The more I think about this poem, the more I fail to understand it. When I first read it, I thought strange and mysterious info-dump. Now, I'm not so sure.
Seven things stand before
The entrance to the Lackless door.
One of them a ring unworn
One a word that is forsworn
One a time that must be right
One a candle without light
One a son who brings the blood
One a door that holds the flood
One a thing tight-held in keeping
Then comes that which comes with sleeping.
It seems clear that the poem isn't about those things physically before the Lackless door but rather the criteria which have to be fulfilled before entering the Lackless door (yes this is an obvious point).
When I first read the related poem in NOTW (pg. 77) before WMF came out I assumed Lady Lackless was a Chandrian because of the obvious reference to the number seven and the sinisterness of the song.
My operating assumption was that the Lackless family was the surviving family, one of whose members had become one of the Chandrian. Clearly that was hugely wrong.
We now know a great deal more about the Lackless family. But the repeated association with the number seven remains as does the question of what exactly their association with the door is. There are really two options. Either they are guardians (appointed or self-appointed) of some kind or they are heirs who were powerful enough to secure control of something very dangerous and have held on to it since. Other members of the Lackless family might have tried and failed to open the Lackless door. We know the family is ancient, perhaps even older than the lineage of the High King of Modeg.
On their own terms the poems don't particularly analyse well together.
1. ring unworn;
what could this be? Kvothe is gifted a wooden ring by Auri to keep secrets, but that ring is clearly for a separate purpose since the NOTW poem suggests that Lady Lackless keeps this ring under her black dress. Let's assume it's a family heirloom we haven't seen, though given the significance of rings in the chronicles, I assume there is much more to it. None of the rings Kvothe is reputed to wear in WMF fit.
2. word, unsworn "sharp word/not for swearing".
I've speculated this could be Caesura, which doesn't work very well. I'm stumped on anything else. Whatever it is, it's supposed to be in Lady Lackless' possession. Maybe it's the true name of the Amyr?
3. time that must be right
I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that this has something to do with the movement of the moon. Maybe a night with no moon?
4. A candle without light/"Right beside her husband's candle"
the first part might conceivably be the candle Auri gifted to Kvothe which probably produces scents but not light. The second part was in NOTW referred to as sexual innuendo, but may refer to an actual candle.
5. son who brings the blood.
finally, something straightforward. That's Kvothe. They need a male who has Lackless blood.
6. one a door that holds the flood
There is a door that holds the flood BEFORE the Lackless door? This makes no sense.
Caudicus tell us (WMF, Ch 59, Purpose) “I’ve heard that on the oldest parts of the Lackless lands, in the oldest part of their ancestral estate, there is a secret door. A door without a handle or hinges.” He watched me to make sure I was paying attention. “There’s no way of opening it. It is locked, but at the same time, lockless. No one knows what’s on the other side.”
It's impossible for the door to be outdoors since people could use the obvious expedient of going around or blowing up what's next to it in order to find out what's behind it. So let's assume it's in an ancient bedchamber of some kind.
Still the existence of a door before the Lockless door is very troublesome. Let's assume that it literally holds the flood, i.e. the door is constructed to hold out an aquifer or something. I originally read it as a metaphor on PR's part, the door that held the flood was the Lackless door itself, but (1) there are seven things before the Lackless door- remove the second door and you are left with six (2) the position in the rhyme is that this door is the sixth criteria, not even the seventh and final.
7. Thing tight held in keeping.
Vague enough that it could be anything. It might conceivably be the contents of the Lackless box. It might be a secret or name that is revealed to her in dreams, though our most informed speculation about dreams is that they are sent by the Tehlu and his angels (see Kvothe's dream of knots, Nina's dream of the Chandrian).
If the whole wrestle an angel thing comes up with the door, that will make matters even murkier. But logically, the terrible thing Kvothe is supposed to have wrought, and his heart's desire, both seem at least connected with the Chandrian. If Kvothe finds out the Amyr were imprisoned as Thistle speculates, then his heart's desire might well be freedom for them in the hope they will aid his attempt to destroy the Chandrian.
8. BONUS requirement: Then comes that which comes with sleeping/
"She's been dreaming and not sleeping
On a road, that's not for traveling
Lackless likes her riddle raveling. "
the causation here is muddled. NOTW suggests that the dreams come before the door is the opened, the most recent rhyme that the dreams come in place of sleep and are the result of opening the door even. Making sense of them makes my head hurt. The best I can do is suggest that the dreams are taking her somewhere even more dangerous than Fae.
ok this is a post tremendously long on speculation, short on informed facts. But you know, this is thread VI. Everybody else feel free to jump in and take a shot. I haven't read the old threads recently, have we discussed this before?
Edited by Gaston de Foix, 14 June 2011 - 10:45 AM.