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 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.

Kvothe's Friends

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.
  • Dismotivation
  • 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.

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.

The Masters

Chancellor of the University and Master Linguist.

Master Namer.
  • 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
  • Cloudcuckoolander
  • 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.

Master Archivist.
  • 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 Rhetorician.

    Elxa Dal 
Master Sympathist, who looks just like an evil wizard from fairy tales but is actually a nice guy.

Master Physicker.

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.

    Count Threpe 
A patron of the musical arts.

    Ambrose Jakis 
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.

The Maer's soldier.
  • Bald of Awesome: Though Kvothe's knee-jerk initial impression is Bald of Evil. And given that the Maer calls him a mad dog on a short leash...
  • The Stoic: The only words Kvothe ever hears him say are "Yes, Your Grace," with a soldier's composure.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Dagon's approach to his job, according to the Maer.

    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.

    Lord Praevek 
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.

The Mercenaries

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.

The Adem

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 Fae

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.

    The Cthaeh 
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.

The Chandrian

"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.

Legendary characters (may or may not be fictional in universe)

    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).
  • Escape Artistnote 
  • Folk Hero
  • Hammerspace: Taborlin's cloak of no particular color is described as this.

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.