Kvothe is one of the kings he supposedly kills.
I think his title Kingkiller has a meaning in 3 parts, its the title of the books after all and I think he kills more than one king.
First reason for the title
- Ambrose has been foreshadowed to be in a family moving up in the royal line, likely through his father and after he takes the barony his own power plays. The conflict between the two is inevitable. Ambrose is almost assuredly one king.
Second reason for his title
- His mother was a Lackless (its all but spelled out for us) and he may very well be the last male heir to that family. We know that Maer Alveron is of near equal power to the king, he has been poisoned and still has the lingering effects of heavy metals in his system. Essentially with that alone he could croak at any moment. He is without an heir. Even if his brush with death didn't kill him, he is married to a proven spiteful, ruthless Meluan Lackless. My personal feeling is she will be behind his death, if he doesn't die of his past ailments alone. (Sending Kvothe his most able servant, away out of rage induced blindness is proof that she is at the very least bad for him.) With the death of the Maer, suddenly madam Lackless is on par for power with the king. She will reinstate the hunting of ravel and Kvothe will be forced to challenge her, through discovery of his title he enters again the court games this time in a power vacuum with the death of the Maer now a blood game. He plays the game well ultimately leading to her death making him king and also killer.
Third reason for the title
- Finally we know he has faked his own death and attempted to disappear through his present allusions as Kote. I think he sees the signs of war too much contempt for a king killer, a consort of demons, one of the fae, to be king and knows that he has his own encompassing revenge to attend to, so he props someone he sees as perfect for the job up as best he can and then fakes his own death.
Theory about Cinder's immortality, which I think is rather underanalyzed, along with the immortality of Haliax's men.
Cinder is immortal somehow, and that this was granted, not an original ability, which seems reasonable, as only Lanre has reign over the Doors of the Mind. (Sleep, Forgetting, Madness, Death)
Cinder is as old as Haliax, as were the rest of the Seven, as they helped him betray the Empire. As such, he was not recruited after the fact. He knows how rain falls, so to speak.
Caesura is the name for Kvothe's original sword, and Kaysera is a bastardization of that, rather than a name for Folly.
Corollary: Folly is not Caesura, which I do not imagine could be shaped.
Here is the leap- Cinder, or something he possesses (For expedience, his possession, if it is one, will be his sword.) grants his immortality, and does so only because he or it has been shaped. As such, when Haliax threatened and hurt him with the Name Ferula. (Rather than his proper name, after being shaped, (Not before, or it would not ping his name-radar) which is Ferule.) I propose that this was his original name, or a variant on his new one that is not immortal.
The implication: Kvothe kills Cinder (I am convinced by his "I have killed men, and things that were more than men, every one of them deserved it." speech that he has killed one of the Seven, and logic indicates that he would kill Cinder, as he has a personal antagonism towards him, along with it providing a source for Folly.) by Shaping him, either back to who he was, or something entirely new.
The probable reality: This has to connect to how he opened The Doors of Stone. (Note: TDOS could be the Lackless door, the 4-plate door, anything. No matter what, he opens it.) As such, he either:
Opens the door by Shaping (Unlikely, as we see Haliax Shape/Name, and Kvothe has a chance to do it to Felurian.)
Opened the door to learn to Shape (Unlikely, as he can Shape already; all he needs is power over Cinder's Name, a easy task in the long run.)
He opened the door to find Cinder. (To me, this is most likely, assuming my theory works.)
The demon near the end of book 1 was asking whether Kvothe was one of the Chandrian.
He says: Te Rhintae? and as Rhinta means Chandrian according to the Adem, and as the demon also asks another question starting with 'te', I think that te means are you.
Kvothe is the Ctaeh.
Hear me out, this is going to be a bit complicated. The Ctaeh knows all possible realities and all possible worlds but exists at the crossroads of all possible realities. Therefore, anything it says is true somewhere, but not necessarily in the reality the questioner comes from, but its answers can lead the questioner to create those events in their reality.
In one reality Kvothe becomes the Ctaeh, because while existing outside all time and realities, he talks to the Ctaeh and the things the Ctaeh get him to do leads to him embarking on a path where the end is him being punished by becoming the Ctaeh.
So, in the reality of the story, he changes his name, his true name, to escape that fate.
Kvothe is going to die at the end of the series.
The prologue straight out says that he's waiting to die, and he certainly looks passively suicidal. Almost everyone he knew already thinks he's dead. Going out alone to fight big demon spiders and leaving a note "just in case?" And clearly something
is coming for him while he waits around in the inn. This is probably why he tried to talk Bast into leaving - he didn't want to drag his last friend down with him.
- I think that telling his story and dealing with whatever is coming for him is going to make him want to actually live again. Going out and having more adventures, perhaps leading to books after the trilogy.
- Well, that's certainly Bast's intent.
- Considering Patrick Rothfuss has said he's going to write two trilogies, one dealing with the backstory and a second one that tells Kvothe's story from this point onwards, I find it likely that Kvothe with live through this (the first) trilogy.
After Kvothe leaves the Adem, a redheaded Adem will be born
Part of the reason the Adem never realize sex causes pregnancy is because they all have the same hair and eye color, so there's no concept of children inheriting physical appearance from their parents. But now, Kvothe has had sex with several of Adem girls, so there's a possibility that one of them will have a child who looks like him. This might be enough to make them question their current assumptions.
- Sorry dude, but he explicitly mentioned that he had been chewing a birth control herb the whole time. Unless he goes back and knocks one of them up there ain't gonna be any red-headed Adem any time soon.
Denna is already dead.
Kvothe has been in love with her since he was fifteen and gets ridiculously touchy about her, and both he and Bast refer to her in the past tense when he's trying to describe her. Seems pretty clear cut...and it's probably a major reason he's lost interest in living.
- Just to be contrary, while Kvothe and Bast describe her physical features in past tense, they use "have" when describing their interactions with her. That is, Bast says something like "I've seen her once, too," and so forth in that fashion. To this Troper, that sounds like the way you'd refer to someone who's alive but you haven't seen in a long time. Of course, it's hardly conclusive either way; Rothfuss is clever about keeping secrets.
I have a related theory based on a reread of the first book: Denna is not Denna.
I noticed that her introduction didn't make sense, and I realized why: in the interlude Kvothe makes a big speech about not knowing how to describe how he met her — except he already had met her, a year ago, traveling with the caravan. At first I thought that Rothfuss was being tricky and that the unnamed "her" actually referred to Devi or Auri, but Kvothe's wording is quite specific: he met "her," for the very first time, across the river, at the Eolian. Kvothe then has trouble describing her, despite the fact that he'd already described Denna back at the caravan. It's all carefully arranged to contradict itself, and the only way it makes sense is if the Denna from the Eolian onwards is a completely different person than the Denna Kvothe met at the caravan.
"I remember your name, Denna." It sounded good to say it to her. "Why did you take a new one? Or was Denna just the name you were wearing on the road to Anilin?"
"Denna," she said softly. "I'd almost forgotten her. She was a silly girl."
"She was like a flower unfolding."
"I stopped being Denna years ago, it seems." She rubbed her bare arms and looked around as if she was suddenly uneasy that someone might find us here.
Kvothe is part Fae.
Probably from his dad's side, unless the talk about how in love his parents were was all lies or the echo of a child's wishful thinking. The owner of the Eolian jokingly calls him fae-touched. There are exactly two people in the book whose eyes change color depending on their moods: Bastas, who we know is Fae, and Kvothe. The book seems tightly put together; lots of offhand comments tie back into things even within that book, so it stands to reason that this will be important later. And doesn't either Kvothe or his father curse in a manner similar to Bast?
- I think it may be more likely to be his mother's side, if she is a Lackless as it is strongly hinted at (we know that one of the Lackless daughters ran off with a man of the Ruh and they have a mysterious box in their family that remains unopened. It could also have something to do with the man who locked away the moon).
- There's Fae blood through the entire race of the Edema Ruh. He's always being identified as Ruh by his eyes, so there must be something odd about them that's consistent with the rest of the Family. What's the most noticeable feature of Kvothe's eyes (that he shares with Bast)? Yup. Maybe it's stronger in his immediate family.
- I imagine that Kvothe is his mother's son, but not his father's. They both are described as having dark hair, while Kvothe's is bright red. He is also described as having his mother's eyes. Still, judging from the total lack of suspicion about it, I am suspecting that he is from a previous marriage or perhaps a passing Fairy thought she was pretty and didn't give her a choice in the matter..
- Red hair is recessive, so it doesn't matter what color either of his parents' hair is. I think the blood in the Edema Ruh is probably enough (and that it was accentuated by the fae he met in "The Wise Man's Fear").
Alternatively: Kvothe is a dennerling
. We haven't been told what a dennerling is yet, but it was implied to be related to an unruly child. Rothfuss' mythos is very much built on Western European folklore, and what's one of the most distinctive creatures from Western European folklore? The changeling:
children stolen away from their parents and replaced by an identical fairy child. If a dennerling is a changeling, then our Kvothe could be a fae replacement for the real one, who could have been taken away for who knows what purposes.
- "Dennerling" probably alludes to denner resin, the opium-like substance. A "dennerling" would be somebody stupid enough to get hooked on denner resin.
- Dennerlings are repeatedly listed along with other creatures of myth. I'm guessing he wanted something like a morphling (like morphine to denner resin, ha). But, other than showing up on lists, there's no further information given. Just doesn't feel like another name for a sweet eater.
Kvothe's mother was Netalia Lackless, the sister of Meluan Lackless
The Maer reveals to Kvothe near the end of the book that Meluan hates the Edema Ruh because her sister ran off with them. In book one, Kvothe's mother says she was a noblewoman who was lured away from the boredom of her life by his father. This would also explain why she was so offended by Kvothe singing the vulgar innuendo rhyme about 'Lady Lackless' when he was a child.
- When he meets Meluan for the first time he remarks on her familiar profile, dark brown eyes and strong jaw ("...such a strong resemblance that I couldn't help but stare. I knew her, I was certain of it. But I couldn't for the life of me remember where we might have met... ." [Chapter 67]). I am not even sure if that's an argument for or against, as I can't recall whether his mother was ever described in any detail. Though I suspect it might weigh in on the pro-side.
- Wait, then older sister wasn't it? Making Kvothe the true heir?
- That would depend on the order of succession, wouldn't it? Plus, there probably wouldn't be a way to prove it (except for opening the lockless chest/door/whatever, maybe).
- That poem mentioning that you need "a true son of the blood" to open the Lockless treasure is way too much of a Chekhov's Gun for him not to be - there are no known male Lockless heirs right now.
- Depending on the definition of "true son of the blood" and depending again on how the other family trees really fared there might be a lot more of them. To me most of them having "spiraled into obscurity" sounds like genealogy-talk for Put on a Bus. I might almost be able to convince myself, that Devan "the Chronicler" Lochees is part of one of those families, almost. Though I have no plausible idea as to how that might make an interesting story.
- Let us also not forget the song that Kvothe's father wrote (that ended up with him sleeping under a wagon). Stands to reason her issue with it wasn't really the rhythm, but something a bit more telling...
"Dark Laurian, Arliden's wife,
Has a face like a blade of a knife
Has a voice like a prickledown burr
But can tally a sum like a moneylender.
My sweet Tally cannot cook.
But she keeps a tidy ledger-book
For all her faults I do confess
It's worth my life
To make my wife
Not tally a lot less..."
Not tally a lot less
- Seems totally in keeping with his fathers sense of humor. I like it.
- If this is true, then for all intents and purposes, the Maer is now Kvothe's uncle.
- Also, note where Arliden put this little gem in: "My Tally cannot cook", at first it seems like a pun on how his wife is so good with making "tallys" but a second glance and you realize that "Tally"(note the capital) could very easily be a pet name or short form of Natalia. Add to that the "Not tally a lot less" line, as well as the remark Kvothe makes about Meluan looking so familiar... Well in my opinion it makes for an at least moderatly strong argument.
- I think this is pretty telling:
I walked the Lady Lackless to the table and held out her chair. I had avoided looking in her direction as we walked the length of the room, but as I helped her into her seat, her profile struck me with such a strong resemblance that I couldnít help but stare. I knew her, I was certain of it. But I couldnít for the life of me remember where we might have met...
Ambrose is the king Kvothe kills
Ambrose is the first-born son of a duke. It is mentioned, quite specifically, that he's 16th in line from the crown of Vintas. And he has reason to HATE Kvothe. My guess? Kvothe and Ambrose wind up dueling each other for many years, until Ambrose manages somehow to clear away the 15 people above him in the succession. Then he REALLY causes Kvothe problems, until Kvothe decides that he needs Ambrose dead. This is probably why he's in hiding.
- Seems more likely to me that Lord Haliax is the slain king. Having said that, your theory is certainly more interesting, being less of a cliche.
- Also, just a reminder that Kvothe is not old. We perceive him as a Badass Grandpa because he's wise and lived a very busy life, but it says straight out in the first chapter that he's still in his twenties(!).
- Early twenties, even: Chronicler says he can't be more than twenty-five. A little jolting, since if you don't read carefully it's easy to think he's in his late thirties or forties, even.
- Can't be Haliax, since Haliax isn't a king, and is very assiduous about keeping everything about him secret. If Kvothe kills Haliax, no one will know.
- And reading through the book, you always get a sense that the Chandrian are still out there, making it possible that Haliax is still alive, and possibly the Big Bad at the end of the trilogy.
- To this troper, it seems far more likely that Ambrose will be killed early in the second book. At the start of Name of the Wind, a slightly drunk traveller mentions that 'he saw the place in Imre where Kvothe killed "him"', and that the cobblestones where the unknown person was killed are shattered beyond possibility of reparation. Assuming that this incident takes place around the time that Kvothe is studying at the university (which it probably would) then it is most likely Ambrose, as Kvothe has no other enemies in that area. It is possible that Ambrose's possible death could occur shortly after he gets Kvothe expelled, which would be sure to infuriate him.
- In a Q&A session not long ago, a reader pointed out that Kvothe might already have been thrown out of university, being the occasion where he calls the name of the wind on ambrose and has to go to court on it, and as such might never get "properly" expelled. This would help explain why he didn't get thrown out in the second book, too.
- As already pointed out, Ambrose is 16th in line for the throne. I think it's possible that Kvothe kills Ambrose either causing or as a repercussion of his expulsion from The University. That still leaves his father or younger siblings, it is mentioned he was the first born, to become King. And, while I don't exactly know where in the book, I believe Kvothe mentions he's the one that caused the war with Vintas, the very country Ambrose is from/in line for the throne of. My bet is Kvothe kills the King of Vintas in the future (Be it Ambrose or more likely one of his family) thereby gaining his title and starting the war.
- A bit more evidence in the second book—some of the family above Ambrose is killed off, leaving him 13th in line for the throne instead of 16th.
- One of the Newarrians says they heard Kvothe's sword was called "poet-killer". Ambrose is known to practice poetry. Put two and two together ...
Denna is not what she appears to be.
Well obviously there isn't much to back this up so far, but quite a bit about Denna seems to go beyond the realm of Contrived Coincidence
. First of all, we have her first reunion with Kvothe: she recognizes him immediately, just happens to have been there right when he needed an Aloine, and personifies everything he could possibly want in a woman. From then on Kvothe, a very clever fellow, is completely incapable of finding her again while Denna, who claims to have no knowledge of hunting or combat outside what her suitors have told her, repeatedly finds him without difficulty. When Kvothe finally meets up with her again she just so happens to be in the area of another Chandrian attack, and her alibi for staying with Kvothe—as pointed out by Simmon and Wilem—is full of holes. She then stupidly decides to pop a strange substance into her mouth, blurt out something to Kvothe that makes him even more protective of her, then vanishes overnight. More than a little bit, it reminds me very much of another story where the red-haired hero met up with a mysterious dark-haired waif,
and considering that a) we don't know much about the Chandrian and b) they just so happen to have reappeared at a place easily accessible to Kvothe...
- Alternately, her mysterious benefactor is a Chandrian or connected to them. His leading her off into the woods and then going back to the wedding right before everyone dies is a the most gigantic red flag you could ask for. This Troper wanted to throttle Kvothe when all he cared about was finding her for the boring romantic crap and not finding out more about the incredibly obvious sinister man.
- Don't forget that Kvothe has a HUGE blind spot in regards to Denna. Whether this is because she's a Chandrian, a Fey, or just very very pretty is unclear.
- All her names sound similar, and several times it's mentioned that she can only act according to her nature (sound familiar?). Note: we still don't know what a Dennerling is.
- At one point near the end of the second book, Denna lays down on a rock, and Kvothe can see the name of the wind spelled out in her hair.
- There was also the conversation where she compared Kvothe to a willow, followed shortly by him calling her words "naught but the wind". She replied something along the lines of "above all other trees, the willow moves according to the wind's desire."
- Quite a bit of what Denna says could be interpeted as being extremely suspicious. When she's under the influence of the denner resin and Kvothe says that he's surprised that she noticed his eyes changing color, Denna blurts out that "It's my job to watch you." I strongly suspect that the Chandrian are using her to spy on Kvothe and make sure he doesn't learn anything about them.
Kvothe has a whole lot of power with names.
Okay, maybe really obvious, what with calling up the wind near the end, but notice how he referred to Ambrose by name before it was ever told to him? He calls the stableman he buys the horse from by name without ever asking, and isn't it funny how he happens to accidentally give the horse a name that describes its hidden color perfectly.... There's a whole lot of Chekhovs Guns
- Kvothe doesn't call Ambrose by name when he first meets him, he is simply using his name as he narrates the story to Chronicler. Also the stableman introduced himself in his first line. The rest of the points here are valid though, he also correctly guessed that the girl in the Inn at Trebon was called Nell. He's quite good at nicknames too, Ellie = Ell, Verainia = Nina, Skoivan Schiemmelpfenneg = Schiem.
- More evidence of this in the second book. He names Auri after the sun, but not in the language he thought he used.
- Could also be a knack. I completely forgot about those, since they weren't mentioned outside of the first few chapters of book 1, but it seems to be an unconscious ability, which would fly with Kvothe's accidental naming prowess, as well as his typical inability to do such things on purpose.
- I would think that for a master namer, the power of being The Nicknamer with uncanny accuracy and unconsciously knowing what people call themselves just goes with the territory. Also makes ominous foreshadowing: in the first book he says he'll have to make up a name for Denna's patron, and the wind blows an ash leaf into his hand. Cinder is another word for Ash.
Kvothe is an idiot savant.
Described as brilliant, learns everything quickly, yet displays staggering Plot-Induced Stupidity
for someone so allegedly intelligent.
- Smart people are capable of making mistakes y'know. A high IQ does not translate immediately into similar social skills or even a sense of self-preservation. The Wright brothers piloted their aircraft well aware of what might happen if they screwed up.
- Alternatively: Kvothe is brilliant, but he's also still a dumb teenager. Everyone's an idiot as a teenager.
- As D&D players would say, "High INT, low WIS."
- Spotty on the INT too. He knows much, but he's slow to make connections. Examples: The dragon and the charcoal (kind of obvious), the way the Ambrose situation would inevitably explode, and why didn't you ask a master for help in figuring out what to do about him —if you've read HPatMoR, Kvothe has flaws that the fic's Harry works through in two or three chapters. I can't work out if it's Author Error or Character Error, though.
- In DND terms, wisdom isn't just good for will saves: its also about making the connections between the information, or knowing to check something in the first place. Kvothe knows a lot and, once he focuses on something, is good at it. But he isn't good at knowing what to focus on. Also, he doesn't have many ranks in Diplomacy.
Let's face it, if Kvothe is a legendary hero, than swordfighting is a required part of the story. We've already seen the sword hanging over his bar, and we know he knows how to use it. He's also however, a master Sympathist. Assuming that Rothfuss wants Kvothe to use both those abilities in the story, Haliax will doubtlessly be the one that he defeats through magic. Of the other Chandrian, Cinder's the only one who's been given a name, and is the one who constantly haunts Kvothe's dreams, meaning that he's either the Starter Villain
, or more likely given what we've seen of their relationship, The Dragon
or The Starscream
to Haliax. Since Cinder has displayed a fondness for swords during his appearances so far, I think it's a safe bet that well...he who lives by the sword, will die by the sword. I can't wait.
- Well,the way it's described the sword at the inn looks very much like Cinder's sword
Denna's secretive benefactor Ash is Cinder
- Well, come on.
- Point of evidence: the Cthaeh tells Kvothe that Denna's benefactor had started beating Denna with his walking stick, and that that was "new". Cinder, meanwhile, had recently been shot in the leg, and so was likely to be using a new walking stick.
- Plus, he got the name Ash when Kvothe said that he would have to make up a name and 'the wind' blew him an ash leaf.
Ambrose is either the king Kvothe kills or is the Penitent King, by way of killing those above him.
- Before Caudicus tries to kill the Maer he mentions that he's a friend of the Jakis family, and we know that 'accidents' can happen in the Pirate Barony, which is part of the Jakis lands. We even have the happiness about the Surthur family dying in there!
Denna's patron is actually Bredon, who is also one of the few surviving members of the Amyr
Bear with me here, because this is a wild one but it makes sense when you take it in. Master Ash is described as being an older man with a cane, and Bredon uses a cane. Master Ash is described as a man whose resources Denna does not exactly know the extent of, though he is no high lord, and Kvothe never finds out exactly what Bredon's position is in Severen's complex hierarchy. Perhaps most importantly, the Cthaeh said that the Maer would lead Kvothe "to the Amyr's door", and Bredon came to Kvothe only because he was the Maer's guest. The Cthaeh claims that Denna's patron is beating Denna, and that he's waiting for Denna to break, but the Cthaeh puts truths in the worst possible light to cause the worst possible outcome. The secrecy, the games, the physical training, it's all part of Denna's eventual initiation into the Amyr.
- There is evidence that Bredon is her patron (note also: Denna says her patron is surprisingly light on his feet, Bredon says he has recently taken up dancing). But for the other part, one question: if her patron is an Amyr, why would he request a song that makes Lanre out to be a hero?
- Not only did he commission a song about Lanre, but Denna's patron first tried to get her to learn the lyre. Lyra was the name of Lanre's love who brought Lanre back to life (and Lanre was corrupted trying to find a way to return the favor). Denna died for a few minutes when she was a small child. Not to mention that Kvothe had to 'trick a demon to gain his heart's desire, then fight an angel to keep it'. Maybe her patron is involved with Haliax, and after Kvothe rescues her from him, he will be forced to fight the Amyr trying to 'clean up' the mess by killing Denna?
As the inn keeper, Kvothe doesn't mention the Chandrian at all. He mentions the scrael (misspelling?) and the war. Only Chronicler and Kvothe as the story teller mentions them.
- Agreed. It will turn out to be the Cthaeth which has been using its perfect foresight to set up a Xanatos Roulette, manipulating history for thousands, or even tens of thousands, of years for the single purpose of creating Kvothe to do whatever incredibly stupid thing it is that the framing sections suggest he's responsible for (maybe opening the Lackless box and freeing the Scrael.
- Someone mentioned above that the sword Folly might belong to one of the Chandrian. If that's true, it's possible that the Chandrian may have had an important role to play for the world despite their evil...before Kvothe killed them.
Encanis and Lord Haliax are one and the same
The descriptions of the two from Trapis' and Skarpi's stories, as well as a couple of the events in them, are eerily similar. First of all, both are described as having their faces shrouded in shadow, and then there's the part in both the stories where six great cities are destroyed while the seventh is saved. And then there's Tehlu, who according to Skarpi's second story was part of a group charged with hunting down Haliax and the Chandrian, much like what happened in Trapis' story. All this seems to suggest that the stories are about the same things, it's just that Trapis' version of the events show just how much has been lost through the years.
- Its all but certain that there's a connection, but the portrayals of Encanis don't quite appear to mesh with what we've seen of Haliax/Lanre. It's probably more likely that Lanre made a deal with Encanis in order to gain the great power with Names that he used to bind Selitos. Remember also that Lanre/Haliax's face is only enshrouded by shadow as a result of Selitos' actions. This is further supported by the fact that Kvothe has not really made any allusions that his story has anything to do with Encanis, except possibly via symbolism. On the other hand, Trapis' story makes mention of how demons often possessed men during that time, so that could be a possibility.
- The OP isn't saying Encanis became Lanre. Just the opposite: over the years the stories of Lanre/Haliax have been corrupted into stories about a demon named Encanis.
- I agree, though the second book seems to imply that there's more to it than either story: the creation war is implied to have been between powerful Namers and been involved in the creation of Faerie.
Skarpi is not what he seems to be.
Consider: Not only does Skarpi somehow know some of the most forgotten, difficult to trace stories in the world - the story of Lanre among them, which he describes as being so old scholars consider it incredibly dubious, but he also knows Kvothe's name without ever actually being told
it. He also speaks of Tehlu in a remarkably familiar fashion, and his story of the apotheosis of Tehlu and the other god-like beings is obviously heretical and again described in almost familiar terms. What does this sound like?
- While this troper believes that Skarpi is probably either a member of the Amyr or closely affiliated with them, it should be noted that the moment mentioned above where he 'speaks of Tehlu in a familiar fashion' may be a misinterpretation. In the book Skarpi states "I suppose that could be true. Tehlu always said -" before being cut off. Its possible he was merely about to recite a famous religious quote.
- From Skarpi's story it almost seemed like Tehlu was Knight Templar Angel instead of a god, who came to be worshipped because of his actions. Given what we learn in The Wise Man's Fear about the creation of fairy and The Creation War, both Skarpi and Tehlu could be one of the ancient namers who set out to destroy the Chandrian. Or he could be with the Amyr, but Tehlu was still likely one of the ancient Namers.
- Well Skarpi's second story implies that Aleph gave power to a group of namers to dispense justice and hunt the Chandrian while others chose to seek to prevent evil before it occurred and became the Amyr. But Skarpi DOES know the names of everyone he speaks to and far too much of their history. He's probably a Namer at least, though whether he's historical or just powerful is a good question.
- Skarpi's also one of the first characters we hear about. Chronicler describes him as "an old friend" of Kvothe and mentions that he had been traveling with Skarpi when they heard rumors of Kvothe. Unless Kvothe and Skarpi meet up sometime in the third book, it's makes no sense. And Skarpi now knows where Kvothe is...
The Chandrian are the Amyr.
There are a lot of unspoken similarities and almost every old story we hear about one involves the other.
- It's almost impossible to find any information about either one. Kvothe thinks the Amyr actively destroyed information about themselves and we KNOW the Chandrian do the same.
- People think of the Amyr as evil, though they really just seem extremely pragmatic. The Chandrian seem evil, but note Haliax scolding Cinder for not being more clean and efficient.
- The Chandrian are so old that most people think of them as a distant myth. As things progress, we discover that the Amyr are a lot older than people think.
- People don't like talking about the Chandrian and it turns out that those who know more about them don't like talking about the Amyr either.
- The frame narrative speaks as if the Chandrian still exist, suggesting that Kvothe doesn't destroy them. Though it sounds as though the ending will be bittersweet, we expect Kvothe to "win" in the end even if it turns out to be a Pyrrhic victory. It seems more likely to this troper that he realizes that destroying them is a bad idea, despite what they did to his family.
- The more pragmatic, more relative philosophy Kvothe slowly adopts throughout the second book might allow him to make such a hard choice.
- Denna's song in the second book might end up being right in a way. If the Chandrian are the Amyr, the villains are, in a sense, also the heroes.
- Perhaps the Chandrian used to be Amyr?
- Seems unlikely. When Haliax is punishing Cinder, in the scene right after the Chandrian kill Kvothe's parents, he says, "Who keeps you safe from the Amyr? The singers? The Sithe? From all that would harm you in the world?" This indicates that the Chandrian and the Amyr are two opposing groups, even if they were once part of the same.
Haliax has some relation to the "Iax" mentioned by Bast
While looking for the bandits in the second book, the female mercenary Hespe tells a story about an unhappy boy that steals the moon. Later Felurian confirms that this story is true. Except the thief was actually the greatest of the "shapers" that crafted the faen realm among other things. While she refuses to name him, merely stating that he was locked away, Bast later mentions that this person's name is "Iax". Listing both him and Lanre as people that did horrible things after speaking with the Cthaeh. While the -iax that ends Haliax's name seems like an ordinary fantasy suffix, I think that this could imply some sort of relation with this "Iax." Perhaps the Chandrian could be working to free him? Or maybe they could even be working against him? Regardless, too much time is spent on Iax and the theft of the moon for him to not be important later on.
- Iax was also mentioned in Scarpis first story though, as one of the most powerful Namers, and its said that Lanre had become AS POWERFUL as him. They're different people, and Haliax's name was new. But the -iax at the end may signify something else.
- I took the name Iax as merely another example of how stories change in the telling and how languages drift. In Hespe's story, the boy is named Jax, with the i->j shift matching up with real-world linguistics. That doesn't dismiss any correlation between Iax and Haliax, but I don't think the name necessarily implies a correlation either.
Kvothe winds up back with Felurian at the end
She made him promise three times to return to her. My guess is that, once the end of the series rolls around and the dust settles, even if Kvothe is alive he won't have anything left in the world to look forward to, so he will willingly seek out Felurian to spend the rest of his days (until she grows bored and breaks him, of course).
Kvothe is under some sort of curse
Kvothe no longer has the ability to use Sympathy in the first book. He's unable to use the Ketan and can't open his cunning chest in the second. He can't even convince Aaron not to take the King's Coin and join the army. Whatever happened to make him like this was pretty thorough in breaking him, which means powerful magic, possibly from the Fey or the Chandrian, or else someone got hold of Kvothe's Name.
- Presumably someone who knew Kvothe very well (e.g, Denna) bound him with his own name, the same way Selitos bound Lanre. I mean, one of the first things he says in the story is what turns out to be his secret Ademic name - why would he reveal something so sensitive, if it still had power over him?
- Doesn't Kvothe destroy a full bottle of liquor from across the bar in the first book? It seems like this would mean that rather than not being able to use sympathy, instead he has lost the mental focus to use Alar, as though it had failed him in a major way at some point. Perhaps having to do with his reactions to when the Chronicler mentions Denna?
- It would be very fairy tale for Kvothe to have forgotten or changed his true name, probably in order to hide from his enemies. One of the first things it says in the first book is that he had 'changed his name for most of the usual reasons, and some unusual ones as well.' His old name might even be in the Thrice Locked Chest, which he didn't count on not being able to open again, but in any case it would give a sort of bitter irony to the fact that Everyone Calls Him Barkeep.
- Doesn't Kote mean 'Disaster'? If he changed his name to that in a fit of melancholy, it could be that he cursed himself.
- Kvothe can use the Ketan, but didn't because he knew Bast was trying to rouse him back to his old self by forcing him to fight.
- Or it could even be that Bast was right and he HAD been badly hurt the day before.
- However, if it wasn't sympathy, when he met the Chronicler, how did he break a bottle he wasn't touching by squeezing his hand?
Kote isn't actually Kvothe
Kote might have Kvothe's memory, but he isn't the true Kvothe. He might be some sort of simulacrum, or simply crazy.
- Alternately, Kvothe has changed his True Name, as Elodin mistakenly feared he had, and now he has lost the powers that Kvothe personally possessed.
- Especially if he was feeling bitter and gave himself a bad name.
(Even more) Alternatively:
Kvothe breaks his oath to Denna
In WMF, Kvothe swears not to investigate Denna's Patron. He swears it by his name (Kvothe -> Kote), his Power (no Sympathy), his good left hand (a few dozen pages later he references using his left hand to fret notes on his lute) and something about the moon which is probably not relevant. It would kind of follow that if he broke that oath somehow and either chose to enforce it on himself or had it somehow magicked onto him, thus forcing him to become Kote the lame innkeeper.
- Does it count as 'investigation' if you don't know you're doing it? If he finds out he's sworn not to investigate, say, one of the Chandrian (Cinder, see above) as long as he's Denna's patron Kvothe is not going to be happy.
- I agree with you on all counts but one. The "I swear it by the ever changing Moon" is almost certainly relevant. The moon definitely has some power in the series, and it seems likely that by swearing on "the ever changing Moon" Kvothe swore on some sort of power which he doesn't understand.
- The moon seems to be a major way that Faerie connects to the human world. In the Kote sections, there are various magic demon-fae-folk wandering around and causing trouble. Perhaps Kvothe screwed up the barrier between the worlds.
- The Cthaeth devoted quite a bit of its speech to Kvothe to describing how Denna was being abused by her patron. The Cthaeth wouldn't have said that unless it's going to cause something horrible to happen. For example, Kvothe could witness Denna being abused and then kill her patron, only to discover that her patron is actually the King or someone equally high placed. He then tries running away to the Maer for protection, which is how Kvothe ends up responsible for starting the war. And I can easily imagine Kvothe deciding that ensuring Denna's safety is more important than keeping his oath. He is a self-described liar, after all.
- Or it wants him to break his oath, so he won't be able to do something at the worst possible time. Oh, and regret it forever.
- There's a brief mention at the end of Kvothe unconsciously massaging is left hand with his right.
- That could have been because of his failure to defend himself.
- There are other mentions of his hand in the books too. A major one is after he buys a lute in NOTW, where he says he loves it like "his good right hand", this being the last of a list of things he compares it to, and the closing words of the chapter. So, yeah, slight emphasis there.
- The books have gone out of their way to point out how Kvothe will drop his honor the moment it becomes an inconvenience. Let's give a short list: stealing rare materials from the Artificery, giving out Arcanum secrets to normals (the gram - that he technically stole from the Arcanum as well), multiple counts of malfeasance, plying a half-cracked girl with wine to make her more willing to show him the Underthing (followed shortly by abusing this trust to break into the Archives), making mommets of allies whenever they seem likely to turn against him, breaking his word to Kilvin by letting Devi hold on to his burgler's lamp, and also letting Devi hold Denna's beloved ring as collateral (note: of this whole list, this is the ONLY thing he shows the slightest guilt for). Hell, Vashet gave a whole speech about this tendency, about something dark running "deeper than the Lethani" in Kvothe. After all that, breaking an oath - which he only reluctantly agreed to - in order to protect Denna seems very possible.
Bast is Kvothe's Son.
Bast is Kvothe's son with Felurian. Reshi might mean father or dad. The way Bast is so worried for him and trying to measure up to him. Time is also apparently kind of blurry in the Fae realm. These all support the theory that Bast is Kvothe's son.
- Unlikely. Near the beginning of Name of the Wind, this is how Kvothe introduces Bast to Chronicler: "Chronicler, I would like you to meet Bastas, son of Remmen, Prince of Twilight and the Telwyth Mael." On the other hand, Felurian is supposed to be the Lady of Twilight. So...it's hard to say, but I still think it's unlikely for Bast to be Kvothe's son.
- Also,Kvothe mentions Bast is 150 years old. Though given the relationship of time between Fae and the mortal world that alone isn't much of an indication of anything. Still, Bast's comments about Felurian near the end of WMF indicate he only knows her by reputation.
- Bast seems to be more tolerant of iron than most Fae folk, suggesting he has human blood. Also, think about what word Bast could be short for.
- Quite unlikely though. If Kvothe is the grandfather of a 150-year-old fae, he must be more than 400-years-old. Now that would have to mean that Chronicler, who is older than Kvothe, is also some sort of immortal.
- I think it might be possible because: Time passes differently in faerieland and Bast is repeatedly shown to be quite amorous which is a trait of Felurian. I'm not sure though, it seems too contrived, but I think there is evidence. Also, I think that he does return to her and she may send Bast away with Kvothe because the half-human child would not have a good life in the Fae world.
- However, I think it is a far stretch, and why wouldn't she have had children before? But based on WMF where Bast gives knowledge on other Fae creatures, he likely spent at least childhood among the Fae, and his learning more human subjects from Kvothe might be a hint that his early years were almost completely lacking in human education. Given his reluctance to pay attention, I think it may show that his reasons for entering the human world were not about traditional human scholarship (though it could be for adventure and a preference for human women).
Elodin knows his own true name
He becomes noticably distressed when he thinks Kvothe or Denna have been trying to learn their own true names. Given that knowing a thing's true name means knowing it in its entirity, this is pretty understandable. If Elodin knows his own true name, he knows every single bad thing about himself and he would be completely incapable of ignoring or rationalizing any of his faults like a normal person. Seems like the sort of thing that would drive a person crazy.
- It seems entirely possible that Kvothe might use his own true name to cripple himself at the end of the series, perhaps after breaking the oath to Denna mentioned above. If he used his true name to prevent himself from naming, he'd be stuck with the changes.
- Which would form a nice parallel to the way Lanre gained power naming himself or getting himself named Haliax.
Elodin is a part Fae
In his retelling of his stay with Ferulean, Kvothe seems compare Elodin to her quite frequently. The sound of their voice seemed to instill the same effect on people. They both answer questions in a similar non-nonchalant manner and makes little sense. In fact, as Kvothe himself said it, Ferulean is like a "quieter, more attractive version of Elodin". Also, despite his supposed insanity, Elodin is said to have "perfectly sane eyes", and his antic quirks may actually be a form of Blue and Orange Morality
rather than outright craziness.
The actual goal of the Cthaeh is to be left alone.
If it truly wants to cause as much destruction as possible, why do the Sidhe even exist? And why is it known
that it wants to cause destruction? Surely it should be able to talk someone into doing something that will make them stop guarding its tree or die out, and make that story go away; then it'll be free to manipulate lots more people into doing bad things. On the other hand, if it wants above all other things to be left alone, the best way for that to happen is to create a legend that talking to it will cause disaster, and cause a faerie sect to start guarding its tree to enforce the legend — exactly what's actually occurring
. Of course, this isn't to say that talking to it doesn't cause disaster. Quite the contrary: that's the other way it causes the legend to spread.
- Indeed. If it wants to cause as much disaster as possible, it would make more sense to instead cultivate a reputation for being helpful, so as to have more access to people. It would even make sense to actually be helpful most of the time, to make it seem like consulting it is a reasonable thing to do, even if it's been known to backfire once in a while. Given its ability to pull off a perfect Xanatos Roulette, it should certainly be capable of at least appearing to be blameless for whatever occurs, should it so choose.
- Its not omnipotent, just very manipulative and dangerous. There's only so much you can do with the possibilities available. And if its not bothering to pretend to be helpful, it must have seen that people would catch on eventually and there would be fewer people in the long run. Whereas now it has the twofold appeal of Beware The Honest Ones (if its Obviously Evil and tells you so it seems more believable) and forbidden fruit (well, flowers).
- No, it doesn't quite work out that way - you are assuming that Cthaeth is wise, which we know fae tend not to be. Normally, the worst possible outcome will be much worse than the worst possible outcome that doesn't imply Cthaeth, and a wise person might pick the second, but an unwise and cruel one will pick the first. Best to think of it as if he was the perfect computer playing chess (infinite depth search). You play against it, and it will min-max the most brutal victory it can find. Yes, it might put you off playing again, and so might others, but the computer doesn't know any better.
The Lockless Box was the box Jax used to capture the name of the Moon.
The Lockless Box is a pretty big part of the mythology. The story of Jax stealing the Moon's name looms quite large in the story. And considering how interconnected a lot of the mythology is, this seems too good an idea to pass up on.
- The Cthaeh said that the Maer would lead Kvothe to the Amyr's door... is the Lockless Box what it was referring to?
- Not to mention that the box smells similar to the Cthaeh (lemon and spice). Bast mentioned that Iax talked to the Chtaeh before stealing the moon, perhaps the Chtaeh even gave Iax the box he used to steal the moon's name?
Behind the Doors of Stone is Jax/Iax
Bast tells us that he would rather face Iax, the shaper who stole the moon. In addition, Felurian says that the shaper who stole the moon was locked behind the doors of stone.
- I thought it was referring to a book or information in the archives, it would be cool if it was Jax behind that four panel door.
Caudicus was a Chandrian
The Cthaeh said that the Maer had already had a brush with one of the Chandrian. When Caudicus was making the potion, Kvothe mentioned that he used blue flame, and although he believed it was merely showmanship, the mere fact that it was noted probably means it was important.
Furthermore, since he was captured by Dagon... could that mean Dagon was one of the Amyr?
- Actually, the Cthaeh said that the Maer had come close to the Amyr without realizing it, that sticking by the Maer would lead Kvothe to "their door", and that Kvothe would one day understand the joke it just made. I'm guessing that "their door" is the Lockless Box, or something like that...
- An alternate guess was that Caudicus is Denna's patron, but with one dead but the other still trotting, this seems Jossed.
Denna's abusive patron is the King himself. And Kvothe kills him.
The series isn't called the Kingkiller Chronicle for nothing. And hurting Denna is definitely something that would cause Kvothe to be willing to do something stupid beyond all mortal ken - such as assassinating a king and plunging the kingdom into a civil war. And the Cthaeh was definitely eager to see Kvothe investigate Denna's patron...
- I'm slvstrChung, and I approve this message. After posting my review, I got to thinking about how the Chtaeh can be woven into the ongoing tapestry of Kvothe's life. And, in rereading, I noticed that it segues over to Denna voluntarily. If what Bast says of the Chtaeh is true, it will deliberately try to hit Kvothe's Berserk Buttons, whether Kvothe is aware they are Berserk Buttons or not. It mentions that Cinder did terrible things to Kvothe's mother, so evidently the forces of Chaotic Evil are best served by there being a blood feud there. And it mentions Denna's patron, so...
The Lacklesses are Fae, at least partially; who are the Amyr; making Kvothe half-Amyr (and part-fae)
These three are all entwined, each taking evidence from facts about the other two, but I shall attempt to go in order. First that the Lacklesses are Fae, assuming that the Netalia Lackless is Kvothe's mother from earlier WMG, this dovetails into explaining why Kvothe has some Fae-like traits. It is stated that the Fae can take on human forms and enter our world, thus it is not beyond the realm of possibility that they went on to create a family line as nobility. This is important for the second part, the fae bloodline would explain the magic of the Amyr. This also links into the fact that the Lacklesses have been around from time immemorial, and so have the Amyr. With so many high (or at least well placed) Lacklesses, it is also not inconceivable that they could have subtly changed written history to account for the inconsistencies when dealing with the Amyr. If the first two are true, it explains Kvothe's fae nature, as expanded on in earlier WMG.
The True Name of Iron is actually "Iron"
When Chronicler attacked Bast, he slapped his guilder on the table and said, simply, "Iron". After Kvothe breaks up the fight, he introduces Chronicler as one of a few people who know the Name of Iron, suggesting that Chronicler called iron and didn't just use a sympathetic binding. Normally when people call something they mumble out an incomprehensible name, but Chronicler called out "Iron" clear as day, suggesting that "Iron" is, in fact, the name of Iron.
- Obviously it's not enough to know the simple pronounciation of a name to call it. As Master Namer says, one must know a thing completely to call it. And yet, knowing the true name must mean something. Perhaps the very strength of iron comes from the cumulative effect of many humans calling by name and shaping it to their will.
- Perhaps this is also the reason the Fae folk and demons cannot tolerate iron; humans have cumulatively called iron to protect themselves from demons. In effect, Chronicler was just amplifying a name that the whole human race has been calling.
- It'd be interesting to see if different languages use the same word for iron, or just Aturan.
- Another thing this suggests is that names are actually shouted and not mumbled; it's just that human memory records it as mumbling because the waking mind cannot comprehend and remember the names for very long. However, since everyone can at least recognize the Name of Iron, waking minds can remember it as a shout.
- When Dal calls fire, it sounds to Kvothe like the word 'fire', shouted as a command. Perhaps it's just a sort of instinctive translation carried out by the sleeping mind. Certainly it's implied that not anyone saying 'iron' would Name iron.
- True, but maybe it's also true for Fire for the same reason. Note that Fire is another thing that "demons" (read: The Fair Folk) fear, along with Iron and the name of Tehlu. So the two Names we've seen pronounced happen to be the two tangible things demons fear.
- I'd go for instinctive translation. In many stories (Digger for one) true names can't really be heard.
- This is pretty explicitly explained. Kvothe asks Dal, "That's it? The name of fire is fire?", and Dal replies, "That's not what I actually said. Some part of you just filled in a familiar word." So yeah, instinctive translation.
- Let's remember when Kvothe calls the wind in the first book. Elodin makes him repeat the name, Simmon listen them saying "Wind", not the actual name of the Wind. Second, when the Chronicler calls the Iron, Kote listens in a way that resembles Elodin, "having some sort of ressonance". It is just that Kvothe doesn't know the Name of Iron.
Master Lorren is one of the Amyr.
The University's Archives are completely missing any certain information about the Amyr. While the Amyr could probably get at smaller libraries and remove books from them, getting around someone as obsessive about his books as Lorren is, as well as an entire university of magic users, would be an extremely difficult task. The best way for them to get around this problem would be for Lorren himself to be one of the Amyr (or at least one of their supporters). This also gives them a great excuse to get at books concerning the Amyr in other libraries. In fact, Kvothe notes that the acquisition team member that he sees back in The Name of the Wind had pale scars running from his knuckles up his arms. While he didn't say that the scars resembled Amyr (or even Ciridae) tattoos, the possibility is there. Combine that with the Kvothe's remark when he's finally allowed back into the Archives that the Archives building itself looks like a five-story tall Greystone (which is what one is supposed to flee to for protection from the Chandrian according to part of the children's song Denna quotes in Trebon), and it seems likely that Master Lorren and possibly the Archives as a whole are affiliated with the Amyr, and hiding in plain sight.
- There was also Lorren's reaction when Kvothe requested books on the Amyr and Chandrian during his first visit to the Archives, which was to demand why he was searching, then gently steer him away. And his earlier one when he found out Kvothe was Arliden's son, which was one of the few times he has shown any emotion. The first time he got Kvothe alone after that, he started fishing for the patron of the troupe Arliden played with. It's been repeatedly beaten into our heads that the Amyr were not nice people; it's entirely possible a wrong answer from Kvothe would have meant an 'accident' for those involved.
- Lorren also suspended Kvothe when Kvothe snapped at students for being loud in the Archives. However, at that time Kvothe was also reading a book that might have held evidence of the Amyr. The book was not listed in the Ledgers (and thus would have escaped any purge), and Kvothe was excitedly telling his theory to Sim until he noticed Lorren behind him. It's not known how long Lorren was standing there, he might only have suspended Kvothe to have an excuse to take the book.
The war going on while Kvothe tells his tale is against the Fae.
The moon plays a huge role in the series, in addition it is said that the moon connects the Fae to the real world, wouldn't it make sense if at the end Kvothe somehow restores the moon to the sky bringing the Fae and the world close enough to cross, after which humans react poorly to "demons" coming to their world, causing war to break out.
- Considering the next book is tentatively titled "The Doors of Stone", it's possible that Kvothe instead frees Iax from his prison, who promptly restarts the Creation War.
- Perhaps Iax is the Penitent King. Keep in mind that Newarre was part of a commonwealth not more than a few years before the framing story. Where did this king come from? Maybe it was Iax, who, regretting his role in starting the Creation War, is now trying to make it "better" by restoring the moon to its rightful owner.
When arcanists crack, it has something to do with Fae
While at Haven, the lady at the desk hinted that the inmates get crazier as the moon becomes fuller, and Alder Whin was terrified of falling off his bed and landing on springs, slats, and nails (all potentially iron). Either they are making their minds more like the Fae (hinted at by Elodin's "It is because of the way we train our minds to move"), or they are opening themselves up to possession ("THEY'RE IN ME!").
Speaking the names of the Chandrian and Haliax hurts them
Consider Selitos' curse upon Haliax: "This is my doom upon you. Your own name will be turned against you, that you shall have no peace. This is my doom upon you and all who follow you. May it last until the world ends and the Aleu fall nameless from the sky." This would explain why they go to such great lengths to destroy any evidence of their existence, and how they know when someone is speaking their name.
- Maybe the Chandrian are trying to die and the only way they can do that is if everyone in the world forgets who they are. They gain strength from their name, but don't want it. Lanre can only reunite with his love by dying, which he can't do - unless, perhaps, he is forgotten.
The Chronicler is distantly related to Kvothe
Lochees? Lockless? It was mentioned that the Lockless bloodline fragmented into similarly-named noble families, and when Kvothe heard Devan's name, his first reaction was, "[Are you] related to Duke..", quickly cut off.
The Tehlin creation myth is just a retelling of the Creation War.
The demons are the Chandrian (Most prominently, Haliax=Encanis), who are the seven human traitors who joined the fae and turned the seven great Human cities over, and were given powers and cursed by the fae (?). Since Lanre somehow discovered a dark secret to immortality after losing his love, he is using it to keep the rest of the Chandrian alive for... some reason. However, Selitos founded the Amyr to get revenge against the Chandrian. In doing so, the Amyr, trying to cover their tracks, invented the whole Tehlin religious institution, and became a part of it.
- In Wise Mans Fear, it's mentioned that the Chandrian strike when there is no moon or one of their signs is the veiling of the moon. Fae connection, amiright?
- But also, Greystones are said to be protection from the Chandrian (child's poem in the being of Name Of The Wind), and they are also clearly connected to the Fae (Kvothe leaves Felurian from some Greystones, Skarpi's story mentions the enemy being "set beyond the doors of stone"). Perhaps the Chandrian were also cast out by the Fae?
- Perhaps Lanre/Chandrian were initially gifted with powers by the Fae to betray the humans (Lanre would have turned traitor in order to try and find some way of resurrecting Lyra), but later the Fae realized what they had created and cursed them and cast them out.
- But Haliax was cast into shadow by Selitos... wouldn't this mean that the Amyr cursed the Chandrian?
- Ok, so, Lyra dies, and Lanre, who has gone a little mad and is looking for a way to save her as she saved him, betrays the Men and turns to the Fae, who give him the power of unending life - but not the power to retrieve life. In return for this, Lanre must betray Myr Tariniel.
- But also, Lanre gets skill with naming, something he did not have before - perhaps something the Fae did fused Lyra and Lanre together, which was what crafted Haliax? Or perhaps Lanre murdered Lyra in order to gain her power - for some reason? (After all, "My wife is dead. Deceit and treachery brought me to it, but her death is on my hands." -Lanre, Not W, p.179)
- Wait - what if Lanre sought advice from the Cthaeh as to how to bring his wife back, and that sent him on this worst possible path?
- I don't think all of the Chandrian were human - if the Tehlin creation story is a metaphor for the creation war, it says that the first seven who denied Tehlu's choice of path were all human save one (Encanis/Haliax/Lanre) but some of the others had demons hiding within them - possibly some of the Chandrian are actually Fae.
Iax made the same deal with the Cthaeh Lanre did - the power over Names.
In Hespe's story about Jax and the Moon, there's a scene where Jax talks to a mad hermit (though it's obvious to the reader that the hermit a Namer). The Namer tells Jax that he won't be able to learn the Moon's Name unless he takes the time to understand it, but Jax is impatient and refuses to learn. However, in Skarpi's story about Lanre, Selitos is surprised that Lanre has suddenly gained mastery over names, and lists Iax as one of the few Namers who surpass his skill. We know from Bast that both Lanre and Iax talked to the Cthaeh before they performed the actions that made them infamous. Maybe the Cthaeh 'biting' someone, as Felurian puts it, is a euphemism for granting them a part of the Cthaeh's Sight? (Seeing things like the Cthaeh does would also explain Lanre's bleak, nihilist outlook after turning.)
Of the eight ancient cities named by Skarpi, Tinusa was the one to survive the Great Betrayal.
Skarpi and Shehyn both agree that only one of the eight cities of the Ergen empire the survived the Great Betrayal. I believe the city that survived was Tinusa, and that the name eventually morphed into TinuŽ*
. In turn, the city's name and reputation became the origin of the Aturan idiom, "How is the road to TinuŽ?", meaning, "What's up?".
The modern city of TinuŽ (which is marked on the Four Corners map) is probably not the same city, however. First of all, Shehyn claimed that the city that survived the Betrayal was eventually lost in time. Second, there's a better candidate. The modern TinuŽ probably named itself after the idiom (so that their tourism development committee could create the slogan, "TinuŽ: All roads come here!").
The old TinuŽ is probably none other than our University, and it's remains form the Underthing. Think about it: during the bleakest hour of the Creation war, Tinusa's residents likely hid themselves underground. With that refuge to regroup, they are able to turn the tide and finally capture Iax, ending the war. As they transport Iax back to TinuŽ for imprisonment, citizens taunt him by asking, "How is the road to TinuŽ?", and finally he is sealed (as Felurian says) behind doors of stone (the stone doors in the Archives).
The Eolian will be destroyed in Book Three.
We know that Kvothe killed 'him' in front of a fountain in Imre, and whatever he did used enough force to shatter the cobblestones in the area. The only fountain that's been given repeated mention in the story so far is the satyr outside of the Eolian. So Kvothe was angry enough to kill with extreme force, in Imre, in front of the Eolian. What would anger him more than the loss of music and friends?
- There is also a bit of possible foreshadowing towards another option. First was Kvothe's "Good, I need a place to burn" when he first visited the Eolian. There was also Stanchion's sarcastic remark, "this isn't the kind of surprise that's going to [...] make folk set my place on fire?" when Kvothe played the prank with Bell-Wether and Tintatatornin. So it's also possible that Kvothe was the one doing the destroying.
The Cthaeh caused all of history's disasters solely in an attempt to escape its tree.
This is a big one, and needs some justification, but I think it fits the evidence fairly well. It's probably easier to explain it as a chain of theories than a single one. Here goes:
- 1. Despite Kvothe's mistaken first impression, the Cthaeh is not a tree, but a being imprisoned in a tree.
- Bast says it cannot leave its tree, and at one point Kvothe sees something moving behind the branches.
- 2. The tree is made of Roah wood.
- The smell of citrus and spice is mentioned every time either is present in the story.
- 3. Roah contains natural iron.
- This one is a bit of a stretch. When Bast is trying his hardest to open the thrice-locked chest, he mentions he doesn't like the wood. He also never tries to use the power he demonstrated over wood earlier to open it, which might make sense if iron prevents fae magic. Not to mention the chest weighs several hundred pounds empty. This theory would also mean that the discussion about natural iron after finding the draccus scale transforms from detailed world-building to an incredible Chekhov's Gun.
- 4. The Cthaeh is probably in constant agony.
- In this setting, fae have the traditional weakness to iron. The name of iron binds them, and something as small as a needle is described as like 'little slivers of hate' by Bast. Don't forget that the touch of iron made the skin walker in the first book scream in agony, whereas being stabbed multiple times only made it laugh.
- 5. The above means escape for the Cthaeh is nigh impossible with the current state of affairs. The tree is described as massive. Without magic, it would take ages to free the Cthaeh, and the Sithe would be sure to stop any attempt; remember, Bast was amazed that it managed to talk to Kvothe for mere minutes without being caught.
So what does the Cthaeh do? It improvises. It has a perfect grasp of what will happen for each potential action, meaning we have to look at the results of those it did take. Each person we know of who talked to the Cthaeh ended up greatly weakening the world. Iax started the Creation War, splitting the Fae and mortal realms. Lanre betrayed Selitos, and the last of the Seven Cities fell (and the relics that survive show technology/magic levels plummeted into oblivion after this). Kvothe, if some of the theories above are correct, started a war involving the Fae.
What does the Cthaeh get out of all this? It's probably safe to say it wasn't done just for the hell of it (though malice probably played a part. You don't go to these kind of lengths to imprison something that's all rainbows and sunshine). But the main effect of each of these events was a weakening of the world, of the mages, of the Sithe, bringing escape that much closer.
I mean, why else would it even bear mentioning?
Auri's first gift to Kvothe opens the Stone Doors in the Archives.
Auri's first gift to Kvothe was a key that Kvothe said has a pleasant weight in his hand, meaning that it was heavy for a key. It is never mentioned again, as far as I can tell. But Kvothe probably still has it, and it will either open the stone doors, or be one of four keys needed to open the doors (since there seemed to be four keyholes).
- More interesting is that Auri gives Kvothe several gifts, some of the more interesting are 1) the aforementioned key, 2) A candle she apparently made herself, and 3) a coin (he got this instead of a feather): "It was shaped like an Aturan penance piece, but it gleamed silver in the moonlight. I'd never seen a coin like it". Now keep in mind that the famous stories of Taborlin mention his tools: coin, key, and candle (first story from Cob in NOTW, Martin's story in WMF). Coincidence??
Kvothe eventually either destroys the Cthaeh or the tree that it dwells in, releasing it, or does something to destroy the Ademre
At the beginning of tNotW, Kvothe says that his name in the Adem language, Maedre, means three things depending on pronounciation - The Flame, The Thunder, or The Broken Tree. The first refers to his hair and personality, the second to his voice, and he describes the third as 'at least partially prophetic'. This means that sometime, Kvothe is going to witness, be involved in or cause the destruction of a tree, if he doesn't destroy it himself. There are only two plot significant trees in the series, and give PR's love of Chekhov's Guns, I doubt he would introduce a new tree to be broken in the third book - it will be one we saw in the second.
The two plot significant trees are the tree the Cthaeh is trapped in and the Lethani tree, which is symbolic of the Adem people. I think it is mentioned somewhere, but it may not be, that Kvothe never returned to Ademre. Thus, if we choose this option, then Kvothe did something that destroys them without him actually being near them - this is possible, as early in the Not W
Kvothe mentions of the Scrael that he didn't think they would either make it over the mountains or this far west yet. In the map in the books, Ademre is East of the main kingdoms, and blocked off by a range of mountains. Thus, the scrael may well have destroyed the Adem people.
The other option is that Kvothe does something to either release the Cthaeh or to destroy it's tree, and thus, it. The idea of destroying the tree but letting it lose seems less likely to me, given that the world would probably have already have ended if the Cthaeh had already been loose for a while before the framing device. In addition, it being loose would mean either resigning the world to its fate at the end of the three books (and I think PR will write more) or having Kvothe fight something you can literrally seem all possible futures. Since fighting such a being would be near enough impossible, having Kvothe destroy the tree and the Cthaeh, but have the world under threat from other things, makes more sense. Especially since Kvothe doesn't seem to care much when Bast says what the Cthaeh can truly do - if he already killed it, he wouldn't be as bothered, since he knows it can't do any more harm, even if it did put him down a terrible path.
Symbolism of the Jax story
Jax lives in a broken house on a broken road (perhaps the Cthaeh tree—see below
). A tinker comes by (the Cthaeh, probably *
) and makes a bargain with Jax that he can make Jax happy. He gives Jax three bags of stuff (various powers, some mundane, some great, some hidden
) but they don't make Jax happy (power doesn't make people happy—ask Lanre
Jax leaves the broken house to the tinker (Iax tricks the Cthaeh into taking his place in the tree? *
) and walks for a long time until encountering a hermit (an old Namer, possibly Aleph
). The hermit tells Jax about listening to things (learning the Names of things
) and helps Jax to see what's inside the third bag (hidden powers the Cthaeh implanted in Iax's mind
). There is an empty box (power over Names once known, but not the power to discover
), a folded house (power over Shaping, or some kind of Applied Phlebotinum to use for Shaping
), and a whistle (power to disturb the places of things, or power over Shaping
Once Jax knows what these items are, he takes leave of the hermit and finds a place on the highest of peaks to unfold the house (the Faen realm
). The house doesn't unfold correctly and is different in ways from the real world, there are places where the sun always shines and where it is always night, or always summer or always winter (Dayward and Nightward, Summerward and Winterward in Faen
Jax goes to the precipice and plays the whistle (reaches across the sky to steal the moon
), and captures the name of the moon in a box, but only part of it (Iax wasn't powerful enough to keep the moon in Faen
The Adem aren't human
Rather, the Adem are Ruach, which are distinct from humans and fairies, as per the following chain of logic. Felurian claimed that there were never any human Amyr (and that the Amyr from the Aturan empire were just pretenders). From Skarpi's story, we know who the real Amyr are: they were survivors of the cities that were destroyed in the Creation War (whom Selitos calls the Ruach *
). Thus, the people who lived before the Creation War were not human. They almost certainly weren't fairies either, since Felurian also says that this was before men and fae. Apparently people took different paths after the Creation War: some become men, others fae (for example, Felurian, who lived in the city of Murella before the War, became a fairy), but the Adem became neither; they remained Ruach. The evidence for this is Kvothe's sword, Caesura. According to its recorded history, it was used in the Creation War. In fact, it was used in the Battle of Drossen Tor, the battle where Lanre was killed. The reason the Adem still have possession of these weapons is that they are the people who lived before the Creation War, whereas those who became men and fae took different paths and lost this technology.
If indeed the Adem are not human, there are two interesting possibilities: 1. that the Adem are
the Amyr, and 2. that the Adem ideas on reproduction are correct, for them.
- That would explain why they are free of disease - they were around before diseases like those, and never bred with 'barbarians'. Also explains why they're so confident in themselves being the 'real' civilization, and the Western culture as barbaric - they were around when the other societies were barbarians.
The "cities" that existed before the Creation War were actually planets, and the Creation War was an interstellar war.
According to Skarpi, more people died in the Battle of Drossen Tor than there are alive in the world in Kvothe's time. The world in Kvothe's time seems pretty well populated. How did all these people live in only eight cities? Simple, each city was actually a whole planet. The "city" that survived the Creation war is the Earth; the same planet that contains the Four Corners and that Kvothe walks on.
The Chandrian and the Amyr exist only as a motivation for Kvothe. He may discover some of their secrets, but will never 'defeat' them
- Rothfuss has said he wasn't trying to tell a fantasy story in the vein of 'hero defeats bad guys,' and this is evident in the book's more biographical nature.
- There's simply not enough space left in the story for that sort of encounter. It will end with whatever events led to the war and Kvothe's faked death.
- When Kvothe speaks the names of the Chandrian, he says he is not worried about bringing them to him because they won't be able to pinpoint his location from a single mention, and also says that enough people must be telling stories about them at the moment that they should already be hearing their names constantly. The fact that they are still out there, capable of hearing their names spoken, is apparently not in dispute.
Denna is Netalia Lackless.
- The way Kvothe describes Denna and Meluan is similar when it comes to hair and eye colour and he says there's something familiar about her. Obviously running off with the Ruh is something a talented singer like Denna would do, but the biggest clue I think is her breathing problems. Kvothe states that such ailments are common among nobles (obviously because of inbreeding) which looking at the Maer's limited options for a wife and what we learn of the Lackless' family tree is definately hinted at.
Denna is learning magic, probably from her patron.
- Early in WMF, she turns up wanting to know how magic works, because "someone" told her something about it that she wants to verify. During her and Kvothe's final conversation in that book, her speech has developed the same kind of eccentricity, with nonsensical statements that seem to hint at some deeper truth, that we see in Auri and Puppet. She's studying magic, and her mind is cracking a bit from it, as sometimes happens to arcanists. However, since Denna is surely as mentally strong as any of the students we see at the University, who do not show any such mental faultlines, this seems to suggest that she is being taught by someone who isn't being overly cautious with her sanity. Denna's patron is a mysterious figure who may well be in some manner supernatural, and has shown strong signs of regarding her as a disposable tool to be freely used and carelessly risked.
Kvothe is telling his life as he wishes it was, and the story is an act of magic in itself.
- We know both the Amyr and the Chandrian are obsessed with what is written about them, and from what Denna has asked about "a magic where you write things down and they come true", which she has probably heard about from her patron who is probably a Chandrian, it's clear that some stories in this world have special power. So... it seems a bit unlikely Kvothe is just telling a story because he's worried what people will think about him.
- So Kvothe telling his story is him playing the same game the Amyr and Chandrian are. He's being very controlling of Chronicler writing down exactly what he says, and he's only telling what he wants to tell. And he's probably lying, considering how awesome he apparently was.
- Also consider his boast about the Ruh being the greatest storytellers the world has ever known at the beginning of telling his story - if it's a game of stories, he thinks he can win.
- There's also the story he makes up about Chronicler: what he writes in your book about you becomes true, if he knows your name.
So it seems to me that obviously, things are not as they seem when concerning the Amyr and the Chandrian. As one of the above entries suggests, the Chandrian are not the real Big Bads, and I think the Amyr are. Evidence:
- Skarpi's Creation War story:
- Selitos was betrayed by Lanre(Haliax). Haliax did this because of some kind of curse/debt owed for his newfound power. Selitos is pissed at Haliax.
- Aleph offers a choice to his followers to follow him and take the power he gives them to use in the name of Justice. Aleph says Selitos must put aside his personal grievance against Lanre to do so. Selitos rejects the offer and starts the Amyr, to oppose Lanre and "for the greater good".
- Tehlu is the first to volunteer to Aleph, and becomes his first and greatest angel in the name of Justice.
- This could also be seen as a semi-parallel to the Tehlu story told to Kvothe by the old man in Tarbean. Tehlu(Aleph, Tehlu's creator) offered a choice to Encanis(Selitos) to repent and join him, Encanis(Selitos) rejected the offer. Some followed Encanis(Selitos).
- Gibea (the in-universe equivalent of Dr. Mengelev) had ties with the Amyr and performed his slaughter "for the greater good"
- The Amyr attempt to control all information regarding themselves and the Chandrian, possibly to subvert people's understanding of who's good or bad.
- The Tehlin church shut down the Amyr approx. 300 years ago. Remember, Tehlu himself was stated to be an angel of justice. If Selitos led the Amyr down an evil path, it seems likely that Tehlu would step in to stop them.
- Denna's song about Lanre paints him as a tragic hero, betrayed/tricked by Selitos. True? It seems likely that her patron is connected with the Chandrian, if not one himself. It also seems likely that Denna herself is looking into the Chandrian as well which would explain her odd choice of patron.
- When Nina gives the painting to Kvothe, she says the Amyr is the scariest one, and tried to anchor him with Tehlu's name.
- They have tattoos of blood, come on people!
Also keep in mind that we have no direct evidence that the Chandrian killed anyone
. Kvothe assumes they killed his parents because they were in his camp when he came back. Same at the wedding in Trebon. However, it is entirely possible that the Amyr killed all these people, and the Chandrian had come later possibly to gather info/look for something/some less sinister purpose. It could be that the Amyr are the truly evil ones and perform feats of destruction to give the Chandrian a bad name. Perhaps they do not want people to join Haliax in whatever cause it is he's fighting for (which would coincide with Selitos' hatred of Lanre/Haliax and his stated desire to ruin everything Lanre does).
However as far as how this relates to the story:
It does seem likely that the Amyr have some ties to the University (possibly Lorren) to control the information there. So that would mean they also control the door, which seems likely to house something related to the Creation War (Jax possibly) or to the Chandrian (Lyra?). Therefore they are attempting to stop the Chandrian from getting to the door and releasing/using whatever is within. Possibly to evil ("greater good") ends.
Auri is part Fae
Fairly self-explanatory. We already know Kvothe has power with names, and he calls her his 'little Moon Fae'. Possibly related to this could be the above WMG that Kvothe breaks his promise to Denna - the 'ever-changing moon' could be to do with Auri or even Felurian.
- Also, she dislikes moonless nights - when the Fae are further away from the mortal world
We have already partially read how Kvothe will kill the King.
During the hunt for the bandits in Wise Man's Fear, Marten tells the story of Taborlin the Great being taken prisoner, and eventually fighting King Scyphus. Old Cob also tells snippets of this tale.
- Taborlin uses Naming to break through the rock walls of his cell, land safely from a great height by calling the wind, and burn down the huge wooden doors to the King's hall.
- When Scyphus's guards are reluctant, the King declares he will fight Taborlin himself using wizardry.
- Most notably, the story ends after Taborlin calls lightning and fire to smite forty guards, but before the fight with King Scyphus himself.
Assuming the theory about Ambrose being the king Kvothe kills is true, then it stands to reason a real battle between them would involve Sympathy, and probably Naming. Patrick Rothfuss is a big user of Chekhov's Guns, so it's entirely possible that Ambrose will capture Kvothe, strip him of his possessions, and throw him in a cell, only for Kvothe to escape, storm straight to King Ambrose's hall, reclaim his possessions, and battle with Ambrose using every bit of powerful Sympathy, Naming, and tools made with Sygaldry he can. The very reason Pat left off the end of Taborlin's story in Book 2 was to finish it with Kvothe and Ambrose in Book 3.
Kvothe is Taborlin the Great
So the stories we've heard about Taborlin come from two sources: 1) Old Cob and 2) Kvothe himself (from Unreliable Narrator
standpoint). All of Taborlin's stories are eerily similar to Kvothe himself:
- Taborlin has a "cloak of no particular color", Kvothe has his shadow cloak.
- Taborlin's tools were key, candle, and coin. Kvothe has received all 3 of these as gifts from Auri.
- Taborlin had great power over names. Kvothe has great power over names...
- Taborlin fights a mad king (as described above). Kvothe is a king killer.
Since it seems likely at some point that Kvothe changed his true name, it seems feasible that somewhere along the line stories of Kvothe himself are now stories of Taborlin. It's possible Kvothe knows this and still talks of Taborlin as a separate person, or he doesn't know.
Now you might ask, well then how come there are still stories of Kvothe if they've been turned into stories of Taborlin. Well this likely stems from the fact that all the stories of Taborlin are heroic, whereas Kvothe sees himself as anything but. So if he did change his name and somehow separate out these entities, then the stories of "just Kvothe" would remain apart.
Either that or Rothfuss just has lots of fun with Chekov's guns
The land used to form the Faen realm was taken from the middle of a continent
Felurian said of the Faen realm: "the greatest of them [Shapers] sewed if from whole cloth". Implication being, they didn't create it out of thin air; they took some existing land, moved it sideways into another dimension, and shaped it into the Faen realm. That land had to come from somewhere, and I propose it came from the middle of a continent. Once the great Shapers removed that chunk of land from middle of the continent, all that was left of the original continent was its Four Corners....
The ground zero where the chunk of land was taken from is possibly the Reft, a body of water on the Four Corners map south of Tarbean. "Reft" is an archaic English past participle of the word "reave", which means "to steal", so the name fits. Another possibility is the Eld, which seems to have more Faerie activity than other parts of the Four Corners, and is near the center of the map.
Ambroise has had a bit of a dalliance with Meluan, or will claim to have done
- We know there is some sort of civil war that has some how been caused be Kvothe.
- Kvothe spends a slightly odd few pages playing a prank on Ambroise, faking a letter from from a woman saying "the baby is yours"
- According to Stapes, there were already rumours about Meluan being pregnant by the time Kvothe got back
- Kvothe has said something along the lines of "not being keen to fight if you knew what the war was really about".
- Maybe the princess Kvothe rescues is the baby? Don't know how that fits with "sleeping barrow king", though, unless Jakis' has an odd bed.
- Penitent king? A bit of stretch but it seems unlikely he's penitent for murder or something. Penitent for sex out of wedlock, maybe.
Kvothe is Jesus of Nazareth
All the stories about Kvothe eventually morphed
into stories about Jesus. Kvothe rescuing two girls from bandits eventually became Jesus saving a woman who was about to be stoned. Visiting Felurian and the Faen realm, and escaping with his life and sanity? Forty days in the desert while being tempted by Satan. Destorying the church at Trebon to kill a dragon? Driving merchants, and their sacrifices, out of the Temple. All the music Kvothe plays? Parables. Being whipped? Being whipped. Trial in Imre? Trial in the Sanhedrin. Wil, Sim, Fela, Mola? Jesus' disciples. Devi? Probably Judas. Denna? Mary Magdalene. Auri? Samaritan woman. And so on. We'll probably get to the Lazarus story in Day 3.
- ďOnly priests and fools are fearless and I've never been on the best of terms with God.Ē -Kvothe (Not even remotely Jesus.)
Ademre <—> Edema Ruh
This is a small one, and I don't know how it would fit into the larger story, but the Ademre and the Edema Ruh seem to have a few connections. First is the similarity of the name, and second their past as wanderers and storytellers. Perhaps they were once one people who then split, sort of like the Tinkers and Aiel in Wheel of Time
The Faen Realm is the mythical medieval land of Cockaigne
Cockaigne, which was a fantastic realm in stories from medieval times, had much in common with the Fae. In Cockaigne, food was plentiful, fantastic, and easy to obtain. Cheese rained down from the sky, and fully-cooked pigs roamed around with carving knives in their backs to feed everyone. This is very similar to Kvothe's remarks about how he could never remember where food comes from—somehow the land itself produces food in fantastic ways. Cockaigne residents also had eternal youth, enjoyed sexual freedom and promiscuity, and authority was turned on itself.