises (possible relationships to the Lockless and CW stories).
Dave West
203. Jhirrad
Something Pat posted to his Facebook page this morning, for those who aren't over there:

?"When Auri woke, she knew that she had seven days."

I can only say WOW, what a teaser. This is the kind of thing we could absolutely go crazy over here.
thistle pong
204. thistlepong

I feel teased by the mode. Is it a story about Auri in the narrative? Is it much more time than we expected in the frame? Is it another story altogether? I see what you mean.
Dave West
205. Jhirrad
RogerPavelle@198 - In re Taborlin/Trebon.

Is it possible? Sure. In my works in linguistics I've seen much stranger things happen to words. However, I agree with thistlepong that it's a real stretch to tie his name to Trebon, or even Tarbean as is also suggested as a possibility. The word which seems to actually tie to most closely with Taborlin that I have seen is Tehlin. Perhaps Tehlu became the Tehlin religion and a mythical figure of Taborlin was created from that, as a hero of it. Even that seems a HUGE stretch to me. The other word that is close, which I might give a little more weight to is Sir Savien Traliard. Even then...Yeah, that's pushing it.
Dave West
206. Jhirrad
thistlepong@204 - I know, right! I read that and all those same things came into my mind. The only thing which I can get out of it, which still assumes this is the Auri that we know and love, and not someone else with the same name, is that it is something in the future, either of the narrative or the frame, and not something in the past, since it was Kvothe that Named her Auri in the first place. Other than that, we know absolutely nothing, and it could be absolutely anything. Also, as he just mentioned the other day on his blog that he's "putting finishing touches on a story I've owed someone for more than a year" and he gave that a working title of "The Weight of Her Desire", it's possible that this is something from that story.
thistle pong
207. thistlepong

That's a pretty good call. I remember something about the first "favor" auctioned or won going to Subterranean Press and it being cashed in for the opportunity to publish a story. Kinda fits with his comments about her not being very important to the KKC plot but being wildly popular among fans.
Dave West
208. Jhirrad
thistlepong@207 - It would be amazing if he had an Auri short story. And actually, as I think about things, I suppose it could actually be set a little in the past, and if it's published before D3 it would have to be. It would have to be in the narrative, between the time that she is Named and where we are at the end of WMF. If it's published after D3 then it's wide open as to what it could be.

And it's true, she is wildly popular. She is such a sweet and free flowing character, it's hard not to fall in love with her. I think I did the very first scene in which she appeared.
Ashley Fox
209. A Fox
ha, repeating news in my excitement! :) I also thought it may be the short story. We have only had one small chapter from Bast's perspective. So it's possible it is from D3...but...who knows?
Jeremy Raiz
210. Jezdynamite
I think Pat broke the collective will of most of the commenting Facebook followers with those 10 words.
John Graham
211. JohnPoint
Hmm, that is definitely an interesting note on Pat's fb page...

My mind also jumps to the short story that he mentioned a few days ago, but it also jumps to him mentioning that he was going to be publishing some type of romance novel (and of course, I can't find the post right now...) The title "The Weight of Her Desire" struck me as fitting the romance novel meme, but it could apply to auri, I guess...

Or ::apprehensive nervousness:: it could be a romance novel about Auri. I'm not sure what to think about that option. I've also speculated in the past that Auri is the student that disappeared after a failed romance with Ambrose -- what if ::quiet revulsion:: this is a romance novel about Auri and Ambrose?!

But this is all speculation on my part, and hopefully wrong speculation.
Dave West
212. Jhirrad
JohnPoint@211 - There is no romance novel being published. A lot of people are mistaking this story, "The Weight of Her Desire", with the stretch goal he made for Worldbuilders, where if it hit $450,000, he and Amber Benson were going to write a romance novel together. We didn't make that goal, and so that's not happening. There were actually several comments in one of his blog posts about that, and he seemed to be getting frustrated that people didn't remember what the actual requirement was for that to get done.

While I think it would be incredibly interesting if it were a romance about Auri and Ambrose, we have to remember that she wasn't Named Auri until meeting Kvothe. Elodin makes a big deal about it. If I recall, it was what nudged Elodin into teaching Kvothe Naming as well as him getting him back into the Archives. So even if she is the same girl, she wasn't Auri, much like Kote isn't Kvothe.
Dave West
213. Jhirrad
Maybe I'm getting sappy in my old age, but I just pulled up the scene in WMF where Elodin has dinner with Auri and Kvothe. The aftermath of that, where Kvothe bullies Elodin into not having Auri put in Haven is incredibly powerful. He get Elodin to swear not to tell anyone about by his mother's milk, his name and his power, and the ever-moving moon. And people wonder why we love her so much, when clearly Kvothe does too.
Ashley Fox
214. A Fox
Oh gosh...what if it's actually a very early scene from the frame of D3? We've speced that K is setting a trap, or at least has *some* sort of post storytelling plan. Auri said she would always be there if he needed her. What if she has seven days to get to the Waystone? duh duh duuuuh

Obs wild spec. But it's fun :)
215. Marco.
I'm not sure we're beholden to the 'got the name Auri' timeline.

After all, Pat is teasing us here. He couldn't just say: "When Gertrude* woke, she knew that she had seven days" because nobody would have the slightest idea what he was talking about and it wouldn't have [presumably intended] effect of working everyone up into a lather. 'Auri' might just be referring to the character, much like we refer to 'Kvothe' in the frame even though he's currently Kote.

*Let's all pretend her pre-Auri name is Gertrude.
Steven Halter
216. stevenhalter
"When Auri woke, she knew that she had seven days."
I would go with the short story; amazing if it is. There are a number of things going on in this sentence. Auri sleeps as she woke. She has a sense of time--never clear how attached to time she was in the story. Something is happening seven days after she awakes.
Ashley Fox
217. A Fox
That which comes with sleeping....a looming deadline apparently.

The sentance also has three things that carry weight in the 4C.

Waking (sleeping)

Also a past, a present, and a future.
John Graham
218. JohnPoint
Jhirrad - ah, yes, thanks... ::mild embarassment:: I forgot that it was a Worldbuilders stretchgoal (that unfortunately didn't get "stretched").

It could also be Pat talking in 3rd person about himself (Auri is, he admits, probably his favorite character) -- perhaps he has 7 days to finish a revision or ... something ...

Though my money is on the short story.
219. Freelancer
I too saw Pat's tease quote this morning. It almost cannot be anything but from Kvothe's narrative to Chronicler, since Auri is Kvothe's name for her. There are dozens of possibilities for this. The best I can conjure, since deduction is out of the question, is that she believes that something must happen before the next major moon phase. Auri is very strongly tied to the moon, being a night creature, and that moon phases are almost always identified when she and Kvothe meet. If she was compelled to feel as if a deadline were approaching based on that, this line would be completely reasonable.
Carl Banks
220. robocarp

At least he didn't use seven words....
thistle pong
222. thistlepong
Weren't you referencing, "There are ten words that will break a strong man’s will?"

derp, will teach me to post before waking up
Steven Halter
223. stevenhalter
I am curious about the spelling of Sithe in non-English editions of the books. Is it the same? Sithe is most probably a derivative term from Irish Gaelic for a race in Irish and Scottish mythology, (usually spelled Sìth, however pronounced the same) comparable to the fairies. The actual term(s) are:
aos sí, "ees shee", older form aes sídh), "ays shee-uh") . Aos sí means "people of the mounds" (the mounds are known in Irish as "the sídhe"). In Irish, the "people of the mounds" are sometimes called daoine sídhe. In Scottish mythology they are daoine sìth.
Dave West
224. Jhirrad
I thought I would go and buy the e-book version of The Name of the Wind in Italian, to help research your question Steven, but sadly, I can't find one! Does anyone know anything in re availability of translations as e-books? I wrote Pat to ask also, we'll see what he says.
thistle pong
225. thistlepong

Spanish: sithe
Catalan: sithe
Brazilian Portugese: sithes

pronunciation: sith (like dark jedi; rhymes with)
-from the audiobooks, confirmed in the last reddit ama
~I initially read it in gaelic, 'cause, y'know...

I'll see if I can find anything else, since those are all the same family.
Steven Halter
226. stevenhalter
Thanks Thistlepong. The Star wWars "Sith" also has the same roots. Lucas didn't know (or care) how it was pronounced. I would have thought Pat knew--I wonder why they went with the non-Gaelic pronunciation.
thistle pong
227. thistlepong
Quick search results-
archaic: to sigh
obsolete: scythe
obsolete: since
thistle pong
228. thistlepong

Spanish and Catalan translations are available to US kindle users.

Steven Halter
229. stevenhalter
Jhirrad@224:I went to and it doesn't look like there is an Italian ebook available. Odd.
Steven Halter
230. stevenhalter
thistlepong@last couple: So it does look like they are treating Sithe as a proper noun that isn't converted rather than just a stand in for some sort of faerie.
Dave West
231. Jhirrad
Yeah, I checked the site and couldn't find it there either, which was what surprised me. I mean, if it's been translated, it seems like a short step to turn something into an e-book, with seemingly little cost/risk involved.
thistle pong
232. thistlepong

Yes. I probably should have preserved capitals. I can't remember if a tertiary point has come up here: Sithe is supposed to always be capitalized in English. The place, I think there's only one, where it's not is a confirmed typo.

I was gonna say that, yes, he had to know the correct pronunciation, but I remember an interview where he mentioned being terrible at reading a word and knowing how it was pronounced. Might be it was sith in his head long before he learned how everyone else said it ::wild guess::
Jo Walton
233. bluejo
New looooong post on women in the frame coming on Thursday. It was going to be women generally, but it was too much for one post.
Adam Price
235. Zuphlas
@Jo - "Three people in the books and three people only have eyes that change colour with their moods. Felurian, Bast, and Kvothe."

I know you mentioned that the other Lacklesses don't seem to have it, and you may well be right, but I did think that Kvothe's being 'slightly fae around the edges' in that respect might be indirect evidence for Bredon being the other Lackless (Alicuos?) - Bredon is clearly in some way related to fae (we have his pagan rituals by the greystones, tak, and his use of fae phrasing "without let or lien"), and it did always make sense to me that a line that's lasted as long as the Lackless line (which is known to be absurdly old and is potentially far older) would have family secrets that told them the truth about fae and might even have maintained a level of contact with the fae over the centuries... But that's just speculation on my part.

@72. A Fox - "And of course here I cannot help but wonder if Arliden's patron, the mysterious Greyfallow, had known of, or even comminsion Lanre's strory. Bredon is described as grandfatherly. As a boy he met him upon occaison, one of which Greyfallow girted him the toy soldiers (or something similar). Mmmm."

I think Baron Greyfallow's identity is definitely worth thinking about. Especially when we consider that a powerful enemy can make it nigh impossible to gain a patron.

For Arliden's troupe to have a patron, let alone a Baron, you'd think they'd need a particularly good reason to risk offending the Lackless family. And it wouldn't be too unrealistic to think that some of Arliden's story research coming from the access to private libraries that a powerful patron could provide. If Bredon is in fact Kvothe's grandfather, I could see him agreeing to act as patron (perhaps under one of his less well-known titles once Kvothe was born - Kvothe says they visit family once when he was young), to support his grandson and make sure he didn't grow up in poverty. Then you wouldn't have to see Baron Greyfallow as risking offending the Lackless family by being their patron, but could see it as a partial reconciliation between the family. As well as explaining Bredon's interest in Kvothe when he arrives at court, of course, but I think other people have mentioned that aspect before.
Neav Pif Paf Pouf
236. PangerBan

I think you are interesting, but perhaps not correct.
At least, I believe there is much evidence connecting Bredon to Fae (some people are believing he his Master Ash, but I am not one) and maybe he is even Lackless, but I do not think he can be Greyfallow.

I believe Kvothe would have noticed such a thing.
Every year they did go and stay with Greyfallow (I belive?)
So Kvothe he would have seen him a lot. And once men are old, I think they keeping looking much the same...

Maybe Greyfallow was patron for Aliden because he was pulling faces at the Lockless families.
There are people who go against powerful enimies, like Anker letting Kvothe play for him.
Adam Price
237. Zuphlas
I suppose you're probably right PangerBan - I can't remember whether Kvothe ever said whether he saw Baron Greyfallow in person but it's probably more unlikely that he never saw their patron. Though that doesn't preclude Bredon having arranged the patron instead if my scenario was correct. I doubt it is really, but I'd be amused to see it go down that way.

@166. thistlepong - I hadn't put together the descriptions of Denna and Meluan previously, and am slightly gobsmacked now. Definitely wasn't expecting a Luke/Leia thing, nor two generations of Lackless ladies on the road, if it does happen to be true. Do we know what the Lackless colours are, and does Denna wear those at all?
238. Ferreira
"When Auri woke, she knew that she had seven days."

What's the meaning of this?!?
OMG, Pat is so mean to us!
Jesse Sayers
239. Fluvre
@237 Zuphals
Kvothe said his troup would spend some time performing for the Baron every year.

I assumed that people don't know that Laurian was a Lackless. They moved to the other side of the world and she changed her name. The Lackless family may be important in Vintas, but that doesn't mean they are important in the Commonweath.
Adam Price
240. Zuphlas
@Fluvre - "The Lackless family may be important in Vintas, but that doesn't mean they are important in the Commonweath."

But they're ahead of Baron Jakis and young Rosey in the succession, and see how much trouble that's caused our noble protagonist in the Commonwealth... Besides, Laurian's name change might stop gawkers and the casual interest of the nobles, but it seems highly unlikely to me that Arliden's name was unknown or (if he changed it) beyond the reach of a powerful noble whose daughter has just run off. If the Lackless family sent a few sternly worded letters and put out a bad word amongst nobles against Arliden the bard, I could see it being incredible difficult for Kvothe's parents to make a living in any way.

I agree the direct Greyfallow-Bredon identity is unlikely, I mostly threw that in because it amused me and used fewer people we hadn't been introduced to yet than the slightly more realistic Greyfallow-as-proxy argument.
Roger Pavelle
241. RogerPavelle
@240 I agree the direct Greyfallow-Bredon identity is unlikely, I mostly threw that in because it amused me and used fewer people we hadn't been introduced to yet than the slightly more realistic Greyfallow-as-proxy argument.

It is always possible that Bredon inherited the baronial title in the past 5 years or so years. He could also be otherwise related (younger brother) to the baron and therefore not necessarily known to Kvothe. ::wicked grin::

- Roger
Neav Pif Paf Pouf
242. PangerBan
@240Roger said "It is always possible that Bredon inherited ...... known to Kvothe."
This I think is perfectly possible and would also be amusing... but there does not seem a whole lot of point in it being true. What would what would Bredon's plan be, if it was? (What's their plan, what's his plan... what is anyone's plan...)

Possible that Ariden's name WASN'T known to the Lackless family, no? Maybe he kept himself secret from them.
Surely if they'd known who he was they would have sent out their soliders and kidnapped (correct word?) Natalia/Laurian home again? If Meluan's anger is anything to go by...

Does anyone think that Sceop is Skarpi?
Does anyone think that there might actually not be seven Chandrian after all?
Dave West
243. Jhirrad
Arliden seems to be a fairly well known personage. Even Lorren knew of him immediately. A bard with that kind of reputation is probably known all over. His fame could also explain why he was able to get away with taking a noble's daughter as his wife. If you are that skilled, and that famous, it can buy a lot of protection and goodwill.
Nisheeth Pandey
244. Nisheeth
@243, Jhirrad:
A famous name can provide a lot of protection, but against a family as pwerful, and old as the lackless? I don't think that mere name can protect them. Lorren knows Arliden because he is a librarian, and his library had songs written by arliden. I think that teh Lackless didn't know that Arliden was the one behind it is more likely.
Adam Price
245. Zuphlas
PangerBan - I'd assumed that Sceop was going to turn out to be Skarpi, but I'm not sure *how* that's going to work out being the case, given that the story has him pass an Amyr, and I wasn't sure I saw a way for him to be old enough to feature in a story that seems (from the style and stereotypes etc) to be an old story widely told among the Ruh without him being an Amyr and really long-lived. I suppose he could be one of those who didn't choose either Aleph's choice or Selitos', or that it's a newer story, but that didn't really seem to be too likely to me. Which is not to say I'm right.

On the subject of seven Chandrian I'm divided, definitely going to wait and see I think.

My personal crazy theory is that I'm leaning towards taking Felurian's statement 'there never were any human Amyr' pretty much literally, given the paucity of evidence of practical matters in an obsessively recorded society - if there never were any human Amyr, then the sort of logistical information that Kvothe goes looking for wouldn't have been recorded in the first place, and wouldn't have to be pruned.
Collin Ceto
247. Showtime
I have some note-seeds I wish to sow quickly, to see if any take root in your mental fields.

-We still don't know how he broke a bottle eight inches away in the very beginning of NotW, when we do know he can't do magic of any sort in Frame.

-Something else I haven't seen discussed: The one scar K has that ISN'T smooth and silver. And, oddly enough, this scar isn't described in any way other than being not-silvery, which could very well point to a mental/emotional scar, further validating the Tarbean-ish mental state.

-Big black thing at Drossen Tor = big scary thing in the shadow forrest with Felurian?

-On Yll: I think the nature of the language makes perfect sense with the "knots" as a recording language. If someone owns the socks, and the socks own them... the sentence becomes like two ends of string tied together. Also, Yll was stomped under the Aturan Church... which is Tehlin, right?

-I like the theory of Kvothe and Chronicler both being Lackless descendant.
The eucatastrophe becomes:
Lochees sets off to do what K wasn't. K was hiding, Chronicler isn't, so Chronicler gets pulled into what K was avoiding, forcing K to save him....
or, maybe forcing K to kill him. Ivare Enum Euge...

-I can back the Maer as Penitent King, or someone in the Jakis Line. The Maer is penitent for having opposed the King for so long, and claims the PK title in a sort of post-mortem fealty. Or, assuming both Calanthis and Alveron are dead, perhaps the Jakis family takes on the Maer's colors in his honor (all posturing, of course)?

On Lacklesses:
-Riddle Raveling = maybe the riddle raveling isn't a baby talk thing, but an unknown child? Perhaps Netalia/Laurain found herself in a family way following a visit from Lord Greyfallows Men, but the family never knew the father.

-The Lacklesses may have been given a duty of either placing Waystones, or hiding Chandrian Artifacts.

-The Lackless group that "Spiraled into obscurity" very well may have been assisted by Chandrian genocide.

-Has anyone attempted to connect Skarpi to Sceop to Teccam? Or, even more insidiously... Skarpi is later revealed as BREDON?

-Speaking of Sceop, did anyone notice "sceopa tayas" as Kvothe says to Tempi in Ademic?

(Glad I'm not the only one to see)
Adem Re
Edema Ruh

The Sceop story being of his name in Ademic, but his role in Edema culture.

Expanding on Edemadem theory (look, it's almost a palindrome!) I suggest they were once of the same faction/family. The origin of the Adem says they weren't what they once were, and they were driven from their lands.

Potentially, that which became the Adem ran to the Mountains and stayed, while that which became the Edema Ruh kept moving into nomadic living. The life styles of Ademre and Edema Ruh are opposites (approach to music, Edema colors vs. Adem gray, physical features).

Additionally, I think both ends of the Edemadem Adem were meant to KEEP stories, and the Edema were meant to find or spread them. I think Shehyn backs this up with her story, as gbrell pointed out: In her story, Shehyn describes the “people” inhabiting the realm as “what Ademre was before we became ourselves.” “[They were] women and men fair and strong. They sang songs of power and fought as well as Ademre do.”
Nisheeth Pandey
248. Nisheeth
@247, Showtime:
- Its not Kvothe can't do magic anymore, but rather choses not to. Bsed on the quote from NOTW:
"Well... not the music. Don't ask about that, or why he doesn't do magic any more."
-On the scar, I think it was thistlepong, who suggested that it might be a broken circle (like the one Kvothe made on the false Ruh).

-Big Blacthing in Drossen Tor was assumed to be a Dracus, I think.

-I agree. I also thought that the fact that how it involves nderstanding of how nature of one thing changes on certain things (like posession) makes it a very good language for namers who try to understand the very nature of things.

- Skarpi as Bredon doesn't work at all.

-There were a couple of comments on Sceopa Teyas in the next post.

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