Characters: The Kingkiller Chronicle
Characters for "The Kingkiller Chronicle
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The trilogy's main character. He currently goes by the name Kote in the village of Newarre, hiding his true identity and living as the inkeeper of the Waystone Inn.
- The Ace: Verging on Mary Sue territory, with his ability to learn languages overnight, to master skills the first time he tries them, to charm almost anyone without half trying, to act with such meticulous skill that he can talk himself out of urchin-hood and into the nobility (or at least the semblance thereof). Stays firmly away from Mary Sue in that he does have significant and real flaws and it's deconstructed since it makes him arrogant, makes him stand out, makes other people jealous, and generally makes him a catalyst for all kinds of nastiness.
- Broken Ace: By the time Chronicler finds him, he's a broken shell of a man.
- All the Other Reindeer: Kvothe feels like this in the first book in the Arcanum dorm, as his quick promotion makes the others jealous.
- Badass Boast: Kvothe's briefest recollection of awesome deeds becomes the tagline for the book.
- Badass Cape: Kvothe wears them. A green cloak in the first book, which is ultimately replaced by his shadow cloak in the second book.
- The Bard
- Becoming the Mask: Bast is afraid that Kvothe is truly becoming Kote the innkeeper.
- Berserk Button: Don't insult the Edema Ruh in front of Kvothe.
- Break the Cutie
- Cannot Spit It Out: Kvothe is unable to tell Denna his true feelings even when she is high on denner resin and thus unlikely to note or remember anything he says.
- Chick Magnet: Denna, Fela, Mola, Devi, Penthe, Vashet, Felurian, and various side characters all show some degree of romantic or sexual interest in him. While some of these interactions are more significant that others (the fact that Vashet slept with Kvothe, for example, doesn't mean much due to the Adem's almost utilitarian attitude toward sex), the books make it clear that Kvothe is very popular with women, even at fifteen.
- Chivalrous Pervert: As of book two.
- Circus Brat
- Consummate Liar
- Cool Sword: Caesura in the past. Folly in the present.
- Constantly Curious: As a child, he was the Elephant's Child, who learned very quickly and cracked puzzles like they were chestnuts, so his father would give him a Shaggy Dog Story to puzzle over. He's still curious as an adult.
- Cruel Mercy: What he did with the waterskin.
- Dark and Troubled Past
- Deadpan Snarker
- Dogged Nice Guy: Towards Denna.
- Failure Hero: He believes this about himself.
- Fatal Flaw:
- His impatience.
- His arrogance.
- His temper.
- Fiery Redhead
- Genre Blind: At times. His inability to see Elodin as the Trickster Mentor he is causes him a lot of grief, especially after beginning Elodin's class.
- Genre Savvy: Due to his Edema Ruh upbringing, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of stories. Subverted, however, in that he doesn't see these stories as applying to real life.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars
- Guile Hero
- Heroic Bastard: His parents were never formally married.
- Heroic BSOD
- I Have Many Names
- Infallible Narrator
- Partially subverted: Kvothe explicitly tells Bast that he's not above exaggeration for effect during the interlude after his meeting the Ctheah. Also, there are numerous subtle clues that he might not be entirely forthcoming with Chronicler.
- Living Legend
- Manly Tears: All the time.
- Memetic Badass: In-universe.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Kvothe the Kingkiller. Kvothe the Bloodless.
- Inverted with the true names of the Chandrian. They know when/where their true names are spoken, and ruthlessly eradicate any information about themselves. Kvothe's dad, Arliden, was composing and rehearsing a song about them. The Chandrian show up and kill everybody, except for the temporarily-absent Kvothe. Kvothe namechecks 'em all...once.
- Never Be Hurt Again: He mentions this as one of several motivations for attending Wizarding School. (How truthful he was being is currently unknown — especially since the series isn't finished yet.)
- Oblivious to Love
- Photographic Memory
- Really Seventeen Years Old: During much of his adventures, he adds a few years to his age. He's in his mid-to-late teens during his time at the University. In Newarre, the framing device, he's only in his twenties, despite being a Living Legend.
- Red-Headed Hero
- Redhead In Green: He wears a green cloak in the first book.
- Renaissance Man: Has the skills of singing, acting, playing the lute, woodcraft, law, Sympathy, begging, thieving, and seduction.
- Retired Badass: Not if Bast has anything to say about it.
- Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: His red hair and green eyes are his most distinctive traits.
- Stranger in a Strange School
- Street Urchin: During his time in Tarbean.
- The Trickster
- Too Clever by Half
- Took a Level in Badass: After he studies with the Adem.
- Training from Hell: His time among the Adem.
- Unreliable Narrator
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Denna.
The trilogy's primary female character and Kvothe's Love Interest
. She is poor, homeless, and prone to wandering, but manages to make a decent living with her voice and charm. Men have a fatal attraction to her, an attraction she can never seem to return. When a man gets too familiar with her, she will often leave town quickly and silently.
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: She is described as beautiful, dark-haired and very elegant and graceful.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette
- Hero's Muse
- Gold Digger: Although Denna doesn't exhibit some of the more extreme characteristics of the trope, such as self-entitlement. Somewhat justified as it is one of the few options available to a woman with no dowry, though Denna does seem to enjoy the game.
- Harp of Femininity
- Ill Girl: She was born with weak lungs, and periodically has trouble breathing, sometimes to the point of being bedridden.
- Living Lie Detector: For Kvothe.
- Master of the Mixed Message
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Denna's real name is unknown but everyone calls her by some other name she gave to them, usually along the lines of Dianne or Dineh or some other "d" word.
- The Tragic Rose
- Tsundere: She clearly likes Kvothe, no one doubts this, but at other times...
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Kvothe.
- Unwitting Pawn: There is evidence that she was sent to the wedding in Trebon as a spy.
- Walking the Earth
- Hidden Depths: Whatever it is she does with her hair, it seems like her patron is teaching her either Yllish or Fae magic.
- Women Are Wiser: Well, she's certainly street wise.
A close friend of Kvothe's. He is skilled in alchemy and poetry.
A close friend of Kvothe's. Wilem is Cealdish and works as a scriv in the University Archives.
One of Kvothe's few female friends at the University.
A member of the Arcanum who works in the Medica. She is always the one to take care of Kvothe when he is hurt.
One of Kvothe's best friends at The University. He has been at The University for thirty years and seems to have no interest in advancing.
- Cool Old Guy
- Kavorka Man
- Author Avatar: Rothfuss' bio says that he was an undergrad for 9 years before being politely asked to graduate. Manet also happens to make a date with one of the most desirable women in the series, which must surely be an innocent coincidence.
A former University student who has gone "cracked" and lives in hiding in passages beneath the university. Auri is frightened by strangers, loud noises, and direct questions, but is befriended by Kvothe and is shown to greatly enjoy Kvothe's singing and lute-playing.
- Broken Bird: The Slow Regard of Silent Things implies that she was raped, and that's not even her biggest problem.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Treats everything as sapient, and is preoccupied with putting everything in its correct place. Her goal appears to be making the entire Underthing into a place where everything fits perfectly.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Undoubtedly.
- Does Not Like Shoes
- Super OCD: Things have to be in exactly the right spot, and she has specific rituals she follows. This is most obvious in her description of her routines in The Slow Regard of Silent Things, and in the candle-making scene.
- Expy: A kind-hearted but strange Mysterious Waif with wispy blond hair, who, despite being a huge Cloud Cuckoolander, helps the hero out in various ways? Luna, meet your long-lost sister.
- Mysterious Waif: If you consider her gifts of a key, coin and candle, which are known as Taborlin the Great's tools...
- Spirited Young Lady: Well, she certainly isn't shy about calling Elodin out...
- Older Than She Looks: it is very easy to forget that she actually is older than Kvothe (her estimated age is twenty)
- Only Known by Their Nickname
- The Ophelia: Completely.
- Hidden Depths: She is a highly skilled chemist and alchemist, claiming to be more skilled than her former teacher and the University's Master Alchemist, Mandrag.
- Shrinking Violet
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: She does not like moonless nights.
The Edema Ruh Troupe
Kvothe's father and the leader of the Edema Ruh troupe that carried the patronage of Baron Greyfallow.
Kvothe's mother. She was a noble before following Kvothe's father Arliden to become one of the Edema Ruh in the year before Kvothe's birth.
Kvothe's first teacher of sympathy and science.
A member of Kvothe's troupe, mentioned when discussing Knacks.
- Posthumous Character
- Rule of Seven: Trip throws sevens on dice. This is not an example of Lucky Seven, as seven is not a lucky number to throw when playing dice (because it's only an average throw, and you can never roll doubles).
A kindly old man who lives in the basement of a burnt out building and feeds and tends to the needs of street children.
A famous storyteller who is said to know every story in existence. He is also an associate of Chronicler, and was allegedly instrumental in discovering Kvothe's whereabouts after he assumed the identity of Kote.
Chancellor of the University and Master Linguist.
- Broken Ace: Sim defines him as one. In fact, seeing his many experiences and knowledge fields, Elodin could be considered an older version of Kvothe.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer
- Eccentric Mentor
- Mysterious Past: None of the students know what happened to send him to the madhouse, they just know he spent years there before learning the Name of his walls and walking out.
- The Quiet One: He does not speak very much during the masters's meetings, and judging for their reactions when he does it, they prefer it this way.
- Trickster Mentor
Master Artificer and one of Kvothe's most influential mentors.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: In a world with actual magic and fae creatures and the like, he doesn't believe in the Chandrian or Haliax and disapproves that Kvothe's first request of the archives was information on them.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Kvothe uses him as enxample of the third thing all wise men fear: the wrath of a gentle man.
- Berserk Button: He flips out over just about any breach of protocol in the Archives.
- Scary Librarian
- The Stoic
Master Sympathist, who looks just like an evil wizard from fairy tales but is actually a nice guy.
Imre and the University
The partner of Stanchion and co-owner of The Eolian in Imre.
The owner of Anker's, the inn where Kvothe lives and works while he studies in the University.
A moneylender in Imre who makes loans to Kvothe so that he can pay his tuition and a former member of the Arcanum.
A shady black market dealer at the University.
A patron of the musical arts.
The firstborn son of a powerful and wealthy baron and the nemesis of Kvothe in the University.
A strange man who appears to live in the Archives, and is a constant source of information for Wilem and Simmon.
The Maer's Court
Maer Lerand Alveron
The Maer, and essentially king of Vint due to an old and complicated agreement with the actual king of Vint.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: He knows very well the deeper implications of nobility, and how ultimately fragile that power is. Thus he takes measures to ensure he is constantly in control.
- Too Clever by Half: Invoked, in those exact words, by Kvothe as narrator, besides being true.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Subverted. When it seems he'll kick Kvothe out of the city to please his lady wife, he actually writes a letter apologizing and giving Kvothe some measure of financial security. Then he kicks Kvothe out.
The Maer's retainer, who initially greatly distrusts Kvothe.
Lady Meluan Lackless
A young noblewoman the Maer wishes to marry.
The Maer's physician.
- Meaningful Name: Probably a double subversion. The similar-sounding caduceus (☤) is a symbol often used in America for the medical industry. However, this usage is historically incorrect: the caduceus is rather a symbol of commerce, and is considered inappropriate as a symbol of medicine because commerce often involves theft, deception, and death.
A noble Kvothe befriends quickly.
A noble at the Maer's court.
- Gossipy Hens: Most of the Maer's Court is this, but Lord Praevek is the most gossipy of all of them.
A Vintic mercenary who usually works with his companions Hespe and Marten.
A mercenary who usually works with Dedan and Marten.
A mercenary who usually works with Dedan and Hespe.
- Cool Old Guy: The first of the mercenaries Kvothe actually befriends, due to his appreciation for quick wit and humor.
- Divine Intervention: His terrified praying appears to be what makes Cinder flee in the confrontation with the mercenaries.
- Scarily Competent Tracker
- However, he was able to teach Kvothe and Tempi his techniques, so somewhat justified.
An Adem mercenary who is the first to teach Kvothe about the Ketan and the Lethani.
An old woman and master of the Ketan fighting style as well as the head of the school in Haert, where Kvothe stays. She approves of Kvothe being taught the Ketan and the Lethani.
A female Adem who first rebukes Tempi for teaching Kvothe their secrets.
Nicknamed "the Hammer", she is the teacher assigned to Kvothe to determine if he is worthy to become one of the Adem and so to learn their ways.
A young woman who beats Shehyn in a sparring exhibition and is the first among the Adem at Haert to speak to Kvothe of her own free will.
An exceptionally talented student of the Ketan who becomes Kvothe's sparring partner. A ten year old girl.
The most beautiful and sensual woman in either the world of mortals or the fae. She crosses over into the mortal world to seduce men and brings them into her own world. There, she proves her power over them by driving them to madness and/or death through excess of yearning and sexual debauchery.
A malicious entity living in a great tree in the Fae. The Cthaeh sees all possible futures and uses this power to manipulate people into making life decisions that will cause the most suffering.
"When the hearthfire turns to blue, What to do? What to do? Run outside. Run and hide." "When your bright sword turns to rust? Who to trust? Who to trust? Stand alone. Standing stone." "When his eyes are black as crow? Where to go? Where to go? Near and far. Here they are." "See a woman pale as snow? Silent come and silent go. What's their plan? What's their plan? Chandrian. Chandrian." "See a man without a face? Move like ghosts from place to place. What's their plan? What's their plan? Chandrian. Chandrian."
Cyphus bears the blue flame.
Stercus is in thrall of iron.
Ferule chill and dark of eye.
Usnea lives in nothing but decay.
Grey Dalcenti never speaks.
Pale Alenta brings the blight.
Last there is the lord of seven:
Hated. Hopeless. Sleepless. Sane.
Alaxel bears the shadow's hame.
Seven demons, or humans, or immortals, or who knows what
. They are assumed to be nonexistent by most scholars and learned people, due to the amount of effort they have gone to in order to destroy any records of them. They slaughtered Kvothe's family.
The leader of the Chandrian, and according to at least one legend, was once the hero Lanre. His most distinguishing feature is that his face is obscured by shadow even in broad daylight.
Worshiped as a monotheistic deity in the Aturan Empire, the Commonwealth, and parts of Vint. Some storytellers have different ideas....
- Badass Boast: "To ash all things return, so too this flesh will burn. But I am Tehlu. Son of myself. Father of myself. I was before, and I will be after. If I am a sacrifice then it is to myself alone. And if I am needed and called in the proper ways then I will come again to judge and punish."
- Big Good
- God: According to the Tehlin church.
- Messianic Archetype: In Trapis' Encanis story. In Skarpi's story, too, for that matter.
- Our Angels Are Different: According to Skarpi, Tehlu became a powerful winged being who gave up earthly life to mete out justice.
- Overnight Age-Up: In Trapis' story, Tehlu grows to an adult a few weeks after he is born.
Taborlin the Great
A Folk Hero
who knows the name of all things, possesses a cloak of no particular color, whose three tools are coin, key, and candle, and who carries a copper sword (though the last point is disputed).
An ancient powerful Shaper who allegedly provoked the Creation War
Most famous of the Edema Ruh.
A duke in the Aturan Empire who was said to have performed macabre medical experiments on living human subjects.
A legendary philosopher; wrote works such as Theophany
and Underlying Principles
; apocryphally said to have lived barefoot in a cave.
A powerful Namer or Shapernote
dating at least from the time of the Creation War.
- The Maker: According to a Creation Myth that Kvothe alludes to (though it may have been a joke).
- Meaningful Name: Kvothe says that Aleph is either a The Maker of everything (i.e. a god) or the first person to discover the names of all things, depending on the version of the tale. In real life, aleph is the the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, but in mathematics it is used as the symbol for transfinite numbers (essentially different kinds of infinity).
Newarre (scenes from the framing device)
Real name Devan Lochees. A scribe, recorder, and scholar. After being saved by Kvothe, he manages to convince him to tell him his real story.
A student of Kvothe who assists him in running the Waystone Inn. He is actually one of The Fae. He is over 150 years old and his whole title is Bastas, son of Remmen, Prince of Twilight and the Telwyth Mael. Has a vignette devoted to him in the Rogues anthology.
- Anything That Moves: Well, anything female. Considering that he's 150 and looks 20, he doesn't care too much about age, as long as their pretty. And he seems to feel pretty strongly about Kvothe, too.
- Berserk Button: Toward disrespect to Kvothe.
- Beware the Silly Ones
- The Fair Folk
- Knowledge Broker: Acts as this to the town's children. They tell him things or give him things, and he gives them advice.
- Handsome Lech: He's referred to as a womanizer multiple times, but does seem to respect women to some degree, as shown by his speech about how to make a girl feel beautiful.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Happily helps a boy in return for knowledge of where a pretty village girl bathes.
- Mood Ring Eyes
- Glamour Failure: When dealing with iron.
- Mr. Fanservice: Capitalizes on it happily, if the audience his bathing attracts is anything to go by...
- Plucky Comic Relief
- Poisonous Friend: Threatens to make Chronicler's life a living hell if he doesn't help Kvothe get back to his old self.
- Pretty Boy
- Really 700 Years Old: He's actually over 150 years old.
One of the common patrons of the inn.
A blacksmith apprentice, and a common patron at the inn.