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  1. #1

    Kingkiller Chronicles Speculation (Spoilers for both books)

    This thread is for speculation about the content of the Kingkiller Chronicles. This thread is not for discussion of the relative merits of the series, so please do not be part of it degenerating into one of those oh so fun internet brawls .

    Here be Spoilers!

    I am currently listening to The Wise Man's Fear and am intrigued by the trouper boy's rhyme about the Lackless door.

    Seven things stand before
    The entrance to the Lackless door.
    One of them a ring unworn
    One a word that is foresworn
    One a time that must be right
    One a candle without light
    One a son who brings the blood
    One a door that holds the flood
    One a thing tight-held in keeping
    Then comes that which comes with sleeping.


    Of these I think "a son who brings the blood", is probably the most obvious - which may make it the most suspect given Rothfuss's predelictions . I suspect most people have heard this all before, but for the benefit of those who have not...

    Kvothe's mother "Laurian" was a noble who ran away with his father. There is a brief mention of Kvothe recalling staying with a noble family when he was very young, but I think we can dismiss this as a red herring - can't seem to find it and I don't think it too important.

    It is revealed that Melowyn Lackless has a sister who was seduced by a Ruh trooper engendering her hatred of the "ravel", "I'd started a second bottle of wine by the time I read that young Netalia Lockless had run away with a troupe of traveling performers. Her parents had disowned her, of course, leaving Melaun the only heir to the lackless lands." Kvothe feels like he recognizes Melowyn the first time he meets her, presumably because of the similarities between her and his mother. We almost get this identity confirmed if we look back at Kvothe's drunken conversation with Wil and Sim while waiting to cross the bridge. Kvothe sings them a song his father wrote which got him kicked out of the wagon for the night, because of the bad meter rather than the lyrics according to Kvothe.

    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...


    To make my wife Not tally a lot less = To make my wife Netalia Lackless. Too much of a coincidence, especially when coupled with Tally being used as a name. It makes a deal more sense that Laurian would be angered over him endangering them by risking revealing her identity than because a song had bad meter - especially one that was obviously very tongue in cheek. Kvothe also repeats a rhyme he heard about Lady Lackless - might have been Lockless but its mentioned the name morphs a little - which upsets his mother, and she says he can make it up to her and the lady by gathering nettles, etc. And here, thanks to Contrarius, is that rhyme,

    “Seven things has Lady Lackless
    Keeps them underneath her black dress
    One a ring that’s not for wearing
    One a sharp word, not for swearing
    Right beside her husband’s candle
    There’s a door without a handle
    In a box, no lid or locks
    Lackless keeps her husband’s rocks
    There’s a secret she’s been keeping
    She’s been dreaming and not sleeping
    On a road, that’s not for traveling
    Lackless likes her riddle raveling.”


    Rothfuss is not exactly being subtle with this, which to my mind is the biggest reason to be sceptical about the theory!

    As for the other six things...

    One of them a ring unworn - There is a mention of Kvothe's rings, a poem even,

    On his first hand he wore rings of stone,
    Iron, amber, wood and bone.
    There were rings unseen on his second hand.
    One was blood in a flowing band.
    One of air all whisper thin,
    And the ring of ice had a flaw within.
    Full faintly shone the ring of flame,
    and the final ring was without name.


    There are also a few rings which may or may not be those mentioned in the rhyme. Auri gives Kvothe a ring that "holds secrets", Stapes gives him a ring of bone, and Melowyn gives him a ring of wood - the later two are probably those mentioned in the rhyme. It seems odd perhaps that the rhymn suggests these rings are actually worn by Kvothe, but given the nature of stories and the fact that the giving of the rings of wood and bone were significant and unusual that might make sense. For me those three are the prime candidates for "a ring unworn". Though Denna's blue stone ring might also be a candidate.

    "One a word that is foresworn", could well be a name, perhaps the name of the fellow who stole the moon? I don't believe he is named by Felurian, though the female mercenary - what was her name? - does name him in her story as Jax I believe. The word foresworn could be his true name.

    As for, "a time that must be right", I would guess that this might have something to do with the moon and ites relationship with the doors between the fae and mortal worlds. Felurian tells Kvothe that a full moon allows easy access between the worlds for those seeking to pass between them, and that a moonless night makes it possible to slip betweenworlds accidently and become trapped in the fae. Of course I am sure there are plenty of other options here, but the aforementioned is the only one which springs to my mind.

    "One a candle with out light", has me pretty stumped, at a stretch perhaps something to do with Kilvin's search for an everburning lamp? Kilvin also has some ancient magical artefacts - though I am sure they are not so called - do any of them fit the bill? Not that I recall.

    "One a door that holds the flood", um, the door in the archives? No idea really.

    "One a thing tight-held in keeping", seems the most ambiguous, Denna's ring perhaps? Kvothe treasure his lute, but he goes through so many that hardly seems likely .

    "Then comes that which comes with sleeping", nightmares perhaps? We could assume that the Skrael and the bodysnatching thingemy are from beyond the door, and they might be justifiably called nightmarish. Still that seems a little obvious for Rothfuss, I am expecting something clever.
    Last edited by Ornery Wyvern; August 23rd, 2011 at 07:07 AM.

  2. #2
    For the sake of completeness, here's the Lackless rhyme that Kvothe recites early in NOTW:

    “Seven things has Lady Lackless
    Keeps them underneath her black dress
    One a ring that’s not for wearing
    One a sharp word, not for swearing
    Right beside her husband’s candle
    There’s a door without a handle
    In a box, no lid or locks
    Lackless keeps her husband’s rocks
    There’s a secret she’s been keeping
    She’s been dreaming and not sleeping
    On a road, that’s not for traveling
    Lackless likes her riddle raveling.”

  3. #3
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    The number 7

    Quote Originally Posted by Contrarius View Post
    For the sake of completeness, here's the Lackless rhyme that Kvothe recites early in NOTW:

    “Seven things has Lady Lackless
    Keeps them underneath her black dress
    One a ring that’s not for wearing
    One a sharp word, not for swearing
    Right beside her husband’s candle
    There’s a door without a handle
    In a box, no lid or locks
    Lackless keeps her husband’s rocks
    There’s a secret she’s been keeping
    She’s been dreaming and not sleeping
    On a road, that’s not for traveling
    Lackless likes her riddle raveling.”

    Has anyone else noticed the significance of the number 7 in the Kingkiller chronicles?
    Seven things has lady lackless.
    Seven words to make a woman love you
    Seven chandrian (Chand- rian) Seven of them.

    I know there are other references. I just can't quite remember them.

    Has anyone got any theories about this? I'd be really interested to know.

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    Hello, all.
    This may have already been addressed, and I apologize if so, but I found no evidence of it being brought up. Did anyone else read Alveron and Stapes as homosexual? This has root in bigotry, but it seemed painfully obvious to me. I mean:
    older and unmarried
    references to a wild or rebellious youth
    the scene where they embrace and Stapes calls the Maer by his first name
    the jealousy with which Stapes treats Kvothe (a handsome, young man) at first, and his gratitude later
    This only came to my attention as going unnoticed when I was talking about the books with a friend I had turned on to it, mentioned it casually and he interrupted my sentence. Thoughts?
    Also, while this is unlikely (sadly so), if Denna is not *The Girl* and Devi is, I will hail Patrick Rothfuss as one of the truest masters of the literary Kansas-City Shuffle.

  5. #5
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    Has there been any realistic projection as to release date for the next in this series?
    I guess I don't want it rushed along since I am hoping book 3 intrigues me the way Book 1 did, rather than disappoint me like book 2 did.
    It seems like back when I read NoTW I ran across something from Rothfuss indicating that the entire series was already written and just needed some polish. Anyone else get that impression at one time?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Twinner View Post
    Has there been any realistic projection as to release date for the next in this series?
    I guess I don't want it rushed along since I am hoping book 3 intrigues me the way Book 1 did, rather than disappoint me like book 2 did.
    It seems like back when I read NoTW I ran across something from Rothfuss indicating that the entire series was already written and just needed some polish. Anyone else get that impression at one time?
    Not that I have seen.

    My view is that it will be at least two years at the earliest before the book could be published. This is based upon how book 2 developed. I read Rothfuss's blog and his postings are similar to where they where between book one and two. I'd expect a missed deadline with an extension by the publisher. He is busier in real life it appears but at least he is beginning to employ staff.

    That said, I care little how long it takes as long as its up the the standard set forth in the first two books. The clues and hints presented so far continue to amaze me and if he can pull it off this will be a work to set a benchmark for a generation.

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    Number 7 (continued)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimtose View Post
    Has anyone else noticed the significance of the number 7 in the Kingkiller chronicles?
    Seven things has lady lackless.
    Seven words to make a woman love you
    Seven chandrian (Chand- rian) Seven of them.

    I know there are other references. I just can't quite remember them.

    Has anyone got any theories about this? I'd be really interested to know.
    Seven things has lady lackless, keeps them underneath her black dress.
    Seven chandrian.
    Seven string troupers lute.
    Seven days of High Mourning.
    Menda-Tehlu- Son of himself- Became a full grown man on the seventh span.
    "in the end seven stayed on the other side" -- Story told my Trapis
    "At the end of seven years, tehlu's feet had"-- " " " "
    "For six days Encanis fled, and six great cities he destroyed. But on the seventh day, Tehlu drew near before
    Encanis could bring his power to bear and the seventh city was saved."-- " "
    "That is why seven is a lucky number"
    "Do you know the seven words to make a woman love you"
    "If I were looking for a good number I'd have to go up to seven... or down to three"
    "Expect disaster every seven years"

    Thats just some of the references to the number 7 from TNOTW.

    I know it might seem a little mundane. But I'd really like to know what the fascination is with the number 7.
    Is there anything special about it? Or is it just something that is part of the general make-up of the book. Like us saying 13 is unlucky. Or there are seven days to a week.


    Is the number seven important? And if so why?

  8. #8
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    Okay, my two cents:

    I think we have to consider the format of how the next book will play out. Unlike the first two, I doubt it will be 95% flashbacks and storytelling. Most likely, the first 60% will be Kvothe catching the readers up to the current day. The other 40% will be Kvothe having regained his powers (somehow, possibly Bast bringing Denna to the Inn in a last ditch attempt) and Kvothe going after the rest of the Chandrian, however many still survive.

    Kvothe obviously (whether on purpose, or accidentally) started the war that rages the lands in the present day and he holds himself SO personally responsible for his actions (Most likely he couldn't stomach seeing so many die due to his actions) that he locks his powers away in that chest with a name of some sort.

    Near the end of the TWMF Kvothe makes an attempt to open the chest, but can't. This is interesting because it leads me to believe that HE has the ability to open it himself, but still can't get through his own mental barriers to actually DO it. Hence why he makes an ATTEMPT to fight off the soldiers hired by Bast, but still gets his ass handed to him anyways. A part of Kvothe OBVIOUSLY wants his powers back, but a larger portion of him, (His sleeping mind perhaps) is still keeping him from taking that next step in his recovery from trauma.

    I believe Bast feels that he needs to up his efforts another notch and does try to bring some surviving character or characters from the story to him to help wake him up. I wouldn't be surprised to see Bast suddenly up and leave when the third book begins and go off looking for something or someone to help while Kvothe continues telling his tale to Chronicler.

    It's also possibly that Bast goes in search for Felurian as his 'ace in the hole'. Letting her know where Kvothe is. If anyone outside of Denna could 'wake up Kvothe' from his trauma, I think it would be Felurian.

    As for the 'Doors of Stone', I don't think any of the Chandrian are held or imprisoned by the doors. It's possible that it is a prison though for REAL names and that somehow those doors open, unleashing chaos around the world as Kvothe or whomever suddenly has unthinkable power over those names.

    Despite where the second book leaves off, I do strongly believe that the 3rd book ends with a showdown between Haliax and Kvothe ala 'Voldemort VS. Potter'. Whatever crimes Kvothe may have done himself, he would want the ultimate redemption, kill Haliax and bring peace to the land.

    Also, I don't think Master Ash is Cinder. Cinder is 'otherworldly' obviously, and I doubt that he would have a walking stick after being injured by an arrow. The only reason Cinder flees the bandit camp is because of secrecy. I believe Cinder could have wiped out the party had he not tried to be hidden and kept things secretive.

    It's also possible that the box Lady Lackless owns holds the true name of someone very important, most likely Haliax/Lanre himself. We're obviously not done with that box of hers, and the age of the box would coincide with some of the legends and tales we've heard about Lanre.

    Sorry if I rambled a little. Also, I apologize for any spelling errors, I listened to the audiobooks, so I didn't see any of these names in print yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Haas View Post
    Okay, my two cents:

    I think we have to consider the format of how the next book will play out. Unlike the first two, I doubt it will be 95% flashbacks and storytelling. Most likely, the first 60% will be Kvothe catching the readers up to the current day. The other 40% will be Kvothe having regained his powers (somehow, possibly Bast bringing Denna to the Inn in a last ditch attempt) and Kvothe going after the rest of the Chandrian, however many still survive.

    Kvothe obviously (whether on purpose, or accidentally) started the war that rages the lands in the present day and he holds himself SO personally responsible for his actions (Most likely he couldn't stomach seeing so many die due to his actions) that he locks his powers away in that chest with a name of some sort.

    Near the end of the TWMF Kvothe makes an attempt to open the chest, but can't. This is interesting because it leads me to believe that HE has the ability to open it himself, but still can't get through his own mental barriers to actually DO it. Hence why he makes an ATTEMPT to fight off the soldiers hired by Bast, but still gets his ass handed to him anyways. A part of Kvothe OBVIOUSLY wants his powers back, but a larger portion of him, (His sleeping mind perhaps) is still keeping him from taking that next step in his recovery from trauma.

    I believe Bast feels that he needs to up his efforts another notch and does try to bring some surviving character or characters from the story to him to help wake him up. I wouldn't be surprised to see Bast suddenly up and leave when the third book begins and go off looking for something or someone to help while Kvothe continues telling his tale to Chronicler.

    It's also possibly that Bast goes in search for Felurian as his 'ace in the hole'. Letting her know where Kvothe is. If anyone outside of Denna could 'wake up Kvothe' from his trauma, I think it would be Felurian.

    As for the 'Doors of Stone', I don't think any of the Chandrian are held or imprisoned by the doors. It's possible that it is a prison though for REAL names and that somehow those doors open, unleashing chaos around the world as Kvothe or whomever suddenly has unthinkable power over those names.

    Despite where the second book leaves off, I do strongly believe that the 3rd book ends with a showdown between Haliax and Kvothe ala 'Voldemort VS. Potter'. Whatever crimes Kvothe may have done himself, he would want the ultimate redemption, kill Haliax and bring peace to the land.

    Also, I don't think Master Ash is Cinder. Cinder is 'otherworldly' obviously, and I doubt that he would have a walking stick after being injured by an arrow. The only reason Cinder flees the bandit camp is because of secrecy. I believe Cinder could have wiped out the party had he not tried to be hidden and kept things secretive.

    It's also possible that the box Lady Lackless owns holds the true name of someone very important, most likely Haliax/Lanre himself. We're obviously not done with that box of hers, and the age of the box would coincide with some of the legends and tales we've heard about Lanre.

    Sorry if I rambled a little. Also, I apologize for any spelling errors, I listened to the audiobooks, so I didn't see any of these names in print yet.
    I'd have to disagree with some points.

    Firstly I believe that whats behind the doors of stone is Iax.
    Now several points before I start quoting: Iax was the one who stole the moon. Jax in Hespe's story trapped the moon in a box. Felurian mentions that the guy who ripped the moon out of the sky is trapped behind the doors of stone. (obviously Iax and Jax... same person. Stories just changed his name)

    "She held up the smooth stone. but still one moon. And it all round and cozy in the mortal sky. Her smile faded. but one shaper was greater than the rest. For him the making of a star was not enough. He stretched his will across the world and pulled her from her home..."No calling of names here. I will not speak of that one, though he is shut beyond the doors of stone.
    "

    So.... guy who stole the moon... shut beyond the doors of stone. Iax.
    So Iax is trapped behind the doors of stone.

    Now as for the Lackless box. I believe simply enough that the Lackless box holds a part of the Moon's name.

    "Something metal, by the way the weight shifts when I tilt it. I closed my eyes and listened to the padded thump of its contents moving in the box. No. By the weight of it, perhaps something made of glass or stone."---> I have a strong feeling that this holds the moon's name.

    As for what Kvothe keeps in the box. I would be horribly disappointed in Rothfuss if it turned out to be something as simple as his name and powers etc.
    When Denna, Dinnae, Dianneh etc makes Kvothe promise not to look for her patron Kvothe swears "I swear it on my name and my power. I swear it by my good left hand. I swear it by the ever-moving moon."
    Now there's a significant amount of evidence to go with this:
    1st: No music "left hand more nimble, as a rule" Kvothe can't play music anymore because his left hand is no good to him. He can't play properly. We know he can still sing because "With the fire shining in his hair, he sang Tinker Tanner, with more verses than anyone had heard before, and no one minded in the least."
    So we know Kvothe can sing. He still has a lovely singing voice from all appearances. But he won't play music.... Why? He can't... His left hand can't chord on his lute.

    2nd: When making the wreaths "The innkeepers fingers fumbled clumsily" When have we ever heard of Kvothe's fingers being clumsy. This is absolutely against everything we know about him.

    I know there's more that I could dig up but I can't be bothered.

    So to summarise:
    Iax/Jax is trapped behind the doors of stone.
    Iax was the one who stole the moon and sealed it in a special box.
    The Lackless box holds the final part to the moon's name.
    Kvothe swore not to look for Denna's patron and did. Thus binding his powers and hand.


    Finally: Someone mentioned earlier a theory about Lorren being a member of the Amyr. I haven't seen any evidence for it, but I genuinely enjoy the idea of him being one of the Amyr.

  10. #10
    I will also put forward a pet theory, which is likely way off the mark and supported by little or no evidence. I wonder if Denna might be a Lackless to. There is a sliver of a chance she is Netalia Lackless, but I think it more likely she is the daugher of Melowyn Lackless. Melowyn seems to have the right look, and the right age to be Denna's mother - if we assume she had her at a tender age.

    If Denna is Melowyn's daughter and Netalia is Kvothe's mother then they are cousins. Being related might explain them being drawn to each other, and Rothfuss's careful choice to have them avoid doing anything that given that relation might be icky.

  11. #11
    Ah, excellent, thanks Contrarius! I will put that into the first post if you do not mind

    What about Denna's patron? I've seem a lot of theories, Cinder, a Jackiss, another of the Chandrian, an Amyr, etc. But for me the most convincing is Bredon, Gavin advanced this theory on facebook,

    "Denna's Patron is Bredon: he plays a game old enough for the Fae to know of it;, he mentioned starting to take dancing lessons the same time Denna mentioned her suitor doing so; his trips coincide with the time Denna leaves Vintas; and his wolfhead walking stick is mentioned prominently and Cthaeh reveals that Denna's patron has recently taken to beating her with his walking stick."

    If all of that is true, which I believe it is, but cannot confirm, then I think him a prime candidate.
    Last edited by Ornery Wyvern; August 23rd, 2011 at 07:14 AM.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Ornery Wyvern View Post
    Being related might explain them being drawn to each other, and Rothfuss's careful choice to have them avoid doing anything that given that relation might be icky.
    I looked up the subject of cousin marriage recently, because of a Dick Francis book -- and, actually, it is legal for first cousins to marry in almost all countries, and even in the majority of US States. It seems to be most firmly opposed in states like Utah, where its illegality is used as a tool against closely bred polygamous sects.

    Just one of those bits of trivia you never really wanted to know....

  13. #13
    Legal, but icky, and if television and film has taught me anything a surefire way to end up with a family of mutant looking perverts who live in the back of beyond and don't have cable.

    While I'm theorizing, how about Bast being Kvothe's son? I don't think its likely he mentions being one hundred and fifty years old or something, but if we consider that Kvothe was in the fae world for three days and appeared to spend many months there it becomes a slim possibility. If 3 days equals a year then it would only take a year for Bast to be 100, etc. It might explain Bast's tender devotion to his Reshi. If so I would suspec that Kvothe did not know about it. Feluruan would seem to fit fairly well as Bast's mother.

    "Chronicler, I would like you to meet Bastas, son of Remmen, Prince of Twilight and the Telwyth Mael..." page 120 NOTW, would seem to counter this though, and I think Bast being his grandson is reaching a little too much for even for me, though o0f course he could have simply lied to Kvothe.
    Last edited by Ornery Wyvern; August 23rd, 2011 at 09:16 AM.

  14. #14
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    Yeah, there's a lot of theorizing to be done in these books. I'll state my thoughts on the ones that have been mentioned so far as well as adding a few more that have come up in the TOR re-read. Well, one in particular that I subscribe to and one that is a bit off in my opinion.

    Netalia Lackless This is a good theory. I wouldn't be so quick to think something has been found just because the last line of the poem sounds so much like the name (coincidences do occur), and the age gap between Kvothe's mother and the other Lackless sister we meet in the book is a little on the big side. However, there is without a doubt quite a bit of evidence for this between Kvothe's mother's reaction to the poem, to the running off with the Edema Ruh that Netalia did, to, yes, the poem's last line cannot be dismissed. So I'd say there is a very good chance this is the case, although it is not a sure thing. I'd put it at maybe a little bit higher probability than the major theory of aSoIaF.

    Bredon as Ash This one I don't like. All we have to connect the two is some appearance similarities and the fact that Bredon and Denna are in Vintas at the same time (though we have no evidence to suggest that Bredon is ever not in Vintas). I see nothing of Bredon's character that lends to a man who is a tyrant and abusive master. One would think that teaching styles would not change between students, and where Ash basically beats Denna to learn to play properly, Bredon eases Kvothe into the game he is teaching, but reminds him that he still has a long way to go to learn. Why would he be a considerate teacher with Kvothe and an abuser with Denna? It does not make sense to me. I suspect we have not yet met Master Ash, or he could possibly be one of the Chandrian (though I doubt it).

    Other theories brought up here The Bast as Kvothe's son and Denna as a Lackless theories are kind of baseless speculation. I need more evidence for a theory before I consider it.

    OK, some more:
    The Importance of Names This was touched upon in the "Dislike Kingkiller Chronicles" thread, and the basic gist of it is that the power and abilities within a person are associated with their name. If they were to change or "forget" that name, they no longer have those powers and abilities. This is the state Kvothe is in during the frame story, as he has changed his name, which is why he is no longer available to use his sympathy while he is masquerading as the innkeeper Kvothe.

    This is also the state Kvothe is in when he is in Tarbean for three years. If you read the section, you'll find that he seems to snap out of his normalcy when Skarpi says his name, at which point he gains back that brilliance. This is all subsequent to when he hid his former life (and presumably his name) behind that door of forgetting after his parents were killed.

    To support this theory, in Wise Man's Fear when Kvothe asked Elothe about Denna, he talks about changes one's name. Elothe is beside himself at the idea of someone changing their name, indicating the name has a great deal of importance. This is an excellent theory and I'd have to think there is a great deal of truth to it.

    Denna as the moon/ wind This one is a bit weird, and I don't have all the specifics about it, so if you are interested in this one, check out the Tor re-read of the books. The basics of it that Denna has an ever-changing nature, kind of like the moon. This is combined with the story of Jax and the moon that gives the moon such a personification that it has led some people to believe that the moon is actually a person. And if the moon were to be a person, Denna would fit well. She is someone who is loved by all men but allows herself to be claimed by none, like the moon does not allow itself to be claimed. It's a bit too out there for my tastes, but some may like the theory.

    However, there are certainly parallels between Denna and the moon presented, as well as Denna as the wind, as two different chapters were called "The Ever Changing Wind" which is also the nature of Denna.
    Last edited by molybdenum; August 23rd, 2011 at 12:57 PM.

  15. #15
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    personally I was always of the thought that master Ash was Ambrose or Ambrose's father. They have the money and motovation to take talented women place them with powerful men to learn their secrects and gain yet more power.

    honestly I believe the King Kvothe kills is either Ambrose himself or the father. Hence the sword "Poet-Killer"

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