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The Wise Man's Fear VII (Spoilers and speculation)

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Roose Bolton's Pet Leach, thanks for asking that question. And for the bit of joy I got from your verse.

The short answer is specificity, efficiency, and the reduction of significant variables. With Devi's thermal device someone could accomplish some quick and dirty tasks on objects near at hand. With someone's blood one doesn't really need to know their location or identity to bedevil them.

But really, I'm thanking you 'cause I think that just cleared a bunch of muck out of my head regarding the Selitos/Lanre scene. Still processing it though.

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I've finished these books as of late

And in rather atypical manner

I have feelings of love and of hate

(And to make matters worse

I'm now writing in verse

To the metre of Tinker and Tanner)

Seriously, I really can't decide my attitude towards this series. I love the writing, and the interest in verse appeals to me (the sheer fact that Rothfuss got two of his characters to conduct a conversation in rhyming iambic tetrameter warms my heart). Plus sympathy as a concept is awesome. Downside is that very little actually, well, happens in the space of over 1600 pages, most of the characters are forgettable, and Kvothe just reeks of wish fulfillment.

Speaking of sympathy though: it's established in WMF that you can link between a corpse and a living person. If you can link across bodies, why bother getting some of your victim's hair or blood when you can link your own hair to their hair or blood (yes, there would be more slippage, but it would save time and hassle)?.

As to the first bolded part, I felt the story was entertaining while nothing apparently seemed to happen for great swaths of chapters - something along the lines of Seinfeld (I don't know if you've ever seen that, but it was famous for nothing happening, but succeeded in being one of the most entertaining shows on television.) And I say nothing apparently happens, but I only mean that in a shallow sense. We are actually being fed innumerable clues to what someone mentioned upthread as a "mystery." Anyway, I was entertained immensely along with being intrigued.

As for the second bolded part, I would argue that what you suggest would be extremely risky. You would be exerting your Alar to affect not only another person, but yourself as well. I suppose it wouldn't be impossible to control it, but it's somewhat sketchy. Also, the author makes it clear that any use of blood/bone sympathetic links in the exercise of harm is strictly verboten and falls firmly into the category of malfeasance. What Kvothe did in the forest with the mercenary camp, if it ever got back to the University, would definitely call for expulsion. It's a good thing he was under the Maer's orders in Vintas, actually.

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I don't think the University cares whether he was under the Maer's orders or that they were "bad guys". Kvothe performed malfeasance 100% no doubts. The rules against malfeasance aren't in place to be disregarded when fighting bad people, those laws were put in place to keep people from burning Arcanists when they learn about how much power they actually have.

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I agree. I meant it was good he was able to get the Maer's pass on it or else he'd have been in trouble with the law in Vintas in addition to whatever punishments meted out by the University.

Come to think of it, Ambrose and his family are from Vintas. I think it's just a matter of time before word gets back through Ambrose of Kvothe's activities in Vintas.

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He may well get expelled, but I always thought that line about being expelled at a younger age than most join has already been fulfilled by what happened in TNOTW when he names the wind in the attack on Ambrose.

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I've always thought so too, but there's a possibility that a second expulsion, unrescinded, may be in the cards.

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Doesn't Kvothe say somewhere in TNOTW that Ambrose gets his revenge, etc, etc, and says it after he's received his suspended expulsion (in which case there is another expulsion coming up under Chancellor Hemme?).

BTW, I keep having this hilarious image of the Cthaeh as the Evil Tree from the Mighty Boosh. A shame I can't find the relevant clip on youtube.

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Folks asked for this over at Tor. Thought y'all might be interested, too.

Zero set at Kvothe's entrance to the University

Color Key:

Kvothe's Age



Skill Leveling



-10,000 shepherds begin whistling Bell Weather : :lol::

~Tinker Tanner (the oldest song in the world, not really)

Old Knowers

“these old name-knowers moved smoothly through the world. they knew the fox and they knew the hare, and they knew the space between the two.”


“then came those who saw a thing and thought of changing it. they thought in terms of mastery. “they were shapers. proud dreamers.”

Felurian on the walls of Murella

Faen sewn from whole cloth by the Shapers

Each shaper wrought a star to fill the empty sky of Faen

Iax spoke to the Cthaeh

Iax pulls the Moon into Faen

(the land cracks and the sky changes)

The Mortal makes war on Faen

The Creation War (centuries long)

-5500 Chael shapes Saicere

x 31

(#Owners - Finol)

The Empire of Ergen (hundreds of cities)

The Empire reduced to Seven cities and one city

Belen, Antus, Vaeret, Tinusa, Emlen, Murilla and Murella

Myr Tariniel, greatest of them all and the only one unscarred by the long centuries of war.


Lanre marries Lyra

L&L thwart a surprise attack on Belen

L&L raise armies

L&L make the cities the cities recognize the need for allegiance.

L&L press the Empire’s enemies back

Blac of Drossen Tor turns the tide of the war

Finol holds Saicere

(more people died in three days than are living today)

Lanre dies killing a great beast with scales of black iron

The enemy is set/shut beyond the doors of stone

Lyra resurrects Lanre

War continues, years pass

Lyra dies, Lanre disappears

Lanre speaks to the Cthaeh

Lanre orchestrates the betrayal


Lanre comes to Myr Tariniel

MT and six other cities ruined.

Selitos curses Haliax and his allies

The fragment depicted in NotW c.28

Most of the ruach choose not to become invloved

Selitos founds the Amyr

Aleph empowers Tehlu & Pals

The Adem

Aethe seeks mastery over the bow

Aethe founds a school

Rethe comes

Aethe & Rethe duel

Rethe dictates nine and ninety tales

The Aethe path founded

The Aratan path founded

The Latantha path founded

-3000 The Loeclos Box

Heldred unites the nomads in the hills around the Shalda Mountains

Heldim and Heldar

-2000 The Cealdim introduce standardized hard currency

(Kvothe’s inaccurate Saicere estimate)

-1500 Sovoy’s blood goes back fifty generations

-1300 Oldest surviving mention of Loeclos family name

-1000 Height of Lockless power

Trapis's Story (corroborated)

The Book of the Path

-1000 The Aturan Empire & the Tehlin Church

-900 variant spellings of Lockless in Caudicus's book

-600 The Lockless change their name(s)

Lackless (Vint)


Laclith (South)

Kaepcaen (Modeg)

(Trapis’s story: disputed)

-400 The Aturan Empire absorbs Vint

-370 Gibea begins vivisection

-350 The Amyr move against the Duke of Gibea

19/23 volumes lost

-300 Alpura Prolycia Amyr

The Pontifex dispands the Amyr

*during Emperor Nalto’s reign

-300 to present Nine cataloguing systems in the Archives

-300 to -200 The Aturan Empire collapses

-200 novel travelogues all the rage in Modeg

-200 Tehlins still burned anyone with a knack

*called demon signs

-80 The Medica removes cataracts

-55 Oren Velciter born

*Abenthy born

-50 Four Master Archivists within five years of one another

3 factions:




-40 Lerand Alveron born

* Trapis born

*Abenthy enters the University (18)

-35 Larkin Ledgers burned

ending 15 years of Scriv Holy War

200,000 books effectively lost

*Abenthy knows as much as [email protected] (20)

-30 Master Archivist Tollem dies

new Master Archivist

new Archival System

-24 Maershon Lerand Alveron succeeds his father (16)

-18 Simmon Dalonir born

* Denna Born

-16 Arliden steals Laurian away

-15 Kvothe born

-12 Kvothe learns to sing (Age 3)

-9 Kvothe stops believing in magic (Age 6)

-7 Kvothe learns the Lute (Age 8)

-7 Kvothe learns an eclectic smattering of Commonwealth law

-6 Kvothe learns the inner workings of the Modegan royal court from Hetera (Age 9)

Arliden begins collection stories about Lanre…

-5 Elodin is Chancellor

-4 Abenthy joins Greyfallow’s Men (Age 11)

I learned how to work the sextant, the compass, the slipstick, the abacus. More important, I learned to do without. Within a span I could identify any chemical in his cart. In two months I could distill liquor until it was too strong to drink, bandage a wound, set a bone, and diagnose hundreds of sicknesses from symptoms. I knew the process for making four different aphrodisiacs, three concoctions for contraception, nine for impotence, and two philtres referred to simply as “maiden’s helper.”

Mental agility exerices, alar, heart of stone, seek the stone, sympathy (90 bindngs)

-4 The Chandrian/University conversation

-4 Kvothe uses sympathy to “call the wind”

(a month before his 12th birthday)

-3/4 Abenthy stays in Hallowfell

Arliden performs 11 lines of /(Lanre)/

(a couple span before Kvothe turns 12)

-3 Kvothe learns: (Age 12)

japing and tumbling from Trip

dancing from Shandi

swordplay for Teren

acting from Arliden

etiquette from Laurian

-3 Greyfallow’s Men massacred

TIME is essentially broken here. The time following Hallowfell, through the massacre, and toward Tarbean is inadequately described, clumsy, and difficult to account for. Kvothe should be well into his thirteenth year by the time he reaches Tarbean, but he says, “That was the first night of nearly three years I spent in Tarbean.” He means roughly twenty one months. In any case he’s still 12.

-3 (under duress) Tarbean

Begging, slitting purses, picking pockets, picking locks, living barefoot, self sufficiency and distrust, being victim to and witnessing assault

Tarbean Year One:

Pike, Trapis, Hillside (Encanis/Gerrek saves him during Midwinter Pageantry.)

Tarbean Year Two:

Trapis’s Story, attacking Pike

Tarbean Year Three:

Skarpi’s stories
(just past 15)

-5 days Kvothe sells Rhetoric and Logic

Shuden, 35 Caitelyn

meets Denna

leaves Tarbean

-4 days

-3 days Kvothe and Denna talk on the greystone

-2 days Kvothe plays Josn’s Lute

-1 day Kvothe arrives in Imre, parts with Denna

0 Kvothe admitted to University

Cendling, 43 Caitelyn

SOMETHING is amiss there, too. Kvothe says, “But if it was the thirty-fifth then I only had five days to get to the University. I knew from Ben that admissions only lasted until Cendling.” Reta and Roent’s caravan travels five days, but eight dates pass. Eight dates are consistent with the weekdays from Shuden to Cendling.

+1-2 years WMF (16-17)


+8 years Bast (23)

The Event

+9 Waystone Inn (24)


+10 Chronicler arrives (25)

Day 1

Shamble Man kills Shep, killed by Aaron

Day 2

Carter and Aaron leave for Treya with the Orrisons

Kvothe robbed by King’s Men

Day 3

Carter and Aaron to return

Chronicler has missed his appointment with Skarpi


-500 to -1000: The Universty has been around for centuries, while Caluptena was burned by Tehlin Atur.

*Taborlin the Great

“I heard from a boy in Temper Glen that if your arm’s cut off they can sew it back on at the University. Can they really? Some stories say Taborlin the Great went there to learn the names of all things. There’s a library with a thousand books. Are there really that many?”

The name creep issue aside, only a few rare stories survive very long in the Mortal. Taborlin’s widespread contemporary presence coupled with the above quote place him, generously, within a thousand years; if he existed at all.


Also within a thousand years: his crowning work is about a Tehlin Amyr.

Initial Posting 03-04-2012 ©

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-4 Kvothe uses sympathy to “call the wind”

(a month before his 12th birthday)

Great timeline, Thistlepong! :thumbsup: That really helps.

Kvothe doesn't really "call the wind", though, with Abenthy. Is that why you put it in quotes?

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-4 Kvothe uses sympathy to “call the wind”

(a month before his 12th birthday)

Great timeline, Thistlepong! :thumbsup: That really helps.

Kvothe doesn't really "call the wind", though, with Abenthy. Is that why you put it in quotes?

Thanks! Yes. I don't typically like "scare quotes," but in the interest of brevity, I used them rather than saying:

In a misguided attempt to call the wind Kvothe sympathetically binds the air in his lungs to the volume of air outside him and consequently almost dies. Or something.

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Great timeline, Thistlepong! :thumbsup: That really helps.

Kvothe doesn't really "call the wind", though, with Abenthy. Is that why you put it in quotes?

+1 Agreed

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Okay, as a pedant I can appreciate that. As for any holes, you'll have to point them out before I can fill them. I'll try to explicate this a little more thoroughly and excise the lunatic fringe speculation.


I reject the binary good/evil applied to this text. Applying my own moral compass and addressing only direct events, the only evil character would be Kvothe. Applying only the descriptions from the text, no character ever describes another as evil. The word is used 14 times and never applied to an individual or group of note. According to countless interviews, recordings, and direct experience, the author does not believe in binary good/evil, perhaps not evil at all. Any reader that sees evil brings it with hir to the text.

Agreed wholeheartedly. Additionally, in terms of "deconstructing the fantasy genre" or whatever, having no binary good and evil is the first step I would take if I were Pat.


The contents of the Loeclos Box are a source of wild speculation. Some of this relies on textual clues. Some not so much.

One of the first, and up until last week the best, was that it contained a scraeling fragment. The scraeling limbs are like stone or pottery, which for some evoked the correct density. It's also demonstrated early on that even a fragment can attract more, which suggested something dangerous but potentially useful; worth locking away and keeping safe.

The second best guess is variously described as the name of the moon or a piece of the moon. It falls apart rather quickly. The stolen moon was pulled into Faen, so anything binding it would need to be there to keep it moving. And it was a powerful knower who moved it, not a sympathist.


There is an exact match in the text for the contents of the Loeclos Box.

Selitos stooped to pick up a jagged shard of mountain glass*, pointed at one end.

“No. By the weight of it, perhaps something made of glass or stone.”

*Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock.

This is the only glass stone mentioned in the Chronicle.1 It was used to by Selitos to cut out his own eye, the blood from which he used to curse Lanre.

He cast the stone at Lanre’s feet and said, “By the power of my own blood I bind you. By your own name let you be accursed.”

The description fits. The stone is incredibly significant. But what does it mean?

Dang. This... is already groundbreaking. However, I do disagree with you that the stone itself is necessarily significant, at least without further explication. More accurately, what was done with the stone is significant. Admittedly, it is true that symbols are important, but I do not think the tool is necessarily a symbol or focus of the binding. Please feel free to tear this to shreds. I'm asking for clarification because I love this theory and find it incredibly compelling. I want it to be as fully fleshed out as possible.

The Loeclos Box is made from rhinna wood, which we're deliberately clued in to when Kvothe lingers on the smell.

It was like smoke and spice and leather and lemon. (the rhinna tree)

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. (the Loeclos Box)

No argument here. I think we can go ahead and take it as gospel that the Loeclos Box is rhinna wood.

The Cthaeh cannot leave the rhinna tree.

So, the shard is locked within the box and the Cthaeh is bound to the tree. We have only two conclusions. The Cthaeh is Selitos. Or the Cthaeh is Alaxel. Alaxel has been shown to be moving freely in the Mortal at the time of the narrative, therefore we're left with Selitos.

You're begging the question a bit here. I will admit that the parallels are compelling, but just because the stone is in the box and the Cthaeh is in the tree does not mean that the Cthaeh must be one of the two people affected by the stone.

Actually, when I put it like that, that last sentence sounds a bit stupid. But you're still begging the question.

When one takes a look at the text with this in mind, there's a surprising amount of support which I'll urge y'all to consider. Before we

The Cthaeh can see the future. Selitos couldn't. Doesn't this invalidate your theory?

Here's some detail about Selitos. He's the star os Skarpi's story in "Lanre Turned:" "the story of man who lost his eye and gained a better sight."

Just by looking at a thing Selitos could see its hidden name and understand it. In those days there were many who could do such things, but Selitos was the most powerful namer of anyone alive in that age.


Such was the power of his sight that he could read the hearts of men like heavy-lettered books.

Before we even get into the story he's already as powerful as Tehlu & Pals become in the fragment related in "Tehlu's Watchful Eye." It's no wonder he refused whatever Aleph was slinging. So what's better sight than he had before?

You have beaten me once through guile, but never again. Now I see truer than before and my power is upon me.

So what's better sight than he had before? Well, the lay of the multiverse certainly applies. I don't necessarily take Bast's statement to be hard fact. Everything the Cthaeh told Kvothe could have been read from his heart and fed back to him, or it could have been divining his future. In any case it's an upgrade.

Holy. Fucking. Shit. My mind is utterly blown. This also draws nice parallels with Odin from Norse mythology, parallels which I'm sure have been drawn before. Odin lost an eye to drink from Mimir's Well and gain the wisdom of ages. Selitos lost an eye to gain future sight. Brilliant. Just brilliant.

Kvothe asked the Cthaeh about the Amyr?

He did. And the Cthaeh spat a curse and demanded he ask about the Chandrian. I'll throw it back. Who benefits from the Cthaeh not answering that?

So, just to clarify here, because I didn't really catch this part before, the true Amyr (the non-human ones) still work for Selitos and can be traced back to him, and the Cthaeh does not want his identity as Selitos and influence in the mortal and immortal worlds known, yes? This is what you mean by this?

Iax Spoke to the Cthaeh before he stole the moon?

"The Boy Who Loved the Moon" (Hespe's story) almost certainly relates the events leading up to the Creation War. Jax appears to be analogous to Felurian's "shaper of the dark and changing eye" who is in turn named by Bast: Iax.

Iax and Selitos are contemporaries in "Lanre Turned," existing at the same time. And Selitos is probably the more accomplished of the two.

Selitos was the most powerful namer of anyone alive in that age.


Selitos knew that in all the world there were only three people who could match* his skill in names: Aleph, Iax, and Lyra.

(*match: to encounter successfully as an antagonist, to provide with a worthy competitor)

In "The Boy Who Loved the Moon, " Jax climbs high into the mountains and meets the hermit. Looking back, a few folks suspected this figure as the Cthaeh. Selitos also resided high in the mountains:

[Myr Tariniel] sat among the tall mountains of the world like a gem on the crown of a king.

Hespe's tale humbles its subject and gives it the feeling of a fairytale, but it's no leap at all to imagine Iax consulting the most powerful namer alive. A little manipulation or misunderstanding, the trademarks of the Cthaeh, and he steals the moon.

“That’s not what I actually said,” the old man murmured. But he did so in a resigned way. Skilled listener that he was, he knew he wasn’t being heard.

So, in this story, has Selitos himself yet turned? Is he evil yet (furthest from story), or just giving misguided advice (middle ground), or giving good advice that is ignored (closest to story)? Since presumably no one knows or indeed ever knew that Selitos became the Cthaeh, how can you reconcile the common but incomplete knowledge that Iax consulted with the Cthaeh with the lesser-known but more complete knowledge that Iax consulted with Selitos? I'm not sure if I'm making myself clear here; please feel free to ask for clarification.

Lanre spoke to the Cthaeh before orchestrating the betrayal of Myr Tariniel?

Seven were poisoned against the empire and six of them betrayed the cities that trusted them. These seven cities were defended by stregth of arm, and thus by Lanre, to paraphrase Skarpi. One city was not betrayed. And Selitos was surprised. In fact, in Denna's version, "Selitos was a tyrant, an insane monster who tore out his own eye in fury at Lanre’s clever trickery." They agree on a point, Selitos was tricked. He did not see this coming. The sensible conclusions would be that Selitos convinced Lanre to do this. Lanre figured out he was being manipulated. His was the city that survived and he marched on MT.

I need a lot more clarification on this part. Did Selitos organize the mass betrayal? Where did Lanre's power come from, if not from a deal with the devil? Additionally, speaking from a tactical point of view, it does not make a lot of sense for Lanre to take his entire army out of his city, the only surviving cradle of civilization, when every other city has suddenly fallen. Presumably there will be a massive army headed for Lanre's city as soon as everyone else notices it has not yet fallen. Also, why did Lanre sack Myr Tariniel if his beef was solely with Selitos? Was the rest of the city in on it? This also has the issue I mentioned above, where Selitos is associated with the Cthaeh at a location when no one should have been able to make that connection.

How would the Fae people account for the most dangerous being in existence magically being imprisoned in a tree in the Fae world when it wasn't imprisoned for at least 2000 years before that? They surely had knowledge of the Cthaeh before it was imprisoned 3000 years ago (the approximate age of the Loeclos Box.)

Here's what Bast has to say about the alleged malice and disaster associated with the Cthaeh.

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.

A couple things stand out. First, that's a pretty damning list of failures for the Sithe (even knowing the details of only two of them) if it's been there the whole time. Second, "can all be traced back to" suggests they had to do some detective work. So the Cthaeh existed. Then he was imprisoned. Then they figured out what he was. And then the Sithe were charged. He's become the most dangerous being in existence in Faen lore and the mark of a tragedy in their drama, like the Modegan Doctor or the Aturan Wizard.

No real issues with this part; in fact, I think it makes a lot of sense. That being said, your comments have raised a host of new, off-topic questions.

  1. Who are the Nameless?
  2. Who are the Scaendyne, and why does their name give me mnemonic associations with the Chandrian?
  3. If the Cthaeh had to work so hard to become the mark of a tragedy, what did the Modegan Doctor and the Aturan Wizard do?

​I exaggerate. It was more like a few new questions, and I'm 100% sure that not only are the unanswerable at this time, they are also totally unanswerable, even once Book 3 comes out. But have them anyways, and feel free to answer them if I am mistaken.

If the Cthaeh really were Selitos and if it were freed by the opening of the Loeclos box, wouldn't both Bast and Kvothe would have been aware of it in the present frame story?

Not to be flip, but no; not necessarily. I take it we generally accept the box will be opened. Within the narrative it has to occur within the next 5 years or so and the repercussions would then need to ripple forward. Faen's a reasonably large and to all appearances sparsely populated realm and there's probably no one alive and sane who's gotten a good look at him for awhile. Selitos would bust out of there and get back to confounding the Seven. And the existing Amyr are a pretty secretive lot. Bast is a child. He knows what "every fae girl and boy knows." And that knowledge, in particular, keeps most Fae far away. Kvothe knows what he's responsible for, but maybe not all the details. To be honest, his reaction to Bast's tantrum in teh frame is ambiguous at best. Imagine him meeting Selitos at the end of WMF. He'd have been excited...

I agree completely. It may seem odd that the Cthaeh will be able to slip past the Sithe, but I can buy it for a number of reasons. Firstly, they are clearly not there all the time: how else would Kvothe have been able to reach the Cthaeh at all? Secondly, after 2000 years of knowing that the Cthaeh is trapped in his tree, I would be astonished if they ever even checked to make sure he was there. Thirdly, even if they do check every so often, they certainly won't be expecting him to suddenly be free. He could wreak all sorts of havoc before they notice. Fourthly, he is the Cthaeh: all-seeing and all-knowing. It's not past him to be able to time his escape as to go unnoticed.

Please present any more concerns or questions and I'll do what I can to address them. Or become convinced this is rubbish. Who knows?

I have done as you asked. I'm positive it's not rubbish; whether or not it holds up to closer scrutiny... who knows?

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I just finished the secound book and am a little confussed does the author intend to tell this story in three books?

Because Kvothe is in the exact same position at the end of book 2 then he was at the begining of book 1. I mean both young Kvothe and older Kvothe.

I liked the 2nd book better then the first I think because in the first book there were no consquences to Kvothe's rash actions. The the 2nd book while there were consquences they still didn't stick. In the end, at least so far everything came up rosey for Kvothe. Really the only thing that annoyed me was the Statutory Rape that went on for 100 pages or so although I don't think Kvothe minded it all that much.

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Really the only thing that annoyed me was the Statutory Rape that went on for 100 pages or so although I don't think Kvothe minded it all that much.

I think Kvothe was 16 when it happened, so he'd be of the age of consent.

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I think Kvothe was 16 when it happened, so he'd be of the age of consent.

Depends on where he was ;-)

If he was in Cali, not so much.

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I'm rereading TWMF. Does anyone else think Deana is playing the long con on Kvothe?

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Because he loves her. He makes the statement early in TWMF that true love is loving "in spite of people's faults". That you love people because of there foibles. I think she loves him too but has never taken her eye off the goal of whatever con she is running. She's better at the con because she really loves him.

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I'm rereading TWMF. Does anyone else think Deana is playing the long con on Kvothe?


Whatchu mean?

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