Wow, you guys have been busy, it's taken me longer to read all these threads than it did to read WMF! Some fantastic catches and theories on here, though I'm amazed my following theory hasn't really been touched on at all. (Wow, I did not see this post being this long, this is the short version! So apologies)
I believe in certain parts of this theory more than other parts, it really has grown and expanded in speculation since reading these threads, so without further ado...
My theory goes like this, Denna is not a Chandrian, but she will become one, replacing Cinder.
I don’t have the books with me at present but I’ve found some evidence to make it plausible, first off there are rumours/stories of a new Chandrian though they refer to Kvothe. The whole point of stories in the KKC is they contain a vein of truth running through them, so while Kvothe is not the new Chandrian, there is one running about which he may have directly or indirectly been responsible for.
We know the Chandrian are still out there through the framing in WMF, that's not a surprise as it would be pushing Kvothe into god like power to defeat them all in the last book, but I'd be very surprised if Kvothe doesn't defeat/kill Cinder in the DOS, there's a reason he's been picked as the main focus of Kvothe's revenge over the others and I think The Cteath helps hone and crystalise this train of thought. By revealing Cinder raped/tortured his mother it's focusing and centering that hate within Kvothe and sending down that path. The Cteath we are told always picks the most malicious path for the future, so my theory goes likes this:
1. It relys on Master Ash = Cinder, I think the evidence is too strong for this over Bredon which I'll explain later.
2. Cinder will be the one killed in Imre, the fact we only ever hear the person mentioned as 'him' might be an old hangover of never mentioning the names of the Chandrian in public.
3. Killing one Chandrian is going to be an epic task all by itself, so one epic fight which leads to the destruction of the Eolian and moves outside (the Eolian being destroyed is a theory and there's some possible foreshadowing of it), maybe if Denna is performing there Cinder is in and around as patron, Kvothe bumps him to him...
4. Plenty of potential for causalities in the crossfire, Sim?, Wil?
5. I think it has to be more than naming that doesn't allow the cobblestones to be mended, it would take every strain of magic to defeat Cinder, and him being 5000 years old he's going to know a fair bit himself, shaping?
6. Cinder is defeated, Haliax shows up, Kvothe is too weak to beat him.
7. Chandrian seems to means 7, so we can't have 6 can we?, Denna's search for magic and power could mean having her head turned by Haliax to take Cinders place. No more beatings, true magic, a 'proper place in the world', power etc it might be too good an offer to refuse, it would also fit with Kvothe feeling betrayed by Denna.
8. Technically this could be classed as breaking his oath not to go looking for Denna’s patron, all the more reason she is pissed and more susceptible to Haliax.
9. Haliax and Cinder don't get along it seems, so I wouldn't be surprised if Haliax sits the Kvothe fight out and lets Cinder die, maybe to get a better feel of powerful new enemy in Kvothe or because he's tired of Cinder and his possible screw ups (the bandits).
Whether Kvothe injures his left hand or not in this fight could be open also, another random point to finish on is he doesn’t have to kill all the Chandrian to score a major victory against them. One of Kvothe’s most frustrating failures is finding information and getting people to believe him on the Chandrian subject. Not openly fighting, but killing one of the Chandrian would destroy thousands of years of work by them to erase themselves from history, if that partly is their plan.
In the framing in WMF when Kvothe speaks their true names from the Adem story, Bast is horrified, but Kvothe points out it won’t matter one, besides, there’s probably people all over the FC speaking their names in wartime, they wouldn’t know the difference. Why would people be talking about the Chandrian openly all of a sudden? Has Kvothe done something to expose them? That’s where I get the above theory from.
The seed of all this came from my original belief that Denna wasn't trying to learn written magic, she was looking for help to not be controlled by it. I think/thought she was an unwilling agent of the Chandrian, the (paraphrased) 'See a girl pale as snow, easy come easy go' line sounds more like a sign than one of the actual Chandrian. I don't think they have a network of agents themselves, there trying to erase their own existence, having a network of agents constantly saying their name won't help matters, though having one person under constant and complete control could be a help. That's not to say Denna is centuries old/immortal, they might use random girls for a time and then dispose of them. In a city like Tarbean, whos going to notice another dead whore down a back alley?
After reading all these threads this does seem less likely now, but as no one has really mentioned it I thought I would through the whole Denna looking for a counter magic theory on here.
I also thought Denna was either trying to learn Yllish magic to counteract the Chandrians hold over her, or they are spoon feeding her BS to keep her compliant or semi cooperative, the same with Cinder acting as a patron of sorts. That she's had contact with the Chandrian and knows some of their secrets would make her the ideal replacement, while being a good parallel fate of Lanre/Lyra to Denna/Kvothe. They might also like to keep a ‘reserve’ just in case or have a powerful human agent, but I doubt that.
As for Bredon, unless Cinder/Bredon are the same person I can't see it simply because of geography. We know from Kvothe it takes 2-3 weeks to sail from Tarbean to Vint one way, add another 2-3 days to Imre, that's 8-10 weeks travelling alone. Then add on a few weeks spent with Denna, a few trips a year, can Bredon really afford to be away up to half a year from the Maer's court when the Maer himself can’t risk being away? Unless he's using The Fae/Waystones as some sort of shortcut it just doesn't add up for me. On top of that the whole wedding and Master Ash asking for what sounds like a scouting report from Denna about the wedding is too big a hint IMO to be a red herring.
It might be cliché having Cinder/Ash, but having Denna die at the end is much more of a widespread cliché in my eyes, tbh I think it’s impossible to avoid every cliché in a story no matter what medium it’s in, it’s enough of a heartbreaking twist while avoiding the standard happily ever after or dies in his arms which it appears to be.
Edited by Jodan, 01 July 2011 - 06:43 PM.