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thistlepong

The Wise Man's Fear IX [Spoilers & Speculation]

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Suvudu Cage Matches:

Kvothe vs Aslan

There wasn’t any snow on the ground, but the early morning air was chill as the cloaked and hooded figure moved through the forest, brushing aside the fir branches as he went. Eventually the trees thinned and the figure stepped from the pale blue of early morning into a warmer, richer, light.

The cloaked figure smiled fondly and ran one hand over the iron lamppost. Then sighed and walked past it, moving deeper into the forest. After the better part of an hour he found a clearing where a small stream cut through the thick grass, making a gentle sound as it rolled over the stones.

Still wearing his hood, the figure looked around for a long moment. Then he spoke: “Aslan,” he said, and though he did not speak loudly, his voice was strangely resonant, striking the air like a bell. “Aslan.” He looked around, drew a breath, and squared his shoulders. “Asl–.”

“You cannot bid me come,” came a deep, sweet voice from the edge of the clearing. It was like distant thunder laced with honey. “Neither can you bid me go.”

“Of course not,” the cloaked man said. “You’re not a tame lion.”

There was a low, throbbing sound that almost sounded like a purr, and a lion padded softly out of the trees, his huge feet making no noise in the grass. The sun came out from behind a cloud, warming the air, and when it struck the huge animal he shone as if made from molten gold.

“Nice entrance,” Kvothe said pushing back his hood. His hair caught the sun as well, shining like copper and fire. He looked younger than his voice sounded, a boy just on the verge of becoming a man.

“I will admit,” Aslan said. “I did not expect you to come here.”

Kvothe unclasped his cloak and lay it carefully on a nearby tree and looked back up at the lion. His clothes were threadbare, only a half step away from being truly ragged. “I thought we should talk.”

“We are to fight,” Aslan said. “It strikes me as odd that you should come here and give me the advantage of the home ground. It seems your best hope would be hold your ground, force me to come to you, so you might catch me with some trick or trap.”

Kvothe smiled. “That reminds me of a joke,” he said. “How do you catch a unique lion?”

The lion cocked his head.

“You neek up on it,” Kvothe said with a straight face.

Aslan’s tail stopped its restless motion. He turned his head slightly to look behind himself.

Kvothe continued, “How do you catch a tame lion?”

The lion turned back to look at him, but said nothing.

Kvothe gave a slightly embarrassed smile. “Tame way.”

There was a moment of silence, and then the clearing was filled with a low thrumming noise that could conceivably be the sound of a lion chuckling.

“It’s been a long time since anyone told me a joke,” Aslan said, then shook out his great golden mane. “But we still have to fight.”

“We do,” Kvothe agreed. “Though it might be more accurate to say that we are forced to come into conflict.”

“And you know you cannot win, especially here,” Aslan continued. “The only question is how much you might hurt me before the end.”

Kvothe shook his head seriously. “No, the real question is how much will winning cost?” The young man smiled a small, sad smile. “Believe me, this is something I have some personal experience with.”

“I… I don’t know if I follow you,” the lion said.

“If we fight, you’ll kill me,” Kvothe said matter-of-factly. “You’ll win, but there will be a cost.”

“You would bring your death curse upon me?” Aslan said.

“That’s Harry Dresden,” Kvothe said, obviously irritated. “Come on now. Except for point of view and a respect for thermodynamics we really don’t have much in common.”

“Oh,” Aslan cleared his throat. “Right. Sorry.”

“There’s nothing I could do to you if I lost,” Kvothe said. “And honestly, I’m not sure I’d want to. I’m not really one of those ‘from hell’s heart I stab at thee’ types.’”

“Actually,” Aslan said, “From what I’ve heard, you’ve…”

“Don’t believe everything you hear,” Kvothe interrupted, his eyes narrowing. “My point is this: if you kill me, there will never be a second book.”

Aslan was silent for a moment. “So you’re threatening me with reprisal from your fans?”

Kvothe shook his head again. “You’re missing my whole point. I’m not threatening you at all. I’m just saying that if you kill me now, people will never get the chance to read the rest of my story.”

Aslan looked thoughtful. “And the result is…”

“Despair,” Kvothe said. “Terrible despair in the hearts and minds of thousands.” He gave the lion a frank look. “You’ve always struck me as the sort of person…”

“Lion.”

“Sorry… You’ve always struck me as the sort of lion that was trying to make people happy in the long run. Not the sort that would actively cause despair.”

Aslan lifted one huge paw from the ground and then pressed it down again. He cleared his throat. “Tricky.”

Kvothe nodded. “Your books are all finished. You’re immortal in ways more important than the obvious. I’m not quite there yet.” He sighed. “That’s why I figured we should talk.”

After a long moment, the lion looked up. “So what’s the other option?” his voice was low and uncertain.

“Forfeit,” Kvothe said. “Just walk away.”

“*You* could forfeit,” Aslan pointed out.

Kvothe shook his head. “It’s not in my nature to give up or walk away. I’m psychologically unable to back down from something like this. Hell, I’m a short step from feral.” He ran his hands over his ragged clothes, half embarrassed.

Then he made a sweeping gesture to the huge lion. “You, on the other hand, are a noble creature. You have a precedent for martyrdom. It’s consistent with your character. You better than anyone know that sometimes the only way to win is to concede.”

Another pause, then Aslan spoke. “You’ve thought about this a lot, haven’t you?”

Kvothe smiled again, and for a moment his face was almost boyish. “It’s all stories,” he said. “That’s what I do.”

Aslan looked up and swished his tail. He drew an impossibly long, deep breath. “Fine. Fair enough. I concede.”

Kvothe sagged with relief. “Thank God.”

“You’re welcome,” the lion said as he turned his massive head and began to walk from the clearing.

“Um…” Kvothe said. And for the first time since he came into the clearing he looked unsure of himself. “Before you go…. I was wondering…. Could I?”

Aslan gave a great gusty sigh that was more amused than exasperated. “Very well.”

Kvothe stepped closer to the lion, moving hesitantly. Then he raised his hands slowly and sank them deep in the thick golden mane. He leaned forward and gave the huge lion a hug, burying his face in the lion’s fur.

After the space of a deep breath, Kvothe pulled his face away, but left his hands where they were. “I’ve wanted to do that forever,” he said softly, his voice a little choked. “My mom used to tell me your stories.”

“I would lick your face,” Aslan said gently. “But it looks like it’s been a while since you’ve washed it.”

Kvothe laughed and stepped back from the lion.

“When is the second book coming out, by the way?” Aslan asked. “I’ve been waiting frikking forever.”

“Soon,” Kvothe said.

“What does that mean?” Aslan said. “In a couple months? Sometime this year?”

“I call all times ’soon’” Kvothe said.

Another deep, thundering chuckle. “I suppose I deserve that,” Aslan said, and turned to pad silently out of the clearing, where he was quickly lost to mortal sight.

Kvothe vs Jaime Lannister

It was midmorning, and the autumn sun was hot as Jaime Lannister opened the door of the Waystone Inn. The place was oddly quiet, and he peered through the door, one hand resting lightly on his sword.

The taproom was empty except for a dark-haired young man lounging behind the bar. “Can I help you?”

Jaime stepped inside. “I’m looking for the owner. We have… business.”

The young man stood up straighter. “He’s stepped out for a moment. You’re Jaime?”

Jaime frowned slightly as he looked the young man over. “I am. And you are?”

“Bast.” The young man said with a grin. “He said I’m to make you comfortable if you showed up early. He shouldn’t be more than an hour or two. Can I get you something to drink?”

Jaime moved to sit at the bar. “I don’t suppose you have any decent wine out here in the ass end of nowhere?”

“What do you mean by decent?” Bast asked.

Jaime waved a hand dismissively. “Why don’t you bring out your best bottle? I’ll tell you if it’s something worth drinking.”

Bast looked offended as he headed down the basement stairs, returning a moment later with a dusty bottle.

“Something off the top shelf, I hope,” Jamie said.

“Something from behind the shelf,” Bast said proudly. “I can’t keep track of what the wines are called in these parts, but I’m guessing when you hide a bottle, it’s the good stuff.”

Bast worked a corkscrew and opened the bottle with a deft flourish. Then he brought out a tall wineglass, poured an inch of deep red wine into it, and held it out with an ingratiating smile.

Jaime made no motion to take it. “You drink half.”

Bast glanced down at the glass, then back up, his smile fading. “It tells you a lot about a man when he says something like that.”

Jaime showed his teeth in a sharp, joyless expression that had the shape of a smile. “It says a lot about you,” he said smugly, “that you aren’t willing to drink it.”

Bast gave a dismissive sniff, picked up the glass, and took a mouthful of the dark wine. Then he raised his eyebrows and made an appreciative noise as he picked up the bottle and eyed the engraving on the neck. “I can see why he hid this one,” Bast said, pouring more into the glass. “That’s just lovely.”

Jaime shrugged. “Ah well,” he said. “You know what they say. Better safe than sore,” he held out his hand.

Bast brought the glass close to his chest, his blue eyes icy. “This is my drink now.” He took another sip of the wine. “Rude guests go thirsty. Drink your own piss for all I care.”

Jaime’s expression went dark. “I’m not here for you,” he said. “But killing you wouldn’t be far out of my way.”

They stared at each other for a while across the bar. After a moment, Bast set the bottle down hard on the bar. “Fine,” he said, nudging it so it slid forward. “I won’t insult you by offering you a glass or anything. I could poison that, too. You’ll just have to drink it right from the bottle…” Bast grinned. “Like an unlettered cretin.”

Jaime picked up the bottle. “Boy,” he said. “If it makes you feel brave to show your teeth to me, go right ahead. But I’ll only tolerate so much.” He took a drink straight from the bottle, paused, and took another slower drink as if to make sure of something. He looked surprised. “Well, that is good, isn’t it?”

Bast nodded and took another sip.

“Did he say when he’ll be back?”

Bast looked down at his feet. “A couple hours,” he said with an odd tone in his voice. “He wasn’t expecting you until noon.”

“Don’t look so glum, boy,” Jaime said. “Look at the bright side. In a couple hours I’ll be on my way and you’ll be the owner of this fine inn.”

Bast looked up and his eyes were anxious. “I don’t suppose I could convince you to call this off?”

Jaime gave a humorless laugh and took another drink. “Good lord, boy. Why on earth would I do that?”

“Human decency?” Bast said.

Something about this struck the golden-haired man as funny, and he erupted into a great belly laugh that lasted for nearly a minute. Eventually he trailed off, wiping the water from his eyes. “You just earned yourself a tip, boy.” He shook his head in disbelief and took another drink.

“It’s just that…” Bast began.

“Look, boy.” Jaime leaned forward onto the bar. “I can tell you’re a talker. You probably learned that from him. I hear he’s got a silver tongue on him. Talked his way right out of the fight with the god-lion.” He gave Bast a serious look, his eyes hard as flint. “But that isn’t going to do him any good here.”

Jamie took another drink from the bottle before continuing. “You see, I’ve done some asking around. Your Kvothe has a bit of a reputation. Clever, quick. Devil with a sword. Strong as a bear. He can call down fire and lightning.” Jaime shook his head. “But I think all that is just stories. And the parts that aren’t just stories, he lost long ago.” He looked around the empty inn. “He wouldn’t be hiding here if he still had a scrap of power to call his own.”

Bast looked dejected, but he didn’t say anything.

“I’ll offer him a chance to surrender.” Jaime said magnanimously. “As thanks for this excellent bottle of wine.” He took one last drink and pushed it away from himself on the bar. “That’s enough of that. Start to turn my head, otherwise.”

“He might surprise you.” Bast said.

“With what?” Jaime said, laughing again. “That sword has dust on it, and his magic’s gone from what I hear. His silver tongue isn’t any good on me. He doesn’t even play music any more. What’s left?”

“I need to show you something,” Bast said. “Come here behind the bar.”

Jaime turned his shoulders, then frowned, looking down at his feet.

“Never mind,” Bast said, starting to walk around the bar. “I’ll come over to you.”

“Why can’t I move my legs?” Jaime said, his voice quiet and incredulous.

“Sethora,” Bast said simply. “It tends to start with the legs. You can probably still move your arms. But be careful or you’ll….” Jaime turned on his stool and toppled messily to the floor. “…Yeah. You’ll do that.”

Jaime writhed a bit, turning onto his side. Moving his arms sluggishly he managed to pull a long knife from his belt and throw it at Bast as came out from behind the bar. But the throw went wild and sunk into one of the thick-timbers of the tables.

Bast approached where the big man lay, stepping gracefully as a dancer. He stayed well out of arm’s reach through the man’s final struggles, waiting until he saw the tall man’s breathing grow stiff and labored.

“It was in the wine,” Bast stepped close and brushed the man’s golden hair out of his eyes. “I can’t believe you managed to drink so much of it. You must have the constitution of an ox.”

“But you…” Jaime’s mouth shaped the words though he lacked the breath to say them.

“You think I wouldn’t drink poison for him?” Bast asked. “Then you don’t know anything about him.”

Bast met the man’s glassy eyes. “You’re right. He’s not what he used to be. He’s lost everything. No magic. No music. No joy. No hope. You know what he has? You know what’s left?” Bast leaned closer, his voice low and vicious. “Me!” He practically spat the word, his eyes were wild. “He has me!”

The young man stood, took a fistful of the tall man’s golden hair, and began to drag his limp body across the floor.

Unpublished Excerpt from The Wise Man's Fear

Occurs in and around Kvothe's encounter with Puppet.

“Where are we going, anyway?” I asked Wilem as he led us through the dark shelves of the Archives.

“He's down in the lower levels,” Wilem said as he turned to descend a long flight of stone steps. Countless years of shuffling feet had slowly eroded the grey stone of the steps until they were noticably worn at the middle, making them look bowed like heavy-laden shelves. As we started down, the shadows from our hand lamps made the steps look smooth and dark and edgeless, like an abandoned riverbed worn from the rock.

I recognised an open doorway that led away from the main stairwell, and I tugged on Wilem's sleeve. “Detour,” I whispered.

Wilem hesitated, then shrugged, knowing what I meant without asking. Simmon must have guessed too, as he made no move to question why we were stepping off the stairs at this particular place.

We were well underground now, about thirty feet beneath the Archives at my best guess. The stone hallway looked just the same as any other piece of the Archives: high ceilings and smooth, grey stone walls. If a person got turned around, he might even forget that he was underground, as lack of windows meant nothing in the windowless building.

As we approached we saw a pair of Scrivs slipping away, the light from their brighter, whiter sympathy lamps disappearing quickly around some bend of passage hidden in the shelving. I didn’t doubt that they were here for the same reason we were.

The three of us finally came to a stretch of wall that stood strangely empty. Shelves crowded every available piece of space above or below ground in the library, setting this place apart from all others in the building.

Here was the four-plate door. This is what we had come to see.

It was made of a great square piece of grey stone. It wasn't that large, everything said, perhaps seven feet on a side, but it gave an impression of vast solidity and weight. Its frame was a single seamless piece of stone that snugged so closely to the door that a sheet of fine paper could almost be slid through the crack between them. Almost.

It had no hinges. No handle. No window or sliding panel. Its only features were four bright copper plates set flush with the face of the door, which was flush with the frame, which was flush with the wall surrounding it. You could run your hand from one side of the door to the next and barely feel it.

In spite of these notable lacks, the stone was undoubtedly a door. It simply was. It felt like a door. Each of the copper plates had a hole in its center. Though they were not shaped in the conventional way, they were undoubtedly keyholes. It sat still as a mountain, quiet and indifferent as the sea on a windless day. This was not a door for opening. It was a door for staying closed.

In the center of the door, between the hard copper plates, a word was carved into the stone:Valaritas.

I set my fingertips against the middle of the door, running them across the word I didn’t understand. A word I hadn't been able to find in any grammar or dictum in the Archives.

As I've already told you, I discovered the door on my first trip into the Archives. Later, when I had asked Simmon and Wilem what was behind it, they had laughed. Actually, Simmon had laughed. Wil simply gave a smile that was nearly a laugh and asked me the same question in return, offering to give me a full gold mark if I could show him the answer.

I soon found out that most students would give more than that. I knew I would. Everyone had a guess as to what was behind the door, and there were at least a hundred stories about it. It was generally agreed that the masters could open the door. Some believed that those who became full arcanists were taken inside after they had earned their gilthe. Perhaps as a reward, perhaps as a final rite of initiation. Only one thing was certain, none of the students knew what lay behind it, and all of them wanted to.

Of all the University’s secrets, I suspect this one was wondered over most. But while most students' interest in the four-plate door faded in light of the thousand more accessible secrets the University provided, I never tired of it. When I finally managed to sneak into the Archives, this was the first place that I had come.

And every time afterward. No matter how hurried or tired or busy or busy I was, I was drawn back to the door again and again. Each time some part of me was sure that this would be the time I might find the door ajar. Or with a key still left in one of its locks. Or perhaps the great piece of grey stone would simply swing open to the pressure of my hand.

It is fair to say that I have a gentle madness where secrets are concerned. If something is kept from me, I cannot help but pursue and uncover it. But this particular secret drew at me more than any other. The University is the heart of all civilization. The Archives is the heart of the University. What then, lay here, in the heart of the Archives? What was Valaritas?

Setting my palm against the deep grooves of the letters, I gave a hesitant push. I had forgotten that Simmon and Wilem were behind me. My only thought was that this was it. This would be the time it opened. It would.

It didn’t. I rapidly remembered myself and dropped my hand to my side. Either my friends hadn't noticed, or they were too polite to mention it.

We had discussed the frequently over the last several months, grousing about the unfairness of it all. Sometimes we would take our best guesses about what was behind it, about who had access, about the reasons the Masters kept so hush about it.

“Maybe Valaritas is the name of a place,” Simmon said softly.

We nodded, guesses were never questioned or ridiculed. Later, perhaps, they might be discussed. But not now, not here. It would be like laughing in a church.

"Come on," Simmon said at last. "If you're going to meet Puppet we should go now. He was fine when I stopped down before, but you know how quick that can change."

"Actually, I don't know," I said.

"I do," Wilem said. "We should go."

We faded back from the door, heading back to the stairwell, our red lamps throwing long shadows into the dark.

* * *

“The most important thing is to be polite,” Simmon said in a hushed tone as we made our way through the tall shelves of the Archives. Our sympathy lamps shot bands of light through the shelves and made the shadows dance nervously. “Unfailingly polite, but don’t patronize him. He's a bit—odd, but he’s not an idiot. Just treat him like you would treat anyone else.”

“Except polite,” I said sarcastically, tiring of this litany of advice.

“Exactly,” Simmon said seriously.

“Are you sure he’s going to be there?” I asked, mostly to stop Simmon’s henpecking.

“He’s always there. I don’t think he leaves his chambers very much.”

“He lives here?"

Neither of them said anything, merely watched their feet as their shoes scuffed one step after another. That seemed to be answer enough.

Wilem led the way down a short flight of stairs, then through a long stretch of shelf-lined hallway. Finally we came to an unremarkable door tucked in a corner behind a set of shelving. If I hadn’t known better I would have thought that it was nothing more than one of the countless reading holes scattered throughout the stacks.

“Just don’t do anything to upset him,” Simmon said nervously.

I assumed my best martyred expression as Wilem knocked on the door. The handle began to turn somewhere between the second and third knock. It was opened a crack, then thrown wide. Puppet was framed in the doorway, taller than any of us. The sleeves of his black robe billowed strikingly in the breeze the opening door made.

He stared at us haughtily for a moment, then looked puzzled and brought a hand to touch the side of his head. “Wait, I’ve forgotten my hood,” he said, and kicked the door closed.

Odd as his brief appearance had been, I’d noticed something more disturbing. “Great Tehlu,” I hissed to Simmon. “He’s got candles in there. Does Lorren know?”

Simmon opened his mouth to answer when the door was thrown open again. Puppet filled the doorway, his dark robe striking against the warm candlelight behind him. He was hooded now, with his arms upraised. The long sleeves of his robes caught the inrush of air and billowed impressively. The same rush of air caught his hood and blew it partway off his head.

“Damn.” He said in a distracted voice. Sliding backward, the hood settled half on, half off his head, partially covering one eye. He kicked the door shut again.

Wilem and Simmon remained straight-faced. I assumed the same expression and refrained from any comment.

There was a long moment where all was quiet. Finally a voice came from the other side of the door. “Would you mind knocking again? It doesn’t seem quite right otherwise.”

Obediently, Wilem stepped back up to the door and knocked. Once, twice, then the door swung open and we were confronted with a looming figure in a dark robe. His cowled hood shadowed his face, and the long sleeves of his robe stirred in the wind.

“Who calls on Taborlin the Great?” Puppet intoned, his voice resonant, but muffled from the deep hood. “You! Simmon!” There was a pause, and his voice lost its dramatic resonance. “I’ve seen you already today, haven’t I?”

Simmon nodded. In spite of his calm demeanor, I could sense the laughter tumbling around in him, trying to find a way out.

“How long ago?”

“About an hour.”

“Hmmm.” The hood nodded. “Was I better this time?” He reached up to push the hood back and I noticed that the robe was too big for him, the sleeves hanging down to nearly his fingertips. When his face was out from the shadow of the hood I saw that he was grinning like a child playing dress-up in his parent’s clothes.

“You weren’t doing Taborlin before.” Simmon admitted.

“Oh.” Puppet seemed a little put out. “How was I this time? The last time, I mean. Was it a good Taborlin?”

“Pretty good,” Simmon said.

Puppet looked at Wilem.

“I liked the robe,” Wilem said. “But I always imagined Taborlin with a gentle voice.”

“Oh.” He finally looked at me. “Hello.”

“Hello,” I said in my politest tone.

“I don’t know you.” A pause. “Who are you?”

“I am Kvothe.”

“You seem so certain of it,” he said, looking at me intently. Another pause. “They call me Puppet.”

“Who is ‘they?’”

“Who are they?” He corrected, raising a finger.

I smiled. “Who are they then?”

“Who were they then?”

“Who are they now?” I clarified, my smile growing wider.

He mirrored my smile in a distracted way and made a vague gesture with one hand. “You know, them. People.” He continued to look at me in the same way I might examine an interesting stone, or a type of leaf I’d never seen before.

Another pause as he continued to methodically look me over. “What do you call yourself?” I asked to fill the silence.

He seemed a little surprised, and his eyes focused back onto me in a more ordinary way. “That would be telling, I suspect,” he said with a touch of reproach. He glanced at the silent Wilem and Simmon. “You should come in now.” He turned and walked inside.

The room wasn’t particularly large. But it did seem out of place, nestled deep in the heart of the Archives. There was a deep padded chair, a large wooden table, and a pair of doorways leading into other rooms. There were books, of course, stacked on shelves and bookcases. A pair of drawn curtains against one wall surprised me. My mind fought off the impression that there was a window behind them. The room was lit with candles, long tapers and thick dripping pillars of wax. Each of them filled me with a vague dread at the thought of open flame in a building filled with thousands and thousands of precious books.

And there were puppets. They hung from shelves and pegs on walls. They lay crumpled in corners and under chairs, some were in the process of being built or repaired, scattered among tools across the tabletop. One wall was covered in shelving that was full of what seemed to be small puppets at first, but soon revealed themselves to be figurines, each cleverly carved and painted in the shape of a person.

On his way to his table, Puppet shrugged out of the black robe and let it fall carelessly to the floor. He was dressed plainly underneath, wrinkled white shirt, wrinkled dark pants, and stocking feet. Without the robe or hood I realized he was older than I'd thought. His face was smooth and unlined, but his hair was white and thin on top.

He cleared a chair for me by carefully removing a small string puppet from the seat and finding it a place on a nearby shelf. He then took a seat at the table, leaving Wilem and Simmon standing behind him. To their credit, they didn’t seem terribly disconcerted.

Digging a little in the clutter on the table he brought out an irregularly shaped piece of wood and a small knife. He took another long, searching look at my face, and began to methodically carve curls of wood onto the tabletop.

Oddly enough, I had no desire to ask anyone what exactly was going on. When you ask as many questions as I do, you get a feeling for when they are appropriate and when they are not.

Besides, I knew what the answers would be. He was one of the talented, not-quite-sane people that had found a niche for themselves at the University. The University had more than its fair share of eccentric characters. Not because it attracted them, but because it made them.

Let me explain. The rigors of Arcanum training tend to do unnatural things to student’s minds. The most notable of these unnatural things is desirable: the ability to do what most people call magic and we call sympathy, sygaldry, alchemy and the like. Believing that wax dolls are real people and playing ‘seek the stone’ are not normal things for a mind to do.

Some minds, such as mine, take to it easily. Other minds have more difficulty, and when those are pushed too hard, or in the wrong ways, they break. I was all too aware of the fact that a mile north of the University there was a place called Haven. A pretty name, for an asylum. It was full of those who pushed themselves too hard in their studies and broke under the strain.

Students rarely spoke of Haven. When they did, it was with a nervous bravado. They referred to it as the Rookery, or the Crockery. It was place for broken pots that could not take the heat of the flame.

But between these two extremes lay a great many students. Most minds don’t break when put under the Arcanum’s stresses, they simply crack a little. Sometimes these cracks show themselves in small ways: facial ticks, stuttering. Some students became forgetful, others remembered things that hadn’t happened at all. Some students heard voices, others grew sensitive to light.

I guessed Puppet was a student who had cracked years and years ago. Not enough to send him to the Crockery, but enough that couldn't function anywhere else.

“Does he always look like this?” Puppet asked Wilem and Simmon. A small drift of pale wood shavings had gathered around his hands.

“Mostly,” Wilem said.

“Like what?” Simmon asked.

“Like he’s just thought through his next three moves in a game of tirani and figured out how he’s going to beat you.” Puppet took another long look at my face and shaved another thin strip of wood away from the block. “It’s rather irritating, really.”

They both craned to get a better look at me. Wilem barked a laugh. “That’s his thinking face, Puppet. He wears it a lot, but not all the time.”

“What’s tirani?” Simmon asked.

“A thinker,” Puppet mused. “What are you thinking now?”

“I’m thinking that you must be a very careful watcher of people, Puppet,” I said politely.

Puppet snorted without looking up. “What use is care in watching? What good is watching for that matter? People are forever watching things, carefully looking around. To no use. They should be seeing. I see things that I look at. I am a see-er.”

He looked at the piece of wood in his hand, then to my face. Apparently satisfied, he folded his hands over the top of his carving, but not before I glimpsed my own profile, cunningly wrought in wood. “Do you know what you are, what you are not, and what you will be?” He asked matter-of-factly.

It sounded like a riddle. I thought about it briefly before giving up. “No.”

“A see-er,” he said with certainty. “You are a see-er because that is what E’lir means. But you are not really a see-er, not yet. Now you are a look-er. I guess you will be a true E’lir at some point. If you learn to relax.” He held out the carved wooden face. “What do you see here?”

It was no longer an irregular piece of wood. Now the gnarled piece of birch held the angles of my face. My features, locked in serious contemplation, stared out of the wood grain. I leaned forward to get a closer look. “Well...”

Puppet laughed and threw up his hands. “Too late!” he exclaimed, looking childlike for a moment. “You looked too hard and didn’t see enough. Too much looking can get in the way of seeing, you see?” Puppet set the carved face on the tabletop so that it seemed to be staring at one of the recumbent puppets. “See little wooden Kvothe? See him looking? He is so intent. So dedicated. He’ll look for a hundred years, but will he ever see what is in front of him?” Puppet settled back in his seat, and looked around in a contented way.

“E’lir means see-er?” Simmon asked. “Do the other titles mean things too?”

“Since you are a student, with full access to the Archives and all its varied secrets, I imagine that you can find that out for yourself,” Puppet said. His attention focused on a string-puppet on the table in front of him. He lifted it off the table and lowered it carefully to the floor so as not to tangle its strings. It was a perfect miniature of a Tehlin priest.

“Would you have any advice as to where we could start looking for that?” I asked, playing a hunch.

“Renfalque’s Dictum.” Under Puppet’s direction, the Tehlin-puppet raised himself from the floor and moved each of his limbs, almost as if he were stretching them after a long sleep.

“Renfalque? I’m not familiar with that one.”

Puppet responded in a distracted voice. “It’s on the second floor in the southeast corner. Second row, second rack, third shelf, right hand side, red leather binding.” The miniature Tehlin priest walked slowly about the floor around Puppet’s feet. Clutched tightly in one hand was a tiny replica of the Book of Path, perfectly fashioned, right down to the tiny spoked wheel painted on its cover. The three of us watched Puppet pull the strings of the little priest, making it walk back and forth before finally coming to sit on one of Puppet’s stocking-clad feet.

After a minute or two of this, Wilem cleared his throat respectfully. “Puppet?”

“Yes?” Puppet replied without looking up from the Tehlin at his feet. “You have a question. Or rather, Kvothe has a question and you’re thinking of asking it for him. He is sitting slightly forward in his seat. There is a slight furrow between his brows, and a pursing of the lips that gives it away. Let him ask me, it might do him good.”

I froze in place, catching myself doing each of the things he had mentioned. I sat stiffly for a while, trying to remember how exactly to sit naturally in a chair. Puppet continued to work the strings of his little Tehlin. It made a careful, fearful search of the area around his feet, brandishing the book in front of him before he peered around table legs and into Puppet’s abandoned shoes. Its movements were uncanny, and it distracted me to the point where I forgot I was uncomfortable, and felt myself relax.

“I was wondering about the Amyr, actually.” My eyes remained on the scene unfolding at Puppet’s feet. Another marionette had joined the show, a young girl in a peasant dress. She approached the Tehlin and held out a hand as if trying to give him something. No, she was asking him a question. The Tehlin turned his back on her. She laid a timid hand on his arm. He took a haughty step away. “I was wondering who disbanded them. Emperor Nalto or the church.”

“Still looking for something,” he admonished me, but more gently then before. “You need to go chase the wind for a while, you are too serious. It will lead you into trouble.” The Tehlin suddenly turned on the girl. Trembling with rage it menaced her with the book. She took a startled step backward and stumbled to her knees. “The church disbanded them of course. Only an edict from the Pontifex in Atur had the ability to affect them.” The Tehlin struck the girl with the book. Once, twice, driving her to the ground, where she lay terribly still. “Nalto couldn’t have told them to cross to the other side of the street, let alone disband.”

Some slight motion drew Puppet’s eye. “Oh dear me,” he said, cocking his head toward Wilem. “See what I see. The head bows slightly. The jaw clenches in irritation, but the eyes aren’t fixed on anything, aiming the irritation inward. If I were the sort of person who judged, I’d guess that Wilem had just lost a bet. Don’t you know that Tehlu and church both frown on gambling?” At Puppet’s feet, the priest brandished the book upward at Wilem.

The Tehlin then brought its hands together and turned away from the crumpled woman. It took a stately step or two away and bowed its head to pray.

I managed to pull my attention away from the tableau and look up at our host, “Puppet?” I asked, “You spend a lot of time in the Archives, don’t you?”

I saw Simmon give Wilem an anxious look. But Puppet didn’t seem to find anything odd about the question. The Tehlin at his feet stood and started to dance and caper about. “Yes.”

“Do you think it odd that there is so little information about the Amyr in the stacks?”

“Oh certainly,” he said without looking up from the marionette at his feet. “There should be scads of books, barrows full.”

“About how many?” I asked on impulse, leaning slightly forward in my chair.

“There should be....” he closed his eyes briefly, then opened them. “Roughly six hundred twenty volumes devoted to their explication.”

“How many are there?”

“Fifty or so that give them a mention, but books where they are the main subject of discourse?” He closed his eyes again. At his feet, the Tehlin lost its animation for a moment. “Eight.”

I was quiet for a moment while I wondered what strange calculus had gone on behind his closed eyes to give him such specific numbers that he mentioned with such nonchalant belief. Somehow, I found myself trusting his estimates.

I was struck by a sudden idea. “Puppet,” I asked, “Do you know what is behind the locked door on the floor above this one? The large stone door?”

The Tehlin stopped dancing and Puppet looked up. He gave me a long, stern look. His eyes were serious and absolutely, perfectly sane. “I don’t think the four plate door should be of any concern to a student of your standing. Do you?”

I felt myself flush. “No sir.” I looked away from his eyes.

The tension of the moment was broken by the muted sound of the belling tower striking the hour. Simmon cursed softly, “I’m late. I’m sorry Puppet, I’ve got to go.”

“Don’t worry yourself over hasty good-byes.” Puppet told him as he stood and went to hang the Tehlin on the wall. “It’s time I got back to my reading, regardless.” He moved to the padded chair, sat, and opened a book. “Bring this one back some time,” he gestured in my direction without looking up from his book. “I have some more work to do on him.”

Wilem, Simmon, and I filed out the door, murmuring our good-byes. Puppet was already reading and did not make any response. Wilem closed the door, separating the three of us from the cozy candlelit quiet of Puppet’s rooms. Wordlessly we moved down the hall a ways from the door before we spoke.

“So that’s Puppet,” I said blandly. “Interesting fellow. Bit of a character.”

“You could say that,” Wilem said dryly.

“I’ve got to go,” Simmon said anxiously. “I’m already late for observation. We're still on for...” He looked around nervously. "... for tonight?" I nodded and he hurried off in the quick walk that was the closest thing to running that was allowed in the Archives.

Meanwhile, Wilem dug an iron drab from his purse. He held it out to me, his expression vaguely sour.

“Giving up so easy?” I teased, vaguely surprised. “You don’t have anything for proof but that guy’s word, and unless you hadn’t noticed, he’s one short step away from a long stay in the Crockery.” We reached the stairwell and started to climb.

Wilem’s frown deepened. “I know some people who would say the same thing about you,” he said with more than a hint of reproach. “Puppet’s word is good enough for me.”

Slightly embarrassed, I took the coin. “I’m still curious. I’m going to look a little more into the Amyr. If I find out he was wrong I’ll own up to it.”

Wilem shook his head. “Puppet isn’t wrong about the Archives. I’d bet a silver talent against your drab that what you find backs him up.”

“Oh.” I pocketed the coin. “I don’t think I’ll take that bet.”

He flashed a brief, white grin at me. “Too bad.”

Westeros [Q&A]Patrick Rothfuss Chat Thread

2012-05-17 Admissions Interview

Part I at Pat's Blog

Part II at Tor.com's Rothfuss Reread

Kingkiller art by Nathan Taylor

The Name of the Wind movie poster

Amyr

*fan colored

The Name of the Wind recap

TV Tropes*

Interviews

LA TIMES 3-28-2012

HC: So if you were to make a list, what would be the top five fantasy clichés that people should avoid?

PR: Boy, it’s hard to limit it to just five…

1. Prophecy. I don’t ever want to read another novel about “the chosen one.”

2. The helpless damsel. I’ve known a fair number of damsels in my day. The vast majority of them don’t need saving.

3. Elves with bows who live in trees. Dwarves with axes who live in caves. It was fine when Tolkien did it, but that was 60 years ago. It’s time for us to move on.

4. Brooding vampires. Any sort of vampire should probably be avoided at this point. The genre is kinda overrun.

5. Dragons. As above.

Patrick Rothfuss interviews Terry Brooks interviews...

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Though honestly, I’m not much for planning my stories out ahead of time. At least not in a formally outlined way. I have the shape of them in my head, and then I just run with it, making changes as the story develops.

The downside is that I have to do a lot of revision to make things hang together properly. Plus things happen like my novellas turning into novels. But the upside is that I leave the door wide open for something wonderful to happen. Some of the best parts in my books haven’t been part of my original plan.

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Teaching the Controversy: a post under construction since 09-18-2013

So, will there be another trilogy?

Recently, blogger and freelance writer Jeff Peters posted the raw transcript for an interview he conducted with Patrick Rothfuss before the release of The Name of the Wind. Peters conducted the interview for a front page article in U-Wisconsin-Stevens Point's The Pointer, celebrating the success of one of their own. The following is from part 2.

So now that you’re mostly done with writing the trilogy are you working on anything new?

Yup. I’m working on revising the second book so it will be ready for publication. I’ve got a really cool idea for like an urban fairy tale set in Madison. Big city, um, sort of like what if fairies were real, and they didn’t go away, and they’re sort of working around the edges of society. And where better for old forgotten fairies to like hang out than a city like Madison. Right in the middle of a huge forest. All of Wisconsin is a forest. Like 45% of our state is still covered in forest.

Somebody suggested – they met me first as a fantasy novelist and then they read the College Survival Guide – and they said, “You are funny. You have to write an urban fantasy set in college with the same tone — the same sarcastic, funny, deranged character. And I think that’s a good idea. But I am also thinking of the next trilogy as well. All these characters have more things to do after this first trilogy is done.

So you’re going to try to stay in the same world?

I like the world. I spent a long time building it. It always pissed me off when an author created a place I loved and a bunch of characters that I loved, and then they just walk away from it. Your like, “Hey, these are my friends, how dare you just leave them withering on the vine.” So yeah, I’ll definitely be coming back to the world.

Will you do the new trilogy before doing the Madison story?

That’s hard. Part of it depends on what people want more. Part of it depends on which one ends up being more done. If I get really inspired to write one and it’s done, maybe it will come out first.

At the time it would have been obvious to any reader or interviewer that he was talking about the next Kvothe trilogy. Obviously most interviews after 2008 either explicitly deny or deflect from the notion of a second trilogy. But finally we have some corroboration for the interview on Pat's Fantasy Hotlist and the related Amazon review.

Reading along, I found the structure of the story a little odd. The better part of the novel is comprised of Kvothe's back story, with only a few scenes occurring in "real time." Having never encountered something like it, I discussed it with Betsy Wollheim. She did shine some light on the matter, and it turns out that Rothfuss' first trilogy will focus on the main character's past, with occasional tantalizing hints of things to come. A second trilogy will then recount Kvothe's "present" tale.

The Hotlist review went up two months before publication. The Amazon review the week after on 4-3-07 and the Pointer article on 4-5.

Last year at Worldcon, he gave an interview that reignited the question for a lot of folks:

So, can we hope for any more stories about Kvothe besides the one he’s telling us in The Kingkiller Chronicle? Is there a chance he might have more adventures after he’s done telling the story?

It’s a good question. No comment. To comment on that is to pollute every reader’s first experience of the story. Like, if I say “he dies at the end,” that colors your entire reading. Or if he doesn’t die at the end, that also colors your entire reading. If I say anything about where the story is going, it’ll ruin it, because that’s not part of the story. If I wanted you to know those things, I’d tell you in the story. So I’m really careful about what I tell people, by which I mean I never tell anyone anything about what is coming in the stories.

I don’t know if you know the Robert Frost poem “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors.” He has this line, “I wish you knew more without my having to tell you.” I have written this for you to read it, and if I wanted to say “p.s. the moral of the story is,” I would’ve written that into the book. But it’s a thing that stands on its own. And yes, we want to know about the author. But those things are part of the story. If you find out Shakespeare was a woman…so what? Hamlet is Hamlet.

If you're familiar with his interviews, both "good question" and "no comment" are typical deflections away from spoiler content, which he elaborated here in a way he hadn't before.

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Final posts from thread 8:

Thistle pong- I don't have either book so I cannot quote but a guest staying at Kvorthe's inn does recognize him and says I saw where you killed him, where the stones were shattered. So we know that he did kill someone in Imre. We really don't know who Kvorthe is hiding from,but he is hiding enough to change his name. Scarpi & Chronicler were looking for him so people don't think he's dead.

As for Bast - we get a glimpse of what he is doing at the end of WMF- when Chronicler goes into Bast room we are told what's in his room. I think he is collecting the 7 item to open the Lockles door of stone. On his shelf is a ribbon with a lock of hair. Not a Loclos Heir but a Loc(Los) of Hair. There is a ring of bone, a feather , a candle with leaves stuck in it. The Candle with the leaves makes me think of another line in the poem about the black smoke(I can't remember how the poem goes) but that is what I think Bast is up to.

The Cthaeh's story is straight outta the Bible, a serpent in a tree! El diablo himself! So Bast is right he is the worst. Now this Cthaeth tells Kvorthe that Cinder did him a bad turn one time. Shehyn tells Kvorthe the story he cannot repeat for 1000 days about the cities being destroyed. Shehyn's story says the cities held and the attackers used dirty tactics to win. Those tactics were like rotting fruit from the inside out. Maybe the way they did break the deadlock by sending in the worm to rot the apple(the worm or snake/Cthaeh ) from the inside. Bast said his knowledge of his insight was like a plague ship into a harbor, they sent in the Cthaeh himself. So his prophesies made the cities fall. So the Cthaeh wins the war and to the victors goes the spoils,but not for the Cthaeh (or worm)gets his bad turn,Cinder binds him to his tree prison. Being that Cinder has a cruel personality he must of rubbed the Cthaeh nose in that fact. The Chandrian wanted him as far from people as possible after that. That is why he in a tree in the fae guarded.Bad timing for Kvorthe to visit him when he wasn't guarded. So what my overly long post says is that the Cthaeh story and Adam &Eve's stories are similar (I realize that the snake/worm comparison is a stretch but it kinda fits)

Like 'jumbles' said this story is full of the idea, you can't believe everything in stories. After all old cob, thought that Kvothe summoned a demon when he burned that lightweight metal thing.

Also he might not be hiding from a specific someone in his past, but rather just trying to escape his past, besides he is a wanted man, and his head was worth a lot of money according to himself, when he tries to convince the smiths 'prenntice to not leave and join the military.

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Hey thistlepong! Thanks for quickly getting a new thread up so it could be linked from the previous one!

I've done a reorganization of the list. It is now split into three sections.

Understanding the Four Corners is for posts dealing with:

  • the world-building of the books
  • the online culture of the Kingkiller Chronicle (i.e. Elodin is Manet)
  • revelations that may add to our understanding but are unlikely to be of major importance to Kvothe's story

Observations with Possible Implied/Inferred Theory speaks for itself.

Theories of Note is for posts predicting what will happen or what we will learn in the future. This was the original purpose of the list I created.

While separating the topics into these sections I found that it's not an easy task. Many things could be placed in multiple sections.

I am still working on adding more to the lists. As always, I'm open to suggestions for additions, subtractions, or other changes to the list. If you think there should be more sections, or that they should be organized differently, or that things are in the wrong place, say something!

Understanding the Four Corners *UPDATED 2013 MAY 16*


Chronicler is a Loeclos

Two Dwarves Jousting


Kote Means Disaster


Slick Mongoose


The House That Jax Built


TeaSpoon


Elodin is Manet (including the set-up to Manet punchlines)


Gaston de Foix - Initial Set-Up
unJon - Initial Punchline
AverageGuy
thistlepong - Set-Up
Slick Mongoose
SkiesOfAzel
unJon
SkiesOfAzel
The faceless others
Jurble
Ski the Swift - Set-Up
Kosciuszko
Ser Scot A Ellison
AverageGuy
Kosciuszko
Gaston de Foix
Jurble
Ser Spidey - Set-Up
unJon
unJon
dcon
ShanRawr
Spaceman Hobbes - Set-Up
Zizoz
Nisheeth - Set-Up
unJon
DayLung
Slick Mongoose
bradd
two_by_two
bradd
jumbles (#s 2 & 8 in post)
bradd


Angels Debate


thistlepong
TeaSpoon
thistlepong
Gaston de Foix
Jurble
Slick Mongoose
thistlepong
CryHavoc
thistlepong
Jurble
Jurble
AverageGuy
thistlepong
Zizoz
thistlepong
Thaykora
Zizoz
thistlepong
thistlepong
thistlepong
Aemon Blackfyre
thistlepong


The Broken House is the Mortal World


thistlepong


Tinkers


Thaykora
Thaykora


Elderberry


thistlepong


Political Structure (Especially of Vintas)


Gaston de Foix
thistlepong
Gaston de Foix
Gaston de Foix
two_by_two
thistlepong
bradd
thistlepong


Timeline


thistlepong


Types of Magic


Red Wedding
thistlepong
thistlepong
jumbles
thistlepong


Four Corners Currencies


Ser Scot A Ellison - links the official currency converter widget
thistlepong


Sympathy/Sygaldry Theory


Guillaume Riesen
gbrell
n8love
gbrell




Observations That Aren't Quite Theories (Though a Theory May Be Implied/Inferred) *UPDATED 2013 SEP 09*


Kvothe is Amyr-like

TeaSpoon
TeaSpoon
allenczhang


Rhinta, Rhinna, Rhinata, and Rhintae


alekhia
Gaston de Foix


Haliax and the Four Doors of the Mind


TeaSpoon


Auri, the Moon, Lunacy, and the Crockery


thistlepong
Gaston de Foix
Gaston de Foix
Gaston de Foix
jumbles (#2 in post)
harvv
jumbles


Auri's Taborlinesque Gifts


thistlepong


Kvothe is Like the Angels


john


Laclith


TheValyrianDragonlord


Denna and the Moon


Merihathor
Re'lar Loki
jumbles


Encanis and the Chandrian


Merihathor
tze
Gaston de Foix
jumbles


Felurian and the Angels


Psistern
jumbles


Tricky Cthaeh *UPDATED 2013 SEP 09*


Watson-Crick - Bredon is the "Stick by the Maer"
jumbles - Various *NEW 2013 SEP 09*


Denna and Chandrian Movements


tze
jumbles


Auri, Bredon, and Angels


jumbles - Nightjar and Owl (number 12 in post)
jumbles - Halos and Beatific Smile


Denna and Copper


Kmmontandon


Haliax, Iax, Jax, Jakis


JordanBelle


Kvothe's Rings and Angel Wings


jumbles


Kvothe and Tehlu


jumbles (#6 in post)
jumbles
jumbles
jumbles (#3 in post)


Lute Case and Thrice-Locked Chest


jumbles - Three Locks


Bast's Blanket and Taborlin's Cloak


jumbles (#6 in post)


Tehlu's Name


jumbles
thistlepong




Theories of Note *UPDATED 2014 FEB 26*


Laurian is Netalia Lackless

word
word
fionwe1987
Gaston de Foix
Pufferfish123


Denna is Netalia Lackless


AverageGuy
thistlepong
Sylvester
jumbles


Location of the Waystone Inn


Kuenjato
Lord of Starfall


Kvothe Loses His Name and His Skill with His Hand


TeaSpoon
AverageGuy
AverageGuy
Jurble
AverageGuy
stumpzapper


Master Ash is Cinder


Slick Mongoose
Slick Mongoose
wrathofdog
wrathofdog
Who's on Third
tze
jumbles (#16 in post)


Master Ash is Bredon


Gaston de Foix
Two Dwarves Jousting
RogueSock
Rhaegar's Son


Lackless Rhymes


TeaSpoon - the Lackless rhymes, riddle raveling = Edema Ruh, secret = tight-held in keeping
griffitt - Kvothe = son who brings the blood, moon phase = time that must be right
Two Dwarves Jousting - sympathy candle
Defster - Loeclos box holds thing tight-held in keeping
Watson-Crick - Meluan's wooden ring
thistlepong - unbroken Edema Ruh circle = ring unworn / not for wearing
Vordare - 4-plate door = Lackless door, password = forsworn word, blood for sympathy, door of the mind = door that holds the flood, Naming comes with sleeping
thistlepong - rhyme degrades further from Lackless lands
Merihathor - Stapes' ring, Haliax's candle, waystone = door without a handle
Gaston de Foix - Auri's candle
jumbles - door that holds the flood = a dam keeping the Lackless door underwater
thistlepong - Aculeus Lackless = son who brings the blood
Sylvester - sleeping mind for Naming so Naming comes with sleeping
Ayame Natsu - Auri's ring
lanceschaubert - renounce name = word forsworn
thistlepong - obsidian = husband's rocks
jumbles - Shaping = dreaming
jumbles - Blac of Drossen Tor = black dress
jumbles - Bast = son who brings the blood
kineta - Black Dress = no moon
jumbles - lots of things
jumbles - Broken Road, not Jax's box
jumbles - Halo = ring
jumbles - Blac of Drossen Tor = black dress


Loeclos Box Holds a Scrael


TeaSpoon
TeaSpoon
TeaSpoon


The Tahl are the singers


AverageGuy


Copper


jaerken
mdcclv
thistlepong
AverageGuy


Creation War Locations


TeaSpoon - Belen/Belenay, Tinusa/Tinue
thistlepong - Blac of Drossen Tor at Severen
thistlepong - Blac of Drossen Tor at Severen
chrispin - Vaeret/Vartheret, Antus/Andenivan
thistlepong - Blac of Drossen Tor at Severen
bradd - Belen/Tarbean


Naming and Shaping


Jurble
AverageGuy
nonman_erratic
Misfortune
john
TeaSpoon
Jurble
thistlepong
Slick Mongoose
thistlepong
Gaston de Foix
Spaceman Hobbes
Merihathor
chrispin
Robert Hughes
unJon
Kv0th3
thistlepong
Tears of Lys
jumbles
Red Wanderer
jumbles


Auri is Princess Ariel


thistlepong


Bast and Kvothe


Grant
Jurble
kingkiller
DayLung


Bast and Felurian


nonman_erratic


Denna Sweet-Eater


cypselus


Kvothe is a Chandrian


thistlepong
jumbles (#5 in post)


Meanings of El'the and Gilthe


TeaSpoon - El'the = Shaper or Namer or Singer
Damon - El'the = Hearer
thistlepong - El'the = Listener
TeaSpoon - El'the = Listener
thistlepong - Gilthe = Knower
jumbles - El'the = Knower or Be-er
thistlepong - Gilthe = Knower or Be-er
jumbles - El'the = Shaper or Locker
thistlepong - El'the = Namer/Shaper, Gilthe = Binder
jumbles - El'the = Singer


The singers are the Angels


nonman_erratic
Sylvester


The Ruach, Adem, and Edema Ruh


thistlepong
AverageGuy
Banjo Fiend
stumpzapper


Skarpi Namer


unJon
Who's on Third


Alchemy Interpretation


The Alchemy Web Site - Believed to be used by Pat
lanceschaubert
Merihathor
Merihathor
Merihathor
Merihathor
lanceschaubert
jumbles - not interpretation; just lists instances of alchemy
lanceschaubert


singers Just Sing About the Chandrian


unJon


Name is a Key


Jurble
jumbles (#2 in post)


Valaritas is a Sleeping Barrow King


Skia


Skarpi, Sceop, and Jax's Tinker


thistlepong


The Loeclos Box is Made of Rhinna Wood


thistlepong


The Nameless Ring is for Denna


lanceschaubert


Caudicus is Cyphus


thistlepong


Kvothe Steals the Moon


Rhaegar's Son


The Nameless Ring is Copper


zottel


Denna and the Wind, Kvothe and the Broken Tree


Angeleyes


Ben Wanted Kvothe to Remember the "Not Tally a Lot Less" Song


Kettricken


The Cthaeh is Encanis


Merihathor


Bredon is Aculeus Lackless


Spaceman Hobbes
tze
tze


Sceop Means Speaker


RobMRobM


Sim Betrays Kvothe


thistlepong


Princess Ariel is Roderic's Daughter


Gaston de Foix


Dagon is a Chandrian


jumbles (#3 in post)
jumbles


Abenthy Teaches Kvothe Yllish Knots


jumbles (#4 in post)


The Eolian is Gone


jumbles (#6 in post)


Devi is the Demon Kvothe Tricked


jumbles (#11 in post)
jumbles


Ambrose is the Penitent King


thistlepong


Puppet is Amyr


jumbles


Dagon is Amyr


harvv
jumbles (#4 in post)


The Cthaeh is Jax's Tinker


jumbles
jumbles (#3 in post)


Kvothe's Friends Are Dead


Kmmontandon
jumbles (#11 in post)


Alveron is the Penitent King


gaillard


Lorren is Adem


jumbles (#15 in post)


Geoffrey and Denna are Siblings


jumbles (#19 in post)


The Nameless Ring is for the Moon


jumbles (#20 in post)


Selitos is the Cthaeh (Loeclos Box Holds Obsidian)


thistlepong


Denna's Importance in Book 3


jumbles - she is THE woman and is still alive
jumbles - her importance increases


Kvothe has a Knack with Locks


bradd (#8 in post)


Viari is Amyr


jumbles


Imre Founded by Amyr


jumbles (#7 in post)

The Power of Alar/Belief *NEW 2013 OCT 17*


jumbles - Tehlinism, Chandrian, history
bradd - Kvothe becomes Kote

BoobShaper69 - Chandrian vs Selitos Alar


Amyr's Purpose *UPDATED 2014 FEB 26*

jumbles *NEW 2014 FEB 26*
jumbles

Nameless Children


Jonnymoon


Kvothe kills Roderic Calanthis with Caesura


thistlepong


Perial was Ademic


jumbles


Jax's Old House and the Waystone Inn *NEW 2013 OCT 16*


jumbles


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For clarity's sake, so I don't go mad trying to compare that to what I already have up there, does that post have any additions that occur after you added the alchemy section?

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Yes, near the bottom i linked a timeline that you put together. Don't know if there's anything else...

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Wow! :bowdown:

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Yes, near the bottom i linked a timeline that you put together. Don't know if there's anything else...

Thanks :drool:

That needs an update, too.

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The Cthaeh's story is straight outta the Bible, a serpent in a tree! El diablo himself! So Bast is right he is the worst. Now this Cthaeth tells Kvorthe that Cinder did him a bad turn one time. Shehyn tells Kvorthe the story he cannot repeat for 1000 days about the cities being destroyed. Shehyn's story says the cities held and the attackers used dirty tactics to win. Those tactics were like rotting fruit from the inside out. Maybe the way they did break the deadlock by sending in the worm to rot the apple(the worm or snake/Cthaeh ) from the inside. Bast said his knowledge of his insight was like a plague ship into a harbor, they sent in the Cthaeh himself. So his prophesies made the cities fall. So the Cthaeh wins the war and to the victors goes the spoils,but not for the Cthaeh (or worm)gets his bad turn,Cinder binds him to his tree prison. Being that Cinder has a cruel personality he must of rubbed the Cthaeh nose in that fact. The Chandrian wanted him as far from people as possible after that. That is why he in a tree in the fae guarded.Bad timing for Kvorthe to visit him when he wasn't guarded. So what my overly long post says is that the Cthaeh story and Adam &Eve's stories are similar (I realize that the snake/worm comparison is a stretch but it kinda fits)

Well, I guess I'll get the ball rolling with analysis and stuff. By the way, thistle and jumbles, you guys are awesome. I'm consistently impressed with basically everything you do. So... yeah, well done.

First of all, red roggo, the whole visual parallel may not even exist; we don't actually ever see the Cthaeh, merely speculate on its serpentine aspect from contextual clues. But I see your point about the whole knowledge-as-forbidden-fruit. However, as we never tire of pointing out, this tale delights in turning tired tropes on their head, particularly how we assume all information in info-dumps is always true. In this context (and really every time we talk about the long-ago past), take the saying "history is written by the victors" as a very important grain of salt. So the Cthaeh lost some struggle way back in the long-forgotten past (or maybe not so forgotten, if it turns out that the Cthaeh was Selitos), was bound to the tree, and was subsequently painted as not just a villain, but the villain, the wellspring of all chaos and suffering in the world, regardless of whether that is even remotely the truth (the only information on the subject we are provided with comes third-hand from Bast, who, although intelligent and well-meaning, is very young by the standards of his kind and very much not wise by anyone's standards). And even if Pat went on record saying the Cthaeh was directly inspired by the imagery of the Garden of Eden (extremely unlikely from someone as close-lipped as he), one could argue that still tells us nothing, since history is written by the victors, in that case, the side of heaven. Everyone is a hero of their own story, even the devil. So try to avoid casting anyone as outright evil.

That being said, and after re-reading your post a few times to get to the heart of the matter, I think your point on the rotting fruit from the inside compared to the plague ship in the harbors is really interesting. During such an awful war, both sides would tend to enter into an arms race, and that would lead to more and more horrible weapons being developed (especially using the power of naming/shaping), culminating in the creation of a weapon so powerful (because knowledge is power) that even its makers could hardly control it. After harnessing it just long enough to win their war for them, they locked it away, unable to destroy it, and set a guard around it. I like the sound of this.

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Two things:

First:

Wait, The Chandrian won?

Second:

I wanna use one of the informational posts for a FAQ to answer common, simple questions without going into exegesis mode. I'm just not sure how to phrase the straw questions yet. For example, among the most consistent mistakes is speculating that Kvothe frees the moon from its obligation to travel to Faen by opening the Loeclos Box and freeing it's name which is assumed, circularly, to be the contents of the box because...

To my eyes, the core question is IS THE MOON MOVING IN THE FRAME? Answer: Yes. add quotes from the text. QED.

But that lacks what the French call a certain I-don't-know-what. So, will that be helpful? anyone have any suggestions for FAQ with simple answers?

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Two things:

First:

Wait, The Chandrian won?

Second:

I wanna use one of the informational posts for a FAQ to answer common, simple questions without going into exegesis mode. I'm just not sure how to phrase the straw questions yet. For example, among the most consistent mistakes is speculating that Kvothe frees the moon from its obligation to travel to Faen by opening the Loeclos Box and freeing it's name which is assumed, circularly, to be the contents of the box because...

To my eyes, the core question is IS THE MOON MOVING IN THE FRAME? Answer: Yes. add quotes from the text. QED.

But that lacks what the French call a certain I-don't-know-what. So, will that be helpful? anyone have any suggestions for FAQ with simple answers?

It's been a while since I've dared to discuss NOTW and WMF on this thread but i feel compelled to jump in at this point.

First off, Thistle and Jumbles thank you for your monster organising posts.

I've been posting and reading here since WMF came out and even I'm lost in terms of keeping every track of every facet of the books. In fact I had a few theories on Kvothe's rescue of the missing princess that I never dared to elaborate because I didn't have the time to read everything here and on Tor.

There is only thing I spotted missing from Jumbles list, the speculations on the political structure of Vintas, and particularly the notion of four farrels etc. That might be worthy of addition.

The bigger point I wanted to make was in response to the Loeclos Box and the moon which Thistle raised.

I would propose we look at issues like 'Doors' and 'Boxes" not in a puzzle solving mode, but in layers. One of the most important things Rothfuss has said in my view about the Kingkiller Chronicles is that it an antidote to those fantasy novels where mythos, plot and character all come together in one powerful conclusion (I'm summarising very loosely, if some has a link to the quote that would be helpful). This is one man's story, and the story of the rest of the world is told only insofar as it is necessary to tell Kvothe's story.

In my view the Kingkiller Chronicles is best read in terms of layers, like an onion or a flower. It's clear that there should be some reason we have two mysterious doors in the Chroniclers, and two mysterious boxes. One view is that we must connect the dots and understand the precise relationship between the two Doors. The other is that one box and one door will remain essentially off stage and unknown, what will occupy centre stage is a smaller box and a less important door. There are similarities between the two boxes and two doors, to be sure, but it's kind of like reading Lord of the Rings and finding out that Sauron himself was merely a servant and emissary of Morgoth Bauglir and the War of the Ring was fought before, on a bigger stage.

It's important to understand this, because as much as Rothfuss is promising to finish the story in three books, he won't give us what I expect GRRM and Jordan will give us when their work is finished; to every character an end, and to every end a character. Stuff remains unresolved in biographies even self-narrated, Chronicler written biographies.

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... in terms of layers, like an onion ...

Or an ogre! :lol:

Oh! Also I'll look into the Vintish political structure posts. Thanks for suggesting that. Also, I think when I update the list I'll try to mark the additions as new.

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Sorry if I'm repeating what other people have said or if this has been done to death

But does anyone else think that Bast might be Kvothe's son. Possibly by Felurian or another fae?

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But does anyone else think that Bast might be Kvothe's son. Possibly by Felurian or another fae?

Quote from book according to Kvothe 'Bastas, son of Remmen, Prince of twilight and the Telwyth Mael... Who, over the course of a hundred and fifty years of life'

So if what Kvothe says is accurate, he's not Basts father

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It's been a while since I've dared to discuss NOTW and WMF on this thread but i feel compelled to jump in at this point.

First off, Thistle and Jumbles thank you for your monster organising posts.

I've been posting and reading here since WMF came out and even I'm lost in terms of keeping every track of every facet of the books. In fact I had a few theories on Kvothe's rescue of the missing princess that I never dared to elaborate because I didn't have the time to read everything here and on Tor.

There is only thing I spotted missing from Jumbles list, the speculations on the political structure of Vintas, and particularly the notion of four farrels etc. That might be worthy of addition.

The bigger point I wanted to make was in response to the Loeclos Box and the moon which Thistle raised.

I would propose we look at issues like 'Doors' and 'Boxes" not in a puzzle solving mode, but in layers. One of the most important things Rothfuss has said in my view about the Kingkiller Chronicles is that it an antidote to those fantasy novels where mythos, plot and character all come together in one powerful conclusion (I'm summarising very loosely, if some has a link to the quote that would be helpful). This is one man's story, and the story of the rest of the world is told only insofar as it is necessary to tell Kvothe's story.

In my view the Kingkiller Chronicles is best read in terms of layers, like an onion or a flower. It's clear that there should be some reason we have two mysterious doors in the Chroniclers, and two mysterious boxes. One view is that we must connect the dots and understand the precise relationship between the two Doors. The other is that one box and one door will remain essentially off stage and unknown, what will occupy centre stage is a smaller box and a less important door. There are similarities between the two boxes and two doors, to be sure, but it's kind of like reading Lord of the Rings and finding out that Sauron himself was merely a servant and emissary of Morgoth Bauglir and the War of the Ring was fought before, on a bigger stage.

It's important to understand this, because as much as Rothfuss is promising to finish the story in three books, he won't give us what I expect GRRM and Jordan will give us when their work is finished; to every character an end, and to every end a character. Stuff remains unresolved in biographies even self-narrated, Chronicler written biographies.

My expectations for what will be set in stone have always been kind of lower than those of other folks. At the same time I have a lot of fun trying to come to grips with why I like the story and digging in the dirt of it for clues. As a community we've actually determined some remarkable things.

I've said before that I doubt we'll get hard answers to most of our questions. However, the books are meant to be reread. Some of the answers are there. The mythos, while maybe bearing indirectly on the plot at hand, is something Pat wants us to engage with:

"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."

Regarding the layers, I think you're right. The frame chest, the Loeclos Box, and Jax's box are absolutely not equivalent; but they resonate on different levels of the story. That's just one example. The alchemical "as above, so below" occurs over and over again. As it should.

I still want to see your theory on the princess(es.) I don't care if it's old and dusty, tattered and incomplete.

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Quote from book according to Kvothe 'Bastas, son of Remmen, Prince of twilight and the Telwyth Mael... Who, over the course of a hundred and fifty years of life'

So if what Kvothe says is accurate, he's not Basts father

I know what he says but that doesn't mean it's true and if it is Remmen could be another name for Kvothe. He's got a lot of them remember.

My reasons for thinking Bast might be his son stem from their relationship. It seems way more than just friendship or the bond of teacher and pupil, Bast hardly studies anyway. Also what is that name he keeps calling Kvothe, 'Reshi' . It could just mean master or sir but Bast often seems to use it as an informal term of address a lot like father perhaps?

Also why is it that Kvothe trusts Bast? He doesn't seem to be the most reliable of people. Even with his parents dead Kvothe still had a number of friends that he must have known far longer and proved more reliable than Bast so why is that he choose to go into hiding with Bast and in essence trust Bast with his life over everyone else. Granted some may be dead but it seems very unlikely that they all are.

Rothfuss has already set up that time moves faster in the fae world than Kvothe's world so it wouldn't be hard for him to have an adult son and still be in his 20s.

I'm not saying that he MUST be Kvothe's son but there's definitely more than just friendship between them. And surely after his experience with Felurian Kvothe would be far more wary of the fae and wouldn't just take someone like Bast into his confidence just because he found him an amusing companion. Kvothe has known Bast for less time than nearly all his other friends and yet the two of them have this incredibly strong bond together. Even if Bast was an Amyr I don't think it would explain his devotion to Kvothe.

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Two things:

First:

Wait, The Chandrian won?

Whoops. I meant that's what it seemed red roggo was suggesting.

The bigger point I wanted to make was in response to the Loeclos Box and the moon which Thistle raised.

I would propose we look at issues like 'Doors' and 'Boxes" not in a puzzle solving mode, but in layers. One of the most important things Rothfuss has said in my view about the Kingkiller Chronicles is that it an antidote to those fantasy novels where mythos, plot and character all come together in one powerful conclusion (I'm summarising very loosely, if some has a link to the quote that would be helpful). This is one man's story, and the story of the rest of the world is told only insofar as it is necessary to tell Kvothe's story.

In my view the Kingkiller Chronicles is best read in terms of layers, like an onion or a flower. It's clear that there should be some reason we have two mysterious doors in the Chroniclers, and two mysterious boxes. One view is that we must connect the dots and understand the precise relationship between the two Doors. The other is that one box and one door will remain essentially off stage and unknown, what will occupy centre stage is a smaller box and a less important door. There are similarities between the two boxes and two doors, to be sure, but it's kind of like reading Lord of the Rings and finding out that Sauron himself was merely a servant and emissary of Morgoth Bauglir and the War of the Ring was fought before, on a bigger stage.

It's important to understand this, because as much as Rothfuss is promising to finish the story in three books, he won't give us what I expect GRRM and Jordan will give us when their work is finished; to every character an end, and to every end a character. Stuff remains unresolved in biographies even self-narrated, Chronicler written biographies.

Wow I love the connection to Sauron & Morgoth.

And in response to your post, looking at what we've suggested and postulated and theorized, I'm a little concerned that we're centering too much of this story around Kvothe, that we're making it too epic, I guess is the best word.

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