Jan 16 2014 11:00am

Rothfuss Reread: Making a Mask for Patrick Rothfuss

Pat Rothfuss Kingkiller Chronicles My obsessively detailed reread of Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles is over, but we want to keep on talking about the books. I’m going to post the occasional continuation post when the last one gets too long or if there’s something to say. 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 reread index. The map. The timeline. Imaginary Linguistics.

Sorry there has been such a huge delay in posts. I’ve been writitng. I’m not promising to update these threads regularly unless there’s anything to say, like for instance news about D3 or anything like that. But I will try to do one occasionally so we’re not loading a thread with a five hundred comments every time we have a new thought about Master Ash or what Shapers are.

Anyway, I’m excited to say that Patrick Rothfuss is guest of honor at Vericon this year, March 21st-23rd, at Harvard, further information at the link. I’ve heard rumours that he’s going to be donating some very cool stuff to the auction. And I’m going to be at Vericon myself.

Vericon is a cool little con—I was there last year—run by young people. When people complain there are not enough young people in fandom they’re not looking in the right place. Vericon is one of those right places. It’s run by university students and recent graduates, and it’s a ton of enthusiastic fun. Naturally, as a con, it has its own traditions, and one of those traditions is making a gift for the Guest of Honor.

This year, Ada Palmer is making a mask for Pat. (Making wonderful masks is one of her many talents.) She asked me for suggestions as to what that mask should be. My first thought was that it should be the Encanis mask from Tarbean, with hints that Encanis is in fact Haliax. That would be great because it’s an actual mask from the book, and I can’t think of any other specific masks in the books—but I may have missed some? But reading through the description of the Encanis mask it’s just a black devil mask, which would be easy to make but perhaps not sufficiently special.

So I decided to ask you all for suggestions. I’m sure you have ideas! We know Pat doesn’t read this, so it’ll still be a surprise. What would make a really awesome mask for him?

Jo Walton is a science fiction and fantasy writer. She’s published three poetry collections, nine novels, most recently the Hugo and Nebula winning Among Others, and a collection of her blog posts, What Makes This Book So Great. 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.

Jo Walton
1. bluejo
If anyone else is going to Vericon we could maybe have a meetup there.
Ryan Murray
2. TheYllest
Mmm, new post smell.....

There are many references to wearing masks, but mostly with regards to facial expressions. The only true masks I can find referenced are the mid-winter pageantry masks.
There were still men in garishly painted demon masks skulking about the city, making mischief. Encanis was out there too, in the traditional black mask, making more serious trouble. And though I hadn’t seen him, I didn’t doubt that silver-masked Tehlu was striding around the better neighborhoods, playing his part.
It is traditional to present gifts in threes, and since you think these will be fairly straightforward to make, I'd go with the tripartite gift of a Demon, Encanis, and Tehlu.

Edit: More mask details
I noticed his mask was sheer black. This was Encanis.

I saw a figure in a livid green mask standing nearby...her voice sounding hollowly from behind the rows of pointed teeth.

Tehlu stood tall...His silver mask gleamed in the torchlight.
Steven Halter
3. stevenhalter
My thought springs to some sort of dual mask representing Kvothe from the University and Kote from the frame.
Steven Halter
4. stevenhalter
Now I want to go to Vericon also, but my planned cons for this year are:
Legendary Confusion -- this weekend, Dearborn
Minicon 49 -- April 18-20, MN
LonCon 3-- August 14 - 18, London

Hopefully some of you will be at some of these.
John Graham
5. JohnPoint
Something somewhat amusing would be a mask of an innkeeper. Granted, that would probably just be a doughy plain faced human mask, but it could a bit ironic (and could go nicely with one or two other masks, as per TheYllest @2
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
6. Lisamarie
Funny, I just started reading through the Rothfuss reread posts and am enjoying it, although it's a little overwhelming! I'm just along for the ride/story, I tend to be pretty bad at piecing together all the little bits!
Jo Walton
7. bluejo
Shalter -- I'll definitely be at LonCon3.

I'm not sure there would be time to do three masks, making the actual mask is time consuming even if it was fairly simple to.

I really like the idea of Kote/Kvothe split, though I'm not sure how that would work -- it's not as simple as half-sad half-laughing, it would have to be half-animated, and a lot of animation is eyes, which a mask doesn't have. Fascinating idea though.
8. berthok
There's an AMA going on at reddit:

My favorite excerpt:

The Rothfuss was asked the following question: "Could you tell us a bit more about the standalone novel (novella?) you'll be releasing before Doors of Stone?"

His answer:
I've got a few things that will be happening before doors of stone:

A novella (about 22,000 words) that centers around Bast. It's coming out in the Rouges anthology later this year.

I'm also working on another novella centering around Auri. I meant for it to be a short story, but it became a lot more than that, and right now it's creeping up on 25,000 words.

A short novel (short for me) set in Modeg. It tells the origin stories of one of the other legendary figures in my world: Laniel young-again. (That's probably going to be about 100-120 thousand words or so.)

--The Rothfuss
Rob Munnelly
9. RobMRobM
Either the ideas stated, or make a mask that represents a set of pipes from the Aeolian.
Steven Halter
10. stevenhalter
Jo@7:Right, one side should be full of life, animated and the other side still and waiting to die.
I'm not sure at all how to portray that artistically in a mask medium. Maybe the live half could show more bits of the underlying person and the waiting half would look more like an actual death mask--maybe with a closed eye even.
Kate Hunter
11. KateH
I'm seriously considering going to Vericon, Jo. And I would certainly be up for a meetup, or at least coming around a booth or wherever you may be to say hi. It would be a fairly long journey from PA, but I'm sure would be worth it if I get to meet you, Pat and Scott Lynch.
John Graham
12. JohnPoint
Side question, about the reddit interview:

Evidently, there's a hidden verse to Tinker Tanner in NotW... I haven't seen anyone post it before -- has anyone found it? (I assume that the last line is "in the Tehlin's cassock", but never hunted to try to find the rest of the verse.)

If anyone has posted it before, please link or quote. I'd like to see it...
thistle pong
13. thistlepong
@bluejo: Thanks for the new post. I kind of like the idea of a Tehlu mask. It's identifiable as a mask from the story. It has a recognizable defining characteristic. But otherwise it's open to interpretation. The eyes could be a black mesh nodding to Menda's coal black eyes.


I don't remember seeing it. There's nothing conveniently close to the phrase "in the Tehlin's cassock" either time it's used. The one from WMF is:
I once saw a fair farmer’s daughter
On the riverbank far from all men.
She confessed to me once when I caught her
That she didn’t feel clean
If her bathing was seen
So she washed herself over again.
The form of the verses, based on that example, is:
x x / | x x / | x x / (A)
x x / | x x / | x x / (B)
x x / | x x / | x x / (A)
x x / | x x / (C)
x x / | x x / (C)
x x / | x x / | x x / (B)
Roland of Gilead
15. pKp
@13 : we meet again, Re'lar! (I'm pakap on Reddit).

Yeah, this missing-verse thing is bugging me too. Is there any place in NoTW where Pat hides verse in his prose, like he does in the Felurian sequence?

As for masks...well, the most iconic face in the KKC is probably Cinder/Ferule, with the black eyes, pale skin and cruel traits. Kvothe doesn't really work because his two most remarkable traits are the two that tipically aren't included on a mask (ie hair and eyes).

More fanciful: a moon mask, maybe?

I really like the "midwinter pageantry bundle" @3, but as said, it might be too much work.
John Graham
16. JohnPoint
pKp @15 -- Pat hides verse all over in both books. Many of his discussions with Denna are in verse, or when he talks about Denna, e.g.,:
"Deoch, my heart is made of stronger stuff than glass. When she strikes she’ll find it strong as iron-bound brass, or gold and adamant together mixed. Don’t think I am unaware, some startled deer to stand transfixed by hunter’s horns. It’s she who should take care, for when she strikes, my heart will make a sound so beautiful and bright that it can’t help but bring her back to me in winged flight.”
And it's in notable at other points and from other characters as well (Bredon and Kvothe in WMF, description of Bast's room in WMF, etc.). As I've mentioned on prior posts, I'd like to go through both books and catalogue all the instances of hidden verse to glean meaning. Just haven't had a chance to do so yet. And as Jumbles pointed out at WMF SS20:521, Pat confirmed that he has important characters speak in verse at points in the book.

So, the hidden Tinker Tanner verse could be one of these instances (well hidden, since afaik, no one has found it yet), or it could be disguised even better - e.g., the last lines of the first 6 chapters or something crazy like that.

I still think there's a good chance that "in the Tehlin's cassock" is the final line, since Kvothe generates in specifically in reference to a discussion of Tinker Tanner in NotW and Sim snickers about it during the drunken encounter post Eolian in WMF, but I haven't been able to locate the rest...

EDIT to add: once upon a time, I did find part of the rest (and just remembered it now...) When Kvothe is first testing Chronicler's cypher, he ends with:
There was a young widow from Faeton,
whose morals were hard as a rock.
She went to confession,
for her true obsession—
Which could certainly end with something along the lines of "Could be found in the Tehlin's cassock". However, it doesn't quite fit the rhyme scheme demonstrated in WMF as posted by thistlepong. I just don't think it's an entirely complete verse yet, even with the addition of the Tehlin line.
thistle pong
17. thistlepong

The lines don't have to conform to rigid anapestic trimeter. Just like limericks, or any other form, they can include variation.

The first line of that scans just like the one in the WMF example or "There once was a man from Nantucket."

The second just drops the first syllable. I'm starting to think Pat's just fond of catalexis.

The short lines are still trisyllabic dimeter

The part that's bugging me is that it's missing not one but two lines iff the example from WMF is correct. Maybe there's more to it? Maybe the verses are essentially just limericks and there's far more room for variation than I thought?

Thanks for pointing that out.
John Graham
18. JohnPoint
Yeah, I'm not sure that it's complete either, but I can't figure out where to find the missing line.

It is certainly possible that there is quite a bit of variation or that the lines are +/- limericks strung together. Two lines of support for that would be 1)Tinker Tanner is reputedly a very old song that is (frequently) sung by those who are drinking in taverns. As such we could expect quite a bit of variation, not just to the verses, but also to the rhyme scheme and the number of lines. And 2) when he first comes up with the 'in the Tehlin's cassock' line, Kvothe indicates that he was, "too nervous to bother explaining that one of my father's vices had been his propensity for dirty limericks." The use of the word 'limericks' in conjunction with the discussion of Tinker Tanner could imply that maybe they are just basically traditional limericks.

Regardless, I agree that there's a good chance that something else is missing. What I've reconstructed isn't actually a full verse -- we don't know what happens 'in the Tehlin's cassock', nor is there is a rhyme for 'Faeton'. I
19. Taravangian
@16: Not sure that's the right verse for "in the Tehlin's cassock". Apart from the missing line to rhyme with Faeton you pointed out, "cassock" doesn't really rhyme with "rock" either. It's "CAS-sick", not "cuh-SOCK". I don't think Kvothe would try to pass that off as a valid rhyme.
John Graham
20. JohnPoint
Taravangian @19 -- that's a good point. I also have a lingering suspicion that the "in the Tehlin's cassock" line relates to, um, how does Wil phrase it? Oh yes, a "sexual tendancy toward animals" which isn't reflected in the limerick...
George Brell
21. gbrell

I think it would be fun to find all the verse sections in the book. One I noticed today that I hadn't before in WMF:

Now this Chronicler,
he’s tall and pale,
and thin as a rail,
with hair as black as ink
22. RobbYuan
I think a cool mask would be a white mask with the Cthaeh on it, with the mouth and eyeholes sort of blended into the tree. Then when he speaks, the 'Cthaeh' would be speaking, which makes sense since Pat knows everything about his world, like the Cthaeh. Tehlu and Encanis masks seem really simple, so I'd like it to be identifiable. He could carry around papercraft butterflies and occasionally crumple or tear some up.
23. Taravangian
@21 That would be a huge task! Many of the scenes with Denna and Felurian, as well as the tinker scenes, probably many Fae-related discussions, maybe some Auri scenes... Probably a bunch more I'm forgetting.
24. Marco.
How about from the tinker himself?
Pot mender. Knife grinder.
Willow wand water finder
Etc, etc

you actually might be able to tease a couple verses out of everything he sings.
John Graham
25. JohnPoint
Marco @24 - I've considered what the Tinker sings during the scene in Newarre, but it doesn't seem to be anything that would really fit with the song. Here's the full line:
Tinker, Pot mender. Knife grinder.
Willow-wand water-finder.
Cut cork. Motherleaf. Silk scarves off the city streets.
Writing paper. Sweetmeats.
Belt leather. Black pepper.
Fine lace and bright feather.
Tinker in town tonight,
gone tomorrow. Working through the evening light.
Come wife. Come daughter,
I’ve small cloth and rose water.
Verse, yes, and probably presented with a bit of a musical tone to it, but I have a hard time making it a verse of Tinker Tanner...

Gbrell @21 -- My thought (and what I proposed a long time ago, but didn't have any takers at the time) would be to set up a document, perhaps a google doc or wiki, and let people contribute verses when they found them. Sort of like the Dept of Imaginary Linguistics. If you're interested in contributing, let me know and perhaps we can make it happen. I'd love to analyze who speaks in verse, when, and under what circumstances. It could give us some insight into important events.
Kate Hunter
26. KateH
Jo, I took the plunge and just booked train tickets and registered for Vericon. I'm stoked! If you do organize a meetup, please don't be quiet about it.
27. Owlay
Congratulations, PR, for becoming an honored guest at Vericon! Thank you very much.

However, I have another, more pressing question. And I'm giving you a warning: This question may prove so controversial some of you are going to have an aneurysm.

Anyway, here it goes....*draws deep breath*

When is doing the Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle Reread? Okay, I admit, the books aren't free of cliches, and the style is amateurish, and inconsistencies appear often, and it's even possible Paolini may have ripped off *a few* things on the way, but dammit, the man has talent. I mean, he began work on the books when he was only fifteen years old and the first one was published, like five years later, and now he is thirty and he has already finished his first series of fantasy books (how many fantasy authors do you know of who have accomplished this feat?). And when his books proved have proved very succesful and have even spawned a film when only two of the books were released (by the way, I'm glad that the Eragon film isn't going to get any sequels), you'd certainly notice that some people don't mind the unfavorable similarities.
Also, his books are written on such a level of detail that I fell in love with them. And I expected that level of detail to be also found in Tolkien and was sorely dissappointed when I first opened up The Fellowship of the Ring and didn't found that level of detail (by the time I finished The Return of the King I was long, long since not dissappointed anymore), so you have have an idea of how I expected other books (of any genre) to be. And, of course, these books captivated me, so there's the final reason for which I want such a good site as this to do an analysis of them. The Inheritance Cycle gives a lot of food for the thought, themes, and other questions to answer or reflect to.

All I ask is for an Inheritance Cycle Reread, where the individual books are analyzed chronologically (not necessarily chapter-by-chapter, since each of the books is so long that they have many chapters each) and other questions are asked along the way. Also, I'd like that each section contained a part where it's explained and mentioned the influences, allusions, and references to other works (and perhaps even to events of real life) that Paolini constantly makes thoughout his work (plagiarizes, according to some of you).

(I'd also ask for the etimologies of each of the names that appear on the work, but I think that is too much to ask.)

I think one or several of the staff members of could do it. Perhaps you should do it, Jo Walton.

I'd rally appreciate that.

P.D. Since we are already at it, how about a chapter-by-chapter reread of each of the Harry Potter books?
Jo Walton
28. bluejo
Owlay: I haven't read Paolini, and I'm never planning to do a chapter-by-chapter re-read of anything ever again. This was a lot of fun... but also a lot of work and a huge committment. I wouldn't do it for anything I didn't both love to pieces and feel had the weight to be worth it. This kind of thing really does have to be a labour of love -- and that means somebody who loves it will have to do it. Maybe somebody will, but it definitely won't be me. Or if you feel so strongly about it, maybe you could do it on your own blog?
Sahi Rioth
29. Sahirioth
I'd like to see either a Draccus mask or a Taborlin mask. Or a mask with a white star riding on its brow...
30. Owlay
I *don't* have a blog and I'm too shy to get into other sites at the moment. So, I accept that you won't do it, but maybe you could ask other staff members of to do it? (A collaborative reread is not what I had exactly in mind, but anyway...)
Bridget McGovern
31. BMcGovern
@Owlay: In terms of upcoming rereads and other series, we have a lot in the works at the moment, and while I can't promise an Inheritance Cycle reread in the immediate future, it's certainly something we'd consider doing at some point. As Jo mentions, a reread is a huge commitment in terms of time and effort, and we have a whole backlist of projects that we're hoping to delve into when the time is right, in order to give all of our series the attention they deserve. In the meantime, thank you for the suggestion!
Tabby Alleman
32. Tabbyfl55

When you get around to doing a detailed Brust re-read, I'd like to apply for the position of Blogger.
33. twiff
firstly: jo, thanks for doing this. i stumbled upon it and have loved the discussion. i've not managed to read all the comments though, so it's likely i'm repeating prior theories...but, is denna learning Shaping? is Shaping the actual writing of Names? writing does shape language and names, and once written, a Name could be manipulated and Shaped. indeed, if we think about the meta aspect, the story within a story about stories and the power of them, it seems to me this is what Shaping is. Naming is knowing the stories and being able to hear and understand them; Shaping is creating new stories. Fae being a "storybook" world fits in here, having been created by Shapers. it seems clear that Yllish knots are usable as a form of written magic; denna is obviously learning them and using them with her braids. we also have the carven knot-work on the Loecleos box, which, if related to Iax, is also related to Shapers. if Iax only caught a part of understanding of the moon, and wrote that down to Shape it and pull it into Fae, then it could be part of a name is locked in a box (though i do think it more likely to be the stone that seilitos used to put out his eye).
Linnet Innisfree
34. Linnie
Somehow, I kept imagining Echanis with a black jackel's head like Anubis. But I don't think it was ever discribed that way, so... I guess you can't do that.

I like the Draccus idea. And a mask like Cinder would be totally epic. But the Chth's tree (I can never ever spell that) would be so, so awesome... You could have that mask like it was made from leathery leaves, so it was just like the Chth's eyes looking out... And I love the idea of giving him paper butterflies ("they offend my aesthetic") to rip up when he wanted too... And then he'd get to pretend he knew everything about everyone, so long as they asked him a question first (at least I think that is how it works.)
35. Jaerynn
Amazing re-read, Jo. Have thoroughly enjoyed every post and thread of it. Thistlepong, gbrell, shalter, and many many others: You are brilliant. Thanks for taking this series to the next level for me. IID3Y?
36. 4thAge
Damn. I live near Harvard, but I have a swim meet all weekend so I can't make the con. I wonder if I can convince PR to meet up for a beer. I'd love to meet him.
37. androgynes
Hi guys,

I just started with another round of KKC and just reached Skarpis story. I noticed a couple of things that I had remembered differently, especially from a discussion a couple of threads back:

1. The war was so horrible that mothers stopped giving their children names (although I dont know the exact formulation... need to rehear it another time). I dont think anyone had mentioned it in a more complete theory, but it felt like something that has some importance.
2. The battle where Lanre died and got reborn:
a) Skarpi explicitly states that blac means battle and that it was _at_ Drossen Tor, making Drossen Tor a location (which was as far as I remember a point of discussion in the previous thread)
b) Lanre died fighting a monster. While he did that the enemy of the empire was set behind the door of stone. This means, that Lanre was _not_ responsible for setting whatever the enemy is behind the door of stone. I'm not exactly sure how this influences Lanre=Iax=Jax theories... But it makes the relation Lanre-enemy more omnious.
c) Lyras first attempt to call Lanre back fails, only after crying his name he is revived. The actual return of Lanre to the living world is described pretty weird. He first wipes away Lyras tears, then opens his eyes and finally starts breathing. I didn't notice this the first 3 times I read the books, but this time it struck me as increadibly ... wrong ...
I dont really know how to discribe that feeling.

Also there is the story from the Tehlin priest who nurses Kvothes feaver. One origin of the Chandrian we are told about is, that they are the first seven people to refuse Tehlu. In that story there are only 6 people who refuse Tehlu (in the first village), the seventh is a deamon wearing a human skin.
Also the story is told with a lot of corrections only in the beginning. Later there is no correction of any details anymore.
Assuming that this indicates that the later part of this story is more reliable than the temporal setting for the story (where the corrections come in). Than this leaves several "informations" about the Chandrian. Most importantly that there is one special Chandrian (the deamon) and six "standart" ones (the humans). I know that it is pretty weak, but it fits with what we know from Haliax behaviour after the killing of Kvothes troupe. He sits alone while the other are in a group, yet he is clearly more powerful than the rest of them.
Patrick Stultz
38. Audion
re #37

About mothers not giving their children names, maybe they aren't NAMING them, as in expressing thier deep name. Maybe this is why naming has become so much more rare. I agree though it's an odd turn of phrase with all the importance of naming in the series.
Kate Hunter
39. KateH
re: mothers not naming children

This could also be simple hyperbole. It tends to happen in folktales. I mean really, what mother would have a child but not name it? One mother, possibly, at a stretch. Mothers in general? Very hard to imagine.

If it's Naming with a capital N....I dunno. No caps in the text, right? Hard to say what that would signify.
Steven Halter
40. stevenhalter
We had a discussion on the mothers not naming children text a while ago. As I recall, no definitive result was found, but it is fun to think in terms of Naming.
Linnet Innisfree
41. Linnie
If you've talked about this before, probably someone has said this but I'm not sure it could be not Naming their children. You know what happens when someone Names another person, like Kvothe Named Felurien... that is a weird thing for mothers to do to their kids so often that it's a suprise when they stop doing it.
And because it's one of those stories-inside-stories it could just be an expression... people say things like that in old stories all the time, things that probably weren't actually true but give a good idea of the feeling... or something.

So he wiped away Lyra's tears with his eyes closed? Lucky he didn't whack her nose or jab her in the eye...

And the number of Chandrian really, really bothers me. The way everyone says that Chandrian means 'seven of them' and is a bad name for them... how Skarpi says 'Halix and his seven' (or something like that) and how Androgynes said only six crossed the line...
42. androgynes
I really meant more the part of Lanres reawakening, than the naming stuff, which gets only mentioned in an offhand way.
The reawakening is described in incredible detail and feels all the more counterintuitive. Like a giant flag waving: Here is something important told, which you cannot understand at the moment.. But maybe with all the information given in the first two books, any thoughts at things happening the wrong way around?
thistle pong
43. thistlepong
If you are or have donated to Worldbuilders 2013, add $0 33 on to your donation for a chance to win hard Cealdish coin or alpha read the Auri novella. Details on Pat's latest blog.
Ryan Murray
44. TheYllest
Hey Jo, did you make a decision about the mask? Just curious.
45. Owlay
Why aren't people talking about my proposal? I made it detailed enough to merit much discussion.
Kate Hunter
46. KateH
Owlay, I'm sure you've heard the saying, "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." You came in at the end of a very lengthy and effortful project devoted to one author's work, and asked for the same treatment on an entirely different set of works. You got a polite rejection. What more do you expect? If you want to see this kind of project devoted to Harry Potter or some other literary work, roll up your sleeves and get busy.
Steven Halter
47. stevenhalter
Owlay@45:Jo@28 answered that she wasn't going to do a read as you had suggested. BMcGoveren@31:Thanked you for the suggestion. isn't, I'm sure, in the habit of pre-announcing things they don't know if they are going to do or not.
Most of the rest of us aren't staffers. What kind of discussion were you anticipating?
I haven't read the Inheritance Cycle and so have no opinion on its merits.
thistle pong
48. thistlepong
For clarity's sake, BM is the Moderator. You received the most direct and authoritative denial possible. If you're trolling, thid is maybe 2/10: points for attention, list for dragging a innocent down with you.
Andrew Loyd
49. DoYouHas
I would like to pick your collective brains if I may.

Where does Haliax usually hang out? Are there currently any good guesses? I feel like his line, "I'm glad I decided to accompany you today. You are straying, indulging in whimsy." implies that Haliax is not around for the majority of the other Chandrian's work, or at least infrequently enough to allow them to stray.

I know I'm teasing around the larger hard to answer question of 'where do they come from and where do they go?' but I do think Haliax is a bit of a special case. Is his shadow hame unable to be hidden the way a normal Chandrian knack can be? I tend to think so without much proof. If it is, does that make the pitch black section of the fae a more likely place for him?

Are there not enough clues to even pursue this yet? Help please.
Kate Hunter
50. KateH
@49 Doyouhas Re: Haliax
Are there not enough clues to even pursue this yet? Help please.
I would venture to say that the answer to this question is yes, there's not enough information in the text to so much as speculate. My read is that Haliax is supernatural in some way, and in a way substantively different from the supernaturalness of the Fae. If I had to guess, there won't be enough information to answer this question even after we've got the 3rd book.

But I think your read about Haliax not usually accompanying the others is spot on.
John Graham
51. JohnPoint
Looks like we might finally get a (slightly) more detailed 4C map. Worldbuilders added a revised map (by Pat's longtime collaborator Nate Taylor) as a $600,000 stretch goal, and then promptly blew past the goal. So, maybe we'll finally get some answers to a few of our geographic questions...
52. sleetm
Not sure if it's been posted before (with all the excellent insights so far, it's a high probability), but does anyone think that Kote was not just giving perspective on chronicler, but himself with his story about The Chronicler?

“And more important, he knows Chronicler can’t control you if you have your name hidden away somewhere safe. The high king’s name is written in a book of glass, hidden in a box of copper. And that box is locked away in a great iron chest where nobody can touch it.”

Is that what he's done with himself wrt to the mechanics of how he's locked away his name? Also, it suggests that someone might be trying to control him through his name, which provides the impetus for him to hide it. (The penitent king?), and if that's true, that Denna might be the runaway daughter of the penitent king.
Kate Hunter
53. KateH
@sleetm, #52 re:K's name & Denna

There's ample room to speculate about boxes that are physically present in the 4C world, as well as those that are mentioned in story. The same is true wrt to K's name, and yes, there has been discussion and speculation that he's locked his own name away. I think it's possible that he in some sense put his name away. More generally, I think he's locked part (maybe most) of his power away from himself. Not necessarily in his thrice-locked chest, but that's an obvious candidate. There have been interesting hypotheses put forward that the Waystone Inn limits his powers in some way.

As for D's nature/identity, runaway daughter of the king seems a very low probability to me. Firstly because if a princess had run off, I think it would have been mentioned in passing somewhere. Secondly, because we know some few things about D's background which don't line up well with a royal background. I think it unlikely that a teenage princess who ran off would end up basically selling herself in taverns; mostly because she would have no notion of how to pull that off. D is far too savvy about these things to have been brought up with everyone deferring to her. A princess would be far more likely to find herself a stable patron or position, so as to make use of a genteel upbringing - governess maybe, or something of that nature. I think there would be more clues about a rarified upbringing if that was D's background.

My money is on D being fully mundane (meaning not supernatural/other), of commoner origin, in no way related to K, and likely to remain at least partially mysterious by the end of book 3. My money is also on Ambrose killing or seriously harming D in order to get at K in book 3, and on K blaming himself for it.
Jo Walton
54. bluejo
44: Yllest -- no decision yet, but looking like either my Encanis idea or a CTH mask, which would be fun to do.

52: Sleetm, you are hereby promoted to E'lir. Really good catch, and I haven't seen anyone make it before.

OK, I am excited about the implications of that. Want a new post about it?
Linnet Innisfree
55. Linnie
"Want a new post about it?"

Yes! ::enthusiastic pleading::
Ryan Murray
56. TheYllest
I know there is some crossover between here and /r/KingkillerChronicle, but for those who don't peruse that thread regularly, here is something I recently posted in response to something interesting in the background of PR's website photos. It's a map of the University!


University Map:

The photos also seem to show some equations. After looking this over for the better part of an hour, this is what I have deduced:

It appears he has a known amount of (most likely hypothetical) gold (4.4kg or $178,000 worth!). He then tries to figure out how much heat energy it would take to melt said gold (Q=~280 kJ). Then, were he to form the melted gold into a sphere, he calculates the size of the resulting sphere (r=~3.8 cm). There is a small error (not to mention numerous rounding problems ) where he states "Au boiling point = 1337.3K", but that is actually gold's melting point.

Source: Engineering school and WolframAlpha

I don't know the context of what he is doing, but he may be dabbling in some alchemy, as he has stated he likes to do from time to time. Have a look for yourself. Any thoughts on what he may be trying to do with all that gold?
Steven Halter
57. stevenhalter
TheYllest@56:Thanks for the picture with his head on the paper. I hadn't seen that one and so had never seen the Au part of the picture. I'll have to think about what one would do with a sphere of gold of that size.
Dustin McSpadden
58. usmcspadden
The verse about the Tehlin's cassock comes from Kvothe's first trip to the Eolian. Sim and Wil are trying to come up with a new verse to Tinker Tanner and Kvothe is not really paying attention. We don't get to hear any of the other words but Kvothe supplies, "Try 'in the Tehlin's Cassock.'" That particular phrase is then repeated by Sim everytime he gets drunk and is having a laugh.

AS for Lanre, Lanre is Haliax. That's how Arliden went from Lanre to the Chandrian. Skarpi's story tells of the curse laid upon Lanre and Lanre claims the name Haliax when Selitos couldn't kill him. Then Selitos gives him the "Shadow's Hame."
John Graham
59. JohnPoint
Usmcspadden @58 re tinker tanner: yes, I agree that the line about the tehlin's cassock is part of the "hidden" verse. However in Pat's reddit answer, he implies that there is an entire verse hidden.

I'd like to know what the *rest* of the verse is...
60. Marco.
Firstly because if a princess had run off, I think it would have been mentioned in passing somewhere.
Rothfuss has a get out of jail free card here - spoken by Kvothe to the Chronicler when he first starts relating his story:
do not presume to change a word of what I say. If I seem to wander, if I seem to stray, remember that true stories seldom take the straightest way.
I think the implicaton here is clear: Kvothe is telling a story, and it's not going to be a strick recounting of the facts. He's interested in dramatic tension. I think his use of the word 'true' is also significant. To Scarpi:
I started to leave, then stopped. "Is it true? The story." I made an inarticulate gesture. "The part you told today?""All stories are true," Skarpi said. "But this one really happened, if that's what you mean." He tookanother slow drink, then smiled again, his bright eyes dancing. "More or less. You have to be a bit of a liar to tell a story the right way. Too much truth confuses the facts. Too much honesty makes you soundinsincere."
There's a distinction between true and True, and I think Kvothe is playing the part of the storyteller. The absence of things being mentioned is hard to rely on - it might mean it doesn't exist, but it also might mean that storyteller-frame-Kvothe is holding it back. (The Natalia Lockless thing, for example)
John Graham
61. JohnPoint
Marco @60:

Interesting, the passage that you quote is in verse. I haven't noticed that before...
Do not presume to change a word of what I say.
If I seem to wander, if I seem to stray,
Remember that true stories seldom take the straightest way.
I'll add that to the (albeit very limited so far) list that I'm keeping, so that when I get around to finally cataloging all the verse, it'll be there.
Dustin McSpadden
62. usmcspadden
JohnPoint @59 He hints at the hidden verse but as far as I can tell there is nothing to tell as far as what it actually says.
John Graham
63. JohnPoint
ucmcspadden @62 --

Yeah, it's a bit strange, particularly given how he phrased his answer on reddit. What's your opinion of the "young window from Faeton" possibility as I posted @16? The biggest problems are that rock/cassock don't actually rhyme as Taravangian pointed out @19, and that we can imply that the "Tehlin's cassock" line involves someone with proclivities toward livestock....
Dustin McSpadden
64. usmcspadden
JohnPoint @63

I doubt that it is the young Widow from Faeton, mostly because that entire "verse" is m0re limericky than any of the other verses of Tinker Tanner that you read in the books. As it was pointed it that verse is almost the same as "A Man from Nantucket" while the rest of the verses seem to have a completely different meter. Also as you pointed out, the rhyme scheme is different from the other verse. I'm a little tired right now, but I will get back to you on it when I get the chance.
Patrick Stultz
65. Audion
I don't remember if anyone has done this, but I was re-reading NOTW and am curious if everything Graham has said in the Frame has been looked at for clues. When Old Cob tells a tail, Graham always pipes up and seems to have a more accurate account of Kvothe's exploits every time but gets hushed by Cob.

Be interesting to list everything together. I don't have a e-copy of the books so it would be a pain to search through for it.
66. Shapernamer
Maybe, Kvothe is Elodin. He could of learned some magic of time travel and change his physical appearance to become Elodin. Highly unlikely, but just a thought.
Kate Hunter
68. KateH
@thistlepong, #67

Got a link for the interview? If not, which book are we talking about?
thistle pong
69. thistlepong

That's not me. And the statement is false.
Kate Hunter
70. KateH
Seems you've got a fan, thistlepong. Odd that allows unregistered use of a registered handle.
thistle pong
71. thistlepong
Indeed. Is trolling the new sincerest form of flattery?
Jeremy Raiz
72. Jezdynamite
After another fast read through, the only example I could find that comes close to the rhyming sequence of a tinker tanner verse (though with shorter lines) is:

Whatever the season
that I'm on the road
I look for a reason
or laystone
to lay down my load

But it's not anything like a fun/ribald stanza.
73. Joe R
I think there is something very different about copper I am going through and finding all the mentions of copper currently. But it seems to be so sort of magical dampening material. Copper is the sword that TtG uses and copper is in the wallls of Haven It is also on the four plate door. Why is it involved with all of these very magical places/things. I think that the ring with out a name is copper.

I think that Copper might have something to do with the un-naming stuff people have talked about here. I like that it might not have a Name liek other things. If TtG had one to kill namers that would be beacuse if they knew the Name of Iron or Steel then they could call it and be unhurt by the blade just like you could put your hand in hot coals if you know the Name of fire. That could be very siginificant. Maybe copper has the same effect on Angels that Iron does to the Fae.

I don't have much to go on but I will look more into it this weekend.
Linnet Innisfree
74. Linnie
I think there was something about copper... like someone sent Pat Rothfuss a knife made from copper and said something like "if you wanted to kill a Namer, we think a copper knife would be a good thing to use." And he said, "these guys have been reading the books really closely." And then he stabbed the wall with it.

I paraphrase awfully, but it was something like that.

And some people here said they think that maybe copper has no name. I like this idea. And that would make sense if the ring without a name was made from copper... but if the rhyme said he had a copper ring, it means he has some kind of mastery over it even if it has no name. Yes? No?
Joseph Rundle
75. jwrundle
Went through and found all mentions of copper that were directly money realated looking though them tonight will post results tomorrow.

But yes I think that maybe Copper maybe central to the Un-naming that has been going around here. At first glance it appears mostly in magical place where something needs to be subduded.

PS I am Joe R I just made an account
Joseph Rundle
76. jwrundle
Copper what is up with it well I looked at every mention of copper that did not deal with money.

1. Pg. 5 first mention is Tab the great they mention he has an iron silver and copper pennies. Not a big deal at first glance but those three metals are almost always mentioned together. We Know iron effect the Fae maybe the others effect other non humans in a certain way.

2. Pg. 15 First mention of the "Thirce locked Chest" It too has a Iron Copper and Silver lock. Copper again. This time it definataly is holding something in the first instance of that so far.

3. Pg 15 and 27 Two copper pots are mentioned no significance that I could see other than The Chandrian are mention right after the second time.

4. Pg 289 Four plate door. This has a lot of copper talk. First, The four plates are all copper. Second they have copper keyholes Third the copper is untarnished no idea what that last part means. But this is the second time we have seen copper containing something (possibly magical).

5. Pgs 311-313 The Crookery. This place is just full of copper It has a fully copper door not just part of it but it is all copper. Then the window frame is made of copper and the window seems to have copper in it. The wall also have a copper mesh in the masonary. This room was built to keep a mad namer from escaping if that is not proof that copper and some sort fo strange naming quality then I don't know what to think.

6. Last mention in NotW is after the Bone Tar incident Copper and silver are seen by Kvothe melted on the tables.


1. pg 89 Kilvin asks about the Galvanic thourghput if copper. Any ideas waht that means at all?

2. page 163 K uses a copper wire to open his window at Ankers. This may have no meaning really either.

3. pg 267 Now It gets intersting Nina come by and shows Kvothe the drawings she made and the Amyr has a copper shield. She says it was copper and so does K. I find that intersting why would the Amyr use Copper shields would be pretty weak and beand very easy I think this is because they have some sort of anti-namig property.

4. pg 338 K is telling Marten about "The Chornicler". He says The Chronicler writes the kings name in a glass book puts it in a COPPER box and locks that in a iron chest. Once again iron and copper together.

5. pg 476 Bast sees copper lock on the chest and says there is also a copper plate. My guess is the plate is just what the lock attaches to but not really sure.

6. pg 553 Tab has a copper sword. Strange the Amyr were just depected as having copper shields . Also Pat mentioned that a copper sword would be good against a Namer.

7. Pg 671 Ferulian says what keeps the Fae out of Kvothe's world one of those things is Copper knives. That one seems wierd to me because you would think that iron knives would be better but... Shurg..

8. Pg 916 The Lackless box the wood appears to have iron and copper in it. Once again this seems to be keeping something magical in or something particualr out.

Last one pg 990 K's box again this in interesting The Iron Key goes into the copper lock and the copper key goes into the iron lock. This could be some sort of double layer protection if Copper does to some other race what iron does to the Fae.

So this is what I think copper has some sort of Nameing dampening effect. That would be why it could be very hard to find its name because of the way it affects people. It is involved in three place where something is being kept in secret K's box, The Four Plate Door, and the Lackless Box. It is also used by The Amyr for protection and by Tab for a sword. Both could be used against namers if I am correct. If these things were made of Iron then a Namer could manipulate them and make it useless makeing arrows pass through your shield and a sword cut do absolutlely nothing. that could be big.

Also I think that It might be a sort of painful experience for an angel to touch like iron is to Fae and that could be why it is used to keep things in This way only a man could open a thing that has both iron and copper in it.

Any other Ideas or things I missed please let me know. Also I don't knwo if the page numbers are fully right I got them from my kindle.
Steven Halter
77. stevenhalter
jwrundle@76:Thanks for the list.
The "galvanic throughput" is probably a measure of the conductivity in terms of the amount of current that can be passed through some given amount of copper of a particular gauge.
Carl Banks
78. robocarp
Just had one thought as I was reading jwrundle's list of copper references.

We've all been under the assumption that copper probably has a distinct effect from iron. What if it doesn't? What if copper has exactly the same magical effect as iron? And maybe the reasons behind the choice of copper or iron is more mundane, or just random.

This should be filed under "just to make you think". I have no evidence for it except for the tongue-in-cheek observation that if Dedan cares about it it's probably not important.
Linnet Innisfree
79. Linnie
Isn't iron cheaper than copper? If they have the same effect then why fill the Rookery with copper when you could just fill it with iron?

Awesome list!
The Thrice-Locked Chest... I still like thinking it's iron to keep out the Fae and copper to keep out the Namers. But what is silver for? If T the G has silver too, it is for something special? I don't remember it being mentioned in the same way as copper and iron though.

The Four-Plate door. I'd say maybe copper was for keeping things IN if it wasn't for the copper sword thing. And again for the copper in the lockless Lackless box and the box of the king in Kvothe's Chronicler story...

The Amyr have copper sheilds. Or, at least one Amyr has at least one shield, the front of which appears to be copper :p Maybe the back is iron to stop it bending.

Elodin's room in the Rookery was different in that it had a copper door. The other doors weren't copper but this one was. Coppper, just to keep a Namer in... And what's with that strangeness in the air that Kvothe notices? Elodin says "even the name of the wind was hidden from him by the clever mechinations of his captors." How have they done that?!
When Elodin went to break the stone wall it didn't work and he says "sod me, they chanaged it." Does they mean they changed the name of the stone? And who is They? But whatever They did, it was only half clever of them, Elodin says. And he breaks the wall saying cyaerbasalien. What language is this? Is it Faen?
There's even a net of copper mesh which he doesn't (can't?) break with Naming; he has to beat it down with a chair
Carl Banks
80. robocarp
Linnie @ 79

Again, it's just a hypothetical what-if, but that has easy explanation. The door has to be resistant to physical force as well as magic, meaning it needed to be strong. Although iron is clearly cheaper than copper (a drab is less money than a jot), a strong iron alloy (i.e., steel) is probably more expensive than a strong copper alloy (say, bronze). So when strong copper alloys are needed in bulk it might be cheaper then iron.

Speaking of alloys, it would probably make sense to consider brass and bronze in the list of copper references.

The reference that pops into my head is Kvothe's lute case. The person who made it said that Denna objected to brass fastenings so he made them out of steel. Hmm. Of course, if there is something to it, it would disprove my "iron = copper" hypothetical.
Dustin McSpadden
81. usmcspadden
@Linnie When Elodin says "Sod me they changed it," it was a reference to the wall. They changed the wall by putting copper in it and therefore changed it's name. The wall had evolved and so must its name.
Linnet Innisfree
82. Linnie
::admiration:: I didn't think of alloys - though Kvothe does say it was solid copper, not bronze - but thinking of bronze and brass as having an anti-naming thing is really interesting.
Does it mean you have to think of steel being anti-Fae as well? Does Bast have a problem with steel?

... really? You seem very sure, but I thought it might not be that. If the copper was actually part of the wall he wouldn't have been able to do anything with it, like how the copper is mixed into the window glass. I read it like it was a kind of mesh on the outside of the stone, like chicken-wire. And the wall has evolved anyway by being broken and remade so why would the change of name surprise Elodin? To me, it feels like there's something more.

I wish I knew why Kvothe heard the word as cyaerbasalien.
Carl Banks
83. robocarp
Linnie @ 82

I don't know. Remember that Kote didn't want to use steel to test the scraeling, so that would suggest that alloys don't have the same magic/anti-magic properties.

However, reality is not so straightforward. First of all, almost all structural metals are alloyed at least a little. Solid copper might in reality be alloyed by 10% or more. Second of all, (regular) steel is actually purer than most other alloys: it's about 2-5% carbon. So if (say) 90% copper is still copper, it would seem that steel should still be iron. Yet we see Kote distinguishing them. And get this: what we call cast iron actually has higher carbon content than steel.

It's hard to guess whether PR is aware of these subtleties and there's something to thwm, or if he's treating it as more or less a binary: metal is either pure (iron or copper) or alloyed (steel or brass).

BTW, Jo made another post, so henceforth I suggest carrying conversation there.
84. Goldfrapp
Fae characters talk in verse. Felurian, Kvothe, Bast, Denna, Auri, Bredon.

I wonder if Lorren or Arliden ever talk in verse, since they are Amyr and there are no human Amyr?

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