Feb 13 2014 12:00pm

Rothfuss Reread: Speculative Summary 21: The Thing in the Lackless Box

Patrick 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.

In the previous post, Sleetm came up with something nobody had mentioned before, at least not that I’d noticed—and is therefore promoted to E’lir in the Department of Imaginary Sympathy:

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.

Now it seems possible that this may be what Kvote has in the thrice-locked chest. It might be what he has done with his name—I think we’re agreed at this point that he has done something with his name.

Sleetm thinks this might relate to the high king—and we haven’t heard the name of the current king, just that he is the Penitent King, so his name could be hidden somewhere. But I think the king and his daughter are red herrings, or possibly an allusion to something to do with Devan’s past. We don’t know half enough about Chronicler and his connection with Skarpi and his motivation.

But it seems more interesting to me to consider that the glass book might connect instead to what’s in the Lackless box.

My theory is that in D3 we will learn that Kvothe opened the Lackless box, being too clever for his own good, and thereby released something that really should have remained sealed away. We’ve persistently had foreshadowing of this kind of thing, and I’d be very surprised if we don’t see this or something like it.

We do not know what’s in the Lackless box. And it’s wood, roah wood, not copper or iron. But it could have a glass book inside. One of the few things we really know about the thing in the Lackless box is that it sounded like heavy glass. We’ve talked about it potentially being the glass shard Selitos used to put out his eye. But it could be a glass book with a name written in it and sealed away, a name that ought to remain unspoken, and which clever clever unwise Kvothe would let out. And if so, it would be just like Kvothe to drop a real detail like that into the story he’s making up about The Chronicler.

What do you think?

And IID3Y?

And feel free to continue to speculate about anything you want in comments as usual.

Jo Walton is a science fiction and fantasy writer. She’s published three poetry collections and nine novels, including the Hugo and Nebula winning Among Others. She has just published a collection of her posts, What Makes This Book So Great. She has a new novel My Real Children coming out in May. She reads a lot, and blogs about it here irregularly. She comes from Wales but lives in Montreal where the food and books are more varied.

Lauren Hartman
1. naupathia
Very interesting!

Weren't there parallels already drawn between roah wood and iron? I seem to recall the books mentioning repeatedly that it behaves more like iron than wood, but maybe that's me mixing things up. But the idea that you have to use roah wood to burn the "demons", and iron hurts them - definitely strong parallels I think. So maybe him saying "a great iron chest" was only slightly stretching the truth?

I liked the idea of Selitos eye-poker being in the box, but this new theory is even more appealing, mostly because it involves names. Which on my first read my guess was the Lackless box contained the moon's name (where Jax/Iax locked it away). Not sure if there's much to support that theory though.
2. Klaxon12
To me, it sounds like perhaps someone got ahold of Kvothe's name (Chandrian?) and used it to make him the Kingkiller. He was able to get away afterward and lock away his true name, but now has to remain in hiding until he fades completely from who he was. Not necessarily a true death, but a death of who he was, fully becoming Kote, a new and lesser person.
3. Kvothe2.0
I can't see a way for Kvothe to access the Loeclos box again. Since Meulan hates him and "his being around causes the considerable distress" of Alverons lady wife, how is he supposed to get close to it? I can see whatever is in that box as being the answer to the problem contained behind the 4 plate door.....

Will Kvothe realize that the woman who hates him is his aunt? Will she? That's the only way I can see him getting near that box again.
Steven Halter
4. stevenhalter
It could be both a glass book and what Selitos used in a couple of possible ways:
1) The story is literal. Selitos gouges his eye. Someone inscribes the shard with a name in some fashion and it is sealed in the box.
2) The story is even more allegorical than we have thought. Selitos' gouging of his eye isn't literal, but rather he "blinds" his naming ability (or something) through the "transcription" of a Name onto a glass "book", thus performing a binding. It is then sealed away.

Lot's of air quotes there as the process is probably some interesting variation of naming/creating/binding.
Rob Munnelly
5. RobMRobM
Did I come close on this point? Yes, re placement of true name in a box but not K's true name.

"82.RobMRobM view all by RobMRobM | Sunday February 05, 2012 06:34am EST Flag | Bookmark | Edit Here's a thought I picked up on my re-read of WMF. In the section where Kvothe invents the tale of the legendary Chronicler for Cob and other Wayfair patrons, they claim the king of Modeg's name "is written in a book of glass, hidden in a box of copper... locked away in a great iron chest where nobody can touch it." This touched my memory, as when K shakes the Lockless box inside it sounds to K like "something made of glass or stone." This suggests that inside the Lockless box is someone's true name, written in glass or stone. Perhaps the true name of someone married to the original Lady Lackless - "her husband's rocks" from the poem. Perhaps someone sufficiently powerful that it would be prudent to keep his true name hidden within the family to protect them from his power, if needed. Perhaps whoever is locked behind the Lackless door? Perhaps all of the above."
Ryan Murray
6. TheYllest
I believe the commonly accepted theory is that the Loeclos Box is made of the same type of wood as the tree in which the Cthaeh resides, perhaps called Rhinna, but not Roah.

Describing the smell of the Cthaeh tree:
"the leaves stirred I smelled a strange, sweet smell. It was like smoke and spice and leather and lemon"
Describing the Loeclos box:
"It was dark enough to be roah, but it had a deep red grain. What’s more, it seemed to be a spicewood. It smelled faintly of . . . something. A familiar smell I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I lowered my face to its surface and breathed in deeply through my nose, something almost like lemon. It was maddeningly familiar."
"Its color and weight make me think it has a good deal of metal in it too, like roah. Probably iron and copper"
So the wood is similar to Roah, but has iron and copper, just like his description of the King's chest in the story about Chronicler.
Pyrrhus Aeacides
7. Pyrrhus
My prediction: Amber from the Cthaeh's tree, the metaphorical bloody stone of Selitos from Skarpi's story.
Chris Long
8. radynski
In what section of the book exactly is he making up a story about The Chronicler? I don't remember that part.
Ryan Murray
9. TheYllest
WMF Ch. 47 Interlude-The Hempen Verse
Following the story Cob tells about Kvothe's trial in Imre.
thistle pong
10. thistlepong
Thanks for coming back to us, Jo; looking forward to the new book.

Weren't there parallels already drawn between roah wood and iron? I seem to recall the books mentioning repeatedly that it behaves more like iron than wood, but maybe that's me mixing things up. But the idea that you have to use roah wood to burn the "demons", and iron hurts them - definitely strong parallels I think.
Roah actuall has iron in it. It's incredibly difficult to burn. You use ash and rowan to burn demons.
Which on my first read my guess was the Lackless box contained the moon's name (where Jax/Iax locked it away). Not sure if there's much to support that theory though.
I can't remember where the original is, but Jo quoted this in S13 and S14
We know from the frame that the moon is still moving. At the beginning of NW there’s no moon. At the end of WMF there’s moonlight. So, regarding Jax’s box and the Loeclos box, one of the following must be true. Thery’re not the same, or he doesn’t open it.
I can't see a way for Kvothe to access the Loeclos box again. Since Meulan hates him and "his being around causes the considerable distress" of Alverons lady wife, how is he supposed to get close to it?
A commenter elsewhere recently posited the mind boggling inversion that Kvothe destroyed Cthaeh's tree to open the Loeclos Box. At this point in the discussion, that kind of thing amazes me. Not because I agree with it, necessairly, but because it provides a reason for Kvothe to return to Faen; something a lot of readers think will happen.

2) The story is even more allegorical than we have thought. Selitos' gouging of his eye isn't literal, but rather he "blinds" his naming ability (or something) through the "transcription" of a Name onto a glass "book", thus performing a binding. It is then sealed away.
According to the story, Selitos's sight improves rather than being "blinded" following the eye scream.


I thought of you as I read the OP. If this turns out to be true then all kudos to you for your unwavering faith over the years. It came up even earlier, though: RR NW5:23 (Herelle, who else?)
Kvothe makes up a story about the Chronicler, "and if he learns one of your secrets he can write whatever he wants about you in a book", "and whatever he writes down in his book comes true". Now I wonder if the story is not all made up, because Chronicler is probably more than we know now. Kvothe also mentiones Chronicler was a member of the high king´s court in Modeg and he fell in love with the kings daughter. Then Kvothe tells something about Chronicler not being able to control you if you have your name hidden away somewhere safe. The high kings 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. They might not only be hints about Chronicler but about Kvothe himself. Maybe it´s some elaborate game between Kvothe and Chronicler, if Kvothe knows more about Chronicler than we think.

Pretty soon I won't even have to post anymore. Thanks for the rhinna/roah clarification and the citation. You're awesome.

ed formatting
Rob Munnelly
11. RobMRobM
thistle @ 10. "...eye scream." I saw what you did there. LOL.
Steven Halter
12. stevenhalter
thistlepong@10:You are right. That actually plays into the allegorical nature even better I think.
Leeland Woodard
13. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
Thought about Selitos--I see a great similarity that has to be at least somewhat intentional between Selitos and Oedipus Rex. Both blind themselves when they come to the realization of a horrible truth. One can say that Oedipus took out his eye and gained a greater perspective over his situation, and eventually flees into exile. I draw some similarity between Oedipus' exile and Selitos' rejection of Aleph's offer as well.

Let's assume that Selitos' glass is in the box. I wonder why the figurative glass stone that Selitos used to blind himself would be an important enough artifact that it's kept inside a lockless box and entrusted to people that presumably won't open it. It is entirely possible that Selitos didn't actually put out his eye and, as stevenhalter (@4) said, it's more allegorical. Perhaps the glass has sygaldry on it that allows for the connection between the Fae world and the human world, thus allowing people to move between worlds and "gain a better sight"

Heck, if that's true, then technically you could think of the glass as being both the name of the moon and the thing that Selitos put his eye out with in order to gain a better sight.

And wow, this comment went in a direction that I did not expect at all.
Ashley Fox
14. A Fox
Ohh new post. Shiny. Some initial thoughts then I'll read the comments, so apologies if I'm repeating.

The glass book. I like this. The rings unseen immediaely spring to mind: Ice with a flaw in the heart, the one with no name. And Elodin; The other hand means quite another thing, his fear of a changed name.

Shaping perhaps, or rather the glass book could be shaped. Ice is glass like, the heart a good place for one's name to reside (as the mind percieves). An exchange of energies, or here substance. The flaw. A shard. (Ramson steel). That which is killing him? (The heart on Bast's blanket)

With what was the name written, wrought? Here the ring of Blood, perhaps. It fits the shape. His scars. Like a cut flower. His will the quill.
Jo Walton
15. bluejo
A Fox: Good question. What quill would write on glass?

I guess realistically glass is etched? But I am thinking of a name being melted into it.
lake sidey
16. lakesidey
A quill made of diamond, perhaps? Or maybe Denna's ring...

17. Eldanis
My main theory at the moment is that it was Kvothe who let the clues slip of his location for Chronicler to follow, only letting Bast believe that he got the info out. The reason for doing this? Because Kvothe opened the Lockless Box which held the name of the moon, and that releasing it caused the fae and mortal realms to once again combine into once.

But why does Kvothe need Chronicler? Because the Lockless Box and the Lockless Door are infact the same object (perhaps the "door" is the lid. Doors and Boxes both hold things. The name could have changed through chinese whispers of generations etc) and to open it, a person must meet certain requirements. From memory there are several, including

-Having a ring of air (Chronicler is a full Arcanist, which means he would have been a Re'lar at some stage, and seeing as he knows the name of Iron, it's not a big leap to think he would know another name as well. Wind perhaps).
- Being of the Lockless/Lackless blood line (WMF states that the Lochess is a branch family).

Kvothe opened the box, released the moon, but with a boxes main requirement being to contain something, his name got stuck in there, and now he can't open it so both realms are combined and there are Fae creatures like Scrael and others running around. So, he releases bread crumbs to get Chronicler back because he also meets the requirements to open the box, and Kvothe plans to make Chronicler open the box, trap his name inside so Kvothe can get his own and then try and fix this whole mess.

But why release the name of the moon anyway? Because the separation of fae realm from mortal realm keeps the Chandrian alive, with them having a section of their body in both realms. Creating one realm again makes them vulnerable.

There was more to the theory, like how Kvothe has become a "Chandrian" because part of him is locked away so he cannot be killed, and how Selitos is Skarpi and he sends Chronicler on the right direction (Rothfuss said in the original manuscript there was a 10k word chapter at the beginning of just Chronicler and Skarpi talking about where Kvothe was), but alas I'm quite tired, and that seems like more than enough ramblings.
18. Eldanis
Kvothe2.0@3, he has the ring of bone (or wood? I can't remember) given to him by the Maer's man to be used whenever he wants an audience. Could easy send it off to get an audience with him and then use that to get close to Lady Lockless and drop the "I'm your nephew" bomb.
19. Foxed
I know I'm beating a dead horse over here, but I still say the thrice-locked chest is a single epic feat of psychological sympathy and naming.

Kvothe has closed off his Self (or NAME) before, right after the Chandrian murdered his parents and troupe. He spent the time in the woods going crazy and playing the lute until eventually he unlocked his Self through music.

We haven't seen anyone combine sympathy and naming before, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. I have been vehemently against the idea that Kvothe locked something so ephemeral as his Name in the materially existing thrice-locked chest. But maybe he locked a totem in there, using sympathy to connect the totem to his Self (NAME), and by locking it, he sympathetically locked away part of his Self (NAME). Now if the chest is opened, his Self will be restored, along with his magic (including his Adem training, which we decided is Naming/Combat, right? The actual moves are Adem words for those moves, and by doing them perfectly, they can name the outcome?).

As for the totem, my money is on it being his lute. I don't believe we've seen it in the frame, and there are, after all, three silences. Silence as in the absence of music. And playing the lute would be a nice way to activate the Self totem.

BACK TO THE TOPIC OF THE LOCKLESS BOX! If I'm right, we'll find a name totem inside for Jax/Haliax, and then Bast will figured out what a very stupid thing Kvothe did.
20. Foxed
Ooh, if we think it's the Name of Selitos in the Lockless Box, I have a grisly-AWESOME idea about the sound of glass rolling around.

It's actually the physical lens of Selitos's stabbed out eye. Locking away his sight somewhere dark allows him to see the shadowy Fae realm or... something...

Admit it, it's awful and wonderful and TOTALLY NOT WHAT'S IN THE BOX, but I'd prefer that to the shard he used to stab himself.
21. Aegon
Not 100% on topic, but I've had a theory recently on how to open the box. It isn't a solid theory, but it helps pass the time until D3.

When Bast tries to open the box, the sound is described as "a strange, soft, ringing noise, like a padded bell being struck in a distant room."

At least one other box opens by sound: erdo (the story box, not the box Kvothe opens).

The Lackless riddle includes a line, "a ring that's not for wearing." For example, a bell ringing.

The bell might be rung using sympathy, such as the servant's bell at the hotel Denna visits. I've also thought the ring be rung by a voice, such as a sharp word not for swearing.

If the bell is sympathetic, I think it might be linked to the round key that Meluan uses to open an outer box. Kvothe asks to see the key, shaped like a simple circle, and the Maer is astonished that Kvothe is interested in the wrapping paper. I think the key might be the thing tight held in keeping. It isn't shaped like a key because it doesn't unlock the box the way a key does. But it should be a good sympathetic link to the bell.

As to how a bell can open a box, I'm not sure. All this stuff is just crazy things I'm thinking. But, for example, in the Way of Kings books, the cities are shaped by sounds, taking a form that resonates with the sound. Something like that. I don't really remember. But a resonating sound could make a shape that unlocks the box.

The box is described as Lockless, it isn't described as key-less.
22. Aegon
I'd love it if the method of opening the box includes tapping out Bell-Wether on the bell.
Leeland Woodard
23. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
I wonder if Kvothe saying "Edro" is one of the keys to the box, then. Maybe that links with the bell somehow.
24. Phileas
Hi guys, I was wondering about the theory that Kvothe locked up his name or changed his name and therefore couldn't do magic or combat in the frame story. I found this theory on several pages on this site and it sounds quite plausible. However, I do have a question about this. If Kvothe really lost his name and became Kote the simple innkeeper, how did he fight off a whole pack of scrael singlehandedly at the beginning of NotW?
Ryan Murray
25. TheYllest
@24: An alternate theory would be that the Waystone, in some way (perhaps with the heavy silence), supresses his true name limiting his abilities. As we see, he does have some ketan and sympathy; they just seem subdued. Leaving the Waystone, in this theory, would allow for him to access his powers and defeat the scrael.
This could play into the 'Perfect Game' theory as well, acting to shield his powers from others' view, such as the Chandrian, luring them there in order to defeat them.
It's not perfect, but it would explain his ability to defeat the scrael.
26. techzero

Jo, could you please double check the main page for the re-read? For some reason, this post isn't showing up for me as a link (I found my way here from another site linked to by thistlepong).

Joseph Rundle
27. jwrundle
I'm just going to repost this from the previous thread since I did not know there was anew one up.

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 "Thrice locked Chest" It too has a Iron Copper and Silver lock. Copper again. This time it defiantly 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 masonry. This room was built to keep a mad namer from escaping if that is not proof that copper and some sort of 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 what 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 interesting 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 interesting why would the Amyr use Copper shields would be pretty weak and be and very easy I think this is because they have some sort of anti-naming property.

4. pg 338 K is telling Marten about "The Chronicler". 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 depicted 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 weird 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 particular out.

9. 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 Naming dampening effect. That would be why it could be very hard to find its name because of the way it affects people it may not even have a name because of this or its name may be impossible to find because of this. 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 making arrows pass through your shield and a sword cut do absolutely nothing. that could be big.
I'm gonna repost my Copper post that was on the last one.

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 know if the page numbers are fully right I got them from my kindle.
Like Eldanis (17), I think it could be the small part of the name of the moon, but I have also thought it could be warding stones a la Kilvin.
Roger Pavelle
29. RogerPavelle
I figured while reading WMF that the Loeclos box is made of from the wood of the Cthaeh for the reasons stated in @6 TheYllest's post. My initial thought, however, was that the box probably contained a nut or seed from the Cthaeh. If such a thing were planted in the 4C world, it could allow the Cthaeh to either influence things in 4C directly? move between 4C and Fae? provide a balancing between the two worlds?

30. DeanMagnus
Isn't "Kingkiller Chronicles" a give away? Ambrose has been moving up the succession all through NW and WMF. Kvothe is impetuous enough to kill if Ambrose harms Dena. Either Ambrose is already dead by the time the Penitent King takes the throne, or he is faking penitence in order to assume the throne—and Kvothe will be forced to kill him in D3.
Ross Newberry
31. rossnewberry
Well, I finally finished the books and the re-read. Great job and thoughts, everyone!

I'm wondering about the word Morie. We see it in the inscription above the doors of the Archives, as "Vorfelan Rhinata Morie," which Wil translates as "The desire for knowledge shapes a man." I have a different theory, which I'll get to in a second.

Fela/felu has been thought to mean desire, so Vorfelan is probably desire for knowledge. We've had plenty of discussion about Rhinta/Rhinata/Rhintae somehow referring to man or man-shaped. That leaves Morie as shapes/shaping.

Fae was allegedly created by the Shapers, and the two named forms of magic we know of from Fae are glamourie and grammarie. I wonder if these aren't more correctly glam-morie and gram-morie, which might mean something like shaping of appearance and shaping of objects.

So anyway, on to my theory about "Vorfelan Rhinata Morie." I think that the Archives might have originally been built as a prison, with the four-plate door as its only cell. I think the correct translation is a warning to the Shapers, and should actually be "For men who desired the knowledge of Shaping." And Iax/Jax is the prisoner.
Jerry Grzeskiewicz
32. SwordOfMidAfternoon
We're all of course firmly planted in the realm of speculative hypothetical. D3 feels so far far away... At least we get something this year (Sept. Bast story) ...but still.

On the idea of Selitos's shard in the L-Box - To what end? What would the point be? Why hide it? Surely the greatest mystery in the 4C's involves more than preserving an historical artifact... What do you propose the shard is capable of doing?

Being in the 'L-box contents must be some world altering thing of great power' camp myself, I confess I think I might be let down should it prove to be Selito's glass blade, preserved through the ages...
Patrick Stultz
33. Audion
My overarching thoughts:

I think Kvothe killed one of the Chandrian, or an Amyr (the origonal) and by doing so was forced to take up it's power/knack/curse. Of course, in the course of doing this Denna dies, probably because of something Kvothe sets in motion to trap a Chandrian but they send her instead to carry out their task.

Which brings us to the Waystone and his thrice locked box. I agree with the posters who say it's his Lute, incorperating his music and true naming talent. Remember Bast frantically tells Chronicler to NOT mention music or sympathy around Kvothe. In D3 I'm guessing he goes over to the Tahl to learn Singing, and unlocks his true potential.

The Silence of Three Parts is the opposite of his true love; music. It's his Chandrian curse. We know they can hide their signs, so he hides his behind his busyness.

There is also a point I would ike to make about the Moon in the Frame. We said it has to still be moving becuase there wasn't a moon at one point.. but it could still be rising and setting but ALWAYS BE FULL, instead of cycling through the normal synodic period.
thistle pong
34. thistlepong
On the idea of Selitos's shard in the L-Box - To what end? What would the point be?
RR WMF20:33 (with thanks to 17), edited, expanded, revised, and discussed thereafter

Pongnotes: To keep him in the tree. Selitos is Cthaeh.

if only I'd responded on post 33, it could have been a big anniversary type deal
thistle pong
35. thistlepong
There is also a point I would ike to make about the Moon in the Frame. We said it has to still be moving becuase there wasn't a moon at one point.. but it could still be rising and setting but ALWAYS BE FULL, instead of cycling through the normal synodic period.
The manner in which "there wasn't a moon" is presented in the text appears to argue against your hypothesis.
Looking up, he saw a thousand stars glittering in the deep velvet of a night with no moon. (NotWp11)
Patrick Stultz
36. Audion

I take that to mean there just isn't a moon up. Every night doesn't have a moon here, it may be up during the day and set before nightfall.

I personally don't think he's done anything to the moon however, just pointing out that the text doesn't explicitly state anywhere that I remember in the Frame one way or the other, with the exception that there Is a moon out there somewhere.

Also, regardless of superstition and not wanting to talk about something.... I think if the moon had stoped changing states or done something odd people would still be talking about it, not just muttering about the roads being bad while they ate dinner. That would be a question that came up every night after a few drinks.
Steven Halter
37. stevenhalter
rossnewberry@31:That's one of the theories for Vorfelan Rhinata Morie and one of the theories for the . You'll find that we've discussed that phrase a fair amount. The key part of Wil's translation is that he adds "or something like that." to it, so we're fairly sure the phrase he gives isn't quite right.
I seem to recall that Iax stole the moon to go in the sky of the world the shapers created, which was after they created marvelous things in Fae. To celebrate they each put a star in the sky, Iax wanted more and stole the moon...
So this indicates that 4C land was the creation and presumably mankind therewith, so how about 'Herin lies the method(knowledge) to create (make) mankind' for 'Vorfelan Rhinata Morie'? Alternatively or simultainiously depending on loosness of tranlation, if Iax is behind the door as rossnewberry@31 suggests, it could mean 'His desire created man'...

Getting back into this after long absence so apologies if this is addressed elsewhere, I still have a lot of (fun) catching up!
39. Jaerynn
I've been following this re-read for a good long while and have thouroughly enjoyed it. It has opened up a third layer of the book for me (the first being my initial reading, the second the awesome narration of Nick Podehl). Its seems there is no end to the layering and interpretation of PRs works. Well done Jo, all the awesome commenters, and of course PR himself. I know Words of Radiance will monopolize my time for a good bit, but i'll still be checking back to absorb your insights from time to time. IID3Y?
Ryan Murray
40. TheYllest
It's been mentioned on reddit, FB, and Pat's blog, but just in case anyone missed it, there is a new Kingkiller Kickstarter from cheapass games. It sounds really fun and has artwork from Shane Tyree (artist from NotW card deck). There also appear to be lots of interesting KKC unlockables mentioned by Pat in his blog. Here's the link to the actual Kickstarter.
thistle pong
41. thistlepong
At the end of the blog, he request some feedback:
P.S. Okay. One final thing. When I was talking with James last night, he mentioned that as a game designer, the thought of designing a game like Tak was really interesting to him.

What would you guys think about us making that a stretch goal in this kickstarter? Is that something you’d like to see?
I think some of you might like to see that, right?
Leeland Woodard
42. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
If I could buy a game of Tak and play it, I might explode in happiness.
Matt Fimbulwinter
43. curgoth
Entirely off-topic, but something I don't think I have seen mentioned in the re-read comments. In just the first half of NoTW, I'm noticing a large number of things that are out of place in a standard fantasy medieval setting; potatoes, squash, cotton, chocolate, and turkey are all mentioned, and all are New World things. Normally when I catch these in fantasy, I assume it's either a mistake or the author deciding that their version of sort-of-Europe has the potato as an indiginous food. See also Tolkien and tobacco.

Because this is Rothfuss, and because it happens so often, I do wonder if he's doing it on purpose, and if it has some kind of meaning to the setting. The Four Corners world is clearly more Rennaissance/Baroque than Medieval. I'm wondering if there's a New Corner somewhere that all these products came from?
John Graham
44. JohnPoint
New post! Somehow I missed it for the first week... was starting to wonder why there wasn't much discussion on the last post!

As usual, Thistle has responded to many of the questions and supplied references to where we've discussed them before, so I don't have much to say off hand on the glass book discussion. If I remember correctly, when it came up before (e.g.,m RobM and Herelle's earlier posts), we didn't have any definitive either way.

Since I'm late to the party this time, I'll just respond to curgoth @43 -- I don't think of the "new world" foods are a problem. There's also a lot of reason to think that this a setting that's more 19th century. I think that the primary reason that we tend to feel like it's medieval or renassance is the lack of firearms. However, everything else makes sense (and perhaps even more sense, given the levels of technology etc.) if it's a nearly modern setting.
Linnet Innisfree
45. Linnie
@21 Aegon
I love the idea of the box opening with a sympathy bell... ::enchanted:: ... only I don't know if it can be true. Because at the end of the Wise Man's Fear it's like Kvothe is trying to open the box, only he can't. And he doesn't try with a bell.

I kind of imagined Tak to be like Go (a Japanese game.. love Hikaru no Go ^_^) so having a real version of it would be totally epic.

I'd agree that the Lockless box is made from the same wood as the Cth's tree but I don't know if that means anything important. It might just be a good wood for keeping things in.

@robocarp who was talking about alloys in the other post
Wow! So that's how it is... PR probably knows (I think he knows a lot of stuff) and maybe has a percentage in his head for when somethings counts as copper from a Naming point of view, and ditto for iron. Maybe.
Kate Hunter
46. KateH
@Foxed #19,
Now if the chest is opened, his Self will be restored, along with his magic (including his Adem training, which we decided is Naming/Combat, right? The actual moves are Adem words for those moves, and by doing them perfectly, they can name the outcome?).
I don't think his Adem training involves naming at all. I don't even think his Adem training is primarily about combat. My take is that the point of the entire Ademre interlude is the Lethani, and therefore ethical. I've elaborated my theory elsewhere, but I'm more and more convinced that the Lethani has provided the lion's share of the motivation for K's retreat to an obscure inn, and the locking away of whatever is in the chest.

As to the idea that somehow his ability to name/shape is locked away in there, I think that would be in keeping with the Lethani. So it's possible. But by what mechanism, I can't speculate. I'm guessing there are several important things in that chest.

Also, just to put this out there because I haven't seen anyone else do so...In one of Tolkien's elven languages, "morie" means darkness, with negative connotation and associations with evil. (Probably a stong nod to mor=death in various real world Indo-European languages.) I'm not suggesting that PR took the same meaning, but it's certainly not beyond imagining that as a wordgeek and fantasy reader he delved into Tolkien's languages at some point. And therefore it's not beyond my imagining that the 4C morie owes something to Tolkien's morie.
Carl Banks
48. robocarp
As long as we are drawing Tolkien parallels, we might as well go all out.

When the Maer speculates on what he thinks is inside the Lockless Box, he says he thinks it's something precious. So, taking this as a wink to the reader, maybe the thing inside the box is a ring. (Like maybe a ring with no name.) Or, the thing inside the box has the power to Rule Them All. But, then again, it's just the Maer's speculaton.
Linnet Innisfree
49. Linnie
Something precious ::delighted laughter::
Sahi Rioth
50. Sahirioth
What eye-glass improves rather than mars one's sight? Glasses. Whose sight was flawed before he was given glasses? Jax. Discuss :-)
Kate Hunter
51. KateH
re: morie, Tolkien, imaginary linguistics

::hangdog look:: Apologies. I should've re-checked this before posting. Tolkien's Quenya uses mornie, not morie for darkness/evil.

Carry on.
Steven Halter
52. stevenhalter
KateH@51:Regardless of mornie/morie, I tend to go with the mor root lending at least shadows if not death to words. PR has said that he likes to use/makeup words based on how they sound. We've all (at least the Indo-European side) been conditioned for mor words being associated with negative things in general.
53. Marco.
@41, RE:Tak

I might be alone in that I'm not super interested in seeing them put together an "in real life" version of Tak. In my mind's eye, there's a pretty high bar for what this game should be to warrant the gravitas it has in the book. If they produce a game and it's just another game the book is diminished for me.

Perhaps a better way to describe it is to draw an analogy to "The Lay of Sir Savien Traliard". This song as described in the book brings people to tears. It would be a real shame if they produced this song and it was just meh.
John Graham
54. JohnPoint
I second Marco's comments @53. Particularly about Sir Savien, but also about Tak... I'd love to see a great product for either/both, but am skeptical that they would pan out well.
Kate Hunter
55. KateH
re: Tak

I always picture it as go. I had a friend once who was a pretty serious player. He told me he aspired to playing "beautifully." Apparently games between go masters frequently result in patterns which are perceived as beautiful. Given this as background, it was impossible not to make the association between tak and go, at least for me.
Steven Halter
56. stevenhalter
KateH:That is pretty much how I have pictured Tak also.
57. Marco.
Selitos is Cthaeh
On a scale of 1-10, how confident are you of this? I'm sitting at about a 6. I find Skarpi's description of Selitos as "gain a better sight" to be compelling. I read this as him gaining the power to see the future, and IIRC the only character we know who has this ability is the Cthaeh.
jum bles
58. jumbles

Tinkers also seem to be able to see the future somewhat. Kvothe has either needed, or wished he'd accepted, every item a tinker has offered him.

Aegon@21 Re: "a ring that's not for wearing"

I had already posted regarding this as comment 47, but it doesn't look like it's going to show up because I included a link to a different one of Jo's blog posts on this very site.
To repeat that comment, in comment 110 of the post "Pat Answers the Admissions Questions," Silkki states that in the Finnish translation of the book, the word used for "ring" in that rhyme means a general loop shape. That suggests that the ring is not a sound. I lean toward the ring being a ring of greystones.
Other than that I do agree that a bell sound may be important for something somehow. Bell sounds are scattered all through the books in important places.
Linnet Innisfree
59. Linnie
Maybe it's not so much seeing the future as having a knack for knowing what's going to be needed.

But for all that, I don't think Selitos in the Cthaeh. The Cthaeh seems so not-human, the way he moves so fast behind the leaves of his tree and that sound he makes...
Patrick Stultz
60. Audion
Re: Selitos is Cthaeh

I just can't see this. First, Bast didn't freak out when K told the story of Selitos. You'd think he'd have reacted the same way as it's spitting poision in someones ear to speak of it.. even if it was before he became the Cthaeh.
Second, Bast said Jax spoke to the Cthaeh before he stole the moon, and by all accounts Selitos wouldn't have been incarnate as the Cthaeh then.
If I was a betting man, and I am actually.. I'd say Selitos became the leader of the guys who shoot everything that comes near the Cthaeh if we had to pick from things we've been introduced to so far.
So, I'm saying a 0 on a score of 1 to 10.

Re: Ring
I like the explination of a ring of waystones. It would make a lot of sense if it's supposed to be a portal into Fey or another locked realm since the greystones mark the entrances into Fey.
thistle pong
61. thistlepong

Like, 9, maybe? I'm open to better ideas if and when they're presented. But this one's held for years and won over some of its persistent critics. And there hasn't been an insurmountable objection put forward.
Ryan Murray
62. TheYllest
Re: Selitos as Cthaeh

Granted I arrived to this party a little late in terms of all the theories being thrown out there, but like to think I am pretty knowledgable about the books. Given all my read-throughs I never would have pegged Selitos as the Cthaeh. Could someone explain the evidence that suggests this or point me to a post that does? I've never been very convinced of this by the material I've seen posted, but I'm begininng to think it is because I missed something. Thanks.
thistle pong
63. thistlepong
Could someone explain the evidence that suggests this or point me to a post that does?
see also: post #34

If you've done a bunch of read throughs of the books, reading this thread isn't too much to ask.

If you choose to check out the linked post, I'd encourage you to read through the rest of the thread since the idea was, at that time, a work in progress. If your opinion's not fixed one way or the other after that, more links can be provided.

ed formatting, addressee
Andrew Loyd
64. DoYouHas
Re: Selitos as Cthaeh

While I feel like quite a few of the arguments against this can be explained away, like how inconsistencies disappear if Bast and Kvothe don't know that Selitos is the Cthaeh, one has stuck out to me as something that has to be ignored for the theory to work.

(Summarizing here since I don't have the books in front of me.) After Selitos puts out his eye he sees what has befallen Lanre to get him to the point of destroying most of Ergen. In that description it says something along the lines of, "He sought knowledge where knowledge is better left alone, and gained it at a terrible price." This seems to me to be a clear reference to the Cthaeh as something external to Selitos because he isn't even aware that Lanre had talked to the Cthaeh until after he gained better sight, after Selitos would have already been acting as the Cthaeh. So either the reference in that section isn't about the Cthaeh, isn't true, or a third option I haven't thought of, or Selitos doesn't fit as the Cthaeh.

I have a be a few more objections like where the whole having to be asked things comes from if it is Selitos, but that one is my most solid. I don't think this was something you specifically addressed in your linked post TP if I am remembering correctly.
John Graham
65. JohnPoint
Marco@57, re certainty of Selitos=Cthaeh.

I'm probably 8 on this one. Slightly less certain than thistlepong, but I do think that it's highly likely.

As the originator of the "Loeclos box contains Selitos' obsidian eye-poker", I'm a 9 or 10 on that part of the puzzle. I think that Selitos is probably the Cthaeh, but can see potential alternative explainations for the obsidian-in-a-box that would also satisfy me (e.g., Selitos is the progenitor of the Lackless line and preserving the blood/obsidian within the rhinna box maintains the binding on Haliax, particularly if the box is kept by his family, i.e., the Lacklesses. Under this scenario, the box is rhinna because it does a good job at magically trapping/preserving things, and the Cthaeh is an example of that as well. I admit, I like Selito=Cthaeh better, but would be ok with this too.)

Edit to add (since I didn't see DoYouHAs@64 when I started to first post): I would remind you that what we're hearing are stories -- stories that have evolved over time, and have potentially been intentionally altered. So, many of the potential inconsistencies, like timelines or apparent external influence of the Cthaeh, could result from the evolution of versions of the story over 3 to 5 millennia. Pat is interested in telling a story about stories. This includes the way that they branch and change over time. Exactly like Arliden and Ben discuss.
Ryan Murray
66. TheYllest
Re: Cthaeh

I've expressed this before, but I've long been a proponent of Iax/Jax as the Cthaeh. I've thought this since I first read WMF. I know the arguments against (most notably that Iax supposedly met the Cthaeh), but lets re-imagine for a moment what might be in the Loeclos box:
“Something smaller than a saltbox. . . .By the weight of it, perhaps something made of glass or stone.”
If this were Jax's "stone flute" instead of the mountain glass, which are equally likely by the description alone, this could support my previous theories pretty well.

I have asserted that Iax/Jax, the powerful shaper who stole the moon, was the original Lackless, given his knack for being unlucky and broken things. This is also supported by the parallels PR draws between Kvothe (presumably a Lackless) and Jax, too-clever orphans with an obsession which they pursue at any cost, eventually leading to their downfall.
During the Creation War he was locked behind the DoS, perhaps with other enemies of the victorious side, but before being defeated he created his family heirloom from the unique Rhinna tree, placing his treasured stone flute which could call the moon's name inside, and thereby binding part of himself to the tree. Now with his only means of interaction with the world being the Rhinna tree, he uses name changing/shaping on those who visit him (Such as Lanre/Haliax and the other Chandrian) to guide their future paths in such a way as to achieve his ultimate goal: pulling the moon entirely into the Fae by destroying the 4C.
Motive. Means. (Sub)textual indicators.
However, you do have to address Bast's assertion that Iax met the Cthaeh before attempting to steal the moon. It's hard to explain this away assuming he is not mistaken or misrepresenting the interaction, but Cthaeh could be his reshaped name, from a previous Cthaeh who passed the title and abilities onto Iax by shaping his name. That last bit is shaky at best, but its no less shaky than some of the detractions to Selitos as Cthaeh.
Please tell me how wildly off-base I am.
Steven Halter
67. stevenhalter
I come down on the Cthaeh is the Cthaeh side of things and that it is the root of the various difficulties with the creation war and the other stories we have seen.
Now, it may turn out that they may not be the enemy they appear to be (or they might be nastily evil). Could go either way.

I remain unconvinced on the Selitos = Cthaeh theory. On the other hand, if PR revealed that was the answer, I wouldn't be horribly shocked or anything. My guess is we may not even find out the answer--if there even is an answer for which "the" might apply.
John Graham
68. JohnPoint
TheYllest@66: One initial objection to Iax=Cthaeh is that Felurian definitely seems to imply that the shaper who stole the moon (presumably, Iax/Jax) is not presently accessible in/from the fae. Obviously, the Cthaeh is theoretically not accessible due to the Sithe, but they seem to occasionally fail, as per Kvothe speaking to the Cthaeh.
...“he stole the moon and with it came the war.”
“Who was it?” I asked.
Her mouth curved into a tiny smile. She hooted: “who? who?”
“Was he of the faen courts?” I prompted gently.
Felurian shook her head, amused. “no. as I said, this was before the fae. the first and greatest of the shapers.”
“What was his name?”
She shook her head. “no calling of names here. I will not speak of that one, though he is shut beyond the doors of stone.”
This certainly doesn't definitively preclude Iax/Jax from being the Cthaeh, but I get a vibe that they aren't the same creature...

Stevenhalter@67 is likely right: we may not get the/an answer in D3. (And there is a good chance that Cthaeh=Cthaeh and noone else.)
Kate Hunter
69. KateH
Re: Cth=Selitos

FWIW, my take is that the text does not absolutely exclude this possibility. However, several reports/facts have to be interpretted in a rather twisted manner or discounted altogether in order to make it even possible. And so many things weigh against it that it really seems much more reasonable to conclude that Selitos is NOT the CTH.

So far as I know, we have zero solid evidence that character X is actually a reincarnation of character Y or the embodiment of object Z, in either book. PR just doesn't strike me as the kind of writer that would use that trope in his works. But obviously, that's just my 2 cents.
70. Marco.
Re: Selitos = Cthaeh

I have two points of discomfort.

1. The Sithe. According to Bast in WMF, they exist in opposition to the Cthaeh attempting to thwart its influence. Yet in NOTW, we have Haliax asking the rest of the seven "Who keeps you safe from the Amyr? The singers? This Sithe?"

We can then create a chain that results in an inconsistency:

Selitos is aligned with the Amyr who are aligned with the Sithe who are opposed to the Cthaeh who is Selitos.

2. Per Skarpi, we have a scene (post Lanre betrayal) where Selitos is talking to Aleph about his future. I'm paraphrasing slightly.
Aleph: Do you want to be an angel? It comes with conditions about how you can deal with Lanre.
Selitos: Get stuffed. I'm forming the Amyr superfriends and we'll take care of Lanre ourselves.
If we're to accept Selitos = Cthaeh, we're somewhat forced into the following chronology:
Lanre betrayal
Self blinding with stone
Talk with God (described above)

Stuck in tree

I'm happy to hear people's thoughts on how these could be resolved, because I can't come up with anything that doesn't involve making up new events from whole cloth for which there's no textual evidence.
Jeremy Raiz
71. Jezdynamite
I like discussing the Cthaeh=Selitos theory, and it's ramifications.

But like Steven, I'm in the Cthaeh=Cthaeh camp too.
Carl Banks
72. robocarp
I guess put me in the Cthaeh = Cthaeh and no one else camp, as well.

However, if it turns out that the Cthaeh is someone that we know, I'd have to say Selitos is the only reasonable candidate. It's clearly not Iax for the reasons JohnPoint gives--unless you also subscribe to the theory that Iax is not the Shaper of the Dark and Changing Eye. Also, Felurian refuses to utter Iax's name but she has no issue referring to the Ctheah, which, although not a name per se, is something she could have uttered in answer to K's question about who stole the moon. Finally, evidence suggests that Sight is Iax's weak point, whereas Sight is pretty much the Cthaeh's only power. It's not Iax.

The only other candidate to be the Cthaeh is Aleph. I want to say a few words about this because I think it could be true on a technicality, but I'm quite sure that if it is, it's not the same Aleph that Skarpi is talking about. Yes, I have a theory that there are actally two Alephs. Remember that Kote's first lines in his story was that Aleph spun the world out of nothing , or was the first person to discover the names everything already had, depending on the version of the tale. That sounds a lot like a Shaping/Knowing dichotomy, and the two versions probably arose for political reasons. But what if the two versions were actually distinct legends that grew around two different people (who you know are going to end up being twin brothers)? The Aleph that discovered the names things already possessed could very well be the Cthaeh. So, if the Cthaeh has any relation to someone we already know, that would be my first guess: the evil twin brother of the Aleph from Skarpi's story.
Roger Pavelle
73. RogerPavelle
re: SEL = CTH
I think I may have the definitive disproving of this theory. In WMF chaper 105 (p. 688 in the hardcover) Bast says "Iax spoke to the Cthaeh before he stole the moon, and that sparked the entire creation war. Lanre spoke to the Cthaeh before he orchestrated the betrayal of Myr Tariniel."

If Lanre spoke to the Cthaeh before betraying Myr Tariniel, that would be before Selitos put out his eye in order to revenge himself on Lanre/Haliax.

John Graham
74. JohnPoint
Roger @73: it is not definitive, and it has been addressed previously. In short, Selitos certainly did speak to Lanre before the Betrayal, and Iax before the theft of the moon. They knew each other after all. Bast's story doesn't say that they spoke to the Cthaeh under that name. We're pulling together threads from much-altered stories.
Pyrrhus Aeacides
75. Pyrrhus

That is exactly what happens in Skarpi's story.


1. We have no evidence that Amyr and Sithe are affiliated. Only that they both oppose the Chandrian (and so apparently does the Cthaeh.) That's not hard to square from the picture painted in the Aleph story - many factions, perhaps all working at cross purposes.

2. We don't have any information on when Cthaeh was bound. Note that in Lanre Turned, he cannot move. He may have been bound already. (Other stories identify Selitos as being in a place of power, and the stories no doubt rely on metaphor, so it's hard to know which details to take literally.)
Andrew Loyd
76. DoYouHas
JohnPoint@65- I really like your alternative explanation for the shard of obsidian. Tying the misfortunes of the Lackless family to either an interaction with the Cthaeh or with Jax's broken house makes a lot of sense to me. I also like that you brought up maintaining a binding on Haliax because of how Haliax/Encanis being bound is in both Skarpi and Trapis' stories. This could also be part of the answer to a question I asked in the last thread about where Haliax is and why he doesn't usually accompany the Chandrian.

I still disagree with you about that part of Skarpi's story. It strikes me as one of the truer parts of the story. It resembles the rumors/stories that Chronicler tells about Kvothe, both in style and in content. I think that it is dealt with in the same way. True stories, but with surprising details.

Something that I find particularly interesting at the moment is how trapping/enclosing a name doesn't seem to change a thing's nature much. The moon is still the moon and behaves like the moon, it just is drawn back and forth. The king in the story about 'The Chronicler' is not adversly affected by having his name locked away.

If part of the moon's name is locked away in a box, is that part of her name impossible to know even if for some reason you were able to understand and comprehend the moon fully? The king locking his name away would suggest this. But if the who the king is doesn't change through locking away his name does it really make sense that a namer would not be able to get a feel for his true name by coming to understand him? This relation the king has to his name, of possession without access, could be pretty interesting if it isn't just fluff for "The Chronicler" story.
Pyrrhus Aeacides
77. Pyrrhus
Here is an expansion of my amber theory.

* Taken for granted - Selitos is Cthaeh, and affiliated with Amyr.
* Amber is like stone, and like glass in that it is translucent.
* Amber comes from sap, which is a tree's analogue for blood. The Lanre story could be recording some event where this amber was produced. Perhaps some magic binding Haliax and his name.
* Maybe that has some tie in to the story of Chronicler and the name written in glass?
* Wilem talks about how a ring of amber apparently has the power to banish demons. We've seen no reason for this folkore, but it would fit nicely with the events at the end of Lanre Turned - the bloody rock was used to banish Haliax.
* It would explain why it is locked up. The Sithe would want it locked away, to limit the touch of the Cthaeh on the world. The Chandrian would probably want it kept shut as well, unless to undo the binding. The Amyr might want to open the box, to unleash its power, bring the influence of their leader back into the world.
* We've heard repeatedly that blood is the strongest link for sympathy. What could you do with amber from the Cthaeh's tree?

Problems with theory
* Amber is lighter than glass. About half as light. Perhaps something heavy is in the amber though? (Please don't say copper.) Or maybe Rothfuss just got it wrong? Weak, I know, but it wouldn't be the first time he's mistaken facts about the real world.
* The Cthaeh is not a tree, but in the tree. Resolution: "in" in what sense? If he's just sitting in the branches (like it's his chair), then why doesn't he come down? If his soul is locked there then that's a stronger connection. Anyway, it still works as metonomy. Like calling a presidential administration "the White House." He isn't *just* bound there. A chair is not a prison.
78. Marco.
We have no evidence that Amyr and Sithe are affiliated. Only that they both oppose the Chandrian (and so apparently does the Cthaeh.) That's not hard to square from the picture painted in the Aleph story - many factions, perhaps all working at cross purposes.
Affiliated? I agree that what we know falls short of the burden of proof needed to affirmatively claim that.

But we have rock solid evidence of an instance where their interests are alligned, and no evidence to the contrary.

I'd say it's more likely than not that they're on the same side.
thistle pong
79. thistlepong

I'm gonna start by saying that I usually approach this one with a lot of detatchment. I may be extremely confident that Selitos is Cthaeh, but it's not worth inflaming passions over. We've been in an agreeable detente about it for awhile and when stevenhalter writes, "My guess is we may not even find out the answer--if there even is an answer for which "the" might apply," he's essentially speaking for me, too. Most of the time, I reckon we'll get another pretty solid arrow pointing toward the identity of Cthaeh, but no dramatic opening of the box and subsequent rampage.

Anyway, since you were so civil, I'll try to ravel this out conversationally. I'd encourage you to read it if you wanna respond. If you get to a point where you're disgusted with my obvious abiminable ignorance, just post that and we can agree to disagree. I do folks the courtesy of reading their posts a couple times before responding and checking out their links. I'd like to ask for the same in kind.
After Selitos puts out his eye he sees what has befallen Lanre to get him to the point of destroying most of Ergen. In that description it says something along the lines of, "He sought knowledge where knowledge is better left alone, and gained it at a terrible price." This seems to me to be a clear reference to the Cthaeh as something external to Selitos because he isn't even aware that Lanre had talked to the Cthaeh until after he gained better sight, after Selitos would have already been acting as the Cthaeh. So either the reference in that section isn't about the Cthaeh, isn't true, or a third option I haven't thought of, or Selitos doesn't fit as the Cthaeh.
First, here's the passage you're talking about:
Selitos, his eyes unveiled, looked at his friend. He saw how Lanre, nearly mad with grief, had sought the power to bring Lyra back to life again. Out of love for Lyra, Lanre had sought knowledge where knowledge is better left alone, and gained it at a terrible price.

I underlined part of your post in order to highlight an assumption you've made. I think a lot of people read the passage and assume "Lanre sought knowledge from Cthaeh!" Before WMF, they assumed "Lanre sought knowledge from Iax!" Heck, I think some people still think that. Willem jokes that they study knowledge better left alone at the University. The point is that we have no way of knowing where he sought knowledge or from whom. Every assumption is exactly that.

Folks tend to point to Bast saying:
Iax spoke to the Cthaeh before he stole the moon, and that sparked the entire creation war. Lanre spoke to the Cthaeh before he orchestrated the betrayal of Myr Tariniel. The creation of the Nameless. The Scaendyne. They can all be traced back to the Cthaeh. evidence that the Cthaeh was the source of that knowledge, but it's not so pat. It's just an order of events, a history. There are plenty of real world examples of folks arguing over what exactly caused a series of events to play out the way it did.

But there's a intratextual example, too. Iax spoke to Cthaeh before stealing the moon. We get the gist of the story via "The Boy Who Loved the Moon." And the major argument 'round here in whether the hermit in the cave is Cthaeh or the Tinker is. Even in the compressed form we get it's clear there's a significant time lapse between the two.

The point there is that we suspect he talked to two individuals before he stole the moon, both having some bearing on his eventual actions. It's possible that the faen histories don't trace back far enough. So many of them got back to Cthaeh that a pattern emerged. From that point on any new investigations would stop dead at Cthaeh.

Kvothe's, for example. Bast knows what's wrong, now. It doesn't matter that the Chandrian probably killed Kvothe's parents and motivated his actions thereafter, 'cause Cthaeh! Or if it does matter it only matters insofar as Lanre spoke to Cthaeh six millenia ago and Kvothe's just a footnote in his story? But didn't this really start with Arliden? Or is that Cthaeh, too, since Lanre's story wouldn't be a thing unless they'd spoken?

It becomes the petulant fabricating Bast attempts with Chronicler.

The way I see it, the only things necessary for what Bast said to be true is that Iax and Lanre and spoke to Cthaeh before doing their deeds and Cthaeh probably oughtta be the same in both (all) cases. We have textual support, which is discussed in the link thread, for the possibility that they both could have spoken to Selitos. So no, it's not out of the question.

Selitos does not have to break bad. He does not have to begin "acting as the Cthaeh" at any point. If he is Cthaeh, then he always was. Go back to the hermit and Jax, again. The hermit is relatively innocent, there. Jax misunderstands and misuses the knowledge imparted with, as we know, disasterous consequences.

He doesn't have to be evil. He doesn't have to be malicious. And in that story, at least, he doesn't even know what's going to happen. The same can be essntially true for Lanre. Selitos clearly didn't expect the destruction of Myr Tariniel. And here we have conflicting accounts. Was he surprised and devastated or enraged and Lanre's clever trickery?

I think some folks get hung up on the name thing, too. Iax spoke to Cthaeh, not Selitos. Lanre spoke to Cthaeh, not Selitos. Or did Jax? Or Haliax? or Alaxel? Names change in these stories all the time. It's not just literal, either, it's narrative. The characters discuss the echoes of old forgotten names. Given that Haliax isn't a dangerous name, I reckon Selitos isn't either.

So, it's not that Selitos does fit, but that he can.

I think he does fit 'cause I think JohnPoint's right about the contents of the Loeclos Box. I've never thought that was convenient, though. The truth seldom is.
I have a be a few more objections like where the whole having to be asked things comes from...
I wanted to address this briefly, 'cause it's another false assumption. Cthaeh opens the conversation with Kvothe. He doesn't have to be asked anything. He deflects Kvothe's question about the Amyr, something that's also talked over in the linked thread, so he's not obligated to answer either.
Pyrrhus Aeacides
80. Pyrrhus

The Amyr and Sithe are aligned only in the same way the Cthaeh and Sithe are aligned. Obviously that doesn't require any greater alignment. Nor is it a contradiction of the theory. To the contrary, it is precisely the evidence we should expect to have, if Rothfuss were obscuring the shared identity of Selitos and the Cthaeh. Evidence consistent with two different theories does not disprove either. If the Selitos = Cthaeh theory is strong, that is itself evidence against an Amyr Sithe affiliation.
John Graham
81. JohnPoint

My alternative explaination for the obsidian (e.g., @65) was actually my initial thought for what/why the obsidian eye-poker would be trapped in the Loeclos box. The very first time I read WMF, the object jumped out at me as the stone that Selitos used to poke out his eye, and my thought went down the path that I mentioned @65. With subsequent rereads (before discovering this site), I became pretty much certain that the object was actually the obsidian.

However, once I found the Tor reread and posted my idea, thistlepong made the connection to the Cthaeh, and I was mostly converted to the Selitos=Cthaeh camp. IMO it fits.

As far as the details in Skarpi's story, I refer you to thistlepong@79. As is usually the case, thistle has an excellent, detailed, and thorough analysis that is quite eloquent. I would simply reiterate that all of the stories are secondhand (or, well, probably 50th or 200th hand, given that the events occurred 5000 years before the frame...). The possible exceptions are Felurian's story (since she was present for at least some of the events), and potentially Skarpi's story (since there is a chance that he was present as well, if his allusions to "Tehlu always said..." pan out to be anything). However, Skarpi admits that the story isn't literally true, word for word:
“All stories are true,” Skarpi said. “But this one really happened, if that’s what you mean.” He took another slow drink, then smiled again, his bright eyes dancing. “More or less. You have to be a bit of a liar to tell a story the right way. Too much truth confuses the facts. Too much honesty makes you sound insincere.”
thistle pong
82. thistlepong
FWIW, my take is that the text does not absolutely exclude this possibility. However, several reports/facts have to be interpretted in a rather twisted manner or discounted altogether in order to make it even possible. And so many things weigh against it that it really seems much more reasonable to conclude that Selitos is NOT the CTH.
Please explain what you mean by "rather twisted," what must be "discounted entirely," and the "so many things weigh(ing) against it." Your posts are normally reasonable and almost always thoughtful. I'm suprised that you'd dismiss such a large portion of the discussion with casual disdain instead of engaging it.

And, uh, honestly I really hoped you would. There's a dimension that doesn't get a lot of attention 'cause folks get stuck on whether or not this is possible. I think it has some profound ethical implications.

Kvothe's actions in the narrative are so in line with Amyr ethics that the early portions of the Reread were filled with references to his "Amyr T-Shirt." I essentially read the Lethani as "for the greater good of the Adem" until you chimed in with your ethics post.* Suddenly there was a contrast between who he was and who he might be. Not a cynical continuation of the thoughtless murderer with arch designs from narrative to frame.

I figure at the very least it's valuable as a thought experiment.
So far as I know, we have zero solid evidence that character X is actually a reincarnation of character Y or the embodiment of object Z, in either book. PR just doesn't strike me as the kind of writer that would use that trope in his works. But obviously, that's just my 2 cents.
He's using that trope, to the extent suggested by Selitos/Cthaeh, with Lanre/Alaxel/Haliax.** Moreover, he's talked about how that's integral to what he's doing.
"Part of the enjoyment is the slow uncovering of the mysteries of the world, something we get very little of in this world and our real lives. Boy, I really wish I knew how, like, the ancient Sumerian story of Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth really tied into Gilgamesh and the Old Testament, but we never really get any definitive answers on that. We just get some fairly good guesses.

Whereas in my world that's one of the things that Kvothe is interested in and he's trying to dig up over the space of time. So part if the reason that you don't have all of the answers that you want is because that is some of the stuff that is still coming in the third book, and later books."***

*RR WMF22:64

**Or Ferule/Cinder. Or Cyphus/Scyphus. Or Jax/Iax. Or Denna.

***Comics Online podcast (s12e5; 1-4-12; around 21:00)
Steven Halter
83. stevenhalter
Yep. All of the stories should be both doubted and accepted at once. There are no doubt equal parts red herring and nuggets of truth. Names are changed and rearranged. One character could be doing the actions of several or a combination combined into one or sets applied in non-discrete fashion.
George Washington may very well have cut down cherry trees but probably not the one commonly attributed to him.
Rob Munnelly
84. RobMRobM
As always, greatly impressed by the depth of the discussion of these theories. Thanks!
Kate Hunter
85. KateH

I meant no disdain or dismissal. You and I have hashed these ideas out elsewhere before, and I appreciated the exchange. My conclusion then was that I saw the points/interpretations you were making, yet I wasn't persuaded by them. Many of the ideas being presented here against Sel=CTH are the same ones I brought up with you. You made me see those things as inconclusive so far as proving that Selitos is not the CTH. However, as you surely know, saying you can't prove something isn't so is far from proving that the thing is so.

For me the biggest pieces of evidence that have to be significantly twisted/discounted are the timeline niceties about Lanre speaking with CTH prior to orchestration of downfall, plus the extraordinarily benevolent character of Selitos. Now, others of good will may not view these as obstacles at all. But I do.

I am also persuaded by Marco @70's chain of reasoning about alliances btw Sithe + Amyr against the CTH precluding Sel=CTH. And yes, I recognize that this too can be picked apart to say it's inconclusive.

IMHO there are just so many pieces of evidence against Sel=CTH (even if they can be picked apart to inconclusivity,) that I'm firmly in the camp of Selitos not being the CTH. I have no problem with others holding different views though.

WRT the ethical implications of the Sel=CTH idea, well...that would certainly take some chewing over. Basically shaping/naming (to control/command) fits right into the Amyr scheme of things. And so does the CTH really - either as the ultimate evil or the ultimate good guy. See, for the Amyr it's always the greater good, right? But who is to say what the greater good is? Individual humans? Supernatural Amyr? An all-seeing, immortal CTH? And for whom is the greater good - good? Who is qualified enough, wise enough, impartial enough, who thinks long term enough to decide? One "twisted interpretation" used to support Sel=CTH is that all-seeing, benevolent Selitos turns into a CTH who is only apparently malevolent but is really acting for the greater good.

If you're asking me to compare and contrast the Amyr ethical system with the Lethani, then my off-the-cuff impression is that the former features large amounts of hubris, and the latter pretty carefully tries to avoid it. It seems that a duality of good vs. evil fits in better with the Amyr motto than with the Lethani, which avoids absolutes. So could the Lethani be a response to an ethical system that gave powerful but unwise people the moral authority to do things that really screwed the world up? Yeah, possibly. I would need to go away and think on it for a bit before elaborating any further.

(edited for typos)
Mike Dorr
86. Westmarch
Dating back 3 years or so, I first posited the Cthaeh = Iax theory from my first read of the story. Iax was trapped, the Cthaeh was trapped, both powerful, influential; it seemed to me the logical conclusion of a second-level reading of the narrative.

The reason I never believed Cthaeh = Cthaeh is because its existence is not once hinted at before Kvothe encounters him. No foreshadowing, no Chekov's gun - nothing. That didn't seem like Pat at all - introducing what could be the most malevolent force in Four Corners history halfway through the story. I don't buy it.

But, when I read thistlepong's theory Selitos = Cthaeh I immediately knew I was wrong. I'm a 9.5 on the Selitos=Cthaeh scale. Other evidence I might conjur up:

1. Kvothe is completely unfazed at Bast's assertion that the Cthaeh interaction leads to doom. I took this as indication he knows what's up
2. Elodin completely flipping his lid when K asked if was possible to change a name. Changing a true name is very bad, according to Elodin, which makes me think its happened at least once (and most likely by someone with enough power to do so, and that's limited to Iax/Lyra/Lanre/Aleph/Selitos as characters previously introduced)
3. Kvothe is setting up that he was really, really wrong about a lot of things and his guidepost story is Skarpi's version of Lanre where Lanre is bad, Selitos is good. If Selitos is evil like Denna says, becoming the Cthaeh via name change does not seem a large leap to me.
87. usmcspadden
Jax/Iax I believe is currently at the University behind the four plate door. Felurian said that the man who stole the moon is currently locked behind the doors of stone and a namer strong enough to trap the moon would fall onto the same plane as Haliax on a power scale. I believe that somehow Iax will be released and Kvothe will kill him at Imre. The caravan guard gave a hint when he said that he had seen where Kvothe had killed an angel.

As for the Lockless box, it's obviously her husbands rocks. ;)
Steven Halter
88. stevenhalter
usmcspadden@87:Either behind the 4 plate door or behind a similar structure (as yet unseen by us) in the Lockless lands is also where I imagine Iax to be held.
I lean towards Iax being held behind a door in the Lockless lands and the 4 plate door leading somewhere else that the masters find useful. If Iax was behind the 4 plate door and its opening released the scrael, then it would seem that the University should be destroyed and this isn't mentioned.
Of course extraneous events/places could impinge on any of these things.
89. Marco.

To be clear, I do come down on the side of SEL=CTH albeit not as strongly as some of the others, largely because it feels right. (How's that for compelling evidence?)

I'm supremely confident that in D3 we're going to get a Big Reveal, where we learn that everything we've been led to believe about some historical figure through Kvothe's assumptions is as wrong as wrong can be.

The Cthaeh turning out to be a good guy would qualify, as would Selitos turning out to be a bad guy.

Pyrrhus@80 makes a solid point that the Sithe could only be alligned on that one point, but I can't shake my uneasiness around:
Assuming SEL=CTH,
The Sithe are anti-Chandrian
The Sithe are anti-Cthaeh
Whose side are they on?
Or is the mistaken assumption that the Cthaeh and the Chandrian are in opposition to each other?
90. usmcspadden

The best way to describe the Ctaeh is that it is on its own special side that happens to include causing as much suffering as Ctaehly possibly. Think of all the early Christian ideas of the Devil going around corrupting people with lies, then subtract the lies and bind it to one spot. It doesn't need to lie since it see all possible futures it can choose the best truth to cause the most damage. The Sithe's entire job is to kill all people who talk to the Ctaeh and minimize the damage if they don't succeed. The Chandrian were created through the influence of the Ctaeh and therefor the Sithe hunt them.
jum bles
91. jumbles
I see some people using the Amyr as evidence against Selitos = Cthaeh. I'll take this as an opportunity to stitch together two posts about the Amyr I made elsewhere in 2012 and 2013. I'm not saying I believe Selitos = Cthaeh, I wouldn't be surprised either way. The only thing that would surprise me would be if Pat actually spells it out for us in D3. And now onto the stitched together posts:

Was Selitos "Good" or "Bad"? Skarpi paints him and Myr Tariniel as good while Ash/Denna paint them as bad. If Selitos is bad, does that mean that his followers were also bad? He could have tricked them.

Let's look at the current Amyr. Whoever they may have been, are the founding Amyr still alive? Could the Amyr have forgotten their purpose as Haliax suggests his Chandrian are doing? What is the difference between the human Amyr and the non-human Amyr? Do they share leadership/purpose? Why did the Tehlin church and the Amyr have a falling out? Who, if anyone, was in the right? Was it all of the Amyr or a portion of the Amyr that the church moved against? There are many deeds attributed to the Amyr, but were they done by the human Amyr or non-human Amyr? Maybe no Amyr were actually involved in some cases but they were given credit anyway. As far as their alleged atrocities go, could they actually have been working for the greater good (whatever that may be)? I don't think we have enough information to confidently judge the things they've allegedly done.

According to Skarpi, Selitos says, "Lord, if I do this thing will I be given the power to avenge the loss of the shining city? Can I confound the plots of Lanre and his Chandrian who killed the innocent and burned my beloved Myr Tariniel? ... I am sorry, but my heart says to me I must try to stop these things before they are done, not wait and punish later. I must refuse, for I cannot forget. But I will oppose him with these faithful Ruach beside me. I see their hearts are pure. We will be called the Amyr in memory of the ruined city. We will confound Lanre and any who follow him. Nothing will prevent us from attaining the greater good."

From this I gather four possible Amyr purposes:

1. Avenge the loss of the shining city
2. Confound/Oppose Lanre and his Chandrian / any who follow him
3. Stop these things before they are done, not wait and punish later
4. Attaining the greater good

Numbers 1 and 2 go together really well, as do numbers 3 and 4. Number 1 doesn't seem like it should mesh very well with numbers 3 and 4. Number 2 seems like it could match up with numbers 3 and 4, but only if it doesn't match up with number 1 (or if it just matches up with them for very different reasons).

Lanre says, "I have only the hope of oblivion after everything is gone and the Aleu fall nameless from the sky."
Selitos says, "This my doom upon you. May your face be always held in shadow, black as the toppled towers of my beloved Myr Tariniel. This is my doom upon you. Your own name will be turned against you, that you shall have no peace. This is my doom upon you and all who follow you. May it last until the world ends and the Aleu fall nameless from the sky."
Sounds like the Chandrian may want the world to end.
But Nina says that the Amyr on the pot "looked like he was ready to burn down the whole world" (WMFc35).
If the Amyr oppose the Chandrian, why would they both want to destroy the world? As others have suggested about the Chandrian, "the world" could refer to the mortal world or to the Faen realm. From Nina's point of view, the world would definitely be the mortal world. So the Amyr would want (or at least be willing) to destroy the mortal realm. So maybe the Chandrian want to destroy the Faen realm? If one world was destroyed it would stop the moon from traveling back and forth.

I'll also add that the group's goals, views, and relations with other groups can certainly change over time. As the Amyr's membership roster changes as people die or are forced out, rivalries will also die and new ideas and values can take over. Even if the core leadership is immortal, they've had way more time to change than we have in our short lives, and we change a lot over the course of our lives. So the Amyr's allies and enemies may not be the same now as they were before. One example of this would be their relationship with the Tehlin church.
Roger Pavelle
92. RogerPavelle
@74 JohnPoint, @79 Thistlepong

Please correct me if I am wrong. I think we are given the following series of events/facts:
Lanre talks to Cthaeh
then Lanre betrays Myr Tariniel
then Selitos pokes out his eye after its fall/betrayal, which gives him extra knowledge and insight.

If we believe Selitos was a good person (Skarpi's story), it doesn't make sense that Selitos (as Cthaeh) would put Lanre on a path that would lead to the destruction of Myr Tariniel, which was the city he loved more than anything else. So, in this instance, I don't think the SEL=CTH theory works because of the personalities involved.

If we go with Denna's story and believe Lanre was the hero instead of Selitos, the SEL=CTH theory becomes more understandable. Selitos' blinded knowledge lets him see all possible futures (as Bast says Cthaeh can). Selitos was renamed Cthaeh in the same way Lanre was renamed Haliax (if he had the future knowledge before that, he would have known Lanre would betray him). I haven't gone back to reread the previous threads, so there are probably other reasons I'm missing.

My issues with this are as follows: There is no evidence that Iax and Selitos were contemporaries (Iax was at the start of the creation war and Selitos at the end, hundreds of years between). Where did Lanre get the naming ability to defeat Selitos (as described in Skarpi's story, where we are also told it was Lyra who was the namer)? How would the Cthaeh have been sealed into its tree after all this had occurred?

So, ultimately, I just don't buy it.

jum bles
93. jumbles

According to Skarpi, "Selitos knew that in all the world there were only three people who could match his skill in names: Aleph, Iax, and Lyra." I take that as meaning that they lived at that same time.
John Graham
94. JohnPoint

As jumbles points out @93, they appear to be contemparies, as per Skarpi. Furthermore, Selitos is credited with protecting MT throughout the Creation War (as Lanre/Lyra are credited with protecting/defending the other cities throughout the war). I get the impression that lifespans were much longer then than now (or, alternatively, that the Ruarch were immortal-ish à la faen, or that the Creation War didn't actually last centuries, and that part is poetic license on the part of Skarpi).

Where did Lanre procure his Naming ability? Good question. I don't have an answer off hand, and I don't think there is much evidence to speculate a viable answer at this point.

How would the Cthaeh have been trapped in the tree afterward: don't know for sure, but several speculative possibilities arise. I'd guess (unsupported from the narrative) that, if CTH=Sel, then someone (probably one of the other powerful shapers, perhaps Aleph, or the "angels" e.g., Tehlu and pals) decided to bind him, using his blood that was present on the stone. It's possible that the Sithe did it too. We have a long gap in the narrative that we don't have any knowledge about. (See the Timeline for more on this...)
96. Caern
I have to agree, Kvothe definitely opens the Loeclos box. It's been said before that the object inside has the weight and feeling of stone or glass. I don't know if someone has already mentioned it or not, but I assume what is inside a piece of the moon, as per the Jax story. A further possibility, I wonder if what is inside is a namer's ring made of the moon. Consequently, you could steal the moon.

Rothfuss mentioned in a semi-recent interview on Reddit in response to a question about what people would see if they looked at the moon with a telescope. For a long time now, and quite similar to the Chronicler topic, I've wondered if he is hiding the Jax story as false-metaphor. We know Rothfuss is a Gaiman fan, and a lot of people have posited Denna as the moon. While I don't fully buy the latter (though there are clear thematic parallels drawn), why can't we have a Stardust thing going on? The moon is really a woman. Perhaps she is Lyra? I haven't fully reconciled the thoughts yet. It would explain why Lanre and the Chandrian are so concerned with the Lackless/Loeclos box.
Pyrrhus Aeacides
97. Pyrrhus
"If the Amyr oppose the Chandrian, why would they both want to destroy the world? As others have suggested about the Chandrian, "the world" could refer to the mortal world or to the Faen realm. From Nina's point of view, the world would definitely be the mortal world. So the Amyr would want (or at least be willing) to destroy the mortal realm. So maybe the Chandrian want to destroy the Faen realm?"

I like it. Clever idea.
Leeland Woodard
98. TheKingOfCarrotFlowers
I'm not sure if this has been brought up before, but I'm convinced that Lanre was "taken over" somehow by Iax.

Assuming that Skarpi's version of events is more or less correct, we know that Hero-Lanre had no skill in naming, and relied on the strength of his arm. We know that Selitos believed that only three people matched his skill in naming: Aleph, Iax, and Lyra. And here's Lanre that gains a ridiculous amount of naming ability in a very, very short time after searching for knowledge where knowledge is better left alone.

Another piece of the puzzle comes in the frame as well as in all of the stories--stories of demons. In the story about Tehlu and Encanis, we get the information that there are demons that go around stealing the skin of men and wearing them around, all incognito. We get confirmation that this is possible in the frame, where the soldier that had previously robbed Chronicler comes in, obviously with a demon (in this case, a member of the Fae race known as the Mael) inside of him. Bast confirms that this hasn't been seen in a while, but it exists.

I believe that when Lanre went to find Lyra, he somehow met Iax, who did some naming (or shaping) trickery and basically "posessed" Lanre. He then starts being known as "Haliax" which, as can be seen, includes the name "Iax".

I don't think that Haliax is purely Iax, but rather he's some kind of fusion between Lanre and Iax, where Iax's evil has more or less taken the helm.
Andrew Loyd
99. DoYouHas

Thanks for the lengthy response. Sorry if my previous posting has lead you to think I am a hothead with this stuff. I tend to frame my points like an argument in hopes of provoking debate and maybe that isn't the best. While I think we will probably end up in the agree-to-disagree column on this one, there is some good discussion to be had along the way.

First I want to talk about the Cthaeh needing to be asked because I am far more convinced of this than the Skarpi story reference. I talked about it a bit in RR SS 20: 39. My assumption here isn't that the Cthaeh has to be asked in order to speak, but rather has to be asked in order to use its extraordinary sight.

Look at Felurian's concerns upon Kvothe's return from the Cthaeh. She asks if he spoke to the Cthaeh, then she asks if he asked of it, then she checks his body thoroughly (probably for a Cthaeh bite), then checks his eyes for madness that might have resulted from their talk. That Felurian checks seperately for 'asking' after 'speaking' gives weight to it as a very important action when dealing with the Cthaeh.

Pair Felurian's reaction with my earlier analysis of how the Cthaeh reacts and changes after Kvothe admits to and asks a personal question. (The "ahhhh" moment and the fact that the Cthaeh doesn't bring up any info that couldn't be easily deduced without extraordinary sight until after the question.) I think it is a pretty strong case for the Cthaeh needing to be asked in order to bring its full 'talents' to bear.

As for the reference in Skarpi's story I must admit I had not given other options like Iax enough consideration. I still think the Cthaeh fits better which I will get into if you would like me to (this post is already long), but because Iax can fit the reference reasonably well I agree with your point that this section doesn't derail the Sel=Cth train.

I would like to say that what I love so much about these books/this discussion is that after so much detailed analysis and personal rereads I consistently get this feeling that I have the KKC theory of everything on the tip of my tongue, or nesting in the back of my head, just out of reach. And then when I to examine it closely it falls apart. That the story gives me this feeling of a natural understanding but still withstands the closest scrutiny without losing its most important secrets is pretty incredible to me. It will almost be sad when D3 comes out and it is over... almost.
100. Jacob O
Interesting as ever. What about Bast though? We know he idolizes Kote, he's Fae, and obviously somewhat youthful. Could Bast perhaps be a half-fae child of Kote and Felurian??
thistle pong
101. thistlepong

I meant the preamble as more of a general rejection of certain types of back and forth that can arise when controversial positions are discussed. I wanted to let folks know I was making an effort to understand them and plea for the same. It's a reminder to me as much as anyone.

I believe I've seen every objection to Selitos/Cthaeh but each individual encountering it for the first time believe hir objection is both new and defining.

Regarding asking and Cthaeh, I think I get the gist of what you're saying but my pedant daemon might be interfering. Comparing and contrasting SS21:99 and SS20:39, I wonder if the fact that Kvothes's first question is actually "Chance?" or that Cthaeh's satisfied "Ahhhh" comes before the questions you find relevant bear in any way on your proposition. Or if the fact that Kvothe doesn't even ask about the Chandrian does.

Is your core argument that once Kvothe asks about the Amyr, Cthaeh's abilities come fully on, so to speak, and he sees the Chandrian question sitting in Kvothe's heart like a stone?
thistle pong
102. thistlepong
If we're to accept Selitos = Cthaeh, we're somewhat forced into the following chronology:
Lanre betrayal
Self blinding with stone
Talk with God (described above)

Stuck in tree

I'm happy to hear people's thoughts on how these could be resolved, because I can't come up with anything that doesn't involve making up new events from whole cloth for which there's no textual evidence.
If Lanre spoke to the Cthaeh before betraying Myr Tariniel, that would be before Selitos put out his eye in order to revenge himself on Lanre/Haliax.

Please correct me if I am wrong. I think we are given the following series of events/facts:
Lanre talks to Cthaeh
then Lanre betrays Myr Tariniel
then Selitos pokes out his eye after its fall/betrayal, which gives him extra knowledge and insight.
These are all essentially correct. They just don't contradict the theory. Nothing needs to be altered or invented.

Lanre spoke to the Cthaeh(/Lanre spoke to Selitos)...
They often kep each other's council, for they were both lords among their people.
...before he orchestreted the betrayal of Myr Tariniel.

This is not a new event. Just like the implication that Iax and Selitos were contemporaries, this implies multiple previous conversations. It's not elegant or beautiful, but it leaves open the possibility.

In both "Lanre Turned" and "The Song of the Seven Sorrows" one of the congruities is Selitos's surprise. Clearly he didn't expect Lanre to do that. In the other probable story of the Cthaeh, "The Boy Who Loved the Moon," the hermit finds himself dismayed by Jax's actions as well.* It's a parallel.

To be honest, I'm not even sure why that chronology feels forced. It makes perfect sense to me. Selitos was eventually determined by some party to be to dangerous to roam free and was confined to the tree.

We even have, in the text, a story about a dangerous bastard being bound to a device under/near a tree with an abjuration against mendacity.

None of this makes me comfortable. And even now, it's difficult to throw off certain prejudices I have about the text and look at it dispassionately. None of it fell into place without JohnPoint's insight.

That's something I'd urge folks to keep in mind when they think about this. I don't believe JohnPoint is correct because I think Cthaeh is Selitos. I beleive that he's correct and that has implications for the story whether I like them or not.

I should address TheYllest and Pyrrhus with the same attention, but I won't get the opportunity for some time. In brief, Pyrrus levies objections of hir own at the amber theory. I'd add that amber forms over a significantly longer time period than the text proposes and that multiple voices, including Cthaeh himself, state that he's not the tree. TheYllest similarly and effectively questions hir own assertion. I'm not sure what to add at this time.
Carl Banks
103. robocarp
When Bast says that Lanre and Iax spoke to the Cthaeh before doing their bad deeds, I have a hard time believing that he means that Lanre and Iax happened to be buddies on speaking terms with the person we would later know as the Cthaeh. To me it clearly sounds like Bast means those two consulted the Cthaeh like an oracle.

If the Cthaeh turns out to be Selitos, Bast's words would technically be true, but not likely in the way he meant them to be true. Therefore, I do regard this as a point against it being Selitos. Or, rather, I would, if I trusted Bast much.

As it is, I think Bast knowledge is questionable. Bast was probably repeating some faerie "common knowledge" about the Ctheah that could have conveniently omitted that Iax and Lanre were actually friends with the Cthaeh on speaking terms. So, if you accept that Bast is telling faerie stories, this isn't really a point against Selitos. But then you have to wonder if the faerie story has any truth at all.
John Graham
104. JohnPoint
robocarp@103 --
So, if you accept that Bast is telling faerie stories, this isn't really a point against Selitos. But then you have to wonder if the faerie story has any truth at all.
I think this is a key point that people often overlook. Bast's knowledge is based on what he believes. What stories he has heard about the Cthaeh. What is "common knowledge" in the fae. Remember, saying the Cthaeh's name is "like spitting poison in someone's ear", so much of what he believes about the Cthaeh is likely information that he gleaned from his youth living in the fae, rather than from a specific, completely accurate history. Bast is only 150 years old, so he wasn't around for the historical events -- he's repeating his understanding/interpretation of common fae knowledge.

Just like the Chandrian skipping rhyme is common knowledge in the 4C, and contains grains of the truth, but not the complete truth.

KKC is a story about stories, and how they change over time. I see no reason that Fae stories should be immune to change. So, yes, I do doubt the complete veracity of Bast's story. I think it holds some truth (as do all of the stories that we see in the narrative), but I don't think that it can be literally taken as 100% true.
Igor Bugaenko
105. BioLogIn
#31 "Archives might have originally been built as a prison, with the four-plate door as its only cell"

#87 "Jax/Iax I believe is currently at the University behind the four plate door."

No, no, no. Four plate door leads to some ancient tombs. Because Auri is princess Ariel.


Well, let's go throught it slowly:
1. Auri is a princess (named Ariel/Auriel).
1a. She is a student of the University that accepts nobility mostly.
1b. Even among nobility she can be distinquished by a certaing degree of refinement, even despite he "homeless" state. The way she eats, the way she talks, the way she holds her back straight, she doesn't accept second-hand clothes, etc.
1c. Masters didn't "crock" her - too much repercussions for the University if they put a royal person into Haven. Much better to consider her missing and have Elodin to watch over her.
1d. Name similarity, given Kvothe's prowess in "subconscious" naming, is notable too.

2. Kvothe is known for saving a princess from a "sleeping barrow kings" (note the plural, it is interesting). While it is possible there will be multiple princesses waiting to be saved in D3, for now I think it is safe to assume he saves Auri.

4. And what 'better' place for Auri to find troubles then some unexplored section of Underthing... which, as we know, is connected to Archives.

5. Kvothe hid he sword in the Underthing in the end of WMF. From a 'meta' point of view, it makes a great sense if he will have to rush to save Auri trapped somewhere in the Underthing - he would not have time to recover it (from Ankers) otherwise.

6. Also, Fela dreamt about four plate door being a tomb of a dead king, named Valaritas. I don't think it was a prophetic dream per se; rather it is likely that she might have seen some mention of it in a book (or have heard something from some Masters talking, etc.), forgot about that, then her subconscious processed it while she was dreaming.

Given all this, I'm quite positive that Kvothe will save Auri from some disaster in the Underthing and they will emerge from four plated door, opening it from the _other_ side =) Imagine his carrying her out.

Also it is possible that this will be the event that will help Auri to regain her sanity. And that will earn Kvothe an invitation to Renere (which we will see in D3 as per Pat's interview), in case Auri is a Vintish princess.

P.S. Apologies for lengthy first post here.

P.P.S. Thanks to Jo for reviving this discussion. Been reading / lurking here for quite a while, and it is nice to see people still posting here.
Jo Walton
106. bluejo
We'll be posting here until the Aleu fall from the sky, or until D3 comes, whichever happens first!
John Graham
107. JohnPoint
Jo@106 -- I think there's a good chance that we'll be posting long after D3 arrives... Perhaps a more appropriate phrasing would have been that we'll be posting here until the Aleu fall nameless from the sky, or until D3 comes, whichever happens last! ;)

(And that may well be D3...)
Sahi Rioth
108. Sahirioth
Jo @ 106, JohnPoint @107

Since we don't know what/who the Aleu are, any heretofore unnamed form of precipitation - not necessarily water, mind you - COULD (as far as we know) qualify. So the "Aleu-fall" meteorological phenomena could be closer than you think, or might already have happened. Just sayin'...
Andrew Loyd
109. DoYouHas

I would say the core of my argument is that Felurian and the Cthaeh's reactions support the notion that asking a question is a very important action when dealing with the Cthaeh. Exactly why it is so important is speculation like most of the discussion surrounding the Cthaeh.

Changing subjects a tiny bit, I think that the Rhinna flower being a panacea supports the Cthaeh having always been in the tree. Or at least the flower wasn't present until the Cthaeh came to occupy the tree.
Linnet Innisfree
110. Linnie
@BioLogIn 105

I love this theory! When I read the books I thought Auri was somehow one of Tehlu's angels, but she could be how you describe it... I like Iax being behind the doors of the university though. Maybe Iax is the sleeping barrow king and in saving Auri, Kvothe lets him out to unmake the world. It seems the kind of thing Kvothe might do... or maybe I just like both theories too much ^__^

I think the flower of the Cth's tree has to be unique. Otherwise, you'd go to a safer Rhinna for your cure-all.
Carl Banks
111. robocarp
BigLogIn @ 105
Lonnie @ 110

I could definitely see Auri being Princess Ariel and even an angel (someone posted an interesting theory that all of Kvothe's friends were angels, with Kvothe being Andan and Auri being Ordal--interesting not for being true but for being a fascinating parallel).

However, there is nothing about D3 I am more confident in than that four-plate door being opened from the outside and containing something (or someone) significant. Furthermore, I don't think Kvothe is going to be the one to do it, but that's less certain.

Here's why. One of the main points of tension in NOTW was the fact that Kvothe was banned from the archives, and couldn't get in to read all those books with the information the Chandrian he thought were in there. The tension was relieved when Kvothe found the hidden entrance in the Underthing near the end.

And yet, about 40 pages into WMF Elodin gets Loren to admit Kvothe to the Archives, not more than a term later. And the Archives don't contain the information he needs. What was the point of all that drama, then?

The ingenuity that Kvothe displays to find the entrance is unsatisfying from a storytelling standpoint unless it comes into play later. Kvothe doesn't need to use the hidden entrance any more, but someone else does, and she clearly wants to get into the Archives bad. I mean Devi, of course, who offered Kvothe 40 talents and to sleep with him if he showed her the way. And I'm pretty sure Devi isn't interested in the books (especially since the Masters have removed all the good ones).

That leaves the four-plate door. The only way for Kvothe's adventure finding the hidden entrance to mean anything is if someone, probably Devi, uses it to get in and open that door.
Kate Hunter
112. KateH
@robocarp, #111 re: four-plate door, Underthing access to archives

This is a very interesting point that I had not considered. I think you're right that the Underthing tunnel leading to the archives is significant. It has to be in the narrative for a reason. However, I think Devi has cut a deal with someone, probably Ambrose (or his proxy, since he does everything at a remove, plus she hates Ambrose), for access to the archives. As I've sketched out in detail before. And I doubt Ambrose knows of the tunnel.

That just leaves the purpose of the tunnel entirely unexplained in my mind. I think the purpose of the underthing itself has been stratigraphy - to make the point that the Uni is built on ancient foundations. The tunnel though... I dunno. Its narrative function could easily connect to that four-plate door.
Kate Hunter
113. KateH
For anyone who hasn't already seen it, this video of PR reading The Princess and Mr. Whiffle is worth watching. Of particular interest to me was Pat's comment at the end, that readers can't really get the story until they read through it a second time. Because you don't see what you're seeing, you don't know what you're looking for, until you've already read everything once. Pat explicitly states that his other works are like that too.

To that I just want to say: collectively the speculators and obsessive re-readers here have done a tremendous job, IMO, in teasing out possible narrative trajectories and information hidden in plain view. I have no doubt that D3 will hold surprises for all of us. But I also have no doubt that some speculations in this re-read will turn out to be amazingly accurate.
Linnet Innisfree
114. Linnie
@ Robocarp
Devi..? Devi gets into the archives and opens the door, not Kvothe with his knack for undoing and making things far more complicated than they need to be? Maybe. I get your point, how much she wants to get into the archives and how the secret tunnel should be important... I guess Kvothe would probably still blame himself for it like how he's all "I burned down the town of Trebon".

@ KateH 113
Princess and Mr Wiffle is totally epic ^__^ Love that book. But... does Emmy start off as a he and turn into a she? When Pat Rothfuss reads it he always says 'he' but the words look like they change to she once Emmy was found with the Thing.
Carl Banks
115. robocarp
KateH @ 112

Yes, I remember that post well, and I agree that there's a good case for everything you write in it, except for Devi getting access to the Archives, because I think as soon as Devi found out we would all know about it.

One thing your post did suggest to me is that perhaps Devi does not necessarily want in herself, but has a buyer who would pay a lot for that information. I like it, because I like to think of Devi as amoral rather than immoral. Another possibility is that Kvothe gets kicked out and has to get back in to open the door. I suppose it's possible that Kvothe has to use the secret entrance to stop the door from being opened; maybe Devi found other means to get in. So I back off on my certainty of the door being opened per se; but I'm still certain someone will use the secret entrance and do something with the door.

Again, since the Archives have been censored, there's doesn't seem to be much point using the secret entrance just to get access to the books.
Jeremy Raiz
116. Jezdynamite
I feel the secret entrance has already been used signifcantly as a plot device, and doesn't need to be developed/used further. It won't surprise me if it is used in D3, but it's been well used already.

It enabled Kvothe to learn about the complex Archives without anyone (other than Fela and Auri) the wiser - allowing him to do thorough searches once he gained legitimate access, it gave Kvothe more motivation to get to know Auri better, it enabled Kvothe to barter with Devi to make a deal he would otherwise not be able to make, and it introduced us to the Underthing.
Kate Hunter
117. KateH
@robocarp, #115
I agree that there's a good case for everything you write in it, except for Devi getting access to the Archives, because I think as soon as Devi found out we would all know about it.
Just out of curiosity, why do you think we'd know about it as soon as Devi gets access to the Archives?

K's meeting with Devi happens very close to the end of WMF. From the reading, it's possible that she's only just closed the deal on access to the Archives (by selling information about K/his loan collateral) when K shows up on her doorstep. If memory serves, that encounter between K & Devi (including dinner out) is the last we see of Devi in WMF. She may not have had time to do anything at all with newly secured access to the Archives by the book's end.
118. smock_smock_smock
Hi hi, longtime lurker here, infrequent poster. I love geeking out with y'all about the KKC, if only vicariously!

Re: the Cthaelitos theory

Stick me in the Cthaeh = Cthaeh camp. Or at least Cthaeh != Selitos; maybe the Cthaeh is someone else?

I'd like to add, or at least re-inject, a couple of points to the discussion. I don't have my books in front of me, so thanks in advance for correcting any inaccuracies. Much of this has been discussed in earlier reread threads, so I'm really just connecting the dots.

1) Lanre, Lyra and the Cthaeh's panacea

(a) We know that after Lyra's death, Lanre scoured the earth for ANY way to bring Lyra back from the dead.

(b) We also know that the flowers of the Cthaeh's tree are (at least reputedly) a cure-all. The textual evidence here is the frame scene where Bast reveals this fact to Kote, and the innkeeper looks down meaningfully at his once-clever hands.

2) Lanre's naming power, Haliax's closed doors, and the bite of the Cthaeh

(a) We know that sometime between Lyra's death and the fall of Myr Tariniel, Lanre acquired great naming power. Not just run-of-the-mill naming power, but enough power to bind Selitos. Naming power on the level of Aleph, Iax and/or Lyra -- the three known peers of Selitos. We also know that Lanre was "turned" from the Cities' defender to Myr Tariniel's betrayer. So how exactly did Lawful-Good-Warrior Lanre become Chaotic-Evil-Wizard Lanre? What turned Boromir into Saruman?

(b) We know that a conversation with the Cthaeh (a Cthonversation?) is bad, bad juju. When Kvothe returned to Felurian after his Cthonversation, she was worried that he'd spoken to the Cthaeh, but she was terrified that he might've been bitten. Which is apparently worse. Why? What exactly does a Cthaeh bite do?

(c) We suspect that the doors of the mind are barred to Lanre/Haliax -- no sleep, forgetting, madness, or death. Whence this curse? With the possible exception of the door of death, these were not among Selitos' dooms upon Lanre, which shadowed his face and turned his name turned against him "until the world ends and the Aleu fall nameless from the sky."

3) my theories

(a) I think Lanre's search took him to the Cthaeh's physical location -- in the Faen, in the tree -- to pick a flower to bring Lyra back. (9/10 on my totally subjective confidence scale)

(b) I think that the Cthaeh bit Lanre and turned him into proto-Haliax. I think that a Cthaeh bite makes you "Hated. Hopeless. Sleepless. Sane." (8/10)

(c) I think that Lanre's conversion to Haliax "somehow" involved Iax. (9/10 -- names are important things!) I think Iax was the source of Lanre's naming power. (8/10) It could've been Aleph or undead Lyra, but my money's on Iax.

If true, 3a and 3b seem a strongish counterpoint to the Cthaelitos theory, no? If Cthaelitos was already living in the tree, how could Cthaelitos make it back to Myr Tariniel for the eye-gouge scene?

If we lump Lanre's alignment change in with his class change, then 3c raises the interesting possibility that the Cthaeh is Iax. (3/10 for me on that one -- I think they were probably different events.) Or maybe the Cthaeh evillized* Lanre with a bite, then planted just the right seed in his mind to start him down the road to Iax's power...


* FWIW, like many posters I'm fascinated by the ethics in the KKC. In the above, I'm using "good" and "evil" as defined in the moral reference frame of Skarpi's story. But I suspect D3 will blast such notions of moral absolutes out of the sky, pew pew.
Carl Banks
119. robocarp
Kate @ 117
Just out of curiosity, why do you think we'd know about it as soon as Devi gets access to the Archives?
Mainly because I wouldn't expect Devi to sit on it. Nothing is certain, but again, I don't think in there is much point to break into the archives except to open the 4-plate door (or stop it from being opened), and if the door opened we'd know about it. If nothing else, Kvothe would notice that it's been opened. (You know he goes into the archives and leans against the door, stroking it gently, in his downtime.)

BTW, Devi actually does appear at the very end of WMF. She dines with the rest of Kvothe's friends to celebrate him embezzling 20 talents from the Maer.
Pyrrhus Aeacides
120. Pyrrhus

I think you touch on what may be the strongest textual evidence against Selitos = Cthaeh. I think there are other plausible interpretations though.

From Lanre Turned:
“Will you kill me to cure me, old friend?” Lanre laughed again, terrible and wild. Then he looked at Selitos with sudden, desperate hope in his hollow eyes. “Can you?” he asked. “Can you kill me, old friend?”

Selitos, his eyes unveiled, looked at his friend. He saw how Lanre, nearly mad with grief, had sought the power to bring Lyra back to life again. Out of love for Lyra, Lanre had sought knowledge where knowledge is better left alone, and gained it at a terrible price.
(Emphasis added.) Seeking knowledge where it is better left alone - very similar to how Bast describes asking questions of the Cthaeh.

First, though, note what comes next.
But even in the fullness of his hard-won power, he could not call Lyra back. Without her, Lanre’s life was nothing but a burden, and the power he had taken up lay like a hot knife in his mind. To escape despair and agony, Lanre had killed himself. Taking the final refuge of all men, attempting to escape beyond the doors of death.

But just as Lyra’s love had drawn him back from past the final door before, so this time Lanre’s power forced him to return from sweet oblivion. His new-won power burned him back into his body, forcing him to live.

Selitos looked at Lanre and understood all. Before the power of his sight, these things hung like dark tapestries in the air about Lanre’s shaking form.
(Emphasis added again.) Seeing and understanding all - this too is very much like what the Cthaeh does.

If the place "where knowledge better left alone" is not from the Cthaeh, there is still one good place we can imagine it to be: beyond the doors of stone. The power he sought could be power from Iax - a reshaping of his name, changing it to Haliax. Perhaps Iax even put a piece of his own name into Lanre. Visiting Iax may be a better explanation than the Cthaeh. We know that the Cthaeh sees all, speaks the truth, and has healing flowers, but we don't know that it could change Lanre's name or make him immortal. It seems to be more of a namer, or at least a see-er.

Re: the Cthaeh and asking. It is interesting that Lanre doesn't ask Selitos any questions until after he has bound him.
Igor Bugaenko
121. BioLogIn
robocarp @ 111

I think Archives have already served the plot purpose - Kvothe confirmed his suspicions about Amyr being active and pruning records about them. This switched his target from Chandarian to Amyr, and that's why he spoke with Maer the way he did, etc...


Also, I think that Cth=Cth. To me, saying that Cth=Selitos (because both posess a remarkable clear sight) is like saying that Kvothe=Devi (because both have talent for sympathy).


Also, I have another question / theory for you all (I don't recall if Kvothe's eyes were already discussed here, so I apologize if this is not new). In KKC we have 3 persons with eyes that change colour depending on mood, and 2 of those persons are Fae (Felurian and Bast). Is that a reason enough to suspect that Kvothe has Fae blood in him?
Kate Hunter
122. KateH
@smock3, #118 re: Lanre/Haliax...CTH
I think that Lanre's conversion to Haliax "somehow" involved Iax. ...I think Iax was the source of Lanre's naming power.
This has been discussed brilliantly by those with more chemistry background than me. Hal is a root word for salt, so Haliax= salt of Iax, which ties in fairly conclusively with Lanre's twice mentioned intention of sowing salt lest weeds grow. How it ties in with Meluan claiming she'd sooner salt every acre of the Lackless lands than cut open the Lackless box is far less clear.

I'm liking your CTH bite idea wrt Lanre's 180. I've read a lot of the discussion here and haven't seen that one before. Nice thinking.

@robocarp, #119 re: Devi accessing Archives

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by Devi "sitting on it." I think if she's gained access to the Archives she'll move very carefully to preserve that clandestine access, whatever she wants it for. If Ambrose is helping her, she may be accessing it late at night to avoid notice. And that would mean she's not accessing it through the Underthing, so Auri wouldn't know and therefore K wouldn't know. Also, it's a stretch to me to believe that Devi's aim is to open the four-plate door AND that she knows how to do that. That sort of knowledge would be very closely guarded unless I miss my guess. I don't know why Devi wants access to the Archives so badly, but it's at least reasonably plausible that she merely wants to further her education independently. In fact, Devi's overwhelming desire for that access could - to my mind - merely be the plot device that gives Ambrose the scoop on K's attachment to D. Maybe.
123. smock_smock_smock
@Pyrrhus, #120

Thanks for the quotes! That clears up some timing for me. I'd forgotten that Lanre was already twice undead before Selitos cursed him. Something else -- the source of the naming power, by the sound of it -- closed that door of the mind to him, then.

I agree that a visit to the enemy (presumably Iax) that had been set behind the doors of stone sure fits the bill for "seeking knowledge where knowledge is better left alone."
Perhaps Iax even put a piece of his own name into Lanre.

@KateH, #122
Hal is a root word for salt, so Haliax= salt of Iax, which ties in fairly conclusively with Lanre's twice mentioned intention of sowing salt lest weeds grow.
Ahh, right, I'd forgotten about that discussion. (It's been a while since I reread the rereads...) I've been imagining Haliax translates to "Hand of Iax," "Body of Iax," "Minion of Iax," or something. "Salt of Iax" does seem to fit with the text and Pat's predilictions, though!
John Graham
124. JohnPoint
Re "Haliax"

Something to remember is that "Haliax" is not his Name, at least according to the Adem. Rather, his Name is Alaxel, which is less likely to be a derivation of "Salt of Iax" or something like that.

"Haliax" is likely a "calling name", or potentially just a way for Kvothe to refer to him, without using his actual Name. We believe that Skarpi uses the name "Haliax", and we think that Cinder uses it when he refers to Lord Haliax, but we don't actually know. Cinder may well have said "Lord Alaxel" and Kvothe changed it to "Haliax" to avoid using the real name twice. Alternatively, "Haliax" may be used as a calling name since it is similar to his Name, and it makes allusions to salt, etc. Regardless, I don't think that it should be taken as evidence that, a) Iax reshaped Lanre's name to include a piece of his own name, or b) it's somehow alchemically important in the "true" story.
thistle pong
125. thistlepong
offtopic question:

Re: Forgotten Worldbuilders Stretch Goals

from last year: (possibly incomplete)
Secrets of the Four Corners Calendar
The Lockless Box
Has there been any word on either of these?

When the secrets goal was announced it was as "of the calendar and currency." The currency widget came was developed fairly quickly, but the I haven't seen anything about the calendar.*

As far as I can tell, neither Pat's blog nor Geek Chic themselves have released even an update about the Box.

from this year:
Pat and Amber Benson Write Naughty Stories
Pat gets Dork Towered
Brian Brushwood teaches Pat to breathe fire
Nate Taylor Draws a Detailed Map of the Four Corners
Pat Rothfuss Watches and Livestreams The Hobbit
Pat & Brett revamp the College Survival Guide
Pat & Amber read naughty fiction
Again, as far as I can tell, there have been no updates regarding any of these. Have y'all heard anything?

* In lieu of that, here's a practical translation of the appendix in Der Name Des Windes I put together last month:
Calendar and Currencies


The Aturan calendar year consists of eight months: Thaw, Equis, Caitelyn, Solace, Lannis, Reaping, Fallow and Dearth and the final seven days of High Mourning, where the winter solstice is celebrated. The months consist of four "spans" of eleven days.

The days are Luten, Shuden, Theden, Feochen, Orden, Hepten, Chaen, Felling, Reaving, Cendling, and Mourning.

Chaen means, as mentioned in Chapter 12, "seven,” and originally the span ended with this seventh day.

The last four days of the span, added later, have religious and historical significance related to the story told by Trapis in Chapter 23.

Felling - “This is the day when Tehlu felled Encanis.”
Reaving - The day on which he carried off the demon
Cendling - “The day they lit the fire that would burn Encanis.”
Mourning - “The day they mourn the death of Tehlu.”


The most common currency is the Cealdish. It is closely monitored by the Cealdish authorities and is quite well protected against forgery thanks to cross-border law enforcement agreements. As a stable world trading currency, it is universally recognized and accepted, and in every major city you will find Cealdish money lenders and changers.

Cealdish coins are trapezoidal and therefore, if they are stacked upon one another, they look like small metal ingots.

Their individual values ??are the shim, the drab, the jot, the talent and the mark. The shim, a coin made ??of cheap cast iron, does not fall under the Cealdish Coinage Act and may therefore be influenced by anyone. It is only worth as much as the metal from which it is made and, to prevent confusion with a drab, it is marked on one side with an "X".

It is calculated as follows:
11-14 Shims = 1 Iron Drab
10 Iron Drabs = 1 Copper Jot
10 Copper Jots = 1 Silver Talent
10 Silver Talents = 1 Gold Mark

The currency of the Commonwealth, which is mentioned in Tarbean a few times is not even widely recognized in its country of origin, as any major city and every province there has the right to mint its own coins. The common standards are often not met, and the individual cities operate with slightly different weights and degrees of purity. In the regional context that raises no major problems, but the further away you get from the minting of a coin, the more skeptically this money will generally be viewed. This is also the reason why all transactions are processed in good, solid Cealdish currency at the university.

The individual values ??of the Commonwealth currency are the Iron Penny, the Ha’Penny, theCopper Penny and the Silver Penny.
Steven Halter
126. stevenhalter
thistlepong@125:Looking through the 2012 worldbuilder posts I see for the stretch goals:
$50,000: Details about the currencies of Four Corners revealed.
$100,000: Pat’s favorite things added to the Lottery
$150,000: An interview with Amber Benson.
$200,000: A chance to visit Heifer Ranch with Pat Rothfuss.
$250,000: Books from Pat’s private horde added to the lottery.
$300,000: A Favor from Pat added to the lottery.
$350,000: The Lockless Box designed by Geek Chiq.
$400,000: An extra $100,000 donated to Heifer.
$450,000: SUPER-Secret-Surprise Stretch Goal #2.
$500,000: Trey Ratcliff, Veronica Belmont, and Pat Rothfuss visit a Nepalese Heifer project and report back.
He mentions that he has been asked many times about the calendar and currency but I don't see a goal of the calendar anywhere.

The box was listed as an auction and a winnable thing, so I would guess that it got bought and sent.
thistle pong
127. thistlepong
Thanks, Steven. I wonder if I can find the announcement. Originally he had mentioned the calendar as well. I vaguely remember the goal changing. At least that makes it obvious that they never intended to release it.

With regard to the Box, here's the announcement:
It will be a functional puzzle box designed by a consortium of the most profoundly crafty fuckers in existence.

If we hit 350K, Geek Chic will design the box. They will make the box. And you will be able to buy the box or win it as part of future Worldbuilders festivities.
If it had been produced, we should have seen it in this year's fundraiser.
Steven Halter
128. stevenhalter
A little more searching and I see (Jan 18, 2013 post):
Firstly: Since the blog went up yesterday, we’ve gone from $328,000 to over $363,000. We blew past the Lockless Box stretch goal and are steadily climbing our way toward the extra $100,000 for Heifer. That’s the true power you folks have, right there.
The box stretch goal was:
If we hit 350K, Geek Chic will design the box. They will make the box.
And you will be able to buy the box or win it as part of future Worldbuilders festivities.
I don't see any more mention of the Lockless box, so I must now presume that its production is taking a while and did not occur in the latest Worldbuilders. It does just say a future Worldbuilders, so we will await it expectantly.
thistle pong
129. thistlepong
I was able to Wayback the announcement:
I’ll go into more detail about some of these stretch goals as they get closer. But the first of these is a request that’s come from the regular readers of my blog. Over the years, I’ve had countless requests that I explain the details about the calendar and the currency system of the Four Corners.

So. After we hit 50K, that’s just what I’ll do. I’ll spill some of the secrets of my world onto the blog. And for the hardcore geeks out there, we’ll even put up a cool widget that will do conversions between Vintish pennies and Cealdish jots.

$50,000: Details about the currencies and calendar of Four Corners revealed.
my emphasis

So it did change (ed: changed between December '11 and January '12). Anyway, I was really just wondering if I'd missed any word of the newer ones and tossed those on there 'cause our discussion of the box came up in the search.
thistle pong
130. thistlepong
There was an interesting bit in Pat's most recent blog regarding the Faen Pairs deck.
Remmen is currently wearing a loincloth and his cloak of autumn leaves.
It's just kind of there, casually, with no thought to spoilers or anything, like it's no big deal. I was never much of a fan of the, um, Bast Kvotheson theory, but this kind of seems to put it to rest unless he's got suspiciously red hair. That, though, seems like it would then have been spoilerly.

(And points to AFox for teasing out the Oak King imagery and having it born out, if not in exactly the right place.)

ed: of course the one time it lets me link it ruins copypasta
Steven Halter
131. stevenhalter
thistlepong@129:That's interesting. Nothing can hide from the all-seeing Wayback.
John Graham
132. JohnPoint
thistle @129 -- a gentle reminder to Pat via email might actually produce some results. Not a nagging/demanding "you said that you would... when are you finally going to...", but rather a humorous email just checking in on the status of the stretch goals.

Or, perhaps even more productive would be an email to Amanda...
thistle pong
133. thistlepong
I just wondered if anyone had seen anything about them. He promised a Bestiary on the website in 2007, too, and I have no intention of asking him when that's coming, either ;-)
134. androgynes
anyone else spotted that:

Product details
Hardcover: 896 pages
Publisher: Gollancz (20 Aug 2015)
ISBN-10: 0575081449
ISBN-13: 978-0575081444

thistle pong
135. thistlepong

Amazon posted it in January. They have to put in a date, but that one is not legitimate.
Ryan Murray
136. TheYllest
Any thoughts on who Cimbreline is? The name rings no bells for me, but I thought maybe our department of imaginary linguistics might be able to come up with something.
She is a character in the Faen Court Pairs deck according to James Ernest and will be modelled after renowned PR impersonaor, Mary Robinette Kowal.
Kate Hunter
137. KateH
re: Cimbreline

Oh, good. I'm glad I'm not the only one drawing a blank there. No idea at all.
thistle pong
138. thistlepong
re: Cimbreline

(removed hogwash when new information came to light, man)
Sahi Rioth
139. Sahirioth
I just backed the Pairs kickstarter (4 decks, of course - get ALL the Rothfussia... Yeah, that's a word now. Totally.)

And therefore I keep coming back to check the blog. Today, there was this:
This card is The Hollow Gods. You don’t know about them yet.
But you will. Soon….
That's referring to a card from the Modegan deck. It's shown at the bottom of the "Upcoming appearances" blog just posted. Suddenly I feel like the Modeg novel might just be enough to keep me alive until D3.
Ryan Murray
140. TheYllest
Re: Cimbreline

James Ernest made a correction saying the MRK would be lending her likeness and costume expertise to the Modegan Deck, not the Faen. He did not clarify if Cimbreline is in the Faen Deck or Modegan.
thistle pong
141. thistlepong

When I saw the card, before the blog post, I figured it had something to do with the "gods all around us" invoked by Sovoy and Bredon. I asked him about it in last night's AMA and he at least implied that was correct.

The "Hollow" bit... I dunno. There are eyes in the hollow of the tree and a vaguely humanoid figure in the fire. I'm inclined to think they're, like, one remove from animist; not fire gods or tree gods but gods in the hollow spaces. But like he says, we don't know (much) about them.

From the AMA

He confirmed that Modegans are non-white, but didn't give a referent other than "a little dusky." This is commensurate with textual descriptions and the Fela playing card.

He implied that Elodin's in the Faen Pairs deck.

Some other interesting stuff from lately:

Rogues (with "The Lightning Tree" - the 22,000 word Bast novella) has been pushed up to June 17th and is available for pre-order.

He's still working on the Laniel novel. Day 3 is still in alpha.

He spoke at some length in a Pairs hangout about the rankings in the core deck; with the Ruh being below beggars and bandits and Tinkers being above the Amyr. The Ruh are reviled because they (are perceived to) violate the sancity of hospitality. At least a bandit doesn't try to ingratiate hirself while robbing you. And no one in the world would even think of robbing a Tinker; it's one of the few cross-cultural beliefs.
Kate Hunter
142. KateH
I noticed something odd about the Hollow Gods card. There are little jets of light around the fire that should be coming through gaps in the stones lining the fire pit. Except there aren't any gaps visible between the stones. That could be clumsy artistic license, I suppose. But on the other hand, nothing in a sketch or painting just ends up in the picture by accident. Unless your artist is Steadman or Pollack, of course.

In other words, who can say if it's significant or not. Good to see such dedicated continuity of ambiguity from text to card game. I feel very reassured.
John Graham
143. JohnPoint
Re "The Hollow Gods" : My interpretation was similar to Thistle's, though I interpreted "hollow" as a "copse, low stand of forest, or valley/cove" rather than as an "empty space". (However, , the image Pat posted on his blog is titled "empty-god-roughv2.jpg" so that might contradict my interpretation...)

Also, if you embiggen the image, the fire itself definitely has a humanoid shape -- I see a head with glowing eye, shoulders and back, and two arms with hands (the right hand also appears to be holding some form of wand or spear out of light).
Jeremy Raiz
144. Jezdynamite
Also, the smoke given off by the fire (in the "Hollow Gods" card) appears to form an eerie face (at the top of the plume).
John Graham
145. JohnPoint
Jez @144 -- Ooooh! Yeah! That's new, at least from the version that I saw before. I see a head (face obscured), right arm, and hand. And there's an image on the bark of the right tree (just to the left of the eyes). Almost looks like a young girl.

Pat also posted a preliminary draft of the White Riders card. ::excited slightly crazed suspense::
146. KKCaaron
Not new reader of the post, but new commentor.....and I love these rereads, as it keeps me excited about Day 3. Besides the hollow gods and posts about the white riders, I thought PR's comment about the Chandrian card to be really telling something: "Early on in the kickstarter, people asked if the Seven card would be the Chandrian. It's a sensible questeion. Chaen does mean seven after all..... That said, the answer is a resounding "no ." These are decks of cards *from* the four corners. A deck of cards like that simply wouldn't exist. if it ever did exist, it would have been burnt down to the waterline long, long ago. " Is PR taking this to mean that Chandrian are not of the Four Corners - From Fae, or is there another world? Super Excited with these little Teases.
Steven Halter
147. stevenhalter
KKCaaron@146:I think that PR is saying that people from the 4C would not put Chandrian on a card. People dislike the Chandrian in general. They are bad luck.
John Graham
148. JohnPoint
And the Chandrian (or somebody, the Amyr?) would have destroyed the cards long ago, as we see with all the other references and images of them, other than a few kids stories and vague allusions in the Archives.
thistle pong
149. thistlepong
There was also this:
Lastly, we’re adding something similar to the Modegan Deck as well. The seven in that deck is Mendicants, and now each card will show a different type of traveler coming into town. There will be Tinkers, trade caravans, wandering Amari, and, of course, the dreaded Edema Ruh.
It's probably just some form of Modegan traveling entertainer or beggar, but the word looks and sounds awfully familiar. I've never been a supporter of the Imre->Amyr-re thing. I honestly don't know if anyone still is. I did a quick DoIL search and it looks like it's the plural form of the adjective "bitter" in Italian.
Ryan Murray
150. TheYllest
We saw the same thing. Also, Auri has been to the Fae?
And I started to think, wouldn’t it be cool to have more Mortal Guests? Like maybe some character from the books? Like maybe Kvothe? and Elodin? And Auri?
Could she have paid a visit to the Cthaeh, causing her broken-headedness, and now she hides beacuse the Sithe are searching for her? Only one scenario, but an interesting one...
Kate Hunter
151. KateH
@ thistlepong, #149 re: Amari

Yes, I made the bitter association too (Amaretto, amaretti). I'm certain that our beloved wordsmith is/was aware of the linguistic connotation of amar. But it doesn't follow that he intended for the word to have that association in the context of 4C. I would find it more persuasive that Amari has some linguistic connection with Amyr than with a Latin root word. But that's just a gut feeling.

@Yllest, #150 re: Mortal Guest Auri
Could have paid a visit to the Cthaeh, causing her broken-headedness, and now she hides beacuse the Sithe are searching for her? Only one scenario, but an interesting one...
If you ran with this hypothesis, then Auri's every action would be a contribution to the worst possible outcome. I'm utterly convinced that Auri is wholly benevolent, though this of course doesn't obliterate the possibility that she is inadvertantly causing great harm. On the other hand, Auri as a mortal guest could totally be a what-if scenario that bears no resemblance to real events in 4C.

Has anyone asked PR yet whether Elodin & Auri have really visited the Fae? I'm sure someone will soon.
thistle pong
152. thistlepong

Yah, um, I was just throwing stuff out there. I, er, included the Amyr connection. I wasn't explicit 'cause I couldn't exactly remember how Old Cob pronounced Amaray or whatever, and that's kind of the intermediate needed to connect them. And, uh, I don't actually like the theory but I enjoy reading about it from the people who do.

I threw the "bitter" bit on there 'cause it's a perfect descriptor for the Ruach Amyr. Stupid Lanre, we'll see how he likes it.
Ryan Murray
153. TheYllest
I agree that Auri's actions appear totally benevolent, but as you say, that doesn't preclude the possibility of darker forces at work. She does seem to have taken great lengths to remain hidden.
However, it is a crackpot theory, supported only by the flimsiest of premise. But those kinds make for the most fun and speculation.
Steven Halter
154. stevenhalter
Amari being a term for Amyr adds an interesting coonotation in that "For the greater good" is so often a very bitter pill to swallow in the interpretations that the Amyr seem to gravitate towards.

And, as Thistlepong notes, it kind of gets us to shoving something down Lanre's throat that he might find quite hard to swallow.
Andrew Loyd
155. DoYouHas
Perhaps Hollow Gods = the Nameless? Probably not if the deck is made from a 4C POV. Oh well.

Side note: It amuses me that the sleeper in the foreground has socks with the grey reinforced toes like some of mine.
156. KKCaaron
Since eventually Rothfuss is supposed to have a story set in Modeg, being curious today I googled Modeg and a page came up that took me directly to a picture of the current Four Corners map in a smaller form, and to the right of that it said Coming Soon Modeg. Since we are going to learn about the hollow Gods "....soon", this is very interesting to me.
Steven Halter
157. stevenhalter
KKCaaron@156:Cool--have to watch that page.
158. KKCaaron
I figured since the "Hollow Gods" card was coming from the Modeg deck and PR referenced soon both for learning about the Hollow Gods and on the the Modeg Map....Some Interesting things are going to be going on shortly....or Soon lol
Jeremy Raiz
159. Jezdynamite
Same goes for these ones:
Rob Core
160. robtcore
** I started my post before #159
Jezdynamite beat me to the punch. again, great find.

KKCaaron - cool find!

I played a bit and also found "coming soons" for:
The Commonwealth

Nothing for smallkingdoms, thesmallkingdoms, the-small-kingdoms, small-kingdoms, ademre, tinue, junpui, empire, atur, eld, fourcorners, four-corners, newarre, moon, imre, university.

At that point, I realized I could actually leave work, so I'm stopping.
Carl Banks
161. robocarp
It always dangerous to take creators (and writers especially) at face value when they say "soon".

Based on the PR's comment is seems like there's something important in the Hollow Gods card, but since I see nothing important I'll just guess that the Hollow Gods (aka the Empty God?) are 2D apparitions. They might appear on the surface of something (like the figure that appears on the bark of the tree to the right of the fire) or might be a 3D shape that's only visible in one direction (like the smoke). And they're probably hard to see when they're not moving.

To me, it looks like there's a horse in the fire, bridled up, and a rider who's carrying a switch (though most of the rider is cut out).
162. Rogerdodge
Long time reader, first post. I have seen a lot of theories on the rereads that I am absolutely convinced are correct, and some I am fairly sure are just so wrong, that they boggle my mind.
I figured i would throw out a theory that im not sure about, but havent seen before and let everyone debate it if you find it worthy.

Auri is Tabetha.
Remember Tabetha? the girl who made a fuss about how Ambrose swore to mary her then just dissapeared? The assumption by many people I'm sure, is that she was killed and disposed of, or maybe just disposed of some other way..... Now you might say, "No, Mola saw Auri and didnt recognize her, so she cant be Tabetha, since Mola was at the university before that all went down and all the women share a wing of mews together." But think about how much a year or two of near starvation, living underground could change a persons appearance.
Also think about what we know about her. She is hiding from something or someone. When Kvothe is hiding from the assassins, he meets up with Auri, and she knows just what to do to keep them from finding him with a dowsing compass. She also tells him "That’s good. We’re safe." I have seen some people speculate before, that this is an indicator that someone might have tried to find her the same way, and I think it might be.
This also gives Kvothe a very, very, very good reason to kill Ambrose. Imagine Kvothe actually gets Auri to go into Imre with him at some time,(she visited him there once already) and Auri sees Ambrose. She freezes, and when Kvothe tries to comfort her she tells him that Ambrose is the reason she hides in the underthing. Who thinks he wouldnt go all Amyr on Ambrose at that point?
I am convinced that Kvothe kills AMBROSE at the fountain in Imre, and gets the bounty on his head from that. Not the killing of the king. Ambrose is not the king that Kvothe kills. Unless someone else gets killed at the fountain. The best evidence I have for that, is when the drunk recognizes him, its as "Kvothe the Bloodless" not the kingkiller.
I cannot come up with a reasonable explanation for anyone else that Kvothe might kill in Imre, but Ambrose totally has it comming.
John Graham
163. JohnPoint
Rogerdodge @162 -- that has always been my pet speculation about Auri as well (that she is Tabetha), however there isn't really anything pointing one way or another. I've always had that same vibe with her, from the very first time I read NotW. Once or twice I even mentioned it here in the reread, but haven't heard any feedback from other on it before.

Although it's my pet theory about Auri and I *want* it to be true, I don't actually think it's true anymore...
Kate Hunter
164. KateH
re: Auri = Tabetha

The idea that Auri would like (or have liked) Ambrose well enough to want to marry him makes my skin crawl. I give her more credit than that. And by that I mean a lot more. A whole lot.
Igor Bugaenko
165. BioLogIn
re: Hollow Gods and Gods in 4CC

Always been intrigues by that 'spoke to Gods' deed mentioned by Kvothe. Did a quick search on 'Gods' through both books:

Gods of my fathers - Deoch (he has some Yllish roots via his grandmother, doesn't he?).

Gods all around us - Sovoy (Modegan), Brandon (Vintish? noble that is into pagan rituals). This kinda implies that Modeg Gods are older and are closer to the nature (pagan), which is supported by the Hollow Gods card we saw recently.

Tiny Gods - Bast (Faen), Threpe (Commonwealth?), Fela (Modeg).
Quite an array of cultures here. Do you folks think that Tiny Gods are from the same "primal" pantheon Hollow Gods are from? That would make sense for Modeg and Faen, but that would also make Threpe a pagan heretic, though.

Gods below - Devi (??). This one kinda intrigues me. Where does Devi comes from? Definitely not Ceald or Modeg, she is not dark, she is strawberry blond... But Commonwealth and Atur are largely Tehlin, so is "Gods below" a Tehlin concept? Devi also mentions "Lord and Lady", which is widely used by everyone in the book, which implies she is Tehlin. But "Gods Below" doesn't really fit into Tehlu vs Demons pantheon, does it? "Demons" are not "Gods", right?

Also, "Gods" as plural, without adjectives, was used by Elodin (Ye Gods, tiny Gods), unnamed Amyr (in Tinue story told by Kvothe), and Denna (at Mauthen farm, twice). The former is especially interesting as Denna also uses the same prayer ("(Great) Tehlu (hold and) overroll me with (your) wings") as Martin, who is supposed to be a Mender heretic, right?
166. Rogerdodge
@ kate h. 164
The thought of anyone liking Ambrose enough to willingly spend time with him, makes my skin crawl, and to be honest, I'm not actually convinced that Auri is Tabetha. I doubt she is. But if she were, then that is the best reason I can think of for the confrontation with Ambrose at the fountain. Of course, in day 3 we could get a much better reason, maybe having to do with "friends who deserved better than they got".

On an unrelated note, I have been surprised by how many people equate the breaking of the bottle of strawberry wine with an unconsious use of sympathy. We know from the lessons we got about sympathy that cloth to glass would be a terrible link, likely less than 5%. That makes the force required to shatter a bottle in the literally hundreds of pounds at the minimum. A big deal is made about Kvothe being stronger than he looks, but thats just too much force for his hands to apply.

I have seen a few people speculate that it was something else but I dont know if anyone has said that it was using the name of silence(I think I have seen someone suggest naming something else, and some sort of Fae magic, but I dont recall having seen the Name of silence suggested). For the record I believe silence is the ring with no Name. Partly because it is the only thing in the book that is impossible to use sound for. How do you speak a Name without sound? As for the evidence, I think these pargraphs are quite enough

“They say she-” Chronicler’s words stuck in his suddenly dry throat as the room grew unnaturally quiet. Kote stood with his back to the room, a stillness in his body and a terrible silence clenched between his teeth. His right hand, tangled in a clean white cloth, made a slow fist.

Eight inches away a bottle shattered. The smell of strawberries filled the air alongside the sound of splintering glass. A small noise inside so great a stillness, but it was enough. Enough to break the silence into small, sharp slivers. Chronicler felt himself go cold as he suddenly realized what a dangerous game he was playing. So this is the difference between telling a story and being in one, he thought numbly, the fear.

If you read that as Kvothe calling the name of silence, and then comanding it to be destroyed, like the stones in the courtyard, or how he thought about destroying Felurian with her name,

"Suddenly my mind was clear again. I drew a breath and held her eyes in mine. I sang again, and this time I was full of rage. I shouted out the four hard notes of song. I sang them tight and white and hard as iron. And at the sound of them, I felt her power shake then shatter, leaving nothing in the empty air but ache and anger."

I think it becomes a rather compelling argument. I think it also lends an interesting interpretation to the silence being his.
Naming isnt like sympathy. It isnt something that Kvothe calls on through concentration and willpower. Anger and pain were his trigger the first time, and they were certainly things he was feeling when he broke the bottle.
Steven Halter
167. stevenhalter
Over on Jo's Livejournal, she notes that Vericon is coming up this weekend. So, we should get mask news soon.

She also mentions a couple of panels she is on that sound just wonderful and of interest to all here:
10.00-11.00 - Poetry and Music - Jo Walton (M) Shira Lipkin, Greer Gilman, Patrick Rothfuss - What do you do with them, and how do poetry and prose differ? A Rhysling Award winner, the most poetic prose writer living, and the man who invented the Eolian and has his characters exchanging rhymed couplets in dialog discuss. (Sever 214)

Sunday 12.00-13.00 Everyone Writes funny! Jo Walton (M) M.L Brennan, Patrick Rothfuss, Greer Gilman, Saladin Ahmed - Everyone has their own method of composition, some plan it all ahead, some fly by the seats of their pants, and some people are really really weird. Let's look at the specifics of how some of our guests do it.(Sever 113)
Ashley Fox
168. A Fox
Hrmm, could have sworn I'd written a post awhiles back...nevermind, gone now.

Re: Cards. Very interesting, hollow gods, cool, cool. Thinking of the darkside of faen and almost awake conscious there. But perhaps a bit full? then swinging to the abscene left in the creating of faen, or the faen that like to possess another's flesh.

Lanre plate thingy: Now I'm wondering if the bad turn Cinder did the CTH was that time he flayed his skin and made a hauberk for Lanre. It would piss me off for quite awhile.

KateH. Shudder. Nope. I think her story is her own. And will be a novella I believe?

Shalter, are they likely to be transcribed/filmed? Sounds interesting.
John Graham
169. JohnPoint
KateH @164 re Auri: I should qualify my earlier post by mentioning that I don't want Auri to be Tabetha because I like the idea in an aesthetic sense, but rather because it would answer at least two mysteries in one: 1) who is Auri? and 2) what happened to Tabetha?

However, I also don't think that it's true anymore...
Steven Halter
170. stevenhalter
AFox@168:I haven't been to Vericon and their webpage doesn't say if there is any taping involved, but my guess would be that a complete transcript is doubtful.
Although, if Pat said something along the lines of "D3 was done but a passing iguana ate my only copy and now I have to start over.", I'm sure she'll let us know.
thistle pong
171. thistlepong
There's a fella on tumblr trying to recreate Chronicler's Cipher from nothing. I figured some of y'all might find it interesting. Might be a fun thing to link on the linguistics wiki.
172. elricprincess
Just something I noticed and thought it was kind of neat.

The scent of the wooden box smells like leather, and spices, and slightly sweet and sour at the same time. In Neil Gaiman's Sandman comics Delirium (Insanity, Mania) is described as having the exact same scent attached to her.

I just thought it was a fun coincidence.
thistle pong
173. thistlepong

Do you remember which issue or volume? I'd love to confirm that.
Deana Whitney
174. Braid_Tug
Just finished the books. about to dive into the Re-Read, 3 years late...

1) Ambrose becomes king, and K kills him.
2) K has to change his true name, which causes him to lose his powers and fighting skills.
3) He learns how to read the knots and opens the Lackless box, which is a really bad idea.
4) I hope Day 3 does not spend half the book at the University, because he needs to get on with doing the things that lead to his hiding.
Roger Pavelle
175. RogerPavelle
FYI, Pat posted a quick note on Facebook about an upcoming anthology titled "Rogues". It has a Bast story in it titled "The Lightning Tree."
Igor Bugaenko
176. BioLogIn
Sandman #21, p12:
"She smells of sweat, sour wines, late nights, old leather."

Sweat, not sweet. And late nights, not leather.

Unless there was another description of her smell somewhere later in the comics.
177. TNTobi
I feel like Kvothe's troupe, when they wanted to hear the song about Lanre, while waiting for the D3 to come ... We want to hear that song already, and after this long time we go crazy about it
Kate Hunter
178. KateH
Just a report on Pat's Q&A last night in Cambridge...He successfully, and wittily, and charmingly avoided answering pretty much any question whatsoever. Almost all questions regarding the books were judged spoilers and dodged accordingly. All questions regarding his writing technique/process were considered valid but too complicated to answer even remotely accurately in brief. The only "reveal" if you could call it that was his claim that he worked harder on shaping Denna's character than any other, and that he's not entirely sure he got her "right." NB: I am paraphrasing Pat here on this Denna business. So don't take this as verbatim out of his mouth. But that's the gist of what he said. Despite the dearth of answers or hard information it was a delightful reading and Q&A. Pat in the flesh is everything an adoring fan would expect. I plan to attend his events at Vericon tomorrow, so we'll see if anything else is forthcoming.
thistle pong
180. thistlepong

The Denna business is corroborated a couple times. He talked about it at some length on the Geek Bomb podcast in December. Paraphrasing again, he said he felt like more people would have the same opinion about Denna if he'd really nailed it instead of most folks either loving or hating her.

Thanks for the update(s)!

(first post had a link, got eaten)
Steven Halter
181. stevenhalter
Braid_Tug@174:First, welcome to the re-read and glad you've caught up. Theories 1-3 are decent theories and you'll find them represented in these posts. You will also find counter arguments against each and against those and so on. The posts and comment threads here are well worth reading--lots of good stuff.
It seems likely that some amount of D3 will be spent at the University and some amount spent "exploring" the world. Its hard to say just what path the narrative structure will go done. Quite a few possibilities and different choices could lead to varying amounts of time at varying locales.
Steven Halter
182. stevenhalter
KateH@178:Cool! Have fun at the con. Looking forward to hearing about it.
Deana Whitney
183. Braid_Tug
@181, Steven: Thanks! Read the first two posts last night, and yep, saw theory #2 right away. :-)

@178: Sounds like Pat learned how to answer questions by going to the Robert Jordan school of A.S. Sanderson's learned his lessons well from there too.
184. deebee
A thought that struck me re-reading the "not tally a lot less" rhyme. What if the other reason Arliden was banished under the wagon was because he revealed that he and Netalia had secretly married? The verse explicitly refers to Tally as his wife.
So I wondered if the story that Arliden and Laurian had never married was to protect Kvothe in the event that his identity as a Lockless was discovered. If he was thought to be illegitimate he would not be a threat to the other heirs-either to the Lockless estates or to the throne itself.
Kate Hunter
185. KateH
Okay, a couple of small nuggets to report from attending Pat's panels and keynote today. Maybe some of you have heard these before, but they were new to me...

Cealdish (pronounced SHAL-dish) notions about never sharing clothing extend even to laundering. Posh families could afford to have each person's clothing laundered entirely separately from anyone else's, even within the same family. If your family was middle class you probably washed everyone's clothes together, but you certainly wouldn't admit to it. When talking about the origin of such attitudes, Pat said it was probably the case that some holy man writing down religious precepts in ancient times owned a large flax farm, or maybe invented the cotton gin. This was all offered up spontaneously rather than in response to any question.

Also, Pat declared himself "not a linguist." In answer to the question of how he develops the invented language in his books, the rather flippant response was: "I fake it." This was in a panel on worldbuilding in fantasy fiction, and the consensus among several writers seemed to be that a writer shouldn't do more than was strictly necessary to create believability. In the same conversation Pat said his natural interests were economy, chemical engineering, psychology, sociology and anthropology. This was to highlight what aspects of the worldbuilding came more easily to him and are therefore deeper than they need to be for believability. In light of all the efforts put forth here to tease meaning out of Pat's imaginary languages, I have to wonder if there's far less to it than we might have given him credit for.
thistle pong
187. thistlepong
Cealdish (pronounced SHAL-dish) notions about never sharing clothing extend even to laundering. Posh families could afford to have each person's clothing laundered entirely separately from anyone else's, even within the same family. If your family was middle class you probably washed everyone's clothes together, but you certainly wouldn't admit to it.
He described this in the Hangout for the Auri card for the Albino Dragon Kickstarter. It's nice to see it come up elsewhere since those aren't available anymore. He didn't mention the origins. Thanks.
In light of all the efforts put forth here to tease meaning out of Pat's imaginary languages, I have to wonder if there's far less to it than we might have given him credit for.
He said something similar in 2011. Here's how I recorded it at the time
In short, attentive readers can translate the the languages. They're not fully developed like Tolkien's, but the words aren't random. There was a linguist in the crowd who followed up by mentioning that his efforts to make them sound like languages were spot on. She was surprised he intuited his way to that.

Regarding the use of actual foreign words he denies it. He used Carceret as an example. A reader at another signing asked if he knew Latin; apparently it means something like "to imprison." His concern was making sure people didn't read "Car Car Et." He mentioned that being well read could have exposed him to words.
So stuff like the "rhin" in four different words is worth looking at. Stuff like the Imaginary Linguistics wiki that stevenhalter put together, collecting the "foreign" words in the texts and their available translations is worthwhile. Talking about how Stercus means dung might not be. It can still be fun for those folks who are into it, though.
Sahi Rioth
188. Sahirioth
Re: foreign words (Thistlepong @ 187)
Regarding the use of actual foreign words he denies it. He used Carceret as an example. A reader at another signing asked if he knew Latin; apparently it means something like "to imprison." His concern was making sure people didn't read "Car Car Et."
I'm glad that's sorted out. I always read 'Carceret' as if with an English pronunciation of a Romance language word (i.e. CAR-seh-ret). It just bugged me how closely it sounded to 'incarcerate', which is literally 'to imprison' (no need for Latin, either).
189. BigVik
Could it be the obvious after all? That K(v)ot(h)e is the eigth Chandrian?

K says in the beginning of the story and he peppers this idea throughout that his story is mostly about a Woman and the Grand Betrayal. I discussed in previous threads about that Woman and why/why not she may/may not be Denna/Auri/Devi/???. What about Grand Betrayal? What do we know about that?

Well, for one betrayal seems to be a repetitive theme in the origin of Chandrian: Lanre loses Lyra by treachery ("...treachery brought me to it" -- brought him, so he must have betrayed... what? or who? her? the Empire?) and is transformed into Haliax, the rest of the Chandrian betray their cities. I always thought that K is the one being betrayed, but now I think he may be the one who betrays.

Who would K betray? It only makes sense if you care about the person/thing. One point of K's character is that he doesn't much care about anyone or anything, it's all instruments to him for greater purpose (Haliax, Amyr hints deliberate). There are only two people still alive in the story that he cares about: Auri and Denna. So, unless we're introduced to a new charater it has to be one (or both) of them.

My favorite chain of thought is that Denna falls deathly ill (denner resin addiction/overdose?; again I'm going by hints from the books here), Kvothe goes to get the flower from the CHT tree (isn't it interesting that all of the CHT incidents involved men wanting to get to the ones they loved, Iax/Moon, Lanre/Lyra, some prince Bast (can't remember) mentions/his princess) and then something happens that neither gives him what he wants (Denna maybe alive but doesn't remember him or shuns him...) and he loses something he didn't even appreciate having (Auri?).

Now this act of betrayal may involve opening the Box, maybe releasing the name of the Moon. I like to think of Auri as the Moon -- ethereal, attracted to music, face covered, hanging out near the place where her occasional lover Iax is likely imprisoned.

Also, this act may somehow damage Kvothe into losing a part of his name that may be locked in that box. This fits with Chandrian as being more than men yet less then men. Rhinta/Rhinatta. Kvothe/Kote.
It gives them an apparent (and in the case of Haliax unwanted) immunity to the four doors (sleep, insanity, death, forgetfulness) -- Kote often portrayed as not sleeping/awaiting death.

It gives them certain knacks/powers/signature signs -- Kote has the SILENCE about him.

Their (or at least Haliaxes) purpose is to bring about the end of the world -- Kote says that the current state of the world is all his fault.

It makes them shells of their previous selves, looking enough like themselves to fool anyone but the most powerful Namers (Lanre until Selitos saw through him) -- Kote is a shell of Kvothe, looks like the man, talk like the man but the essence of him (music and magic) is gone and replaced with SILENCE.

Okay now, go for it!

And while you're at it a few questions: What's the hidden purpose of Cinder? Does he want out from under Haliaxes thumb? How's this possible? Is it possible? Maybe he wants the same as Haliax, to die.

Also 4 doors (sleep, forgetfulness, insanity and death) and 4 copper plates on the doors of stone. Are the copper plates preventing a powerful namer/Shaper from accessing those 4 doors? Is Iax therefore barred from them as well, perpetually alive in his stone prison? This would fit to Lanre as salt of Iax, inheriting much of Iaxes powers but also limitations. It would also follow a certain twisted logic of fall by talking to Chtaeh:

Iax, who split up the world, talks to Chtaeh about a woman who he wants to bring to his own world -- ends up shut off from both her and that world behind the 4 plated doors.

Lanre, who set Iax behind the doors of stone, talks to Chtaeh about a woman who he wants to bring back from behind the door of death -- ends up becoming salt of Iax who wants to go through the doors but can't.

Kvothe, who wants to kill Chandrian, talks to Chtaeh about a woman who he wants to bring back to sanity (resin?) -- ends up becoming one of the Chandrian.
Carl Banks
190. robocarp
Kvothe as a Chandrian is one of those theories that there is no evidence for and some evidence against, but somehow it just feels right. The big evidence againt is the third silence from the prologues/epilogues, saying that Kote is a "man waiting to die". I suppose that could be read as a man waiting hopelessly to die. But I think a more straightforward reading, and more supported by the frame, is that Kote expects the Inquisition to find him sooner or later.

And yet, the parallels you point out, and some other things, do make it seem awfully like that could be the big revelation the story is heading to. Right now I think the third silence evidence wins, though.

One thing I'd like to point out about the proverbial four doors: I've noticed a lot of people, including myself, have inverted the sense of how the doors work. We seem to think of doors as access points to pain management: when yo want to escape pain, you have to open the door or sleep or forgetfulness. But when Haliax spoke to Selitos about his inability to die, he said, "No door bars my passing." If no door bars Haliax's passing, you'd think he should then have no problem passing behind the door of death. But he can't, and this tells me that the purpose of the proverbial doors is to keep souls in a state of sleep, forgetfulness, insanity or death, not out of it.

Relating this to the copper plates: if they do correspond to the proverbial doors, then their function would be not to keep whoever's inside (like, say, Iax) perpetually alive and sane, but perpetually dead and insane. Which would seem like a better idea than the former.

One other nitpick. Lanre was almost certainly not the person who set Iax behind the doors of stone. First of all, it's not completely certain that Iax is the enemy at Drossen Tor. Second, Lanre was killed by a beast before the end of the battle so presumably others dealt with the enemy.

Let's postulate something. Say Iax was secured in a prison preventing him from passing out of death/insanity/sleep/forgetfulnes. Now, Lanre, needing to consult him, obtains the power to pass through those doors. But now he's stuck. That makes a lot of sense.
191. Big Vik
That does make a lot of sense, especially since PR said it was a door meant to stay closed keeping whatever is on the other side inside. Lanre obviously can go through those doors but for some reason can't stay on the other side, or maybe staying on the other side doesn't have any effect on him.

Maybe the whole stone door thingy is some very powerful combination of sympathy and naming. I don't think that the four doors actually exist, they are just states of mind/body. But then if you wanted to capture someone inside those states you could do it by making a physical representation of them, creating a link to an energy source and making anti-naming/shaping protections around them to make them into a prison.

What items used for such sympathy would be I have no idea... maybe Kvothe is a great-great-great-...-great-grandson of Lanre and Lyra? Maybe Haliaxes black candle is the source of sympathetic energy that kept the doors closed (Lackless husband's candle by the door with no handle)? Now I'm just rambling...

As for Lanre not setting Iax behind the doors of stone (doors not door, I wonder if there are other doors in the Archives), well literally speaking no, but black dragon could have been Iaxes (god I hate words ending in X, English being my second language I never know whether I'm making plurals correctly by adding -es at the end?!) physical manifestation or avatar. By killing it, he could have set up the stage for the imprisonment of Iaxes essence behind the doors of stone. If Lanre talked to Iax and got a part of his essence incorporated into himself, the physical manifestation of it could have been the armor made of dragon's hide that he wore (but that looked a part of him actually) when he met Selitos.

Now as for the "man waiting to die", I think my reading is at least as accurate as yours, because if he was waiting to be found wouldn't it be clearer to say "man waiting to be killed"? But PR won't give us clear hints, he'd never say "man waiting to sleep" (just give him Lunesta already), or "man hopelessly waiting to die" as that would give out too much. This ambivalent statement at first sounds like someone who gave up on life, but then it could have second and third meaning that we're now talking about. In the end, isn't Haliax also a "man waiting to die"? Sure, he's more yet less than a man, and he's sure also working on dying, but that's besides the point.
192. BigVik
Application for defending the thesis as a part of the requirement for the promotion to the status of Elir, Relar, Elthe or full Arcanist in the discipline of Confabulatory Rethoric; pending determination and approval of Chancellor Jo.

Title: Theory of full circle -- how rereading blogs may help PR finish the third novel

Observed Facts: PR keeps pushing the date of publication of the third book of the Kingkiller Chronicles into the indefinite future. He is instead focusing on piecemeal stories about the 4C world instead. He admittedly had an epiphany about something during the dinner once "Aha, I can see how that would fit!" -- it is unknown whether this happened while he read this particular blog, but it is plausible. PR engaged in teasing give-and-take with the denizens of this blog some time ago spurring a flurry of comments and theories afterwards.

Hypothesis: PR has no clue how to finish the third book, he is instead reading this blog and trying to figure it out himself!

Proposed Experiment: Jo can call PR and ask if this is indeed the case.

Potential Pitfalls and Alternative Approaches: PR may block Jo's phone after many attempts to execute the abovementioned experimental approach. In that case we should double or triple our efforts in writing theories on this blog and see if the waiting time (as measured by tentative dates of release on Amazon and other fine websites) suddenly decreases. Once the book is out, we should also watch for certain sentences, storylines and ideas contained here that he may incorporate there. For example, a dead giveaway would go something like this:

Kvothe: "Hey Cth... KHT...Chth........ you, dude in the tree snapping at butterflies!"
Cthaeh: "My name is Sel... I mean Cthaeh you dimwit!"
Kvothe: "Wait, what was that?"
Cthaeh: "Oh, nothing... I was channeling my inner Iaaaaa... axes and stone doors boy! Aren't you here to talk about damsels in distress not engage in idle chit-chat?!"
Kvothe: "Oh yeah! How did you know that? Actually, I come here for your flower. My girlfriend who still doesn't know she's my girfriend is having a bit of a problem in denner rehab..."
Cthaeh: "Flour? What do I look like, a baker? What you really need is this obsidian shard. Now some say it's a piece of Moon's name, but har-har, trust you me the story is more mundane than that. You see, Lanre who was not Lanre at the moment accidentally mooned Selitos, who being an allseing, allremembering dude couldn't erase that picture so he used this obsidian shard to gauge his eye out..."
Kvothe: "Oh Gods... what are you talking about?! This makes no sense, you're making me sick... I think I'm going to vomit... Oh look, a nice smelling box, I guess I could use that... kVVVotHHHHe! Snap!"
Kote: "Oh no, what happened!"
Cthaeh: "Hehehe, another one bites the dust..."
193. Marco.

I think Rothfuss knows exactly where the 3rd book is heading and how it will end.

I believe the delays are caused by the stress associated with delivering on that. His work is popular, and one of the great appeals is that there's a BIG REVEAL coming. Expectations are very high, and he has said more than once that he wants to deliver something "awesome".

Sitting down in front of the computer with the intent to create awesome can instead create incredible amounts of crushing pressure. He's spoken about the pressure and the impact it's had on his personal life, so I think it's fair to say it's real.

So there's two choices for Pat everyday when he sits down to work:

a. Wrestle with the pressure and expectations of D3
b. Work on something more fun

I don't fault him if he's making the 2nd choice - I suspect I would too.
Kate Hunter
194. KateH
Not to mention...PR has two small children, devotes a lot of time and energy to a charitable cause, and criss-crosses the country to attend events and meet with fans. It's no surprise we'll have to be patient.

Also, he has explicitly stated that he stays far, far away from this sort of discussion of his work. I don't blame him one iota. Awareness of these sorts of discussions would TERRIFY me, were I in his position.

He mentioned that when he thought he might be having a heart attack, his first surreal reaction was relief, because a heart attack would be a legitimate reason for not meeting deadline. J.K. Rowling said she seriously considered breaking her arm for the same reason. We should all be grateful we're not under pressure sufficient to push us to such thoughts.
Roger Pavelle
195. RogerPavelle
Rothfuss totally knows how the story will end since he has said the books started as a single book. My personal theory on why it is taking so long is trying to figure out how to fit everything in book 3 into less than 2000 pages.

My list of things to look for on Day 3 (let me know what I'm missing):
Directly Promised
1. Stealing princess back from sleeping barrow kings (Princess Ariel?)
2. Expelled from the University (due to Ambrose) - tied to killing someone in Imre?

3. Speaking with Gods ("You may have heard of me")
4. Something happens to Denna
5. Kill a king (or, at least, a king gets killed)
6. Enigmas solved (Kote's trunk, 3 lock door, Lackless box, Mr. Ash)
7. Resolve issues with Cinder (and Chandrian)
7.5 Find the Amyr
8. Kill an angel? (tied to #3, possibly)
9. "Tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day."

If I had the chance to ask him, "How can you fit all this into a single book" would be a question I'd love answered.
Kate Hunter
196. KateH
If I had the chance to ask him, "How can you fit all this into a single book" would be a question I'd love answered.
As it happens, that was a question asked at his Boston Q&A. He replied, "That's a fair question." Then he pointed to the next person lined up at the mike for the next question.
Jeremy Raiz
197. Jezdynamite

I think he also is likely to:

Grow older than his passing mortal years (perhaps spend a long time in the Faen realm)
Meet Bast and do something to inspire/cause/convince Bast to follow/learn from him.
Bast to meet/see Denna.
Go to Renere (Pat mentions he goes to the 3 part city).
Write at least one song to make minstrels weep (he mentions songs).
Do something to earn enough money/favour to buy the Waystone Inn and the outrageously expensive Roah chest, and to keep his inn stocked when he obviously does not have much business in Newarre.
Design/make the Roah chest.
Obtain or forge the sword hanging in the Inn (and what happens to Saicere/Caesura)
Learn about/encounter the Scrael (on the other side of the mountains) and hence visit or learn what is across the mountains.
He doesn't go to Modeg.
Make use of the favour/debt owed to him by Stapes.
Ryan Murray
198. TheYllest

Regarding #2 and Kvothe getting expelled from the University, this has already happened. Here are the relevant quotes for reference:

Kvothe's claim to Chronicler:
I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in
Kvothe's recounting of being on the Horns for Malfeasance
“Six lashes and expulsion,” the Chancellor carried on in an official voice, ignoring my outburst. "All those in favor?”

Hemme raised his hand. Brandeur and Arwyl followed. My heart sank as I saw the Chancellor raise his hand, and Lorren, and Kilvin, and Elxa Dal. Last of all was Elodin who smiled lazily and waggled the fingers of his upraised hand, as if waving. All nine hands against me. I was to be expelled from the University. My life was over.
He was already technically expelled for the University by a Master's vote, but:
“All in favor of suspending expulsion?” I looked up again in time to see Elodin’s hand. Elxa Dal’s. Kilvin, Lorren, the Chancellor. All hands save Hemme’s. I almost laughed out of shock and sheer disbelief. Elodin gave me his boyish smile again.

“Expulsion repealed,”
Using "repealed" here implies that the action was done and has now been undone. He was already expelled, albeit without any real consequences (from the University at least), but he uses it as embelishment for his introduction to the story.

This would appear to satisfy his claim to Chronicler.
Kate Hunter
199. KateH
Re: the nature of Tinkers

This has been knocking around my brain for some time, along with the knowledge that PR is a gamer from way back, and still enjoys tabletop D&D-style games when he can manage it.

My guess is sure to be assailed here, and that's fair. But I think the Tinkers are basically the DM's hand in the 4C world. When you've got a quest and you need certain things to complete that quest, they have to come from somewhere. So the DM puts the opportunity to acquire them in front of the party. S/he can't make it too obvious, but neither can it be too difficult, and of course the players always have choices.

PR might have come up with some in-world rationale for why Tinkers always seem to have exactly what someone is going to need, but ultimately I see a RPG origin for them. PR has explicitly connected his writing and the character of K with his gaming.
Andrew Mason
200. AnotherAndrew
RogerPavelle@195 and TheYllest@198: I think 'rescuing princesses from sleeping barrow kings' can also be seen as having already happened, if it's taken to be a garbled version of the rescue of the girls on the road to Levinshir. We already know that there is a version of the story in which they are turned into princesses. His boast has to refer at least in part to things he is reputed to have done, rather than things he has actually done, because of 'I burned down the town of Trebon'. He didn't; the draccus did (to the extent that it happened at all).

Regarding his visit to Renere; that was disclosed in the context of not revealing where else he goes, so there will presumably be other visits to interesting places. My guesses, from various clues we have received, are Tinue and the Tahlenwald.

He also has to acquire a few more rings, or at least do something that will lead to the reputation of having them.
Steven Halter
201. stevenhalter
Pat has said that he will finish Kvothe's story in D3. He will also finish it when he is satisfied with it as a story. The numbers of words or pages it takes to do this will be the amount that results in his being satisfied. He's said that it will probably be shorter than WMF (395,000 words) but longer than NotW (259,000 words).

As a comparison:
The Fellowship of the Ring: 187,000
The Two Towers: 155,000
The Return of the King: 131,000
Total: 473,000 words

War and Peace: 587,000 words

So, yes, roundabouts of 300,000 words is pleanty of words to wrap up the story in the style that Pat has been using.
202. Zombeezy
AnotherAndrew@200 - Interesting thought on "garbled version of the rescue of the girls on the road to Levinshir". I've always thought of 'rescuing princesses from sleeping barrow kings' as being tied in with Auri of the Underthings and what/who is behind the four-panel door. Which certainly doesn't make any sense, lol. Man, Rothfuss has really been clever in his unraveling, even if some bits may turn out accidental and not 100% brillance.
Roger Pavelle
203. RogerPavelle
@198 The Yllest
At the end of NotW, he says that Ambrose got his revenge in an unexpected way that lead directly to his having to leave the University (I don't have my book in front of me, but I think it was just before the skindancer attack). I think this would be the expulsion he refers to in the intro.
204. BigVik
@193 and on

Come on guys... do I really have to say I was joking?! I thought over the top style was a dead giveaway... In any case, please don't take this all too seriously: it's a book, not a lifesaving medicine we're talking about here.
If I were a writer of PRs type (mystery wrapped in an enigma, etc.), I'd actually love to visit every now and again and check on what's percolating in these sorts of forums. I mean, wasn't that the point of the literary device(s) he used, to get people to think and talk?! And sure enough, here we are, thinking out loud and talking...
I think it's a testament to his writing skill that so many inteligent people are spending so much time exercising their imaginations over his work. So then why wouldn't he visit and check every now and again? And even if he took an idea or two to better the story, who would blame him? Not that I'm suggesting that he is -- that was just a joke... but not that there's anything wrong with it either.
John Graham
205. JohnPoint
Roger @203:

The line you're thinking about is:
I was wrong, of course. Perfectly and completely wrong. Ambrose had merely learned to bide his time. He did manage to get his revenge, and when it came, I was caught flatfooted and forced to leave the University.

But that, as they say, is a story for another day.
Which I have always taken to refer to Kvothe taking the term(s) off and traveling to Vintas, as we saw in WMF. I agree with TheYllest@198 and Andrew@200 -- we have (at least arguably) seen both events already - the expulsion and the princess rescue. Though we may well see another princess rescue as well, possibly related to Ariel or Auri (or both, is Auri is Ariel...)
thistle pong
206. thistlepong
He actually uses the same phrasing when it occurs to refer back to that:
“Kvothe, Arliden’s son,” he read aloud to the room, his voice clear and strong. “In the sight of these witnesses I bind you to stand to your own account before the iron law. You are charged with Consortation with Demonic Powers, Malicious Use of Unnatural Arts, Unprovoked Assault, and Malfeasance.”

Needless to say, I was caught completely flat-footed. “What?” I said stupidly. As I said, I’d had more than a few drinks.

The grim man ignored me and turned to one of the constables. “Bind him.”
207. Marco.

JohnPoint beat me to it - I agree that leaving the university is the term off.

More importantly though, I think this is solid evidence about the reliability of Kvothe the narrator. He doesn't technically lie, but he's more than happy to bend the truth and let the listener's assumptions heighten the suspense/quality/expectation of the story.
thistle pong
208. thistlepong
The Auri story has a title and a release date:

The Slow Regard of Silent Things: A Kingkiller Chronicle Novella

November 4th, 2014

It showed up on Goodreads and Amazon earlier in the week and was confirmed by Shawn Speakman today.
NEW YORK, NY, March 28, 2014—Elizabeth Wollheim, President and Publisher of DAW Books, has acquired a companion novella to Patrick Rothfuss’s #1 New York Times bestselling Kingkiller Chronicle novels from Matt Bialer of Greenburger Associates. The Slow Regard of Silent Things will be published in hardcover in November 2014.
A companion novella to Patrick Rothfuss’ bestselling Kingkiller Chronicle novels, The Slow Regard of Silent Things shares an enchanting new perspective on the Four Corners realm.

Renowned as a bastion of knowledge, the University draws the brightest minds to unravel the mysteries of enlightened sciences, such as artificing and alchemy. Yet deep below its bustling halls lies a complex web of abandoned rooms and ancient passageways. In the heart of this cavernous maze is a young woman named Auri, who calls this Underthing her home.

Formerly a student at the University, Auri now spends her days tending to the world around her. She knows that some mysteries are better settled and safe. No longer fooled by the sharp rationality so trusted by those above her, Auri sees beyond the surface of things, into subtle dangers and hidden names.

At once joyous and haunting, The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a richly atmospheric and lyrical tale, featuring one of the most beloved characters from Rothfuss’ acclaimed fantasy series.
(from the Amazon Kindle pre-order page)

Incidental ramifications:

JezDynamite was kind enough to point out elsewhere that Pat had already confirmed Auri's mortal status during the Pairs Kickstarter:
Fast forward to about a week ago, when Hank Green and Veronica Belmont agreed to lend their likenesses to a couple cards in the Faen deck: ........

And I started to think, wouldn’t it be cool to have more Mortal Guests?
Like maybe some character from the books? Like maybe Kvothe? and Elodin? And Auri?

So we’re doing that. Nate has agreed to do five more pieces of art. There will be a few surprise guests too….
And this contextualizes her a bit more. It also gives us some idea of how K(v)ot(h)e is telling the story. He gives us all this information in the for of his own guesses and assumptions, leaving the audience to accept or question his judgement. It's a nice way to preserve mystery and draw the reader in, complicit with his tale.
John Graham
209. JohnPoint
Thistle@208: Thanks! That's great to hear.

Also, I think that your observation:
It also gives us some idea of how K(v)ot(h)e is telling the story. He gives us all this information in the for of his own guesses and assumptions, leaving the audience to accept or question his judgement. It's a nice way to preserve mystery and draw the reader in, complicit with his tale.
is vital to a ("correct") interpretation of the KKC. We frequently see Kvothe make comments like "but I knew the truth - I would never see her again", and people tend to assume that he is stating them as a true fact -- in reality, he never saw her again (c.f., the question about whether Denna-from-the-caravan-trip is the same as Denna-singing-at-the-Eolian). However, Kvothe presents us with his in-story knowledge and certainty on these issues, and he was certainly wrong about some things. (The existance of the Fae is a perfect example of this. Kvothe mocks those who believe in the Fae, and indicates that he knew the truth - fairies don't exist. Until he sees Felurian, that is.)

This is also one of the reasons that I question the Amyr=Good, Chandrian=Evil duality that is easy to take from a casual reading of the series. Kvothe-in-frame presents it that way because Kvothe-in-story believed that was the case.
Carl Banks
210. robocarp
RogerPavelle @ 195

PR said in the Q&A on this blog that the meaning of El'the would be explained in D3. The suggests Kvothe will stick around at the University for enough time to get promoted, but it's not certain.

thistlepong @ 208

That's probably the first actual confirmation that Auri was a former student. Not that it was a controversial idea before.

I guess I'm in the minority for not liking Auri very much, but I'm happy for this novella for a particular reason. In NotW, Kote seems like he's about to narrate some of his ideas about what the Underthing is, then he gets interrupted by people entering the inn, and when he returns to the story he doesn't go back to the speculations.
211. BigVik
Bah, there goes my idea that Auri is the Moon... :)
All jokes aside though, what did we really learn? Auri is a former student doesn't mean much when you think of the age of the University. It doesn't even mean she's human, we don't know who attended the University in the olden days. She may be one of the first students at the University, still surviving...
Come to think of it, in Hespe's story Iax runs into a man in front of a cave who many think is Teccam represented as teaching students at the University. So, if University predates Iax then Auri still could be a former student and a Moon? Just kidding, but still...
212. smock_smock_smock
Thanks for the PR updates, KateH and thistlepong.

Auri novella, Bast short story, woot! Glad we'll get a couple of tasty morsels in 2014 to keep us going 'til D3.
Igor Bugaenko
213. BioLogIn
On a lighter note - apparently we've been having sympathy lamps in our world since last August:
Fred Breese
214. Silvanus
Used to tech from SF poling up... But from a fantasy novel that is awesome!
Kate Hunter
215. KateH
I just remembered one other item gleaned from Pat's appearances in Cambridge/Boston that's worth mentioning here. He talked about his work with his various translators and the private forum set up to help them better capture some of the nuances of the language and details. He had praise for them in general. But he also singled out his Dutch translator as exceptionally dedicated and skilled, while the one for another language...not so much. I'm not sure whether I should mention which language here, because that would be specifically calling out that individual, but I will say it's a Slavic language. What Pat had to say about that translator made it pretty clear that that individual's work would be sub-par compared to the group, even though Pat can't read that language and therefore has no absolute knowledge of the quality of the translation.

I know that we've made profitable comparisons from one language to another, and gleaned interesting things from them. What do you all think? If it's deemed relevant enough I'd be willing to identify the language. If not, I'd rather not repeat details of something Pat said which might be seen as disparagement.
Igor Bugaenko
216. BioLogIn
I'm kinda intrigued, as I mailed Pat a while ago with some examples from Russian translation, which is weak for NotW and which is horrible for WMF. Maybe he didn't skim that letter after all =)
Kate Hunter
217. KateH
@Biologin, #216

His comments were based on the interactions he had with the translators before and during the translation work, rather than impressions from readers who had read translations.

And the language I was talking about was not Russian. Though I suppose it's technically possible one Slavic language translator could be responsible for translations into two different languages. I haven't checked the names of any translators. I'll wait to see if there's any further response on this issue before saying more.
218. BigVik
@KateH, #217

I'm very intrigued by the identity of the language in question. As a native speaker of Serbian, or Serbo-Croatian as it used to be called I can attest to the similarity of certain groups of Slavic languages. Wouldn't mind trying to get my hands on the Serbian edition if it turns out to be the one. Also, my cousing lives in Amsterdam and speaks both Dutch and Serbian fluently, maybe I can get him interested enough to help us out.
thistle pong
220. thistlepong
But he also singled out his Dutch translator as exceptionally dedicated and skilled
That's great! She actually dropped in to comment on the Timeline:
I couldn't fathom why Book One wasn't a hit, and I grived the fact that Books Two and Three would never publish. But it seems to have been translated or rather rewritten by the original translator to fit fantasy readers age 12-19, and the result was rather disastrous.

So I offered to re-translate Book One for re-publishing (in fact the deed is already done) solely with the purpose of being allowed to translate Book Two and Three. And I did close that deal, thank you very much. ::smug satisfaction::
She confirmed at least one error in NotW and provided some of the interpretations I used to translate the appendix to Der Name Des Windes. As for dedication, she read the reread!
This forum is as gemridden as the translators' forum, I can tell you that for sure!
As much as I wanna know which translation is sub par, I wouldn't wanna be the first one who posted, "Pat said so-and-so did bad work." There's a reason he doesn't want folks recording him. And there's a good chance he's expressed this opinion to the relevant parties already.
Kate Hunter
221. KateH
I wouldn't wanna be the first one who posted, "Pat said so-and-so did bad work."
Yes, there's the crux of my problem. First and foremost because he explictly said no such thing. It was more along the lines of one particular translator showing no interest in the discussions on the translators' forum because everything looked "pretty straightforward" to him/her. This after Pat talked about how nuanced and laden with multiple meanings his work is, and how much sympathy he had for translators trying to capture all those layers in another language. So you can see that it wasn't a statement of "s/he did crappy work." But rather the translator, for whatever reason, saw the job as far more simplistic than was justified. Obviously that would be detrimental to the work, and put that language at a disadvantage compared to those with translators participating in the forum discussions.

This will become a process of elimination if I keep telling people, "it's not language X." If there's a way to PM here on Tor, that might be the best way to give interested individuals the information, without making this a public calling out. I'm willing to share, I'd just rather not put negative words in PR's mouth, ya know?
thistle pong
222. thistlepong
There's a "shoutbox" on Tor profiles. I sent you a PM via that.
Steven Halter
223. stevenhalter
It is interesting that the translator in question saw the work as straightforward. I've seen that complaint from various people who do a very superficial read of the book. "Why all the hubub, it's just a story about a boy who learns magic?" They blow past all of the mystery and nuance.
The mystery and nuance is the fun part of these.
Gerd K
224. Kah-thurak
Dark Laurian, Arliden's wife,
Has a face like a blade of a knife
Has a voice like a prickledown burr
But can tally a sum like a moneylender.
My sweet Tally cannot cook.
But she keeps a tidy ledger-book
For all her faults I do confess
It's worth my life
To make my wife
Not tally a lot less
Just to quote one part of the books that is utterly untranslatable...
thistle pong
225. thistlepong

Oddly enough we addressed one of the translations of that in the previous thread.

A reader posting under the name germanfae had posted this:
Unfortunately the german translation is not that good. For example the song about Natalia Lackless: in german you can't figure out that the true identity of Arlides wife is hidden in the song, especially not we you read it loud :). The translation has its good sites and bad sites…

Here on the Reread, a talented German reader posting as Blue Elodin was active at the time, so I asked for hir opinion:
I would agree partially. Some clues are lost in the translation (as is the allusion to Kvothe's Ademic name in "Don't bring thunder"). In the case of Netalia Lackless, however, the tranlsator seems to have made a conscious effort to preserve the clue. The last lines are: "Ich nie im Leben // In meinem Streben // zu lieben locker lass". Where "locker lass" of course alludes to "Lockless". It's definitely not as good a clue as in English, and harder to catch as it alludes only to her family name, but once you know it, it's definitely there.
After reading that, germanfae agreed:
yes! thank you for your effort! i had to read the english song to understand the deeper message of it. I actually ask myself when reading the book if its right to say "locker lass" in this kontext ( stick to ones guns/ not giving up ) I think thats the clue for the ATTENTIV, german reader … :)

Some of these folks are working incredibly hard to retain the fidelity and polysemy of the original. What we think would be "utterly untranslatable " is being preserved in translation as best it can.
Gerd K
226. Kah-thurak
I know the german translation... not very well, because I read the english version of the text, but i know the part you quote. And while it is allready very difficult to catch the hidden meaning in the english version I would (as a german native speaker) say it is impossible in the german translation, unless you allready know it. In english there is a disguised sentence that says "It's worth my life to make my wife Netalia Lockless". If you put "Lockless" instead of "locker lass" in the german sentence, it simply stops beeing a sentence. I dont want to criticize the translator. Actually the translation is very good as far as I can tell. But this is a perfect example where even the best effort of translation will loose some of the original meaning.
227. androgynes
@224-226: As a german native myself I have to agree with Kah-thurak, you can at the very most translate one meaning of a sentence into another language. If said sentence has multiple meanings you are going to loose some of that. In the English version it is not so much a clue, as it is another sentence in the sentence given a different pronounciation. While the translator did his/her best, there is no way it could be perfect (in the sense of preserving all hidden meaning, which btw we cant be sure of at the moment)
It was exactly that thought which makes me hesitate to buy a german copy of KKC. The book will loose a lot of its beauty for the price of some confirmed or refuted ideas... I'm still not sure if it would be worth that price :D but I guess I'm influenced by the imho really horrible translation of A Song of Ice and Fire...
228. storeygal
Some ideas to ponder: Rothfuss is deeply immersed in classical traditions, and one of the basic "hero" attributes is some confusion about fatherhood: think Perseus, Oedipus, Jesus...It's just too compelling an idea to simply discard. Could Arliden possibly not be K's father? It would explain his red hair, a highly recessive gene, especially when both parents have dark hair. In fact, Arliden even jokes about "some passing god" that Laurian might have had relations with. Why did Netalia change her name to Laurian anyway? IF she's Lady Lackless, since she never married Arliden, isn't she still Lady Lackless? Could SHE be the descendant of the Amyr? I think everything hinges on the jumprope song. It also seems obvious that Auri is the angel that K somehow kills. Maybe Ordal "of the bright hair," youngest of them all, who had never seen a thing die (Ch. 28). Rothfuss always describes her as having a "cloud" or "nimbus" of pale hair. I don't think he ever uses the word most suited to the image: "halo." Too obvious. The sword Folly seems to accord with the description of Cinder's sword in NotW, and if Bast is willing to keep it under his bed, it's surely not iron. Does steel affect him in a similar manner? Does this ancient blade pre-date steel? Maybe some of these things have already been bandied about. If so, my apologies--there are an awful lot of comments now.
229. storeygal
Some ideas to ponder: Rothfuss is deeply immersed in classical traditions, and one of the basic "hero" attributes is some confusion about fatherhood: think Perseus, Oedipus, Jesus...It's just too compelling an idea to simply discard. Could Arliden possibly not be K's father? It would explain his red hair, a highly recessive gene, especially when both parents have dark hair. In fact, Arliden even jokes about "some passing god" that Laurian might have had relations with. Why did Netalia change her name to Laurian anyway? IF she's Lady Lackless, since she never married Arliden, isn't she still Lady Lackless? Could SHE be the descendant of the Amyr? I think everything hinges on the jumprope song. It also seems obvious that Auri is the angel that K somehow kills. Maybe Ordal "of the bright hair," youngest of them all, who had never seen a thing die (Ch. 28). Rothfuss always describes her as having a "cloud" or "nimbus" of pale hair. I don't think he ever uses the word most suited to the image: "halo." Too obvious. The sword Folly seems to accord with the description of Cinder's sword in NotW, and if Bast is willing to keep it under his bed, it's surely not iron. Does steel affect him in a similar manner? Does this ancient blade pre-date steel? Maybe some of these things have already been bandied about. If so, my apologies--there are an awful lot of comments now.
Igor Bugaenko
230. BioLogIn
Personally I doubt that Folly could be Cinder's sword. I cannot imagine Kvothe treasuring a sword that killed his parents.
231. deebee

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

Kvothe tells us his parents never married, presumably this is the story Laurian and Arliden tell the troupe and everyone else But if we`re looking for hidden meanings in the sleeping under the wagon rhyme, why ignore what is posted in plain sight?

I think Arliden is saying that he has married Netalia, this poses a risk to his life, which is why her identity has been hidden as Laurian and they claim not to have married. I would guess the risk is that her family would kill him for running off with the prized Lackless heir. But there is a possibility that they also consider that Kvothe would be at risk if he is known to be legitimate-he would be a claimant to the Lockless lands/title/box, and that would make him a target to be eliminated by the remaining family. We don`t know anything about Aculeus Lockless, but maybe he`s not been above a little assassination in the past? Presumably Meluan was too young when Netalia disappeared to have been involved in downright murder though.

At any rate, we assume that the Jaxis family have been eliminating the opposition for years, so it seems equally possible the Lacklesses would not be above a little gentle pruning of inconvenient offshoots of the family tree.

I think the whole rhyme would repay a bit more examination. So Netalia has a face 'like the blade of a knife'? This suggests to me that maybe if she is recognised there is a danger to them both, a risk they will be killed. Of course it could be just a jokey reference to Laurian`s looks, but the rest of the rhyme needs to be looked at with the same questioning eye we give to the last line.
Ashley Fox
232. A Fox

Mmm, PR looks to the right when he mentions that bit about K&Bast. Just saying (pet theory alert!)

Also: :)
Kate Hunter
233. KateH
I agree that the poem bears close scrutiny. But what about the fact that K learns during his time in the Maer's court that Natalia's parents had disowned her. This would seem to call into question both K's right to inherit, whether he's "legitimate" or not, as well as the Lackless family's motivation to kill Arliden. Of course, it's not difinitive - what is in these books? But a family that publicly disowns one of their own doesn't seem likely to try to assassinate the person they ran off with as well. To my mind it would probably be one or the oter - disown or assassinate quietly. Just my impression however.

There's also our complete ignorance of how inheritance works in 4C. Can the head of a family decide to disenfranchise an heir and have it stick legally? Can bastards ever inherit? For that matter, will Meluan's inheriting mean that the Lackless box now passes out of Lackless family control and into the Maer's family? For all we know, inheritance and the family name could pass through the female line, so maybe K, being male would never have been an eligible heir at all, but Meluan's children would be Lacklesses.
thistle pong
234. thistlepong
A Fox@232

Awesome. Thank you.

Might be the kernel of truth in it? We do know that we'll see Kvothe and Bast meet and (paraphrase, will look for link) their early adventures.
thistle pong
235. thistlepong
Pat read the prologue to the provisonally titled The Tale of Laniel Young Again at one of the Paul & Storm shows over the weekend.

The video is linked at 1:39 and the reading runs until about 1:49.
Andrew Mason
236. AnotherAndrew
KateH: You are quite right that we don't know how inheritance works in Rothfuss's world; since it doesn't work the same way in all parts of our world, it would be wrong to presume anything. But at a guess:

a. If it's anything like mediaeval Europe, bastards would never inherit automatically, but might be considered if obvious legitimate heirs were lacking.

b. If Netalia's parents have disowned her, that would probably mean that she can't inherit their estates, but if there is a claim to the crown that passes through them, that might not be affected. And if we're talking about a magical inheritance rather than a legal one, there's no saying.
John Graham
237. JohnPoint
AFox@232: Nice. Though given today's date, all bets are off...

Edit to add: Thistle @235: thanks! That's great. For those who doubt the work that we do here, they should also review the section 1:22-1:38 where he reads and discusses Princess and specifically states that he doesn't do surprise endings. We know this already, but it's nice to be reminded by Pat that he spreads lots of clues throughout his writing...
238. Blue Elodin
I had an idea concerning a possibly significant linguistic connection. First, let me say that I am aware of the methodical doubts some people have expressed. However, I think we should not be overly sceptical if we look at the clear hints Rothfuss gives that the languages in the 4C have common roots, making Kvothe realize the similarity between "Tempi" and "temper" for example.

What I was wondering, is this: We know that iron has a special significance with regard to the relationship between the mortal world and Fae. Now:
1. Cal-eb is the name of the smith in Newarre.
2. Cal-anthis is the name of the royal, and oldest, family in Vintas.
3. Cal-uptena is the name of the city that hosted the richest library in the post-Cration war world (the "iron age")?

So, is "Cal" a root that means "iron"? If so, this might bring interesting aspects to the names of the old Vintic familiy and the ancient city.

On a different note, it seems amusing that the name of city where all that rich information could once be found that is lost now, seems also to be associated to the Greek word "kalyptein" (= to hide).
Jo Walton
239. bluejo
New post coming soon, with photos of the mask.
Carl Banks
240. robocarp
Blue Elodin @ 238

First off, PR said he was no linguist, but it doesn't take a linguist to throw a few root syllables around. So I don't see any reason to cease wondering about word roots.

However, I'm going to completely disagree about cal- meaning iron. First of all, Caleb is the only one conneted to the physical element. The other two are only connected to iron metaphorically, and that's even questionable, as in neither case is strength (the metaphorical quality of iron) the most notable characteristic: Caluptena was mostly known for its knowledge; the Calanthis for their wealth.

Second, we have good ideas about what all three of those words mean. Caleb is a Biblical name, and you'll notice that PR will sometimes use well-known biblical names (e.g. Benjamin) for people in religious parts of Vint. Calanthis are birds, little active red birds in fact. Caluptena, as you point out, has a good chance of being related to kalyptein.
241. BigVik
Blue Elodin @238

I believe that the word for iron is Fehr or Fer. Therefore some contemplate that Ferule (Cinder) has something to do with iron.
242. storeygal
@230 Re: Folly. Hardly something one "treasures," keeping it, as he does, under Bast's bed. "Beware of Folly": It's a reminder. Kvothe won the battle and lost the war by vanquishing Cinder. Even the occasion of his parents' deaths, much though it pains him, would pale to insignificance in the face of the worldwide war Kvothe believes he's unleashed.
@231 Re: You seem to be misreading what I called the "jumprope song" (because Kvothe recited it after hearing a little girl chant it while jumping rope) with the "sleeping under the wagon rhyme." The one to which I'm referring starts with "Seven things has Lady Lackless." No one doubts the validity of Arlidan and Laurian's union, but it doesn't necessarily mean that Kvothe is Arliden's son. In fact, in Walton's second posting, someone even suggests that the "black dress" could refer to a (pregnant?) widow. Laurian clearly states the Lady Lackless IS (present tense) a real person who CAN (still, because she's still alive) be hurt. "You can make it up to Lady Lackless and me..." Perhaps Master Lorren knows something of what's going on when he tries to guide Kvothe away from his "boyish whims"--not because they were silly, but because Lorren knows of "Arliden the Bard's" situation: Arliden is harboring a very powerful woman (she even dies with more dignity than he) who has a very potent secret.
243. Blue Elodin
On hiding things in plain sight: A good way of doing this is of course an "as if" comparison for something that is actually the case. Has there been a discussion of the scene at the beginning of NotW, where Kvothe (I am going to paraphrase, not having the English text at hand) closes the windows, "as if he wanted to seal himself of from the countless stars and their names" (all of which, it is said, he knows; which seems to indicate that he aquired immense power)? Could hiding from the names of the stars actually be (among other things) what he is doing in the Waystone?
Steven Halter
244. stevenhalter
Blue Elodin@243:
He called himself Kote. He had chosen the name carefully when he came to this place. He had taken a new name for most of the usual reasons, and for a few unusual ones as well, not the least of which was the fact that names were important to him. Looking up, he saw a thousand stars glittering in the deep velvet of a night with no moon. He knew them all, their stories and their names. He knew them in a familiar way, the way he knew his own hands.
Looking down, Kote sighed without knowing it and went back inside. He locked the door and shuttered the wide windows of the inn, as if to distance himself from the stars and all their varied names.
That is an interesting passage. In addition to the names of the stars, it remarks on how carefully he chose Kote.
245. deebee

Apologies, I didn`t make my meaning clear in my post. I wasn`t confusing the jump-rope rhyme with Arliden`s rhyme, I was responding to your statement:

'Why did Netalia change her name to Laurian anyway? IF she's Lady Lackless, since she never married Arliden, isn't she still Lady Lackless?'

My point is that it's always taken as a known fact that Netalia and Arliden never married, while Arliden`s rhyme makes that a very questionable assumption. Everyone refers to Kvothe as a bastard because he states that his parents never married. But we know that Kvothe states as fact those things that he believes at the time to be true, even where he later learns they weren`t. And I believe that Netalia has probably changed her name because there is danger to being identified as the runaway Lackless heir. Again the 'not tally a lot less ' rhyme hints at that.
Like you. I also wonder if Kvothe is Arliden's child. Not on account of the colour of his hair (since I have a red-haired child myself, and his father and I are both dark haired...) But Arliden`s jokey reference to a god just makes me wonder.

There is ambiguity about all of these issues, which must be intentional. It's what makes these books interesting to speculate about. I suspect that most things will turn out to be red herrings, but until we have more information, I do not trust that we know half the things we think we do.
John Graham
246. JohnPoint
deebee @245:

This is certainly an interesting question. Here's the passage where K addresses his parents relationship:
My parents were never really married, by which I mean they never bothered making their relationship official with any church. I’m not embarrassed by the fact. They considered themselves married and didn’t see much point in announcing it to any government or God. I respect that. In truth, they seemed more content and faithful than many officially married couples I have seen since.
I read this somewhat differently than the other passages where K talks about past "truths" that ended up being false. In those passages, he usually uses the past tense: "I knew the truth" or something along those lines. In this passage, he uses the present tense to discuss his knowledge about their relationship: "I'm not embarrassed by the fact." I feel that if he knew (in frame) that they had been secretly married, he would have used the past tense for that statement: "I wasn't embarrassed by the fact."

That said, I agree that the Tally rhyme could bear some additional scrutiny. For example the passage "My sweet Tally cannot cook / But she keeps a tidy ledger-book" could refer to the fact that she has her own money that she uses to keep the troupe "in the black" when/if they are down on their luck -- in other words, she is able to keep the ledger book balanced, regardless of the inflow of cash. She also, as a noblewoman, would almost certainly have not known how to cook when she first ran off with Arliden. So the whole line could be Arliden teasing her along the lines of "you didn't know how to cook, but I ran off with your for your money."

On a different note, we don't actually know for sure that Netalia was disowned by the Lackless line. We get that in the written gossip that Kvothe reads, but nothing official. At the same time, we see all sorts of other rumors, not all of which could possibly be true.
247. deebee

I think you make a valid distinction between Kote/Kvothe`s use of the present tense in the section you quote, and other past tense statements of 'fact' which later prove to be incorrect.
That may tell us that Kvothe continues to believe at the time of the frame story that they had never married. That may change as the frame story progresses.

Or I may be completely wrong, and Arliden refers to her as his wife in the rhyme because "they considered themselves married".

I`ve really raised it as an issue because it seems to me to be a possibility to consider, along with some of the other implications from the rhyme.
248. BigVik
Usually there's one red herring, as in trying to have you focus on it while the real "herrings" slip away. It would be kind of an overkill to put a lot of them in, and that's the case I think with Kvothe's parentage:

1. Some people already summed up clues that Netalia Lockless may have been knocked-up before running away with Arlinden.

2. Kvothe's unusual hair color.

3. Kvothe's unusual eyes, combined with the mention of Chandrian and their descendants by Arlinden and Ben regarding eye color specifically as a defining characteristic.

4. Kvothe's unusual talents.

5. Comments by many in the books regarding Kvothe being somehow "different" or misplacing him for Fae, Y'illish, etc.

6. An interesting story of parthenogenetic birth of Tehlu/Menda as someone destined to confront Encanis/Haliax and his demons/Chandrian. Is this foreshadowing Kvothe's birth?

7. Seemingly ridiculous theory by Adem about parthenogenetic conception by their women (see above though! as an aside doesn't Menda almost sound like Adem in reverse?). This leads Kvothe to read up on reproductive physiology -- a possible clue to his own origin? Arlinden not being a man-mother to him?

8. The whole prophetic "heir to bring the blood" thing. If you're a Ruh bastard you're unlikely to be able to legally inherit anything. If you're a son of god, or a god parthenogenetically born to a woman, then I think you can make the case for your inheritance rights, even in Vintas.

So far 8 herrings that I can think about, and probably there's more. I think there's more to Kvothe's parentage than we've been directly told. Possibilities are numerous, I'd love to see some kind of comprehensive compendium of them presented.
249. Rogerdodge
Ok, I have a question for everyone.
The first time I read Name of the Wind was the hardcover a friend loaned me. I could swear there was a line in there that isn't in the paperback or the ebook version and I think its one of those kinda important, kinda not lines, that tells you something about what Kvothe knows, and makes you think about something, but I thought of the wrong thing.
The section I am referencing is when Kvothe meets Meluan.
The line I could have sworn was in there, was something to the effect of "its probably obvious to you why she was so familiar, having it all told to you in order like this" which would mean Kvothe definitely knows who his mother was in the frame, and the relation between them. The thing is, I dont have access to that version of the book anymore, so I was wondering if anyone else who has the first(I think it was probably the first anyway) printing hardcover could check that and tell me if I am crazy. I know at the time I made the assumption(wrongly of course) that it was something about her maybe being related to Denna, and thats why it stuck with me.
250. Blue Elodin
@244 Stevenhalter:

Thanks for the quote!

" ... their varied (!) names"? Why phrase it that way in a context of a carefully chosen new (shaped?) name? What has been done to the stars? And if he knows them as he knows his own hands, hands that we know don't work properly anymore, perhaps the surface of that comparison is misleading as well: Perhaps he either does not know the names of the stars well anymore (as he does not know his hands well anymore; as proven by his surprised reactions when he is stung by the thorn) or he knows what is wrong with the stars as well as he knows what is wrong with his hands (and both things could be connected). Maybe even the fact that the shapers created new stars for the Fae, as we are told by Felurian, comes into play her.
251. MattBrewer
@249 Rogerdodge

I don't remember the exact point it comes up, but I think that comment by K is made about Cinder when he turns up in the bandit camp. His movement seemed oddly familiar to K, and was easily recognised by the reader.
Andrew Mason
252. AnotherAndrew
I don't think 'Arliden's wife' really does conflict with K's statement that his parents were never married; note that he says they considered themselves married; it is just that they had never gone through a ceremony making it official. Informal marriages have been accepted as such in many communities. Often when inheritances were involved. some more formal act was needed, but that was sometimes thought of as a proof of marriage rather than as constituting it. So; his parents were married for practical purposes, but it might still be hard for him to claim an inheritance.
jum bles
253. jumbles

If you're thinking of Name of the Wind then it couldn't be Kvothe meeting Meluan since that happened in Wise Man's Fear.


The only time I can think of where Kvothe says something like that is right after hearing Skarpi's first story. It was about not realizing right away that Lanre/Haliax was at his troupe's massacre. "By the end of the day, I was certain I had forgotten something. Something about the story Skarpi had told. It is easy for you to see, no doubt, hearing the story like this, conveniently arranged and narrated" (NotWc27).
254. MattBrewer
@253 jumbles

Ah yes! That's the bit I meant...

K does say that Meluan seems familiar when they first meet, and when I read it my first thoughts were of Denna too. No doubt that was PRs intent.

I think K must have connected the dots on his heritage by the frame. I think that it isn't really necessary to have this ambiguity surrounding it if it isn't somehow connected to the story. (I.e being an heir helping to open the door/box).

To answer the OP, my money is on amber in the box. I love the idea (suggested much earlier) of wood and amber being the tree-equivalent of blood and bone, which somehow binds the Cth to its tree.
Andrew Mason
255. AnotherAndrew
Thistlepong had a post a while ago on the resemblance between Meluan and Denna, which is really quite striking. Thistlepong actually suggested that Denna might be Meluan's runaway sister; I find that unlikely, since the evidence for Laurian is very strong, but I do think she is a Lackless of some kind.
256. Rogerdodge
Jumbles @253
You are right, I must have been confusing the 2 because I read them so close together on the second read through (within 24 hrs probably). I dont know why I didnt realize it on one of my other read throughs, Ive only been through the books about 6 times......
257. Pykus
I just noticed something I don't recap reading here yet. When Kvothe gets to the University he mentions that the stained glass window shows Teccam in his cave. I would think this is a pretty strong indication that Teccam is the old man in the cave that Jax meets. No idea yet what that would mean to the rest of the story...
258. encaitar
Well, there is a man of questionable age who "lives in a cave" in the Archives.
259. Disreputable Dog
I've been following this thread for a few months now. I've pondered on what to respond to for some time. There are a lot of good points being made here. I have had this thought brewing for nearly as long as I've been reading this post. Only more recently have a started to feel that is wouldn't be an intrusion to offer it the community.

I'm not sure the point can be given 'straight'. Instead I'll reference something that happened to me in my some eight years at college. I was asked by a professor to write a very succinct report that the Japanese had never crossed the Pacific Ocean to make landfall in the Americas. As far as history goes there does not appear to be any such evidence to my knowledge that they ever crossed the Pacific Ocean 'to' make landfall in the Americas. The 'to' would imply intent. However, at the time this request came up I was actually well aware that infact the Japanese had made landfall in Chile easily as early as 700 AD and probably many times earlier. The important point was that it was not a deliberate landfall. The oceanic curruents of the North Pacific dump out in a miserable desert along the cost of Chile. Japanese fisherman and their families would occationally get swept out in this and that's where they would end up. Academia has a cultural of generalizing things down to a very narrow view. Especially this is true in American institutions. I realized quickly that writing anything, but the requested thesis would land be a B+ at best while writing the requested paper would earn me an A+. Wanting my A I wrote exactly what I knew that professor would accept. It resulted in a very amiable experience with them the rest of my time in school.

The life event above highlights a certain problem with human beings and their modes of reasoning. The human animal seems to be almost entirely a habitual creature. It may try to mold itself into something unique, but largely this uniqueness folds against even slight resistence until it begins to retard and deform into its region's biosphere. In academia the professors tend to be 'idiot geniuses'. That is, they were smarter than the average person early in life, but having no one and nothing to challenge them into humility during their developmental years begin to retard into narrowminded visionless automatons fairly quickly. So much so they've made a career out of it and collect those like themselves into 'colleges'.

This narrowmindness and habit-formed culture that tends to be the majority of academia is hostile to challenges to their intellectual certainties in same way that religious zealots are hostile to anything that points out contradictions and fallacies of their faith.

Rothfuss appears to be a man who came into life with 'the right hardware' for the current breed academia. Personally I like the man, however, it is clear he's caught the plague that most academics have: faith by certainty. Similar to the 'rooms of the mind' in his story the intellect is fairly blind to feels and vice versa. Both are fairly blind to 'knowing' much in the way Rothfuss describes Knowing, but the other way around isn't so. Whether this suggets the mind is a trinary computer or something more complex I don't know, but I sense a certain frustration from Rothfuss's writings about academia's retardation from avenues of self-awareness to patterns of reflective self-confirmation.

The whole processs Ben teaches Kvothe about how to hide things from yourself in your own head is part of learning how the human animal actually works. The whole animal, not just some indoctrinated citation process and hypothetical methology which scorn beginning process to discover: conjector and speculation (in order). Ben actually teaches Kvothe to KNOW himself. Elodin is doing the same thing. It's quite rational really. "Go out and have an EXPERIENCE. Now, use the basic sciences and philosophies and their diverse methologies to discern how that experience resulted in your heightened perspective. Did the perspective deminish without the source experience? Did it intensy? Why? So on. How much of that was the result of your physiology. How much was the result of external mitigation. By what rational did you draw lines of discern? Could different lines be drawn? Do you need those lines? Find that less in a modern academic setting. You won't find it in Ivy League. You won't it in the other schools? You MIGHT find it from a professor 70 years old or older... maybe.

Just like Kvothe's world, ours is dying because people are completely immersed in using habitual patterns of reasoning and discernmnet (not the same thing). Recently a skeptic and academic professor was sent to the Himalayas to dispell rumors of the Yeti. After a week he had climbed one trail along one face of a 7000 foot mountain. His conclusion at the the end of that? Actually, yes, the world is big enough to have a giant hairy ape no one has ever seen in it. That professor went there as an 'idiot genius' who lock picks doors to barter favor with Elodin and tries to peer into a door of stone (Yeti) and instead found humility. He'd climbed ONE trail of ONE face of ONE mountain of the whole Himalayas and learned just how very small his 'certainty' about anything out there really was.

Rothfuss again and again hammers on that Kvothe is Edema Ruh. In real world term we'd be saying Gypsie. Most of the real world over if you say, "That person is a Gypsie," people will NOT respond kindly to the person so labeled. There's a reason for that. Some of it may be real prejudice, but usually it is reflective-self preservation. Stereotypes are not happy things, but they usually persist because the people getting labeled with them happen to encourage it. Kvothe's no exception. He may have grown up traveling with the Ruh, but his positive view of them is very limited. Most of the world over hates them and there's probably reason for that. It's a very kick the dog syndrome. The Ruh get kicked around and after awhile that colors them. It becomes part of who they are. After that if they haven't been kicked in awhile they start to go looking for it: it speaks of home. Hence, Ambrose and Kvothe. Kvothe even gets more colorful with this because of Tarbean.

The point I'm getting to with all of this is that Rothfuss seems to be deliberately trying to point out that various parts of the mind are blind to one another. He... through Kvothe and Ben (second hand)... gives a free pass into the basic framework of how the mind works in Rothfuss' world. However, each of the arguments on this page continue to use the tried and true citation method. "So and so said this. So and so said that. Since this and that don't match up this is not that or vice versa." That's fine, it seems to work well enough for habitual lifers, but it's heading down into the deserts of academia where all is known.

Did anyone yet stop to think that actually there are three forms to Knowing? Know... Knowing...and Known. Know is omnidirectional and non-local. That presents the possability of full on knowledge of anything from any place, any time, anywhere. Shiny! But, Knowing is to the immediate be that of a perception of the past or future! And then there is Known... the froggy cesspit of the lot. Academia and it's residents tend to reside here... It is the place things go once already Experienced and then rememebered, but without the conjoining element "experience" abstract from lack of fusion and turn into entirely conjectural non-sense with no confirmative basis.

If you Kvoth you are saying:

My head was swimming by this point. "I still don't understand."

Elodin had this to say about everything so far:

He laid a hand on my shoulder. "Using words to talk of words is like using a pencil to draw a picture of itself, on itself. Impossible. Confusing. Frustrating." He lifted his hands high above his head as if stretching for the sky. "But there are other ways to understanding!" he shouted, laughing like a child. He threw both arms to the cloudless arch of sky above us, still laughing. "Look!" he shouted tilting his head back. "Blue! Blue! Blue!”

Selitos is almost certainly not the Cthaeh. I have reasons for concluding this. The more typical will come first.

Of the curses Selitos set upon Alaxel one was:
"This is my doom upon you. Your name will be turned against you, that you shall have no peace."

Exactly how he will have no peace from his name is not clear, but is seems this may be a very good reason why he doesn't like his name spoken. The other Chandrian seem to have all stemmed from the same era so that may have been one of the things people did back then when a particularly hanis thing was done. Anyway, it doesn't really matter. The other two dooms (three again) being: that your face may always be held in shadow and that anyone who follow Alaxel would suffer the same. Cinder has black eyes. If the other Chandrian also suffer some similar ailment then it is likely we have the answer behind why the Chandrian wander around killing people who know their names and why Alaxel and Cinder have issues of darkness beyond their own making. Asclepius is the human name for the man to which the constellation Ophiuchus references. Asclepius was known as the ‘Serpent Holder’ which later became the twin serpents of the medicine today.

Furthering the idea that Selitos is not the Cthaeh is that Selitos, Tehlu, and Aleu have been discussed in conjunction with one another while the Cthaeh has not been associated with the rest. This leads into the complex issue of structuring.

When making a story the choice of how to structure it is usually done with lackadaisical whim. There really isn’t a ‘story’ so much as chemistry within which character function primarily as elements. In the Dresden Files Harry is an idiot who jumps the gun and spends the rest of the time sorting through the mess. The ‘story’ is the genius by which Harry does this. The ‘structure’ that leads to Harry figuring out how to do that is less the author’s purgative as it is the author’s puzzle. In many ways this is why Rothfuss keeps saying his story is a satire of the hero stories. Kvothe doesn’t figure things out. Kvothe only assumes that he has. Kvothe sees himself as a better person. We can even empathize with his decisions. We can see the logic in them, but we know… oh how we know… so many of his choices are really bad decisions. The chemistry is again Kvothe’s tendency to be too smart to have any equals to kick him down. He has friends who are sounding boards. He has those who try to give him the advice, but ultimately his only superior is Denna. Similar to the idea of morphogenesis… the author feels the resonance of these things… they feel the ordered formations the tensions those resonances ultimately brings… but then they have to name them. The author has to find a way to record all that down and learn the names transform. Some do this well… Rothfuss, Butcher, McDevitt, Czerneda, etc… and some don’t… Sanderson, Lackey, Brooks, Goodkind, etc.

Rothfuss was wise, first of all. He wrote the whole thing before he even tried to touch the incestuous writhing pit (deliberate) that is the publishing industry. He got write it all out. This means several many things. It means that somewhere on paper and/or in his head he has the mythos and histories and creatures filed away. He actually HAS them. He’s not inventing them as he goes along. He might have to invent some along the way, but he has structure to work with.
Since he did science for so many years he may even have this all somewhat organized ‘somewhere’. The ultimate problem for him is what to tell you. His book is linear, but it has temporal, mythical, and charismatic depth. It has contradictions. Some intended (structured), some resultant from the flow (chemistry). He may have an algorithm or many several he’s working around (generally) to keep track of things. Personally I’d imagine it might be something like filing system. Mythos are blue, red is cultural conflicts, and green might be creatures, etc. A 20,000 word document can only have R number of References to Mythos (M) for every nth page. Usually such details come out after the fact, but if the story is already written then having this information to contemplate on can be very handy.

My guess is that Rothfuss is probably pulling a Kubrick. First he gives you something at face value: HAL. Really he’s saying IBM, which reflects onto person’s face reading the word HAL (IBM does I mean). Since Rothfuss can’t actually preform that trick so literally he instead says something out right, then contradicts: Lanre was a hero, Selitos was the villain. Or as someone posted above, he tells you outright what’s in the box, but does it in such a ridiculous dismissive way that you put it aside. Lando Mollari does this in Babylon 5 to show how people ignore things that are socially disgraceful by acting ravenously drunk and sexual to a woman in the Royal Palace when in fact he is neither drunk nor is she insulted, but rather he is escorting a captive free of the palace and into safety. We ignore what is uncomfortable to us just as we laugh at what hurts us: Stranger in Strange Land brought that up I believe.

Overall, excellent posts and hypotheses, but I’d more deeply consider Elodin’s “Blue, blue, blue” and how that has to do with Knowing and using the external world as an extension of conscious rather than a separate entity.
260. FalconGK81
re 166: "I think it becomes a rather compelling argument. I think it also lends an interesting interpretation to the silence being his."

I know the conversation has moved on a bit from this, but I'm catching up, and I saw the post at 166, and thought it was phenomenal, so I wanted to discuss it. Especially since it seems to have gone largely unnoticed/discussed.

Post 166 is a fantastic observation. I think you are ABSOLUTELY right, and Kvothe will learn the name of silence. When Kvothe is studying Yllish (which we have reason to believe is a language somehow related to or associated with naming), he notes that ownership is DUAL. He mentions how Yllish is hard to learn, and one of the reasons is how in Yllish owning a pair of shoes changes both the shoes AND the owner grammatically "as if owning a pair of shoes changes the person".

And we're told repeatedly that the silence belongs to Kvothe. There is also the rhyme about the rings that Kvothe owns, and one of them is without name, which seems like it would be fitting of a ring to represent silence.

We know the rings on the right hand signify something different from the rings on the left hand, and that Elodin says none of his students are ready for that. I think this might mean that rings on the right hand are names you OWN, as opposed to names you know.
261. Sandman
First time poster so please excuse me if this has already been mentioned. While rereading the Lady Lackless riddle/song - - I had a couple thoughts.
1) "One of them a ring unworn" could refer to a wooden ring such as the one given to Kvothe by Meluan. He was warned not to wear it so we can assume it is not for wearing.
2) "One a son who brings the blood" it struck me that maybe this is the answer to opening the box. It has to be someone of the bloodline and perhaps instead of a "key" they actually have to use some blood. Blood makes the box open.
262. The Moon
The Moon - nowadays is self illuminating.

In the past, before part of it was stolen - it was a full proper normal moon, which only reflected the suns light.

Somehow a piece of the moon was stolen (with the aid of the flute). A namer having now a piece of the moon is able to study it and discover the name of the moon. Having a piece of the moon would also allow a strong sympathetic link to be made - possibley allow the moon to be moved. If not, then simply knowing the name of the moon would allow a shaper to do anything he wants with it.

Theory is that Fae was made mostly out of the moon - it is a whole new planet created by shapers and orbits the 4c. It orbits behind where the moon is so that it is not seen by the inhabitants of the 4c. It's smaller than the moon and does not rotate.
The moon now does rotate.

The moon is now a manmade artifact (made out of what was left of the moon) that also enables transit between Fae and 4c - also self illuminated in order to make it seem like a nearly normal moon once more.

The shapers made the Fae from the moon, perhaps grabbing a few other bits of land here and there from 4c to add to it.

But before the Fae was created and moon was stolen, shapers were loose in the 4c doing 'damage' to natural things (changing the shape/name of things - shaping) - so the 4c is not a world with only laws like ours (physics/chem/no alchem) because it has been changed by the shapers. Therefore alchemy and sympathy exist.

Could the menders be trying to set the world back to normal? - to do away with the altered elements of 4c. Are Tinkers providing people with what they need in order to complete their task without using magic?

i.e. the plan involving a Rope might have been enough to stop that draccus from getting to Trebbon. If Kvothe had those boots - how would the bandit encounter have played out?

- love these books.
263. The Moon
Greystones/Waystones were made out of moon-stone also...
264. Ron6632
A few thoughts.

This has probably been suggested at some time or other, but I havn't managed to wade thrrough everything yet. There's just so much!


The door in the archives - could the key(s) be in the Lackless box? I only have the audiobook for day 1, but I'm sure that K says that the locks are unusual. I can't help but feel that at somepoint he returns to the Maer, who sends him off on his library quest for the Amyr, resulting in the Lackless box being opened revealing the key for the 4 plate door.

Edema Ruh

Could the Ruh be a benign splinter of the Amyr? In Skarpis story do the Ruac (sp?) not form part of the first Amyr. There are possible links with the Adem also (the Adem were a splinter of the Ruh who found land to settle and develop their own culture?) who could also have historical links to the Amyr.
265. Necarion
The Lackless Box appears to be made of the Rhinna wood, like the Cthaeh's tree, a wood that may contain "Iron or Copper." Could the Cthaeh be imprisoned in the tree (and the contents of the Lackless Box kept safe) precisely because of its copper content and accompanying anti-Namer properties?
266. elricprincess
173. Thistleponge

Hey sorry it's taken so long.

You can confirm in the Seasons of Mist issue.
267. SFReader
Kvothe is an heir to the Lackless family started by Lyra. In the box is the key that sealed Jax (the enemy) by Lyra and Lanre (before Haliax). He can and opens her lockless box, removes the key and opens the door that kept the flood. What leads him to this act is in the first part of DOS, dealing with the consequences of his act - the conclusion. I hope Pat releases the book before I get to figuring out the minor details ;)

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